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Middle school assembly unites to honor veterans

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U.S. Navy veteran Paul Romero places his hand over his heart alongside Army man Casey Steely and other members of the military. Both Romero and Steely were guest speakers during the middle school’s assembly, where they extended their thanks to other veterans, as well as the advantages and life experience joining the military had done for them. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)
Joshua Kelley, an active member of the U.S. Army listens intently to guest speakers during Mesa Middle School’s Veterans Day assembly Monday afternoon. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Jackson looking for another championship season

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Artesia High senior golfer Josey Jackson will be hitting the links next year at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. (Mike Smith Photo)

ARTESIA — “The game of golf is really just like the game of life.”

Artesia High School senior Josey Jackson said that recently after signing a letter of intent to compete at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Tex.

“I feel like it has taught me a lot of things (and) I’m so blessed to compete at the collegiate level,” she said.

She has been playing competitive golf since the eighth grade.

“ I came from Deming High School, and there I was a part of two of their seven-in-a-row state championships. So I kind of came from a place where I knew what winning felt like,” she added.

Jackson said her luck rubbed off on the AHS golf program as the Lady Dogs won state titles earlier this year and last year.

“When I came here I guess I just didn’t want to end the streak. Me and the team we worked hard and I think we made each other better because we’re competitive within the team and that made us more competitive to field,” she said.

Heading into her final season in high school, Jackson sees her role as that of an older sibling to the younger members of the squad.

With the start of golf season months away, Jackson said her goal is to bring another state trophy to The City of Champions. “Because every year that would mean I was part of a state championship team and I think I’m blessed to say that I have done that.”

“She has the lowest putting average on the team,” said AHS golf coach Dusty Bean. “She’s got the most fairways hit, she has the lowest round ever shot by an Artesia girl golfer at New Mexico Military Institute.”

Bean said Jackson has accomplished other feats during her tenure in Artesia.

“She’s a fantastic person,” Bean added. “She’s got a great heart and she helps me as a man deal with some of our girls, in teaching me how to coach girls.”

Bean said Angelo State was a “great choice” for the senior.

“She went and looked at a couple of colleges and I think Angelo State is a great fit for her. I think she is going to be able to step in play as soon as she gets there,” Bean said.

Jackson said she wants to major in engineering, “and the exact field is undecided as of right now.”

She said Angelo State offers civil and mechanical engineering.

“It’ll be either one of those or I will maybe move on to a different college after I have completed my years of eligibility and just focus on school.”

Jackson said she,”loves math and science and I’m into a writing a bunch of essays and I like building things and exploring things and being creative. I think engineering is where I need to be.”

Lady Bronco cross country finishes 25th at nationals

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Pictured, from left, are Anna Zimovjanova, Mia Walker, Niajah Johnson, Kayla Sisneros, Esther Boram and Claire Van Houten. (NMMI Sports Press Photo)

On Saturday, November 11th, the NMMI Lady Bronco cross country team competed in the NJCAA Division I Championships in Fort Dodge, IA and finished 25th overall with 727 points.

Head Coach Jan Olesinski said, “Overall, it was a good trip. It was the first time we were able to compete as a team at nationals, not just as individual runners. “

“We took six girls to the championship meet – who were all freshman – and competed against 42 teams and over 300 runners from 50-plus different junior colleges from across the nation.”

Esther Boran finished 107th and Mia Walker finished 131st. Two other NMMI runners would finish in the top 200.

Olesinski said, “I think our girls were a little bit surprised by the size of the meet, and excited, too. Then, also, there was the weather. During the practice run on Friday, the temperature was about 18 or 19 degrees, when you factor in the wind-chill. Saturday, the day of the meet, it got better, maybe 30 degrees, but it was still cold – a lot colder than what we were used to here in New Mexico.”

Olesinski expected at least one of his girls to finish near the top 25, but this meet was valuable experience for next year.

“Next year, nationals will be in Garden City, Kansas: a much shorter trip and hopefully a bit warmer. Maybe those things, along with the experience we gained this year, will help us break into the top 20, said Olesinski.

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NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships

NMMI individual — 107, Esther Boran, 20:19.6; 131, Sierra Walker 20:36.2; 156, Kayla Sisneros, 20:51.7; 194, Anna Zimovjanova, 21:36.1; 231, Niajah Johnson, 22:14.0; 243, Claire Van Houten, 22:32.6.

James (Jim) Mayberry

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James (Jim) Mayberry, of Roswell NM, passed away quietly in his home on the morning of Friday, October 27, 2017. A Graveside Service will be held on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at General Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery, 3:00 PM, followed by a private gathering at a family home. Celebrate James’ life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.
A retired Chef and Veteran of the Armed Forces, Jim loved to fish, watch westerns and play with his Rottweiler, Duke.
Preceding James in death were his father, Milton Humar Mayberry; and mother, Lucille Michelet Mayberry.
James is survived by his wife, Geraldine June Mayberry of Roswell, NM; sisters: Marilyn Mandy, Jannette (Jan) Mayberry; brother, Kevin Mayberry; children: Shawn Michael Mayberry, Shawna Mayberry, Shay L. and Helen Dennison, Jerry L. and Cassondra Stafford; nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of James by his family.

Pay adjustment for city employees passes

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City Manager Joe Neeb, shown at an October public forum. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Half percent cost-of-living boost should take effect in January if funds available

City of Roswell employees should receive a slight pay increase after the holidays.

A City Council vote during a Thursday night meeting cleared the way for employees to receive a 0.5 percent cost-of-living increase in January.

Also as part of approval of the approved resolution, the city has been authorized to implement a revised classification and compensation plan for its employees, which number about 660. The final version of the plan is expected to be ready by February and implemented by July 1 for the 2018-19 fiscal year, provided the city and its three unions can reach agreements by those time frames.

The pay adjustment is to catch up for years when the full cost-of-living increases could not be given, City Manager Joe Neeb said.

“This is something that we had talked about with cost-of-living adjustments and inflation,” Neeb said. “Since 2014, we were just shy of that inflationary amount by half of a percent, so this will allow for a mid-year scale (adjustment) to begin in January.”

No dollar amount associated with the pay adjustment or the new compensation plan was provided at the meeting or in agenda documents. Neeb indicated that the 0.5 percent adjustment will occur in January provided the city has the funds available, which staff previously have said is likely.

The city revised classification and compensation plan — or grade and step scale plan— establishes classifications for types of positions and minimum and maximum salary ranges within those classifications. It also provides information to employees on how they can move to different grades or different pay scales within the grades.

According to Neeb and Councilor Caleb Grant, who chairs the City Council Finance Committee, the aim of the revised plan is to improve city efforts to retain and attract employees by increasing the opportunities for pay growth as experience, skills and knowledge are gained. For example, the number of steps within each pay grade has increased, thereby growing the spread between minimum and maximum pay within one grade from about 20 percent to 40 percent.

The resolution also allows for market studies and cost-of-living studies to plan for future pay increases.

“So it establishes the plan and gives us the ability to move it into the future and allows us to negotiate with the unions,” said Neeb.

The City Council took many other actions during the meeting.

A previous article reported on two Council votes, the approval of a four-year lease for the Boys and Girls Club on a city-owned building on South Garden Avenue and a 5-3 vote that resulted in the rejection of a proposed ordinance to allow larger off-highway vehicles, sometimes referred to as Utility Truck Vehicles, on paved streets. That proposal fell just short of the six votes needed to change city ordinances.

Other votes included the following.

• Two liquor licenses were granted. One allows a Carlsbad-based craft brewer, Milton’s Brewing LLC, to sell beer in a taproom behind Stellar Coffee on North Main Street. The other permits new company shareholders to be added to an existing liquor license for Tia Juana’s Mexican Grille and Cantina Inc. on North Main Street.

• An updated Americans Disabilities Act Transition plan was approved. A plan is required to be submitted to the New Mexico Department of Transportation for all cities receiving federal highway funds.

• The council voted to allow for the clean up of about 52 properties and condemnations of seven properties.

• Seven renewals and amendments to leases of facilities at the Roswell International Air Center passed.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

A day to say ‘thank you’

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The Roswell Veterans Day Parade made a nod to the holidays ahead as a veteran in his Santa garb waves to bystanders while his group travels north on Main Street Saturday morning.

This group representing the U.S. Navy joined a parade that included Blue Knights motorcyclists, cadets from the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy, women veterans, senior community veterans, Home for Heroes volunteers, young beauty pageant winners, members of the Girl Scouts, veterans driving vintage tractors, as well as featured speaker New Mexico Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), a Vietnam War-era vet.

“Veterans Day is the day for Americans to stand as one body to say thank you,” Wooley said. “To those who never returned from the battlefields, we remember them here.” Chaves County has about 4,523 veterans, according to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report, while New Mexico has 172,717.

The third annual Roswell parade was organized by a volunteer group and coordinated by the New Mexico Military Institute Military Science Department in cooperation with the city and other local groups. A BRAVE 5K run and walk preceded the parade and raised funds for Homes for Heroes. That event had garnered $1,600 in cash donations at the Saturday run alone.

Two Roswell firefighters work atop their ladder to unfurl the Stars and Stripes at North Main and Sixth streets prior to the start of the Veterans Day parade. The firefighters below hold the flag so that it does not touch the street prior to the ladder being fully elevated. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Gonzalez builds legacy

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Leo Gonzalez Jr. seems to have always known that he’s not in control of his life, God is.

“God knows what’s going on,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that tomorrow’s not promised. I say I’m not lucky, I’m blessed. It’s the only way to look at it.”

At 36, Gonzalez has been in trouble, out of trouble, and nine years ago he straightened himself out. His heart forced the issue.

“Kids change your heart,” he said. “Growing up I was always getting in trouble, but when I got out of jail in Grants in 2009 I got my two older kids and I became a dad overnight. I’ve never looked back since. Never again did I make trouble for myself.”

That decision was the beginning of a blessed, if hard life.

“If I didn’t get custody of my first two kids,” Gonzalez said, “I probably never would have met my wife, so that means I probably would never have gotten my other two kids.”

They were expecting their first child when Gonzalez was in a terrible accident.

“May 5, 2012, I was driving down McGaffey when a 19-year-old girl got her fourth DWI by running out in front of me off of Aspen,” he said. “I T-boned her truck, sent it sliding, and my engine landed in my lap. I had 17 fractures in my legs. I’m still recovering.

“I flatlined at the hospital, but they brought me back and flew me to Lubbock. I was in a coma for five days. Then I came back to Roswell and was at Lovelace for two more months. I couldn’t move at that time, if not for my wife I couldn’t have made it through that. We had our first child together at that time.”

The injuries he sustained that night will be with him for the rest of his life.

“I got four metal rods and about two dozen screws holding my legs together now,” Gonzalez said. “I love to be out in the rain but my legs sure feel it.”

As Gonzalez was working to get back on his feet, he was dealt an even harder blow.

“I lost my wife May 17, 2015,” he said. “She died due to medical negligence. A doctor didn’t treat her for Group B strep, which she was diagnosed with when she was pregnant.”

He talked about the frustration they had to deal with for months.

“We kept taking her to the hospital after my daughter was born. We were taking her twice a month at least. Doctors kept saying she just wanted the pain meds. She said she didn’t want pain meds, she wanted them to find out what was wrong with her. So they said she had anxiety.

“The next day she woke up in so much pain we drove her to Lubbock. When we got there the nurse took her straight in. They didn’t even process her. The doctor came out and told me it was probably already too late.”

What Gonzalez learned next ripped his heart out.

“The doctor said that they had known of the diagnosis all along, but didn’t treat her,” he said. “When we got to Lubbock they said her brain was already starting to swell. She was 27 when she passed away.”

After he lost his wife, Gonzalez was surprised to learn how many lives she had touched. It helped.

“For the first week after my wife passed away,” he said, “I kept getting messages on Facebook from people who would say they never met her, but they were Facebook friends and when they were down she’d be there for them and let them talk it out. She made people smile all the time, in person and online.”

It was his love for his children that kept Gonzalez going.

“When I was first recovering from my accident,” he said, “it was my baby learning to crawl and to walk that motivated me to keep working on getting stronger, and when my wife died I couldn’t let my kids see me breaking down. I did that in private. But for them I had to be strong and so I was.”

And it’s his faith that gets him through the worst of times.

“One thing I’ve learned is to never question God,” Gonzalez said. “I’m grateful he took her away from her pain and for the privilege of having her as my wife.”

Lately, he has been putting all his attention on building a business legacy.

“I started out just doing T-shirts, Gonzalez said, “but I’ve ventured off to printing on all sorts of things. I opened in 2015 and the business has done nothing but grow. This business I’m running now is teaching me how to run a business.

“I don’t have a timeline for my current business. It’s growing so I’m going to keep it going. My goal is in the next five years to own a franchise restaurant and then down the road to own my own restaurant.”

As his children have grown, Gonzalez has brought them to work with him so that they could learn from the ground up.

“My oldest daughter has a real good head on her shoulders,” he said. “I think she’ll do well in business. I’m a single dad with four kids. I make sure my kids have a good role model in me. My dad wasn’t the best role model and I want to have a better relationship with my kids.”

Fortunately, Gonzalez had a good role model to fall back on.

“Another man who has raised me since I was 10 years old is Dad and Grandpa,” Gonzalez said. “He’s retired from the schools so he’s helping me to make sure my kids get a good education.”

Between his faith, his devotion to his family and his entrepreneurial spirit, Gonzalez is a part of what makes Roswell worth living in.

Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

RDR earns nine awards at newspaper contest

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The Roswell Daily Record earned a total of nine awards at Saturday's annual New Mexico Press Association awards banquet. Pictured, from left, are advertising director Manny Gonzalez, composing director Aric Loomis, multimedia reporter Trevier Gonzalez, editor Jeff Tucker, general manager SaraLei Fajardo and publisher Barbara Beck.

The Roswell Daily Record earned a total of nine awards, including three first-place awards, at Saturday’s annual New Mexico Press Association awards banquet in Bernalillo.

The newsroom staff won first place for design and typography at the NMPA’s Better Newspaper Awards contest in the Daily Class II division.

“Clean, consistent design. Good headline structure. Good choice of fonts,” wrote the judges of the newspaper association in Arizona.

Editor Jeff Tucker won second place in environmental and agricultural writing for his BLM oil and gas article and second place in columns for his piece, “Trump win would spark epic media hissy fit.”

Features reporter Curtis Michaels won second place in series or continuing coverage for his SANE nurse procedures series.

Advertising director Manny Gonzalez won first place in the circulation campaign category.

“Nice use of graphic imagery to stand out in section,” judges said. “Also, good play on theme with headline.”

Gonzalez also won second place in the circulation campaign category.

Gonzalez and graphic designer Sandra Martinez won second place in the auto advertisement category.

“I just want to thank the NMPA for throwing this annual event that gives us newspaper colleagues an opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “It provides a lot of opportunity to share ideas. I also want to thank my advertising department, as well as the editorial staff. Keep up the good work.”

Former sports editor AJ Dickman won first place for best sports coverage.

“Strong photos, a commitment to covering local sports were nice,” wrote the judge. “Probably could have used fewer photos on the February cover, to get in more of the basketball story.”

Dickman also won second place in sports writing.

Tucker said it was a good showing, but added that there’s always room for improvement.

“We didn’t get the latest coveted General News Excellence Award as we have in years past,” Tucker said. “So congratulations to the Farmington Daily Times, which received the award. We hope to take it back next year.”

Publisher Barbara Beck congratulated her entire staff for working together as a team.

Week Ahead

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Monday

• Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District Board of Directors, 9 a.m., District office, 2303 E. Second St., Suite 100.

• City of Roswell Tourism Council, 10:30 a.m., Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Museum Archives Center, 208 N. Lea Ave.

• Roswell City Council Infrastructure Committee (to discuss homeless issue), 3 p.m., Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main St.

• Sidney Gutierrez Middle School Governing Council, 6 p.m., Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, 409 E. College Blvd.

• Dexter Consolidated School District Board of Education, 7 p.m., Central Office Board Room, 100 N. Lincoln Ave., Dexter.

Tuesday

• New Mexico Military Institute, 1 p.m., Board of Regents conference room, Lusk Hall, NMMI campus, 101 W. College Blvd.

• Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents special meeting, 1 p.m., Regents Room, ENMU campus, 1500 S. Avenue K, Portales.

• Artesia Public Library Board of Trustees, 5:15 p.m., Library, 205 W. Quay Ave.

• Roswell Independent School District Board of Education, 6 p.m., Administrative and Educational Services Complex board room, 300 N. Kentucky Ave.

• Chaves County Comprehensive Strategy Board, Noon, Chaves County Sheriff’s Training Room, #1 St. Mary’s Place.

Wednesday

• City of Artesia Planning and Zoning Commission, 2 p.m., Artesia City Hall, 511 W. Texas Ave.

• Roswell City Council Public Safety Committee, 5 p.m., City Hall conference room, 425 N. Richardson Ave.

Thursday

• Chaves County Board of Commissioners, 9 a.m., Chaves County Administrative Center, #1 St. Mary’s Place.

• City of Roswell Commission on Aging, 3 p.m., Senior Circle, 2801 N. Main St.

Homeowners wanting to drill water wells may get help from USDA program

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Chaves County homeowners needing financial assistance to drill water wells on their property might be able to get help from a program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Water Well Trust, a national nonprofit based in North Carolina, has received a grant from USDA’s Household Water Well Systems program, which will be matched with funds from the Water Systems Council, to provide eligible New Mexico homeowners with loans of up to $11,000 to drill wells on their property.

The loans come with interest rates of 1 percent and terms as long as 20 years.

Nine southern counties in New Mexico, including Chaves County, are eligible for the loans because more than 20 percent of their population live below the poverty line. The estimated poverty rate of Chaves County in 2015 was 21.9 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Statewide the poverty rate is 21 percent.

About $275,000 is available from the government grant and matching funds, which should fund about 25 wells, said a trust manager and a member of its board of directors.

“It is estimated that 1,963 housing units do not have access to clean water in New Mexico,” said Margaret Martens, program director with the Water Wells Trust.

Martens said the nonprofit previously received three other USDA grants for projects in other states and was urged by USDA officials to consider this state.

“I was told that USDA receives a lot of requests for help from New Mexico and Arizona,” she said.

The loan program gives priority to people with health or safety needs or those living in colonias, undeveloped areas that typically lack infrastructure and adequate housing structures. According to information from the trust, there are 130 colonias in New Mexico. That includes an area near Lake Arthur, according to the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Outside of the priority candidates, anyone who owns and lives in a home and has combined occupant income below $52,300 annually can apply. Eligibility criteria are listed in the application found on the group’s website, waterwelltrust.org.

“Engineered water lines are astronomically expensive, so we are working to provide an affordable alternative,” said Robin Irwin, a member of the trust’s board of directors and executive secretary of the New Mexico Ground Water Association. Irwin also works as a manager for a drilling company.

“The projects we have done, there are people who have gone without access to water for years,” she said. “Some haven’t had access to established water lines or something happened to their wells. Others had their water sources contaminated and have had to transport in their own water supplies. If they are applying for a loan, they are in need.”

The trust is working with the New Mexico Groundwater Association, based in the town of Bernalillo, and the offices of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-Albuquerque) to notify people who might be interested in a loan.

The trust has operated since 2010. A prior USDA-funded project in Georgia drilled 27 wells, providing water to 65 homeowners. The organization also has grants for counties in New York, South Carolina, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to its website.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

New recreation center is on its way

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Roswell city employees, elected officials and members of the local Caprock youth swim team commemorate the start of construction on the recreation and aquatic center at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area on West College Boulevard during a Saturday afternoon event. The swim team members released balloons after local officials used their ceremonial shovels to pitch some soil.

The construction award was announced in September on the $20 million project, financed by bonds to be repaid by increases in gross receipts taxes. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2018.

“This is an asset for this entire community,” said Mayor Dennis Kintigh. “This is something that can make this a better place for ourselves, for our children and for our grandchildren.” Officials visible in the photo are, from left, Councilor Natasha Mackey, Mayor Kintigh, Councilor Jeanine Best, City Manager Joe Neeb and City Councilor Steve Henderson.

 

Roswell’s Main Street set for new lights this holiday season

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From left: MainStreet Roswell President Molly Boyles, Wendie Marlie and MainStreet Roswell Executive Director Kathy Lay Exiting news for fans of the holidays. Main Street's trees will shine bright this year. Molly Boyles, Wendie Marlie and Kathy Lay are holding a sample string of the new LED lights that are going to be used for decorating the trees from First to Fourth streets. (Christina Stock Photo)

Excitement was almost tangible in the office of MainStreet Roswell on Tuesday. The nonprofit organization had good news to share. Main Street will get new Christmas lights this year from Fourth to First streets.

Molly Boyles, President of MainStreet Roswell, was contacted earlier this year by Wendie Marley. Marley was born and raised in Roswell and returned to her hometown four years ago after living overseas serving her country. During that time she enjoyed the lit up streets decorated in Christmas lights, just as when she lived in the Dallas area. It was a stark contrast to Roswell.

Instead of complaining and leaving it to others, Marley decided to see what she could do to bring more holiday cheer to town.

“It’s been hard,” Marley said. “It’s been a lot of movement in MainStreet Roswell. As soon as I would get a little bit further something would change. It’s just has been a back and forth and this year, with the right support and the right people, it has been able to take off.”

“Wendie had already in previous years taken steps to try to get this done and she had made progress, but like she said, she would get to a point and then time was running out,” Boyles said. “Then she had to start again and it was a whole new ballgame. Basically, there were new people and that was even the case with the MainStreet Roswell board. We had different executive directors, we had different presidents, so stuff had gotten lost in those years when she started,” Boyles said.

“When I got in touch with her after the UFO festival, she told me her ideas and the fact that she had already spoken with different people who were interested in sponsoring trees,” Boyles said. “She already had ideas of how to get the monetary things done. MainStreet Roswell is a small nonprofit, we have a lot on our plate. We have a lot of projects in the works and all of them cost money. We knew we didn’t have the money to complete a project like this.

“Basically I said, ‘Tell you what, get us all the information you can. Here are the things we need to know that you need to bring to our board. Come into a board meeting. We want this to happen, but understand that we don’t have the money. We got manpower and we got the right connections with the city, county, the building owners and the business owners. Yes, absolutely we are on board.’ She took it and ran with it,” Boyles said. She did everything that I asked her to do as far as getting information and so much more.”

Looking at the challenge, Marley asked herself, “How can we bring in the community to offset the cost for the city, to get the project going?

“I went to Xcel (Xcel Energy electric services company) to see if they wanted to be involved in it. My original plan was just to go and talk to the community of sponsoring a tree, but once I talked to Xcel and Mike McLeod, they figured that they are going to donate the lights. J & G Electric was more than willing to help, and Xcel was ending up covering that bid as well to help with the installation.

“It just happened, Marley said. “They were excited and inspired. It seems like everyone was just waiting to see how they can help and it all came together.”

According to Boyles and Marley, Xcel Energy is willing to donate 10,000 feet of Christmas lights to decorate the trees for three blocks on Main Street. The donation includes $18,000 to cover labor.

“After she spoke with Xcel, it just snowballed,” Boyles said.

“The Roswell Wool Warehouse will be the storage place for the lights for next year,” Marley said. “They didn’t even blink an eye. They said, ‘Absolutely, lets do it.’ Justin Ellis at the Builders Do it Center is donating extension cords.”

“It’s not just one group, you have to go through the city engineering, through the businesses down the street because in many cases we are utilizing the roofs of their buildings to run our extra cords,” Boyles said.

Kathy Lay, executive director of MainStreet Roswell, said, “Parks and Rec are trimming the trees for the lights. J & G Electric will follow them putting up the lights.”

A professional end product and fiscal responsibility is very important to Marley who is already planning for next year. “What are we going to do with money once we have it? We need to utilize it and handle it with care,” she said. “If people are investing, they want to see the result. They want to see it done right and not just done and forgotten about. That was important for me, to take whoever was investing in it — in this case Xcel — to make sure that we are going to do something that they are going to be proud of, money well spent.

“I probably could have gotten enough sponsors to do quite a few blocks more. But if you start big it could have easily gotten out of hand.

“Next year I want to expand it a block and hit Pioneer Plaza,” Marley said. “I can bring in the sponsorship, all I need is the green light to do it.”

Boyles encourages others to follow Marley’s example. “I don’t care what type of project it is, if one person got a passion and they reach out and find the right kind of people that they connect with, one person can make a huge difference in their neighborhood, in their city, in their county, in their state and in their nation. One person is all it takes to get the ball rolling. I really want to commend her for taking the time to do all that footwork. This is about an individual, a citizen who stepped up and did all the work and brought it to fruition.”

MainStreet Roswell is planning to decorate the light poles as well. “There is going to be room for both volunteer work or donations, as far as the wrapping of the light poles is concerned,” Boyles said. “The plan is to utilize large bows near the top, near the light fixtures and then wrap them with some type of heavy garlands. We are thinking of, for the first year, red bows and garlands. Keeping everything uniform would be more attractive.”

The lights will go up as soon as the trimming of the trees begin. Goal is to have everything up and in working order by Thanksgiving.

Lay is looking forward to the end product. “Walking downtown this year is going to be a memorable experience for the families and something that warms our hearts and makes us proud,” she said. “We are so grateful.”

For more information, contact MainStreet Roswell at 914-8018 or email info@mainstreetroswell.org.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

Marines mark 242 years of the US Marine Corps

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Commandant Alan Hartwell (far left) of Roswell’s Marine Corps League, Sgt. Moses D Rocha Detachment No. 1287, is witnessing the time-honored tradition of the oldest Marine and the youngest Marine present receiving the first two pieces of the Marine Corps birthday cake. Celebrating the founding of the Marine Corps connects Marines, retired or active, around the world and is celebrated on Nov. 10.

Cutting the cake is Fernando Carreon. “I served from 1970 to 2000 and my rank is Master Gunnery Sergeant,” he said. Waiting behind Carreon is Joshua Montemayor. He said that he served in the Marines from 2010 to 2015 and has the rank of Sergeant.

The league had invited all Marines and their friends and families to celebrate at the Elks Lodge.

This year the turnout surprised many league members.

“This is one of the largest crowds that we have had in a long time,” Hartwell said. “It is so good to see so many Marines get together and celebrate our birth. Two hundred and forty-two years is a long time and from the looks of the future, I don’t see the Marines going anywhere anytime soon.”

The public will see many Marines out and about during the coming weeks.

“Our Toys for Tots is underway currently,” Hartwell said. “Be looking for donation boxes anywhere around town, at many of the shops and banks. Find us in front of Walmart and Kmart and donate a toy or pocket change if you can. We’ll make Christmas happen for the kids in Chaves County.”

After the ceremony, retired Marine and former Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge, Scott Montgomery, invited the Marines to stay and join the lodge members during karaoke.

 

Ted L. Schrimsher

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Ted L. Schrimsher, age 90, of Roswell, passed into eternal life Monday, November 6, 2017 with his wife at his side.

He was born in Frederick, OK, January 29, 1927 to ArLonzo Schrimsher and Lillie Loftis Schrimsher. He graduated from Weaver High School in 1944. Upon his graduation he joined the Army Air Corp and was discharged in 1945 at the end of WWII.

Ted came to Roswell, NM in 1947 and was employed by Smith Machinery where he installed electrical irrigation pumps throughout eastern New Mexico and West Texas. He married Vera King in 1950. He started farming in 1954 and continued farming until he retired at the age of 89. He was recognized as the Outstanding Young Farmer in 1955 by the Roswell Jaycee’s. Ted and his twin brother Fred (Schrimsher Brothers) farmed extensively throughout Chaves County and the Estancia Valley in Central N.M.

He was an active member of Christ’s Church. He served on the boards of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, the Eastern New Mexico Fair Board, the Hagerman Cotton Gin, and the Chaves County Cattle Corp.

Ted enjoyed hunting, dancing and golfing. He was one of New Mexico’s early hot air balloon pilots.

Of special importance to Ted, were his many friends that met for coffee, lunch, golf and hunting for a span of 30 years. He truly loved his friends.

Ted was preceded in death by his parents; his son Keith L. Schrimsher; his brothers, Cecil, Floyd and Fred; his sisters, Irene, Doris, Camella, Pauline and Delores.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Vera King Schrimsher of Roswell; his daughter, Devera Goss and husband Jerry of Baton Rouge, LA, children, Alex and wife Lacy, Amanda, Page and Matthew, grandchild Ryan Carrigan; his son, Jeffrey L. Schrimsher and wife Paula of Rio Rancho, NM, children Jeffrey and Alexandra; daughter-in-law Micki Schrimsher of Roswell, NM, children Nathan and Lucas; his brother, Max and wife Eleanor of Scotsdale, AZ, and his sister, Bennie Davis and husband Harvey of Costa Mesa, CA; his sisters-in-law Marjelaine Schrimsher and Theda Staeden of Roswell, and numerous nieces and nephews.

His family meant the world to him, he loved them dearly.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Monday, November 13, 2017 at Christ’s Church. Gerry Chavez and Lonnie Owens will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to Christ’s Church, 2200 N Sycamore Ave, Roswell, NM 88201; Chaves County CASA Program, 500 N Main St #314, Roswell, NM 88201; or the Roswell Humane Society, 703 E. McGaffey, Roswell, NM 88203 or a charity of your choice.

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

Goddard’s season ends in slugfest at Aztec

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Goddard’s Hunter Beene, No. 32 in white, grabs hold of Aztec’s Austin Clay, No. 33 in orange, for a tackle during the second quarter of Saturday’s 5A state playoff opener at Fred Cook Stadium. (The Daily Times/Matt Hollinshead Photo)

By Matt Hollinshead

Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC – Aztec and Goddard traded blows throughout today’s 5A state playoff opener, but the slightest things landed in the Tigers’ favor in their 34-27 victory over Goddard at Fred Cook Stadium.

“It was very tough because I thought we had it,” Rockets offensive lineman Jon Flores said, with tears in his eyes.

Aztec’s backfield fought and scrapped for those extra several yards on the ground and did so multiple times.

It not only allowed the sixth-seeded Tigers to draw first blood, but also open things up with the passing game. AHS delivered on a couple deep aerial scores.

AHS also forced multiple off-target throws down the sides, broke up some passes and got plenty of stops up front. Cody Smith secured the Tigers’ win by intercepting the ball at the AHS 47 with one second left, on Goddard’s final play.

“We did enough to win the ball game, and that’s what we’re really excited about,” Tigers coach Matthew Steinfeldt said. “We wanted to establish the run and control the clock. When you play a team like Goddard that runs the ball as much as they do, they tend to control the clock. So we wanted to flip that on them and control the tempo ourselves.”

The 11th-seeded Rockets hung in there the entire time, though.

They moved the chains running and throwing the ball down near the sidelines, keeping the score differential within seven points.

“It was exciting. I was happy,” Flores said.

But the Rockets had at least several critical moments work against them.

For example, GHS’ offense sought a pass interference call on Aztec on third down, but it was ruled an incomplete pass. Later on, the Rockets claimed they recovered a fumble near the Tigers’ sideline, but the play was ruled down by contact.

Flores said it would’ve been a different outcome had those things not happened.

Goddard’s season ended at 4-7.

Aztec (6-5) will play at No. 3 Roswell in next Saturday’s 5A state quarterfinals.

Broncos prepare for NJCAA tournament

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Pictured is the NMMI volleyball team, top row, from left, Agape Mafua, Mariah Morris, Madison Harris, McKayla Landreth, Mirna Kovacevic, Hannah Davis, Megan Martinez, Beki Eaton, and Gali Sanchez. Bottom row, from left, Brigitte Needham, Vasiti Baleilomaloma, Valentina Vincent, Lexie Jackson, Karime Raygoza, Briana Bustillos, Paola Rivera-Herrera, and Kim Trauboth. (NMMI Sports Press Photo)

The Bronco volleyball team has been to the NJCAA’s national tournament three years in a row, and four out of the last five years. For some, that makes the November road trip almost routine. But for the squad and its coaches, it’s anything but.

“I think sometimes people downplay this just because we have gone the last four or five years, but this is hard,” said coach Shelby Forchtner. “It’s hard to win our region every year because we have really good teams in our region. It’s hard to play well in conference then turn around and beat everybody the very next weekend. So it’s not easy, and these kids have just done a really good job of staying focused this year.”

That focus included sweeping through both the conference regular season and the regional tournament undefeated — a first for the Institute — with only a very few matches going to more than three games. All their losses were at tough tournaments, most to highly-ranked teams. Which might seem a negative, heading into a tournament where everyone is ranked.

But Forchtner is thinking positive.

“I actually have a lot of confidence in them going into the national tournament and knocking off a big seed,” she said. “I hope they have the same confidence because I really think this year we could go do some damage.

“We’ve looked at the top four teams, had game film on them, and have picked it apart to figure out what we want to do next. We’re not really going to change anything in how we do things. We’re just going to try to do things a little bit better so we can slow them down.”

The No. 13-ranked Broncos (28-11) will face No. 4 Western Nebraska (32-6) in the opener, a team the coach said her squad matches up well against.

“I think they are very similar to us in that they’re very balanced,” she said. “They have a lot of different offensive threats and they’ve got good defense. So I feel like we match up pretty well with them, and if we have one or two people who stand out and play really well, and we serve tough, then I think we can kind of take charge.”

The Cougars seem to struggle when people serve them tough, the coach said, and serving tough is one of the Bronco’s assets. But it’s only one of many positives this year.

“We do a lot of things really well,” Forchtner said. “I think it’s hard for teams to stop us because we have so many offensive weapons.”

Two of those weapons include NJCAA All-American nominees Paola Rivera-Herrea – a freshman – and sophomore Hannah Davis.

Mexican native Rivera-Herrera led the Broncos in set assists (644) and service aces (67) this season, and was third on the team in kills (238), despite her setter status.

Davis, a right-side hitter from Utah, is NMMI’s kill leader with 325. She’s also been helping shut down opposing offenses – second on the team in total blocks with 115.

Sophomore middles Gali Sanchez and McKayla Landreth are both solid in their positions, playing 38 out of the Broncos’ 39 matches to date.

Sanchez, a local talent from Roswell, NM, adds another 172 kills to that potent Institute attack, along with 43 total blocks on the defensive side.

Landreth is a South Carolinian with family in Fort Sumner, NM – including sister Ashley, a former standout Bronco volleyball player. McKayla is a wall on defense, leading NMMI in blocks with 122. She’s also second on the team in kills with 291.

El Pasoan Megan Martinez has worked her way into the rotation as well. The freshman middle has amassed 147 kills and 97 blocks during her 37 matches.

“And we’ve got some good people back there defending this year,” Forchtner said, singling out liberos Karime Raygoza and Briana Bustillos, who battled all year for the position.

Las Vegas, NV freshman Raygoza is No.1 on the team stat list for digs with 374.

Bustillos, another New Mexico product from Chamberino, has 158 digs on the season.

German import and all-aroundplayer Kim Trauboth has 302 digs, 30 blocks, 44 aces and 231 kills.

“And then Mirna (Kovacevic), statistically, is one of the best defending setters that we’ve had in a long time” said coach Forchtner.

The Serbian sophomore has 562 set assists, 60 aces, and 161 digs.

“We’re just a really balanced team. When you’re good in every single spot, it’s hard to beat teams like that. I think that’s why we’ve been so successful this year. And we have depth on our bench. We haven’t really had that in year’s past. Two, three, four people have had to really carry the load. This year it’s spread evenly and we have people who can come in off the bench and do some really good things for us if somebody’s not playing well.”

Plus, as player Sanchez said, the team unity is palpable.

“I think the special thing we have about this team is we’re one,” the Roswell native said. “Nobody is divided, everybody is one. When it comes to stuff in the locker room, on the court, downstairs in the weight room, we’re always as one. Nobody gets left behind. Everybody’s always there to pick each other up and help each other out.”

Teammate Kovacevic agreed.

“We are a very athletic team, with a lot of different personalities come together,” she said. “It just works really well. It’s great to see us all come together and play. We’re just a good group.”

The Broncos have one other plus they can look to compared to past nationals.

The last tournaments were all in Cheyenne, Wyo., but this year, Hutchinson Community College hosts, at a venue NMMI knows well.

“We have played there every year except for one, I think, in my last 14 years,” Forchtner said. “We were already there in September and won some games out there. And that’s one of the things we talked to our kids about, too: ‘Hey, this is where the national tournament is going to be held and we’re going to see what it’s like and what the venue is like and how to play in this environment.’”

The Broncos head for Kansas Tuesday, practice and attend the tournament’s banquet on Wednesday, then open against Western Nebraska at 2 p.m.

“I’m just really proud of our team,” Kovacevic said. “I really hope we can come together at nationals, control our side and beat the No. 4 team in the nation.”

Editorial cartoon 11-12-17

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(Cartoon drawn by Eddie Macias)

Local leaders seek $11.6 million for public projects

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Reps. Greg Nibert and Candy Spence Ezzell, both Republicans from Roswell, listen to Chaves County government and nonprofit leaders request state funding for projects at a Thursday meeting. They were among five legislators representing the area to attend the meeting at the Chaves County Administrative Center. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Funds requested for upgrade to emergency digital radio system, ADA compliant elevator at courthouse

Chaves County leaders presented state legislators with funding requests for 26 projects totaling $11.6 million, with four applications seeking  $1 million or more — in spite of prior caveats that not much in funding will be available from the state this year.

“I have said that we don’t have much money this year, $125,000 to $175,000, if that,” said Hubert Quintana, a consultant working with the Southeast New Mexico Economic Development Corp. / Council of Governments to coordinate funding applications in the five-county region served by the district. “Be aware that the larger funding requests, whether they are for $1 million or $16 million, are probably not going to happen.”

At a Thursday meeting in Roswell, several leaders with government and nonprofit organizations explaining their requests in front of five state representatives and senators acknowledged that funding probably would not be available this year for all or any part of their projects, but they expressed a desire to make legislators aware of needs anyway.

“We are hearing about lots of money, lots of requests, lots of needs,” said Rep. Greg Nibert (R-Roswell), “and what we are hearing is we aren’t going to have a lot of money.”

Government entities, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations eligible for state funding for public projects meet each year with their legislators prior to the start of the legislative session to make presentations and answer questions about their funding applications. By tradition, each legislator is given a portion of available capital funds that can be used for projects in their districts. The Southeast New Mexico Economic Development District is holding meetings throughout Lea, Lincoln, Otero, Eddy and Chaves counties for legislators and public entity leaders.

In addition to Nibert, other legislators at the Roswell meeting included Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell and Rep. Bob Wooley of Roswell, Sen. Stuart Ingle of Portales and Rep. James Townsend of Artesia. Sens. Cliff Pirtle of Roswell and Gay Kernan of Hobbs did not attend. All area state legislators are Republicans.

The requests presented included six projects forwarded by Chaves County for a total request of $1.43 million; two projects from Dexter totaling $525,000; four projects from Hagerman requesting a total of $1.76 million; two applications from Lake Arthur for $850,000; five requests from Roswell for a total of $6.4 million; three requests from Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell for $125,589; three applications from Senior Olympics for $405,000; and one request from the Southeast New Mexico Veterans Transportation Network of $100,000.

Chaves County requests included some long-term projects that the county has worked on for years, including improvements to five miles of Hobson Road and a joint project with the city of Roswell to upgrade the emergency digital radio system used in the Pecos Valley region. Two projects also involve improvements to the historic Chaves County Courthouse, a $250,000 project to install an elevator compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements as county staff described the existing handicap ramp as difficult to navigate, and $115,000 effort to restore aging and damaged windows.

The city of Roswell is requesting $3.5 million to continue repairs of city-owned hangars at the Roswell International Air Center. The amount and details of the applications drew the criticism of some legislators. In response, city Planning Manager Bill Morris said that the city was aware that funding might not be possible and that the city is looking into many different possible revenue sources to continue work on what is envisioned as a “regional economic development site.”

Other Roswell requests included a roads improvement and a bridge replacement project for $1 million each, a $750,000 project to install large water values on South Main Street and Garden Avenue and Berrendo Road, and continued work to improve the roads in South Park Cemetery for $150,000.

Dexter requested $275,000 for new floating docks at Lake Van and $250,000 to resurface city streets. Hagerman has asked for $1 million for a water transmission line, $500,000 for sewer lines, $195,000 for sidewalk and gutter improvements and $65,000 to create a walking path in its existing sports complex.

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell made three requests, all involving vehicles. A $63,096 request is to purchase two sports utility vehicle, a $41,058 request for two pick-ups and a $21,435 application for a lawnmower. The Veterans Transportation Network also is seeking a new vehicle, making an application for two handicapped-accessible vans for $100,000.

New Mexico Senior Olympics submitted three funding applications. It is asking for $295,000 to renovate office space, $50,000 for a mini-van and $60,000 to make 25 sports training films.

Legislation for the 2018 session can be filed starting Dec. 15. The session is scheduled to open Jan. 16 and close Feb. 15.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Mayor speaks at UHS Veterans Day ceremony

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Navy Veteran John Stites, pictured above, was one of the many veterans of the U.S. Armed forces welcomed into University High School in observance of Veterans Day Friday afternoon.

Air Force veteran and Roswell mayor Dennis Kintigh spoke to his fellow veterans and students, saying, “Those who have served have done more than talked — they’ve demonstrated.” The mayor later went on to challenge local veterans to mentor those younger within the Roswell community.

Roswell Correctional Center officer Rylin Franco, a veteran of the Marines, also spoke to students and brothers who had served within the military. While Franco noted the hardships he endured in the military, he said the experience was eye-opening. As a means to not forget those who have given their lives, Franco mentioned the companions he made along the way, including 23-year-old William “Mike” Brown, of Memphis, who was killed Oct. 21 in Honolulu while protecting a friend.

Trevier Gonzalez Photo

Veterans Day event in Artesia features one of its own

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The Artesia High School band performs The Star Spangled Banner before Friday's Veterans Day celebration near City Hall. (Mike Smith Photo)

ARTESIA — “It’s been 20 years since I first raised my right hand and swore to give this great nation my committed and faithful service.”

Those were words given by Capt. Pedro N. Martinez III. He graduated from Artesia High School in 1998 and served as the keynote speaker during the Veterans Day Celebration Friday near Artesia’s city hall.

He is the Commander of the 910 Quartermaster Company at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

“As a child I remember seeing photos of soldiers in uniform at my grandparents’,” he said.

Martinez said members of his family also served in the Armed Forces. “I can say that everyone in the family that ever served came home safely.”

Martinez added that he has a dog tag that has been to Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Martinez said that he has also made some personal sacrifices during his military career.  “There were missed events to include funerals, baptisms or weddings.”

During his speech Martinez took a trip down memory lane as the community came out and showed their support for Army Reserve members who came back from Desert Storm.

“I can recall attending the Veterans Day event in 2000 at the (Estelle Yates) auditorium. I wanted one day to also be one of the combat veterans as I saw the men who had been to the wars earlier standing up as they were recognized,” he said.

He also remembered  his school days when a teacher talked about Pearl Harbor, “and a student made a smart comment, and I recall the instructor exclaiming that his father was at Pearl Harbor the day it was attacked.”

The classroom became quiet yet I never thanked him for doing that. That little small action played a part in me serving this nation,” he said.

In addition to Martinez’s speech, those attending the ceremony also heard patriotic songs from Artesia third graders. The Artesia High School band also performed.

General assignment reporter Mike Smith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 307, or at sports2@rdrnews.com.

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