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The Latest: Molinari breaks US stranglehold on majors

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CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

7 p.m.

Francesco Molinari’s win at the British Open has broken the American stranglehold on golf’s major championships, with a U.S. golfer having won the previous five.

It caps a stunning stretch for the 15th-ranked Molinari, who has won on the PGA and European Tours in the previous two months.

Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner finished in a tie for second place at the British Open, two shots behind Francesco Molinari.

Molinari didn’t drop a shot over the weekend at Carnoustie.

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6:52 p.m.

Francesco Molinari has won the British Open for his first major title after emerging from a crowded pack including Tiger Woods in a wild final round at Carnoustie.

Molinari shot a bogey-free, 2-under 69 to finish on 8-under 276. He became the first Italian to capture a major championship.

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6:35 p.m.

Francesco Molinari has set the clubhouse target at 8-under par after shooting a bogey-free, 2-under 69 at the British Open.

Molinari holed a 5-foot birdie putt at No. 18 to take the outright lead, leaving Xander Schauffele alone in second place on 7 under. Schauffele has two holes remaining.

Molinari would be the first Italian to win a major championship.

Tiger Woods shot 71 and was 5 under overall.

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5:45 p.m.

Francesco Molinari has taken the outright lead at the British Open for the first time, and Tiger Woods is still not out of it.

Molinari tapped in for birdie at the par-5 No. 14 to break out of a five-way tie for the lead, which included Rory McIlroy after his eagle at the same hole.

Woods also birdied No. 14 — after playing a pitch shot from the back of the green that is shared with No. 4 — to move back to 5 under, two off Molinari.

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5:25 p.m.

Eddie Pepperell says he was a “little hung over” during his round of 4-under 67 that has left him one shot off the lead at the British Open.

After shooting 71 on Saturday to start the final round eight strokes off the lead, Pepperell said he was “so frustrated” and had “too much to drink last night.”

The No. 72-ranked English golfer hadn’t been hopeful ahead of Sunday’s round, saying “today was, really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament.”

Pepperell teed off at 11.40 a.m. local time with Phil Mickelson.

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5:10 p.m.

Tiger Woods has dropped out of the lead at the British Open after a double-bogey at the 11th hole.

Woods sent his second shot into the gallery, with the ball rebounding out into the rough. He duffed his chip, then three-putted from off the green.

He fell to 5 under, a stroke behind four players — Jordan Spieth, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Chappell and Francesco Molinari — heading into the tough back nine at Carnoustie.

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4:45 p.m.

Tiger Woods is in the outright lead of the British Open after a stunning turnaround at Carnoustie.

Woods has parred his last four holes and capitalized on collapses by Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, the previous co-leaders.

Spieth bogeyed No. 5 then made double-bogey at the sixth hole after taking a drop then three-putting.

Schauffele bogeyed Nos. 5 and 6, then double-bogeyed the seventh hole.

Woods, seeking his 15th major championship and first since 2008, leads by one stroke on 7 under from playing partner Francesco Molinari and Spieth.

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4:05 p.m.

Tiger Woods is on the move in the British Open, edging to within a stroke of the lead on the front nine.

Woods birdied two of his first six holes to get to 7-under-par, a shot behind Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele. He was tied there with third round co-leader Kevin Kisner.

Woods, who is chasing his first major championship win in a decade, began the day four shots off the lead held by Schauffele, Spieth and Kisner. But while they were all over par on the front nine, he made birdie on No. 4 and then added another on the par-5 sixth.

Large crowds are following the 42-year-old Woods, who has yet to win in his latest comeback. He shot 66 in the third round to make a move up the leaderboard.

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3:25 p.m.

Kevin Kisner has dropped out of the lead at the British Open after a double bogey and a bogey in his first three holes.

Kisner, who has led or been tied for the lead after all three rounds, found a bunker off the tee at the par-4 second hole and made a 6. Then he missed a 4-footer for par at No. 3.

In fact, there are dropped shots everywhere in the final round at Carnoustie, where the wind is playing havoc.

Rory McIlroy has bogeyed two of his first five holes and is now 3 under, six shots off the lead, while Tommy Fleetwood bogeyed No. 5 to give up the stroke he picked up at the first before making double-bogey at No. 6.

Spieth and Schauffele have parred their first two holes.

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3 p.m.

Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele, the last pairing in the final round of the British Open, have teed off at Carnoustie where quite a stiff wind is blowing.

Tiger Woods has parred his first two holes and remains four shots back from Spieth, Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, who shared the third-round lead at 9-under.

Tommy Fleetwood also started his round at 5-under, like Woods, and birdied the first to a massive ovation.

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1:45 p.m.

Leaders are on the range at the British Open, where they will be greeted by warm breezes in the final round at Carnoustie.

Three players — including defending champion Jordan Spieth — are tied at the top of the leaderboard at 9-under par. Three other players are within three shots, while Tiger Woods is in a group of eight golfers at 5 under.

Ideal conditions in the third round led to a number of low scores, including a 64 by Justin Rose and 65s by Spieth and Francesco Molinari. But 69 was the low score among the first 22 players out in Sunday’s final round as the breeze was blowing 15-20 mph.

Woods, who shot 66 on Saturday, is paired with Molinari, two groups behind the final twosome of Spieth and Xander Schauffele.

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The yellow grass of a dry summer in Scotland comes to life Sunday because of a red shirt at the British Open.

Tiger Woods is in contention for the claret jug again.

Jordan Spieth was tied for the lead at Carnoustie as he tries to become the first repeat winner in 10 years at the British Open. But even the appeal of Spieth was no match for seeing Woods, in his traditional red shirt, in the mix at a major.

Woods was four shots behind. It’s the closest he’s been to the lead in a major since five years ago at Muirfield.

A victory would complete a most remarkable comeback for Woods, who has had four back surgeries, a marital scandal and a DUI arrest since his last major.

Molinari survives wild day to win British Open

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Francesco Molinari of Italy speaks during a press conference after winning the British Open Golf Championship in Carnoustie, Scotland, Sunday July 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) — Francesco Molinari didn’t get the loudest cheers for the best golf at British Open.

He was overlooked for so much of Sunday playing alongside Tiger Woods, who caused pure pandemonium at Carnoustie by taking the lead in the final round of a major for the first time in nine years.

Molinari settled for the best cheer of them all.

The last one.

Amid so much chaos — seven players atop the leaderboard, six of them still tied on the back nine — Molinari played a steady hand by going the entire weekend without a bogey and finishing with a 5-foot birdie putt that secured his place in history as Italy’s first major champion.

“Clearly, in my group, the attention wasn’t really on me, let’s put it that way,” Molinari said, the gleaming claret jug in front of him. “If someone was expecting a charge, they probably weren’t expecting it from me. But it’s been the same the whole of my career.”

His charge was a 2-under 69 in the strongest wind of the week, the only player from the last four groups to break par.

Woods lost the lead with one bad swing that would have been even farther left of the 11th green had it not crashed into the fans, leading to double bogey. He followed that with a bogey and never caught up. He had to settle for a 71.

Jordan Spieth, tied for the lead in his bid to go back-to-back in the British Open, failed to make a single birdie and shot 76, his highest score Sunday in a major.

Kevin Chappell made two double bogeys, the last one on No. 17 that derailed his hopes. Kevin Kisner made his double bogey early. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose each made a run with eagles on the par-5 14th hole, McIlroy with a 50-foot putt , Rose with a second shot that bounced off the base of the pin. They ran out of holes.

Xander Schauffele, the last hope to keep alive the American streak of five straight majors, was one shot behind until he sent a long iron to the right of the 17th and failed to make a 15-foot putt for par.

Molinari clinched it with a driver that skirted the edge of a pot bunker, leaving him a lob wedge from 112 yards to 5 feet. He poured it in, raised his right fist and shook it lightly before slamming it for emphasis.

Then, he waited in the trailer to see if anyone could catch him. At one point, he went over to the practice green, but not to prepare for a playoff.

“I probably would have felt sick watching on TV,” he said.

Molinari finished at 8-under 276, the lowest score in eight Opens at Carnoustie, the course where Jean Van de Velde threw away the British Open with a triple bogey on the last hole in 1999, where Padraig Harrington twice hit into Barry Burn on the last hole to make double bogey and still won.

“Just disbelief, to be honest,” the 35-year-old said. “To go the weekend bogey-free, it’s unthinkable. Playing with Tiger was another challenge. But I felt really good this morning. I felt I was ready for the challenge.”

Woods had every reason to believe he would cap a most improbable comeback from four back surgeries.

His red shirt blazing against the yellow grass of a dry Scottish summer, Woods hit driver into the wind on the par-4 fourth to set up birdie. Into the wind on the par-5 sixth, three deep bunkers to the right and out-of-bounds to the left, he got to the front of the green with a driver and a 3-wood for another birdie.

And just like the Woods of old, the players he was chasing started to collapse.

Spieth gambled with a shot to clear the burn on No. 6 and went into a gorse bush, making double bogey. Schauffele chopped up the next hole for double bogey.

Woods had the lead.

And then he lost it with two bad holes. Still in range, he couldn’t get close enough for a birdie when it mattered. It was the first time since the 2007 U.S. Open that he trailed going into the final round of a major, had the lead and didn’t win.

His anger over his mistakes was tempered by perspective, comparing it to Serena Williams losing in the finals at Wimbledon.

“The beginning of the year, if they’d have said, ‘You’re playing The Open Championship,’ I would have said I’d be very lucky to do that. Serena and I are good friends. I’m sure she’ll probably call me and talk to me about it because you’ve got to put things in perspective. … I know that it’s going to sting for a little bit here, but given where I was to where I’m at now, blessed.”

It might sting even worse for Spieth. One day after a bogey-free round of 65 to share the lead, he had a birdie-free round at the worst time. His best chance was at the 14th, where he three-putted for par from about 40 feet.

“When you put yourself in position enough times, it goes your way sometimes, it doesn’t go your way sometimes,” Spieth said, who goes to the PGA Championship in three weeks for a chance at the career Grand Slam.

The victory adds to Molinari’s best stretch of golf.

Now at a career-best No. 6 in the world, he has won three times and been runner-up twice in his last six tournaments. One of those was three weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National when he shot 62 in the final round and Woods, the tournament host, presented him the trophy.

This round wasn’t flashy, and neither is Molinari. He saved par with 8-foot putts on the 12th and 13th, two of the most pivotal putts all day.

But not the most memorable.

“That putt on the last, I’ll never forget,” he said.

Gunman in Trader Joe’s standoff was feuding with grandmother

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FILE - In this photo Saturday, July 21, 2018 file photo provided by Christian Monterrosa, Gene Evin Atkins is arrested after evading police and holding dozens of people hostage inside a Trader Joe's supermarket, in Los Angeles. A feud between Atkins and his grandmother over his girlfriend staying at the grandmother's home exploded into violence that ultimately led to him taking people hostage inside the Los Angeles supermarket, a relative said Sunday. (Christian Monterrosa via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A feud between a man and his grandmother over his girlfriend staying at the grandmother’s home exploded into violence that ultimately led to him taking dozens of people hostage inside a Los Angeles supermarket, a relative said Sunday.

Investigators believe Gene Evin Atkins, 28, shot his grandmother several times and wounded his girlfriend at their South Los Angeles home on Saturday afternoon before he led police on a chase, while exchanging gunfire with officers, crashed into a pole outside the Trader Joe’s in the city’s Silver Lake section and ran inside.

Atkins was booked Sunday on suspicion of murder after an employee was killed as he ran into the supermarket, police said.

His cousin, Charlene Egland, told The Associated Press that he had been arguing with his grandmother — who had raised him since he was 7 years old — “on and off for about two or three weeks” over his girlfriend staying at the elderly woman’s home.

“She didn’t want the girl over there anymore,” Egland said.

On Saturday, Atkins’ grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Madison, 76, was walking back into the home and told her grandson “he needs to turn some of them TVs off” when he shot her, she said.

Egland said she heard about six gunshots before another cousin came running from the porch and shouted to Egland, “I think Gene shot my mama!”

The girlfriend was grazed in the head, police said.

Egland said she ran to call 911 and waited for an ambulance to arrive. At the same time, police said Atkins stole his grandmother’s car and forced his girlfriend into the vehicle.

Officers tracked the car using a stolen-vehicle tracking system and tried to stop the man in Hollywood, but he refused to pull over, police said. During the chase, he fired at officers, shooting out the back window of his car.

More gunfire ensued before Atkins crashed into a pole outside the supermarket. The man exchanged gunfire with police again and that’s when a 27-year-old Trader Joe’s employee, Melyda Corado, was shot and killed, Police Chief Michel Moore said. Officers escorted the girlfriend from the vehicle.

Customers and employees frantically dove for cover and barricaded themselves inside storerooms and bathrooms as bullets fired by police shattered the store’s glass doors.

As he heard gunfire, Sean Gerace, who was working in the back of the supermarket, grabbed several of his co-workers and the group made their way into an upstairs storage area. He grabbed a folding ladder and tossed it out a window, helping his colleagues escape to safety, he told KNBC-TV.

“I grabbed an emergency ladder, barricaded the hallway, grabbed a weapon, put the ladder out the window and just tried to get the attention of the SWAT officer,” Gerace told the television station.

About three hours later, Atkins — who had been shot in the left arm — agreed to handcuff himself and walked out the front door, surrounded by four of the hostages. He was being held on $2 million bail Sunday and it wasn’t clear if he had an attorney to comment on the allegations.

A gun was found in the store, police said.

A 22-year-old woman was wounded by glass fragments and later took herself to a hospital, police said.

The Fire Department took six people to hospitals for non-life threatening conditions or injuries, police said.

Atkins’ grandmother initially was taken to a hospital in critical condition and police said she had been shot seven times but Egland, who visited Madison at the hospital on Sunday, said she had only been shot three times, had undergone surgery and her condition was improving.

Atkins, who has two daughters, bounced between several jobs, including working as a security guard, but had been repeatedly fired, Egland said. His license to work as a security guard expired in November 2017, according to state records. It was not clear whether the particular license he possessed would have allowed him to legally carry a firearm.

His grandmother had also tried to help him find employment and “was just trying to make him do better,” Egland said.

Atkins never grew violent toward his grandmother before, Egland said, but she started to grow concerned about him over the last several weeks because he seemed upset and distant.

“He didn’t seem right to me,” Egland said. “I’m just devastated.”

On Sunday, grieving family members, co-workers and customers remembered Corado, the Trader Joe’s worker, as lively, hardworking and always smiling. A makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes grew on the sidewalk outside of the store on Sunday.

“I’m sad to say she didn’t make it. My baby sister. My world,” her brother, Albert Corado said on Twitter.

Trader Joe’s said the store — known by customers as a neighborhood hangout with great customer service — would remain closed for the foreseeable future to give their employees time to process and grieve.

“Yesterday marks the saddest day in Trader Joe’s history as we mourn the loss of one our own,” company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with her family, and our Crew Members and customers who experienced this terrifying and unimaginable ordeal.”

Activist to star as TV’s first transgender superhero

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In this Sunday, June 26, 2016 photo Nicole Maines poses at her home in Portland, Maine. Maines, a transgender activist who won a discrimination lawsuit after her school refused to let her use the girls' bathroom will be TV's first transgender superhero. Maines will star in The CW/Warner Bros.' "Supergirl" as Nia Nal, aka Dreamer. Producers describe her character as a "soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others." (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) — A transgender activist who won a discrimination lawsuit after her school refused to let her use the girls’ bathroom will be TV’s first transgender superhero.

Nicole Maines will star in The CW/Warner Bros.’ “Supergirl” as Nia Nal, aka Dreamer. Producers describe her character as a “soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.”

Maines gained national attention for her battle against her Orono, Maine school district over her right to use the girls’ bathroom.

Maine’s highest court ruled in 2014 that school officials violated state anti-discrimination law when they required her to use a staff restroom.

It was the first time a state high court concluded that a transgender person should use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

After a week of walkbacks, Trump returns to Russia doubting

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President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Morristown Municipal Airport, in Morristown, N.J., Sunday, July 22, 2018, en route to Washington after staying at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a week of drama, back tracking, a double negative and blistering statements from allies about his attitude toward Russian election interference, President Donald Trump on Sunday was back to referring to “a big hoax.”

Trump spent days trying to reassure the country that he accepts that the longtime foe interfered in the 2016 election after his public undermining of U.S. intelligence agencies in Helsinki while standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Trump cast doubt once again in a Sunday tweet, diminishing at least the significance, if not the existence, of the interference and the U.S. investigation into Russia’s actions.

“So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election,” Trump tweeted. “Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!”

It was not immediately clear whether Trump was suggesting that the entire notion of Russian interference — U.S. intelligence agencies unanimously concur it took place and Trump reluctantly accepted their assessment amid the firestorm — was fraudulent, or just the investigation of potential collusion by Trump associates with Russian agents.

Either way, it appeared to keep alive a controversy that had separated Trump from aides and longtime political supporters and brought some of the most striking rebukes of his tenure in the Oval Office.

“The evidence is overwhelming and the president needs to say that and act like it,” said Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” aired hours before Trump’s tweet.

Two Trump associates, former national security adviser Mike Flynn and campaign foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, pleaded guilty last year to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller alleging they had lied to the FBI about their Russia contacts.

Trump’s latest missive came hours after he asserted without evidence that newly released documents relating to the wiretapping of his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page “confirm with little doubt” that intelligence agencies misled the court that approved the warrant.

But lawmakers from both political parties said that the documents don’t show wrongdoing and that they even appear to undermine some previous claims by top Republicans on the basis for obtaining a warrant against Page.

Visible portions of the heavily redacted documents, released Saturday under the Freedom of Information Act, show the FBI telling the court that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.” The agency also told the court that “the FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”

The documents were part of officials’ application for a warrant to the secretive foreign intelligence surveillance court, which signed off on surveilling Page.

Trump tweeted Sunday on the documents: “As usual they are ridiculously heavily redacted but confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts. Witch Hunt Rigged, a Scam!”

The release appears to undercut some of the contentions in a memo prepared by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes earlier this year. Nunes, R-Calif., and other Republicans had said that anti-Trump research in a dossier prepared by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and paid for by Democrats was used inappropriately to obtain the warrant on Page.

While the documents confirm that the FBI relied, in part, on information from Steele to obtain the initial warrant, they also show how the FBI informed the court of his likely motivation.

A page-long footnote in the warrant application lays out the FBI’s assessment of Steele’s history and the likely interest of his backer, adding that despite the political concern, the bureau believed at least some of his report to be “credible.”

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said the documents detail “just why the FBI was so concerned that Carter Page might be acting as an agent of a foreign power.”

“It was a solid application and renewals signed by four different judges appointed by three different Republican presidents,” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.”

In a statement late Sunday, Nunes said the documents supported his committee’s view “that unverified information from the Steele dossier formed an essential part of all the FISA applications on Carter Page. It proves that the FBI used outright political propaganda to spy on an American citizen during the election.”

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also broke with Trump, saying he didn’t think the FBI did anything wrong in obtaining warrants against Page.

“I have a different view on this issue than the president and the White House,” Rubio said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” ”They did not spy on the campaign from anything and everything that I have seen. You have an individual here who has openly bragged about his ties to Russia and Russians.”

On Sunday, Page said on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “I’ve never been the agent of a foreign power.”

In a 2013 letter, Page had described himself as an “informal adviser’ to the Kremlin but now said “it’s really spin” to call him an adviser.

Page has not been charged with a crime, but he has been interviewed by the FBI and congressional investigators about his ties to Russia. White House officials have argued that Page, announced by the president in early 2016 as a foreign policy adviser, played only a minor role in the Trump campaign.

The documents released Saturday include the FBI’s October 2016 request to surveil Page and several renewal applications. It marks the first time in the more than 40-year history of the highly secretive court that underlying documents for a warrant have been released.

Uber suspends driver who live-streamed St. Louis passengers

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Ride-sharing company Uber has suspended a driver who recorded hundreds of St. Louis-area riders without their permission and streamed the live video online.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported 32-year-old Jason Gargac, of Florissant, Missouri, has given about 700 rides in the area since March. Almost all have been streamed to his channel on the live video website Twitch, where he goes by the username “JustSmurf.”

Gargac said he is just trying to “capture the natural interactions between myself and the passengers.”

But some riders said they felt their privacy had been violated. Of about a dozen the newspaper interviewed, all said they didn’t know they were livestreamed and wouldn’t have consented.

After the story’s publication, Uber said it was suspending his use of the app due to “troubling behavior.”

New Mexico Dem in key Congress race has massive cash edge

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Records show a Democrat in a closely watched race for an open congressional seat along the U.S.-Mexico border in New Mexico has almost five times more cash than her GOP opponent.

Federal Election Commission filings show Xochitl Torres Small had $495,980 cash on hand for the second quarter. The filings also said she raised nearly $400,000 after winning the Democratic nomination in May for New Mexico’s s Second Congressional District.

Records show that Republican state Rep. Yvette Herrell had $100,294 cash on hand and reported $118,217 in net contributions. Herrell defeated four other opponents in a heat GOP primary.

The seat currently is held by Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, who is running for New Mexico governor.

Democrats have long targeted the heavily Hispanic congressional district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans. But the district recently has remained in GOP hands.

Fire in Santa Fe National Forest has grown to 250 acres

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a lightning-caused fire in the Santa Fe National Forest has grown to 250 acres (101 hectares) and is sending smoke over Albuquerque.

KOB-TV reports that some forest roads are closed because of the fire, which started Friday and still is zero percent contained.

The fire currently is burning in the Jemez Ranger District of the forest, shutting down Forest Road 376 from Gilman Tunnels to the intersection of Forest Road 488 and Forest Road 376.

Hotshot crews from Santa Fe and Arizona are working to stall the fire’s advance.

Forest officials say no homes or structures are being threatened because of the fire’s remote location, which is more than a mile north of Deer Creek Landing and east of Joaquin Mesa.

Groups worry proposed power lines, towers will kill birds

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife groups fear a proposed river crossing for a $2 billion power line project that will funnel wind and solar energy from rural spots in New Mexico and Arizona to larger markets could be a death trap for migratory birds.

The project plans to place high-voltage power lines and towers near three wildlife refuges that provide a seasonal roosting-and-foraging bridge for migrating birds, the Albuquerque Journal reported .

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have already approved a small stretch of the project that would cross the Rio Grande in the Socorro-area.

Cecilia Rosacker, executive director of the Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, has called the area a critical passage for migrating birds on their way to Mexico.

The power lines would run through one of the narrowest passages between the Ladd S. Gordon Waterfowl Management, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge and the Bosque del Apache, located in an area between Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

The lines would cross between two long, narrow sandbanks where migratory cranes come to rest.

“If you want to maximize bird kill, that’s the place to put them,” Rosacker said.

The project includes bird conservation plans like limiting the highest-levels of wires in sensitive areas and using sun-reflective diverters to keep birds away, said Tom Wray, SunZia’s project manager.

SunZia also offered finance efforts to lure birds away from power lines and lead them to alternative feeding zones.

“The BLM-approved plan is readily available to these groups, and we’d be happy to meet with them if they have other ideas on mitigation,” Wray said. “They’ve never contacted us that I’m aware of.”

The project is expecting to receive permits from the New Mexico State Land Office later this year.

Livestock Fair kicks off on Friday

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The pig show at the 2015 Livestock Fair. (Photo by Shawn Naranjo)

Farm kids in Chaves County will get the recognition they deserve when the weeklong Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair 2018 kicks off.

The champion bull contest at the 2016 fair. (Bill Moffitt Photo)

The fair is a longtime tradition in Chaves County and begins Friday with home economics at 11 a.m. and general exhibits are due for judging at 12:30 p.m.

The theme for this year’s fair is “The Future is Now.”

The fair is free and open to the public.

A scene from past Livestock Fairs. A girl and her floppy-eared friend at the dog show. (File Photo)

The objective of the fair is to develop leadership, initiative, self-reliance, sportsmanship and other desirable traits of character.

Mike Pearce, a fair director in charge of public relations, said that the young people who participate in the fair learn a lot about the business of agriculture.

“These kids find out you have to put up money to win money, you just can’t pick out any animal in the herd,” he said. “They have to groom and wash these animals and take care of them.”

The kids who do the indoor exhibits also spend a lot of their time and money on their projects, whether it be making quilts, sweaters or pencil projects.

Exhibitors must fit into these age groups:

• Cloverbuds: 5 to 8.

• Novice: 9 to 11.

• Juniors: 12 to 13.

• Seniors: 14 to 18.

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are participating:

• Exhibitors must be enrolled in the 4-H or FFA project in which they wish to participate.

• Awards can be withheld from members with unsportsman-like conduct. The fair board will have the final decision.

• All precautions will be taken, but the Fair Board will not be held responsible for loss or damage to exhibits.

Here’s an overview of the schedule:

A scene from past Livestock Fairs. Can you say ba-a-a-a? The market lambs strut their stuff. (File Photo)

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Horse Show will be held at Bob Crosby Arena next to the fairgrounds.

In conjunction with the horse show, the Janet Randeau Memorial Open Horse Show is open to all and will follow the class schedule of the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair Horse Show.

More details are in the article below.

On Monday from 6 a.m. to noon, all livestock is due at the fairgrounds. This includes rabbits, poultry, market lamb, meat goats, market steers and dairy heifers. Larger animals must be weighed and classified and there are pregnancy tests for the dairy heifers.

A scene from past Livestock Fairs. Goats and kiddos galore. (File Photo)

The pet show begins at 3 p.m. Followed by the dog show at 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, the day begins with the swine show at 8 a.m. The meat goat show starts at 1:30 p.m., the dairy goat show is at 3 p.m. and the rodeo is at 7 p.m.

Wednesday kicks off at 8 a.m. with breeding sheep followed by market lambs. The poultry showmanship begins at 2 p.m. followed by the poultry judging.

The dairy heifer show begins at 5:30 p.m.

On Thursday, the heifer show begins at 8 a.m. followed by the steer show. All pulls are due by noon. At 1:30 p.m. is the AG Olympics. The wool lead and fashion extravaganza are at 4 p.m.

On Friday, the junior livestock show will be held at 7 p.m. This is the conclusion of the fair.

On Saturday at 8 a.m., all the animals will be released and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. the inside exhibits will be released.

For more information, call Chaves County Extension Services at 575-622-3210.

Vistas editor Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.

Two lesser-known stories about ‘The Kid’

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One of the Old West’s most legendary figures, above, William Bonney, aka Billy the Kid. (Courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico)

This is a sort of follow up on last week’s article about Uncle Rufe and the good deeds he said Billy the Kid performed in helping him and others cross the flooded Pecos River with their supplies. There are probably hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of articles written about Billy. To this day, many historians disagree on whether he was a good guy, a bad guy, whether he was actually killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett or lived well into his golden years in the form of Brushy Bill.

No matter where you fall in your interest of Billy or how you feel about him, I thought I would share the following two articles, written some 40 years apart, with references to Billy and his life.

The Daily Optic, Las Vegas, New Mexico, July 19, 1891:

Gritty Garrett’s Gift

Sheriff Pat Garrett. (Courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico)

The people of Las Vegas are perhaps as appreciative as any in the world, notwithstanding that they are all meaner than dirt and as barbarous as cannibals. When the news of the killing of the “Kid” was brought to the city it was decided that Garrett should be handsomely remunerated for his trouble, and when “The Optic” urged the same thing last night and the matter was as good as settled. A fund was started and has reached nearly $1,000 already. Here is the way the Hat was headed:

First National Bank — $100

A.A. LaRue — $100

Scott Moore — $100

Houghton, B.& M., G., B. & Co. — $200

After this followed a number of smaller subscriptions and the good work is still going on. Garrett will get the $300 reward made by the territory, and it is said that John Chisum, a heavy cattle grower of Lincoln County, will hand over a cool $1,000 as a substantial evidence of his interest in the matter. Other citizens of Lincoln County and Ft. Sumner are expected to “chip in” another thousand, so taken all in all, Garrett will have a snug little bank account when his friends get through with him. Then, he got away with his life, which is quite an object.

____________

Roswell Daily Record, front page, July 22, 1932:

FAIRBANKS IN
ROSWELL SHORT TIME THIS
AFTERNOON,
ON WAY TO OLD
LINCOLN

Movie Star Arrives from Fort Sumner and Passes on Through to Old Lincoln.

A promotional poster of actor Johnny Mack Brown as Billy the Kid. (Courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico)

Douglas Fairbanks and Johnny Mack Brown, of the movie fame, passed through Roswell at 3 o’clock this afternoon in route from Fort Sumner to Lincoln. In an interview with The Record, Mr. Fairbanks positively denied the rumor that he and Mr. Brown we’re looking for a site on which to make a new Billy the Kid picture, or even intended to make such a picture. He also laughingly denied the rumor which has been spread that he is looking for saloons.

What he really is looking for, he said, is a historic landmark which he wishes to restore and use for a museum in which to hang a collection of fine western paintings which he has. It is a very beautiful country, Doug said. This is his first visit to this part of New Mexico. That Johnny Mack Brown’s long, southern drawl comes absolutely natural to him and does not have to be manufactured for the talkies was very apparent in the few words which he said. Both of them were very much interested in this country and asked many questions concerning old landmarks. They were here for only a short time; they will stop in Lincoln tonight and tomorrow and will go from there into Arizona and Old Mexico.

Johnny Mack Brown played the part of Billy the Kid in the movie by that name, which caused so much controversy in this section. This picture was made in western New Mexico, far from the scene of the exploits of Billy the Kid and in that respect was not true to life. It also depicted Billy as the hero, rather than in his true light as an outlaw and failed to do justice to Pat Garrett.

In the small village of Fort Sumner, where the town was long divided over whether the mis-deeds and murders of young William Bonney should be glorified to posterity by a fitting monument, the Fairbanks party spent last night. The historians of Fort Sumner finally won and today the grave of Billy the Kid is prominently identified for the inspection of visitors to Fort Sumner.

It was near Fort Sumner that Billy the Kid was finally killed by Garrett in a bedroom of the Maxwell ranch house. It was likewise in this ranch house that Gov. Lew Wallace failed to make a truce between the Kid and the state, and the governor sent Garrett as a Special Marshal to get the Kid dead or alive.

Janice Dunnahoo is an archive volunteer at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives. She can be reached at 575-622-1176 or by email at jdunna@hotmail.com.

Horse show to honor former director Janet Randeau

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Janet Randeau with her grandson, Jacob Smith. (Submitted Photo)

The Chaves County 4-H & FFA Horse Show will be held at 5 p.m. on July 28 at the Bob Crosby Arena at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds. The horse show is for Chaves County 4-H and FFA members ages 9 to 18 with participants competing in 12 different classes.

In conjunction with the 4-H & FFA Horse Show, there will be an open horse show in memory of the horse show’s longtime director, Janet Randeau, who passed away in May.

The Janet Randeau Memorial Open Horse Show is open to all and will follow the class schedule of the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair Horse Show.

Randeau was a part of the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Horse Show her entire life. Growing up in Chaves County, she participated in the show herself and continued to support the show through the participation of her kids and grandkids.

In addition, she served as the Chaves County 4-H & FFA Fair Horse Show director for close to 30 years. This year in honor of their mother, Randeau’s children, Sherryl Smith and Lea Randeau, are stepping up to fill their mom’s shoes as co-directors of the show.

The Chaves County community is encouraged to come out to the Bob Crosby Arena to support the competitors and enjoy an evening celebrating the memory of Janet Randeau.

Mayor takes questions on new airport commission

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Mayor Dennis Kintigh

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh visited the Roswell Daily Record office last week for a conversation with RDR staff, part of a regular series of question-and-answer sessions covering issues impacting the city and its residents.

RDR editor John Dilmore and reporters Alison Penn, Lisa Dunlap and Tim Howsare asked Kintigh questions provided by the RDR staff and others.

Editor’s note: Excerpts from this Q&A appeared in a story on the Airport Advisory Commission that appeared in the RDR last week. An interview for the that story was conducted in conjunction with the Q&A.

RDR: There’s been discussion of a new public safety complex. What is the status of that?

Kintigh: We’ve talked about a public safety complex in general terms. I’ve talked about this a number of times. It’s very early in the sense that, what do we want to do? What would it look like? Where would it go? How would we pay for it? It’s like, just a concept that I think we need to have a discussion with. …

I know for many years, there’s been issues with that police building. When I was interim chief back in 2010 we had roof problems, we had HVAC problems, we had drainage problems in that back area where the sally port is. I don’t know if they still have the sandbags or not, but they used to have to sandbag that when it rained heavy.

We’ll see. I mean, one of the key questions is: How big a priority is that? And so, there’s lots of questions. I’d just like us to have the discussion.

RDR: At the last city council meeting, a new Airport Advisory Commission (to provide advice and information to city councilors concerning the Roswell International Air Center). There were concerns raised by some on the council about there being no women or minorities on the board. How do you respond to that?

Kintigh: I heard no criticisms or concerns about credentials or competency. All I heard was questions about complexion.

RDR: It’s come up in previous city council meetings, this idea of it not being balanced or equal. How do you respond to that?

Kintigh: This is simply a forum for gathering information and providing suggestions. The decision-making and the power exists in the hands of the city council. I challenge you to find a more diverse city council anywhere in New Mexico. So, isn’t that where you need to have different perspectives, where the power exists?

RDR: There seems to be a power struggle right now … Certain councilors that are saying, ‘The mayor is doing this and the mayor is doing that.’

Kintigh: The mayor’s elected by the entire city and there’s an expectation by the city that the mayor is, in some way, responsible to everyone to help provide the vision. As we all know, my powers are very small. I have no ability to give any direction to staff. I have no ability to have any involvement in personnel matters. I don’t even get a vote unless there’s a tie. The only power that the mayor in this city has is to appoint people to committees and to be the presiding officer at the meetings. In all seriousness, this is what’s called a weak mayor form of government. Now, the question would be also — who do the voters hold accountable?

RDR: When the new commission was being put together, what was the process like in terms of choosing members (to be approved by) the council?

Kintigh: I asked people for some ideas and inputs. I talked to the airport director and the city manager. We had passed a commission in the June council meeting a month before … and I was … perhaps should have been more explicit, but I had hoped that people would understand, if you have a suggestion, bring it to me. The key questions would be, how do you avoid real conflict of interest? And there were some names I will not share of people that I thought would have been very good candidates, but I became concerned that they wouldn’t fit because of that conflict issue. So stepping back, that’s one of the most difficult challenges to this, and I talked about that at the council meeting — the challenge of finding individuals who can provide some serious insight yet do not have any vested interest.

I know Mr. Burress (Jim Burress, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department) raised some eyebrows because he’s a city employee. I would argue he has the strongest credentials of anybody on that commission — three decades in corporate professional aviation and years of running one of our most important tenants. He understands much more than I know. The former president or chair of the chamber of commerce. This is an individual who brings some serious credentials, and I discussed that extensively with the city manager and I made sure the city manager had no objections in any way, shape or form to that.

I didn’t ask for an immediate response. I said to him, “I’m thinking about Mr. Burress. Why don’t you chew on it and let me know what you think.” And if he had said, “No,” then I would not have put him forward.

RDR: When would you think the first meeting might happen?

Kintigh: We’re looking at a tentative date of Aug. 2. We’ve got a draft agenda that we’re floating to the members and to the city manager and to the airport director and to the city clerk. This is kind of awkward because we don’t have a chair. … We want to get out there, but once again it’s the issue of, please tell me if there’s objections to this. This would be tentatively in the morning on Thursday and the objective here is to minimize the impact to the staff, but I’d also send an email to the commission members asking their input on dates and times. I’d send an email to staff as well, so we’re tentatively looking at the morning of Aug. 2.

That doesn’t mean it’s going to be the first Thursday (monthly). That’s going to be one of the discussion points. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be the first Thursday, but I’m not sure I want to do it the second Thursday. That’s when the council meeting is.

RDR: What do you think are some of the first issues this commission might pick up?

Kintigh: First, it’s going to be educational. We’re going to put stuff on the table about: What is the airport? What does it look like? What’s going on out there? What’s happening? And the beauty of this, to me — this is an open meeting. With the Open Meetings Act, there are going to be recordings. I anticipate the RDR will have a representative there, which would be great.

Because it’s going to be, what do we have? What are the things going on? We’re going to have this discussion. I’m going to make sure that the council knows, so if they want to come, and if councilors want to pitch in, I’m hoping they will. So, the idea is to just have an information-sharing at the very beginning … and that’s not going to be very quick. Scott Stark and I talked about this and one of the other things we’ve talked about — and once again, this is a decision the commission is going to make — would be: How about if we have the tenants come in? Maybe one or two at a time depending on how much time there is, and talk about what they do, what their businesses are, what their concerns are, what would they like to see. …

I don’t see any real serious issue/decision-making for a while. This is going to be a learning curve discussion for a few sessions, maybe for quite a few sessions. I’m looking forward to it.

RDR: There are two people (on the commission) who could be considered very heavily tied to city government decisions, primarily interested in making sure the city fares well in whatever happens … (Is there a concern people wouldn’t want to talk to a city employee, because they don’t want to somehow hurt the lease negotiation down the road)?

Kintigh: I really don’t see that. I mean, Mr. Burress is the parks director and that’s not really directly, or in any way indirectly, involved with leases. As for myself, I would argue the mayor who is elected by the people as a whole would be the one who has the best interest of the city. In other words, I’m not representing a ward or a portion, I’m representing everybody. I’m accountable to everybody, plus I have the background. So, let’s have the discussion.

Now, when it comes to leases, here’s the interesting thing: I don’t have a vote unless there’s a tie, and we all know that — and there are not really that many. As a matter of fact, if you look at the airport leases in the past, I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t gone through consent. … So, let’s have the open discussion. If people are not comfortable speaking with an individual representing and accountable to all the people of the city of Roswell, I would wonder why they wouldn’t be comfortable with that.

RDR: Do you, like some people, hope this commission goes away because an authority replaces it?

(Editor’s note: An Air Center Task Force was formed in 2017 to work for enabling legislation to establish an independent regional authority to manage and market the airport. The initiative passed both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez.)

Kintigh: I have some questions about the authority that have never been answered. So, I don’t know if the commission goes away or not. There is a two-year term on this thing, and of course, the council at any time can abolish it with a simple majority vote. But, I’ve got some questions that, candidly, have never been answered.

RDR: And you’ve taken them to task force members and the EDC (Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Corporation) and the legislators.

Kintigh: Yeah, I have, and they all go, “Hmm, interesting.”

Would the authority be able to financially survive on its own?

Let me share one little tidbit with you. This is not … There’s nothing secret, this is open and above board. The funding for the Dean Baldwin reconstruction, the roof reconstruction, was a major effort. … That project around $4.5 million dollars. There’s been some price creep in certain areas. So, we cobbled that together with some money from the airport. We got some city general fund capital transferred out to the airport, and then we took out a $2.5 million dollar loan with the New Mexico Finance Authority. One of the interesting little tidbits is, the loan with the Finance Authority — which is serviced with revenue from the airport … the Finance Authority would not grant us a loan unless we guaranteed it with the city GRT (gross receipts tax). So, if a state entity is not convinced that the airport on its own can finance a $2.5 million dollar loan, that’s what we used to call a clue in my old business.

How do you financially survive? But, here’s the last thing I want: The last thing I want is that airport to be worse off. It’s too important. It is too critical. It is an unusual, very special opportunity, possibly unique, for the state of New Mexico — not just Roswell —  to diversify, expand our economy. We talked about that.

Those in political life have talked about diversifying the state economy since, good grief, decades. This is a real opportunity for that, so let’s be careful where we tread — because like I said, the last thing we want to do is force this entity to try and survive on its own.

RDR: Why did you give yourself a one-year term (on the commission) as opposed to two?

Kintigh: I recognized there were some people who had concerns, and my objective is to demonstrate to all concerned that I would be a valued member of the commission in that time. We’ll see. I think there will be some who cannot be convinced at all, and I think some already are convinced. The question is, who’s in the middle? Can we make that case? But, I don’t mind being accountable. It has never intimidated me or caused any heartache.

RDR: What is the current status of the Veteran’s Day parade? We talked about that a little bit before. Have you heard anything?

Kintigh: I have heard no one approaching the city about wanting to be the organizers of it. Now, I’m not necessarily going to be the first one to hear, but I’m pretty sure I would have heard something reasonably soon, but I have yet to hear of anyone stepping forward to organize the Veteran’s Day parade.

RDR: What did you think of the most recent UFO Festival? What was its impact and how would you judge it at this stage?

Kintigh: I liked what I saw. I spent a little time over at the Visitor’s Center helping to register people in my “Men in Black” outfit, and it was toasty. I don’t mind telling you.

So, I did that Friday afternoon, and then … I had some film crew from L.A. came in Saturday morning. I talked with them for a while, then Saturday afternoon I did some more at the Visitor’s Center, then I walked around and saw what was going on.

I liked what I saw. I thought some good things were going. When I was registering people, I encouraged them to check out our museums. I encouraged them to go to the planetarium, hopefully that happened.

You have to be careful. When you just have a small view of an event that is pretty large, it’s difficult to make accurate evaluations. So, I’m looking forward to hearing from all the other entities that were involved. Generally, I heard positive. We had people from all over and I would ask, ‘Oh, what brings you to …”

“I couldn’t get every one of them because it got kind of hectic there.”

Editor’s note: For more from the Q&A, see Tuesday’s edition.

 

Dems hold fundraising lead in congressional races

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Democratic candidates in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate and House District 2 races have a significant edge over their Republican opponents, according to the latest reports filed by the campaigns with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

July 15 was the deadline for the committees of congressional campaigns to submit their July Quarterly reports that document their fundraising and spending from May 17 to June 30. The reports are the first filed since New Mexico held its June 5 primary elections.

Incumbent New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat up for re-election this November, added $325,014.60 in the latest fundraising quarter, according to the report filed by his campaign.

Republican Mick Rich, the Albuquerque contractor looking to unseat Heinrich in November’s general election, brought in $109,194.41, according to a report filed by the Rich campaign.

Heinrich’s campaign spent $416,948.10, while Rich’s campaign spent $76,655.67. Heinrich ends the latest fundraising quarter with $3.9 million cash on hand, and Rich’s campaign with $198,199.41, according to the reports.

Heinrich’s fundraising haul consisted of $160,764.60 from individual contributors. Political action committees, or PACs contributed another $164,250, reports say. Individual contributions accounted for $103,645.41of Rich’s fundraising.

According to the report, Rich also donated $5,549.41 to his campaign in the most recent fundraising quarter, but did not receive any money from PACs.

The Democratic candidate also holds an edge in fundraising in New Mexico’s 2nd U.S. House District which encompasses Chaves County and most of the southern part of the state. The district is now represented by Rep. Steve Pearce, a Republican, who opted not to seek re-election to instead run for governor.

Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small raised $400,761.87, compared with $120,315.06 for Republican candidate state Rep. Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo, according to the reports.

According to the reports, Individual contributions accounted for $307,326.48 of Torres-Small’s fundraising total and $91,467.40 for Herrell’s campaign. Torres Small, an attorney from Las Cruces and a former field representative to Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, also raised $93,525.39 from PACs, while Herrell received $28,647.66.

Herrell’s campaign also received $200 in donations from political party committees.

The reports lists that Torres-Small’s campaign outspent Herrell’s $92,696.75 to $57,889.73.

At the end of the campaign fundraising quarter, the campaigns of Torres Small and Herrell had left on-hand $495,980.35 and $100,294 respectively, according to the reports.

Republicans though hold the fundraising advantage in the race for governor. According to reports filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office, Pearce, who was unopposed in the Republican primary enters the general election season with $1.9 million in his campaign account, while Democratic candidate and U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has $873,374.50.

Pearce was unopposed in his bid for his party’s nomination Grisham defeated fellow Democrats Jeff Apodaca and Joseph Cervantes in the primaries.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

 

Countdown to Chaves County 4-H FFA Fair

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Lisa Dunlap Photo

With the 2018 Chaves County 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Fair starting in a week, youth belonging to 4-H and FFA chapters and their parents and other adult volunteers gathered at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds Saturday morning for the traditional fairgrounds clean-up day. At left, mother Mari Fely Benavides and daughter Priscila Benavides, a 4-H and FFA member in Dexter, help around the livestock pens. Dozens of youth spent the first part of the day washing windows, cleaning exhibit areas, hauling dirt, raking leaves, stocking needed items and otherwise preparing for the 36th annual fair, which allows youth to show their skills and abilities in raising livestock, animals and plants; completing wildlife, conservation, agricultural, mechanical, citzenship or educational projects or creating art, crafts or food. Even those too young to participate in the fair took part in the clean-up as Emmett Pirtle, at right, helps his family members wash exhibit hall windows. The annual event starts with horse shows on July 28, officially kicks off with exhibits and shows on July 30 and ends with a livestock sale for top exhibitors on Aug. 3. A complete schedule can be found on the website of the Chaves County Cooperative Extension Office of New Mexico State University, chavesextension.nmsu.edu

 

Librarian brings ideas, technology for kids

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Timothy P. Howsare Photo Children’s Librarian Claire Gutierrez holds up one of the 10 iPads she obtained through a grant for children to use at the Roswell Public Library.

Scratch coding programming language?

Most adults have no idea what this is, but there are children in Roswell as young as age 4 who are quite familiar with this computer language, which uses a simple block-like interface for youngsters to create their own apps and online projects.

A good bit of the credit for opening up this infinite window of knowledge for local kiddos should go to Claire Gutierrez, the children’s librarian at the Roswell Public Library.

Starting out as a part-time reference librarian in May 2015, Gutierrez is coming up on her third year as children’s librarian in September.

“I love the kiddos,” she said. “It’s so much fun to see their faces brighten up. The library is a fun place — not just for books. Any kind of brain stimulation is a good thing.”

Gutierrez is a graduate of Goddard High School. She studied fine arts at the University of New Mexico and has a librarian certificate through the State of New Mexico.

Her other interests include photography, drawing and painting.

In her free time, she likes to hang out at Stellar Coffee and spend time with her Chihuahua, Roo.

The name is a short form of “kangaroo.”

“He jumps just like a kangaroo,” she said.

She likes to visit the Roswell Museum and Arts Center and meeting the artists-in-residence who come to Roswell.

“I love the after parties,” she said.

In her short time at the library, Gutierrez has been successful at obtaining a number of grants, including one that helped the library purchase 10 iPads loaded with educational software.

There’s dinosaurs and other fun stuff, but along with that is a program called ScratchJr, which introduces visual programming language to children as young as 5.

But if you ask Gutierrez, there’s kids as young as 2 who already know how to use a computer.

She plans to start a monthly class called “Let’s Get Coding,” which will be an hour-long workshop to create apps.

In the spring of 2016, Gutierrez obtained a New Mexico Makerstate Initiative grant, which promotes digital literacy and excites New Mexico communities about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).

Another one of her new projects is the Brick by Brick/littleBits Mashup program for children of all ages. During the mashups Legos and littleBits, color-coded electronic modules, are brought out for kids to enjoy.

Kids can build create their own inventions, like remote-controlled cars.

But as much as she loves new technology and teaching it to her kiddos, Gutierrez confesses she is still a good old-fashioned bookworm.

“I read all the time,” she said.

Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.

 

Season winding down for Roswell Invaders

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Mikayla Fuller Photo Roswell Invader Brian Portelli once his baseball career ends he would like to coach.

The Roswell Invaders’ successful baseball season is coming to an end. With eight games left in the regular season and a record of 36-19, the Invaders are in second-place in the trailing Tucson Saguaros by two games in the Southern Division. The Invaders have secured a playoff spot as they attempt to claim their fourth championship in the Pecos League, their last being in 2015.

Two of the key players helping to lead the Invaders this year has been league MVP candidate Brian Portelli. Portelli is leading the Pecos League in hitting with a .423 batting average, 30 home runs and recently broke the Pecos League RBIs with 107.

“Something I’ll always have in my back pocket and I’ll always keep the baseball with it written on it,” Portelli said. “That’s probably the coolest thing I’ve done in my career.”

Portelli played two years of junior college baseball in Michigan at Grand Rapids Community College and then Florida International University in Miami. This is his first year playing in the Pecos League — he’s played in the Frontier League with Southern Illinois minors and Traverse City Beach Bums in 2015 and 2016.

Mikayla Fuller Photo Lance Fairchild

The Invaders have always been known for their hitting, but this season they have been getting innings from their starters. When it comes to having to close games out, Invader manager Relly Mercurio has been able to turn the ball over to closer Lance Fairchild.

“We’ve had a great season,” Fairchild said. “We just had a small mid-season slump, but we’ve broken out of that. We just need to stay consistent and finish strong. Overall, I think it’s been a great season.”

After playing baseball at Cedar Valley, a junior college in Dallas, Texas, Fairchild transferred to the University of Texas Permian Basin, a Division II school in West Texas. Fairchild has played for the Invaders for three seasons and will age out of the league after this season. The Pecos League has an age limit and Fairchild will be too old. Fairchild knows that eventually, he will have to give up the game he loves and has played since he was 3 years old.

“At my age,” Fairchild said, “I’ve kind of let go of playing in the major leagues, it’s every baseball player’s dream. I do coach baseball, and that’s kind of where I’m switching gears to focus on that. Playing baseball here and in the various other leagues I’ve been in have helped my resume overall.”

Fairchild has been a coach during the off-season for three seasons at the same place he played junior college baseball. In transitioning between his playing career to coaching, Fairchild hopes to be a head coach at the college level one day and help players develop in their careers.

Fairchild still hopes to play in the big leagues if he gets called up and says that’s the reason he’s still here with the Invaders, because he thinks he can do it.

“Being able to play baseball every day is a dream come true,” Fairchild stated. “No matter what level. I’m having a lot of fun doing it. I’m gonna keep playing each day and do my best. Hopefully that leads me to a higher league.”

With Portelli’s passion for the game he plans to play baseball as long as he can. When it is time for him to hang up his spikes, he would like to coach high school baseball and work in real estate.

“Find something you love and stick with it,” Portelli said.

The Invaders started the season off on a hot streak and then cooled a bit. With the season coming to a close, they are hot again in time for the playoffs.

“The team chemistry is good,” Portelli said. “I really think that’s huge with a team winning a championship.”

By Mikayla Fuller
Roswell Daily Record

Lions Hondo advances

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J.T. Keith Photo

The Lions Hondo Little League All-Stars pose for a team photo before leaving for regional play in Albuquerque earlier this week. They defeated Paradise Hills 5-2 Saturday night and will play Carlsbad Shorthorn today at 8 a.m. for the championship.

Kiddie Campers learn soccer

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Submitted Photo

Young kids gather for the Roswell Kiddie Camp.

Golfers learn life skills

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Submitted Photo

Kids involved in the First Tee program gather for a recent photo. The youngsters learn life skills through golf.

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