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Emilia Herrera

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Services are pending at Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory for Emilia Herrera, 89, who passed away Thursday, June 22, 2017 at her home surrounded by her loved ones. A further announcement will be made once arrangements have been finalized.

 

Roswell, RBI go 1-1 in Sun-Op pool play

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Both local squads, the Roswell High summer team and the Roswell Baseball Institute’s Rox, went 1-1 on the first day of the 2017 Sunrise Optimist Baseball Tournament Friday.
Roswell lost a close one 6-5 to Carlsbad in the midday heat at the NMMI Ballpark, while RBI was tuned up by Clovis 14-3 at Goddard High’s Launch Pad.

But the late afternoon and early evening brought cooler temperatures and some good mound work for the host teams as Roswell blanked Lovington 8-0 in five innings and RBI shutout Manzano 2-0.
Roswell High senior Carlitos Montoya allowed a handful of hits against a familiar foe in district rival Lovington, but got better as the game progressed. Montoya was 0-for-1 in three trips to the plate, but got on base each time with two walks and an infield error.
Rhett Stokes scored a run for Roswell in the top of the first, stealing home while Lovington dealt with Matt Otero heading for second base. Two more runs came across in the third as Kaleb Wright scored on a Raul Guzman hit to shallow right field and Stokes crossed home for the second time in the game while Otero was pickled between first and second.
Roswell put up five runs in the top of the fifth to help end the game early by the tournament’s eight-run mercy rule. Stokes scored for a third time on a Xavier Lomeli groundout, Otero and Derek Natividad came in when a routine 6-3 out went awry, and the final two scores were the result of a Xavier Sosa single that pushed Xavier Gonzales and Drew Graham home.
Montoya K’d the first two hitters in the bottom of the frame before getting a groundout to end the game.
RBI got the 2-0 win over Manzano to keep their gold bracket hopes alive as Drew Price and Matt Shanor were money from the hill. The young Rox got just enough offense to get the job done against the Class 6A squad from Albuquerque.
The Coronado-El Paso T-Birds and Clovis were each 2-0 at the end of Day 1.
Pool play continues today at both ballparks, as Roswell meets the T-Birds of El Paso at 11:30 a.m. at the Launch Pad, while RBI takes on Aztec at the NMMI Ballpark at the same time. Once pool play ends, the teams will be seeded with the top two squads from each pool being placed into the gold bracket and the bottom four squads in the silver bracket.
The first bracket games begin at 5 p.m.

Proposed booster club changes draw criticism

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Lisa Dunlap Photo Local teacher, parent and booster club member Gena Smith speaks to the RISD Board of Education Friday afternoon to express concerns about proposed booster club policy changes. "I feel we raised our money," she says, "and we should be able to spend it as we see fit."

The Roswell school district’s efforts to revise its booster club and parent organization policies to comply with state and federal laws regarding equity drew a crowd to a special board meeting Friday afternoon as booster club officials and parents expressed worries that they would be “paralyzed” and “discouraged” in their work to support student activities.

The Roswell Independent School District Board of Education ended up tabling the discussion about the proposed changes after hearing from a lawyer for the district, as well as seven booster club members and parents.
A committee, to include Interim Superintendent Susan Sanchez, two board members and possibly a coach, a booster club representative and a parent, will consider the revisions before they bring revisions back to the board for further consideration at some point in the future.
The proposed revisions have been recommended to comply with federal Title IX legislation and the New Mexico School Athletic Equity Act, Geno Zamora of Ortiz and Zamora Attorneys At Law explained. The latest suggested revisions follow changes adopted about a year earlier designed to reduce the chances of intentional or unintentional misuse of funds. Those revisions were adopted coincidentally just as two local women were charged with embezzlement of Roswell High School cheerleading booster club funds, charges the women have denied.
“If you read the edits without this background, the changes don’t make sense and they might even sound scary. My gosh, they are trying to take us over,” Zamora said.
Steve Shanor was among the members of the public to urge more consideration of the proposed revisions. “I encourage you to table it. Give the current policy another year and see if it is sufficient.”
He and others explained that the previous policy revisions had encouraged many district-affiliated booster clubs to become independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit groups so that they would not have to turn over funds to the district for monitoring and disbursement.
The change to independent status, they said, means that their groups not only underwent a lot of effort to meet necessary requirements, but also that they are now under even higher scrutiny than the school district can provide because they must comply with Internal Revenue Service regulations.
Asked by board member James Edwards why additional revisions were needed, Zamora answered, “I understand that a year and half ago, it was a big change just to get this policy on the books. … What is missing is the tracking.”
Zamora said that federal and state laws, and court precedent, have established that all booster fund disbursements must be closely accounted for to ensure that public school educational programs and activities are equitable, primarily to ensure that girls’ and boys’ activities are treated the same. However, the provisions also can pertain to race and other protected categories.
Public school districts are on notice that they will be audited and that they will be required to redistribute funds should inequities exist due either to district appropriations or fundraising efforts, Zamora said. He gave examples of cases enforced by the Office of Civil Rights that required school districts to bring their polices and practices into compliance.
The risks of noncompliance, Zamora said, include lawsuits, lengthy and intensive audits, substantial legal fees and the potential loss of federal funding.
One controversial issue was due to a misunderstanding.
The proposed revisions mistakenly indicated that the school district could decided to use 501(c)(3) funds to redress inequities. Zamora clarified that, in fact, the independent booster clubs can choose to allow their funds to be used in that way but do not have to do so. Only for district-affiliated clubs will the district have the authority to decide to use funds to equal out spending.
Still other concerns existed. Some asked how it can be possible to achieve equity between teams with different needs and numbers of members or between schools with different programs. They also objected to a proposed revision that would bar independent nonprofits from making expenditures directly on their own. Instead, the suggested revision would require the nonprofit groups to provide money to the district that the district would then disburse to pay for eligible expenses, that provision being implemented to allow the district to track all spending.
“I agree that we need checks and balances,” said Renee Fitts, “but, the way it is written, it is paralyzing.”
She and others explained that often their efforts as booster club leaders include buying light meals or snacks for athletes who otherwise might go hours without food.
Board member Alan Gedde said he understands that point, remembering once when an unexpected breakdown of a bus required people to wait hours for a new school bus to arrive because funds weren’t available for other options. “You can’t tie people up in ways that says, ‘Well, you didn’t plan for this.’”
Zamora responded that perhaps there could be other ways to handle the expenditure tracking, such as allowing booster clubs to provide “certified” evidence of expenditures.
The problem with that option, however, Zamora said, is that the district cannot deny the expenditure on the grounds that it will create an inequity, which the district can do if the funds are required to go through the district in the first place.
Another speaker urged the board to revise the policies so that they do not state two signatures are required, given that electronic banking systems now allow transactions without signatures. Others called the federal and state equity laws “vague” or simply expressed frustration with the situation.
“I think the biggest mistake education ever made was to accept a dime from federal government because it causes overreach and results in regulations that defy common sense,” said Annette Eaker.
“Basically you are discouraging people from being involved in booster clubs,” she added, to the applause of others in the room.
Board member Ruben Sanchez said that he was the one who first called for the earlier changes in 2016.
“I don’t want people to think that this is an attack on anybody,” he said. “We are doing what we think is best.”
Zamora also said that policy changes are being enacted by school districts statewide, although only by a few so far.
“It costs a lot less to be proactive than reactive,” he said.
Board Vice President Mona Kirk assured people that, as one of the two board members to serve on the committee working on the revisions, “we will look at all of this. We are not going to jump to any conclusions.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Diving into summer

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With temperatures rising, adults, teenagers and children enjoyed a nice place to cool off Friday afternoon and had some fun at the ENMU-Roswell pool. (Keilee Templeman Photos)

Man found dead in alley identified

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Roswell police have identified the man whose body was found in the alley Wednesday morning as 26-year-old Matthew L. Van Note.

Courtesy Photo
Seth Van Note, left, with his brother, Matthew Van Note, who was found dead in an alley Wednesday morning.

Police said an autopsy was performed in Albuquerque Thursday by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator to determine the cause of death. Roswell Police Department investigators are awaiting the findings to be included in the final autopsy report.
The victim’s younger brother, Seth Van Note, was unfamiliar with the alley between Shartelle Avenue and Garden Avenue where Matthew Van Note was found. He said his brother has struggled with alcoholism since his early teenage years.
“He’s been a brat for a while. Since his first car probably. So, probably around — I’d hate to sound ugly — but anywhere from 16 to 18, that’s when he started drinking,” Seth Van Note said. “Now of course it changed him a little bit, but he’s definitely had a certain dependency on it.
“Alcohol was his biggest problem. He had two previous heroin overdoses prior to his death, but alcohol was somewhat of an issue for him.”
While family members presume Matthew Van Note overdosed on heroin, Seth Van Note said there were no signs of abuse for the drug.
RPD spokesperson Todd Wildermuth said in a news release that investigators used fingerprints to identify Matthew Van Note. There is no specific timetable as to when the autopsy report will be issued.
“This is an ongoing investigation into what is classified as a suspicious death,” Wildermuth said. “It is classified as such since the cause of death has not yet been determined.”
Seth Van Note said his brother had received medical help with his alcohol problem previously.
“He’s been in assistance programs before. There’s an alcohol rehab program in Albuquerque that he went to once,” Seth Van Note said. “He admitted himself into there once and they gladly took him in. But once he came out, he didn’t stay sober for too long.”
If Seth Van Note had a message for others to take from his brother’s loss, it’s to continue staying close to one’s family.
“He had his own moments where he excluded himself from family,” Seth Van Note said. “We’re a tight-knit family, and some of us kids — it makes them nervous.
“I think sometimes we were such a close-knit family that, I don’t know if it oppressed or suppressed the kid — I don’t know. I just know that Matthew did have his times where he didn’t want to do family time anymore.”
Matthew Van Note and his brother worked with their father at Do-Right Roofing.
“We (all) worked together,” Seth Van Note said. “To come home from work with your family and then go to a family dinner — it can be stressful.
“If he stuck closer to his family, I think he would’ve been safer than wherever he was at.”
Seth Van Note said his brother tried to get further help within the last three or four months.
“I don’t think he had insurance, but he tried to submit himself twice to the hospital, and they rejected him,” he said. “That was shortly before he died.”
Similar to if Matthew were to remain close to his family, with the proper medical assistance, his death might have been avoided.
“They would ask you certain questions like, ‘Do you think you’re going to kill yourself?’ Seth Van said. “Of course Matthew told them ‘no’ both times. So they denied his request to be admitted.”
According to New Mexico court records, Matthew Van Note had a history with law enforcement. That includes an attempted robbery at a Roswell Allsup’s with a black Sharpie in 2012, two convictions of battery upon a peace officer in 2014 and aggravated driving while under the influence of liquor or drugs in 2015.
Seth Van Note said even though he has lost family before, it isn’t any easier.
“I think I’ve been strong enough for a while because again, we have such a large family,” he said. “I started making all of his funeral arrangements, and I started doing all the first things in regard to his death, but made me stronger? Probably not. We’ve lost plenty of people, but that’s my first sibling to die.”
Seth Van Note said his older brother will be missing “one heck of a good fishing trip.”
“He loved to fish,” Seth Van Note said. “Matthew was known for fishing, too. Our family’s going, I think on the 20th of next month, and he was real excited for that.
“He was a good person, but — you see a lot people in this city that suffer from addiction, but I’m not a doctor, so I don’t know.”
Seth Van Note said his brother was rebellious, but was also kind-hearted. The last time he spoke to him was Father’s Day.
”We were on the couch together, he sat by me all night that night,” he said. “We were hanging out with her niece, Emily, again with our family, and he was playing with Emily, and no matter where he went, he just came and sat back next to me on the couch.
“He had his struggles of course, but he tried anytime he struggled, and he picked himself back up, but this last time? I don’t know. Suspicious, as it is.”
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

The community kitchen truly serves

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The community kitchen has been serving Roswell's hungry since 1982. Today they feed about 100 people per day, Monday through Friday and about a third that many on Saturday and Sunday.Johnny Lynch and Santana Lopez worked the serving line Monday, feeding the homeless and those in need. (Curtis Michaels photo)

Roswell’s Community Kitchen truly is a community effort. Brad Ussery, the manager has been working with the organization for years.

“The community kitchen started in 1982,” Ussery said. “Jeanne Kunko and Raye Duran started it. I started with Community Kitchen about six years ago. A friend of mine was on the board, Matt Hinkle. I had just moved back from Albuquerque. The lady that was running the place walked out, it was about the end of June. All the drains were backed up. A freezer full of meat had been sitting out for a couple of days, there was blood everywhere. I told them I could stay three months max and I’m still here.”
The president of the board, Bill Cooper, expressed his appreciation for all the help they get.
“Our fiscal year is October 31,” Cooper said. “We try to get a complete financial report out about that time. The only way we can thrive is through donations.”
According to their financial report, available at First United Methodist Church, the participating organizations are: Assumption Church, Calvary Chapel, Christ’s Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – Wards 1,2 & 3, First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Grace Community, Immanuel Lutheran, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, St. Francis of Assisi, SFO, St. Mark’s Lutheran, St. Peter’s Catholic, Sauder-Miller & Associates, The Liberty, Trinity United Methodist and Westminster Presbyterian. New Life Church has recently joined this list. There is room for more volunteers.
They provide a hot lunch Monday through Friday and sandwiches on Saturday and Sunday. Cooper said they stay busy.
“We averaged 98 lunches on weekdays for the month of May,” Cooper said. “For the weekends in May we average 36 people per lunch. We serve sandwiches from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It takes me an hour from the time I leave my house, get here, serve the sandwiches, lock up and get back home. It’s very humbling to give a sandwich to a hungry man. You receive the greatest blessing.”
After 35 years serving out of the basement of St. Peter’s Church, the community kitchen is now preparing to open its own place next door.
“We felt, as a board, that we needed to do a few things and our lease at St. Peter’s left us limited as to what we could do,” Cooper said. “Money was left to us in an estate and we decided that that money was meant to feed and grow God’s kingdom.
“So we started looking at various ways we could do this including, of course, a bright, shining, new kitchen. We needed to attract more donations. We started looking and a friend of mine is a Realtor, we asked him about the old Saavedra’s building and he said it was priced in the low six digits. Well, we didn’t have that kind of money, but my friend said, ‘It’s been on the market for three years now, make an offer.’ Well I had to take it to my board and we researched it with David and Mike Hubbard, who are builders. We asked them what it would take to put in a professional kitchen. With that information, we knew what we could offer. It was accepted.”
As often happens when people follow their faith, donations started coming in right on time.
“We’ve had a number of donations for the new place,” Cooper said. “Hubbards are donating some labor and materials. One gentleman committed $3,100 of a $6,200 stove and oven. We have a number of commitments from people in the community. We run on faith and prayer.”
They still have goals to reach, and they aren’t shy about asking for the help they need.
“We’ll probably have to buy some new coolers and we would like to have chairs and tables that are easy to clean,” Cooper said. “We’ve had a number of people in town who don’t serve here, step up and donate good money in November and December.”
They’re hoping to be in the new building before the holiday season, but Cooper knows who’s in charge.
“This is all on God’s timing,” Cooper said. “He’ll have us there when he wants us there. Currently I expect to be there in under 100 days.”
Among the costs of running the organization is a small payroll.
“We have a very light payroll,” Cooper said. “We pay a dishwasher and a girl who helps Brad.”
It’s private donations, churches and businesses that have kept the community kitchen thriving, but Cooper knows who inspires them all. He also appreciates their openness to being inspired.
“I don’t think there’s anything in the world that will stop this,” Cooper said. “It’s God’s thing and he sees to it. If I have missed mentioning any volunteers, I am sorry and I hope they’ll let me know. There’s no way in the world that this place could open without all the people who volunteer.”
To help the Community Kitchen call 623-1926 or mail them at P.O. Box 3010. You can also find them on Facebook.
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Congressional speculation abounds

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A Roswell legislator mentioned in political circles as a possible successor to U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce has told the Daily Record he will not run for Congress, but he hopes another local Republican will.

State Rep. Greg Nibert told the Daily Record this week he will not run for Congress next year.
“While I have been honored by several people inquiring and asking me to consider running for Congress, I think it’s in the best interests of the people in southeast New Mexico, or southern New Mexico, to have a younger guy run,” Nibert said. “If I were 10 years younger, I probably would jump in the middle of it. But I’m almost 60 years old and I think there’s enough old guys in Washington. So, my time has come and gone for that. I will not be running, but will be interested in trying to get someone from our community to step up to the plate and run, whether that be Cliff Pirtle or someone else.”
State Sen. Cliff Pirtle, also a Roswell Republican, told the newspaper this week he’s thinking about running for Congress.
Pearce’s flirtation with a possible run for the GOP nomination for governor, with the Republican primary less than a year away, has prompted speculation on who might run to succeed the seven-term congressman from Hobbs.
Pirtle, a 2004 Roswell High School graduate, said Wednesday he is interested in running for Pearce’s congressional seat as Pearce eyes a race for governor. Incumbent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for a third term in 2018 due to term limits. Pearce is currently the only Republican among New Mexico’s five-member congressional delegation.
Pearce and Pirtle squared off in the June 2010 Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District, when Pearce won 84.8 percent of votes cast, compared to Pirtle’s 15.2 percent.
“My wife and I have just been discussing the possibility, weighing the pros and the cons,” said Pirtle, a 31-year-old farmer who has worked at Pirtle Farms for over 12 years.
Pirtle ran unopposed in 2016 for a second four-year term for Senate District 32 and is not up for re-election until 2020, meaning he would not have to choose next year whether to run for re-election to his Senate seat or for Congress. 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.
If Pearce were to step out of the congressional race, political insiders say a vacuum would quickly develop in the 2nd Congressional District that spans the southern half of New Mexico and represents a very varied constituency from those who work in the Permian Basin oil fields of southeast New Mexico, where Pearce is from, to more progressive cities of Las Cruces and Silver City, where the oil and natural gas industry is held in far less regard.
The GOP’s geographic influences within the 2nd Congressional District were evident in December when Roswell’s Andrea Moore defeated Victor Contreras Jr. of Las Cruces by one vote, 80 to 79, for the post of 2nd Congressional District vice chair, one of eight officers elected in December by state Republican Party leaders. Only members of the State Central Committee living in the 2nd Congressional District could vote in the party race, which was Moore’s first run for a state or local party leadership position.
Moreover, Moore succeeded Chaves County Commissioner Will Cavin of Roswell, who had been the vice chair of the 2nd Congressional District for two years. Cavin succeeded former Chaves County Commissioner Alice Eppers of Roswell as the vice chairman from the 2nd Congressional District, geographically one of largest congressional districts in the nation, stretching from Hobbs to the Arizona border.
“I think for Chaves County and Roswell’s sake, we need to make sure that somebody from our community does run,” said Nibert, a former two-term Chaves County Commissioner, chairman of the Republican Party of Chaves County from 2001-03 and a resident partner in the Roswell law office of Hinkle Shanor, assigned to the law firm’s Oil and Gas Department.
“I’m encouraging some people to think about it,” Nibert continued. “It’s a great honor that people have even thought that I would have the ability to represent CD 2 in Washington. But, I will not be running.”
Caleb Grant, chairman of the Republican Party of Chaves County, said much hinges on Pearce’s decision.
“If Pearce does make that decision, obviously it will open up the seat,” said Grant, 31, adding he would not run for Congress next year. “Southeast New Mexico has held that seat for a long time. It has a certain set of values and industry at its core. Many people are waiting to see what Pearce decides, and then that would change the landscape of the 2018 election.
“We’re waiting to see who declares.”
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. The congressional district is geographically the fifth largest district in the nation, and the largest one that does not comprise an entire state.
Interim editor Jeff Tucker can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 302, or at editor@rdrnews.com.

Manzano, Abo Empire win state land leases

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SANTA FE — A Roswell oil and gas company and an Artesia firm were the winning bidders in the June oil and gas lease sale conducted by the State Land Office.

This month, State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn offered 20 tracts, covering 5,721 acres of state trust lands. Two tracts were located in Lea County and 18 were in Otero County.
Manzano LLC of Roswell and Abo Empire LLC of Artesia were the winning bidders of the Lea County tracts. The Otero County tracts were withdrawn.
The lease sale conducted this week collected $654,448, bringing fiscal year earnings from the State Land Office monthly lease sales to more than $65 million.
Comparatively, fiscal year 2016 earnings from oil and gas lease sales totaled $36 million.
“The State Land Office has exceeded its budget projections for the fiscal year, which gave us an opportunity to use this sale to gauge industry interest in other areas of the state,” Dunn said in a news release. “Clearly, industry remains focused in the Permian Basin.”
Oil and gas lease sale earnings are paid into the Land Maintenance Fund, which covers the Land Office’s operating expenses. The agency is self-funded and spends about 5 cents of every dollar it earns. The remaining revenue is distributed to the beneficiaries.
Public schools are the sole beneficiary of June’s lease sale revenues. Public school monies are paid into the state’s general fund and distributed to each school district, as appropriated by the state Legislature.

Summer baseball tourney starts today

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The 2017 Sunrise Optimist Baseball Tournament will feature eight teams, including Roswell High and the Roswell Baseball Institute, playing on two fields: the NMMI Ballpark and Goddard’s Launch Pad.

Both parks will host four pool games today and two tomorrow, as the squads duke it out for championship seeding. When the six pool games are completed, the teams will be seeded based on win-loss record. A two-way tie will go to head to head results and a three-way tie will be broken by least runs allowed, most runs scored (max of 10 runs per game) or finally, if statistics cannot determine the higher-seeded team, a coin flip. The first and second place teams in each pool will enter the gold bracket, while third and fourth-place teams enter the silver bracket. Each park will host bracket games Saturday, with the winners meeting in the championship Sunday at NMMI.
Daily admission is $5 or a three-day tournament pass can be purchased at the entry gate for $12.00. Kids 17 and under are free. Gates open 45 minutes prior to the start of the first games each day.

Local resident seeks OHV use on local roads

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Randy Robertson says that he has been driving Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles, or Utility Task Vehicles, for years. He thinks they are safe enough for city and county roads and is working for Roswell and Chaves County to pass ordinances to allow them on paved public roads. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

If a local man’s efforts pay off, the driver beside you on a city or county road in Chaves County months from now could be steering an off-highway vehicle.

A state law taking effect July 1 coupled with 2016 legislation now permit local governments to adopt ordinances that allow the use of off-highway vehicles on some public paved roads within cities or counties. The roads cannot be highways or “limited access roads,” typically defined as roads with few, if any, intersecting streets.
“The law is already out there for us,” said Randy Robertson, who lives in northeast Roswell. “This will be good for Chaves County.”
Robertson, who works with Hanson Operating Co. and has been an off-road enthusiast for years, is advocating proposed city and county ordinances related only to ROVs, recreational off-road vehicles, or Utility Task Vehicles. These look similar to golf carts, but typically are larger and more sturdy.
Although the state law also authorizes all-terrain vehicles to be permitted on paved roads, Robertson said he isn’t a proponent of including them in local ordinances. He doesn’t think the smaller, straddle-type vehicles are as safe as ROVs. Larger models of ROVs are as big as some models of cars, said Robertson.
“One of the things I hear is, no one will see you,” he said. “Well, people are going to see these. They are bigger than a Mini Coupe. … People also worry that they aren’t safe, but, if I had to make a choice to get in an accident in this or a motorcycle, I would choose this.”
Robertson said that he thinks there is a good amount of support among the public for the idea. A Facebook group he started, Street Legal UTV in Roswell, has more than 120 members.
Several areas in the state have already adopted ordinances for off-highway vehicles, according to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department website, which has some laws posted.
“They don’t bring us to the table when they are building the laws,” said Matthew Seidel, OHV staff manager for the Game and Fish Department. “These are the ones we have heard about through word-of-mouth or whatever.”
Municipalities and counties that have passed ordinances include Cloudcroft, Farmington, Elephant Butte, Grants, Harding County, Otero County, Questa, Red River, Ruidoso and San Juan County.
Robertson said he has talked with local law enforcement to get their ideas about what the ordinances should allow and prohibit. He also has consulted with Seidel.
“Our primary concern is safety. Know before you go,” Seidel said. “You need to know the laws before you go drive your vehicles there.”
Robertson is also working with local elected officials to introduce ordinances for the area. The wording he has proposed so far, he said, is based on Farmington’s ordinance.
The proposed local ordinances and state law would require ROVs to have steering wheels, brakes, mufflers, headlights, taillights, rear and side mirrors, and safety belts. Only licensed drivers could operate them, and minors under 18 years old would have to wear helmets at all times. To be licensed by the Motor Vehicle Department for city and county roads, vehicles would have to have 17-digit vendor identification numbers and titles, which would bar golf carts, said Robertson. Drivers also will need to carry liability insurance and obey all traffic laws.
According to Robertson’s proposed ordinances, the vehicles also would have to be able to travel at speeds of at least 30 miles per hour to avoid impeding traffic and could not exceed 45 miles per hour or the maximum allowed by existing laws.
Robertson said he began researching the issue when the 2016 legislation was passed.
So far, the matter has been heard once by the Legal Committee of the Roswell City Council, and Robertson has made public comments to both the Legal Committee and Chaves County Board of Commissioners requesting their consideration of the ordinance. Many more steps are needed before the governing bodies decide whether to hold public hearings to consider adopting ordinances.
“I will say we are looking at it,” said Commission Chair Robert Corn.
Both Corn and Roswell city councilors said that the proposed ordinances need to be considered by elected officials and studied for legal implications before brought to the public.
“Nothing is for sure right now,” Robertson agreed. “The response has been good. No one gives you a yes or a no, but it has been good.”
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

Pavement maintenance set for completion today

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Country Club Road between Main Street and Garden Avenue is requiring work to finish off today, said Roswell’s public information officer, Todd Wildermuth.

Although an exact time has not been given, the area between Main and Garden will remain closed until the work is completed.
Traffic related to local businesses and residencies along the area will be accommodated, but traffic passing through will not be allowed.
“The work is part of a project this week that also included portions of Wyoming Avenue,” Wildermuth said. “The city of Roswell thanks citizens for their cooperation and patience as the city streets are maintained and improved.”

Salvation Army and Westlake Ace Hardware partner for heat relief

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Two local businesses are teaming up to help provide protection from the summer heat to the community of Roswell.

It’s all based off donations at the register at any of Westlake’s 98 nationwide stores.
A $5 donation will buy one fan blade, $10 will buy two, $15 will buy three and $20 will buy the whole fan. At this point, it will be given to someone in need of cooling down.
Those who are in need of a fan should call The Salvation Army at 575-622-8700 to find out the basic how, where, and when information. There is also availability to make donations online at westlakehardware.com/fandrive.
Those interested can make a monetary donation of any amount at all area Westlake Ace Hardware locations. Donations can also be made online at westlakehardware.com/fandrive.
The Salvation Army will be hosting a kickoff event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with hot dogs, chips and cookies at Westlake Ace Hardware, 2810 N. Main St. in Roswell.

More than $1,000 worth of jewelry stolen

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The following reports are from the Roswell Police Department and are available at rpdp2c.org.
All people arrested or cited are presumed innocent.

 

Police were dispatched to the 1600 block of North Kansas Avenue at 7:55 p.m. Wednesday on a larceny call. A laptop and miscellaneous jewelry including a Black Hills gold ring with diamonds with a total value of $1,250 was reported stolen.

Arrests and arrest citations
Enrique E. Dominguez, 31, of the 1100 block of Avenida Mañana was charged with failure to pay fines at 12:54 a.m. Wednesday.

Larceny
Police were dispatched to the 1300 block of East Country Club Road at 12:34 p.m. Wednesday on a larceny call. A car battery valued at $100 was reported stolen.

Unlawful Taking of Motor Vehicle
Police were dispatched to the 2700 block of West 2nd Street at 6:21 p.m. Wednesday in reference to a vehicle theft. A 2007 Chevy Silverado valued at $18,000 was reported stolen.

Rebecca “Becky” Montoya

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Rebecca Aurora Montoya “Becky,” 34, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. A viewing will be held at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home, on Saturday, June 24, 2017, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 25, 2017, 2 p.m. at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home Chapel. A tribute of Becky’s life may be found at www.andersonbethany.com where you may leave memories and expressions of sympathy for her family.
On April 3, 1983, Becky was born to Ramon Montoya and Sheilah Montoya in Roswell, NM. Becky possessed a spirited sense of humor and enjoyed having a good time. She was a ‘real’ person with great makeup skills and a special gift for singing and acting, including performing in Cinderella for 13 years. Becky loved her owls and tattoos and adored her family more than anything. Her smile, sense of humor and laugh will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Surviving to cherish Becky’s memory are her son, Alex Montoya and his father, Daniel Ray; parents: Ramon Montoya and Sheilah Montoya; brothers: Emilio Montoya, Michael Rider; sisters: Katrina Mata, Carla Alexander; nephews: Noah Montoya, Hayden Montoya, Christopher Alexander, Landon Rider, Tristen Rider; niece, Katlyn Alexander; adopted parents: Rick and Mindy Rupe; special friend, Geriann Urquides; numerous uncles, aunts and cousins; and precious Chi-Weenie, Dhalia. She would never want to forget some very special people (her name sake) Auntie Beckey, Uncle Mando and Aunt Cecilia Aurora.
Becky was preceded in death by her grandparents: Eva Vega and husband, Abaristo Montoya, Mary VanMeter and husband, Charles VanMeter; uncle, Charlie VanMeter; cousins: Daniel Rivera and Jason McKeegan.
Those chosen as honorary pallbearers are: brother, Emilio Montoya, uncles: Mando Carrillo, David VanMeter, Harvey McKeegan; Rick Rupe and Frank Montoya.

Michael Pete Jaramillo

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Michael Pete Jaramillo, age 52, loved by his family and friends, passed away peacefully on June 17, 2017 in Albuquerque, NM. Mike was a full of life, fun-loving man, willing to help family, friends and strangers any time. He had plenty of stories to tell about growing up in the Roswell/Dexter area and he kept his family and friends entertained for hours with his storytelling skills.
Mike is survived by his loving partner of 17 years, Kim Ellen Cree; his beloved daughter, Adrienna Tavarez; his much loved sister, Alicia Bernal; his nephews Justin Bernal and Steven Herrera; his loving niece and favorite wild child, Samantha Bernal; his aunt, Helen Padilla; his uncles, Elmo, Joe, James and Gilbert Sedillo; and numerous cousins. He will be fondly remembered by his many friends that have known him since childhood. Mike was preceded in death by his adored younger daughter, Adelina Tavarez, his loving mother Della Sedillo; and his doting grandparents.
An open house to celebrate Mike’s life will be held at his sister’s home, 5016 Kokopelli Drive NE in Rio Rancho on Saturday, July 1 beginning at 3 p.m. Everyone whose life Mike has touched is invited to come, join with other friends and family and remember Mike with stories and reminiscing.

 

Robert Gene Wilson

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Wilson, Robert Gene, age 95, left us on May 19, 2017. He was born on January 8, 1922 in Sioux Falls, SD and was raised in Milwaukee. He served in Patton’s 2nd Army in WWII and received the Purple Heart. After the war, he returned to Milwaukee State Teachers College. For many years he taught for MPS as a math and science teacher, first at Fernwood Elementary School and then at Peckham Junior High School. In 1968 he married Rosemary Krnoch and moved to New Mexico, where they resided until her death in 2005, when he returned to Wisconsin and spent his remaining years in Mequon. His passions were bowling, military history, reading, and puffing a good cigar.
Survivors include his daughter Robin Wilson (Peter Foote), grandson Edward Foote, sister Shirley Huddle of Albuquerque, NM, and dear friend and companion Geraldine Platt. When in Roswell Bob enjoyed bowling with his friends and acquaintance; being one of the top bowlers his whole life in Roswell. Bob was very helpful to others when it came to bowling. He enjoyed meeting with friends in Las Vegas for a super bowl party. A memorial is being planned at City Center Lanes, with a future date to be announced.

 

Rocket on the run; Goddard senior to attempt 200-mile trek from Roswell to ABQ

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Goddard senior Johnathon Parnell, center, competes in the Austin Spartan Super obstacle course race on May 20 in Austin, Texas. Parnell will attempt to run from Roswell to Albuquerque in 48 hours beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. (Submitted Photo)

For many Roswellites, the three-hour drive to Albuquerque is short enough for a fun weekend getaway.

Johnathon Parnell

For Goddard senior Johnathon Parnell, the 200-mile trek to the Duke City is his weekend getaway.
Friday at 5 p.m., Goddard senior Johnathon Parnell will attempt to run from his front door to roughly the Albuquerque city limits, specifically the “Aluminum Yucca” scuplture alongside I-40.
“It actually was as simple as him saying he was going for a run,” said Parnell’s father, Timothy. “I asked how far he thought he could run and he didn’t know where to run. I knew the highway to Albuquerque would just be a long, fairly straight road and I figured he’d get somewhere around a half-marathon to marathon distance. He said he wanted to run all the way.”
Parnell did the research, consulting with his family physician about the best time to run, pace and nutrition, and putting together a plan involving a rotating crew of family and friends that will drive the support vehicle.
Some parents might be more hesitant about their teenager attempting such an extreme distance during the hottest part of the year, but Parnell’s passion for running began years ago when his father needed a simple activity for his high-energy 7-year-old.
“Instead of telling him to go play in the backyard, we’d go find a dirt road and let him run,” said Parnell’s father. “I have no idea how much of this run came from letting him run as a kid.”
During the school year, Parnell gets his running fix through football and track, but with class out for the summer, he turned his attention to something a bit less traditional — Spartan obstacle course races.
Parnell recently completed the Spartan Trifecta, accomplished by finishing the three Spartan distances. He completed the 3-mile, seven-obstacle Sprint in Houston, the 9-mile, 25 obstacle Super in Austin and the 14-mile, obstacle-stacked Beast in Montana.
Timothy said he ran the Sprint with his son, but quickly realized he couldn’t keep up.
“He got more of a workout from throwing me over all the obstacles than he did from running the race himself,” he said. “So I promoted myself to cheerleader/driver/sponsor.”
Timothy said he’s happy to see his son confident and focused on his goals, no matter how crazy they might sound to an outsider.
“I think the biggest challenge with humans as a whole is we do not think we can do as much as we can do,” he said. “His attitude is that there is no reason why he can’t run to Albuquerque. The more large goals that you can accomplish, the more you can look back, later in life and say, ‘Look what I’ve done, you can’t tell me no!’”
The Parnells, along with family friends — the Martinezes — have been preparing for the journey all week, gathering supplies, finalizing the route (they will turn left at Vaughn and go through Estancia up to Moriarty where he will complete the trek along the old Route 66) and discussing safety concerns.
Besides weather and terrain, time will also work against Parnell as the crew has agreed to stop at 5 p.m. Sunday, giving the teenager just 48 hours to complete his 200-mile run.
Parnell’s weekend getaway might not be as relaxing as most would prefer, but in the end, it should be a lot more satisfying than a trip to Cliff’s.
Those wanting to wish Parnell well as he departs Roswell should gather near the mall or Chisum Travel Center (Price’s Truck Stop) on North Main Street shortly after 5 p.m.

Body found in alley Wednesday morning; Roswell detectives investigating suspicious death of unidentified man

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The alleyway between Shartelle Avenue and Garden Avenue is a narrow street characterized by unbagged trash, abandoned items and subtle amounts of greenery along its sides. The body of a man whose information has not yet been released by police was found along this street after a woman mistook it for a man who had passed out around 9:40 a.m. Wednesday. (Trevier Gonzalez Photo)

Roswell Police Department detectives are investigating the death of a man whose body was found Wednesday morning in an alley in the eastern part of Roswell.

Investigators have identified the man, but are not yet releasing his name or age.
Police have confirmed that the man is not Ernest Lee Sipe, who was reported missing to the RPD Sunday.
Police said the deceased man was found in an alley that runs east-west between Shartelle Avenue and Garden Avenue.
The alley, just to the north of Third Street, is narrow, with many sections within it appearing abandoned, covered in debris.
By the time the Daily Record arrived on the scene around 3 p.m., there was no sign of police.
A nearby resident said police had sectioned off areas of the street during the initial investigation.
Police said a woman who was taking garbage out to a trash bin in the alley at about 9:40 a.m. noticed the man lying in the alley and called police to report what she thought was a man who was passed out.
Police said when officers arrived, it was determined the man was deceased.
Police said the investigation is ongoing, looking into what is currently classified as a suspicious death.
“It is currently unknown how long the man’s body may have been in the alley. An autopsy of the body will be conducted,” RPD spokesperson Todd Wildermuth said in a news release. “Anyone with potential information regarding this case is asked to call the Roswell Police Department at 575-624-6770.”
Multimedia-crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

 

Pirtle considering race for Congress

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New Mexico state Sen. Cliff Pirtle has confirmed he is interested in running for Congress as seven-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce eyes a race for governor.

Pirtle

“My wife and I have discussed this privately,” Pirtle told the Daily Record Wednesday. “I’ve had a few people contact me saying that my name is being circulated.”
Pearce, the only Republican among New Mexico’s five-member congressional delegation, is meeting with community leaders outside his congressional district as he considers running for governor of New Mexico in 2018. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez cannot run for a third term in 2018 due to term limits.
Asked if a potential congressional campaign is contingent on Pearce’s decision, Pirtle said he really didn’t know.
“I’ve been approached by different people,” said the 31-year-old Pirtle. “I think there’s interest there just to being a part of trying to make America better and going to Washington to improve the economy for the state of New Mexico.”
Pearce, R-Hobbs, and Pirtle, R-Roswell, squared off in the June 2010 Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District, when Pearce won 84.8 percent of votes cast, compared to Pirtle’s 15.2 percent.
“That was before I had children,” Pirtle said, referring to the demands placed on members of Congress to travel back and forth between Capitol Hill and their respective states.
Pearce spokeswoman Keeley Christensen told the newspaper last month that Pearce was touring counties in northern New Mexico, outside his congressional district, to listen to concerns about the state’s direction. Christensen said Pearce “will ultimately make a decision based on how he feels he can best serve New Mexico.”
The possibility of an open seat for the 2nd Congressional District, which entails the southern half of the state, has prompted speculation on who might run to succeed Pearce in Washington D.C.
“My wife and I have just been discussing the possibility, weighing the pros and the cons,” said Pirtle, a farmer who has worked at Pirtle Farms for over 12 years.
Pirtle was first elected to a four-year term in the state Senate in 2012 when he defeated Senate majority whip and 34-year incumbent Democrat state Sen. Tim Jennings. Pirtle ran unopposed in 2016 in both the Republican primary and general election for Senate District 32, which includes Roswell, Artesia, Dexter, Hagerman, Lake Arthur and Mescalero in Chaves, Eddy and Otero counties.
Pirtle is not up for re-election until 2020, so he would not have to choose next year whether to run for re-election to his Senate seat or for Congress. He said he would make a decision about a congressional bid later this summer.
“I would say probably no later than the first of August,” he said.
Pearce currently is serving his seventh term in New Mexico’s southernmost congressional district. 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. The congressional district is geographically the fifth largest district in the nation, and the largest one that does not comprise an entire state.
Not since former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Skeen retired from Congress in January 2003 after 11 terms has the state’s southernmost congressional district had a representative who resided in Roswell.
Pirtle, who was raised in Roswell and graduated from Roswell High School in 2004, has gained statewide recognition in the state Senate in recent years with his legislative efforts to place New Mexico on daylight saving time year-round.
Skeen also served in the New Mexico Senate before first running for Congress in 1980.
Pirtle was recently reappointed to serve as a voting member on three interim committees of the New Mexico Legislature, which meet when the Legislature is not in session, and as an advisory member on two additional committees.
Pirtle was reappointed this month to serve as a voting member on the Indian Affairs Committee, the Water and Natural Resources Committee and the Land Grant Committee.
Pirtle was also reappointed as an advisory member to the Public Schools Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force and the Legislative Council, which is made up of leaders of both the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives, as well as additional legislators.
During the interim, the committees examine the effectiveness of state government, including the operations of all of its departments and agencies, and how they can be improved to serve the citizens of New Mexico. The committees also consider proposed legislation for endorsement.
When the Legislature is in session, Pirtle serves on the Senate Rules and the Senate Indian Affairs committees.
Interim editor Jeff Tucker can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 302, or at reporter01@rdrnews.com.

Four join county Land Council

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The Chaves County Land Council has added four new members and seeks to become a more effective advisory board to county managers and officials as it holds its second meeting of the year Thursday night.

“It has been in flux for a couple of years,” said Chaves County Planning and Zoning Director Marlin Johnson, whose office provides support and coordination for the group. “Apparently getting a quorum was difficult from 2013 to 2015.”
The plan at this point, Johnson said, is to return to regular monthly meetings. While some thought was given to reconfiguring the types or number of members, according to Johnson, a decision was made recently to appoint four new members, returning the council to nine members.
Three members represent agricultural interests, three represent recreation interests and three represent mining, oil and gas interests.
The new members, chosen by commissioners in consultation with county staff, are former county commissioner and local rancher and agritourism provider Kim Chesser; retired banker and hunter and conservationist Hud Rhea; Hinkle Shanor oil and gas lawyer Jared Hembree; and Roswell businessman, Badlands BBQ owner and off-roading enthusiast Eric Austin.
Both Rhea and Austin said that it is too early to have any specific goals as a council member, that they will need time to familiarize themselves with the issues and the council.
The new appointees join five existing members: rancher and real estate broker Scott McNally and rancher Mark Marley for the agricultural sector; Mack Energy and Chase Farms manager Dan Girand and Jeff Harvard of Harvard Petroleum Co. for the extraction sector; and Central Valley Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees President and hunting services operator Chuck Wagner for the recreation sector.
Formed in 1994 and given its current name in 2014, the council exists to advise elected officials and county staff on matters related to federal and state public lands, which represent about 60 percent of the county’s total acreage, according to the county’s long-term plan.
“It is a way to get some discussion going and get recommendations on how to proceed,” said Johnson, “so that way, by the time it reaches the commissioners, there already have been public discussions.”
At its 6 p.m. Thursday meeting at the Chaves County Administrative Center, the council is scheduled to talk about the Carlsbad Resource Management Plan. The plan, led by the Bureau of Land Management, includes portions of Chaves County. A draft is now under review by BLM staff in Washington D.C., prior to being published for public comment.
At previous meetings about the plan with the county commissioners, BLM staff engaged in intense debate about how some federal lands in the county have been designated as Areas of Critical Environmental Concern or Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, which could make that acreage unavailable to ranching and oil and gas activities in future years.
It is unclear at this time how the Carlsbad Resource Management Plan process will be affected by the recently announced restructure of the U.S. Department of Interior, which includes the reassignment of New Mexico BLM Director Amy Lueders to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 310, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

First Presbyterian puts the needy first

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First Presbyterian Church has had Larry Sydow as interim pastor for about a year now, and he is happy with what he’s seen there.

“I attend the mission meetings,” Sydow said, “and I am really amazed at their attitude toward the homeless and the hurting in that they don’t see them as being a burden, they really have a heartfelt concern for these people. It’s good to hear because you hear so much of the other.”
He knows the people he helps are troubled and that is what he is ministering to.
“I don’t see many people who come for help, coming to worship,” Sydow said, “and I don’t expect them to. They have more immediate needs. My problem with some churches and groups is, in order to receive a hot meal or needed item, a person has to attend a service.”
First Presbyterian Church is going on its 118th year in Roswell, and it has a long tradition of service from its school in the early years to its multiple outreach programs of today.
“We have people who volunteer with the Community Kitchen weekly,” Sydow said. “They serve there and they do fundraising to help the community kitchen to move to its new location.”
Members of First Presbyterian Church have outreaches to a number of local groups including the Roswell Refuge, Habitat for Humanity, Wings for Life, the Salvation Army and CASA.
“They’re also active with Presbyterian Outreach,” Sydow said, “and Teaching Social Justice Seminar in New Mexico.”
Some of their members get deeply involved with some of the groups.
“The treasurer of Habitat for Humanity, Bob Williams,” Sydow said, “is a member of First Presbyterian.”
They also work with Westminster Presbyterian Church on a local outreach program.
“We send money to Westminster,” Sydow said, “that can be used primarily for shut-off lights or gas and such, we work with them on that.”
Some churches have money to give directly to the needy, First Presbyterian doesn’t do that.
“We don’t have money in the office to hand out,” Sydow said. “Some churches have a slush fund for people who are hungry. We used to have a gas voucher or a credit card, and that may come back when they get a full time pastor.”
The work of First Presbyterian Church’s members is not limited to charities and nonprofits.
“They make quilts for the homeless and people affected by disasters,” Sydow said. “They help cleaning up under bridges on the walking path.”
On a global scale they’re active, too.
“There’s a family in Pakistan,” he said. “They call him the moderator for all of Pakistan. Members of the church are supporting that. We also help Presbyterian disaster assistance.”
Sydow is from a Lutheran background, but he said the adjustment to pastoring a Presbyterian church has been easy.
“Going from Lutheran to Presbyterian has not been that hard,” he said, “because we have so much in common. What has impressed me over the past year is how very much alike we are and how the spirit of love and compassion flows.”
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Where the antelope play

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Sue Ferguson took this photo of a pair of antelope just outside her Roswell home this week. (Submitted Photo)

Cancer Services offers free retreat

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On the weekend of Sept. 8-10, Cancer Services of New Mexico is hosting an educational event at the Marriott Pyramid North Hotel in Albuquerque.

This is a three-day program to provide information about cancer, and the life that comes with it.
This is the largest program of its type in the United States considering about 250 people from 100 New Mexican families come to participate in it.
There will be many speakers from different cancer-based companies that will come in and talk to the patients, their loved ones and the survivors.
To any families that come to this program, this event will be free of costs, including meals, lodging and the educational lectures and activities. Space is limited, so interested families are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
For more information or to request an application packet, contact Mike Capeless at 505-239-4239 or go to CancerServicesNM.org.

Family searching for disabled man last seen in Lovington

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Ernest Lee Sipe

A Roswell family is desperately looking for a family member. Ernest Lee Sipe, 32, was last seen Sunday, said his sister-in-law, Jessie Sipe.

The Roswell Police Department’s public information officer, Todd Wildermuth, said the brother of Ernest, Gary Snipe, filed a missing person report with the RPD Sunday.
“He said he had last seen Ernest June 15, when Ernest left the house on foot,” Wildermuth said Wednesday. “Chaves County sheriff’s deputies came across Ernest at Bottomless Lakes State Park that same day, June 15, and advised he was fine.”
Ernest Sipe is mentally disabled and Type 1 diabetic. Jessie Sipe said her brother-in-law was last seen at the Nor-Lea Hospital District in Lovington.
“They gave him a bus ticket to Lubbock, we still haven’t been able to get a hold of him,” she said. “He left his phone, he left all of his stuff, he left his animals — he just took off walking out of town. My husband is in desperate need of finding him, just because of his medical issues.”
Anyone with information about Ernest Sipe’s whereabouts may contact the RPD at 575-624-6770.

More than $1,700 in electronics and clothing stolen from home

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The following reports are from the Roswell Police Department and are available at rpdp2c.org. All people arrested or cited are presumed innocent.

Police were dispatched to the 400 block of East Fifth Street at 12:34 p.m. Tuesday on a larceny call. A Sony stereo, clothing and furs, shoes, furniture and other miscellaneous items with a total value of $1,725 was reported stolen.

Arrests and arrest citations
Chelsie Rena Lopez, 29, of the 800 block of North Garden Avenue was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia at 9:39 p.m. Tuesday.

Burglaries
Police were dispatched to the 1100 block of North Richardson Avenue at 10:33 a.m. Tuesday on a burglary forced entry call. Two leaf blowers, a weed trimmer and other miscellaneous products valued at $3,370 were stolen and recovered.
Police were dispatched to the 4500 block of North Main Street at 10:56 p.m. Tuesday on a vehicle burglary call. A stereo with a CD player valued at $60 was reported stolen.

Larceny
Police were dispatched to the 2800 block of North Main Street at 6:31 a.m. Tuesday on a larceny call. Military statues, pots and a Celtic cross with a total value of $349.96 was reported stolen.

Michael Pete Jaramillo

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Michael Pete Jaramillo, age 52, loved by his family and friends, passed away peacefully on June 17, 2017 in Albuquerque, NM. Mike was a full of life, fun-loving man, willing to help family, friends and strangers any time. He had plenty of stories to tell about growing up in the Roswell/Dexter area and he kept his family and friends entertained for hours with his storytelling skills.
Mike is survived by his loving partner of 17 years, Kim Ellen Cree; his beloved daughter, Adrienna Tavarez; his much loved sister, Alicia Bernal; his nephews Justin Bernal and Steven Herrera; his loving niece and favorite wild child, Samantha Bernal; his aunt, Helen Padilla; his uncles, Elmo, Joe, James and Gilbert Sedillo; and numerous cousins. He will be fondly remembered by his many friends that have known him since childhood. Mike was preceded in death by his adored younger daughter, Adelina Tavarez, his loving mother Della Sedillo; and his doting grandparents.
An open house to celebrate Mike’s life will be held at his sister’s home, 5016 Kokopelli Drive NE in Rio Rancho on Saturday, July 1 beginning at 3 p.m. Everyone whose life Mike has touched is invited to come, join with other friends and family and remember Mike with stories and reminiscing.

Johnnie M. Gamboa

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Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, June 23, 2017 at Ballard Funeral Home for Johnnie M. Gamboa, 87, who passed on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at home surrounded by his loved ones. Lay-Pastor Alex Sigala will officiate with burial to follow at General Douglas McBride Veterans Cemetery. Roswell Veteran’s Honor Guard will conduct military graveside services.
Johnnie was born January 22, 1930 in Roswell, NM to Johnnie Gamboa and Nellie Gueviro Gamboa, who preceded him in death. He is also preceded in death by his son Frankie Gamboa; daughter “DG” Delores Cribbs and a great-great granddaughter. Johnnie married Louise M. Carter on December 8, 1951 in Dunn, NC who survives him in Roswell, NM.
He is also survived by his son Danny Gamboa of Roswell, NM; daughters Liz Sigala and husband Albert, Diana Borton and Debbie Sigala and husband Alex; brother Ronald Gamboa; 13 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Johnnie was born and raised in Roswell, NM. He retired as a carpenter. Johnnie loved spending time with his children and grandchildren. He will be truly missed.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Ballard Funeral Home and Crematory. An online registry can be accessed at www.ballardfuneralhome.com.

Ernesto Joseph Espinoza

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Services are pending at LaGrone Funeral Chapel for Ernesto Joseph Espinoza, age 58, who passed away Monday June 19, 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 www.lagronefuneralchapels.com.

Elected leaders should stand with sportmen

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Sportsmen and women in Chaves County and southeast New Mexico recently got steamrolled by the Chaves County Commission.

The commissions vote to close a 5-mile stretch of Felix Canyon Road –– the primary access to public hunting unit 32 –– was not business as usual, as the commissioners would like us to believe. It’s part of a larger attack on the sportsman’s way of life, and an attack on public lands.
In Chaves County, for example, we’ve seen public roads closed left and right in recent years –– Felix Canyon Road, Squaw Canyon Road, Buchanan Road, to name a few –– denying the taxpaying public reasonable access to lands that belong to them. Public lands provide average New Mexican families a chance to hunt and fish for a reasonable cost.
Unlike our neighbors in Texas, who pay high dollar for access to private hunting ranches and access to private preserves, we New Mexicans have a rich tradition of hunting on public lands, and we don’t need gold coin in hand to open gates.
Because we have reasonable access to public lands, we can pass on our traditions to younger generations without having to be a wealthy rancher, or having the political connections to hunt on private land.
It’s clear where the Chaves County commissioners stand on public lands, but I must ask the question, which one of our elected leaders in southeast New Mexico will stand up for sportsmen?
I would hope our own Congressman Steve Pearce –– as our federal representative –– would go to bat for the New Mexican way of life. I would hope he would realize that his constituents in southeast New Mexico are public land hunters and anglers, and that he should be working to protect their interests and their way of life, just as much as the ranchers.
That means protecting public lands –– but also, encouraging adequate funding, management, and conservation of these lands to ensure that wildlife and fish in southeast New Mexico can thrive.
But on numerous occasions, Pearce has supported legislation that would sell off or transfer our public lands to western states or would otherwise reduce or remove public lands protections. These bills include H.R. 5836, the HEARD Act, H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, H.R. 2852, the Action Plan for Public Lands and Education Act, and H.R. 995, a bill he introduced to reduce the protected status of significant wildlife habitat areas in the Organ-Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument.
Congressman Pearce still has a chance to get it right, where other of our elected leaders have shown a clear disregard for the opinions and way of life of their constituents. I sure hope he does, because the time for leadership is now. Once we lose these lands, we can’t get them back. Step up, Steve, the sportsmen and women of southeast New Mexico are depending on you.
Oscar Sosa
Artesia

We shouldn’t degrade Roswell police

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Wednesday’s letter from Flo Wells about the Roswell Police Department’s use of military equipment seems a little misdirected.

The equipment used by our Police Department should, and I believe currently does, reflect their current needs in today’s society. Whether we like it or not, we live in a society where our values are being challenged from all sides.
Students in our schools are not taught to respect their teachers and the rules, criminals have become increasingly more violent and have begun to use military-style weapons. Extremists from many groups are targeting every area of our society in efforts to change our society.
I’d love to live in a world where our policemen and women didn’t need to carry any firearms. I’d love to live in a world where every citizen respected everyone else, no matter their job, color or ethnicity.
Ms. Wells, I believe that rather than degrade our Police Department for its using of military equipment, we can eliminate their need for such equipment by demanding our fellow citizens to follow the law, respect and care for one another and assist anyone who needs help. Believe me, there isn’t an officer in the RPD who looks forward to having to use deadly force in any situation.
Don Determan
Roswell

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