Those of us who have a concern for the future should hope our congressman, Steve Pearce, can be persuaded to abandon his opposition to the Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks National Monument.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zimke has not proposed significant adjustments in the boundaries originally declared in 2014, and we should expect Congressman Pearce to join and support him.
I have great respect for the men and women who’ve made a living ranching on the dry steppes of New Mexico. They have overcome every obstacle and they embody the best of our national values. But as responsible stewards, they will understand that those of us living today should leave the land and landscape of our state as nearly untouched as we can. Another generation, perhaps in another century, can decide whether and how these fragile deserts should be exploited. Robert B. Anderson Roswell
Step up fellow veterans. Just how messed up is our state of New Mexico, USA?
The Motor Vehicle Division made us produce DD-214s (which we had to do the first time) to transfer veteran plates to new vehicles. They will honor DD-214s for licenses plates, but they won’t honor DD-214s for driver’s licenses.
Now, to renew my driver license they required a birth certificate (original) from a hospital that was burnt down years ago. They want a Social Security card and won’t accept my 30-year military retired ID card with my Social Security Number that was my service number, also copies of utility bills and (can you believe) previous driver’s license.
New Mexico USA says they respect veterans. I served our country for 30 years for the right of New Mexico USA Division of Motor Vehicles to be as ignorant as they are.
Speak up fellow veterans. It effects us all. We are Americans. Jim Scott Roswell
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The Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corp. has earmarked $40,000 to help grow area business, John Mulcahy, president of the group, said at the Wednesday annual membership meeting.
“That’s not a small amount of money for a small organization like this,” he said, “but we want to form a committee of membership and directors and say, what do we want to do and where do we want to help local business, because they need that.”
Mulcahy reviewed the organization’s top initiatives with about 60 people who attended the meeting, which included the election of new officers and board members. The meeting occurred at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.
Another initiative Mulcahy discussed is the allocation of $20,000 for downtown development.
“We are not giving (visitors) an experience downtown that is robust enough,” he said, referring to the fact that close to 200,000 people visit the International UFO Museum and Research Library each year but do not tend to spend a lot of time or money downtown. “We are getting close, but I think the EDC has to continue to move in that direction to help that.”
Other goals include development of commercial sites around the city, enhancing membership involvement, developing high-tech marketing techniques and pushing the continued development of the Roswell International Air Center.
The economic development group will take steps to implement something recommended by a recently completed economic feasibility study as well as a1988 study, the creation of an independent port authority to manage the air center.
Mulcahy said a non-political authority is necessary to attract investors.
“We have an opportunity to enact an authority that was recommended not only today but also 20 years ago,” he said. “There’s your Mike Singletary, the air center. It has been out there for 60 years, and it is really time to take advantage of what everyone I have ever talked to knows, it is an incredible economic asset.”
The reference to Singletary recalled comments made by the keynote speaker for the event, Sandia Science and Technology Park Development Corp. Chairman Sherman McCorkle, a recognized business executive in the state.
McCorkle told the group that former pro football player Mike Singletary and the people behind the Guadalajara global industrial park were two models of success for developing prosperity.
Singletary demonstrated the power of a dream and of persistence. Now a football coach and once a member of the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bear team, he was diagnosed with anemia as a youth and told that he might die and definitely would never have the stamina to play sports. In a life history that has been recounted in published accounts, Singletary worked his way up from high school team manager to benched player to college player to pro player by practicing and working out alone, after hours, to build strength and skills.
McCorkle then spoke of how business leaders in Guadalajara avoided a common trap that causes many people or organizations to fail in the final step of prosperity development: Implementation. Using an analogy, McCorkle said that some organizations say they want a cat that can catch a mouse, but then they focus on the size, shape, look or other factors of the cat rather than on its mouse-hunting skills.
“In Guadalajara, they were able to complete all five (prosperity development) steps and they did build their global industrial park. When I was there, they also had a charter school so that the workers brought their kids with them and the kids went to school at the industrial park. … They worked together. They became the thought leaders, the attitude leaders and the doers.”
He said that model contrasted greatly with the economic problems in the Soviet Union, which he was asked to visit after its dissolution to see what economic opportunities might exist.
“They had no history of people helping each other, and there was no culture of community. There was no community barn-raising. It was impossible to envision an investment-friendly community,” McCorkle said.
Mulcahy said that, in the year ahead, the economic development group will use not only the plan for the air center, but also the comprehensive plans that have been or are being developed for the city and the former municipal airport property on the northwest side of the city.
“Strategy is done,” he said. “It is time to implement.” Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Country Club Church of Christ, they reach out to those in need with the love their faith nurtures.
“Our goal in everything that we do,” said Josh Watkins, pastor, “is to show people that a family truly takes care of one another.”
One of their simpler outreach programs connects with locals as well as tourists.
“From June 29 through July 2 we’ll have two booths at the UFO festival,” Watkins said. “One will have bibles, tracts and copies of the Constitution. The other booth will be a dedicated cooling booth. We’ll have misters and bottled water. It’s free, just come, take a load off. We did it last year but it was kind of small. People would come stand there for a minute and move on. This year we’re hoping people will relax a bit more and enjoy a cool moment in a hot day.”
They just finished vacation bible school.
“We had vacation bible school in the first full week of June,” he said. “Monday through Friday we had around 220 kids. We invite kids from anywhere and everywhere, we send a lunch home with the kids. We had a blast with that.”
The church has been offering a free meal, with donations accepted to cover costs, to busy people on Wednesday nights during the school year, and this year it’s going to be a bit larger in scope.
“We’re going to start the Wednesday night meals again on Aug. 9,” Watkins said. “They’ve got so much going on there. They’re going to do a brunch for the cooks. We’re going to set aside all money donated above the cost of food for various ministries.
“Last year, one of our ministries was a coat and pants drive for Mesa Middle School. We raised $4,600. If kids were in need of pants or a coat at the season change then the funding we provided would buy pants or a coat for those students. We had a phenomenal response for that.”
They plan on a variety of outreach ministries over the school year.
“We’re going to partner ministries like that with our Wednesday night meals,” he said. “It runs around $200 to $250 to buy the food for each meal. So we figure people will be willing to donate more to help these ministries.
“We’re trying to line up about nine months of ministries. The goal will be about a ministry a month, but it might go to two months a ministry if they could use the funding. But we’re looking for ministries that are more the outreach type. We would like to change direction every two months, to ask how can we help out directly, and find new ways to help.”
They would like to work with other churches and organizations to better reach those in need.
“We would love to work with a larger cooperative of churches and groups,” Watkins said, “that reach out to help the community.”
While most of their outreach stays in Chaves County and New Mexico, some goes to others whose needs cannot be met where they are.
“About 20 to 25 percent of our church’s outreach budget goes to foreign missions,” he said. “Last year at Christmas we did a big fundraiser for an orphanage in Brazil. We chose to go with the orphanage in Brazil because it’s a mission that we support, and the missionary we work with tells us of the children’s needs.
“There’s an Albuquerque Christian Children’s home that we help as well as a Portales Christian Children’s home.”
The greater percentage of their local focus is on or through Mesa Middle School.
“We focus quite a lot on Mesa Middle School because we have members who teach there and see what’s going on,” Watkins said. “We would hope there are other organizations reaching out to the other schools in the area, addressing the needs they see.”
As fall approaches, they prepare for the customary holiday responses.
“We have the fall festival,” he said. “Years ago they did it in conjunction with other churches. It was more like a Trunk or Treat. Churches would open their buildings and have something on Halloween night.
“We realized that so many churches were doing it, we were just another place. So our decision was to change it. We moved it earlier in October. We’ve done it at Graves Farm for the last two years. We’re hoping to get on their calendar again this year. We rent the whole place, so they have the corn mazes and it’s very family friendly. We try to make this family focused and just come-one-come-all.”
During the Thanksgiving season thoughts turn to feeding the needy.
“November is the time for another one of our ministries,” Watkins said. “Yet again, we partner with Mesa Middle School and others. We get lists and we support about 25 families that may not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. We have volunteers who pre-cook Thanksgiving meals and freeze them to make them easy to microwave.”
In the past they’ve supported the Angel Tree.
“In the past we’ve done the Angel Tree as well,” he said. When we supported the Angel Tree ministries the church would support 25 families. Members would bring gifts up here wrapped.”
Watkins is excited to encourage new ministries in the church. The more people who choose this kind of work, the better the church’s work, in his eyes.
“My objective is to work myself out of a job,” he said. “If this church has to have me to survive, I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. My job as a minister is to equip people to step up and say, ‘I can do that.’
“One thing that the Churches of Christ believe in is the priesthood of all believers. I don’t wear a special cloth, I am one among the people who is trained to help each of them step into their ministry. Eventually, I’d love to see something like churches where they don’t employ a full-time minister.”
Watkins sees all outreach as a part of the healing journey that their faith espouses.
“There is a need in this world for people to see that violence isn’t the answer,” he said. “To see that genuine love and care really solves most every issue. We’re hoping that in our little neck of the woods we can provide those avenues. If people choose not to take us up on it, that’s fine. Maybe they’re getting it somewhere else. We certainly hope so. Our goal is ultimately so people can see the love of Christ.” Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at email@example.com.
Daniel Mullins, 50, is wanted by the Roswell Police Department.
Authorities describe him as 6 feet tall, about 275 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Mullins is charged for sexual exploitation of children, in both possession and distribution. He is also accused of downloading and uploading child pornography. Following an investigation by RPD, a warrant was issued several months ago, but investigators have not been able to locate Mullins, who is believed to have left Roswell, but may still be in New Mexico, possibly the Albuquerque area.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of this individual, or having any other information that could potentially help locate the subject, is asked to call the Roswell Police Department at 575-624-6770 or Chaves County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-8477.
The following reports are from the Roswell Police Department and are available at rpdp2c.org. All people arrested or cited are presumed innocent.
Police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Hall Drive at 12:55 a.m. Tuesday in reference to a vehicle burglary. Credit cards, Social Security cards and a driver’s license were reported stolen.
Arrests and arrest citations
Jose Francisco Escamilla, 42, was charged with possession of controlled substances at the 600 block of East Sixth Street at 12:07 a.m. Sunday.
Justin Uzueta, 27, was charged with possession of marijuana at the corner of North Main Street and East Vista Parkway at 12:09 a.m. Sunday.
Savanna Bard, 26, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia at the corner of North Main Street and East Vista Parkway at 12:42 a.m. Sunday.
Joseph Eliseo Ponce, 29, was arrested for having an outstanding warrant at the corner of South Atkinson Avenue and East Poe Street at 1:35 a.m. Sunday.
Elizabeth A. Artiaga, 53, was charged with possession of controlled substances at the 1100 block of South Wyoming Avenue at 11:56 p.m. Monday.
Maria I. Rodriguez, 30, was charged with possession of marijuana at the 400 block of East Albuquerque Street at 10:11 p.m. Tuesday.
Felix Alexander Pena-Duran, 37, was charged with possession of controlled substances at the 800 block of East Third Street at 11:41 p.m. Tuesday.
Police were dispatched to the 700 block of West Ninth Street at 7:32 a.m. Monday on a criminal damage call. Four windows to a 1999 Pontiac Sunfire were reported damaged with an estimated value of $800.
Police were dispatched to the 1000 block of West Purdue Drive at 9:17 a.m. Monday on a criminal damage call. A windshield to a 2007 Ford was reported damaged with an estimated value of $500.
Police were dispatched to the 200 block of Pear Street at 7:15 p.m. Monday on a criminal damage call. Damages to a 1985 Chevy van were valued at $3,300.
Police were dispatched to the 700 block of Jaffa Street at 5:36 a.m. Tuesday on a criminal damage call. Damages to a Hyundai Veloster were estimated at $2,500.
Police were dispatched to the 900 block of East Second Street at 9:41 a.m. Tuesday on a criminal damage call. Damages to a metal door were estimated at $3,000.
Police were dispatched to Yale Place at 10:21 p.m. Tuesday on a criminal damage call. Damages to a window were estimated at $300.
Police were dispatched to the 4500 block of North Main Street at 12:19 a.m. Sunday in reference to a larceny purse snatching. Keys with a total value of $128, a cellphone, $500, credit and debit cards were reported stolen.
Police were dispatched to Kmart at the 1700 block of South Main Street at 5:35 p.m. in reference to shoplifting. A wristwatch, cologne and miscellaneous clothing with a combined value of $105 were reported stolen.
Unlawful taking of motor vehicle
Police were dispatched to the 1600 block of South Kansas Avenue at 7:17 a.m. Sunday in reference to a stolen vehicle. A 2007 G6 with an estimated value of $2,500 was reported stolen.
Xcel Energy, a utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has received several reports of scammers operating within New Mexico andTexas.
According to Xcel’s media relations, customers have received calls that appear to be coming from Xcel Energy customer agents.
These fake representatives then threaten disconnecting their services if a “past due“ balance is not paid over the phone.
Xcel said in the scammers’ latest attempt, calls appear to have been made from an automated system with call-back numbers that lead to a recorded message.
Xcelsaid they arereminding customers that they will receive printed disconnect notices in the mail if their accounts are past due, and that the company has multiple ways to make payments.
If customers receive calls demanding payment over the phone, and they have not received a disconnect notice, Xcel said they should hang up and call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999 to check their accountstatus and make payments properly.
Business customers can check the status of their accounts by calling 1-800-481-4700. These are the only numbers customers should use to contact Xcel Energy for billing and payment inquiries.
Juan Moncayo, 47, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Roswell, surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 19, 1969 to Jose Padilla and Rita Moncayo in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Juan is preceded in death by his father Jose Padilla, maternal grandparents Andres and Adelina Moncayo, aunt Olympia Sharp, and his beloved dog Lilbit.
Juan proudly served in the Army National Guard on a drug interdiction task force earning the rank of specialist. During his time of service, he was awarded the Army Service Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, M-16 Rifle sharpshooter marksmanship badge, and the grenade sharpshooter marksmanship badge.
Juan was a very social and personable person who enjoyed being around people. He would enter a room and make his presence known by his dynamic personality and his knack for his exaggerated storytelling. Juan enjoyed long walks with pet companions and outdoor activities.
Juan is survived by his mother, Rita Moncayo of Roswell; brothers Matthew Moncayo and Joseph Moncayo of Roswell; sisters Audrey Lara of Roswell, NM and Georgia Moncayo of Washington, D.C.; nephews Javier Lara and Malachi Moncayo; and nieces Sandra Lara and Marisa Moncayo.
Visitation will be Thursday, June 29, 2017 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Ballard Funeral Home. The recitation of the rosary will take place on Thursday June 29, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, June 30, 2017 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Roswell. Interment will follow at General Douglas McBride Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at ballardfuneralhome.com.
Joe Griego Lucero “My buddy, my best friend” of Roswell, NM, gained his wings on June 21, 2017 at home surrounded by his loved ones. A memorial service will be held at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, June 30, 2017, at 1 p.m. A tribute of Joe’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.
On November 1, 1924, Joe was born to Isidro Lucero and Filomena Griego in Lubbock, TX. Joe married the love of his life, Maria Ramos, on October 16, 1954, and together they had nine children. Joe entered the US Air Force and served from 1943-1946. He was in both World War II as a gunner, and in the Korean War. He was a soldier until his passing. The years he served made him a very strong person and he passed that strength on to his children. Joe was extremely proud to talk about his time in the military, not a day went by that he did not talk about it.
He was always expanding his knowledge through reading, and would read anything and everything he could lay his hands on. Joe would always share the stories of his life to everyone, young or old. Family and friends always enjoyed listening to him for hours at a time. One thing he would do was encourage his family to make sure we finished our schooling so we could also expand our knowledge as he did. Joe’s number one hobby was gardening. He especially loved caring for his rosebushes and would always say, “These rosebushes will be here long after I’m gone, so please take care of them.” Joe’s greatest talent was music, especially playing the guitar. His children recall endless hours they spent as children listening to ‘dad’ play and sing with all his heart. You are forever loved and will always be missed.
Surviving to cherish Joe’s memory are his daughters: Joann Otero and husband, John and family of Ruidoso Downs, Patricia Garcia and family of Roswell, NM, Inez Lucero and family of Roswell, NM, Marylou Vasquez and family of Lubbock, TX, Maggie Hernandez and husband Tony and family of Roswell, NM, Cynthia Lucero and family of Roswell, NM and Lisa Saiz and family of Roswell, NM; sons: Eddie Lucero and wife, Adriana and family of Roswell, NM, Joseph Gregg Lucero II and family of Roswell, NM, and Adam Perez and family of California. Adam is a grandson whom he raised as his own. Other survivors also include 31 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Preceding Joe in death are his loving wife, Maria Lucero; parents: Isidro Lucero and Filomena Griego; grandson, Brandon Lucero; great-grandchildren: twins, Monica Ramos and Veronica Ramos, Aryssa Lucero; son-in-law, Mark Vasquez; siblings: three brothers and one sister.
A Special Thanks to the VA, Heart Hospital and Hospice for the special care Joe received. A very Special Thanks to Tony, Maggie, Veronica and all their family for taking care of our dad for many years. Also, Thank You Patricia and Cynthia for taking care of dad at home.
We love you ole’ man!
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Joe by his family.
Services are pending at LaGrone Funeral Chapel for Major Christopher A. Cortez, USA Retired, age 65, of Roswell, who passed away Monday, June 26, 2017.
A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.
After nearly 22 years of working at the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Mike Herrington is retiring. However, the long-term Roswell resident isn’t planning to leave law enforcement anytime soon.
The 47-year-old lieutenant said one of the reasons he chose to retire was so he could start on his campaign for Chaves County sheriff in 2018.
“It’s a tough decision to retire, but it feels good to do so,” Herrington said Tuesday. “My adult life pretty much has been in law enforcement, and it’s something that I’m going to continue to do.”
Herrington said working for the Sheriff’s Office has been fulfilling and, at times, sad.
“Because of the things you have to deal with and see,” he said. “But, it has been a pleasure to work with the guys that I have worked with, which I do consider to be my family and — that’s the hard part.
“I know that I will be back, in a different capacity. So, I’m not leaving my family, I will just be back at a different time.”
Chaves County Sheriff Britt Snyder, 54, currently in the latter part of his first four-year term, said he fully intends to run for a second term in the June 5 Republican primary. Herrington said he too will run in the Republican primary next year.
“I am very proud of what we’ve done over the last two and a half years. … I (have spent) 28 years in this department, so I really have a lot of historical knowledge of where we are now, where we’ve been and I’m very proud of this department, and have intention of running again,” said Snyder, who won a four-man Republican primary race for sheriff in 2014 by 12 votes.
Challenger Herrington said one of his primary focuses is on further improving relationships with the Chaves County community.
“I believe in community policing,” Herrington said. “Community relations is very important, it’s one of the things that I do with the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office now. I go out and I participate in every function that involves schools, the public, and even churches.
“It’s important for us to bring back the relationship between policemen and the community. The reason for that is because if one of them is missing, we don’t solve crime, because we expect people to be able to come and talk to us and tell us what’s going on in the community. If they don’t do that, crime goes unsolved.”
Snyder also said keeping a strong relationship with citizens is important.
“That’s what a lot of people don’t realize about the sheriff’s office specifically,” he said. “Everything we do is built on relationships. With our community, with our citizens, with our officers, with the other county agencies, with the schools. it’s just one relationship after the other. And we have worked really hard to build those relationships.
“Our patrol staff cannot begin to catch all the criminals that may be committing any number of acts on a day-to-day basis. We need our citizens’ help to do that. And we work really hard at educating our citizens and through crime prevention and Neighborhood Watch — getting them to help us. They know their neighborhood, they are there everyday, they live in it. We need them making those phone calls … we educate and prepare them and just meet with them and let them know that we can’t do this without you.”
Herrington said he will become personally involved in helping people feel safe.
“Not just Roswell, but that includes Dexter, Hagerman, Lake Arthur, Dunken — every area that we have,” he said. “I want to hear the concerns of every person in it, and see what we can do to make it better.”
The deputy also said he wants law enforcement officers to go back to interacting with the community.
“Going out and actually doing talks to the community and letting them know what it is that we do. What it is that we need from them to better this community,” Herrington said. “We do not have people who want to be police officers anymore, so whenever we put out for positions to apply for, the amount of people who now apply has dwindled.
“Right now, all they do is watch ‘Cops’ on TV, and no one wants to do that job anymore. They see all the negative things that are going on and to get our children interested in becoming police officers again is important, so community relations has to be there, and where that starts is with our children first.”
Snyder said there’s more duties he want to continue and others he wants to finish. He said he is most proud of the Chaves County Sheriff Office’s recruiting and retention.
“In this environment, it’s very difficult to find and retain deputies. We just don’t have the pools to draw from what we used to,” he said. “We’ve really raised the standard on the people that we’re going to hire, and we found some really good candidates.
“We’ve got the best of the best working for us, and we’ve managed to retain, not all, but most of them, and that’s important. I only have one opening currently. When Lt. Herrington retires at the end of this week, I’ll have two of them. We’ve already got a group of new deputies that we’re going to test to try to fill those openings.”
Averaging the last two years with the two years previous to that, burglaries and larcenies are down by about 40 percent, Snyder said.
“I don’t think there’s too many agencies that can report those good of numbers,” he said. “That has a lot to do with the quality of our staff, the quality of their work. The first thing I did when I took office was I assigned two deputies back into the drug task force to join forces with the police department, and it absolutely has been a great relationship. I think it’s had a positive impact on our overall crime numbers. Because drugs, drug addiction is a lot of what drives our crime numbers.”
When Snyder came into office in January 2015, he said he knew they needed to go back to the basics.
“Customer service is the number one thing we do,” he said. “We answer calls for service, we need to be prompt and professional, we need to do a good job following up with our cases, we need to show up in court — those thing are huge. I realize those things may not resonate good with the voters, but they certainly resonate with me. We need to be the best department that we can be.”
During his last campaign, Snyder said he took a very dim view of drunk drivers.
“My mother was killed by a drunk driver,” he said. “We have countless people endangered by people driving drunk, and there’s absolutely no excuse for it. We, as a law enforcement agency, cannot turn a blind eye to that. We need to do our part. Because it protects the citizens of our county.
“We got five drunk drivers this last weekend. We did a sobriety checkpoint and got three drunk drivers at that checkpoint, east of town. Now we don’t get three drunk drivers at a sobriety checkpoint, that’s never happened before. So obviously we identified a bigger problem area than we may have originally thought. So that’s something I’m going to continue.”
Herrington said he’s taught over 400 classes on “how to survive an active killer” the past seven years to schools, churches and businesses. He said it’s important to interact with the community on a regular basis.
“Everything that we do, if it has something to do with the public, I try to make it a point to be there. And when I become sheriff, I will become personally involved,” Herrington said. “I believe as the sheriff, you should be at every public function because you are the elected official. You should be there, the people should be able to see you and say, ‘That’s the man we voted for.’ So that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Snyder raised $20,009 during his 2014 campaign. He said he has already made work on fundraising for the 2018 election.
“If Mike Herrington intends to run, which he says he is, it’s better that he retires now,” Snyder said. “It really makes for a bad working environment for the fellow employees when there’s people from within the department that are running against each other, it can make for all kinds of drama.
“I don’t have any problem with anyone running against me, we live in a democracy. That doesn’t bother me a bit. If people think I’ve done a good job, they will support me. If they don’t, then I would encourage them to support somebody else. That’s how the process works. I’m committed to Chaves County, I’m committed to having one of the best sheriff’s office in the state of New Mexico, and I plan on continuing that forward.
“My only grief with Mike Herrington is, he has never come and told me to my face that he intends to run against me. Quite the opposite. He sat right there where you’re sitting, and told me he has not made that decision, when apparently, he has. That hurts me personally.
“I have known him the entire time he has been at the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, and — I just want him to treat me with respect, just like I would treat him. Simple as that. I think that’s important in any rivalry like that.
“I’m not going to focus on him, or anybody else that wants to run, I’m going to run on who I am, what I’ve done, what I intend to do and they’re on their own. It won’t be a dirty race as far as I’m concerned, I have seen that. I have seen that in too many situations, and I will not participate in that type of an election.
“That’s the way I ran the last campaign, and that’s the way I intend to run this campaign, and I would ask anybody else that runs against me to do the same. I think anything else is a disservice to our citizens.”
Snyder has been Herrington’s boss since he started at the sheriff’s office. Herrington said he simply has other ideas, goals and desires.
“It’s nothing personal against him in any way, me running as sheriff,” he said. “I’m not saying anything he has done has been inappropriate, or anything like that, it’s just my turn.
“I want to see this community flourish. I just don’t want Roswell to become like you see on TV where the people hate the police. I don’t want that. I want us to be a tight-knit group and when people see the police and they wave, I want the police to wave back. And when I mean police, I mean all law enforcement.” Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chaves County has received more than $3 million from the federal government for the federal lands in the county, officials said Tuesday.
The $3.1 million payment, called the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, is paid annually to counties and other local governmental entities that have within their taxing areas public lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or other federal agencies. The payment just received for Chaves County is for the 2016-17 fiscal year, ending June 30.
“It was a little bigger than we budgeted, but we always budget a little low,” said County Manager Stanton Riggs.
The Chaves County payment was part of the $38.5 million paid to 32 counties and municipalities in New Mexico and the $464.9 million paid nationwide to 1,900 county and local governments, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Interior.
This year’s payments were the largest made in the 40-year history of the program, the news release indicated. The payments to local entities are determined by size of acreage and area population. The Interior Department earns more than $8.8 billion a year from commercial and recreational use of federal land.
Concerns about how much the county will receive in future PILT payments, given uncertainties with federal funding, as well as questions the county has about other federal and state monies it is expecting to receive, were part of the reason that Chaves County commissioners recently voted to approve a one-twelfth of one percent sales tax increase, scheduled to go into effect in January. County officials can decide to rescind the tax ordinance before or after January should they decide that the additional revenues are not needed. County staff have said the tax, which will mean an extra 8 cents for every $100 of eligible goods or services purchased, will bring in about $850,000 a year.
Chaves County Board of Commission Chair Robert Corn was quoted in an Interior Department news release about the importance of PILT to the area.
“Money we receive from PILT helps to fund roads, public safety and support the local sheriff’s department to help keep citizens and the community safe,” he said.
In its preliminary 2017-18 budget, the county has projected that next year’s PILT payment also will be about $3.1 million.
New Mexico’s state plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act was named as the best in the nation by independent education reviewers Tuesday, the state Public Education Department announced.
The state plan, among the first to be submitted by states to the U.S. Department of Education, outlines the PED’s stakeholder engagement along with a detailed plan for continuous improvement and ongoing stakeholder engagement in key issue areas.
It also details the state’s commitment to providing interventions for the lowest-performing schools (such as Principals Pursuing Excellence), as well as the ongoing implementation of college-ready standards and assessments and school grades that emphasize student growth, proficiency and graduation rates.
“We’re proud New Mexico is being recognized as a national leader through a plan that puts our students first. Traveling across the state, it’s clear so many New Mexicans are rejecting the status quo and providing their input into this plan every step of the way,” said Gov. Susana Martinez. “This independent review of our state plan is proof that when we work together, the sky is the limit for our kids and our state.”
The PED partnered with New Mexico’s leading public policy organization, New Mexico First, to develop the New Mexico Rising Tour, the largest listening tour in state history. The PED visited communities across the state to receive feedback on ESSA and made 50 changes to the state plan to reflect New Mexico voices.
“Today, New Mexico’s educators, parents, students and community leaders have so much to be proud of. Our plan for our students’ and state’s future has been recognized as being one of the strongest in the country,” said Acting Secretary of Education Christopher Ruszkowski. “We have incredible assets in this state, and we must come together and continue to do the work of improving outcomes for kids. Our students will be the ultimate beneficiaries if we deliver on what we’ve committed to in our plan.”
Bellwether Education Partners and the Collaborative for Student Success brought together a group of independent advocates, education experts and former state officials from across the ideological spectrum to review the first round of the 17 ESSA state plans submitted in April. The group’s goal was to serve as an external check on the federal peer review process and to look at whether states are going beyond compliance with the law to really set up a system that will accomplish their visions for K12 education. New Mexico had very high ratings in most categories, achieving the highest possible rating of 5 in five of the nine categories.
The reviewers specifically praised New Mexico for its strong rationale for goals, a clear accountability system and extensive stakeholder engagement.