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New Mexico Military Institute Hall of Fame accepts new inductees

Submitted Photo

Three people were inducted in the New Mexico Military Institute Hall of Fame Oct. 27 during Homecoming and Alumni Weekend events. S.P. “Chip” Johnson IV, left, an 1974 NMMI high school graduate, was honored for his achievements in his field of endeavor. He is president and chief executive officer and a co-founder of Carrizo Oil and Gas Inc., which has its headquarters in Houston. Prior to starting the business in 1993, he was a manager with Shell Oil Co. Dale Preston Laverty, whose plaque is shown in the middle, also was recognized for his career achievements. A 1954 graduate of NMMI high school and a 1956 graduate of the junior college, Laverty passed away in September 2016. His wife, Linda Ruiz Laverty, is shown accepting the honor on his behalf. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark Quantoc, a 1980 junior college graduate of NMMI, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for having achieved a “flag officer rank,” which is a general or admiral in the U.S. military.

Crystal Vigil-Juarez


Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Crystal Vigil-Juarez, 39, who passed away October 21, 2017 in Albuquerque, NM. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

Brenda Gay Atchison



Brenda Gay Atchison, age 71, passed away October 30th, 2017 at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas after a short battle with cancer. Brenda was born May 10th, 1946 in Mattoon, Illinois to William L. and Dorothy L. Williams. She graduated high school at MacArthur High School in Decatur, Illinois. She was always had the ability to accomplish anything that she set her mind to. She cared about her family deeply and she loved all of her furbabies. She will be missed by everyone she knew.  She may be gone but her presence is still felt among those she loved. She will be always and forever in our hearts

She is survived by her husband, Thomas G. Atchison of the family home. She is also survived by her siblings; James A Williams (Carolyn), Taylorville, Illinois; Steve D. Williams (Karen), Denver, Colorado; Billie K Stafford (David), Roswell, New Mexico. She left behind numerous nieces and nephews and 4 grandchildren. Her best friend of 20 plus years, Betsy Katz, was by her side the whole time and took care of her.

We would like to thank the staff on the 5th floor at University Medical Center for being so attentive and caring to Brenda during her treatment there. We would also like to thank her nurse Gabby for being so loving and nurturing in her time of need. There are no planned services at this time.


Ted Schrimsher


Services are pending at LaGrone Funeral Chapel for Ted Schrimsher, age 90, of Roswell, who passed away Monday, November 6, 2017.

A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

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

Richard A. Morales


Richard A. Morales, 49, passed away on Friday, November 3, 2017 in Mescalero, NM.  Services are pending with West Funeral Home in Carlsbad. Condolences may be expressed atwestfuneralhomellc.com

E. L. Hinton Jr.


Memorial services for Elmer Lee Hinton, Jr., 90, a longtime resident of Roswell, who currently resided in Portales, will be at 2 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 16, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church in Roswell, NM. Interment will follow in the First United Methodist Church Garden Columbarium. The family will receive guests at Wheeler Mortuary in Portales on Thurs. evening, Nov. 9, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Elmer Lee “E. L.” Hinton was born May 9, 1927 in Encino, NM to the home of Troy Hamman (Kenmore) and Elmer Lee Hinton, and died Nov. 6, 2017 in Portales. Mr. Hinton graduated from high school at New Mexico Military Institute in 1945. He served in the U S Air Force at the close of World War II, and again during the Korean War.

On Feb. 14, 1953 in Causey, he was married to Wanda Jean Gardner. They made their home for several years in Hobbs, and then moved to Roswell in 1960. Mr. Hinton was a CPA for many years. He was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Roswell, and his retirement years were spent in volunteer work through the church helping to repair and rebuild churches.

He is survived by two sons, Troy Hinton and Alan Hinton both of Portales; four grandchildren, Lauretta Faye (Chancey) Dozier, James Hinton, Lee Hinton and Evan (Amanda) Hinton; and six great-grandchildren and another expected shortly. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, John and Herman Hinton, a sister, Evelyn Swenson, and by a daughter-in-law, Debbie Hinton.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary of Portales. 575-356-4455,wheelermortuary.net


Lady Cats get school first trophy for cross country

The Lady Cats are from L-R: Coach Alex Morales, Linda Barraza, Leandra Tarango, Cerria Lucero, Paige Hoppes, Bethaney Barela, Emily Hoppes, & Rheawna Sherwood. Submitted Photo

The Lady Cats placed third in the team division at State on Saturday. The trophy is the first in school history.


Lady Coyotes ready for state

Seen in action in a photo from earlier this month is the Roswell High School Lady Coyotes volleyball team.

In a season where Roswell’s win-loss record might not indicate it was a successful season by her standards, Lady Coyotes coach Heather Baca hopes teams in the state tournament will look at their record and sleep on them, thinking Roswell is an easy out.

What teams should be looking at is how well the Lady Coyotes have played against some of the toughest teams in District 4-5A. In the last three weeks of the season, Roswell is playing some of its best volleyball, defeating District champ Artesia at home on Oct. 26, in four sets. Roswell’s victory over the Lady Bulldogs was one of two losses they suffered in the season.

“We like the matchup against Artesia,” Baca said. “We think we have a good shot to compete in Pool Play.”

Roswell (11-10, 4-2 District 4-5A) has a mix of youth to go along with six seniors. For some of her players, this will be their first time under the big lights of state playoff volleyball as they begin Pool Play on Thursday at 8 a.m. in Albuquerque.

Here’s how Pool Play works. Everybody will play two different teams in Pool Play. Teams get seeded to their pool. In Roswell’s pool, it is No. 2, 11, and 7 seed. Each of those teams will play each other two games to 21. The other three pools will do the same. Then each team will reseed into the bracket. If Roswell wins their bracket, they would get a bye in the first round Thursday evening.

“I think we are progressing as a team,” Baca said. “We talked about what it’s going to take to compete at the state level. When you get to state, there is not a team that is weak and we are going to have to play our best to be competitive.”

Their first match will be against the No. 2 seed Artesia Bulldogs, and after that game they will play Bloomfield to see where they will be seeded for the afternoon’s game.

In the afternoon game, the teams will play a single elimination game, meaning they’re out of the tournament if they lose once. Roswell goes into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed. Goddard, the other local team, is ranked as the No. 9 seed.

“I think we have just as good a shot as anyone,” Baca said. “We have to play well during Pool Play.”

In the last two years, the Lady Coyotes have advanced to the semifinals and have made it to the state tournament in five of the six years Baca has been coach. She thinks this team has all of the ingredients to play with anyone in the tournament. What concerns her a little is some of her players will be making their first appearance at the state tournament. As a coach, she knows each kid handles pressure differently.

“Absolutely,” Baca said, “I think when we play as well as we can, that we’re a pretty balanced team. We can attack from all three front row locations. I think we have some pretty good defensive kids that have come on towards the end of the season. I think both Goddard’s and our records doesn’t reflect the quality, or caliber of teams we are. Both of us (Goddard and Roswell) have the toughest strength of schedule in 5A. I think that’s to our advantage and we’ll surprise some people.”

The Lady Coyotes are not intimidated by any team they will have to face during the tournament, as they have played the No. 1 seed St. Pius X in a match before.  The Lady Coyotes need a big offensive effort from seniors Kaitlyn Holl, Cheyenne Martinez and Alex Gonzalez, if they are to go deep into the tournament.

“I have a lot more depth defensively than I do offensively,” Baca said. “I expect my defensive kids to play tough, they’ve done a good job these last five matches. They have kept us in some games we wouldn’t have been in otherwise. As a coach of high school girls you just hope you’ve prepared them well and they come emotionally ready to play.”

Go to www.nmact.org for full schedule.


Hoover rewarded with trip to playoffs


Goddard senior tight end Tyler Hoover has played through a torn meniscus since the third game of the season. For Hoover, the meaning of being a Goddard football player goes back to the team’s workout regime that consisted of waking up at 4 a.m., during the summer to pull railroad ties as part of their training at Goddard Field House.

This season wasn’t how he envisioned his senior year. Regardless of the win-losses, the New Mexico Activities Association rewarded the Rockets for playing a demanding schedule. Coach White and his team were rewarded with a golden ticket to the dance.

Yes, Goddard made the playoffs with a 4-6 record. The Rockets will go in as a No. 11 seed, they will travel to the No.6 seed Aztec Tigers.


“Senior year you have to throw everything in,” Hoover said. “In the third game of the season I tore my right meniscus, it’s not going to stop me from playing. It’s not going to slow me down, I played for my teammates. It’s all about the seniors. I would die for them.”


Hoover showed his grit when he scored a touchdown against rival Roswell on Friday night. Hoover caught a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Robert Aragon on the left side of the field at Goddard’s 48-yard line. Hoover followed his blockers to the 10-yard line before being forced to cut back to the middle of the field where he evaded a couple of Coyote defenders to score. Hoover’s touchdown came with 6:19 to play in the first quarter, giving the Rockets momentum and tying the score at 7-7.

“The play was called spread-left three-middle screen,” Hoover said. “As I was lining up, I saw their linebacker blitz. I was thinking to myself, man this is perfect. I caught the ball and followed my blockers to the end zone. I had to beat Robert Sedilla as he was grabbing my leg. I got a couple of blocks and couldn’t have done it without my offensive linemen helping me score.”

Hoover feels like he wouldn’t trade anything that has happened to his team this season even the losses. Even though they lost to Roswell in the season finale Hoover is hoping to get another shot at them if they can get past Aztec on Friday.

“I have to give it all to the team,” Hoover said. “They played with a lot of heart tonight and this season. I couldn’t ask for a better team or a better season. I would have loved to have won some more games, but hopefully we’ll get into the playoffs and I think we’ll do great things from there.”

If Goddard can get past the Aztec’s on Friday night, they will have another chance at Roswell in the quarterfinals at the Wool Bowl on November 17 or 18, with a time to be announced.


Patricia Camille Simmons



Patricia Camille Simmons passed away Friday, November 3, 2017. Family and friends will gather to celebrate her life of 57 years on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at 2 p.m., at Lake Ridge Chapel in Lubbock, TX. A tribute of Patricia’s life may be found at memorialdesigners.net, where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.

Patricia Camille was born on October 25, 1960 to Kenneth and Laura Wilson in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Pat graduated from Monterey High School and was a Texas Tech student. She also worked for Texas Tech in the procurement department where she was named employee of the year in 2013. She was instrumental in the music industry in Lubbock, bringing artists and music groups into this vicinity, particularly blues music as a club owner and live music aficionado. She was a poet, an amateur astronomer, gardener, and dog lover. She rescued beagles in particular, having loved and given homes to Monte, Scout, Athena, Lokey and lastly Snoopy. She was a free spirit and a gentle soul, loving unconditionally and passionately.

Survivors include her father, Kenneth Wilson; mother, Laura June Hutchings and husband, Palmer; sister, Helena Crabtree and husband, Danny; stepbrother Dub Wilson, niece, Kacy Phares and husband, Kirk; great-niece, Addisyn Shayne Long; great-nephew, Ethan Phares, special aunt Shirley Keller, companion Mark Paden, and a host of family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Kenneth Wayne Wilson; step mother, Philia Wilson; nephew, Jeremiah Shane Crabtree, and grandparents, O.V. and Edith Henslee.

Memorial contributions are welcome and the family suggests, Morris Safe House 3240 Nightingale Rd, Lubbock, TX 79407.


Local psychiatrist charged with battery


Police say suspect ‘choked’ family member
Suspect: ‘I’m not that hostile person’

A local psychiatrist and owner of a medical clinic is facing criminal charges after an investigation of a domestic incident at his home late last month.

Dr. Steven Black, 55, has been charged with battery against a household member and false imprisonment after police say he assaulted a family member early Oct. 28. Black, CEO and owner of Pangea Medical clinic, and also owner of the recently closed Galactic Sushi, is scheduled to have his preliminary hearing on Nov. 29 before Judge K. C. Rodgers.

According to his criminal complaint filed in Chaves County Magistrate Court, Black told investigators the marks on his significant other’s neck were a result of sexual relations — not from an assault. Police were dispatched at about 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 28 to a woman’s apartment in reference to an incident that occurred at Black’s home at the 2600 block of Gaye Drive.

The victim told police Black had become upset after he came home from work around 6:30 p.m. on Oct 27, a Friday evening, to discover their housekeeper was still at their home.

“(The victim) stated that she and Steven had been having issues lately,” according to a criminal complaint filed by a Roswell Police officer. “(The victim) stated that Steven was telling her that he wanted to arrive home and spend time with his kids alone.”

The victim told police that the arguments continued throughout the night and that she later became afraid. The woman knew she needed to leave the house after Black allegedly spouted profane language toward her.

She added that Black grabbed her by the neck and choked her while she was looking for her car keys.

“(The victim) stated that she was afraid and began screaming so someone could hear her,” the complaint read.

The victim said she stayed at the house, but Black grabbed her by the throat and choked her again.

“(The victim) advised that Steven had grabbed her in a way that she could not breathe momentarily,” the complaint read. “(The victim) stated that while Steven had her throat, Steven pushed her on the bed.”

The victim told police she did not want to summon law enforcement to her home out of fear that police presence would further “irritate” Black.

She said she concocted an excuse as a means to escape her home.

“(The victim) stated that she had convinced Steven to order sushi, that way when (the victim’s friend) arrived at the residence, he would not be surprised someone was ringing the doorbell,” the complaint stated.

The victim’s friend told police that when Black noticed someone else had entered his home, he became visibly upset.

Black would later not allow anyone to leave the home, according to the victim’s friend.

The victim said Black had used his bare hands to choke her and that he would not allow her to leave the bedroom for an hour and a half after he had thrown her on the bed.

The victim told police that she kicked Black in the stomach while he was choking her on the bed.

Police observed multiple marks on the right side of the victim’s neck that appeared consistent with someone grabbing her. In addition, authorities observed a mark on the left side of her neck.

The victim said she did not lose consciousness, although there was a certain point where she was unable to breathe.

Police photographed the injuries on the victim’s neck.

Police said Black was interviewed later that night at his home and was asked what had happened.

Black said he had had an argument with the victim, and that she was “being mean to him.”

“Steven stated that (the victim) was calling him lazy,” the complaint said. “Steven stated that it may have gotten loud, but that was it. Steven was asked if it was physical at all, and he had advised that (the victim) bumped into him.”

Police asked Black if he had prevented the victim from leaving, but Black said he did not prevent her from leaving her home in any way.

Police said they did not observe any marks indicating that Black had been injured. Police asked Black about the marks on the victim’s neck.

“Steven stated that he and (the victim) had sex the other day, and that the marks were from that,” the complaint read. “Steven stated that the marks might have been from him pushing her away also.”

“Steven again said that he did not kidnap (the victim), and that he did not want to go to jail.”

The Daily Record was contacted by multiple sources in reference to the battery and false imprisonment charges.

The newspaper was later contacted Monday by Black, who describes the reports taken by police as inaccurate.

“I do have the right story for you that is the true story,” Black said. “I can’t help what comes out (today), but there’s no way we’re going to help that.

“But, I just want you to know that I’m not that hostile person — I’m not that hostile person that was in that report.”

Black said he has been a psychiatrist at Pangea Medical since 2011.

Black, at his desk, looked to his computer, which had a screen displaying two young, smiling children.

“I have two brand-new baby girls that me and my wife have, and that I love very much,” Black said. “Their future is linked to my success or not success. — it’s concerning.”

Berrendo Middle School science teacher receives statewide recognition

Trevier Gonzalez Photo Berrendo Middle School science teacher Jessica Sanders, above, instructs her seventh-grade class, including Jazmine Villegas, right, on folding and crafting a cell cycle diagram out of paper while also explaining the process of Meiosis to students.

On Saturday, the New Mexico Academy of Science presented the New Mexico Science Teacher of the Year award to Jessica Sanders.

Sanders teaches sixth and seventh grade sciences at Berrendo Middle School. The science academy identified Sanders as a consistent and exemplary teacher within RISD, adding that she esteems students and the entire district staff as an imperative part of the science education structure.

“Sanders has been pivotal in bringing her middle school and school district forward in STEM Education and she looks forward to being an educational leader with the implementation of NGSS,” said Anton Sumali, community relations director for the New Mexico Academy of Science. “Mrs. Sanders is noted for providing numerous STEM opportunities to not only her student population, but furthermore to her local Girl and Boy Scouts councils. Mrs. Sanders continues to advocate for rigor in scientific content for the future of Science Education in New Mexico.”

Trevier Gonzalez Photo

Sanders has also authored and won the Devon Science Grants grant, the Prices Dairy Grant, the Girls Moving Forward in Sports Grant and is currently a top 16 finalist for the Golden Apple Award, which is set to be announced at the end of November.

Each year, the New Mexico Academy of Science solicits nominations from middle schools and high schools around the state for science teachers that have gone above and beyond the call in teaching science to their students. The winners are announced at the NMAS Annual Meeting, which is usually held in early November. The Outstanding Science Teacher awards have been given since 1968. Prior to 1990, awards were given to a K-12 teacher and a post-secondary instructor. From 1990-2016, awards were given to two K-12 teachers annually, one to an elementary grade level teacher and one to a middle or high school level teacher. Starting in 2017 the Teacher of the Year awards will focus on science teachers teaching grades 6 to 12. The American Chemical Society presents a monetary award to the NMAS winning teacher.

Send in the clowns, or rather not

Christina Stock Photo

Nobody can tell that under the haunting and spooky masks of eerie clowns are four of Roswell’s young talents. Samantha Thorsted, Jada Wilson, Emmah McPherson and Zelia Santos stole the show at the premiere of Neverland Theatre Company’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” on Friday. Though the four young actresses had no lines, their appearance alone darkened the atmosphere of the Liberty Club that provided the stage for the spooky play. Actor Peter Powell as the carnival director was well cast and clearly enjoyed himself trying to tempt the good people of the small town Green Town, Illinois, to succumb to the evil.

The main characters, Minnie Degrout as Jim Nightshade and and Madeline Hicks as Will Halloway were convincing in their desperation to save everybody from the evil carnival.

Colin Butts as Mr. Electro put the horror into the horror show up to the end.



Special shapes and colors take flight

Mike Smith Photo. Scores of Artesia residents woke up at daybreak Saturday to witness the launch of multiple hot air balloons at Eagle Draw Saturday morning. Balloons and Tunes started Friday morning with Artesia elementary school kids getting an up close and personal demonstration.

ARTESIA — An assistant principal at Yeso Elementary School may have said it best about last weekend’s Balloons and Tunes.

“It’s a great community event and it brings everyone together.”

Lynn Worley said that as the entire student body headed to class after watching David Chavez unveil a special shape hot air balloon.

Chavez was one of many hot air balloonists who inflated their airships Friday morning for elementary school kids in Artesia.

The community’s hot air balloon event is took place at Eagle Draw.

Chavez with some help from his family, community folks and members of Faith Baptist Church in Artesia spent time unpacking his new ride around sunrise Friday morning.

“This will be its first inflation here in Artesia, we just barely got it (and) picked it up Tuesday,” he said.

Chavez, like many in New Mexico, grew up going to Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta.

“I was fascinated with them and intrigued with how they worked and operated,” he said.

Chavez said he was offered the chance to be part of a chase crew, “and from then, I was able to get my first flight from a pilot from Lovington and after that I was hooked.”

A few months after that, he bought his own balloon, “and I’ve been going forward ever since.”

Chavez said ballooning is a family sport. He said potential pilots have to take a written test and a flight test.

“Then you have minimum hours of training that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires and then you go through an FAA inspector,” he said.

He added that the feds also have to issue a final flight test before one flies solo.

The kids at Yeso Elementary got the chance to see Chavez and his crew inflate the balloon. They also had the chance to touch it and ask questions of Chavez and his passengers.

As an added treat, the kids and the entire community had a chance to see Chavez and his passengers fly off into the crisp Artesia autumn morning.


How did Robert Handel become ‘The Barking Guy?’

Mike Smith Photo Robert Handel has been a fixture at Artesia High sporting events for more than a decade. People know him as The Barking Guy.

ARTESIA — With his hitch in the United States Air Force about to end, Robert Handel decided he was going to live in his recreational vehicle full time.

He traveled across a good chunk of North America when he decided to buy a lot at SKP RV Park south of Artesia. That’s when he turned his radio on to look for a station that was carrying the Rush Limbaugh program in southeast New Mexico.

“I bought my lot in 2002 and I was looking for Rush and found him on KSVP (AM-990 in Artesia) and found Jim Wilburn,” he said.

Wilburn was the longtime radio voice of the Artesia High School Bulldogs. Handel heard his signature call during a Bulldog football broadcast.

“And that, my friends — is just another Bulldog touchdown,” said Handel, doing his best Wilburn impersonation. “When the Bulldogs came on, I always had it on and I listened until about 2006. I didn’t go to any games.”

More than a decade ago, Handel attended his first Bulldog basketball game and he decided he was going to get involved with AHS athletics.

Handel became a fixture at Bulldog football games in 2007 and that’s when his alter-ego was born.

Handel morphed into “The Barking Guy” during a game in Carlsbad. He recalled the Bulldogs were down 10-7 at halftime.

“We had to kick off to Carlsbad to start the second half,” he said. “We did and they threw an interception and the crowd went wild and people were barking and I barked with them.”

Handel said the fans helped the Bulldogs take down their in-county rivals that night, “so when things happened, I started barking and I became “The Barking Guy” that day.”

Handel is a permanent fixture at all Bulldog sporting events. When the Bulldogs are heading out of town, Handel is there to send them off and it’s not just sporting events.

Handel has been known to show his support for the AHS band and kids participating in Future Farmers of America.

“Most of the send offs would be to Las Cruces or Albuquerque and if you know anything about the geography (and) about how long these trips are by bus, three to four hours to get to ‘Cruces or five hours to get to Albuquerque; it’s a long way,” Handel said.

“They’re going to hostile territory, they’re in the other teams house, so the send offs help them (to) know that somebody is behind them,” he added.

Handel said if he can’t make it to an out-of-town event, he can show his support during the send offs. “They know my best wishes are with them.”

“When the buses start rolling, I start barking and the kids just love it,” he said.

Handel grew up in Michigan and attended Western Michigan University. He went to college to be a computer programmer.

“Look at the 1970s, remember how bad the economy was?” he asked. “There were no jobs, I did the safe thing and got into the military.”

Handel tried to become an officer. “I washed out for some reason,” he said. “So I enlisted and I’m glad I did because I actually got to program the computers.”

He spent 20 years in the Air Force and retired as a master sergeant.

Handel is also involved with the Eddy County Republican Party as the first vice chair.

Handel was asked how long he plans on being “The Barking Guy.”

“Until I can’t anymore. I don’t have any intentions of leaving,” he said.

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


Stolen bows and arrows hurt disadvantaged kids


ARTESIA — The president of the Eddy County Shooting Range Archery Division is asking area residents to be on the lookout for some archery equipment that was stolen in late October.

Kathy Kolt said around 50 bows were taken along with 100 or more arrows. She added the cost is in “the thousands of dollars.”

Kolt said the theft hurts  disadvantaged kids in the Artesia area. She said the kids, “don’t have any problems with me, they do fantastic.”

“They’re running their brains out there and kids are very adaptable and they learn that quick at any age. People in wheelchairs can even do archery,” Kolt said.

Kolt said most kids that participate in the archery shoots come from single-parent households.

Kolt said the archery program has been around for nearly a decade and the thefts took place last month at the range on Funk Road aren’t the first time that thieves have stolen property from the range.

She said a trailer was taken three years ago. “We don’t have a stealing problem, we have a drug problem,” Kolt said.

“The last time it was stolen, it was a drug problem. I had my washer and dryer stolen a month ago, that was a drug thing,” Kolt added.

“If we could kick meth, maybe we wouldn’t have half the problems that we have, and meth is taking a terrible toll,” she said.

Kolt said the archery program is there to keep kids occupied and off drugs. “Especially if they come from a broken family.”

Kolt said if anyone has any information on the stolen equipment, she can be reached at 425-221-7700. She added that people can also contact the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.


Person on the street 11-07-17


What did you think of the hot air balloons that went up Saturday during Balloons and Tunes?

Danielle Denson- “I think they’re absolutely beautiful and it’s amazing to stand here and watch them.”

David Husselman- “I think its a pretty and its a good time. Good reason to get up in the morning.”

Madison Parker- “I think it is very colorful and it’s just beautiful and so cool. Great morning to do it.”

Ana Lovato- “I love coming out here and watching the balloons go up and the way they paint the sky with their colors mixed in with the sunrise it’s awesome. It’s actually kind of intense to think about how the whole thing works with the heat making the balloons rise. I love it.”

Beverly Newsom –“They were beautiful this morning, the color of the balloons were just spectacular.” 


Like being a doctor except on cars

Eric Gomez, left, transportation education director at ENMU-R, oversees Levin Van as he replaces brake shoes on a 2002 Honda Civic. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)

As auto technologies evolve, it takes more than just a shade-tree mechanic with a tool box to repair complex, computerized systems. ENMU-R offers a program to train students to work on modern cars, while local dealerships, Roswell Toyota in particular, offer internship programs where students can hone their skills

Jesus Garcia, left, shop
foreman and master technician at Roswell Toyota, and Omar Castaneda, ENMU-R
auto tech intern, perform computer diagnostics on a
2002 first-generation Prius. The specialized computer costs around $40,000 and Garcia has received about $100,000 in training during his 18 years with the dealership. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)

Modern automobiles, with features such as collision avoidance systems, are more technologically advanced than the first NASA space shuttle, said Eric Gomez, transportation education director at ENMU-Roswell.

And the technologies are evolving more and more each day with several auto makers developing self-driven cars.

Auto technicians, those working at dealerships especially, are no longer “grease monkeys,” although you can still get plenty dirty working in a shop.

Those of us of a certain age can remember our dads teaching us how to change the oil and do tuneups on the family car.

Changing the oil on a modern car is still fairly easy — once you manage to find the drain plug and filter — but tuneups are almost as old-fashioned as cattle drives, and engine parts such as points, condensers, rotor caps and distributors no longer exist unless you own a classic.

Modern engines may cost more to repair and require a higher level of expertise to work on than the 350 block in your dad’s ‘73 Chevy truck, but the good news is new engines have proven themselves to be more durable and efficient, Collins said.

What once were high-performance technologies two or three decades ago, like duel-overhead cams, are now standard equipment on nearly every vehicle that comes off the assembly line.

“We’ve got cars coming in with a half-million miles without an engine rebuild,” said Jim Collins, service manager at Roswell Toyota. “They are building better engine components.”

Collins, who grew up in Detroit and is from a “car family,” said in the old days it was a rare event when a car turned over 100,000 miles.

Collins has worked in the auto industry for 26 years, with the past nine at Toyota.

Collins said he met Gomez seven years ago when Gomez was a customer.

Both men have loved working on cars since they were teenagers and formed a professional relationship in 2012 when Gomez started teaching auto technology at ENMU-R.

Collins was particularly impressed with the internship program Gomez set up, where students can get 144 hours of hands-on experience working at a dealership.

The internships are unpaid and students do them on their own time. The internships are required for an associate’s degree, which requires taking classwork in subjects like math and English as well as the specialized automotive coursework.

Those wishing a certificate of employment instead of a two-year degree only need to take the auto tech classes, and no internship is required.

Collins said along the advanced training in diagnostics, Gomez’s students are prepared in shop safety and how to look and act professional.

Collins said he was shocked when he once walked into a shop and saw a mechanic wearing open-toed shoes.

Gomez got his start in the auto world much like many of his students.

He took vocational training at his alma mater, Dexter High School, and then continued his education in auto technology in Lubbock, Texas.

He received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education, with an emphasis administration, at ENMU in Portales.

He taught for eight years at Dexter before he was hired by ENMU-R, where he now is director of all the transportation programs, which are automotive, commercial driver’s license and diesel.

Gomez said modern-day auto technicians are like doctors for cars, except that while doctors communicate with the patients by speaking to them, mechanics communicate with cars through binary code.

The diagnostics computers that people saw in shops a few years ago that plug into the car are steadily being replaced with new computers with WiFi and Bluetooth that can access the internet as they perform a diagnostic.

However, while a computer can diagnose a problem such as a spark plug misfiring, the technician must figure out what is causing the misfire, Gomez said.

Gomez said auto mechanics is a good field to get into, especially for those who like problem solving — like spark plugs that misfire.

He said the job market is glutted with people with master’s degrees who can’t find jobs. However, with a certificate in auto technology, a student can quickly find a job in all 50 states, he said.

Gomez said starting salaries range from $10 to $15 an hour and there are limitless opportunities for advancement.

Gomez said Halliburton, an oil services company with locations around the area, is interested in hiring some of his candidates to work on their fleets.

Once hired by Halliburton, a starting mechanic can move laterally into another division of the company or move up into management, he said.

Collins agrees that opportunities abound once a graduate gets his or her first job.

Collins said he has hired around a dozen techs from the ENMU-R program. He is hiring a new one this month, Omar Castaneda of Roswell, and is considering hiring another one.

Though Castaneda is only 19, Collins said he already understands the difference between just having a job and a career.

“I want to go as far as I can,” Castaneda said. “If there is an opportunity to move forward, I will.”

For more information about ENMU-R’s auto tech program, call Gomez at 575-624-7115.

Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.

Youthful riders arrive safely in Roswell

Brothers Louis Abernathy and Temple Abernathy, ages 9 and 5 respectively, arrived in Roswell by horseback in August 1909. They traveled from Guthrie, Oklahoma, and were the sons of U.S. Marshal John R. Abernathy. They came to Roswell via Portales and Estaline, Texas. They were several days on the road and in the “pink of condition” after their long, hard journey. (Photo courtesy of the Historical Society for New Mexico)

Two sons of a Texas U.S. Marshal made long-distance horseback trips that drew attention of NM governor and President Theodore Roosevelt

A front-page article in the Aug. 25, 1909, Roswell Daily Record. (Image courtesy of the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico)

In 1909, two little boys, Louis “Louie” Abernathy and Temple Abernathy, “the Abernathy Boys,” ages 9 and 5 respectively, rode horseback from their home in Guthrie, Okla., by themselves, to Roswell, then to Santa Fe and back home again.

Louis, the oldest, was born in 1899 in Texas, and his younger brother, Temple, was born in 1904 in Tipton, Oklahoma. Their father was U.S. Marshal Jack Abernathy. He was also a cowboy and was personal friend’s with President Theodore Roosevelt. The boys’ mother passed away in 1907, leaving their father to raise six children alone, four girls and two boys.

This was a trip the boys had planned and dreamed about. They had studied maps by the light of the kerosene lamp, night after night. Going to bed each night they imagined the adventures that lay ahead and the stories their father had told them, about the country they wanted to travel to. They had planned and mapped their journey, day after day and night after night. Their dad had told them about the fruit orchards and the farms here in the Pecos Valley, and they wanted to see Gov. Curry’s house in Santa Fe.

When they had proven to their dad that they had memorized the route, he decided to let them try a short trip alone as a trial run. He told them if they could ride from their home in Guthrie to their ranch near Tipton in Southwestern Oklahoma, that would prove their ability for the longer journey. This ride took them about four days, and went off without a hitch!

After they had successfully navigated this short journey their dad gave them his blessing to do the trip from Guthrie, to Roswell, to Santa Fe, the Texas Panhandle, and back home again.

In preparation for their trip their dad opened a checking account for each of the boys and deposited $100 in each of their accounts. He told them this would be the money for food, and lodging, and any any emergencies they might run into along the way.

So, in July of 1909, they started their journey, into the great unknown, in the hottest time of the year.

Their dad had instructed them not to push their horses too hard, not more than 35 miles a day, so before they left home they had estimated how far to ride every day, and where to stop and spend the night, each night.

Before they left, their dad gave them a Bible and instructed them to say their prayers each night.

After leaving their home in Guthrie on their way to Roswell they encountered many dangers, as one might imagine.

They had to cross the Red River, where their dad had told them to be careful of pockets of quicksand. Approaching the river at dusk, the boys couldn’t see enough to know if it was quicksand so they decided to let Bud’s trusty horse (Sam Bass) take the lead, and carefully choosing the way, he led them safely across.

They spent the first night in Estelline, Texas, boarding their horses and staying in a hotel.

The next morning was hot and Temple was thirsty, so he drank lots of gyp (gypsum) water, which gave him diarrhea later in the day. They spent the next night in Turkey, Texas, where he had a very uncomfortable night. His brother gave him a big dose of castor oil in hopes of helping him feel better.

The next morning it was only worse, but they started on. He was having to get down off his horse every few minutes. They came upon a mercantile store where he had a strawberry pop and some crackers, and he started feeling better. He felt well enough to even talk his brother into buying candy for later in the day.

They spent two more nights on the very hot and dusty trail, and on the last night they camped between Portales and Roswell. During the night they were awakened by a pack of wolves. Louie fired the shotgun, until Temple could gather enough wood to put on the campfire to keep the wolves at bay.

When they arrived in Roswell, everybody seemed to know all about them. They stayed here several days, viewing the apple and peach orchards their dad had told them about and marveling at the irrigation systems. People were friendly, and the newspaper editor even invited them to stay at his house, which they gladly accepted.

Riding on from Roswell to Santa Fe they encountered a hail storm and Indians, they lost their Trail for a while, but they made it into Santa Fe safely, and from there, back to Oklahoma, but with many more exploits along the way.

After this trip they achieved so much notoriety they planned a cross country horseback ride to New York City to meet their dad’s old friend Theodore Roosevelt. They made that trip in 1910, and were greeted with a ticker tape parade behind a car carrying Roosevelt.

While in New York City they purchased a car, which they drove, again by themselves, back to Oklahoma. They shipped their horses home by train.

In 1911, they accepted another challenge to ride horseback from New York City to San Francisco in 60 days or less. They accepted the challenge and again made the trip, but it took them 62 days.

You can read more about their journeys online, or in the book, “Bud and Me,” written by Alta Abernathy. There also is a movie, “The Grand Ride of the Abernathy Boys.”

Both boys grew to be successful adults with Louis later graduating from the University of Oklahoma Law School and becoming a lawyer in Wichita Falls, Texas. He died in Austin, Texas, in 1979.

Temple worked in the oil and gas businessman and died in Teague, Texas, in 1986.

Credits to “Bud & Me: The true adventures of the Abernathy Boys,” written by Alta Abernathy.

Janice Dunnahoo is an archive volunteer at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico Archives. She can be reached at 575-622-1176 or by email at jdunna@hotmail.com.

CASA Winter Wonderland trees now on display

Shane Hall, market president of First American Bank and member of the CASA board of direcotors, with CASA Executive Director Carrie-Leigh Cloutier and Zia, one of the CASA courthouse dogs. (Timothy P. Howsare Photo)

Roswell hasn’t gotten any snow yet, but as far as CASA and First American Bank are concerned, the Christmas season has already arrived.

Winter Wonderland, an auction featuring one-of-a-kind Christmas trees and décor created and donated by members of the community, is now going on at both branches of First American Bank in Roswell. The locations are the main branch at 111 E. Fifth St. on the north side of the Chaves County Courthouse, and on North Main Street at Berrendo Road.

The public is welcome to walk around the lobbies of each of the branches and view the 75 trees and 125 other Christmas décor items.

Proceeds from both a silent and live auction will benefit the Chaves County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program’s work with abused children.

CASA Executive Director Carrie-Leigh Cloutier said she is deeply grateful to the major sponsors of this year’s Winter Wonderland, First American Bank, Xcel Energy and Lovelace Regional Hospital.

Other sponsors include the Chase Foundation and Chase Energy from Artesia.

She said there are more than 250 auction items sale.

The live auction will be held on Nov. 17 during a gala event under a tent in the parking lot of First American’s main branch from 5 to 7 p.m.

Over the years, the gala has become an annual tradition in Roswell, with tons of free food and beverages.

Last year, Mayor Dennis Kintigh said he was pleased to see individuals from all economic levels in Roswell attending the event.

This year, the piano students of Mike Lively will perform a recital before the auction.

Auctioneers are Shane Hall, market president of the Roswell bank branches, along with his son Cade. Hall also serves on the CASA board of directors.

Cloutier said the gala offers the public a chance to meet the CASA volunteers.

“Come to the auction and enjoy the festivities,” she said.

Both of the Walgreens stores in Roswell have sponsored trees, and Cloutier said there is a friendly competition on which store’s tree will get the most votes.

“Whoever wins will get a free pizza party,” Cloutier said.

Community News reporter Timothy P. Howsare can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or vistas@rdrnews.com.


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