Students from UNM’s combined bachelor of arts, med school program completing internships in Roswell
Actually, there are three “future doctors” in the same house. Three University of New Mexico students are living in a house in Roswell until this weekend as they complete a four-week internship program that will ultimately lead to a career in medicine.
They have been shadowing local doctors and all of them are required to do 20 hours a week of volunteer work for local agencies and nonprofits.
Devin Maez and Remy Link, both of Albuquerque, and Hoang Nguyen of Farmington are between their sophomore and junior years in a combined BA/MD Degree Program that is designed to help address the state’s physician shortage by assembling a class of diverse students who are committed to serving New Mexico communities.
Though not required, they are encouraged to work in rural areas upon graduation from medical school.
The partnership program is between the UNM College of Arts & Sciences and the UNM School of Medicine and is open to New Mexico high school seniors planning to begin college in the fall semester after their high school graduation.
This program is open to high school students graduating from a New Mexico high school, as well as members of a Native-American nation, tribe or pueblo located wholly or partially in New Mexico and graduating from a local school.
Twenty-eight students are offered acceptance each year — two-thirds from rural and one-third from urban areas of New Mexico.
Why they want to become doctors
Maez told the Roswell Daily Record he has wanted to become a doctor since he was a child.
“My mother was a huge influence,” he said. “She had five or six knee surgeries, and I like the way she was treated (by the doctors). I wanted to be that way someday.”
Link said, “I shadowed a geriatrician and liked her interactions with patients and how she had been a positive influence in their lives.”
Nguyen said, “I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field. I got injured playing football in high school and the orthopedic surgeon took good care of me. He inspired me.”
Both Maez and Nguyen said they like orthopedics and Link said she would like to work with children.
Which doctors are they shadowing in Roswell?
Link is assigned to Dr. Donald Wenner, a general surgeon, and his son, Dr. Donald Wenner III, whose specialties are urology and vascular surgery.
Nguyen is with Dr. Akbar Ali, a general surgeon at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, and Maez is with Dr. Thomas Wulf, who practices emergency medicine at ENMMC.
So far, the UNM students have volunteered at the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office, the New Mexico Department of Health in Chaves County and the Roswell Boys & Girls Club.
This coming week, they get to work with critters instead of humans, volunteering with the local animal rescue group From Forgotten to Forever Rescue and Transport.
So what’s Roswell like?
All three agreed the UNM program has exceeded their expectations.
Maez said Roswell is “hot,” an assessment most of us would agree with, and Link said, “The people are friendly and the area is quite beautiful.”
Nguyen said there are more things to do in Roswell than what he at first thought.
This weekend, the students said they will visit the UFO Museum and Research Center and Bottomless Lakes State Park.
All three are proponents of physical fitness and have been attending the Walk with the Doc program on Saturday mornings at Cielo Grande Recreation Area, where Nguyen has been the presenter for three Saturdays in a row.
Walk with a Doc is a free program that encourages physical activity and the reversal of a sedentary lifestyle. Dr. Reynaldo Martinez, an accomplished distance runner, is the local coordinator.
Advice to high schoolers interested in medicine
All three said high school students interested in becoming doctors should seek opportunities to shadow doctors before graduation.
They also encouraged volunteerism and and participating in extracurricular activities, as many medical schools seek applicants with a well-rounded background that goes with their academics.
More about the BA/MD
The BA/MD Program is funded by the New Mexico State Legislature and provides financial support for students who are committed to practicing medicine in New Mexico’s medically under-served communities in the undergraduate portion of the program.
Students will first earn a baccalaureate degree through the College of Arts & Sciences in a challenging four-year curriculum specifically designed to prepare them for medical school and, ultimately, to practice medicine in New Mexico.
The program considers all aspects of an applicant’s background, experience and academic progress, including: Academics (e.g., GPA, ACT/SAT scores, honors, advanced placement and international baccalaureate courses), community involvement, volunteer experience, commitment to practice medicine in New Mexico, honors and awards, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, a personal statement and an interview.
For more information, call 505-925-4500, fax 505-925-4004
or email HSCCombinedbamd@salud.unm.edu.
Vistas editor Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAD (Music, Art, Drama) Camp will begin on July 9 at First United Methodist Church, 200 N. Pennsylvania Ave. Michelle Olson will lead children and youth (completed grades 1-7) as they learn the musical “Step Right Up!” by Dan and Heidi Goeller.
“Step Right Up!” is an exciting and educational children’s choir musical for kids ages 5 through 12. The lyrics for all of the songs are adapted from Scripture. The songs are very accessible and written in traditional circus music styles (e.g. waltz, march, etc.). The musical score is accompanied by an authentic circus band. Children’s choirs are sure to enjoy this physically active, theologically enriching and musically engaging musical.
An accompaniment CD will be used while the children will provide voices.
Olsen said the musical is simple and fun and can be learned in a week.
She said the camp is not really similar to vacation Bible schools, which typical begin on a Monday and end on a Friday.
She said there are activities planned on Saturday and the children will perform the musical during the Sunday service.
The kids also will do innovative art projects and participate in fun recreational activities. Rev. Tina Cross will lead preschool-aged children (4 year olds through kindergarten) in music, art, drama, movin’ & groovin,’ story time and outdoor games.
“I really like what we’ve going to be doing with a lot of the activities,” Olson said.
The camp runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 9 to 14, and concludes with a performance of the musical during the 10:30 a.m. service on July 15.
Registration includes a T-shirt, listening CD, arts and crafts materials, snacks, lunch and a pizza party on Saturday.
Olson and Judy Armstrong are this year’s co-directors of MAD Camp.
Registration forms are available online at fumc-roswell.org and in the church office. Registrations will not be accepted after July 10. For more information, call 575-622-1881.
Olson said she chose the musical because of the valuable lessons it provides.
Following are the songs that will be performed and the Scripture passages from which they are derived:
“Do Your Best,” 1 Corinthians 10:31; “All Things Are Possible,” Philippians 4:13; “Do Not Be Afraid,” Joshua 1:9; “Be A Good Listener,” James 1:19-20; “We Are the Body of Christ,” Romans 12:4-5; “Love Each Other,” 1 Corinthians 13:4; “Forgive Each Other,” Colossians 3:13; “Always Be Full of Joy,” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; “Be Thankful,” Ephesians 5:20; and “Speak With Love and Respect,” Ephesians 4:29.
One of the early settlers of the Dog Canyon area near Alamogordo and White Sands National Monument was a pioneer named Francois-Jean Rochas, known by everyone who knew him as Frenchy.
Rocha, or Frenchy, was born in France in 1843 and emigrated to New Mexico in the 1880s. Frenchy was a sort of recluse/mountain man who was very interesting, brave and a hard-working character.
Back in the 1800s, Yankees and Texans — as well as Mexicans and Indians had one thing in common —they were not afraid of anything!
One-hundred-plus years ago, there were some staunch characters on the New Mexico frontier who fit this category. Indeed, quite a few of them could look into the muzzle of a 45 without batting an eye.
Such was the case of Frenchy, a quiet, sober, unassuming man — the recluse type who talked little, until someone tried to run over him. Whoever tried it didn’t have to be a Texan or an ex-soldier, or even a deputy sheriff. Courage was wherever you ran across it, and sometimes you found it in unexpected places.
Frenchy was a stubborn little Frenchman who lived like a hermit up in the wild hill country of the Sacramentos. He was perhaps the bravest man who ever lived in the Tularosa country and possibly even all of the Southwest.
He spoke broken English, was never very well-dressed, and seldom went to town. When he did, hardly anyone showed him kindness or even attempted to be friendly.
In the early 1880s, Frenchy had moved to Dog Canyon.
“You’ve got no business living out there all by yourself,” his few friends told him. “Indians have a regular road running up that canyon, and if they don’t get you, the outlaws or rustlers will.”
Frenchy would only laugh at them, and say, “I don’t hurt nobody and nobody hurts me.”
So Frenchy had packed his supplies in his old buggy and moved up through the San Augustin Pass and on across the desolate Tularosa sands toward the place in the canyon, some 65 miles west. He probably felt no anxiety or fear about what he was doing. In fact, his whole philosophy of living and dying showed that he wasn’t afraid of whatever fate had to offer.
He built mortarless stone walls to corral his livestock, portions of which snaked along the slopes at the mouth of Little Dog Canyon. Frenchy raised cattle and tended an orchard and vineyard.
Texan Oliver Milton Lee settles Dog Canyon
The closest neighbor, Oliver Milton Lee, settled in Dog Canyon about the same time as Frenchy.
Lee was born in Buffalo Gap, near Abilene, Texas, on Nov. 8, 1865 and came to New Mexico Territory in the fall of 1884 with his half brother, Perry Altman. They were attracted to New Mexico by the open range, free land and a ready market for horses. Lee, already an established horseman and adept with the revolver, insisted on coming. He was only 18. Later, Lee brought his mother and servants and started the Dog Canyon Ranch.
Oliver and Frenchy jointly developed an irrigation system at Dog Canyon. Ditches carried the precious water to the ranch house and pastures. Ruins of the irrigation conduits still remain along the trail leading into the canyon. This was one of several irrigation systems Oliver established along the western escarpment of the Sacramento Mountains.
As competition for open range, land, and water increased during the late 1800s, violent rivalries sometimes ensued. Soon after Christmas 1884, Frenchy was found dead in his cabin at Dog Canyon. A coroner’s jury concluded it was suicide, but evidence and hearsay suggest it was murder. He was only 51 years old when he died. Some suggest Lee and Frenchy were disagreeing over the water ownership at this time. Other accounts suggest field hands did Frenchy in. No one was ever charged with the murder, and the mystery of his death has never been solved.
The Lincoln County War is an example of those violent times. Lee often became involved in these disputes and was accused by some of cattle rustling and stealing land. In 1896, A.J. Fountain, a prominent judge, local rancher and rival of Lee, was murdered along with his young son Henry in the Tularosa Valley. Sheriff Pat Garrett charged Lee with the murders. Lee evaded capture and refused to surrender, believing that he would not remain alive or receive a fair trial in Dona Anna County. This became known as the fountain murders.
No one knows for sure why Frenchy had left his father, mother, brother, two sisters and the peace of the mountains of France. However, more than likely it was his health that brought him to the arid mountains of the American Southwest, as he often talked about his “catarrh in the head” and “pains in the stomach.”
Frenchy always signed his letters as just plain “Frank.” Chances are Frank, or Frenchy, chose the wildest part of New Mexico in which to settle only because he found something there he really liked. He loved the peace and quiet he felt in the rugged canyon — a gorge with walls rising hundreds of feet above the little rock cabin that he built with his own hands. He could not have found a more magnificent place to live — and die. The Spaniards had named the place “Cannon Del Perro” — or “Canyon of the Dog.” Slicing through solid rock to the top of the mountain, the rugged “dog” turns and twists between mile-high cliffs. The place had been a haunt for the Indians and white men alike. The age-old trail up the canyon is a treacherous path which winds among the rocks until it tops out in the timber above.
The water in the canyon, and the ancient trail up its side, was a favorite stomping ground for the Apaches, as it had a unique feature. It was the best possible place for ambushes. About halfway up, the path stretched along a near vertical precipice, known as the Eyebrow Trail.
Apaches lie in waiting
In the early days when the Apaches were being pursued, they often waited above the path and seemed to take great satisfaction in listening to the screams of men as they plunged into the canyon far below.
Frenchy knew about these tragic incidents, as some of them had occurred only two or three years before he set up his first camp beside the canyon stream and began to work on his one-room rock hut. He felt he could handle any situation when he came to it. Apparently the Indians were impressed by his boldness, because they never bothered him.
The Texans were different, however. They came with their herds and their lust for grass and water. Every small stream was worth fighting for. Frenchy’s water was plentiful and to the cowmen it was “liquid gold.” How Frenchy lasted as long as he did was questioned for many years.
For more than 10 years, Frenchy worked hard in the canyon. He completed his house and built corrals for his growing herd. He developed a garden and set out peach, pear, and cherry trees. He created a beautiful oasis and “garden of Eden.”
Trouble begins for Frenchy
Frenchy’s life was not to remain so peaceful, however. His first trouble started on July 1, 1886, when he became involved in a little shoot out. He had suspected that a young man named Morrison, who had been working for him, was stealing from him. Frenchy went to La Luz in Otero County, swore out a warrant and had Morrison arrested.
In any event Morrison was soon free and on his way back to Dog Canyon. Long before daybreak he was behind a rock with his gun, waiting for Frenchy to come outside.
A trail of smoke was soon coming from Frenchy’s stove-pipe chimney as he cooked his breakfast. Later, he went outside and began his work as usual. Morrison waited until he had an opportune time then sent a slug from a Winchester into Frenchy’s body.
The Frenchman knew instantly what had happened and covered his wound with his hands, as he staggered toward his cabin. A second shot echoed among the canyon walls, the bullet hitting Frenchy in the arm, but the settler somehow made it to his hut where he crawled into his bed.
About 10 o’clock that night Morrison acted again, evidently deciding to finish his murderous task. He broke open the door and dashed inside, quickly finding his man. Frenchy, calm and steady, was ready and waiting. His gun was lined up on the intruder, and moments later, Morrison, carrying a bullet, took off for parts unknown.
Frenchy, in poor condition, eventually made it to the nearest ranch where he told his story. Soon a posse set out to get the would-be killer, and in good time he was in the Las Cruces jail.
In a short time, Frenchy’s wounds had healed and he was back on his place. With 500 head of cattle carrying his Scoop R brand, he was becoming quite prosperous. He did not put up with any nonsense. When neighboring ranchers cattle drifted up the canyon, he chased them off, and during each round up he carefully watched to see if anyone was stealing from him.
One of Frenchy’s neighbors didn’t like the squatter’s ranching methods, and told him how he felt. The Frenchman answered him in his crude English: “You are stealing my cows, if I catch you, I have you arrested!”
Frenchy knew what to expect from brave talk like that, but he was not afraid. The neighbor, a Texan, along with those who rode with him, were baffled by the coolness of the man. They rode off mumbling, “Somebody will get that fool Frenchman if he don’t look out!”
Frenchy stayed, but he began to worry about something else. He hadn’t staked out a claim on his land and he had no legal right to the place.
Frenchy writes to family back home
In December 1894, Frenchy sat down and began writing letters. He wrote to his brother and sister in France, telling them about his place and how he would like to live without trouble. Then he wrote to a friend in Santa Fe, requesting that he look up a certain surveyor who had recorded the location of his property. “I would like to get my land surveyed,” he told his friend.
Frenchy spent that Christmas alone. The letters were still lying there on Dec. 26, when three cowboys rode up to his hut and called out to him. He opened the door with his rifle in his hand and walked out. He probably knew what to expect, but he was not afraid. He cursed the riders in both French and broken English. Finally one of the riders pulled his six-shooter and fired three quick shots. As the riders loped away, Frenchy crawled back to his bed and lay down to die.
Two days later, a cowboy rode up to La Luz and reported that the Frenchman had been killed. The justice of the peace called together a coroner’s jury and they rode out to Frenchy’s place to see what had happened. When the investigation was over, the jury ruled that Francois-Jean Rochas just of a gunshot wound, not even mentioning that he had been murdered.
Memories of Frenchy fade away over time
Civilization soon forgot the old Frenchman and all he had done in the canyon. The “Scoop R” brand faded into oblivion. The trail to his cabin disappeared, the fruit trees died. Year by year, the memory of Frenchy grew dimmer.
Such was the story of the brave little Frenchman who lived alone, tended his land and bothered no one. The times were hard in those days, and they were harder still if you came from another land or spoke a different language.
Credits to Clarence Adams and the “Historical Round-up.”
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 email@example.com.
Make Me No Grave
Make me no grave within that quiet placeWhere friends shall sadly view the grassy mound,Politely solemn for a little space,As though the spirit slept beneath the ground.For me no sorrow, nor the hopeless tear,No chant, no prayer, no tender eulogyI may be laughing with the gods while here You weep alone.
Then make no grave for meBut lay me where the pines, austere and tall, Sing in the wind that sweeps across the West:Where night, imperious, sets her coronalOf silver stars upon the mountain crest.Where dawn, rejoicing, rises from the deep,And life, rejoicing, rises with the dawn:Mark not the spot upon the sunny steep,For with the morning light I shall be gone.Far trails await me; valleys vast and still,Vistas undreamed of, canyon-guarded streams,Lowland and range, fair meadow, flower-girt hill, Forests enchanted, filled with magic dreams.And I shall find brave comrades on the wayNone shall be lonely in adventuring,For each a chosen task to round the day, New glories to amaze, new songs to sing.Loud swells the wind along the mountain-side, High burns the sun, unfettered swings the sea,Clear gleam the trails whereon the vanished ride,Life calls to life
Then make no grave for me!
— Henry Herbert Knibbs, from “Songs of the Trail,” 1920.
It should come as no surprise that the defending national dance champions in Pom, Roswell High School Charlie’s Angels are ready to take on all comers. They proved it when they took their title back as national champions this year in Orlando, Florida, by defeating San Margarita Catholic on their last dance routine.
Going into the last day of competition they were in second-place but won with their dance routine of Michael Jackson. The Angels had to be perfect to win their second National Dance Alliance High School Pom with a score of 93.8.
The last time the Angels won in 2016, it was by 7/100 of a point. The Angels are used to close calls, that is why now is the most important time for them when it comes to team bonding and morale building.
The previous time Charlie’s Angels won the national championship in 2016, they were denied the opportunity because of Policy 5300, which was changed in 2015. The policy stated that no extended trips were permitted for an extracurricular activity to any out-of-state site over 300 land miles from Roswell.
This time, Kim Castro hopes with the help of the school board and new Roswell Independent School District athletic director Britt Cooper, her team will be allowed to be able to go to Florida and defend their championship in March.
“I think my working relationship with Britt (Cooper) will be great,” Castro said. “He was a great coach at Roswell, and I think he knows his stuff. I think he will be fair to every sport and will want to learn about everybody and what they do. I think he’s a real person, and he was a hard-working coach and a rules-follower when he was a coach. I look for him to be a really great person in that position, and he’s familiar with our community. I’m happy they picked somebody here than going out of town or out of state.”
This time it will be different as Roswell High School will move up in class and take on the bigger schools at the 5A level: Cleveland, Eldorado, Las Cruces. The class the Angels will be competing up against will be twice as many as they were in their previous district.
“We feel like we can win at the next level,” Castro said. “It’s going to be more work for us. We just have to up our intensity level and be prepared for bigger schools and more competition.”
The leader of the Angels is Coach Castro, who has her team back at work. Since June 1, Castro has had her team practicing three hours a day, four days a week. Castro is excited by the start of a new season.
She has eight new girls on the team and a record-high five eighth-graders with two freshmen on the team. With 25 girls, this is the biggest team Castro will have had in her 18 years as coach. The girls will practice from now until a week before school starts to withstand the rigors of close dance competition. Castro believes in her eighth-graders, because of the talent they have.
“This is the most talented group of eighth-graders I have had,” Castro said. “I don’t look at age ever when I look at the kids. These eighth-graders are pretty talented.
“I didn’t think 18 years ago we’d win state,” Castro said, “because I was so new to it. I didn’t have the experience that other coaches had. I knew it was something I wanted to do with the Roswell High team and hopefully someday get better. However, I never dreamed we could take it to this level. It says a lot about our kids and our programs.”
The Angels are already working on a new state and national routine and has had choreographers come in to help with the technical aspect of dance. Castro will put in three new routines for the season, which she believes will take her team all year to get it down like she wants them to perform when the pressure is on.
Castro believes in teaching her team as many dances as possible so that when they hit the big stage and perform in front of large crowds, they are used to it and don’t freeze up at the competition level.
“We are expecting, hopefully, to continue to win state,” Castro said. “We have new goals this year, and we want to win at the highest level. The girls know they have to work. We’re working a lot harder this summer than we have in the past summers.”
The Angels’ dance schedule is grueling because they start in June and go through March with little breaks. She believes this team is one of the hardest working girls teams she has had in a long time. Castro also likes that the competition can view their dances and likes the pressure of having to perform.
Fundraisers are coming up with the discount cards, which will start this week for the Angels. They will also start with their calendars on July 1. The calendars are school calendars instead of a normal calendar.
The camp is for ages from 3 years old to middle school. On Tuesday, they will perform at 1 p.m. for their families. The Angels will teach the dances at the camp, with the campers getting lunch and a T-shirt for the two-day camp. Castro praises her assistant coach Silvia Hernandez who has been with her since day one, 19 years ago.
Castro does not discriminate against talent and has had boys try out for her team. She would welcome someone good enough to make the team. Castro has seen other teams with boys on them at the state competition. She would like to have a talented boy dancer on her team and will not exclude him just because he’s a boy. It has been years since she has had a boy try out for the team.
“I would be totally up for a boy making the team,” Castro said. “For them to be able to do what we do, that would be amazing.”
Castro is excited to be doing this and has not given any thoughts to slowing down or retiring. She gets excited still about the practices and the competition.
It has been so long since the Angels have been beaten, she cannot remember if it was Gallup or Farmington that beat them and what year. It was in 2010 they lost to Gallup, 528.5-519.5. It was 2011 when they last lost to Farmington, 541-531. The team had won five state titles in a row and then lost two years in a row. The Angels have not lost since 2012. Castro remembers how it felt to lose and tells her team they can always be beaten, and it’s not a feeling they want to experience.
“I would feel horrible,” Castro said. “I tell the girls, that they have won seven years in a row. ‘I tell the girls they don’t know what it feels like to lose.’ It’s not a good feeling and I always throw that at them if I feel like they are not working hard enough.”
Castro’s biggest fear is that her team could get beaten, and she doesn’t want them to lose without giving their best effort. She doesn’t want her team to have regrets and know they could have worked harder. Castro has won so much that she has a hard time convincing her team that there are other competitve teams that want the chance to beat them.
“I think one good thing that comes out of losing,” Castro said, “I told the girls that lost, ‘You can throw in the towel and say to forget it because they were devastated, or they can pick themselves up and work harder.’ The losses made us a better team because it made us work harder. I just don’t want to win by a point. We want to win by a lot of points. Since our loss, I have pushed the girls harder to learn new skills that are off the charts to help us win.”
Castro tells her team that they have to work for what they get. She reminds them that it is possible for them to lose. She never feels like they have it won until they announce at the tournament that they have won the state, then she believes.
“I hope the city of Roswell is proud of what we do,” Castro said. “I’m from Roswell, and I graduated from Roswell and it makes me proud that we could be successful. I always want to thank the community for the support they give us. We have a good city that rallies around us when we do well. Hopefully, the city is proud of us.”
Castro believes the demands of being an Angel will prepare them if they decide to dance in college. A lot of her former dancers have earned scholarships at the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University and Eastern New Mexico University among other universities.
“I really believe my kids are well prepared to dance at college once they leave here,” Castro said. “We work on so many skills, and I know when they go to try out at the college level, they provide a skill list to the girls who are trying out because they have requirements. My kids almost always meet those requirements on the list because they have done it. If a girl wants to dance in college. I will get them ready if that’s something they really want to do.”
Alonzo Grajeda holds the Gateway Warriors championship trophy won at last year’s Lake Arthur tournament. Grajeda scored 14 points for the South All-Stars during the 1A/2A All-Star game earlier this month in Albuquerque. The South won 88-85. (Paul Lessard Photo)
Joel Baeza of Artesia stands in front of his party wagon. Friday he was giving rides to people at Alien City Dragway in Roswell in a 1984 Peterbilt. It used to haul cattle but Baeza has since turned it into a mud bog machine. (Mike Smith Photo)
Republicans outnumber any other group of registered voters in Chaves County by more than 6,000 people, but local leaders of the two other major parties, Libertarian and Democratic, think they can galvanize the public with their top statewide candidates and their messages as they look toward the general elections in November.
“Democrats are enthusiastic and passionate and feel a real call to action,” said Brian Colon, the Democratic nominee for State Auditor. “To me, I think we have a lot of good opportunity in the next 135 days. That is how many days we have until the next election, and we will be working every one of those days.”
Colon was in the company of Zack Quintero, president of the Young Democrats of New Mexico, Saturday morning as they made a stop in Roswell to talk about ideas and strategies for the upcoming elections.
The Young Democrats group, with 18 chapters and 3,500 members statewide, was in the middle of a six-county summer tour to discuss ideas and strategies with local Democrats. Their Roswell visit brought in about six locals, including Paul Romero and Daniel Johnson, leaders with the Democratic Party of Chaves County; Juan Oropesa, Roswell City Councilor; and Tom Jennings, former Roswell mayor and former local Democratic Party chair.
“What we are doing on this tour is talking to folks about what they can do to not only pull out millennial voters but also other independents, Democrats, folks that we can win over by the power of our ideas and the power of having an honest conversation,” said Quintero.
Locally, only four races are contested in November: a District 1 county commission seat that puts Democrat Michael Trujillo of Roswell against Republican Dara Dana of Dexter; a Division 2 magistrate judge office race between Republican incumbent E.J. Fouratt and Libertian Mayna Myers, both of Roswell; a state District 59 House of Representative contest with Republican incumbent Greg Nibert of Roswell being challenged by Libertarian Carl M. Swinney of Carrizozo; and a Public Regulation Commission District 2 race between Democrat Kevin J. Sanders and Republican Jefferson Byrd, both of Tucumcari.
The state ballot offers some high-stakes races, with local voters able to have a say in two Congressional races and 11 statewide offices.
Colon and Quintero talked about Democrats standing at a historic point in history, with a Native American woman, Xochitl Torres Small, seeking the Congressional District 2 seat as its current occupant, U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, runs for governor. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who is taking on Pearce in the bid for the gubernatorial office, is also seen as someone who can help motivate people to go to the polls and “vote blue.”
The group solicited ideas on which upcoming local events will field potential supporters and discussed messages that could encourage Republicans, independents or others to vote for Democrats. Economic development and job growth were seen as among the top priorities for area voters, with other issues including concern over crime, worries about a proposed high-level nuclear waste storage site in Lea County, a desire for increased early childhood education funding, possible restrictions in the use of local air space due to a planned Air Force airspace expansion, student loan forgiveness for millennials, and concern for nationwide social issues such as gun control and health care.
Romero noted that only about half of registered Democrats in the county, which numbered 9,403 as of May 31, typically cast votes in elections, compared to about three-quarters of registered Republicans in the area, so he said the party needs to emphasize those issues that will matter to Chaves County taxpayers and families.
“I think the subject of turnout is a really good there,” said Quintero. “Those numbers show where we have room to grow — with independents and Decline to States — and I think that is when it comes down to the power of the ideas of the statewide ticket, and also what important issues are here that Chaves County sees and feels every single specific day.”
Local Libertarians, now considered a major party for the first time in New Mexico after Gary Johnson’s strong showing in the 2016 presidential elections, also think that a statewide message that offers an alternative to the ideas presented by Republican and Democratic voters will make up for their small party representation, 203 people registered in Chaves County by the end of May.
“We have a convention at the end of this month,” said Krik Myers, head of the Chaves County Libertarians and also the husband of magistrate judge candidate Mayna Myers, “and then we are going full forward.”
He said Chaves County is among the fastest-growing Libertarian areas in the state, and the party intends to hold meet-and-greets and other events to tell them about their candidates, which includes not only Myers and Swinney but also candidates for U.S. senator, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and commissioner of public lands.
“We are just getting out and letting them know who we are and what we stand for,” said Krick Myers. “They are not necessarily going to switch parties.”
The Myers said people often are afraid to switch “tribes,” but can be attracted to the Libertarians’ views about the Second Amendment (they oppose restrictions to individual gun ownership) and civil liberties (they object to government surveillance in many instances and support internet freedom and equal rights for all people).
As with leaders of all parties, the Libertarians have their eyes on the 6,290 registered voters in the county who are listed as independent or Decline to State, as well as the 716 who are registered with minor parties.
Krick Myers say the Dunn family — Aubrey Dunn, who is running for U.S. Senate; wife Robin Dunn, a candidate of lieutenant governor; and their son, A. Blair Dunn, an Attorney General office seeker — are the names most likely to appeal to voters in the county, since the family has its roots in the Dexter area. Aubrey Dunn plans to attend Roswell’s Fourth of July festivities, which is expected to help area Libertarians.
Although the Republicans have a large edge in numbers — 15,518 registered voters on May 31 — the chair of the Chaves County Republican Party said the local candidates won’t be looking at the races as done deals.
“We have a lot of experience in knowing that we cannot take things for granted,” said Caleb Grant, also a Roswell city councilor, “and that our candidates have to get out and work, and the party has to be present and visible in meeting with everyone in the county and reaching out to everyone in the county in relaying the messages of our candidates locally and statewide.”
Grant said the governor’s race, with U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce as the party candidate, and the Congressional District 2 race with state Rep. Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo representing the GOP, are expected to motivate local voters. Pearce, a former Hobbs oil field services company owner, is being touted as someone who would bring a strong business background to the state’s top executive post.
Grant said both Pearce and possibly Herrell will be in Roswell Aug. 18 when the party opens its headquarters on North Richardson Avenue. Pearce is also expected at a local event at Pecos Winery on July 5.
Although the party already has the advantage in terms of number for local races, volunteers still will be seeking new registrants in the coming months.
New Mexico Secretary of State data shows that registered Republicans in Chaves County on May 31, 2017, totaled 14,993. The percentage of registered GOP voters in the county remains the same as the previous year at 48 percent. Democrats lost 153, one percent of voters, during the year.
“Over the last year, we have actually had a very large number that have come over to our party from other parties and Decline to State,” he said. “There is still a large number of Decline to State in our county, and we continue to reach out to them and we continue to do voter registrations at all our events during the year.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could say two of Stan Nelson’s avocations go far up into the atmosphere while the other is clearly grounded on earth.
A resident of Roswell since 1968, Nelson is squadron commander of the local Civil Air Patrol (CAP), a nonprofit organization that is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and assists in search and rescue missions. The organization also is active in attracting young people to the fields of aviation and aerospace.
The other interest that takes him off the ground, so to speak, is his passion for radio astronomy. His home office is filled with computers and electronic gadgets, and with that equipment he can track meteor activity.
He even has his own website, roswellmeteor.com, and has had a few of his articles published by online publications.
“It keeps me out of trouble,” he quipped.
The interest that keeps his head on the ground instead of up in the skies is his work with the Roswell Literacy Council.
When Nelson retired from the Transwestern Pipeline Co. in 2002, he said he needed something to do.
“I saw an article looking for tutors,” he said. “I’ve been tutoring off and on and have been the board president.”
Nelson said people would be surprised by the number of different nationalities that come through Roswell.
“They come through here and want to improve their English,” he said. “It’s been rewarding helping them improve and prepare for their citizenship test.”
The Chaves County chapter of CAP has been struggling with dwindling numbers over the past several years, but Nelson said things have started to pick up lately thanks to a priest at Assumption Catholic Church, Fr. Jaroslaw “Jarek” Nowacki, who’s been active in bringing in new members.
Nelson is from Niagara Falls, New York, where he joined the Air National Guard, a reserve force of the U.S. Air Force.
“I thought it would be cool,” he said of his decision to sign up.
Then the Berlin Crisis came along in 1961, which ended with the erection of the Berlin Wall.
Nelson said he was deployed to Berlin for 13 months near the end of his six-year commitment. Nelson and his wife, Karen, had one child at that time.
After his deployment, the couple moved to Houston and then onto to a small town called Kermit, Texas, where Nelson worked for RCA. He picked up two-way radio as a hobby during those years.
Next, Nelson worked for Transwestern, which changed ownership several times during his 34 years with the company. In 2002, the year he retired, Transwestern’s owner was the fabled Enron Corp., which became a Wall Street darling only to collapse like a rickety barn in a Category 5 tornado. At its peak, Enron shares were worth just over $90, but when it declared bankruptcy in December 2001, the shares were worth a measly 26 cents.
Unlike thousands of employees of Enron and its affiliated companies who lost both their jobs and life savings, Nelson said he was fortunate to have planned an early retirement, so he was able to get out without losing much money.
Stan and Karen have been married for 59 years. They have two daughters, a son, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Nelson is very engaged with radio astronomy, keeping track of meteor and solar activity everyday.
And he is very devoted to his work with the Roswell Literacy Council.
“I plan to do it for as long as I can,” he said.
Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or email@example.com.
Patrick Silvas lines up his putt on the 18th hole of the New Mexico Military Institute golf course Saturday morning as he and his team compete in a three-player scramble for the Fourth Annual Salvation Army Golf Tournament. Silvas’ team members include Carlos Ruiz, standing near golf cart, and Mike Romero, behind cart. Their team was one of about 16 to participate in the fundraising event, which is held once a year to benefit the local nonprofit. Typically the tournament brings in about $10,000 for the organization, said Lt. Joe West, but it also mean prizes for participants, including a chance for $10,000 if they hit a hole-in-one on hole 15 of the course, a definite long shot. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)
Former Roswell resident Sara Triana Mitchell chooses a cafe, Stellar Cafe, to be exact, to hold the signing Saturday for her new children’s book, “Love, Love Bakery.” The story for children 4 and older gives a look inside a bakery and coffee shop owned by two friends. The book also teaches concepts about numbers, cooking and the hospitality industry. Mitchell and her husband, lawyer James “Mitch” Mitchell, lived in the area for five years until 2015, when they moved back to their native Texas. A full-time mom to two daughters, Mitchell says she now “writes in the margins of her life.” Her book, illustrated by H2 Alaska, is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)
A Texas man died from a one-vehicle accident early Saturday morning on U.S. Highway 70 north of Roswell.
The New Mexico State Police said that the initial investigation indicated a 2004 Toyota 4-Runner was traveling southwest on U.S. 70, also known as the Clovis Highway. For unknown reasons, the Toyota left the roadway into the center median, over-corrected and rolled.
The driver Antonio L. Oros, 35, of Eagle Pass, Texas, was ejected, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Police said that alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor to the crash but that seat belts do not appear to have been properly utilized. The crash is still under investigation and the State Police indicated that no additional information is available.
Eva Mae Bible Waggoner passed away June 12, 2018 in Austin Texas.
Eva Mae Bible was born on March 31, 1926 in Hagerman, NM to Elmer and Mary Bible. She was the oldest of 3 children. When she was in second grade, the family moved to the nearby town of Dexter. Eva Mae graduated from Dexter High School with the Class of 1944. She was a member of the Little Gray Presbyterian Church. She lived in Dexter with her family until her marriage in 1946 to John H. Waggoner.
In 1950, they bought their house on Justin Lane in Austin Texas, which was way out in the country at that time. Mae was a full-time homemaker. She was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader. She was very active in Hyde Park Christian Church. She taught Sunday School and Bible school. She served on the Board, as well as on many committees. She was a counselor for summer youth camp. She was active in the Christian Women’s Fellowship. For many years, she organized the church garage sale and bereavement meals for grieving families. She was active in Church Women United. She was a tireless advocate for Heifer International.
Mae and John worked with international students at the University of Texas for many years. They were a host family—inviting international students to be part of family gatherings and celebrations. They also worked with visiting English teachers. Through these connections, Mae developed friends around the world.
Mae spent many years working with the Christmas Bureau to ensure that everyone in Travis county had something to celebrate at Christmas. She started as a volunteer and eventually became the head of the Christmas Bureau. For her extensive volunteer work, she was named “Outstanding Volunteer, 1978” by the Austin Community Services Association.
A memorial service will be held in Austin, Texas at Hyde Park Christian Church on Saturday, June 23, 10:30am. Mae was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother E.J. Bible. She is survived by children, Zaidee and Robert, grandsons Nathan and John, sister Betty Nell Miles, sister-in-law June Bible, as well as nieces and nephews. With her brother and sister living in the Dexter-Hagerman area, Eva Mae remained in touch with Dexter friends. Her sense of humor and servant’s heart will be remembered with fondness. (Pictured above right to left siblings Betty Nell Bible Miles, E.J. Bible and Eva Mae Bible Waggoner, early 1980’s)
Eddie Vallejos was born on August 12, 1964 to Felix and Felicita Vallejos. Eddie was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico and left Roswell some time ago to be with his children in Las Cruces, NM, Nick Vallejos, Stephanie Vallejos, Johnny Ray Vallejos, Ariana Vallejos and Brianna Vallejos, and on June 15, 2018, Eddie got his call by our Lord to rest with his loved ones. His mom & dad, his nieces Patricia and Margaret Vallejos and his brothers Leroy and Albert Vallejos along with many other loved ones who have passed away. You will be missed thought we had more time to fix things but putting things on hold we end up overseeing the power of life and death.
‘Til we meet again! I’ve lost so many but I’ll never question God. I trust Him and believe Him when he says we will all meet in Heaven one day! I love you Uncle Eddy, Lorina Vallejos.
1. Thessalonians 4:13-18
Services will be held in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Please keep our family in prayers.
Our beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, ERNEST “ERNIE” M. NUNEZ, age 71, of Las Cruces passed from this life on Monday, June 18, 2018 at Mountain View Regional Medical Center surrounded by his loving family. He was born August 13, 1946 in Roswell, NM to Sophia Molina and Augustine Nunez. “Ernie” as he was fondly known to family and friends was the owner of E.N. Nunez Construction.
Those left to mourn his passing include his beloved daughter, Glenda Mallet (Bob) of Carlsbad; two brothers, Andy Nunez (Mollie) of Roswell, and Bill Nunez (Diane) of Brentwood, CA; two sisters, Ramona Lopez (George) of Nogales, AZ, and Lynn Jimenez of Hawaii. Other survivors include three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Ernie was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Joe Molina and Arnulfo Castrillo; two sisters, Vicky Herrera and Lupe Romero.
At his request, cremation will take place and there will be no services. The family will honor his request.
A very special thank you and gratitude goes out to our nephew Lalo Castrillo, who was by his side during his illness.
Service arrangement have been entrusted to the care of Baca’s Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces and Sunset Crematory, 527-2222. Your exclusive providers for “Veterans and Family Memorial Care”. For online condolences logon to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.
Abraham and Helen Gamboa gave birth to a beautiful baby girl May 19, 1956, Rachael Gamboa went home June 15, 2018, at the age of 62. She was one of many siblings: Willie Nunez, Corine Gonzalez, Abraham Gamboa and wife, Irma Gamboa, Jesse Joe Gamboa, Lela Garcia, Alfonso Gamboa and wife, Nichole Gamboa, Rosendo Gamboa and wife, Monica Gamboa and Benjamin Gamboa. Raquel bare three children: Francisco R. Herrera, Santiago M. Herrera, and Marcelina M. Herrera. She was blessed with seven grandchildren: Santiago Herrera, Eveangelina Herrera, Danika Herrera, Nadiyah Herrera, Giana Herrera, Jazmen Sheriff, Zariya Sheriff and Traviathen Sheriff. Raquel continued to be blessed with numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces/nephews and great-great nieces/nephews.
Preceding Rachael in death were her grandparents: Alfonso and Raquel Gamboa, Jesus and Louisa Robles; brothers: Willie Nunez, Jesse Gamboa; sister, Corine Gonzales; son, Francisco Herrera; nieces: Felicia Alarcon, Jessica Gonzales; and nephew, Alfonso Gamboa.
Rachael loved watching her team play, the Dallas Cowboys of which she never missed a game. She was a silent judge for Ink Master, enjoyed going to the casino and having family get togethers just because. Rachael worked as a general manager for Stripes, also known as Town & Country, for 25+ years. She will be greatly missed by the family and anyone and everyone who got the opportunity to be blessed with Rachael and knowing her as mom.
We will be celebrating Rachael Herrera’s life at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home in the Chapel on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at 2:00 PM. Celebrate Rachael’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for her family.
Rachael’s tribute was beautifully written in her honor by her family.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him, and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked bac at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it, “LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.”
The LORD replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was than that I carried you.”
Thursday, June 21, 2018, Billy Jo Williams, born December 15, 1928 to George and Annie Brooks, went to her heavenly home and into the waiting arms of her husband, Edward Lee Williams, Sr. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, “Nana” to many, and friend to all.
Billy Jo was a loving mother to her two sons, Edward Lee Williams, Jr and wife Andrea, of Las Cruces, Jack Williams and wife Debbie, of Roswell, and a daughter-in-law, Betty Dyess Williams. She was an amazing grandmother to, Michelle Stone, Edward Lee Williams, III and Page, Christie Campbell and husband Justin, Jimmie Williams and wife Melissa, Melissa Brackeen, Kristen Island, and Marty Brackeen. While her kids and grandkids meant the world to her, no one was as precious to her as her little darlins, her great-grandchildren; Kayla Salas, Ryan Williams, Hannah Chandler, Jared Stone, Matthew Chandler, Madison Stone, Cooper Campbell, Jace Williams, Caitlin Campbell and Jackson Williams. She is also survived by her sisters, Jerry Buckland and Glenda Carol Adams, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Billy Jo was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sisters, Dean Shellhammer, Gertrude Barley, Lucille Middleton, and LaVerne Fritzmeyer.
Per her wishes, there was a private service for her children and grandchildren at the family home.
Billy’s tribute was beautifully written in her honor by her family.
Mariano Jose Mares Jr., born March, 1942 in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, went to be with the Lord on June 20, 2018 at his home in Roswell, surrounded by his family and close friends. Funeral services for Mariano, are planned for Friday, June 29, 2018, 3:00 pm at Christ’s Church, 2200 N. Sycamore Avenue, Roswell, New Mexico, with a graveside immediately to follow in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Celebrate Mariano’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.
Mariano was born to Florence Corine Casaus and Mariano Mares. Mariano was the sixth child born of eight. His mother and father both pre-deceased him, along with his brother Ezekiel, his sisters, Clara, Perla, Floripa and Mary Viola.
Mariano, affectionately known as “Red” or “Uncle Junior”, was married to his loving wife, Angie for fifty-three years. They were blessed to have adopted and loved their only child, Patricia. Mariano is survived by his loving family, Angie, Tricia and Dirk and his only grandchildren, Chaundra, July and Tara. Mariano is also survived by his two sisters, Vivian and Elizabeth and their families, along with Angie’s family and hundreds of cousins, nieces and nephews….. he had a big family. Mariano‘s favorite companion in his last few months was his sweet poodle puppy, Buddy.
Mariano graduated from Fort Sumner High School in 1960. After high school, he did some carpentry work with his dad and some of the buildings he helped build still stand today.
Mariano’s true work career started with the New Mexico State Highway Department. A few years after starting with the Highway Department, he moved to Albuquerque to work in the uranium mines. Working in these mines for fourteen years lead to so many illnesses for Mariano. He struggled most of his life with several health issues. But, he was a strong man and always worked hard to provide for his family. In 1981, the uranium mines shut down and he was able to return to the New Mexico State Highway Department in Roswell. Even through illness, he was a strong and super smart man and even without a full college education, he got very far and was sought after by many companies for his auditing and math skills. After retiring from the Highway Department in 2005, he went on to work for Bohannan Houston for several years until his health failed him and forced him into retirement. Mariano met and made numerous lifetime friends in the highway department.
Mariano could tinker and fix ANYTHING. He could do woodwork, electrical work, plumbing and not only was he a jack of all trades, he was a master of most. He loved to cook and was famous for his big breakfasts. Mariano always had a laugh and smile, he was quite the jokester, everyday with everyone…
As a boy, he loved to play cars in the dirt with his siblings, and that must have fueled his thoughts that every boy needed a truck. He was very loving but always teased his siblings, as a past time.
In his younger years he loved to camp and fish…. he taught Tricia at a young age the love of both too. He spent many a summers at Ft. Sumner Lake and Elephant Butte Lake camping with his family. He also spent time in the Jemez mountains with his family.
Mariano was always a forgiving person. He was also a servant of Christ. He could read the scriptures and memorized them easily. He gave his life to Christ and was saved in 1975. He was water baptized in the Rio Grande River with his wife and daughter, the same year.
Pallbearers will be Jerome Sena, Chris Sena, Geno Sena, Richard Gonzales, Christopher Chavez, Larry Roybal, Dickie Roybal and BJ Dunn.
Special thanks to our Christ’s Church family, special caregivers, Walinda and Maylon, Araceli, Deyanria, Lupita, Yolanda, Yareli and Claudia who cared for him like their own and his grandaughter Chaundra, special thanks to his nurse, Renee, Hospice and Encompass.
Mariano’s tribute was lovingly written in his honor by his family.