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Homeless couple talks about local experience

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They met in San Francisco and returned to Roswell so she could get a legal ID again. Chance, left, and Dan are working to create a life worth living. They are now returning to San Francisco after living briefly in Roswell as part of the city's homeless population. (Curtis Michaels Photo)

Dan and Chance are a young homeless couple who came to Roswell briefly. They remained here longer than intended.

“I’m from Roswell,” Chance said. “I had the opportunity to go to culinary school in San Francisco, and of course I was going to take that opportunity. We wanted to come back to Roswell, see my family, get my ID and then get on to somewhere bigger. It took me a month and a half to get my ID and my Social Security card, but now that I have them, I have options.”

Chance is among an increasingly disproportionate part of American culture. While 5 to 10 percent of America’s youth are LGBT, according to the National Institutes for Health, up to 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT.

“I’m a trans woman, so Roswell really isn’t a place where I could receive any sort of services at all,” Chance said. “I was never going to be able to live happily as who I am in Roswell, New Mexico. It was so hard to get people to understand that we can’t stay here.”

Now that Chance has her ID, they left this week to move back to the San Francisco area where they met. California Assembly Bill 1733, signed into law in 2014, requires free birth certificates and state IDs or driver’s licenses for anyone who can demonstrate they are homeless.

“I can get my ID in California in one day,” Dan said.

Once they realized they were going to be in Roswell for a few weeks, Dan tried making money in similar ways he had in other places.

“I’ve tried playing instruments out here,” he said, “which did not get a good response. I thought that was weird, I was actually doing something, not just holding a sign. People hated it. It’s like they need homeless people to be miserable. It’s very opposite to most places I’ve been.”

Dan was offered opportunities that didn’t help much.

“People have offered me $5 an hour to work for them,” Dan said. “Why should I accept $5 an hour when I can make more holding a sign? I’m not opposed to working at a fast food place. I’m opposed to making less money than I need to live.”

Growing up here and living abroad has given Chance a unique perspective on being homeless in Roswell.

“People want to pity you rather than want to see you do something,” she said. “You don’t dare look like you’re having fun, you have to look like you’re miserable. People in Roswell don’t make much money. People here don’t have the same sense of money as most of the rest of the country does. It’s like everyone here is hanging on by a thread. Everybody deserves to make enough to survive, and if people offer you less than you need to survive, there’s no dignity in that.”

Dan started life in South Florida and had some adventures he’d rather not repeat.

“I’m originally from Miami,” he said. “Roswell reminds me of parts of South Florida in how conservative it is. When I turned 18, I moved to New York City, where my father lived.

“About two years into it, I fell into patterns of depression and then I fell into a bad habit. I’m six years clean now. But then I was in art school and living with a woman who had money to keep me high. She liked the art I was creating, but I was scared I was dying. My family got me out of there and into rehab.”

Dan first experienced homelessness in San Francisco.

“I didn’t want to ask my family for more money so I decided I could just live outside,” he said. “It’s harder than you’d think. There’s nothing to do, you really can’t get work without an address.”

Many homeless camps are drug-free because some residents won’t tolerate something they’ve seen kill so many loved ones.

“I moved to a place where there was no drug use allowed,” Dan said. “That helped a lot. Neither of us uses any drugs of any kind.”

Chance says there’s little help for the homeless in Roswell, and a propensity to stigmatize drug use.

“Well, if you have no hope of getting your life back, then the next best thing might be to hide from it all in drugs,” Chance said. “It makes me mad.”

Dan and Chance boarded a bus for San Francisco Wednesday, thanks to some generous gifts from local people who want to see them have a chance to make a good life again.

“There are a lot of services out there for homeless people under 24,” she said. “They help you get back on your feet. It’s easy to sleep outside there, too. I heard it just became illegal to sleep outside in Roswell.”

Dan spoke of a program in southern California that is taking a page from a Utah experiment started two years ago.

“Homeless Works L.A. is working to give people homes,” he said. “Not worrying about if they use drugs or if they are religious or not, just giving them homes because it’s the right thing to do and it saves the taxpayer a lot of money. I can only hope that the rest of America catches on to the fact that giving homeless people a place to live solves a lot of society’s problems.”

Chance said it’s really about the people.

“That’s everybody’s dream,” she said, “to have a place where they can be safe, they can be themselves, and they can grow their autonomy.”

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

Autumn shows its colors in Roswell

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Leaves are bright, the cranes are returning to Bitter Lakes and this weekend is the end of daylight saving time. This horse at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence complex is enjoying the early morning hours on Thursday. (Leaves are bright, the cranes are returning to Bitter Lakes and this weekend is the end of daylight saving time. This horse at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence complex is enjoying the early morning hours on Thursday. (Leaves are bright, the cranes are returning to Bitter Lakes and this weekend is the end of daylight saving time. This horse at the Roswell Artist-in-Residence complex is enjoying the early morning hours on Thursday. (Christina Stock Photo)

RPD helps make it a sweet Halloween

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The Roswell police and fire department participated in the Roswell's fall festival at the Russ DeKay Soccer Complex Tuesday. The RPD had multiple vehicles in during the festival's “Trunk-or-Treat,” resulting with costumed kids of all ages getting the opportunity to meet with first responders, climb aboard the department's SWAT vehicle and collect a good amount of candy. (Roswell Police Department Photo)

Marriage Licenses

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Ramos, Juan C.; Mendoza, Fabiola, 10/30/17

Vargas-Hernandez, Teofilo E.; Garcia, Norma J., 10/30/2017

Palacios, Nicholas Brandon; Guardiola, Natalie Marie, 10/27/2017

Caster, William Gordon; Wood, Ashley Danielle, 10/27/2017

Tavarez Gonzalez, Ramon Ezequiel; Carrillo, Edith, 10/26/2017

Matthews, Jimmy R.; Hooten, Donna M., 10/25/2017

Flores-Delara, Gabriel; Gomez, Sabryna Nicole, 10/24/2017

Ridge, Christopher A.; Pedrazzi, Sarah M., 10/24/2017

Torres, Jaime; Morales, Camille Isela, 10/24/2017

Carvajal De La Rosa, Reynaldo; Becerra, Karina C., 10/23/2017

Mahan, Justin T.; Berding, Lindsay D., 10/20/2017

Maples, Darren T.; Hall, Andrea M., 10/19/2017

Wood Hondo, Preston; Juarez, Darian M., 10/18/2017

Cobos, L’rissa Reanne; Linares, Desiree M., 10/18/2017

Burrell, Joshua Levi; Salinas, Veronica, 10/17/2017

Pacheco, Christopher M.; Montoya, Audra L., 10/16/17

Conti, Anthony B. Jr.; Clements, Andrea, 10/16/2017

Murphy, Richard J.; Downey, Ilona, 10/16/2017

Tucker Wetterman, Colton; Fernau, Rebecca Elizabeth, 10/13/2017

Montes, Joel; Puentes, Araceli T., 10/13/2017

Lupien, Joseph D.; Rhodes, Cheyenne Nicole, 10/13/2017

Thomas, Dylan C.; Carrasco, Cecilia, 10/13/2017

Perez Sarinana, Antonio; Carreon Roman, Dulce Cielo, 10/11/2017

Perry, Stephen Wayne Jr.; Penn, Nikiya Michelle, 10/11/2017

Quiroz, Larry; Lozano, Dalphina I., 10/11/2017

Melendez, Fabian T.; Washington, Cassandra M., 10/11/2017

Dornan, Daniel B.; Dye, Jena D., 10/10/2017

Moore Leon, Tobies; Council, Belishia Lafrancis, 10/10/2017

Fairchild, William C. III; Woody, Jennifer-Marie Claire, 10/06/2017

Aguirre, Samuel; Rubio, Eunice, 10/06/2017

Pollard, Bradford D.; Ivans, Naomi R., 10/06/2017

Chavira, Obed; Gonzalez Mendoza, Sarahi, 10/06/2017

Eldridge, Jackie T.; Benedict, Kristi Elizabeth, 10/06/2017

Reyes, Luis G.; Banda, Rosa K., 10/05/2017

Almanza-Baca, Luis R.; Sepulveda-Galaviz, Nallely, 10/05/2017

Moody, Preston l.; Irish, Jill N., 10/05/2017

Montes, Isac C.; Trujillo, Rose M., 10/05/2017

Medina, Angel Antonio; Solis-Pantoja, Estefania, 10/04/2017

Muhammad, Ronald Elijah; Robinson-Rashad, Hakima Helen, 10/04/2017

Munoz, David; Frazier, Tyler M., 10/03/2017

Navarrette-Carrasco, Taylor R.; Reese, Sarah E., 10/03/2017

Barajas-Ochoa, Luis Antonio; Bencomo, Ashley Monique, 10/02/2017

Dickman, Anthony J.; Waggoner, Brittany Amber, 10/02/2017

Ray, Thomas M. II; Weeks, Francesca A., 10/02/2017

North Union Avenue expansion to begin soon

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The improvement and expansion of a portion of North Union Avenue is scheduled to begin in mid-November.

Citizens are invited to a public pre-construction meeting to learn more about the project, the construction process and timetable. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Monday in the Roswell Convention and Civic Center’s Nancy Lopez Room. The convention center is at 912 N. Main St.

The project will occur between West 19th Street and West Country Club Road and will expand that section of North Union Avenue from two lanes to four lanes. The project is expected to be completed by mid-April, depending on weather conditions during the work.

With the exception of some possible brief time periods, residents of that area will have access to their streets throughout the project. Detour signs will be in place to direct traffic to alternate routes while North Union Avenue is under reconstruction.

In addition to adding another traffic lane on each the northbound and southbound sides of that section of North Union — which already is a four-lane road to the south of the project area — the project will install curbs and gutters, as well as sidewalks. There will also be landscaped water detention ponds installed on the east side of the road.

The general contractor for the $2.5 million project is Carlsbad-based Constructors, Inc.

Avery sworn in to College Board

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Carleton (Cla) Avery, shown to the left, is officially sworn in to represent District 5 on the ENMU-Roswell Branch Community College Board by Fifth Judicial District Court Judge, Hon. James M. Hudson, prior to the board meeting on Nov. 1. (Submitted Photo)

High five for drug-free kids

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The Roswell Chamber of Commerce Red Coats greet children at Nancy Lopez Elementary recently during Red Ribbon Week. (Submitted Photo)

Raising money for awareness

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Monterrey Elementary Parent Advisory Committee raised funds in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pictured, from left, are Wanda Porter, Chaves County Cancer Fund board member; Savannah Vasquez, Monterrey Elementary School student; Rita Kane-Doerhoefer, Chaves County Cancer Fund board member; and Greg Torres, Monterrey Elementary School principal. (David Rocha Photo)

Scoring funds for a good cause

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The Goddard Girls and Boys soccer programs raised over $564 for the Chaves County Cancer Fund during the Pink Game against Roswell High. Pictured, from left, are Hailey Sanchez, Alex Nesslerodt, Grace Shea, Theresa Brewpon, Brittanye Lamb, Blas Mendez, Jesse Reyes, Leo Melendez and Gabriel Sanchez. (Submitted Photo)

Paul Leroy Tisler

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Paul Leroy Tisler, age 69, of Roswell, NM, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Monday, October 30, 2017. A viewing will be held Sunday, November 5, 2017, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at LaGrone Funeral Chapel, Roswell, NM. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, November 6, 2017 at First Baptist Church with Pastor Aaron Colyer officiating. A memorial service with ash scattering will be held Wednesday, November 8, 2017, on the former family ranch at Ft. Sumner, NM, with everyone welcome to attend. The procession to the ranch will meet in the First Baptist Church Ft. Sumner, NM parking lot at 1 p.m.
Paul was born February 15, 1948 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Roswell, NM to Andrew Louis Tisler, Sr. and Mary Ellen Kunkel Tisler who preceded him in death. He grew up in the Roswell area, active in Immanuel Lutheran Church and Future Farmers of America. He attended Roswell Public Schools graduating from Roswell High in 1967. Paul chose to go to college at New Mexico State University, was active in Alpha Gamma Rho, and graduated in 1971 with a degree in Range Science. While in college he married Laurel Ann Vaughan. After finishing his degree, Paul and Laurel moved to Ft. Sumner, NM and worked on her family’s farm and ranch for 13 years. While at Ft. Sumner, he was active in De Baca County Farm Bureau and on the De Baca County Fair Board.
In 1984, Paul purchased a small BLM allotment ranch just south of Hatch, NM. On May 5, 1985, he received Believers Baptism at First Baptist Church- Hatch and subsequently became a Deacon. While in the Hatch Valley, Paul worked different jobs including building a flour mill by hand (he was the power tool) under the tutelage of German millwrights. The Fall of 1987 brought a change when he started working for the Biad family and 1989 began managing their Garfield, NM chile processing facility which shut down in 1996 and moved to San Simon, AZ. He “retired” from the Biad Chili Company in 2004. Paul and Laurel then moved back to Roswell, NM to help look after his parents. After moving back they worked at the family ranch for something to do. In 2012 the drought forced them to “retire” from ranching and he then went to work for Alderman-Cave until health issues intervened. He was currently employed by NorMex fabricating machinery for pecan harvest.
Paul loved to talk and made a myriad of friends where ever he lived, he enjoyed being a grandfather and riding horses on the ranch. He also loved to eat and had a weakness for chocolate chip cookies which gave rise to his nickname of “cookie monster.”
Paul is survived by his wife of 48 years, Laurel Tisler of the family home in Roswell, NM; daughter, Cassandra Sisneros and husband, Leonard of Roswell, NM; son, Logan Tisler and wife, Megan of Peyton, CO; brother, Andrew Louis Tisler, Jr. and wife, Nancy of Chagrin Falls, OH; sister, Carolyn Barnett of Santa Fe, NM. He also was blessed with three grandkids, De’ana Sisneros, Dakota Tisler, and Ty Tisler.
Pallbearers are Shay Wagner, Kevin Floyd, Dan Johnson, Vince Hernandez, Joe Gray, and Billy Romero.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch, 775 Highway 304, Belen, NM 87002.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.

Sammy Delgado

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Sammy “Sam” Delgado was born the seventh child of ten children to Ernest and Petra Delgado on May 10, 1953.  As a child, he was fond of going to work with his mother and being pulled around on her cotton bag. As he grew older, he played sports at the Yucca and The Boys and Girls Club, and so began his career path. Sam graduated from Roswell High School in 1971. As an adult, he was well known in the sports community of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. Sam was Umpire in Chief for USSSA and ASA Girls Fast Pitch Softball. Anyone that knew Sam understood that he preferred sports over almost anything, except hunting with his family. He was an avid deer hunting. Sam was a man of very few words despite his passion for his family and life. One of those things he enjoyed was listening to Mexican music; he also loved to dance. Sadly, Sam passed away on Friday, October 27, 2017, at 64 years of age.
Sam was preceded in death by his mother, Petra Paz Delgado of Artesia, NM; father, Ernest Delgado of Balmorhea, TX; sister, Sandra Delgado of Roswell, NM; and sister, Gloria White of Austin, TX.
He is survived by his wife, Julie Delgado of Roswell, NM; daughter, Anna Smith and husband, Stewart and their three children of Greenville, SC; daughter, Erin Delgado of Greenville, SC; daughter, Jessica Harkness and husband, Richard, their four children and grandchild of Roswell, NM; son, Anthony Gonzales and wife, Destany and their four children of Roswell, NM; brother, Anastacio “Del” Delgado and wife, Linda, their seven children and many grandchildren of Ruidoso, NM; brother, Andres “Andy” Delgado, two children and grandchildren; sister, Virginia Torrez and husband, Fernando, their three children and four grandchildren; brother, Jose “Joe” Delgado, three children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild; brother, Raul “Rudy” Delgado and wife, Teresa, their four children and their seven grandchildren; brother, Michael “Mike” Delgado and daughter; and brother, Ernest Delgado Jr.
Arrangements are being managed by Anderson Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory. Services will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 2 p.m. Celebrate Sammy’s life by visiting andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Sammy by his family.

Anne Somerville Peterson Tandy Betchie

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Anne Somerville Peterson Tandy Betchie, age 89, of Roswell, NM passed away Saturday, October 28, 2017. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 4, 2017 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Reverend Dale Plummer officiating. A reception will follow in the parish hall.
Anne was born September 1, 1928 in Baltimore, MD to John William Peterson, Sr. and Virginia Travers Lilley Peterson.
Anne moved to Roswell in 1943 and graduated from Roswell High School in 1946, she attended college at Texas State College for Women and the University of New Mexico. She married E.F. “Ned” Tandy September 27, 1953. She was an avid swimmer and was both a certified swim instructor and member of the TSCW Aquatics Team and performed water ballet. She worked in banking until 1967, then went to work for the U.S. Postal Service, retiring in 1989.
She was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Colonist, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, she volunteered for 4-H, Girls Softball Association, FFA, Roswell Symphony Youth Orchestra and St. Andrew’s Women’s Group. She became a New Mexico Military Institute Ambassador Family, hosting cadets for almost 10 years. She and John married January 25, 1986, they both enjoyed Jazz and spent many hours with the stereo on, fixing up their recently purchased old farm house on West McGaffey. She had always loved her flower gardens and here they flourished. After retirement she started her new careers of volunteering, exercising and traveling. She volunteered for the Assurance Home Thrift Store, Telephone Pioneers and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees.
In January 2001 she had a heart attack and a stroke changing her life. She became known as the “waving lady,” she faithfully sat in front of her home and waved to every passerby in both the heat and cold.
Anne was preceded in death by her parents, brother John W. Peterson, Jr., son-in-law Richard Lang, her first husband, E.F. “Ned” Tandy and second husband, John A. Betchie.
Those left to cherish Anne’s memory are her daughters, Cecelia Mayne and husband William H. Jr. of Roswell, NM; Rebecca Davis and her husband Charlie of Abilene, TX; Lea Anne Johnson and husband Troy of Clovis, NM; Enid Smith and husband Gary of Roswell, NM; she was also survived by stepchildren, John Albert Betchie and wife Barbara of Helena, MT; Denise Webb and husband Jerry of Sequim, WA; 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Assurance Home Inc., 1000 E. 18th St., Roswell, NM 88201 or St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 505 North Penn, Roswell, NM 88201.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.

Editorial cartoon 11-3-17

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(Cartoon drawn by Eddie Macias)

Music duo Wait For What?! to perform in Mescalero

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Ruidoso/Mescalero
Nov. 3-4
Wait For What?! in concert
The music duo T David Wiggins and Elane Wiggins are known as Wait for What?! They are going to perform on Friday in the 1852 Treaty Room at 8 p.m. and on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Wendell’s Lounge at the Inn of the Mountain Gods, 287 Carrizo Canyon Road, at 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook page of Wait for What?!

Alamogordo
Nov. 4
Christmas Craft Fair
The Christmas Craft Fair takes place at the Moose Lodge, 29 S. Florida Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 575-439-7250.

Santa Fe
Nov. 4
Noche de Muertos Gala and Post-Noche After Party
The Museum of International Folk Art invites the public to their gala and after party. Location is On Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo. The gala takes place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and the after party from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. For more information, visit museumfoundation.org.

Artesia
Nov. 4-5
Balloons and Tunes
The annual Balloons and Tunes event takes place at several locations in Artesia. Weather permitting the balloons will lift off on Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sunday at 6 a.m. from Eagle Draw, located in the blocks between Eighth and 13th streets. On Saturday at 7 p.m., the Bulldog Fun Review Broadway Hits show will be at the Estelle Yates auditorium of the Artesia High School, 1002 W. Richardson Ave. and on Sunday the Artesia High School band will be performing across the street from the Bulldog Bowl at 6 p.m. Times are subject to change. For more information, call the Artesia Chamber of Commerce at 575-746-2744.

Artesia
Nov. 6
Mr. Blue Shoes
Mr. Blue Shoes performs at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, 310 W. Main St., at 6 p.m. Mr. Blue Shoes is the brainchild of Michael Dyson, Grammy award-winning producer, youth entertainer, guitarist and performer. To date, Dyson has shared his unique version of the blues story with over 240,000 children. For more information, visit artesiaartscouncil.com or call 575-746-4212.

Ruidoso
Nov. 10-12
30th annual Christmas Jubilee
The Christmas Jubilee celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The event takes place at the Ruidoso Convention Center, 111 Sierra Blanca Dr. There will be more than 80 local merchants and a food court. Activities for children will be storytelling and a visit with Santa. Opening times are on Friday from noon to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 575-257-7395.

Alamogordo
Nov. 11
Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-off
The Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cook-off takes place at Alameda Park, cooking chili for charity. There will also be activities for the entire family. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. For information to compete, visit letsthrivenm.org for the registration form and return it to pr@letsthrivenm.org. Deadline is Nov. 3. For more information, call Michelle Brideaux at 575-437-8400.

Artesia
Nov. 14
The Underwater Bubble Show
The Underwater Bubble Show takes place at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center, 310 W. Main St., at 7 p.m. Join Mr. B in the colorful underwater world of Bubblelandia, a place in which to linger, to dream, to listen, to watch, to savor, to marvel and, above all, a place to daydream. You will not need an oxygen tank to breathe; just let your mind run wild and open your heart. For more information, visit artesiaartscouncil.com or call 575-746-4212.

Hobbs
Nov. 17
Vida Guitar Quartet
The Cultural Arts Series of Southwest Symphony Orchestra presents “Vida Guitar Quartet,” at the Crosswinds Community Church, 1701 N. Jefferson St. at 7 p.m. Founded in 2007, the Vida Guitar Quartet brings together four of the United Kingdom’s most exceptional artists. Vida’s ability to deliver music of the highest level with their trademark British humor has made them a favorite in concert halls all over the world. For more information, visit swsymphony.org or call 575-738-1041.

Hometown rivalry, 8-man playoffs tonight

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Editor’s note: For full coverage on tonight’s Roswell-Goddard game, see the annual special section included in today’s newspaper.

Tonight, the 8-Man battle royal gets underway at Warrior Stadium in Roswell.

Okay tonight’s contest between Gateway Christian (4-3) the no. 7 seed in the playoffs and Menaul High School (5-4)  the no. 10 seed in the playoffs may not have the hype of World Wrestling Entertainment, but tonight’s match up will determine who will face the no. 2 seed Mountainair in the next round.

The Warriors defeated Cloudcroft last week 58-8 in the regular season finale.

Gateway head coach Shaun Wigley said his team played the best game of the year last week against the Bears.

He said the defense was able to cause some turnovers in the win over the Bears. “The offense made most of those turnovers.”

Gateway was up at the half 42-8. “First quarter we started slow and in the second we turned it on and started making plays,” Wigley said.

Wigley said the Warriors were playing to their potential and he also had praise for junior quarterback Wyatt Arlet.

“Wyatt had a ton of yards and we were just firing on all cylinders,” Wigley said.

Earlier this week, Wigley was asked how the Warriors were preparing for the Panthers.

“The best way to prepare is fix what you’re doing wrong. There is plenty in our own backyard to fix,” Wigley said.

Attitude and effort is what Wigley and his coaching staff have been hammering to the kids all week.

“Turnovers will kill you. You have to take care of the ball(and) taking ownership of every play,” he said.

When it comes to the Panthers, Wigley said they have speed on offense, especially in the quarterback and running back spots.

“(They have) willing blockers and can pass well on short and intermediate routes. (The) defense runs well to the ball and they play hard,” he said.

Menaul head coach Josh Baca said the Panthers’ season started slow, however as time marched on this year they were able to find traction to the playoff road.

He said the Panthers were missing some key players during the first four games of the season.

“The fact that we did not have a single skill position starter or defensive back return from last year’s squad. Once our boys got the reps and started feeling more comfortable, we were able to settle into our stride and win four of our last five(games),” Baca added.

The Panthers finished second in District 2 behind fellow Duke City school Foothill.

Baca said the Warriors have, “an explosive offense so we need to be able to slow them down on both sides of the ball.”

Offensively, Baca said the Panthers will need to take care of the football and have long sustained drives.

Defensively, “we need to be able to stop the pass and make the open field tackle,” Baca said.

Lovington at Artesia

Have the Lovington Wildcats turned the corner?

Comparing last year to this year, it could be said that they have.

The Wildcats (5-4,1-1) end the regular season tonight against the Artesia Bulldogs(7-2, 2-0) at the Bulldog Bowl.

Last year at this time, the Wildcats were going through the motions having won only one game and that took place on Oct. 7 at Santa Teresa. The Wildcats were able keep the Desert Warriors at bay 35-28.

Fast forward to this year and the Wildcats have four more wins than last season and they are still in the hunt for for a playoff berth.

While 5-4 may not sound like much to some, it could mean everything to Lovington head coach Anthony Gonzales.

The Wildcats started the season on Aug. 25 with a 68-54 win over Chaparral. After that was a loss to Portales and a win at home against Ruidoso.

After losing to their in-county rival Hobbs 59-27, the Wildcats almost pulled off an upset on Sept. 22 against St. Pius X.

The defending 5A state champions left Lea county with a 14-7 win.

The Wildcats started district play on Oct. 20 with a 35-28 win over Goddard.

Gonzales said that was the first district win for the Wildcats in a number of years.

Last week in Roswell, Lovington lost to the Roswell Coyotes 48-12.

Gonzales said people shouldn’t be fooled by the score.

He said the loss to Roswell was a “tough one to swallow. We left a lot of points up on the board.”

He said the Wildcats didn’t score on their first three possessions and were down 21-0 at the half.

Lovington was able to score 12 points in the third period at the Wool Bowl.

Roswell was able to shut them out in the final period and scored three touchdowns.

Gonzales added Lovington, “let one get away.”

Now tonight, the Wildcats must get ready for the Artesia Bulldogs.

To say Artesia has dominated their opponents during the last three games would be an understatement.

The Bulldogs shutout Alamogordo 50-0 in Artesia on Oct. 6. After an off week the Bulldogs traveled to the Wool Bowl on Oct. 20 and took a bite out the Coyotes 42-7 and last week at home the Bulldogs shot Goddard out of orbit 56-12.

Gonzales said Artesia is a well rounded team.

On offense the Bulldogs are led by senior Taylor Null. This season he has passed for 2,514 yards with 34 touchdowns and only three picks.

In last week’s win over Goddard, he had four TD passes.

Gonzales said the Bulldogs go, “full throttle every single snap.”

Along with being a threat in the air, Artesia also has a sound running game. Senior Robert Fernandez has carried the ball 13 times for 640 yards. The other running threat is junior Jagger Donaghe.

“The coaching staff does a good job to get the kids ready each week,” Gonzales said. “They have good players on both sides of the ball.”

Roswell loses to Los Alamos

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Roswell’s Robert Rios heads a ball against Los Alamos Thursday during quarterfinal play. Roswell would lose 3-0 ending their season. (J.T. Keith Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE — The Roswell Coyotes are a young team, and they will be back. They lose only six seniors and bring back 11 sophomores. Roswell’s players and coaches said “they were ready” and perhaps thought they were ready, until game time.

Before the game, there was talk about losing to Los Alamos on Sept. 9, because the game was played in the morning, and the Coyotes are not a morning team. In the end, with the effort the young Coyotes gave in the quarterfinals it doesn’t matter if they played them morning, afternoon or evening.

Once the whistle blew to begin play, it didn’t take Los Alamos long to get onto the scoreboard. Hilltopper freshman Samuel Cirigliano scored the first goal eight minutes into the game. Roswell would surrender two more goals in the second half to lose, 3-0, Thursday at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex.

“We got out-played,” said Coyote coach James Vernon. “Los Alamos came to play. They played with a three back, five in the middle, and we just couldn’t keep up with their midfield. They out-hustled us to every single ball.”

On the first goal, Los Alamos bumped against the Coyote outside left off the ball, and crossed in the middle, with two midfielders back on defense. Cirigliano had a choice of which corner he wanted to kick the ball to and ended up scoring the goal to give the Hilltoppers a 1-0 lead.

Los Alamos scored their second goal when the Coyotes outside left defender left Los Alamos’ Arthur Semelsberger uncovered. Semelsberger ran down the left side of the field, moved to the middle, and kicked the ball in order to give the Hilltoppers a 2-0 lead with 21:25 left in the second half.

On the third goal, there was a scramble on the right side by the goal. Coyote senior goal keeper Adrian Villa Parra came out to help his defenders and stopped the ball. There was a scrum of players from both teams fighting for the loose ball, and it was placed right in the middle of the field and Semelsberger kicked the ball in untouched for a goal to give the Hilltoppers a 3-0 lead.

Roswell’s best chance to score was when Robert Madrid was on a breakaway racing toward Los Alamos’ goal. The defender came out to meet him, and Madrid moved with the ball to the middle, faking out the goalie. It seemed a certain goal as he lined up his shot and took it. From the right of Madrid came Hilltopper Levon Wiggins to knock the ball away just as Madrid was kicking it.

Roswell (15-6) had only three shots on goal for the game; the Hilltoppers had 15.

“We came with what we have,” Vernon said. “They’re a good side and a pretty good team. They pass the ball and I hope they do well in the next game against Academy. I’m proud of my boys. It was a good season overall. It lets these guys see we have work to do.”

The positive takeaway from this game and season is the Coyotes will return 11 sophomores with game experience. Vernon doesn’t have to rebuild or reload for the first time in a couple of years. His most pressing needs are to find a goalkeeper after losing both of his seniors.

“I thought we had a good shot at it today,” he said. “We just didn’t play well.”

Lady Coyotes fall to Academy

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Roswell’s (Black uniform #2) Kaileigh Holloway takes a shot on goal against Albuquerque Academy (White uniform #2) Megan Martin in quarterfinal at the state tournament on Thursday. The Lady Coyotes would lose 4-0, ending their season. (J.T. Keith Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE — Amid the tears and hugs of the nine Roswell seniors, one thing was certain; the clock struck midnight on them. It wasn’t for a lack of trying, but when all things are equal, bigger, better and faster wins, nine times out of 10.

The Lady Coyotes gave the No. 1 seed Albuquerque Academy a scare Thursday. For a half, they played defensive football and kept them from scoring. Roswell’s goalie Maddie Battle played one of the best games of her career as she stopped 17 shots on goal in the first half.

In the second half, the Chargers adjusted their offensive pressure on the Coyote defense. The Chargers continued to attack the middle of the field, loading three players in front of the goal. Instead of rushing their shots, they increased their offensive pressure and swarmed Battle with another 13 attempts, until they scored four goals to defeat the Coyotes 4-0 at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex Thursday afternoon.

“My team, we all played really good together,” said junior Kaileigh Holloway. “We’ve worked really hard to get here. I’m proud of my team, after half they (the Chargers) made adjustments. They have a really solid back line, and we’re trying to make them run so we could score, but we couldn’t.”

Time of possession was the key to the game as Roswell had the ball for 15 minutes of the game, and had 12 shots on goal for the game. The Chargers’ speed blazed through as they ran away from the Lady Coyotes on breaks or caught them from behind. Roswell never had an uncontested shot on goal, every shot they attempted was made under duress.

“We had a really good first half,” said Roswell senior Yajaura Castillo. “We came out and played really, strong. It was just little mistakes, and they figured out how we were going to defend them, and they got past us. My team played well, and the girls next year will come back and get them. It’s sad, and I’m going to miss playing with the girls.”

For the last two years, the Lady Coyotes have gotten to this point, only to come up short. This year has been even more gratifying because at one point, they were playing without six starters. Coach Samantha Ward managed to keep the team in playoff contention and get them healthy to advance to this point of the season. This loss snaps a six-game Roswell winning streak.

“They had the ball for a majority of the time,” Ward said. “They are not the No. 1 team in the state for no reason. We came out strong and had a good first-half, taking it to 0-0 at half. They’re just good, really, really good.”

The Chargers passed the ball fast, and seemed to pick up the tempo in the second half, when Roswell was only able to attempt three shots on goal. The altitude seemed to make a difference as Ward substituted very little, her team seemed to wear down in the second half from chasing the faster Chargers.

The one player Roswell had to stop was Charger Eliza Mariner. Mariner was shut out the first half, but scored three goals at the 44th minute of the game, the 64th minute of the game and the 67th minute of the game. The last goal came at the 70th minute mark of the game.

“We played our hearts out,” Holloway said. “I’m really grateful to play with these girls one last time at state.”

Goddard nips Roswell at the wire; faces Artesia in district postseason championship

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Goddard High School sophomore Sophia Price looks to make a play against Roswell High School Thursday at the Coyote Den. (David Rocha Photo)

The Goddard Lady Rockets (10-12) and the Roswell Lady Coyotes (11-10) needed an extra frame Thursday night in the semifinal game of the District 4-5A postseason volleyball tournament at The Coyote Den.

Goddard won 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 21-25 and 15-12 to advance to the title game in Artesia Saturday at 6 p.m.

“You know we had to take one point at a time,” said Kristi Hager Goddard head coach of the fifth and deciding game.

“We had to push to 5, push to 10 and push to 15 and not let anything rattle us and stick with our game plan, because it was gonna work,”Hager added.

The first game was close as both teams went back-and-forth, the Lady Rockets prevailed.

In game two, Goddard was able to keep some distance between them and the Lady Coyotes.

The Lady Rockets had the brooms ready in the third frame. The Lady Coyotes had other plans as they were able to hold off a late charge by Goddard to force a fourth game.

The fourth frame was tight as the Lady Coyotes had a 22-16 lead. Goddard was able to get within striking distance, however Roswell was able to outmaneuver the visiting team forcing the final and deciding game.

“It’s hard to come in this gym and come out with a win,” Hager said. “It was awesome for our girls to be able to persevere and come back from winning the first two, losing the second two and finishing.”

The Lady Rockets have a day of rest before hitting the road to Artesia(18-2) Saturday night. The Lady Dogs swept Goddard 3-0 on two different occasions during the regular season.

Hager is expecting another “intense” game against Artesia in the Bulldog Pit.

“That’s another gym that’s extremely hard to play in,” she said.

She expects to see “a lot of aggression and intensity on both sides.”

Top-seeded Hope tops NMMI 4-0

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BERNALILLO — Hope Christian showed why they were picked as the top seed in the NMAA’s Class A-4A bracket, downing eighth-seeded New Mexico Military Institute in the quarterfinals, 4-0.

The Colts played an excellent defensive game for most of the first half, staving off a seemely constant Husky offensive onslaught, but finally one of those shots got through, with about seven minutes remaining.

Down by one at halftime, NMMI knew they needed to press their own attack in the second half. The Colts mounted a few more attacks, but Hope’s offense continued to roll, scoring 10 minutes into the second period, again five minutes later, and adding a final goal at about the 20 minute mark.

“We made a lot of mistakes today, that we’d like to have back,” said head Colt coach John Barbour. “We were not making good passes – our passing was abysmal today. But our guys have really come a long way from the first of the season. I’m really proud of that progress, even though it wasn’t our best game today.”

NMMI finishes the season with an 8-11 overall record, including 1-1 in the postseason – they defeated Portales, 1-0, to advance to the quarterfinals.

Local wants state to investigate Assessor’s office; Woman says she has overpaid taxes; county manager says operations are an ‘open book’

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Dr. Susan Neldon stands in front of the pipe fence that she said has been treated as the boundary line for her East Berrendo Road property for years until she protested her property taxes this year. She said the county recently expanded her property by 0.19 acres, which she and her neighbor said now puts her property line in her neighbor's land. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

A Roswell woman has asked state officials to investigate the Chaves County Assessor’s Office after a seven-month conflict that began with her asking for a $30 refund.

Dr. Susan Neldon has a list of complaints against the Assessor’s office, which is responsible for determining property valuations and taxes in Chaves County.

An Aug. 2 protest hearing resulted in a lowering of her property valuation by more than $15,000, which means she is due about $182 for a refund, but, she contends, it did not address some of the fundamental concerns about how her taxes are determined.

“Did they do this to other people?” Neldon says about her major concern.

While many of her complaints deal with her property only, some might indicate larger problems countywide, she said. These include the allegations that she is wrongly being assessed for water rights contrary to state statute, that her residential home site has been expanded to fives acres instead of one acre and that her property line was extended into a neighbor’s property.

On Sept. 20, she wrote to the New Mexico Department of Taxation and Revenue asking for an investigation, and she said she also has contacted the Attorney General’s office with her concerns.

County officials said her points already have been made at meetings and at the official County Valuation Protests Board hearing, which includes a representative from the Taxation and Revenue Department. They also say that Neldon has not sought redress in a way in which county staff can respond.

“She did not avail herself of her right to appeal to District Court,” said County Assessor Mark Willard. “She hasn’t come in to try to resolve those issues with us, but she has talked to a lot of other people.”

Neldon said she tried numerous times to talk with county staff before and after the hearing, and she also met with Chaves County Commissioner Robert Corn and State Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell) to alert them to her concerns about the use of the Global Positioning System device that resulted in her moved property line.

Chaves County Manager Stanton Riggs agreed that Neldon’s proper recourse is in District Court if she is unhappy with the conclusion of the protest hearing, which he said lasted more than two hours when they normally only take about 30 minutes. He added that the county’s operations are an open book, with independent financial audits occurring regularly and the state Taxation and Revenue Department periodically reviewing the tax collection procedures and processes of the county.

“If they would like to come again and look at what we’ve been doing, we would invite that,” said Riggs. “The Assessor’s office would not have a problem with that at all.”

He also said that Neldon can protest again regarding this year’s taxes if she feels problems were not resolved.

Neldon, a retired anesthesiologist who once worked for St. Mary’s Hospital in Roswell, purchased her home and land on East Berrendo Road in 1990. In December 2016, she said, she wondered why her taxes were increasing so much and found that the Assessor’s office had increased the size of her home by 238 square feet since when she purchased the property.

After making some additional inquiries, she said, she then received a document that indicated all measurements of structures on her property were different than originally described, so she requested that someone from the Assessor’s office come out to re-measure her property and its structures, a request she said was denied on several occasions.

That led her to the initial request for a refund of $30.63 for what she said were overpaid taxes in 2016 based on wrong measurements. That request was denied.

Many different events took place after that, but at the Aug. 2 protest hearing, officials conceded that some mistakes had been made over the years and that Neldon’s property had been overvalued by $15,946. Neldon said that means she is owed a refund of $182.10 for 2016, not the $30.63 she initially requested. And, she asks, what is she owed for 16 years of mistakes?

The protest board’s findings do not satisfy Neldon, and not just because she says she has yet to receive the 2016 refund. She said the more important point is that the underlying issues have not been acknowledged, and she wonders if the errors constitute violations of property tax codes and state statutes.

The first concern that she says could affect other property owners is her contention that she is being assessed for water rights. She said she owns 6.7 acres of land, most of it used for non-residential purposes, and seven acres of water rights. But instead of having what she considers a proper assessment, one acre of residential property for her home site and 5.7 acres of non-residential land, she was assessed five acres for residential property and seven acres of non-residential land. She said that seven acres represents her water rights.

She contends that New Mexico statutes prohibit valuing water rights in such a way, and she quotes from a section of the statutes. That section reads, in part, that “water rights and private roads shall not be valued separately from the land they serve.”

She also said that home sites, which are valued at higher rates than non-residential land, should not be greater than one acre when no more than one acre is used for residential purposes.

Her third point concerns the latest measurement of her property by county staff in July, in which she said a GPS device was used instead of the standard surveying methods. GPS devices are known to have a greater degree of error than some other methods. She said that latest measurement increased her property by 0.19 acres beyond her pipe fence line, into what she and her neighbor contend is the neighbor’s property.

“Why are they using the GPS against me, except I filed a protest?” she asked, saying that not using a uniform method of measurement is contrary to state law. “Now two people are paying for the same piece of land.”

That neighbor, Jerry Desjardins, said he is Neldon’s ally in her quest to resolve the tax and property line issues and has accompanied her to several meetings. He said that if the new property line is where the county recently told Neldon it is, he would be denied access to a road that leads to his horse stalls.

“That’s why we are working together on this,” Neldon said. “We don’t want to fight over this.”

County officials stand by their actions and contend that they have followed the proper procedures, but Neldon said she will pursue the matter. “Now I’m angry,” she said.

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

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