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Local teams open district play

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Goddard’s Drew Price went 3-for-3 against Roswell in his last game. Goddard plays Lovington on Friday. (Dawn Scott Photo)

For Goddard baseball, the real season starts on Friday. It’s been 365 days since the team has had a chance to fight to make it back to the championship game for the sixth year in a row. Rockets coach Gilbert Alvarado knows full well what the expectations are. It was here when he was a player and it’s here now that he’s the coach.

For the first 17 games this season, the Rockets know that nothing is going to come easy for them and every team is going to give them their best shot. Coach Alvarado has stressed to his team they need to focus on doing the little things and breaking the game down into winning innings and concentrating with each at-bat.

To make it to the playoffs, it begins when Goddard travels to Lovington, a team they have owned the last few years. The Rockets are ranked the No. 2 team in 4A behind St. Pius X, and Artesia is ranked as the No. 3 team.

“I think with district play,” Alvarado said, “we like to look at it like as a brand new season for the boys. We know that we have two road series out of the three series this season. We just know that when we travel it is a little bit tougher because we have to travel and get our mind right to go someplace else.”

With nine games left, Artesia and Goddard will meet in the last week of the season when they travel to Artesia in the season series finale on May 4. These games could end up being for the regular season district championship. Artesia is a senior-laden team with 11 seniors that play.

“Looking at Lovington, they are much improved,” Alvarado said. “We have to go down to Artesia and play a really, really solid ball club. We’ve watched them play multiple times now and they are the real deal. They (Artesia) have a solid schedule and have played some really good teams. They have some good players and they’re starting to heat up their best two pitchers in JR Bustamante and Trent Taylor.”

Goddard (12-5) is a different team than last season. For Goddard, it all starts with power pitcher Drew Price. Price has added a devastating changeup to a fastball, curveball and split-finger fastball. The Rockets will look for Ty Villareal to shut teams down when he is on the hill. Villareal is finally healthy after recovering from an injury.

Eli Fairbanks will be used as a pitcher with Owen Alsup and Tanner Conrad able to throw long relief and Spencer Robbins able to pitch.

Goddard has moved speedster Noah Nunez to catcher. Alvarado likes his take-charge attitude and how he handles the pitchers. He also likes his defense.

Goddard is healthy and should be well-rested since they have only played one game a week for the last two weeks — with their last game coming against cross-town rival Roswell on April 9, with a 5-1 win at home as Price threw a complete game.

“We only have nine games left, “Alvarado said, “and they all matter.”

Goddard travels to Lovington and plays at 5 p.m. Friday.

Roswell

The good news for Roswell baseball is they are one win away from the most successful season they have had in a decade. Whether first-year coach Tyrell Curtis is doing it with smoke and mirrors or the team is for real, Coyote fans will find out in the next eight games, because it is game time.

Roswell opened their district play on Tuesday with an 11-1 loss on the road to Hobbs. The Coyotes will have a chance to get even if they can knock off Hobbs today. No matter how the season unfolds, Roswell is going to be a team to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future because of a lot of sophomores.

“We didn’t play our best baseball yesterday,” Curtis said. “We’re going to find out who we are and what we are going to do in the next eight games.”

The one thing the Coyotes are missing is another powerful arm to throw out there in a district series.

Roswell (12-6) is missing another veteran arm to eat up innings or shut down opponents. Another thing they are missing is just experience from games.

If the season ended today Roswell is in the playoffs, sitting there ranked at No. 11 according to MaxPreps.

“That’s our goal,” Curtis said, “to get one more win and have the best season they have had in over a decade. The kids want it. Winning one more guarantees us not to have a losing season. We’re looking at it like we need to win four out of eight to secure a playoff berth.”

Roswell is at home for a doubleheader against Hobbs starting at 5 p.m., according to coach Curtis.

Softball

Roswell girls

Roswell was close in the two losses that could come back and haunt them when it comes to making the selection, if they don’t finish first or second in the district. The Lady Coyotes went on the road and lost a doubleheader to Hobbs: 1-0 in the first game and 8-7 in the second game.

“Starting the district out 0-2 is a little frustrating,” Roswell coach Art Sandoval said. “Going into the game we wanted to go in with a positive note. I think we should have won the second ball game for sure.”

The path to the playoffs doesn’t get any easier, as they hit the road and take on the No. 2 ranked team in 5A. Roswell is ranked No. 9, so an upset would not surprise anyone associated with the Lady Coyotes’ program. Look for Sandoval to make some adjustments to his lineup and try to get something going.

“The core of our team is young,” Sandoval said. “We’re fairly young and I thought we had a chance to be successful. I think we have to win seven out of nine in the next set of games. We have to focus on the little things. We do that by taking it one pitch at a time. It’s been an interesting year.”

Roswell (10-5) plays at Carlsbad at 5 p.m. for a doubleheader.

Goddard girls

Goddard opened up district play on the road as they took on Lovington. The Wildcats are ranked No. 6 in the state. Goddard played them well and hard before losing, 11-10 and 7-0.

“We played our best softball of the season,” Goddard coach Katie Shanor said. “I feel like our girls are ready to explode and I look for us to play well down the stretch.”

Shanor is proud of the strides her team has made during the season and from last year. She knows that it is just going to take a little longer to get the program where she wants it to be.

Goddard has a home game at 4:30 p.m. on Friday against the No. 1 ranked team in the state in Artesia.

 

Batter up — Little League

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Scenes from Lions Hondo Little League. (David Rocha Photo)

Padilla makes ENMU cheer team

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Roswell’s Arianna Padilla made Eastern New Mexico University cheer team. (Silvia Hernandez Photo)

ENMU-R board approves program changes

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“I thought the local legislators were very supportive of the campus,” said Shawn Powell, president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, during a Wednesday meeting with Community College Board members. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Budget includes 4% increase for some instructional staff

 

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell intends to deactivate four degree programs and 18 certificate programs due to low enrollment or changing student or labor market needs, but administrators said that the programs have been dormant for a while.

“There are no staff changes as a result of these program deactivations,” ENMU-R President Shawn Powell said. “These are programs that have been in the books for a while but have not been offered. So I had asked them (administrators) to clean up that material so that students or their parents or whoever else looking at the catalog would know exactly what we offer.” 

The Community College Board voted to approve the deletions, as well as some additions and reclassifications, during its Wednesday afternoon meeting. The decisions must be approved by the ENMU Board of Regents as well. That group is scheduled to meet Friday in Portales.

The changes come after a thorough program review of the university’s offerings, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Ken Maguire.

The review looked at such factors as enrollment in the courses, the potential for employment and duplication with other offerings. He said that college staff found that the deleted programs had not been offered in four years, which means “that there is not a foreseeable need for them.”

In some cases, slightly different certificates have been introduced that better match current industry needs. In other cases, it was determined that students could obtain the training through non-credit workforce education classes or that the same type of instruction was occurring in other programs.

The program deletions included an associate of applied science and certificate in animation, a special service veterinary assistant certificate, professional pilot training degree and certificate programs related to helicopters and drones, and certificate and degree programs dealing with health care, emergency medical services and emergency management. In addition, certificate of training or certificate of employment programs in grant writing, management training, culinary arts and telecommunications were deleted. 

Five new certificate programs were added in the areas of gaming design, general education completion, a second-level independent living program for special services students, welding technology with an emphasis on pipe welding and pipe fitting, and a fire science program for New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy cadets.

Four programs had the types of degrees or certificates awarded changed based on their current courses and credit hours. Medical assisting and occupational therapy assistant will be associate of applied science degrees rather than associate of science degrees. STEM Mathematics and Science will become an associate of science degree instead of an associate of applied science degree, and commercial refrigeration will become a certificate of employment instead of a certificate of training.

The board also voted to approve the 2019-20 operating budget, with total anticipated restricted and unrestricted revenues of $32,003,246 and total projected restricted and unrestricted expenses of $36,925,844. But funds in reserve exceed $11.82 million, which includes money earmarked for capital projects. That compares to a 2018-19 budget with total revenues of $28,400,880 and total expenses of $29,663,223.

Controller Karen Franklin and Powell told the board that highlights of the budget include a $113,000 increase in state funding for research, public service and special programs (RPSSP). This year’s allocations for RPSSP totaled $293,000 —$100,000 for expansion of the nursing program, $75,000 for the aviation science technology program, and $118,000 for the special services program.

They also indicated that the university received from legislative appropriations $1.2 million to replace the main electrical line for the campus, $190,000 for academic equipment, $215,000 for Career Technical Education scholarships and a $136,000 increase for dual credit courses.

Powell and board members expressed gratitude to area legislators, including State Rep. Phelps Anderson of Roswell (R-District 66), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, who attended part of the meeting.  

Franklin added that ENMU-R expects to receive $320,000 from the state for the 4% pay increase for full-time faculty and instructional staff passed by legislators. The remaining $100,000 for the pay increase will come from the university’s own funds. The university typically tries to compensate non-instructional staff in an equitable manner, added Scott Smart, ENMU chief financial officer.    

The Board of Regents also must approve the budget for it to become official.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

SystemsGo rocket launches successful

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Alison Penn Photo Goddard students make adjustments to their rocket in Jal on Tuesday for their final exam in the SystemsGo New Mexico rocketry program.

The Roswell High School and Goddard High School rockets achieved flight for their SystemsGo New Mexico final exam.

Leaving Roswell at 5 a.m. on Tuesday, 52 GHS students and six students from RHS — along with their teachers Celena Miranda and Monica Rodriguez-Hudson from GHS, and Stephen Lewis from RHS — traveled nearly three hours to the Woolworth Ranch in Jal.

A total of 17 rockets were launched on Tuesday according to Dave Willden, executive director of the Pecos Valley Regional Cooperative and SystemsGo representative. GHS launched five, RHS launched one and Lake Arthur High School had two rockets on the launch schedule.

SystemsGo New Mexico is a program in which students are given rocket parts and, through self-driven study, build three different rockets during the school year, conducting a launch for each rocket. RHS and GHS had their final launch, which saw rockets carry a one-pound payload for one mile. Some of the students had cheese, sand and even cookie dough as their payloads.

The next level of this program would involve building a transonic rocket, which breaks the sound barrier. 

“This program, the SystemsGo program specifically, really does make you think about things for yourself,” GHS student Cason Jones said. “You have to do the research on your own. All of these rockets are individually designed. They tell us the basics, but then we have to go in and find out, well, how many holes does this altimeter need to know the barometric pressure, so that it knows the apogee of the rocket? So we have to find all of this out on our own and then build our rocket and design it based upon those observations and research.”

Upon arrival, the schools checked in at Jal High School’s gymnasium and had to go through three stages before launching. Naria Stearnes, stage two coordinator, explained in stage one students received badges and checked in.

Stearnes said stage two was a safety check conducted by range safety officers (RSO) to ensure stable flights. She said the RSOs were two people from Virgin Galactic, creators from Fredericksburg, Texas where the program originated, veterans, retired educators, a superintendent and a variety of trained volunteers.

After clearing the first two stages, students were bused to the launch site and they unloaded their rockets for a final evaluation and loaded them with black-powder charges. Devon Energy performed rocket recovery and an engineering firm, Pettigrew & Associates, oversaw stage three.

Once approved the teams walked out to the launchpad with three launch rails labeled Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, took a photo with their rocket and walked back to the main spectator areas. Graduate students from New Mexico Tech in Socorro and two supervisors loaded the rockets and then raised the launch rails.

The event’s various emcees explained prior to each set of launches that mission control would test nitrous oxide for the loaded rockets. After the test, the launch crew would go behind bunkers in case a rocket went ballistic — and the 10-second countdown would begin.

Finn Donato, a GHS student, reflected on himself and his class starting the program months ago with very little knowledge and “now here we are meticulously researching every single thing …” Donato was a team member of one of the first GHS rockets to launch and recalled that his team’s rocket launched, parachutes did not deploy, and it went into the mesquite fields.

RHS’ rocket and the final GHS rocket were among the last launched around 5 p.m. RHS students Josh Lucero and team leader Manuel Archuleta explained their team only had six days to complete the only dual deployment rocket, a rocket with two parachutes, among the 17 single-stage rockets.

Prior to the launch, Lucero said he felt they were the “underdogs” and Archuleta said “somehow by some grace, some stroke of God, some stroke of luck” that their rocket passed all three stages. Archuleta said he spent extra hours dedicated to the rocket and rallying his team up until the night before the launch. 

Archuleta explained the rocket was in place on the rail to launch earlier in the day and there was a malfunction, causing RHS to have to make a fix, delaying their launch.  

“At first whenever we rolled up with this rocket, they were a bit skeptical at first and were being a little hard on us,” Lucero said. “And then, as slowly as it started coming together they were like ‘You know what — you’re actually making it somewhere.’ And we only expected to get barely to stage two and now look at us! We’re technically the best rocket.”

When the RHS rocket deployed both parachutes during descent, the crowd was whooping and cheering and all parts still connected when the rocket was recovered. Raul Rivas from RHS expressed pride in his team and said seeing their work fly gave him a feeling of “giddiness.” Mission control and stage three representatives congratulated the team for their successful launch.  

Some GHS MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science and Achievement) students also went to a MESA Day competition in Albuquerque on Wednesday. GHS will also be hosting a student showcase on May 13. 

“A lot of the kids are inspired for going higher and bigger next year,” Miranda said.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Torres Small talks first 100 days in Congress

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One hundred days after she took the oath of office, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small spent last weekend traversing New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District.

Torres Small took part in a phone interview Saturday with the Roswell Daily Record while in Albuquerque. She had just visited Zuni Pueblo and a stop in Ruidoso was next on her travel itinerary.

A Democrat and former water rights attorney from Las Cruces, Torres Small won the U.S. House seat in the usually Republican 2nd District that encompasses southern New Mexico. 

Since she took office Jan. 3, she has traveled to all 19 of the counties within her district, and hosted four town hall events and 100 roundtable discussions. As a lawmaker from a district composed of rural communities, Torres Small said she has made being a champion for the needs of those places a top priority.

“I am excited to continue to work to make sure that I am being a voice for rural New Mexico and expanding opportunities out here,” she said.

Torres Small said she has worked to bridge the partisan divide that has come to define modern politics.

Torres Small’s staff said in an email that 62% of legislation she has signed onto or introduced has garnered bipartisan support. Although examples of America’s partisan and ideological divide can be found on clear display on television, Torres Small said there are House members heading to the floor to establish relationships and work on legislation with fellow lawmakers on the other side of the aisle.

She cited U.S. Rep Dan Crenshaw of Texas, a Republican who serves with Torres Small on the House Homeland Security Committee, as someone she has worked well with.

Torres Small said that during her time in Washington D.C., she has learned the importance of prioritizing, and said she wants to get things done rather than getting entangled in the latest controversial comment or partisan feud.

“I think we have to focus more on working together then being the most public person on TV,” she said.

Immigration:

As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, and with her district consisting of 180 miles of southern border, border security has been one of Torres Small’s main focuses.

Torres Small said she has talked with ranchers, immigration advocates, healthcare providers, asylum seekers and customs and border patrol agents since taking office to learn about the situation and find a way to better manage the flow of migrants and asylum seekers.

She has also taken part in four trips, with members of Congress of both parties, to the border.

Yvette Herrell — Torres Small’s Republican opponent from 2018 who is hoping to run against her in 2020 — recently criticized Torres Small in a Facebook post for not declaring the situation on the border a national emergency.

Partisan rhetoric is not a viable solution, Torres Small said. President Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that people who enter the country illegally be transported to sanctuary cities is also something that she said is not helpful.

“We have real challenges along the border, but efforts to polarize the situation certainly don’t help,” Torres Small said.

The situation on the border can be improved partly by the government hiring additional immigration judges to tackle the backlog of immigration cases — a provision in the bipartisan bill that reopened the government after a nearly two-month partial government shut down, but those judges have yet to be hired.

The border can be made more secure by making sure the appropriate resources are available in the right areas, including customs officers and border patrol agents, Torres Small said.

In March, Torres Small and Republican U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas introduced the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Rural and Remote Hiring and Retention Strategy Act of 2019.

The legislation that passed out of the committee with bipartisan support requires the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to issue a strategy and implementation plan by CBP to recruit and retain agents in rural areas. She said there is often a shortage of agents in rural and remote areas.

Throughout her early months in Congress Torres Small has worked on a host of issues, from legislation to make the White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico a national park to co-sponsoring legislation to connect unemployed workers with reemployment services.

Ensuring access to affordable quality healthcare is also something Torres Small said she has worked on. She said that she had spoken with a pregnant woman who had to travel two hours and out of state for all of her prenatal appointments.

Such shortages are something that threaten the future of New Mexico, she added. 

“What is it saying about our future when we are not investing in children here in the district,” she asked?

Torres Small has co-sponsored legislation that aims to increase rural access to healthcare services by boosting the number of residency positions eligible for graduate medical education payments under Medicare for qualifying hospitals.

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

Work underway on zoo’s new rocket

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The new rocket play structure had been delivered to the Spring River Park & Zoo at 1306 E. College Blvd. as of Monday morning, and assembly had begun. The zoo is closed for the installation until Sunday, April 21, according to Todd Wildermuth, public information officer for the city of Roswell. (Alison Penn Photo)

Cold-air funnel spotted near Dexter area

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The website of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque stated Wednesday that a cold-air funnel had been reported near Dexter, but there were no reports that the funnel had touched down.

Cold-air funnels can occur when the atmosphere is unstable due to a crossing storm system, but rarely touch down on the ground. When they do touch down, they become very “small brief and weak tornados” capable of damaging flimsy structures, according to the website.

 Alyssa Clements, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that a report had been phoned in at about 12:20 p.m., but it was not known exactly where the funnel had been seen.

Dexter Police were contacted and the Roswell Daily Record asked to speak with someone about the sighting. A person at the station said they would have someone call back but the call was not returned by press deadline.

The National Weather Service reported that at 12:44 p.m. a storm system was moving directly over southeast New Mexico that was capable of producing small cold-air funnels in the sky.

Clements said in the rare instance a cold-air funnel touches down on the ground, it will remain in place for a minute, if not seconds, with winds ranging from 50 to 60 mph.

Clements said in a call at about 5 p.m. Wednesday that no other reports were received.

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

Honoring organ donors

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April is National Donate Life month, and on Wednesday people gathered to release green and blue balloons outside the Eastern New Mexico Medical Center lobby in honor of organ donors and their families. Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Warren Yehl, CEO of Eastern New Mexico Medical Center and the recipient of a donated kidney, were among attendees at the balloon release. Kintigh also read a proclamation in recognition of National Donate Life month. (Alex Ross Photo)

Robert McCune Locke

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Robert McCune Locke, age 76 of Roswell, New Mexico passed away April 1, 2019.  “Bob” is survived by his son, Robert Wayne Locke, daughter Denise Irwin, granddaughter Stephanie Locke, and grandsons Nick Sides and Riley Irwin.

Memorial Services will be held at the Anderson Bethany Funeral Home at 10am on Saturday, April 20.

Harry Filmore “Pete” Schram

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Harry Filmore “Pete” Schram passed away peacefully on April 10, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. He was born October 27, 1930 in Midland, Texas to Gladys Marie Tanner and Harry Filmore Schram, Sr. and subsequently raised in Temple City, California. While growing up in the shadow of the Signal Hill Oil Field, he discovered his passion for geology and the outdoors. He was an Eagle Scout and breeder of champion show beagles, winning best of breed on numerous occasions. When not raising dogs, he was raising hell and attending Pasadena Junior College. He entered active service in the US Marine Corps and served for three years during the Korean Conflict. Once honorably discharged, Pete enrolled in the University of New Mexico where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. After graduation, Pete began practicing his craft in New Mexico and West Texas and was responsible for the discovery of a number of notable oil and gas fields. He traveled across the country in search of new discoveries in locals such as Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, California, and Louisiana in addition to his favorite haunts in the Permian Basin. During a career spanning 60 years, he lived in Roswell, New Mexico, Midland, Texas, Parkersburg, West Virginia, Houston, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas and San Antonio, Texas. In the 1960’s, he was elected to the House of Representatives in New Mexico and served with individuals like George Koran, Joe Skeen, and Pete Dominici.

While he always considered himself an exploration geologist, his first love was prospecting and the “search”. He would often comment that he never found the Lost Dutchman’s treasure but had a hell of time looking and wouldn’t have traded his prospecting exploits for all the lost gold mines in the southwest. When not working, he could be found traveling to gold camps and ghost towns like Oro Grande, White Oaks, Jicarilla, or Mogollon with his partner in crime and wife, or sitting in his easy chair reading Lost Treasure and deciding on their next adventure. He was a man of few words and would often express his displeasure with his middle finger.

He is survived by his wife Judy Keehan Schram of San Antonio, his son Peter and wife Roxanne of Boerne, his daughter Christina Ross and husband Daren of Austin, his stepson David Smith and wife Cathy, his stepson Daniel Smith and wife Stephanie, thirteen grandchildren, and numerous other relatives and friends. He will be interred back in his beloved Roswell under the crystal blue skies of New Mexico, with a spectacular view of Capitan Mountain.

His counsel, knowledge and friendship will be severely missed as will his humor and compassion. While it is easy to think of him as “gone”, it is more realistic to imagine that he is out in the mountains and foothills of the Gila Wilderness or Black Range looking for “color” in the rock and that next “strike”. Adios old friend. We will meet again on the trail.

Betty Jean Pierce Moats

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Betty Jean Pierce Moats was born September 16, 1924 at St Mary’s Hospital in Roswell, NM to Earnest and Bertha Pierce. She returned home to her Lord and Savior April 11, 2019 and her family was present at her home in Roswell to wish her a Bon Voyage.

Betty married the love of her life, C. Stuart Moats, October 8, 1943. This union produced three children which survive her. Son Dan and his wife Sally of Roswell and two grandchildren, Matthew Dyer and Jennipher (Moats) Herlihy. Son Tom Moats and wife Cindy of Midland, TX and six grandchildren, Tommy, Charles, Stephanie, Hunter, Ashley and Sarah. Daughter Becky Winkler and husband Andy of Shawnee, OK and five grandchildren Christie, Tammy, Jennifer, Glen and Christopher. She is also survived by many great grandchildren. Preceding her in death was her husband C. Stuart Moats and her parents.

Betty was a stellar member of the Greatest Generation. She grew up on the Macho Ranch north of Roswell and experienced the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II, and many droughts. As a child, trips to town were infrequent and the big reward was a nickels worth of candy. You repaired everything, wasted nothing and never spent money unless it was absolutely necessary. Medical care was a luxury and rarely used unless it was too serious to be patched up at home. Every visitor was an immediate friend. Whoever showed up at the door was expected to eat and in large quantities. Neighborliness knew no bounds. No door was ever locked in case someone came by in need of food, water or shelter. Any passerby in need was expected to enter and make themselves at home, no questions asked. Mom never did understand the dishonesty of robo calls, Social Security scams, calls from desperate “grandchildren” or requests to extend your car’s warranty. She didn’t understand ignoring neighbors or having to lock doors for safety. “What’s wrong with this world?” was asked often, and indeed it had become a foreign world to her. She grew up tough, honest and trusting. These moral principles stayed with her until her death. She had Faith and Trust in God, and always gave the person the benefit of the doubt.

She loved all animals (maybe not skunks) including her dogs, cats, horses and cattle. She delighted in the arrival of new calves in the spring and always remembered her favorite horses, Paint and Perchy.

Per her wishes, “I don’t want to be a bother and don’t spend any money on me.”, no services are scheduled, and a family memorial service will be held at a later date.

What a woman. Go with God mom.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.

Gerda Leonette Reynolds White

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Gerda Leonette Reynolds White, age 83, died peacefully in her home on April 8, 2019, in Marble Falls, Texas.

She was born October 1, 1935, in Albuquerque, New Mexico and at three days old, was adopted by Ina and Dr. J. Paul Reynolds and began her life in Roswell, New Mexico. Her family would spend their summers in the mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico. She graduated from Roswell High School, married at the age of 18 and moved to Wichita Falls, Texas where she raised 5 children. She loved music and played her piano and organ often and sang in the University Methodist choir and at events at the local Woman’s Forum. Later in life, she learned the joy of creating with her hands and she opened Fountains Unlimited in Ruidoso. She made and sold water fountains and home décor. She also loved painting.

The mother of five children, Gerda is survived by three sons: Charlie White of Llano County, Texas, Ron White of Santa Fe and Darin White of Burnet County, Texas. She is also survived by her brother, Carl Reynolds of Tularosa, New Mexico and her grandchildren: Shawnda White of Marble Falls, Texas and Conner White of Waco, Texas.

Gerda was preceded in death by husband, Richard Quinton Marshall (age 65), of Roswell, New Mexico, her father, Dr. Julius Paul Reynolds (age 92), her mother, Ina Reynolds, her sister, Karen Reynolds Harris, her daughter, Laura Michelle White (age 25) and her son, Lance Lamar Whit (age 41).

Gerda was the manager of Cosmetology Schools in Wichita Falls, Texas and Roswell, New Mexico. She also worked for Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso and later as Pink Lady volunteer. In Denver, Colorado, she worked for Stouffers Hotel as a concierge. She also worked at the law firm of Attwood and Malone, in Roswell and she also became a realtor working in Roswell and Ruidoso. Gerda retired in 2000 and moved back to Texas in 2012.

Beyond being a wonderful and loving mother, Gerda will always be remembered as the beautiful one who kept us all laughing . . . . . . our memories of her humor will continue that laughter well into the future.

In keeping with our mother’s wishes, there are no funeral services scheduled.

The family wishes to express a special thanks to all the caregivers who loved and cared for our sweet mother over her last years: Tara Walker, Roxanne Purdue, Mayra Dey La Hoya, Leah Collazo, Erika Bernabe and Carrisa Wilson.

Online condolences may be made at:

https://www.dignitymemorial.com/funeral-homes/marble-falls-tx/clements-wilcox-funeral-home/1798

James Edward Pilley

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James Edward Pilley, age 78, passed away surrounded by his sisters on Monday, April 15 2019, at ENMMC. He was born September 14, 1940, in Santa Fe NM, to H.L. (Jack) Pilley and Ora Clyde (Bogart) Arrnett. James was a jack of all trades. He was a heavy machinery operator. He loved working outside and always told everyone he was a horse trader. He loved his 5 furry babies Butch, Sassy, Whittie, April, and Scooter. James was preceded in death by his farther H.L. (Jack) Pilley, his mother Ora Clyde Arrnett, his wife Nancy Pilley, his daughters Mary Sue Pilley, Paula Pilley, his sons James Lonnie Pilley, and James E Pilley Jr. James was survived by his daughters Carla Pilley, Sherry Pilley, Sheila Pilley, and Tracy Whitten, his sisters Margie Ford of NM, Pat Nicewarner of MA, Beatrice Toy of NM, grandchildren Sidney Pilley of OK, James Pilley of OK, Kacey Westmoreland of OK, and many more.

Fallen Limb

A limb has fallen from the family tree.

I keep hearing a voice that says, “Grieve not for me”.

Remember the best times, the laughter, the song.

The good life I lived while I was strong.

Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.

Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through.

My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest.

Remembering all, how I truly was blessed.

Continue traditions, no matter how small.

Go on with your life, don’t worry about falls

I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin.

Until the day comes we’re together again.

Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com

Driver pursued by police Monday still at large

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An unidentified motorist who led police on a pursuit and caused a vehicle accident that culminated in a standoff in a residential neighborhood Monday night remains at large, according to Roswell police.

“The investigation is ongoing to identify possible suspects. No one has yet been charged with anything,” Todd Wildermuth, public information officer with the Roswell Police Department, said Tuesday afternoon.

The pursuit began at about 7:30 p.m. when police arrived in the area of East Alameda Street and Ash Avenue in response to a possible aggravated assault, according to a press release issued Tuesday by the RPD.

Multiple people in two vehicles — a car and a pickup truck — were parked in a field in the area, the press release states.

One of the vehicles then sped away from the scene as police arrived and began pursuing the vehicle.

An accident report stated the fleeing vehicle — later identified as a black 2018 Nissan — turned west on East Country Club Road from Atkinson Avenue.

Because of the danger presented by the fleeing vehicle heading into oncoming traffic, officers canceled the pursuit. As officers ended the pursuit, the fleeing vehicle did not slow down and continued west on East Country Club Road.

As the vehicle entered the intersection of Country Club Road and Grand Avenue, the vehicle traveled left of center and ran a red light, then crashed into the front of a 2017 green Honda, according to the accident report.

No one was hurt in the Honda, which sustained moderate damage, and the vehicle pursued by police then fled the scene, the accident report states.

The press release states the fleeing vehicle was later found to have crashed into a fence at a residence in the 1000 block of Crescent Drive. Witnesses told officers that the driver of the vehicle entered the house.

Multiple RPD units were on the scene with officers stationed both in the front and back of the house. Officers in front of the residence periodically called out, urging the suspect to exit through the front door with hands raised.

Wildermuth said officers entered the house about an hour and a half after they arrived, and the suspect was not there. It is believed that the suspect had fled out the back door before police arrived, according to the release.

People with information about the case are asked to contact the Roswell Police Department at 575-624-6770 or Chaves County Crime Stoppers at 1-888-594-8477.

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

Water district considers energy company requests

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Oil and gas businesses want access for pipelines, pads

Some oil and gas businesses want to access Eddy County property owned by the Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District.

Four requests to secure easements to build new pipelines or pads were introduced to the district’s board of directors at its monthly meeting Tuesday morning in Roswell.

The district owns more than 600 acres in south Eddy County near Malagla in the heart of the Permian Basin, said Aron Balock, superintendent for the water district.

“We have purchased it primarily for the water rights. But according to the rules down there, to own the water rights, you have to maintain a minimum number of surface rights. And with all the activity down there, we have had a number of companies contact us about easement rights,” he said.

He explained that the mineral rights are a complicated situation, with many different companies or agencies owning them. The district is required to work with the companies when they need to access the land to tie in pipelines and transport gas and oil.

The four companies that have submitted proposals either own the mineral rights for that parcel or for adjacent ones. They are Mewbourne Oil Co. based in Midland, Texas; Lucid Energy Group II LLC, a natural gas operator based in Dallas, Texas; and Oryx Midstream Services of Midland and its subsidiary Oryx Delaware Oil Gathering NM LLC. Balock said Mewbourne is seeking permission to place a pad and perhaps a pipeline on the parcel, while the other three are intending to place pipelines.

“The board authorized myself and legal counsel to study the proposal and, if it warrants it, to enter into negotiations,” Balock said. “Once we have completed our end of it, we then would come back to them with a recommendation about whether or not we would enter an agreement with that company.”

Balock said the due diligence exercised to review the proposals could take a month or much longer, depending on all that is involved in the proposal and the workload of the district’s legal staff.

He said the district grants temporary easements only, with negotiations on payments to be part of the discussions occurring among the companies, district staff and board members.

The Permian Basin is the most productive oil region in the United States at this time. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it is expected to produce 4.14 million barrels a day in May. The area is second in gas production, with 13,890 million cubic feet per day projected for May. According to several news and industry sources, a significant need exists for additional pipeline capacity for both oil and gas transportation out of the basin.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Man arrested after fleeing deputies pleads not guilty

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A man who fled Roswell Police and Chaves County deputies Monday night before being captured, pleaded not guilty to two criminal charges at his arraignment Tuesday in Chaves County Magistrate Court.

Joel Contreras, 24, of Roswell, pleaded not guilty to one count of driving while license revoked and one count of resisting, evading or obstructing an officer — both misdemeanors — according to the New Mexico secure access website.

Contreras can be released on $2,500 cash or surety bond, according to an order setting conditions for his release.

The pursuit began at 5:45 p.m. on Monday after Roswell Police officers attempted a traffic stop of a vehicle allegedly driven by Contreras on Garden Avenue and East Walnut Street, according to a criminal compliant.

Contreras eventually jumped out of the vehicle as it was still moving, and attempted to flee the scene on foot, according to a post made late Monday night on the Facebook page of the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office. The vehicle came to a stop after crashing.

A foot chase then ensued with Contreras managing to make it over one fence before he was arrested and taken into custody by deputies. Contreras was treated for minor injuries and taken to jail. A deputy also received minor cuts to his hand while going over the fence and apprehending the suspect, according to the post.

A female passenger riding with Contreras at the time was also arrested, but the name of the passenger and what, if any, charges she faced were not disclosed in the Facebook post.

Calls to Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington were not returned before press time Tuesday.

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

NMMI cadets get emergency medvac lesson

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A medvac team from Air Methods, a Denver-based company that provides air emergency transport for people in the Roswell area, show off their equipment to New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) cadets Monday morning on Pixie Field at the NMMI campus. The medvac team discussed their responsibilities and requirements of their jobs, and how they make decisions that keep them safe in the air while also delivering their patients. (Alex Ross Photo)

Keepers of the canopy

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Jennifer Harris from GreenLife Tree Care points out her next cut on an American elm tree at South Park Cemetery on Friday morning. Harris and her partner Jason Smith, who are certified arborists with the International Society of Arborists, were trimming the 100-year-old tree to reduce the dead weight of limbs in case of strong winds and snow, as well as inspecting its canopy for additional decay. Cemetery Superintendent Ruben Esquivel said the cemetery has about 2,000 trees and has faced “very little damage,” only losing five or six in mid-March. As self-professed “keepers of the canopy,” Smith and Harris stressed hiring educated and safe tree companies to preserve trees properly. (Alison Penn Photo)

City road work to begin around Mescalero

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A city of Roswell contractor is using the property directly east of the Wool Bowl near North Garden Avenue for equipment and supplies being used for slurry seal applications to city roads in north Roswell. According to City Engineer Louis Najar, the ongoing work starts around Mescalero Road. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Bloodmobile will be taking donations today

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Vitalant will have its bloodmobile in the library’s north parking lot today from 1 to 5 p.m. This is a great opportunity to take a few minutes out of your day that could be the key in saving somebody’s life. You can visit their website at vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825 to see if there are remaining appointments, but walk-ins are welcome, too! You can also fast track your donation by filling out the health history questionnaire online in advance. Make sure to eat a good meal, drink plenty of water and bring your photo ID and donor card if you have one.

For more information, you can visit 301 N. Pennsylvania, call 575-622-7101, follow the Library on Facebook and visit our website at roswell-nm.gov/405/ to download the full Calendar of Events.

Book Talk by Bianca Cheney,
Young Adult Librarian

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and try to be healthier? How is that going for you? It’s hard to stay on track and create those new habits, isn’t it? Maybe trying something different for a few weeks will get you back in line with your goals. “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Jason Fung, MD is an approach which seems to make a lot of sense to people who need to lose weight and/or have Type 2 diabetes. It is also a tool to improve heart health, prevent cancer, decrease inflammation, increase energy and help slow the aging process. Sounds great!

Fasting is controlled and deliberate and is not the same as starvation, which is involuntary. Fasting is designed to treat the underlying problems as well as the symptoms. There are many options for fasting, all described in detail in this book. Dr. Fung, researched obesity and its causes trying to help his kidney patients, thinking like everyone else that excessive caloric intake was the cause. He worked with his patients, studied the successes of the low-carbohydrate diets, questioned the use of insulin in diabetics — which causes weight gain — and ultimately decided that avoiding all foods, for a time, was a great possibility.

There is no standard time limit for fasting — it can be done for a few hours, a day, a month, or longer — it’s up to you (and your doctor). Studies show that people were healthier in the 1970s when they only ate three meals a day. Recent studies suggest that it’s better to have six or seven “meals” per day and yet we keep hearing about the obesity epidemic.

Diets can require the purchase of special foods, eating at specific times, or not eating certain foods. Sometimes those choices are not easy to fit into your busy lifestyles and planning meals can be a chore, especially if you’re dieting. Fasting solves all of those problems — just don’t eat. It can be added to any lifestyle and taking multivitamins is encouraged. The 24-hour fast seems the easiest for someone new to this concept. Have dinner one night and then skip breakfast and lunch the next day. This reduces the impression of not eating every day.

“The Complete Guide to Fasting” includes detailed descriptions of the eating and fasting processes and includes the science and research of the value of fasting. There are charts, extensive reference lists, fasting success stories, various fasting protocols and even recipes, such as bone broth, berry parfait, and bulletproof coffee, to name a few.

Betty Jean Pierce

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Betty Jean Pierce was born September 16, 1924 at St Mary’s Hospital in Roswell, NM to Earnest and Bertha Pierce. She returned home to her Lord and Savior April 11, 2019 and her family was present at her home in Roswell to wish her a Bon Voyage.

Betty married the love of her life, C. Stuart Moats, October 8, 1943. This union produced three children which survive her. Son Dan and his wife Sally of Roswell and two grandchildren, Matthew Dyer and Jennipher (Moats) Herlihy. Son Tom Moats and wife Cindy of Midland, TX and six grandchildren, Tommy, Charles, Stephanie, Hunter, Ashley and Sarah. Daughter Becky Winkler and husband Andy of Shawnee, OK and five grandchildren Christie, Tammy, Jennifer, Glen and Christopher. She is also survived by many great grandchildren. Preceding her in death was her husband C. Stuart Moats and her parents.

Betty was a stellar member of the Greatest Generation. She grew up on the Macho Ranch north of Roswell and experienced the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, World War II, and many droughts. As a child, trips to town were infrequent and the big reward was a nickels worth of candy. You repaired everything, wasted nothing and never spent money unless it was absolutely necessary. Medical care was a luxury and rarely used unless it was too serious to be patched up at home. Every visitor was an immediate friend. Whoever showed up at the door was expected to eat and in large quantities. Neighborliness knew no bounds. No door was ever locked in case someone came by in need of food, water or shelter. Any passerby in need was expected to enter and make themselves at home, no questions asked. Mom never did understand the dishonesty of robo calls, Social Security scams, calls from desperate “grandchildren” or requests to extend your car’s warranty. She didn’t understand ignoring neighbors or having to lock doors for safety. “What’s wrong with this world?” was asked often, and indeed it had become a foreign world to her. She grew up tough, honest and trusting. These moral principles stayed with her until her death. She had Faith and Trust in God, and always gave the person the benefit of the doubt.

She loved all animals (maybe not skunks) including her dogs, cats, horses and cattle. She delighted in the arrival of new calves in the spring and always remembered her favorite horses, Paint and Perchy.

Per her wishes, “I don’t want to be a bother and don’t spend any money on me.”, no services are scheduled, and a family memorial service will be held at a later date.

What a woman. Go with God mom.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.

James Wesley Smith

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James Wesley Smith, 86, went to heaven on March 6, 2019.  the family will hold a Celebration of Life Memorial Gathering at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Enchanted Hills Park in Roswell.

James was born to Clyde Smith and Loma Frazier on September 7, 1932.  They were farmers James grew up learning to work hard.  He became a plumber by trade and worked many years in this profession.  He loved country music and he was an outstanding country and western dancer.  Dancing was one his favorite things to do.  He was known by those who lived him as Shorty.  James was a loving dad and granddad and will be dearlty missed.

Jame is proceded in death by his parents.  Clyde and Loma Smith; his daughter, Judy Darlene Lane; and his wife, Barbara Smith.

James is survived by his son-in-law.  Albert Lane; his granddaughter Jennifer Williams and her husband Nick; his granddaughter Kimberly Putnam and her husband TJ; his great-grandchildren Devin Williams, Koltin Willis.  Madelynn, Maya, and Keigan McCullough:  very dear friends Desmond williams. Anna Sanchez. and Judy Powers.

Janet Louise Kirkpatrick

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Janet Louise Kirkpatrick passed away at age 84 on January 17, 2019 in Brunswick, Maine. She’d been preceded in death by her husband, The Reverend James “Fr. Jim” Kirkpatrick; her father, Walter Baker; her mother and stepfather, Annie and Walter Gleason; and older sister, Barbara.

She is survived by her two sisters, Nancy and Anne; three sons, Mark, Bruce, and Brian; five grandchildren, Jenna, Ashleigh, Lauren, Austin, and Michael; a great-granddaughter, Maria; and a number of other extended family.

No service is scheduled in Maine; however, a service to inter her ashes with those of her husband’s is being planned in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church on April 20th at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers or cards, please consider making a donation in Janet’s memory at: www.forwardmovement.org/donate.

Betty Ward Pearson

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It is with great sadness that Betty Ward Pearson’s family announces her passing on March 21, 2019, at the age of 91.

Betty was born in Austin, Texas, in 1927, to Charles and Emily Stevens Ward. She and her mom returned to their home in Roswell, a few weeks later. She was the middle child, raised with treasured brothers – Charlie Jr, and George.

Ward family life revolved around the New Mexico Military Institute, where Charles taught History and was later Superintendent. Betty’s childhood was full of countless adventures involving many friends, school functions and dances, and exercising the Institute’s polo ponies. From early childhood, Betty demonstrated both aptitude and passion for art, which were nurtured and shared by her fraternal grandpa, Joseph. She carved her first piece, a wooden fish, at age five, while sitting side by side with her grandpa atop the stone wall of their home on College Avenue.

Betty’s college studies included Mary Washington College in Virginia, the University of Oklahoma, and San Jose State College in California, where she earned an Occupational Therapy degree.

In 1950, Betty married her lifelong friend and love of her life, Tom Pearson. They embarked on a steadfast partnership spanning 65 years, raising their three children Dan, Steve, and Michelle, and serving as active members of their communities while relocating frequently over the course of Tom’s engineering career. Postings included Houston Texas, Brookhaven Mississippi, New Orleans Louisiana, and in Texas at Kelsey Camp, Refugio, Portland, and finally back to Houston.

In addition to managing the household, co-parenting the children and coordinating the family’s frequent transfers, Betty maintained a full roster of community involvement, social events and personal interests, constantly expanding her artistic talents. Her wood carving, painting, jewelry making, and carved stone sculpture pieces, often displayed in cases designed and custom-built by Tom, won accolades and awards. While the recognition was satisfying, Betty’s greatest joy was in creating and sharing her art with family and friends.

Upon Tom’s retirement in 1986, Betty and Tom returned to Roswell, feeling that they had “come home” again. Starting a new chapter in their lives, Betty and Tom reconnected with and expanded their circle of friends through community groups including St. Andrews Episcopal Church, New Mexico Military Institute, Chaparral Rockhounds, Friends of Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roswell’s Spring River Park and Zoo, Sand Divers Scuba Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as the local hiking and carousel groups. Having reestablished their home base in Roswell, Betty expanded her horizons to new adventures and travels to the Bahamas and Caribbean, New Zealand, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, Ireland and England.

Whether working intensely to complete pieces for an art show, baking and delivering holiday cookies and toffee to friends and neighbors, teaching carving to kids, or searching out interesting wood and stone, Betty fully engaged and eagerly participated in life. She loved meeting new people, learning new things, and sharing mutual interests.

Betty was preceded in death by her dear son Steve, and beloved husband Tom. In December 2017 she moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, to be close to her daughter, Michelle Pearson, and son-in-law, Greg Phillips.

Betty is lovingly remembered by her son Dan Pearson, Michelle and Greg, her many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and dear friends. Memorial donations celebrating Betty’s life may be made to the Defenders of Wildlife (http://www.defenders.org/), the Ocean Conservancy (https://oceanconservancy.org/), the Roswell Assurance Home (http://www.assurancehome.org/contact.htm), or a cause of your preference. Betty’s family sincerely appreciates the love, friendships and engagement shown by so many in Betty’s long, well-lived life. A special thanks goes to her many loving caregivers.

No memorial service is planned.

Bobby Frank Garman

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Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Bobby Frank Garman, 78, who passed away Monday, April 15, 2019. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

Anthony J. Castle

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Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Anthony J. Castle,94, who passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

Charlotte Joy (Cox) Woody

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In Loving memory of Charlotte Joy (Cox) Woody

Charlotte was Promoted to Glory on April 14, 2019 at age 75. She was born to Luther E. Cox and Geneva (Sowers) Cox on May 14, 1943 in Vinita, Ok. Her father and step mother Marie B. Cox were stationed at Walker Airforce base during her high school years, where she graduated from Dexter high school in 1961. That is where she met the love of her life James F. Woody. They were married on April 8, 1961. They just celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on April 8. 2019.

Charlotte spent 50 years serving her church and community while working for The Salvation Army both in Roswell and Wichita, KS where she lived for 30 years.

She is survived by her loving husband James F. Woody, son James E. “Bo” Woody and wife Lucille “Luci” (Hunt) Woody, grandson Michael W. Woody and son-in-law James Glenny all of Roswell; granddaughter Alicia “Lish” (Woody) Evens and husband Cody Evens of Reading, PA; grandson Matthew J. Woody (currently serving in the U.S. Navy) and wife Alicia (Muse) Woody, great-granddaughter Autumn and soon to be great-grand baby of San Diego, CA; brother Luther Cox Jr. and wife Ginney Cox of Lubbock, TX; sister-in-law Billie (Foster) Cox of TX as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins from all around the country.

She was preceded in death by her father Luther Cox, stepmother Marie Cox of Roswell, brothers Ronald and Rayburn Cox of TX and daughter Jeneva (Woody) Glenny of Roswell.

A service to celebrate the life of Charlotte will be held on April 19, 2019 at The Salvation Army Roswell Corps, located at 612 West College, beginning at 9:00am with a brief graveside service to follow at South Park Cemetery, led by Lt. W. Joe West of The Salvation Army. Viewing will be held at La Grone funeral chapel on Thursday April 18, 2019 from 9:00am to 7:00pm. Active pallbearers are Michael Woody, James Glenny, Cody Evens, John Woody, Clay Woody, Robert Dennis, Mark Granado and Alan Waldrop. Honorary pallbearers are Elliot West, Henry West, Faye West and Theodore “Teddy” West.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Salvation Army Roswell Corps so that the work Charlotte so cherished may be continued in the community she loved.

Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com.

RISD calendar year approved

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Pictured from left are Goddard High School students Caylin Zavala, Kami Brisco, Kaston Ramage, Katelyn Graham, Austin Eldridge, Aydan Kakaras and Amaya Carabajal. Eldridge, holding the microphone, addresses questions from the Roswell Independent School District’s school board and superintendent regarding the students’ final exam launch, scheduled for today in Jal. The launch is a part of SystemsGo New Mexico, a hands-on rocketry program for high schoolers, and will be the first launch ever with RISD students participating. (Alison Penn Photo)

School year remains 178 days; out-of-zone policy to be reinforced

The Roswell Independent School District board recently approved the 2019-2020 school calendar and discussed other updates including the district’s out-of-zone policy.

Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy recommended approval of the RISD calendar. Creating the calendar was described by McIlroy as a “long, arduous process” since the discussion started in January.

Board member Mona Kirk made the motion and Secretary Dr. Kathleen Pittman seconded motion. The motion carried unanimously with votes from board member James Edwards, President Alan Gedde and Vice President Ruben Sanchez. Sanchez attended telephonically with all four other members physically present.

In light of the recent Legislative session, McIlroy said extended learning time for K-5 Plus (grades kindergarten through fifth) — and maybe secondary schools — is still possible. Senate Bill 1, recently signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, would allow more time for K-5 Plus and additional funding if schools choose to implement additional instructional days.

“Throughout the legislative session, there were so many different bills being proposed that would have changed this calendar in one way or another,” McIlroy said. “We really just didn’t know which way to go. And so ultimately, the advisory council proposed two separate calendars and — then when it all came down and all the ciphering and discussion among administrators, the advisory council members, we settled on this particular calendar …”

McIlroy explained the calendar will have 178 instructional days and 184 staff days. McIlroy also explained staff will have six professional development days and an extra day at the end of the school year. Two of the professional development days will occur near the beginning of school and the remaining four will happen near the end of each nine-week period for curriculum review, which McIlroy said was a “major focus for us next year.”

With enhancements to RISD’s curriculum, McIlroy said it was “critical” for staff to be present for professional development days. In addition, she said 80 hours of professional development is “an essential component to being able to access the extended learning-time funding.”

Kirk noted that professional development days were scheduled for Fridays when teachers may use them for three-day weekends, but McIlroy said those Fridays will be student holidays, not for staff, unless she approves otherwise.

Another change in the calendar will be the timing for parent-teacher conferences. Instead of having a full workday with nighttime conferences and a half day following, McIlroy said RISD employees will have conferences from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, while students will have the day off. Gedde inquired why Wednesday was selected and in response, McIlroy said there were usually no activities or athletics scheduled.

“That still allows people time to make their appointment, get to church, whatever they want to do,” McIlroy said. “But it doesn’t ask our employees to teach all day — and then stay an extra four hours in the evening.”

With holidays, McIlroy said the dates are “pretty traditional” compared to previous years with a week-long break for Thanksgiving and two weeks for Christmas. Gedde noted that spring break was early. McIlroy explained the date was a compromise with other educational communities, such as New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) and Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell (ENMU-R). She said the higher education facilities wanted March 9 as a true mid-term, and she said the district needs to be aware of this for Early College High School (ECHS) and dual credit students.

Graduation dates had been shuffled around after ECHS parents and students requested changes at a previous meeting. McIlroy explained that ECHS and Goddard High School (GHS) have graduation the same day at different times, and University High School (UHS) and Roswell High School (RHS) are on the same day at different times. She said RHS and GHS graduations will take place in the evening, with ECHS and UHS graduations in the afternoon, at the performing arts center at ENMU-R.

In her reports, McIlroy said the district will be reinforcing its of out-of-zone policy and will “implement it with fidelity.” She said the largest change is that out-of-zone requests will be approved by her office rather than the principals, since some buildings are “under stress” due to over-capacity due to out-of-zone students. As of Monday, the policy and form were posted on the website at risd.k12.nm.us.

In other RISD news, Chad Cole, superintendent of finance and operations, said design recommendations — after requests for proposals for improvements to Nancy Lopez Elementary School and Mesa Middle School — are planned to come before the school board next month.

Cole said track and field replacement at the Wool Bowl is out for bid and a recommendation will be presented in June. Gedde said it was “a mess” and McIlroy said it was “dangerous,” “degraded” and in need of repair.

Goddard High School students presented their rockets for a SystemsGo New Mexico launch happening today and Wednesday in Jal. McIlroy said it was “worth the trek” for a “thrilling, thrilling experience.” According to the launch schedule, Roswell High School and Lake Arthur will also be launching rockets, along with 13 other schools.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Police surround house after fleeing man enters

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Roswell Police Department officers surrounded a house on West Crescent Drive Monday night as they attempted to remove a man who entered the home after crashing his vehicle into it, according to police. RPD officers had earlier pursued the man, whose identity was not known at press time, after responding to an alleged aggravated assault, according to Todd Wildermuth, RPD public information officer. Police broke off the pursuit after the fleeing vehicle’s reckless driving was determined to be a risk to other traffic, then later learned of the crash. No additional information was available as the Daily Record was going to press. (Alex Ross Photo)

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