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Warriors blast Panthers 50-0

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The Gateway Christian Warriors made quick work of the Menaul Panthers at Warrior Field as they beat them 50-0 in one half of play in the first round of the U.S. Bank 8-man State Championship. The Warriors used a smothering defense and an opportunistic offense to gain the mercy-rule victory and earn a spot in next week’s quarterfinal round at Mountainair.

The Panthers, runner-up from district two, suited out only 10 players and could never get their two speedy backs – Ben Morales and Jonathan Chambers – untracked as the Warrior D-line was in the Menaul backfield almost at will. The Panthers’ passing attack was 1-for-9 with -6 yards and two interceptions as Morales was under constant pressure.

Despite the dominating win, coach Shaun Wigley would like to see more from his squad. “We just played down – no fire, no urgency, no ‘hey, it’s the playoffs and it’s one-and-done’. We just played down, especially in half of that first quarter. The trouble is, if you do this in the playoffs, you’re done….we will be coming home next week at halftime if we play that way again in the first quarter.”

The Warriors, in the playoffs for 12th year in a row, got on the board right away as they used a quick 6-play drive to go 49 yards culminating in a 40 yard jaunt by quarterback Wyatt Arlett. The score made it 8-0 with only 1:48 off the clock. Artlett would have a big night as the junior would end up with 71 yards rushing and 129 yards passing and have a hand in five touchdowns.

The Panthers (5-5) would go 4-and-out in their first two possessions and then the Warriors’ Dominic Gomez would make it 16-0 with a 20 yard TD run around left end. The score would quickly go to 22-0 as Arlett would follow the block of Ryan Ellis into the end zone from 11 yards out.

The Panthers would get their initial first down of the game on the next possession, but would eventually turn the ball over on downs. The Warriors would need one play to make it 30-0 as Arlett threw a perfect 36 yard TD strike to Gage Estes. The score would make it 30-0 after one quarter of play.

The Warriors, seeded 7th in the tourney, would end the game in the second quarter. Estes would return an interception 35 yards for a score with 9:18 to go to make it 38-0 and then, following an interception by freshman Titus Arlett, the lead would go to 44-0 as Wyatt Arlett would toss a 17 yarder to a leaping Jacob Ramos in the end zone.

The defense would later get a fumble as they shined throughout the contest. Coach Wigley stated, “Sometimes, even if you are disciplined and not overly aggressive, you can make a tackle. The thing is that it’s not just that because the Mountainair team that we’re going to face this next week is going to stretch the defense on every point – passing, running, outside, inside, blocking, quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and if we play with that lack of emotion and intensity, it simply won’t work.”

With the running clock in effect, the Warriors had one last possession late and made the most of it. On the final play of the half, Artlett threw a backwards pass to Jacob Truetken, who then handed it off to another Warrior, who did the same, who then pitched back to Arlett, who threw a bomb to a streaking Truetken from 63 yards out to score with no time left on the clock. The score wrapped up the game at 50-0 and sends the Warriors (5-3) off to Mountainair for the aforementioned quarterfinals game.

Artesia ends league play perfect

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ARTESIA — For a spell Friday night at Bulldog Bowl it looked like the Lovington Wildcats were going to give the Artesia Bulldogs a fight in the regular season finale for both squads.

For the Wildcats(5-5,1-2) reality hit them in the late stages of the second quarter and the Bulldogs(8-2, 3-0) won 49-14.

The Bulldogs are the District 4-5A champions and more than likely will have a high seed when the football playoff brackets are released this weekend.

During the opening period, the Bulldog faithful looked a little nervous as the Wildcats took the opening kick and had the ball for nearly six minutes.

The Bulldogs intercepted a Wildcat pass deep in their own territory. Artesia couldn’t do anything on their opening drive and the Wildcats went back to work.

They couldn’t find their footing and soon Artesia hit the field again with 3:47 left in the opening period. Thanks to the feet of senior Robert Fernandez and the passing combo of senior quarterback Taylor Null and junior receiver A.J. Estrada, the Bulldogs were picking up steam. Lovington’s defense helped as they were called for a penalty.

That combination set up the first score of the evening as Null threw a 6-yard strike to Fernandez with 2:29 showing on the first quarter clock. The extra point kick was good and the home team led 7-0.

Lovington’s third offensive drive of the night proved to be a lucky one as Isaiah Hinson scored on a 72-yard reception. The extra point kick was good and the score was tied with 51 seconds left in the opening period.

Forty seconds later the Bulldogs broke the deadlock as Fernandez caught a 38-yard pass from Null. Artesia booted the extra point and the score was 14-7.

In the second quarter, the Wildcats went on another long drive. However, they suffered a flat along the way and the Bulldogs were back in business as Fernandez scored on an 18-yard run. Artesia converted the extra point and it was 21-7 Bulldogs with 6:08 left before the half.

Nearly two minutes later, the Bulldogs would score again thanks to a 20-yard run by Fernandez. A pass interference call by the Wildcats helped set up the touchdown as the Bulldogs extended the lead 28-7.

But wait, there was more as junior Jagger Donaghe scored the final touchdown of the first half on an 8-yard run with 23 seconds showing on the scoreboard. The extra point kick was good and it was 35-7 Artesia.

In the second half the Bulldogs were on cruise control as senior Chaney Hardt scored on a pair of receptions in the early and late stages of the third quarter as the Bulldogs were out of Lovington’s sights.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs brought in the relief help. The Wildcats were able to score with 6:17 left in the final period as George Carrasco scored on a 7-yard reception. The extra point kick was good. Lovington couldn’t undo the damage as Artesia led 49-14 for the rest of the contest.

Dexter falls to Capitan

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Dexter’s Nick Cobos scores a touchdown against Capitan Friday night at Demon Stadium in Dexter. Dexter would lose 48-22, to finish 5-5 on the season. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

ENMU-R employees get first pay raise in years; College president says enrollment growth and financial stability allowed for boost

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“We are the Houston Astros of community colleges in the state,” says Dr. John Madden, president of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, as he described his team’s feelings about coming back from several difficult years to a point where employees can receive raises again. He is seen standing while he asks approval for the pay increases from the ENMU Board of Regents, which met in Roswell Friday morning. From left are Dr. Jeff Elwell, president of the ENMU system and regents Ed Tatum, Dr. Dan Patterson, Terry Othick and Kekoa Von Schriltz. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Dr. John Madden of Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell pitched a baseball analogy to describe his team’s feeling of success as they have reached a point after three years where the university can afford to raise employee pay.

Madden addressed the ENMU Board of Regents during its Friday meeting on the Roswell campus.

The board and ENMU leaders discussed numerous topics, including a reiteration of support for dual-credit programs and continued discussions of what will happen at the state level to higher education in New Mexico. Legislators and various committees are talking about consolidating governing boards for the state’s 37 higher education institutions and are seeking ways to decrease administrative costs while increasing funding per student.

ENMU officials pointed out that Portales and Roswell have some of the lowest administrative costs in the state. Ruidoso’s percentage rate of administrative costs as compared to its number of enrolled students is high because its number of full-time equivalent students only total about 326, but the dollar amount is actually small, said Dr. Clayton Alred, president of the Ruidoso branch.

In requesting approval of the 2018 pay increase, Madden had a celebratory attitude.

“We are the Houston Astros of community colleges in the state of New Mexico,” Madden told the regents. “We have come a long, long way. We have had some tough, tough times in the past. … We have literally gone from losing a hundred games to winning the World Series.”

Madden explained that the university had many difficult years financially, during which time employees had not received salary increases. But, he explained, strong enrollment growth for the past two years and good financial stability allowed the university to boost pay a bit.

“We made a commitment to our faculty and staff that if we keep this up we would increase compensation,” he said. “That proposal is before you now.”

Asked to give his viewpoint, Dr. Jeff Elwell, the new president of the Eastern New Mexico University system, said, “We talked at the three-campus retreat about the need on all campuses to come up with a plan by December of a minimum of 2 percent (increase). Dr. Madden informed me that they were already working on one, so I am fine. They beat the December deadline. There is no penalty for turning in homework early.”

With the regents’ unanimous approval, all regular full- and part-time faculty and staff will receive the 3 percent hike starting in January. Adjunct faculty and student employees will not have pay increases, Madden said.

About 225 faculty and staff will be affected, he explained after the meeting. University officials said that the total dollar amount of the compensation increase was not available for release by press time.

Madden also told regents that the university had received official notice of its reaffirmation of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in October and that its associate degree in nursing program had passed its accreditation review after a site visit to campus in late October.

In other discussions, Elwell, Alred and Madden voiced their continued support for the dual-credit courses, in which high-school students can enroll in college courses and receive credit toward both their high school diplomas and their college degrees. Both the New Mexico Public Education Department and the Higher Education Department cover costs associated with the program, but students do not have to pay for tuition, fees or most course materials.

The increasing costs statewide of the program have led to questioning about how the program is structured and operated and whether students are really benefiting from the courses by saving time and money that otherwise would be spent during their college years.

The three campus heads answered regents’ questions and said that they would welcome changes that would increase how much community colleges receive for teaching the courses, which is about $6.37 a course for ENMU-R . But they added that they consider the cost to institutions fairly minimal. They also said the program is valuable to universities in their recruitment efforts.

Madden said the unique nature of ENMU-R, which has many programs that focus on health and vocational training, enables numerous Chaves County high school students to utilize dual-credit to receive certificates or associate’s degrees for careers that they can begin upon finishing high school.

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

Specially trained dogs follow smell of stress

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DA Dogs are trained to help calm people who are under a great deal of stress. Sometimes even the dog needs a break. Lincoln, seen here, helps a small child pick out toys at CYFD. (Submitted Photo)

Gina Yeager is the coordinator for the District Attorney Court House Dogs Foundation, also known as the DA Dogs.

“I’ve been with the program since the beginning,” she said. “I was a backup handler. I was fourth in line to handle Max and they brought Lincoln down. Lincoln and I built this amazing bond. Lincoln was our bonus dog.”

The program was inspired by the CASA dogs.

“We started the program in April of 2014,” Yeager said. “CASA here in Roswell has courthouse dogs and they had Emma. Hobbs had Cooper. Our attorneys had used both Emma and Cooper, but when we were in court they were busy in another place.”

The current DA and her predecessor got their heads together and figured out how to make this happen.

“Dianna Luce, our current DA, had talked to the former DA, Jeanetta Hicks, about there being a need,” Yeager said. “Hicks found funding for four dogs, Lincoln and Max in Roswell, McKenzie in Hobbs and Lydia in Carlsbad. We’re working on the funding for dog number five to keep the program going.”

Yeager said the dogs are carefully selected before being trained. Then the humans get trained.

“The dogs we use are from Santa Fe Assistance Dogs of the West,” she said. “They go through two years of training. They’re picked out as puppies. Then the handlers have to go through at least one week of training before they become certified handlers of these dogs.

“The training we get is eight to nine ours a day for seven days. It’s very intense. They match their dogs to the human. They let the dogs pick the human, not the other way around. They’ve been at this long enough to know the dogs are smarter about these things than people.”

There are primary handlers for each dog, and secondary handlers for them as well.

“The primary handlers are employees at the DA’s office,” Yeager said. “We have people at CYFD who are trained to use our dogs too. We did that because CYFD needs our dogs too, but we couldn’t afford to let DA employees go with them, so Jeanetta Hicks had five CYFD people trained to handle them.”

The primary handler has most of the responsibilities.

“I am a primary handler,” Yeager said. “We take care of all the dog’s needs. They go home with us. We are in charge of making sure the dog is cared for, fed and groomed. If the dog or the other handlers start swaying from commands it’s up to the primary handler to make sure that everybody’s still on track.”

Yeager’s responsibilities go a bit further than other handlers’.

“My job is Courthouse Dog Coordinator,” she said. “I have to make sure that handlers and dogs are all up to date on certifications and training and everybody can hand off a dog and it’s all the same commands.”

They’ve developed a structure to support this.

“We try to get together once a year at least,” Yeager said, “but if there’s specific problems I travel to the office in question and we work through it. We work really well together. We’re up to almost 20 handlers for four dogs, so there is going to be a little drift. If any of us is doing something wrong everybody else checks them on it.”

The program is not without its challenges.

“There is always change going on because we use the dogs in different situations,” Yeager said. “We have problems with people bringing in their personal untrained dogs and presenting them as service dogs. Our dogs need to be used to having any dog walk in and not react. Our dogs are really good.

“Most of the issues we have are when handlers get lax. I’m guilty of it. If we start saying to the dog “OK, let’s go” and that’s not the proper command, we’re teaching it to drift. Small things could turn into a big problem down the road.”

Yeager said the standards the dogs are trained and maintained to are strict.

“Our dogs are ADI certified,” she said. “We have to meet the International Disabilities Act standard. Our dogs are trained and bred for court work and to deal with crazy behavior. If someone is hysterical our dog should go lay their head in the person’s lap.”

Sometimes the dog’s training and the handlers’ expectations don’t match up exactly.

“The dogs are trained to focus on the person with the most stress,” Yeager said, “so sometimes they focus on a family member rather than on the victim because that person is feeling more stress worrying about the family member than the actual victim.

“We’ve had phone calls saying the dog didn’t lay down with the person they expected. We’d ask, ‘Who was stressing?’ and they’d say, ‘They were saying goodbye to a parent and the dad was really stressing out.’ So we’d ask, ‘where did the dog go?’ and they’d say, ‘He went to the dad.’ That’s what they’re supposed to do, when we let them do their job things work out well.”

Yeager’s dog, Lincoln, surprised her one day by doing exactly what he was trained to do.

“Lincoln, the one that I usually work with, usually lays under my desk,” she said. “One day he got up while I was on the phone and I couldn’t get off the phone. When I went looking for him, I found him laying his head in the lap of someone who had been hysterical. They were petting him and smiling by the time I got there.

“We’ve been fortunate that our dogs are allowed in the court room. They help kids and adults who have to give difficult testimonies.”

The program is successful, and as a non-profit it always needs more funds to continue serving the community.

“We need to continue building the program and finding funding,” Yeager said. “We’ve been so lucky, we have food and grooming for these dogs. These dogs are not cheap. We just got done with a huge salsa sale. We did a garage sale. We’ve done raffles. We need day-to-day care to be covered.”

The dogs add a new dimension to the DA’s office.

“With a dog we’re more approachable,” Yeager said. “We’re human that way, and people are less afraid to come to us now.”

Of course dogs can’t work forever.

“Lincoln’s 8-1/2 so we’re starting to phase him out,” Yeager said. “He’ll be coming to the office as a greeter after he’s retired. When they retire a dog they generally retire with their primary handler if the DA and Assistance Dogs of the West approve. A dog’s working life is from age 2 to about 8 to 10.”

DA Dogs can be found at 5thdadogs.org. There’s also a Facebook account for anyone who would like to know more.

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

Line break forces eatery to close, floods streets

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A water line break occurring early Friday afternoon affected a few Roswell businesses along the 2300 block of North Main Street. (Aric Loomis Photo)

The city of Roswell’s public information officer Todd Wildermuth confirmed shortly before 2 p.m. Friday that the break had caused flooding near the area of North Main and 19th streets.

A utility worker closes off a water line along North Main Street
after workers ruptured the line Friday while digging. (Aric Loomis Photo)

The line break left businesses like Baymont Inn & Suites, Home Depot and IHOP without water.

An employee from the pancake house told the Daily Record the restaurant lost water at about 12:30 p.m., and it was still without water as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, and remained closed.

Coyotes, Rockets face off at Wool Bowl

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A Roswell High School fan cheers Friday as the Coyotes and Rockets played at the Wool Bowl.(Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Parkview team is committed to Buddy Walk

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This photo taken Oct. 20, the day before the 13th annual Buddy Walk, the largest yearly fundraiser for the Down Syndrome Foundation of Southeast New Mexico, which took place at Spring River Park and Zoo. Those included in the picture are the full staff of Parkview Early Literacy Center who form a team for the Buddy Walk every year supporting their students and all others throughout the year. (Submitted Photo)

Stearns Home Loans celebrates business

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Stearns Home Loans held a ribbon-cutting event Oct. 26 at its offices at 110 W. College Blvd., Suite D. Pictured, from left, are Roswell Redcoats Kim Ly-Vasquez, Yukie Ebara, Alex Perez, Staci Eisenbise, Rhonda Johnson, Sandra Stewart, branch manager Ted Bishop, market lender Chad Jordan, and Redcoats Gary Thrine, SaraLei Fajardo, Andrea Moore, Lydia Lara, Ernie Orona, Gina Grado, April Avitia and Gladys Ocon. (Submitted Photo)

Apologetic shoplifter pulls out firearm in Walgreens

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A repeat offender was charged with a total of four fourth-degree felonies after allegedly revealing a handgun to store personnel and leaving a room after being caught for stealing alcohol.

Gomez

According to a criminal complaint filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, on Oct. 18, an employee working in the liquor section of Walgreens at 1200 S. Main St. saw 45-year-old David Roy Gomez enter the store and walk around a section as a means to hide from the employee’s sight.

Detective Alberto Alba of the Roswell Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division was told by the employee that she was able to see Gomez concealing bottles of alcohol by looking at the mirrors along the drugstore’s wall.

The employee then rang the store’s alarm, to which Gomez replied, “Yeah, push the code 99, f— you,” as he passed the store counter and walked out.

Manuel Roman, store manager of the Walgreens, told police he was with another employee when they heard a call over their radio in reference to a shoplifting.

“He mentioned they walked outside and observed that the subject was outside near his bike,” Alba wrote. “(Roman) mentioned that the subject had dropped a bottle of Fireball — which was the item taken.”

After speaking to Gomez and escorting him back inside, Roman told police that the suspect continually apologized to them.

An employee told police that the suspect was getting uneasy, appearing to be nervous.

After Gomez had been informed police had been contacted, he stood up, appearing to be upset, and produced a firearm from his hoodie, according to the complaint.

“(Roman) was unable to describe the gun, only that it was black and had a green dot on it,” Alba wrote. “He said the subject had rushed out. … (Roman) was in fear for his life and the safety of his employees.”

Police said while reviewing surveillance footage of the incident, they were able to make a positive identification on Gomez based on their previous encounters with him, as well as his distinctive hairline and apologetic mannerisms when he gets into trouble with law enforcement.

“The video showed that they did have a brief conversation, and then Mr. Gomez stood up,” Alba said. “You are unable to see the firearm because it appeared that it gets covered by (another employee) when Mr. Gomez attempts to leave. It appears that they did try to stop him just before he walked out.”

Another employee told police that Gomez smelled of alcohol, almost appearing drunk when he and Roman originally approached the suspect outside the store.

Gomez was later arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of firearm possession by a felon, and for unlawful carrying of a firearm in a licensed liquor establishment.

Police said Gomez has had at least one prior felony conviction within the last 10 years.

According to online court records, Gomez was charged 12 different times in magistrate and district court from January 1992 to January 2017.

A preliminary examination was set for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday before Chaves County Magistrate Judge K.C. Rodgers, but was later cancelled.

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Johanna Visser

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Johanna Visser, age 92, of Roswell, NM passed away Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at LaGrone Funeral Chapel. A graveside service at 11 a.m., Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at South Park Cemetery with Pastor Stephen Deutsch of First Presbyterian Church in Dexter, NM, officiating.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.

Editorial cartoon 11-4-17

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(Cartoon drawn by Eddie Macias)

Berrendo school shooter’s parents file lawsuit

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Gov. Susana Martinez addresses the media during a press conference Jan. 15, 2014, at Berrendo Middle School. Former RISD superintendent Tom Burris, far right, also gave remarks. Mason Campbell, was charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. (File Photo)

Attorney accuses CYFD of not releasing teen for ‘political reasons’

Parents of Mason Campbell, the seventh-grader that opened fire with a sawed-off shotgun in Berrendo Middle School’s gymnasium, injuring two students on Jan. 14, 2014, have made allegations against the state agency that’s kept the now 16-year-old in custody.

Mason was adjudicated in Chaves County District Court on July 2, 2014, as a delinquent offender for three counts of aggravated battery and one count of unlawful carrying of a deadly weapon on school premises.

The court ordered Mason be transferred to the legal custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department until the age of 21, unless sooner discharged.

As Campbell remains in physical custody within a CYFD facility in Albuquerque, his parents, Jim and Jennifer Campbell, have continually raised concerns against the CYFD’s alleged lack of medical attention and overall concern to their son, citing civil rights violations and several breaches of statutory duties by the state agency.

Described as “total and abject failures” in a civil complaint filed by Ruidoso attorney Gary C. Mitchell, the Campbells’ attorney mentions instances of the CYFD allegedly not being able to follow guidelines recommended by expert doctors, not rendering proper medical or mental care and not allowing proper family contact or counseling.

According to the complaint, Mason had a mental disorder or a developmental disability, and should have been placed in a residential treatment in line with the Children’s Mental Health and Development Act.

Mitchell said this did not occur.

In terms of education, Mason has been taking classes through the online course, Edgenuity. Mitchell said Mason Campbell has been denied the aid of a teacher for difficult math courses.

Mitchell also cites New Mexico administration codes. In multiple sections, the code references opportunities in which clients should have opportunities to make and receive personal phone calls, subject to a facility’s schedule and the program’s education level.

“Mason Campbell has never had the opportunity to receive calls and has been denied incoming calls that pertained to urgent matters,” the complaint states. “There have been many documented times that Mason Campbell has asked to call his parents, and his request has been denied.”

Health complications were noted while Mason has been in the custody of the CYFD, according to the complaint.

In May 2015, Mason’s parents were advised that their son had been complaining of chronic back pain and having to take ibuprofen several times a day.

In response, the couple pleaded for the CYFD to allow them to purchase a more suitable mattress for their child, which was refused.

In August 2015, Mason was diagnosed with scoliosis.

Mason’s parents were never told of this diagnosis until he told them, the complaint alleges.

Two years later, in February 2017, Mason was again diagnosed with scoliosis and, in addition, Scheuermann’s Kyphosis, a form of bone deformity found mostly in teenagers.

Obtaining proper eyecare was also a problem Mason encountered, according to the complaint.

Lastly, CYFD allegedly refused to advise Mason’s parents about a diagnosis regarding a regurgitating heart valve issue.

“In fact, defendants told Mason Campbell not to tell his parents of this condition,” the complaint states.

Mitchell said it was due to the agency’s negligence and failure to comply with the law that they chose to file a lawsuit.

His major allegation against the agency, however, is that he believes the real reason Mason remains within the CYFD is due to the politics of the situation.

“They could have released him a long time ago, and they should have,” Mitchell told the Daily Record. “This happens to a lot of kids — particularly in these high-profile cases where CYFD is scared to death of the governor and all others who would raise Cain if they release somebody when they know they should be releasing them.”

Mitchell said, with Mason’s family, he finally has a client willing to fight back.

“He’s supposed to be there for rehabilitation — that’s the intent of the Legislature — and not there for just incarceration,” Mitchell said. “He wasn’t sent there to be there until age 21.”

The CYFD can only keep Mason up to the age of 21.

“Once he’s rehabilitated, which several psychologists say he has been — he should be released,” Mitchell said. “They’re not even doing that.”

The complaint states that Mason has attained a level of education, mental stability, performance and individual progress that shows he is rehabilitated, and that a release plan can “easily be devised.”

“He succeeded because of his parents, and his own motivation,” Mitchell said. “Not because of anything great the CYFD’s done.

“He’s done everything he’s supposed to do and the psychologists and the doctors have given reports that he’s not a threat.”

The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department itself is structured into five individual services: Behavioral health, early childhood, protective services, program support, and in Mason’s situation — juvenile justice.

May Jaramilla, a program director at CYFD, said the department is unable to comment on active cases, but was able to explain the juvenile process.

“From our perspective with juvenile justice, our focus at CYFD is really on public safety, and the rehabilitation of the young people who are committed to our facility,” Jaramilla told the Daily Record. “So, (we’re) working with them to equip them with the tools needed and address the issues that may have brought them into our facility, so when they return to their community, they (won’t) do the things that may have brought them in the first place.”

“Our state Supreme Court has made it really clear, and our Legislature has made it very clear that CYFD is supposed to be in the business of rehabilitating children — not just incarcerating them,” Mitchell said.

Referencing the Berrendo Middle School shooting, Mitchell said he understands it was a catastrophic event for everyone involved.

“It always is when it involves our children,” he said. “But what people need to realize when it comes to children — it’s far better to take time to treat children when they’re children — rather than wait until they’re adults and try to treat them.”

Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

RISD: Investigation finds there is ‘no concern’ regarding alleged threats at local middle school

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A Berrendo Middle School student allegedly made threats Wednesday about harming some fellow classmates, threats that later were determined by authorities to lack validity.

Roswell Independent School District Interim Superintendent Susan Sanchez

School administrators responded Wednesday by notifying law enforcement and holding an assembly to talk to seventh- and sixth-graders about what had occurred, parents and grandparents said.

According to these sources, students reported to them that the threats were not considered by school officials to be serious, but rather bad pranks. School was not canceled Wednesday or Thursday.

Parents of Berrendo Middle students confirm that they received automated calls from school officials Wednesday afternoon informing them that a student had been reported for what other classmates initially believed were threats to harm other students.

A relative of a student said that the student suspected of being the one to make the initial threats was a “popular” seventh-grader who had talked about a list he had naming people whom he intended to hurt.

The Roswell Police Department was notified Wednesday about the incident, said spokesman Todd Wildermuth.

“There was a concern about one student who might want to harm other students,” Wildermuth said. “The information was passed on to the Sheriff’s Office because the school is actually outside the city, so they are handling the investigation.”

Requests for comment from the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office were not returned by press time.

A parent of an eighth grader said the child had friends in the sixth and seventh grades who attended the required assembly and that those friends had talked about some students taunting others by saying “you’re next, you’re next,” in what was characterized as misguided attempts at humor.

According to another source, a phone call Thursday morning to the school to ask about the situation resulted in school personnel saying that a thorough investigation had been conducted and that the students had not meant the threats to be taken seriously.

“It was just a joke, they said. Apparently they have a police officer there now,” the source said.

Roswell Independent School District Interim Superintendent Susan Sanchez issued a statement that read, “The Roswell Independent School District takes the safety of students and staff very seriously. A thorough investigation was conducted with the assistance of law enforcement, and no concerns were found.”

Christine Powell, a mother of a sixth-grade student, said the call she received also indicated that the school had concluded the threats were unfounded.

‘I am glad that they actually investigated it, but didn’t cause a panic, either,” Powell said. “Because I had two students there when the school shooting happened and that was basically no information at that point. … I think they handled it very well.”

Another source said an eighth-grade student in the family went to school Thursday without expressing concern.

“She did go to school,” said the source. “She didn’t seem to be afraid or worried. … I didn’t really press her on it because she didn’t really seem very upset about it.”

In January 2014, Berrendo Middle School was the site of a school shooting, with a young boy, Mason Campbell, seriously injuring two of his peers. In September 2014, a Berrendo student was transferred to another school site in the district for allegedly threatening one of the two shooting victims. That same year, the school was one of three in New Mexico and 337 nationwide to be named a National Blue Ribbon by the U.S. Department of Education for its academic strengths.

Berrendo Middle School and other schools in the district have instituted various anti-bullying and anti-violence programs since 2014.

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

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)

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