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Alternative Sentencing Program helps create better citizens

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Retired state policeman and former sheriff, Rob Coon teaches an ASPEN class at the Rodeway Inn on West Second. The classes are designed to give criminals a new way to look at their lives so that they can function better in society. To date over 40,000 New Mexicans have gone through the ASPEN program. (Submitted Photo)

This is part two of a two part article about the Alternative Sentencing Program.

Judge K.C. Rogers, one of the founders of the Alternative Sentencing Program & Educational Network, known as ASPEN, along with former sheriff and current instructor Rob Coon, sat with the Daily Record and explained how the class works to help keep the jail population down.
“One of the easiest things about this class is that we don’t judge anybody,” Rogers said. “Knowledge is power and if they use the knowledge we offer them, great. But if they don’t, they can’t complain because they know better.”
They try to make the point that the law is here to stay.
“The system isn’t going away,” Rogers said. “The laws aren’t getting more lenient. Cops are getting better at their jobs, and judges are getting tired of seeing it. They need to accept that everything they don’t like about the system will be waiting for them the next time that they get caught. Or they can quit.”
Rogers said that criminals tend to be selfish.
“Take a man in his 50s, he’s been in the system more than out of it,” Rogers said. “He’s never gone to prison but he keeps giving pieces of his life away 90 days at a time. They think about themselves, their immediate needs.
“In this class they’re often asked, ‘who is the most important person in your life?’ It’s not unusual to find them saying ‘Me!’ Young kids, gang members and the like, it’s their friends.
“The older guy, it almost always comes down to a mom or a grandma, whatever adult stepped in to raise them. So we ask the guy, ‘Do you love your grandma?’ They do. Then you ask, ‘Did she love you enough to raise you? She didn’t have to raise you. She did it out of love. Do you think that she would die for you?’ They never hesitate. It’s always yes.”
Now they can make a difference.
“We say, ‘Now let’s talk about you,’” Rogers said. “How much do you love her? When she gets old, will you take care of her? Will you take her to the doctor? Will you take care of her the way she took care of you?’ And they say ‘yes.’ Then we ask, ‘Do you love her enough to die for her? If they said you had to give up your life to save hers, would you do it?’ They almost always say yes.
“Then we ask, ‘Do you love her enough to change? Do you love her enough to stop? She raised you to be somebody you’re not. You’re a criminal. You make bad decisions all day long. Do you love her enough to stop living a life that causes her to lay in bed at night praying that nothing happens to you, and beg that you’re OK, and that is every moment of her life? She’s worried about you. Do you love her enough to stop doing that?’”
By the time they get to this point, the student has a lot to think about.
“It’s amazing,” Rogers said. “Grown men who’ve spent half their life in prison, tears will be running down their face and they’ll say, ‘yeah, I do.’”
Now it’s time to help them.
“We tell them, ‘Then you’ve got to change,’” he said. “You’ve got to make better decisions. This is how you change. These are the things that you start doing. Recognize that you’re not alone in your behavior.
“Most people who have these issues do not act alone all the time. They’re almost always driven by other parties. Even the guy who’s the leader of the pack, won’t be the leader if there’s not a pack. So, they’ve got to look at the people they associate with.”
From there it’s a matter of breaking their story down to workable details.
“We ask them, ‘Can you get yourself a job?” Rogers said. “Are you in a position to start making changes? If so, then it’s time to start. You can take little bitty steps until you can take great big steps. All of this is done, pointing out negative results stemming from negative behaviors, with the understanding that they can change all this.”
It took some time for the program to be able to prove its worth.
“When we first started this, I had judges and lawyers and people with a lot of letters after their names question who were we to do this,” Rogers said. “Our response was that we knew more about criminals’ behavior than most people. We had a much better understanding of it because we dealt with it in a different manner, and we’re not here to change their life. We’re here to just give them information.
“I’m not a counselor. I can’t help you if you’re wetting the bed and eating flowers. But if you’re robbing people, I’ve got a problem with that. If you’re causing problems for other people, I’ve got a problem with that. You may need a counselor for the bed wetting, but you just need a good swift kick in the butt if you won’t quit smoking weed and go get a job.”
Rogers and his peers don’t turn away from the tough questions, they generally ask them.
“I had a judge ask me one time, ‘If I sent a 40-year-old heroin addicted prostitute to your class, what are you going to do for her?’” he said. “I said, ‘If she goes to the health clinic and gets her STDs dealt with. If she signs up for the needle exchange program, so she’s not using dirty needles anymore, but she’s still being a prostitute, have we failed?’ He said, ‘no’ and I said ‘well then that’s what we’re going to do.’
“We may not be able to get her to stop all of her behaviors. We can’t stop addiction. We’re not counselors. But we have to show them that there’s another way to go and that they can deal with these things. And that the people that they fear the most — cops — actually have an understanding of it. We just have a job we have to do.”
The cop experience with the instructor’s delivery is where the rubber meets the road at ASPEN.
“Now we get to use that experience to say, ‘Do you know that you can go to the clinic?’” Rogers said. “Do you know that legally, law enforcement can have no knowledge of who is participating in the needle exchange program? It’s totally confidential.’ We’ve dealt with thousands of people in this way. Most really good police officers weren’t good guys. Guys that have been around the block make good cops.”
Coon said this work has affected him strongly.
“As a policeman I saw the worst in people,” Coon said, “but teaching these classes I see that little light come on and they realize what they’ve been doing wrong all this time. I go to the store and people stop me and thank me, tell me that they’ve turned their life around because of the class. I go home thinking maybe I have made a difference.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

One person killed in fiery accident in south Roswell

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Police and firefighters respond to a fatal crash late Friday afternoon at the intersection of South Main Street and the Roswell Relief Route. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

A person was killed and two people were taken to a hospital after a fiery two-vehicle crash late Friday afternoon at the intersection of South Main Street and the Roswell Relief Route.

Both the Roswell fire and police departments responded to the crash that occurred at about 5:25 p.m. Friday on the city’s south side.
Roswell police and fire department public information officer Todd Wildermuth said one vehicle erupted into flames.
Robin Freiburg was 1,000 feet from the accident. He said he could see the fire at the center of the intersection before firefighters arrived.
“Big fire, probably 6 or 8 feet above the vehicle,” Freiburg said. “Up in the sky, above the truck. And then, moments later, there’s a couple of explosions, like fuel tanks — barrels of fuel or something that was explosive.
“A couple minutes or 5 minutes, maybe before they got here with the fire trucks (was) when the fire was really roaring, you know.”
The accident involved a white pickup truck and an Aaron’s box truck. Wildermuth said one person was killed, and two others were injured and taken to a local hospital.
“We didn’t get close enough to see or know,” Frieburg said. “It was a large fire, and there were explosions, so it was really burning before they got here — it just wasn’t in time to save those drivers, it’s a sad day.”
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Where there is steam there is punk

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Far left, Peter Powell, patriarch of the local steampunk group, is talking to a visiting steampunk at his booth at the Roswell Mall. The steampunks joined the Galacticon & Sci-Fi Film Fest this year again. The highlight will be this evening's Steampunk Ball at Pepper's Grill and Bar, right after the UFO Festival's Electric Light Parade. (Christina Stock Photo)

Woman has medical incident before driving car into pole

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Members of the Roswell Fire Department stay nearby the scene of a car crash Friday morning while investigators arrive to document the incident. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

A 67-year-old woman was taken to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center after striking a light pole and careening into oncoming traffic Friday morning.

The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. near the Wal-Mart entrance, in the 4500 block of North Main Street.
The Roswell Police Department investigated the single-vehicle accident shorty after the collision.
RPD’s public information officer Todd Wildermuth said the incident is believed to have been caused by a medical issue involving the driver. The woman driving the Mercury Sable was the only person in the vehicle.
“Investigators believe the woman’s medical issue had already begun (while driving),” Wildermuth said. “The car was exceeding the 45-mph speed limit as it traveled north when it struck a light pole in the median adjacent to the left-turn lane into the Wal-Mart entrance.”
Wildermuth said the light pole was knocked over, into the street.
“The woman continued driving the car northbound, but now in the southbound lanes of North Main Street,” he said. “A short distance later, still in the same block, the car drove up a small hill of an embankment on the west side of Main Street and entered a parking lot between Panda Express and the Sprint store. The car struck a cement pillar, causing the car to spin and come to rest, still on its wheels.”
Emergency medical personnel described the woman’s injuries as moderate, he said.
“She was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries from the crash, as well as treatment for her medical issue.”
No pedestrians or other vehicles were struck by the woman’s car during the incident. Traffic moving south within that area of Main Street was temporarily diverted to remove the toppled light pole and clear glass and other debris on the roadway.
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

Street closures planned for railroad work

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Temporary street closures are planned for Roswell in the next two weeks for railroad work.

A city spokesperson said a small section of East College Boulevard will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, and a small section of East Second Street will be closed July 12-13, as Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway conducts pavement work related to its railroad crossings on those roads.
In each case, the closure will occur immediately around the railroad crossing.
The College Boulevard closure will be between Grand Avenue and Petro Drive. The Second Street closure will be between Virginia and Railroad avenues. In each instance, traffic will be allowed to reach businesses and other facilities in the immediate area of the closure.
Detours will be in place. Motorists are asked to be aware of and obey traffic signs that will be put in place regarding the closures.

Galacticon knows where Galacticon flows

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Vendors opened for the first time at the Galacticon & Sci-fi Film Fest at the Roswell Mall on Friday. According to the vendors, this year's flow on the first day was consistent, despite it being the first day and a workday. "I already sold out one of my books, 'Ludiger,'" local author and guest of honor, E.J. Wilson, said. Comic book artist Tiffany Pascal also has a booth at Galacticon. "It is really well laid out this year," she said. (Christina Stock Photo)

Hot festival, cool entertainment

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Catching air on the water slide. (Keilee Templeman Photo)
A little girl enjoys the water slide. (Keilee Templeman Photo)

Galacticon fun in Roswell

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Elsie Marie uses light to reflect an alien-inspired image with her dichroic glass piece Friday afternoon at Roswell Galacticon. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)
Albuquerque-based cosplayer Mariah Lanae expresses what it feels like interacting with children when dressed up as “Anna” from the Disney movie “Frozen” Friday afternoon at Roswell Galacticon. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Maria Sanchez

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Maria Sanchez, 100, passed away on Wednesday, May 28, 2017, in Hagerman, NM. Viewing will be Sunday, July 2, 2017, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home. A Rosary will be recited following the viewing at 7 p.m. The Funeral Service will be held on Monday, July 3, 2017, at 10 a.m., at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow at Hagerman Cemetery. A tribute of Maria’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
On December 5, 1916, Maria was born to Manuel Flores and Epolita Flores in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. Maria was a member of St. Catherine Church in Hagerman, NM. Some of her favorite hobbies were crocheting, listening to music and watching novelas (soap operas). Maria always looked forward to going to the Joy Center and receiving visits from family and friends. She loved to care for her plants and flowers. Maria will be dearly missed by her family and friends.
Those left to cherish Maria’s memory are her children: Berta Guevara, Jose Sanchez, Yolanda Barrera, Manuel Sanchez, Ofelia Segura, Lorenza Gaxiola, Maria Serna; 26 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Maria in death were her husband, Jose Pablo Chacon Sanchez; parents: Manuel Flores and Epolita Flores; children: Mauro Delgado, Mateo Sanchez, Armando Sanchez, Rosalinda Sanchez, (twins) Julio Delgado and Julia Delgado; brother, Sabino Flores of Fabens, TX.
Those chosen as Honorary Pallbearers are: Sandra Barrera, Andrea Barrera, Matthew Flores, Gabrielle Barrera, Bella Barrera, Craig Guevara, Cris Guevara, Roman Barrera and Conner Sanchez.
Pallbearers are: Oscar Barrera, Israel Sanchez, J.P. Sanchez, Eric Sanchez, Yvonne Guevara, Ailene Guevara, Joe Sanchez and Arturo Sanchez.
Family would like to give a Special Thank You to Dr. Ann Amett, Lovelace Hospital, Community Home Care, Advanced Home Care staff, Kindred Hospice staff and her friends for the special care given to Maria.

 

Olin Ralph Vernon

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Olin Ralph Vernon, age 87, of Roswell, passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, July 3, 2017 at the Country Club Road Church of Christ. Pastor Doug Austin will be officiating. Inurnment will follow at a later date at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, NM.
Olin Ralph was born in Hereford, Texas on January 31, 1930 to James Anderson Vernon and Cora Reeves Vernon. He was one of 13 children, two of which survive him. They are Freeda McBride from Portales, NM and Yvonne Johnson from Los Alamos, NM.
Olin Ralph began working for Prices Creamery in Portales, NM in the early 1950’s. He was fondly known as “little sister” because he was so young and naive. He enlisted in the Army in September of 1959 and served until 1962.
He worked for the NM National Guard full time in Portales, NM and transferred to Roswell, NM in 1960. He retired in June 1977 as SFC/E7 after serving 25 years. Olin was a lifetime member of the B.P.O.E., No. 969 Elks Lodge in Roswell, NM.
Olin Ralph and his wife Deanie, were always seen in the many restaurants in town, because they both loved to eat out. They loved traveling, camping, and fishing. One of Olin’s favorite places was in Northern New Mexico near Chama. One of his greatest pleasures was their children; always being involved in their activities. He attended many band concerts and marching festivals. You could often see him as a proud father watching his son play baseball, in his earlier years, and almost a decade later watching his twin sons play soccer.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 66 years, Deanie M.Vernon; his parents, James A. and Cora Vernon; son, Dennis Ralph Vernon; brothers, Robert Perry Vernon, John Ivan Vernon, Durward Edward Vernon, and Charles Lloyd Vernon; sisters, Uva Hargett, Veda Huggins, Loretta Ellerd, Alva Summers, Dorotha Brannon, and Ova Pitts.
He is survived by his daughter, Lorraine (Warren) Odom of Rio Rancho, NM; sons, James (Ashley) Vernon of Roswell, NM, and Robby Vernon of Oklahoma City, OK. Olin Ralph is also survived by eight grandchildren, Tommy Tigert of Charlottesville, VA, Aaron Odom of Albuquerque, NM, Addison Vernon of Oklahoma City, OK, Ava Vernon of Roswell, NM, Lauryn Vernon of Roswell, NM, Blakely Vernon of Roswell, NM, Abby Vernon-Pena of Oklahoma City, OK, Christopher Armstrong of Antioch, CA, and two great-grandchildren.
We would like to thank Louane Soliz, Leah Higgins, Patricia Gonzalez, Kyra Franco, and Karla Mendez for the home care they gave Dad for the last three years and also the nurses at Brookdale and Sunset Villa for the care they gave our father.
The family would like memorial contributions made in his honor to New Mexico Children’s Home in Portales, NM.
Arrangements are under the personal care of LaGrone Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at lagronefuneralchapels.com.

 

Robert Gibson

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Robert Gibson, 62, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Roswell, NM. Viewing will be at Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home on Saturday, July 1, 2017, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eulogy will be recited on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at 6 p.m. at Church On The Move. Funeral service will be at Church On The Move on Monday, July 3, 2017, at 1 p.m., followed by burial at General Douglas L. McBride Cemetery. A tribute of Robert’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for his family.
On January 18, 1955, Robert was born to Elsie Rodriguez in Roswell, NM. Robert proudly served his country in the Vietnam War with the US Army. After his service, Robert worked as a contractor for years and eventually opened Gibson Paint & Repair. When he closed his business, Robert obtained his associate’s degree in Human Service and Certification in Drug & Alcohol Abuse. Helping others was his passion, which led him to be a paint instructor for the HBI program at Roswell Job Corps. His students were his pride and joy. Even if they weren’t in his trade students flocked to “G’s trade.” After leaving Job Corps, Robert pursued his passion for reaching Roswell’s youth by becoming an officer at the Chaves County Juvenile Detention Center eventually becoming a Corporal. Robert married the love of his life, Esther Macias, on June 30, 1984. Taking family vacations, participating in church outreaches, fishing and camping trips and attending every sporting event with the grandkids was their life. Robert gave his heart to the Lord in 1999, and was a devout member of Church on the Move, serving as a deacon for several years, and participating in numerous mission trips to Mexico, Mardi Gras and Camp Sierra Blanca. He possessed a spirited sense of humor and liked making everyone laugh. Robert was also a loyal Raiders fan. But above all, he was the heart and soul of his family and his daughter’s hero. Robert will be missed by all that knew him.
Surviving to cherish Robert’s memory are his loving wife, Esther Gibson; daughter, Elisianna Madrid and husband, Eric Madrid; grandchildren: Robert Madrid, Alissa Madrid, Jason Madrid; siblings: Linda Gomez and husband Able Gomez, Diane Flores and husband, Florencio Flores, Johnny Gibson and wife, Pauline, Gary Gibson, Richard Gibson; ; brothers-in-law: Larry Nieto, Tino Nieto, Fito Macias; and sisters-in-law: Faye Orona, Sylvia Diaz and Willie, Yolanda Ornelas and Smiley, special nephew, Anthony Flores; Roland Lucero (whom he thought of as his own); numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Robert in death are his loving mother, Elsie Rodriguez; siblings: Mary Lou Byrd, Michael Gibson, Albert Gibson, Raymond Avila; nephews: Joseph Lopez, Willo Diaz; father-in-law, Ralph Macias; mother-in-law, Guadalupe Nieto; and sister-in-law, Joanne Nieto.
Those chosen as Honorary Pallbearers are: Job Corps students, Chaves County Juvenile Detention Center, Bruce Harris, Shelly Cobos, Dena Garcia and Crystal Flores, Sergeant Zapata, Janice Navarette, Roland Lucero, Corpral Sifuentes, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Pallbearers are: Eric Madrid, Anthony Flores, Ralph Cobos, Smiley Ornelas, Sonny Gibson and Frankie Garcia.
This tribute was lovingly written in honor of Robert by his family.

 

Roswell’s Daliege signs with UNM; Coyotes’ state record-breaking long jumper makes leap to Lobo Track & Field

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Recent Roswell High graduate Anastasia Daliege signs a national letter of intent to compete for the UNM Track & Field program during a small gathering of family and friends Friday afternoon at RHS’s auxiliary gym. Daliege took home four medals at the 2017 state championships in Albuquerque, including gold in the long jump with a new state record leap of 18 feet, 5 inches. Pictured, from left (back row): Uncle Mike McCoy, aunt Annette McCoy, junior varsity volleyball coach Savanah Romero, track coach Tim Fuller and volleyball coach Heather Baca. Front row, from left: grandmother Rita Daliege, mother Staci Daliege, Anastasia Daliege, father Nick Russell and stepmother Deanne Russell. (AJ Dickman Photo)

The last time she jumped at the University of New Mexico’s Track and Field Complex, Roswell High graduate Anastasia Daliege broke the girls’ high school long jump state record with a long leap of 18 feet, 5 inches.

With family and coaches surrounding her, Anastasia Daliege signs a national letter of intent Friday to compete for the University of New Mexico Track & Field program. The long jump, high jump and triple jump standout could have the opportunity to compete in multiple events at the Division I level. (AJ Dickman Photo)

The next time she competes at UNM, it will be as a Lobo.
One of Roswell High’s most decorated athletes in recent memory, Daliege signed a national letter of intent Friday to become a member of the UNM Track and Field team.
“It feels great,” said Daliege. “I’m excited to go to UNM and experience more and better competition. I’m not sure how many jumpers they have, but I don’t expect to be the best right away. I just want to improve throughout the season, especially in the fall, during our indoor season.”
Daliege has earned a total of 11 state track meet medals throughout her high school career, including three gold medals — a triple jump and long jump gold in 2016 and of course, the record-breaking 2017 long jump gold. At the last state track meet in May, Daliege also took second in the high jump, and fourth in both the triple jump and as part of the four-person 1600-meter sprint medley relay.
When you count all the regular-season meets, her career medal count is harder to track.
“I have so many, probably at least a hundred,” she said.
Daliege plans to study occupational therapy and thinks her experiences of juggling multiple sports and a part-time job while keeping up with her high school studies has prepared her for the hectic life of a collegiate student-athlete.
“I actually think it won’t be as difficult as it was in high school,” she said. “I’ll be able to focus on one sport throughout the year. I’m pretty excited and I think I’m ready for it.”
A work-out warrior, Daliege said lifting weights and doing box jumps are two of the most beneficial activities, but she’s excited to get more coaching in college.
“My vertical is over 27 inches,” she said. “Long jump is my favorite event, but I know I can be a better high jumper. I just need more training.”
Daliege credited her family for giving her the support, and the occasional nudge in the right direction, that helps athletes thrive
“My grandma, my mom, my dad, my uncle — they have all done a lot to help me get to where I am today,” she said. “They made me work hard in school, play sports, do this and go here and do that (laughs) … so it kinda helps.”
Daliege is part of a 2017 senior class at Roswell High that is sending three female athletes to the state’s flagship school.
“Roswell High has great athletic programs,” she said. “The coaches are amazing here. We have a lot of good teams throughout Roswell. Goddard is great too, I’m not gonna lie.”
Roswell track coach Tim Fuller said Daliege is the type of athlete that turns it up to another level on meet days.
“She’s a gamer,” he said. “Once she gets to state, she just excels. It’s always fun to watch her pick her game up in the big moment. She had kind of plateaued during the year, and then she goes to state and just blows it out of the water. Kids like that make us coaches look good.”
Lady Coyotes volleyball coach Heather Baca said Daliege’s above-average athleticism allowed her to be a major contributor, despite her height.
“She’s not a huge kid, but she was playing outside hitter at 5-foot-5, which is pretty amazing,” said Baca. “She has tremendous work ethic in the weight room, leaving some big shoes to fill there. And it will be hard to replace a natural jumper like that on the court.”
With her ability to step up when the spotlight is brightest and her desire to constantly improve, don’t be surprised if Daliege leaps into the collegiate record books over the next four years. Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s record long jump of 22 feet, 11 1/2 inches could fall next.

 

Piller rebounds with 66 on 2nd day of Women’s PGA Championship

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Roswell native Gerina Piller, seen here in her 2016 Team USA portrait, rocketed up the leaderboard at the Women’s PGA Championship Friday, moving from 70th to 15th with a 5-under 66, putting the Goddard graduate at 3-under par after two rounds. (Photo courtesy of Team USA)

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Danielle Kang won back-to-back majors as an amateur yet she’s never cracked the winner’s circle in her half-dozen years as a pro.

The 24-year-old Californian took a big step in the right direction, grabbing a share of the second-round lead in the morning wave Thursday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Her biggest hurdle could well be co-leader Sei Young Kim, the LPGA Tour’s 2015 Rookie of the Year and already a six-time winner on tour.
Kang and Kim each shot 5-under 66 to reach 7-under 135
First-round leader Amy Yang (71) and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66) were another stroke back.
So Yeon Ryu (68), who climbed to No. 1 in the world ranking after a victory last week and won the LPGA Tour’s first major of the season, was in the clubhouse at 5 under along with Moriya Jutanugarn (68) and Sarah Jane Smith (67). Lydia Ko shot 68 to put herself back in contention at 4 under.
Kang, the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion in 2010-11, conceded she didn’t have a game plan after her last practice round at Olympia Fields Country Club, one of several venues that previously hosted men’s majors now being tested by the women.
“I kind of was super-overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do,” she said. “So I called my brother, Alex, of course.”
Alex Kang, who plies his trade on the Web.com Tour, was familiar with Olympia Fields and its bunkers, and he gave her some simple advice.
“He goes, ‘Just blast it down,’” she recalled. The plan worked as Kang, relying on her driver, hit 11 of 14 fairways and hasn’t made a bogey through 36 holes.

Kim carved her path up the leaderboard with a closing flourish, making three birdies in her last five holes. They came on the tougher front-nine side, though players caught a break as the swirling wind that made club selection dicey Thursday subsided in round two.
“Fortunately, when I tee off a little less windy,” Kim said, “so I was able to attack the pin.”
The KPMG kicks off a stretch of three majors in six weeks and Ryu could cement her new No. 1 status by adding a second major to the one she claimed in May by beating Lexi Thompson in a playoff at the ANA Inspiration. The LPGA Tour staged a brief celebration as she teed off Thursday, draping her caddie, Tom Watson, in a special green bib.
“The ceremony made me more nervous,” Ryu said. “No. 1, I thought it’s a lot of responsibility and it just gave me a lot of pressure. I finally got relaxed a bit more and just played as normal.”
Yang was on the 18th fairway a day earlier when play was suspended because of lightning. She returned just before 8 a.m. to complete her first round and made a birdie for a 65. Although she got to 7 under, she couldn’t hold it.
Defending champion Brooke Henderson and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie played in the afternoon.
Kelly Shon, who opened with a 77, notched the low round of the tournament and tied a competitive course record with a 63. The former Princeton player made six birdies and an eagle without a bogey, placing her name in the Olympia Fields record book alongside Patty Sheehan and Meg Mallon and Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh (who played the course with a par of 70).
“I wish I’d known I could have beat them all by one shot,” she said, adding quickly, “I’m just kidding.”
Shon knew something special was happening when she rolled in a 90-foot putt for eagle at No. 2.
“My caddie said to me, ‘I had a feeling you were going to make it. And I had a feeling if you made it, you were going to make the cut,’” she recalled. “I don’t know if I believe in superstitions and stuff, but he’s 1-for-1.”
One shot ahead of Shon, tied for 15th, was Gerina Piller. After an opening round 73, Piller shot up the leaderboard Friday with a 5-under 66. The Goddard High School graduate and 2016 U.S. Olympic team member is still hunting for her first professional win.

Separating the ‘extra’ from the terrestrial; Presentations by alien skeptics help open 2017 UFO Festival; Redfern expands on idea of otherworldly beings

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Nick Redfern, considered by some the chief antagonist of ufologists, examines the possibility of a non-extraterrestrial explanation for the Roswell incident Thursday during the kickoff of the Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis Conference held at the Roswell Mall. (Jeff Tucker Photo)

Theories, conspiracies and viewpoints altogether leery about the world’s most famous “flying disc” permeated the city Thursday during the kickoff of the 70th anniversary of the 1947 Roswell incident.

Eric Frame of Sacramento, California, asks how people can trust the government to tell the truth about the reported alien crash near Roswell in 1947 during a conference at the Roswell Mall Thursday afternoon. (Jeff Tucker Photo)

About 75 people attended, and an untold number of internet viewers from distant places such as Australia and New Zealand watched, an afternoon lecture Thursday that challenged many of the theories of exactly what happened on a ranch outside Roswell in 1947.
Nick Redfern, the author of 40 books on UFOs and other topics and considered by some the chief antagonist of ufologists, examined the possibility of a demonic influence on the crash during the Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis Conference at the Roswell Mall.
Redfern said a program of 30 to 40 expert members was secretly formed at the U.S. Pentagon to study UFOs for decades. He said military personnel may have had mind-to-mind interactions with “non-human entities.”
Redfern said he’s spoken with a handful of committee members, including an Episcopal priest and former Mutual UFO Network Nebraska state director, who gave on-the-record insight into the Roswell event.
Redfern said the U.S. government concluded that aliens are forms of demons, and that the government devised a hoax to convince the world into believing that space aliens crashed near Roswell, instead of Satan’s minions, which was actually the case. He postulated that the U.S. government intentionally drew attention to the demonic crash, leaving a debris field and alien bodies, and alerting the public through the Roswell Army Air Field.
“Whether or not that’s true, I don’t know,” he conceded. “By the group’s own admission, it is a belief.”
Redfern, who has studied non-extraterrestrial viewpoints that explain aliens, UFO reports and the Roswell incident in non-extraterrestrial terms, said the world-famous report of an alien crash in 1947 by a public information officer at the Roswell Army Air Field could have simply been a high-altitude “mobile balloon” used covertly in the Cold War by the United States to detect nuclear tests by the U.S.S.R.
On the other hand, it could have been a spaceship from another dimension, he said.
“I don’t view the government as the bad guys at all,” Redfern told the audience. “They’re normal people with this incredible burden and they don’t know what to do.”
Redfern said he takes a detached, data-driven approach to studying the Roswell incident and other phenomenon. He said the crash could have been a hologram that left a physical impact on the landscape.
“It all depends on your own interpretation of what this phenomena is,” he said.
Interim editor Jeff Tucker can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 303, or at editor@rdrnews.com.

Separating the ‘extra’ from the terrestrial; Presentations by alien skeptics help open 2017 UFO Festival; Malone argues German research behind 1947 event

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Guy Malone doesn't think the Roswell crash in 1947 has anything to do with extraterrestrials. He presented his alternative view Thursday at the opening of the Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Theory Conference at the Roswell Mall. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

“It’s a lot to think about” and “I am not convinced either way yet” were a couple of the comments made by the dozens who turned out Thursday morning for the first talk in the Modern Challenges to the Extraterrestrial Theory Conference at the Roswell Mall.

Guy Malone launched the speaker series that continues through Sunday with his talk “Roswell 1947: What Really Happened?”
He and the other presenters in the conference, one of several occurring during the UFO Festival this week, think that other explanations besides other-wordly beings visiting Earth exist for the Roswell Incident and other UFO sightings.
But Malone noted that the title of his talk has a question mark, not a period.
“I am not here claiming so much that I can document 100 percent exactly what happened, but I am showing you things that you probably had no idea were true in the ’40s and asking you, with this new knowledge, what you think could have actually happened in 1947,” he said.
Malone is the author of a published book “Come Sail Away” about UFO theory and scriptures. But the ideas he presented during his talk, first written down by him in 2002, did not have to do with religious views.
Drawing on his own and others’ research, he posited that the Roswell crash debris likely was a U.S. experimental aircraft based on German scientists’ designs. He said that the U.S. government secretly brought Nazi and German scientists to the United States after World War II in a classified project known as Operation Paperclip. He also said that it is now known that Germans had created prototypes of aircraft similar to the Stealth Bomber in the 1940s.
Malone added that many documents indicate that the German scientists worked in several U.S. military research programs, including ones at White Sands, not far from the 1947 crash site in Corona, and Wright Field, now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where the crash debris was taken in the days following its discovery.
Operation Paperclip, according to Malone’s research, was kept secret from the public, President Harry Truman and much of the federal government not only because policy and law prohibited the hiring of Nazis but also because the United States was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union and fiercely guarded its military research activities.
Malone gave a similar explanation for the nature of the debris metal as described by witnesses, who said that it could be folded and bent but would snap back to its original shape. He showed a document which he says indicates that research on “memory metal” was occurring as early as the 1930s.
He also cast doubt on whether any bodies were discovered at the crash site. If there were, he said, it is possible that they were people with progeria or similar disorders, who often have elongated limbs, large heads and large eyes. He claimed that medical research on “unfortunates,” including those considered handicapped, was performed by U.S. and former Nazi scientists participating in aviation medical research with the aim of determining what pilots’ bodies could withstand.
“I consider my target audience for this lecture to be the undecided,” Malone said, later adding, “You are the jury now. You’ve heard this side now and what is popularly promoted.”
His talk did reach at least one of those undecided. Rodney Andrews of Columbia, Tennessee, in Roswell for his first UFO Festival, said he isn’t sure yet.
“I thought he took a select set of facts and examined it as best he could given those facts,” Andrews said. “There are still lots of questions.”
He said the debatable facts include the nature of the debris metal. He said he has read a book written by a woman who worked at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base who remembers a man who flirted with her and bragged about a piece of metal he said was from the crash debris. According to Andrews, the metal described by that woman in the book cannot be explained by the “memory metal” discussed by Malone, and Andrews added that he is unaware of any aviation uses for Nitinol or other known memory metals.
Another audience member said that she has a lot to consider now.
“I never heard this before,” said Maggie Caledon of Albuquerque, who indicated that she plans to attend other speakers’ series as well. “It makes sense.”
Information about the conference and other UFO Festival speakers can be found at ufofestivalroswell.com.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Democrat from Las Cruces jumps in race for Congress

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A Democrat from Las Cruces on Thursday announced his campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, although it remains unclear if the seven-term congressman will seek re-election to Congress, run for governor or pursue something else.

Baake

Although the general election isn’t until November 2018, David Baake said he’s not waiting to get his congressional bid started.
“Too many New Mexicans are struggling,” Baake said in a news release Thursday. “Unemployment is too high. Wages are stagnating. And now our health care is at risk. We need to start now, so we can build a movement to get our country moving in the right direction again.”
Baake, who grew up on the Texas-New Mexico border, graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014. After Harvard, he spent a year with the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he said he worked to promote clean energy and protect Americans from air pollution. Baake also spent time as an attorney in the federal judiciary, where he said he worked to promote fairness and stand up for constitutional rights.

Pearce

“Growing up in a middle-class family, my parents taught me that all people deserve respect and the opportunity to succeed,” Baake said. “I’m running for Congress because I think we need to return to those values.”
Baake said Pearce’s vote for the American Health Care Act is evidence that new leadership is needed for southern New Mexico. The 2nd Congressional District, geographically one of largest congressional districts in the nation, spans the southern half of the state and represents a varied constituency from the Permian Basin oil fields of southeast New Mexico, where Republicans rule, to much more politically Democratic cities like Las Cruces and Silver City.
“The bill Pearce voted for would cause 23 million Americans to lose their health insurance, while raising costs for seniors and folks with pre-existing conditions,” Baake said. “Pearce’s vote shows he cares more about tax cuts for billionaires than the health of his constituents. We need a new voice in Washington who will defend all New Mexicans.”
Baake was also critical of Pearce’s bill to increase public access to public lands for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting. Pearce’s legislation would shrink the size of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument from nearly 500,000 acres to 54,800 acres protected from any sort of mineral exploration/leasing and mining.
The mountain’s peaks rise above Las Cruces, and include a vast stretch of desert to the city’s west. Conservatives argue national monuments should not be any larger than necessary, and that former President Barack Obama frequently abused his executive authority conferring monument status on vast stretches of public lands.
“Our public lands are where many of us spend the most precious moments of our lives, hiking and hunting and fishing with our families,” Baake said. “I cherish them, and will fight to protect them for our kids and grandkids.”
Pearce’s flirtation with a gubernatorial campaign has prompted Republicans from southeast New Mexico to start making plans in the event Pearce, R-Hobbs, runs for governor. Pearce is currently the only Republican among New Mexico’s five-member congressional delegation.
Caleb Grant, chairman of the Republican Party of Chaves County, said many people are waiting to see what Pearce decides. Grant said if Pearce does not run for re-election to Congress, the political landscape in the congressional district would quickly change.

Pirtle

State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, has told the Daily Record he is thinking about running for Congress. Pirtle, 31, ran unsuccessfully against Pearce in the June 2010 Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District.
Pirtle said he would make a decision about a congressional bid by Aug. 1. The Republican and Democratic primaries are June 5.
Not since former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen retired from Congress in January 2003 after 11 two-year terms has the state’s southernmost congressional district had a representative who resided in Roswell.
The 2nd Congressional District includes all of Chaves, Catron, Cibola, De Baca, Doña Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero, Sierra and Socorro counties, and portions of Bernalillo, McKinley, Roosevelt and Valencia counties.

Alternative Sentencing Program aims to turns lives around

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Chris Maes, Jennie Pierce and Kevin Boyd are instructors with the Alternative Sentencing Program of New Mexico. As retired police officers, the ASPEN instructors have a unique perspective that can empower criminals to make better decisions and remain with their families while learning how to better function in their world. (Submitted Photo)

This is the first of a two part article about the Alternative Sentencing Program.

Since its inception in 2002, the Alternative Sentencing Program & Educational Network program has kept 40,000 New Mexicans out of jail and given them the tools to stay out of jail if they want to. ASPEN was founded by now Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers along with Dusty Peterson and Kevin Boyd, all retired state police officers.
“I had done 21 years or so with the state police,” Rogers said. “Most of that was narcotic work. I was working under cover and buying drugs for a living. I went from being in charge of criminal investigations, to investigating murders and significant crimes.”
Retiring from the state police at 40 left Rogers feeling a need to do more.
“I really hadn’t done anything except be a law enforcement officer,” he said. “So, I sat down and tried to figure a way that I could make a living serving the community.”
Something he hadn’t been able to do as a police officer, but was now free to do, seemed like the perfect answer.
“In ASPEN, we have people from all aspects of law enforcement,” Rogers said. “What they have said, over and over again, is how rewarding it is to be able to explain these things to people so that they understand. But we couldn’t do that when we were in law enforcement.”
So he developed the Second Chance-Life Values Program.
“I did it with the assistance of a couple of other guys,” Rogers said. “I had a couple of friends, Dusty Peterson and Kevin Boyd, who were both state police under cover narcotics officers. I had worked with them for a long time. I asked them to help me with information on certain subjects. It kind of turned into a group project. We all thought this was what we really needed to be doing, teaching criminals about the system.”
The program is an educational program that works as a stand alone program or with other programs.
“There are other programs in the court systems all over the United States, that are crime specific,” Rogers said. “But, oftentimes, substance abuse issues are there.”
They saw the need to help people work through bad choices and learn why and how to make better ones.
“We decided we needed to give them good, intelligent information,” Rogers said, “because we believe that most people are good people. Most people make bad decisions sometimes. So we developed this program that starts at the very beginning, and circles around through our system and through decision making, and comes back to the very beginning again.”
Rogers is no longer connected to the ASPEN program. When he became a magistrate judge he had to give up all interest in it to avoid a conflict of interest.
“I say ‘we’ when I talk about ASPEN,” Rogers said, “but I don’t have anything to do with this program anymore. When I got appointed magistrate judge I had to step away from ASPEN. If I intended to utilize the program, I could not have any gain from the program, so I resigned from the corporation and gave the company away and that allows me to sentence people to it.”
Former sheriff Rob Coon became affiliated with the program in 2016. He is enjoying the new direction his work has taken him.
“I always tell them that for 42 years my job was to put them in jail,” Coon said. “Now it’s to keep them out of jail.”
Coon explained how the classes are organized.
“It’s a four-part program delivered by PowerPoint in a classroom setting and all the instructors are retired New Mexico state police officers,” Coon said. “The first part deals with the courts, jails and legal system. We strongly emphasize how behaviors lead to the problems that got them all together in the class.
“The second part deals specifically with the negative effects of breaking any laws in our society. DWI, shoplifting, marijuana and suspended license are some of the major areas of discussion. The third part deals specifically with alcohol and drug problems. The fourth part is the self-help section to wrap up the program and to associate how committing crimes affects the entire family and society.”
Along with the structure, they offer resources to help their students.
“We offer resources to the class for assistance with suicide, domestic abuse, sexually transmitted disease, depression and anxiety. The class is designed to make offenders think about their behaviors and how they can make a few changes to better their lives.”
Rogers said every class starts off the same way.
“The first thing that takes place in the program is that the individuals are given rules about how they conduct themselves and what they do in the class,” he said. “If they don’t follow those rules there will be repercussions, they will be removed from the class. Which means they have now violated whatever it was they were ordered to do.”
Once the formalities are out of they way, they get down to business.
“From establishing the rules it goes to ‘what is your crime?’” Rogers said. “We’re not asking if you are guilty or innocent, we want to know what you were charged with. We use it later because we’re going to come back and talk about what they got charged with. From there, we move into how laws are made. Laws are nothing but rules. We explain why we have them, and why they come about.
“People don’t even realize that in the past we didn’t even arrest people for DWIs. In the old days, we didn’t think anything about it. We became No. 1 in the United States for killing people, but we still didn’t do anything about it. Then one day a gentleman killed an entire family on Christmas Eve (Gordon House) and we knew we had to do something about it.”
With this and other illustrations, the students begin to see things from a new perspective.
“After we explain that they begin to understand why what they were charged with is against the law. Then we talk about how to get caught. We tell them, ‘you ran a red light and when you did you invited a police officer into your life. You gave him everything he needed to stick his nose in your business. And when he walked up to the car, you rolled the window down and it looked like a Cheech and Chong movie.’ Then they start to understand.”
It’s important for the student to know that all of their decisions are still on them.
“The understanding in the ASPEN class is, it’s OK if you choose to continue the lifestyle that got you here, but you have to accept the repercussions,” Rogers said. “Cops are like old ladies in a knitting circle. They’ll tell everyone they know, ‘hey, if you see Bob in the big white pickup truck, he’s always got weed on him.’ So then Bob runs a red light and as he’s being pulled over the cop thinks to himself, ‘I wonder if this is the Bob guy who always has weed?’ and then he knows because he can smell it.
“We push on them that these are things that you can change. A miracle does not take place and you suddenly understand how you’re supposed to live. It takes time and practice.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

The curious have landed

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Souvenirs out-of-this-world! Vendors were protected by their tents against the heat of the sun on opening day of the International UFO Festival yesterday. Tourists started showing up right away — well prepared against the heat with water, sun-lotion and caps — looking for that special souvenir that will remind them of their trip to Roswell forever. (Christina Stock Photo)
More ice, please! Most popular booths on the opening day of the International UFO Festival Thursday were those who had anything cold, wet or both to offer. The triple-digit heat did not stop tourists from taking a first look at the festival. (Christina Stock Photo)

Rapper Baby Bash performing Saturday

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Hip-hop/ R&B artist Baby Bash will be performing Saturday at the baseball field of New Mexico Military Institute.

Baby Bash

In 2003, Baby Bash released his first album on a major label, Tha Smokin’ Nephew, which debuted at No. 48 on the Billboard 200. Five months after its release, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Baby Bash will be performing live along with other artists at the second annual Joe Albarez III Memorial. There will be a car show and a live concert from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NMMI baseball field.
Ticket prices range from $20 to $75. All children 5 and under will be admitted free. Donations will also be accepted. A portion of the profits will go to organizations that work to prevent drinking and driving, or to the community in various ways for the children of Roswell.
There will be vendor spaces available as well as bouncy houses for the kids.
The memorial is sponsored by J 3 Ent. & Reloaded Talent.

City offices closed for holiday, bus service limited

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Roswell city offices will be closed Tuesday in observance of Independence Day.

In addition, city bus service and trash pickup will be altered because of the holiday.
Pecos Trails Transit will have buses in operation only on Main Street on Tuesday. The buses will run on a limited schedule (what would be a normal Saturday schedule) from 7:10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Sanitation Department’s trash pickup for Tuesday (covering areas north of Alameda Street) will be delayed until Wednesday. The city landfill will also be closed Tuesday.

Food Network interviews ‘Just Say Dough;’ tourists stay cool

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That's some cool dough! Local entrepreneur Melissa Verciglio is excited. She was interviewed Thursday morning at her booth "Just Say Dough" by Noah Cappe and will be featured in his TV show, "Carnival Eats," on the Food Network channel. This is her first time as a vendor at the International UFO Festival. Asked how she came up with the concept, she said, "I always baked, since I was 11 years old." Recently, Verciglio started experimenting to make cookie batter safe to eat and after many experiments, she tested it on her husband, Todd. "He said, 'You got to sell those.' He is a PR man, so here I am. It has been a blessing and is growing and growing," she said. (Christina Stock Photo)

Area company among contractors for major highway project

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Gov. Susana Martinez, center, says the U.S. 82 highway improvement project near Artesia is a funding priority because it serves as one of the foundations for commerce in the state. She participated in the June 21 groundbreaking near Artesia for the $58 million construction project, one of the largest currently being overseen by the New Mexico Department of Transportation. (Submitted Photo)

The $58 million Artesia highway project announced last week will mean work for 20 companies, including a subcontractor in eastern New Mexico, a project engineer said.

Fisher Sand and Gravel of New Mexico, based in Placitas, is the prime contractor on the U.S. 82 upgrade project.
“There are over 20 companies that will benefit from this project,” said Frank Lozano. “Most are subcontractors, but some are suppliers.”
He also said that the company expects to add some local workers for the project, although he did not give details.
The work involves improving, and in some areas, expanding 32 miles of the highway from East Seventh Street in Artesia to the junction at State Highway 529, not too far from Maljamar in Eddy County.
Fisher Sand’s three major subcontractors include Constructors Inc., which has offices in Roswell, Hobbs and Carlsbad; Hasse Contracting Company of Albuquerque; and E2RC, an environmental engineering firm based in Bernalillo handling stormwater pollution prevention.
Fisher Sand, operating in the state since about 1999, is part of a larger group of companies working in seven states.
Lozano said his company already has some surveyors and other workers on site, and actual construction work is expected to ramp up within a few weeks.
The project, launched with a June 21 groundbreaking attended by Gov. Susana Martinez and other officials, is expected to take until winter 2019.
The work will include milling and overlaying existing roadway, reconstructing portions of the road, widening lanes, widening shoulders and creating turn lanes. In some areas, the two-lane highway will be expanded to a four-lane highway.
The road is heavily trafficked, with a daily average traffic count of about 6,000 in the Artesia area, 4,801 of those vehicles being either heavy trucks or work trucks, according to information from the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
Residents of the area complained about fatal and serious vehicle accidents, leading them to call on legislators and state officials for highway improvements. According to the state Transportation Department, the road from Artesia to state 529 had 102 accidents from 2010 to 2013, most involving turns at intersections.
The state will pay for about $20 million of the project, according to New Mexico Transportation Department staff, with the federal government covering the rest of the cost.
The second phase involves upgrading U.S. 82 from State Highway 529 to Lovington — which is also about 32 miles — and is expected to cost about the same as phase one.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Mary Catherine Malott

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Mary Catherine Malott, 73, passed away on Monday, June 26, 2017, in Roswell, NM. To honor her family’s wishes, no service will be held at this time. A tribute of Mary’s life may be found at andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
On August 27, 1943, Mary was born to Shafter Lester and Alta Mcfall in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mary married Clifford Wayne Malott on June 4, 1983, in Trafalgar, Indiana. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend, always putting others before herself. Mary was a Registered Nurse (RN) her entire life. Mary had a great passion for helping others, as she did for many people throughout the years. With the most generous loving heart, Mary touched many lives with her presence. The love Mary showed will always be embraced in her family’s heart.
Surviving to cherish Mary’s memory are her husband, Clifford Wayne Malott; daughter, Kimberly Lanham and husband, Michael Lanham; grandchildren: Ashley Lanham, John Lanham, Troy Rolon, Kayelin Lanham; great-grandchildren: Cambria Rolon, Aiden Lanham; brothers: James Lester, David Lester; sister, Kay Mooy; and many, many nieces and nephews who she loved very much.
Preceded Mary in death are her parents: Shafter Lester and Alta McFall; brothers: Robert Lester, Ronald Dean Lester, George Richard Lester; sister, Marge Crawford; and precious four-legged pet, Maggie.

Esther Zera

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Esther Zera, 78, of Roswell, NM, passed away on June 28, 2017 in Roswell. She was surrounded by her family at her passing.
A rosary will be recited on Friday, June 30, 2017 at 6 p.m. at Steed-Todd Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services will be Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Her burial will follow at Lawn Haven Cemetery.
Esther was born in Abilene, TX to Domingo and Guadalupe Garcia on April 28, 1939. She married Edward Casillas in September of 1956 in Abilene, TX for 25 years. She later married Tedeauz Zera for another 25 years, which according to her family were her happiest of years. Both have preceded her death as well as her children Susan Casillas, Sammy Casillas, Stephen Paul Casillas, Karen Casillas, and Sandra Gonzales; two granddaughters Carmen Casillas and Tomasa Rosa Robles.
She is survived by her sisters Alicia, Stella, Belia, Becky and her brother Ruben. She is also survived by her children Sylvia Sanchez, Debra Ramirez, Joe Casillas, Particia Ortega, Lupe Casillas, Edward Casillas Jr., and Stephen Paul Casillas; her grandchildren Jorge, Anna, Jose, Hesiquia, Isreal, Albert, Eddie Joe Casillas, Mitchell Rodriguez, Esequiel, Veronica, Rosa, Linda, Jessica, Daniel, Joshua, Joseph, Julian, Jesus, Maria, Victoria, Ignacio, Adam, Helen, Lupita, Aurora, Josie, Jacob, Anthony, Andy, Brandon, Ethan Beltran, Daminica Beltran; 69 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be Julian Casillas, Xavier Montano, Josh Casillas, Adam Casillas, Brandon Casillas, Jesus Robles, Steven Casillas, and Jose Ramirez.
In memory of Esther, her family asks that donations be made to the diabetes foundation.
The family of Esther wishes to extend their sincere thanks to ENMMC Roswell Hospital and especially to Nurse Tammy in ICU.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Steed-Todd Funeral Home and Crematory, 800 E. Mañana, Clovis NM, (575) 763-5541. On line condolences can be made at steedtodd.com

Charles “Chuck” Berry

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Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Chuck Berry, 87, who passed away Wednesday, June 28, 2017. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

Fireworks Extravaganza traffic plan

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This map shows the traffic plan that will be in place during and following the annual Mike Satterfield Memorial Fireworks Extravaganza on July 4 at Cielo Grande Recreation Area. Traffic will be required to flow in single directions on some area streets and street closures will be in place. West College Boulevard from Sycamore Avenue to Montana Avenue will be closed during the fireworks show. To avoid parking complications, people are asked to arrive early. It is also recommended spectators bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on. For safety reasons, people should not bring their own fireworks, and should not bring pets. The fireworks, sponsored by the city of Roswell and the Roswell Sertoma Club, will begin about 9:15 p.m., with a music simulcast on 97.1 FM. The pre-fireworks happenings include a concert by Los Lonely Boys, a Chicano rock trio of brothers from San Angelo, Texas, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Also, a free barbecue for veterans and their families will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at Elks Lodge No. 969 at 1720 N. Montana Ave. For more information on the fireworks extravaganza, contact the Roswell Parks and Recreation Department at 624-6719. (Submitted Image)

Riddle returns to teach young netters

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Roswell High School 2009 graduate Chantale Riddle led a volleyball camp this week at the New Mexico Military Institute’s Godfrey Center. With other camps being held in the area this week, Riddle was able to get more one on one time with a smaller group of campers than last year’s inaugural event. “Having a smaller camp, I actually can go around and talk to each of the kids,” Riddle said. “They get more sole training, which is what we would actually like ... the kids get more individual training with their coaches and with me.” Riddle plays professional volleyball in Switzerland, but is well-known in New Mexico for her record-breaking career as a UNM Lobo. Riddle hopes her schedule will allow her to run the camp again next summer. (Keilee Templeman Photo)

RBI 12U competes in championship bracket at Battle of Omaha

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The Roswell Baseball Institute’s 12-and-under baseball team, the Roswell Rox, competed at the USSSA Battle of Omaha tournament in Omaha, Nebraska last weekend. The tournament, which coincided with the NCAA College World Series, featured 16 12-and-under AA teams from across the country. The Rox went 3-0 in pool play to land in the championship bracket, but fell in the quarterfinals 8-2 to the Greenville Griffins of Wisconsin. The Rox currently have a 21-3 tournament record against in-class teams. Pictured, from left (top row): Ryan Alsup, Brendan Kelly, Mitchell Schooley, Colby Eldridge, Jace Worley and Major Byrd. Bottom row, from left: Dustin Hardwick, Zeke Esquivel, Bryce Carrillo, Hayden Wigley and Maddux Edmonson. The team is managed by Kyle Alsup and coached by Tyler Hardwick, Brian Byrd and Sean Schooley. The trip was sponsored by HollyFrontier Corporation and Center City Lanes. (Submitted Photo)

A place for ballroom dancing

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Karen and Stan Nelson, far right, decided Roswell needed a place for ballroom dancing. So now the dancing takes place every Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Senior Circle, located at 2801 N. Main St., Suite D, next door to Family Dollar. The Nelsons have taught ballroom dancing and are happy to give demonstrations and tips. Also pictured, left, are Dr. Bill Briney and his wife Sue, dancing to orchestral music. Anyone over 50 is welcome to join. Bring a partner if you have one, but if you don’t, there are usually extras. For more information, call 623-2311. (Submitted Photo)

Hope for Assurance Home

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Marie Casabonne, left, presents a check for $1,537 to Assurance Home Executive Director Ron Malone on Thursday. (Submitted Photo)

Marie Casabonne from Hope traveled to Roswell on Thursday to present Assurance Home a check from the Hope Women’s Society of Christian Service.

The check will represent the last time Hope WSCS will provide support, as a group, to the young people of Assurance Home. The group reports that it is down to three members and no longer meets.
The members decided to give its remaining funds to support the children of Assurance Home by presenting a check in the amount of $1,537.
The Hope WSCS has been helping support Assurance Home for the past 22 years. Ron Malone, executive director of Assurance Home, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the caring help given to the children of the home during the past 22 years and will miss hearing from the group.
Thankfully, many people from the Hope area continue to befriend the home.
Assurance Home has been helping make a difference in the lives of homeless and at-risk adolescent children for the past 38 years and gives priority to children from the Pecos Valley.

 

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