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Trump warns he’ll revoke clearance of Justice Dept official

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Southampton, N.Y., for a fundraiser. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday that he suspects he’ll “very quickly” revoke the security clearance for a Justice Department official whose wife worked for the firm involved in producing a dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia.

Signaling that his efforts to target clearances over his frustration with the Russia investigation were not over, Trump tweeted that it was a “disgrace” for Bruce Ohr to be in the Justice Department.

His comments came two days after he yanked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, saying he had to do “something” about the “rigged” federal probe of Russian election interference. Critics have cast it as an act of political vengeance.

Ohr has come under Republican scrutiny for his contacts to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign to compile the dossier on Trump and his Russia ties.

Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS during the campaign — something Trump has tweeted about to highlight his assertions of political bias behind the Russia investigation.

Former U.S. security officials on Thursday issued scathing rebukes to Trump for moving against Brennan. Trump’s admission that he acted out of frustration with the Russia probe underscored his willingness to use his executive power to fight back against an investigation he sees as a threat to his presidency. Legal experts said the dispute may add to the evidence being reviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Brennan said Trump’s decision, announced Wednesday, to deny him access to classified information was a desperate attempt to end Mueller’s investigation. Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama and has become a vocal Trump critic, called Trump’s claims that he did not collude with Russia “hogwash.”

The only question remaining is whether the collusion amounts to a “constituted criminally liable conspiracy,” Brennan wrote.

Later Thursday, the retired Navy admiral who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden called Trump’s moves “McCarthy-era tactics.” Writing in The Washington Post, William H. McRaven said he would “consider it an honor” if Trump would revoke his clearance, as well.

“Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation,” McRaven wrote.

That was followed late Thursday by a joint letter from 15 former senior intelligence officials calling Trump’s action “ill-considered and unprecedented.” They said it “has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.”

The signees included seven former CIA directors, six former CIA deputy directors and two former national intelligence directors, James Clapper and retired Navy Adm. Denny Blair. Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden have appeared on a White House list of people who may also have their security clearances revoked.

Then on Friday, 60 former CIA officials issued their own statement, joining a chorus of opposition from the intelligence community to Trump’s decisions to threaten to or actually pull clearances. They said former government officials have a right to express unclassified views on national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so.

They said they did not necessarily concur with all the opinions expressed by Brennan, or the way in which he expressed them. But they said they believe the “country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

Trump on Wednesday openly tied his decision to strip Brennan of his clearance — and threaten nearly a dozen other former and current officials — to the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with his campaign. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump again called the probe a “rigged witch hunt” and said “these people led it!”

“So I think it’s something that had to be done,” he said.

The president’s comments were a swift departure from the official explanation given by the White House earlier Wednesday that cited the “the risks” posed by Brennan’s supposed “erratic conduct and behavior.” It marked the latest example of the president contradicting a story his aides had put forward to explain his motivations.

Attorneys said the revocation appeared to be within the president’s authority. But they noted the power play also could be used to reinforce a case alleging obstruction of justice, following the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his repeated tweets calling for the investigation to end.

Patrick Cotter, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York and a longtime white-collar defense attorney, said that while a prosecutor could argue that Trump’s targeting of clearances was intended as a warning that “if you contribute to, participate in, support the Russia probe and I find out about it, I’m going to punish you,” it is likely not obstruction in itself.

But, he said the move would be a “powerful piece of evidence” for prosecutors as part of a pattern to demonstrate an intent to use presidential power in connection with the probe.

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor agreed.

“What it shows is that the president is fixated on the Russia investigation, he’s angry about it, and he wants to do everything he can to discourage or slow down the investigation,” he said.

Mueller and his team have been looking at Trump’s public statements and tweets as they investigate whether the president could be guilty of obstruction.

“I don’t think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it’s factually relevant,” said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney. “I think it shows the state of mind and intent to interfere or impede any unfavorable discussion of his potential connection to Russia.”

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period.

Getting personal: US, Turkish leaders feud over arrest

People stand in front of a board showing foreign currency rates inside a currency exchange office in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. Turkey and the United States exchanged new threats of sanctions Friday, keeping alive a diplomatic and financial crisis that is threatening the economic stability of the NATO country. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A detained American pastor has become a symbol of a growing rift between Turkey and the United States, but problems in the Cold War-era alliance as well as Turkey’s own financial crisis are unlikely to dissipate even if he is released and Washington eases economic penalties.

The fate of Andrew Brunson, charged with terror offenses by a Turkish court, also overshadows the predicament of a Turkish-American scientist from NASA and several Turkish workers for the U.S. diplomatic mission who were arrested in Turkey. Turkey, meanwhile, is frustrated by the refusal of the U.S. to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused by Turkish authorities of engineering a 2016 coup attempt.

The conflict between NATO allies is even more personalized because of U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose uncompromising statements contribute to a sense that the tension will ratchet up before any possibility of a climbdown. The two countries already disagree over U.S. support for Kurdish fighters in Syria, as well as a plan by Turkey to buy Russian missiles.

Dashing hopes for a quick solution to the dispute, a Turkish court on Friday rejected an appeal for the evangelical pastor’s release from house detention. It upheld a lower court’s decision against the lifting of a travel ban on Brunson.

Also Friday, in more verbal sparring, Turkey’s trade minister said her government would respond in kind to any new trade duties from the United States after U.S. Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin said the U.S. could put more sanctions on Turkey if the pastor is not released soon.

“We have responded to the measures the United States has taken, and will continue to do so based on our international trade law rights and in accordance to World Trade Organization rules,” said the minister, Ruhsar Pekcan.

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Turkish government ministers and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. Turkey retaliated with tariffs on some U.S. imports and said it would boycott U.S. electronic goods.

Turkey is struggling to stabilize its currency after it plunged to a record low in a crisis that spurred fears of bankruptcies and a spillover effect in other emerging markets if Turkish firms can’t pay back high foreign debt. Many financial experts say Turkey should raise interest rates to reduce inflation and attract investment, but Erdogan has so far opposed a move he says would curb growth.

The turmoil led ratings agency Moody’s to downgrade Turkey’s credit rating further into “junk” status and slap a “negative” rating on its outlook. Moody’s stripped Turkey of its investment-grade rating in 2016 and Friday’s move lowered it one rung further.

The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party said Erdogan was using the standoff over the evangelical pastor as a “pretext,” blaming the United States for economic problems and diverting attention from his own alleged mismanagement. The feud over Brunson, who was detained in October 2016, has added to the jitters over an economy that grew quickly, with the help of heavy borrowing, in past years.

“Do you think the lira will gain against the dollar if Brunson is released? Would the amount of Turkey’s debts decrease?” Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party, said Thursday in Ankara, the capital.

Supporters of Brunson, who ran a small church in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir, say allegations that he was linked to Kurdish rebels as well as Turkish cleric and alleged coup plotter Fethullah Gulen are absurd. Erdogan previously suggested a swap in which Brunson is released in exchange for Gulen, though U.S. officials have said Turkey must present convincing evidence for any extradition proceeding to be considered.

“We will pay nothing for the release of an innocent man, but we are cutting back on Turkey!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. He criticized Turkey for “holding our wonderful Christian Pastor.”

The Committee of Concerned Scientists has compared the Brunson case to that of Serkan Golge, a NASA scientist who was arrested at the time of the coup attempt and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for alleged links to Gulen’s group.

“A one-dollar American bill was found in Dr. Golge’s possession when arrested. It was presented to the judge as the incriminating evidence against him. The serial number of the bill allegedly represented Golge’s place in the hierarchy of the Gulen organization,” the committee said in an Aug. 6 letter urging U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to campaign for 36-year-old Golge’s release.

American officials have also protested the detentions of several Turkish employees of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Turkey, including Metin Topuz, Hamza Ulucay and Mete Canturk.

Turkey, in turn, criticized the prosecution in the U.S. of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a top official at Turkey’s state-controlled Halkbank who was convicted of helping Iran avoid U.S. sanctions. It says the case against Atilla, sentenced to 32 months in prison, was politically motivated.

If convicted, the American pastor faces up to 35 years in jail.

Anger engulfs families as Italy buries its bridge victims

A woman mourns a victim of a collapsed highway bridge, at the Fiera di Genova exhibition center, where some of the coffins are laid in state, in Genoa, Italy, Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. A state funeral for most of the victims will take place in Genoa on Saturday. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

GENOA, Italy (AP) — With anger and grief, Italians began burying some of their dead Friday from the Genoa highway bridge collapse, holding funerals in the victims’ hometowns. Several angry families rebuffed the offer of a state funeral and the cardinal of Naples was merciless in his condemnation of negligence by Italian officials.

Saturday has been declared a national day of mourning in Italy and will include a state funeral at the industrial port city’s fair grounds for those who plunged to their deaths as the 45-meter (150-foot) tall Morandi Bridge gave way Tuesday.

But many of those who lost loved ones declined to participate in the state funeral. Some cited the need to bid farewell in private while others blamed the loss of at least 38 lives on those responsible for the bridge’s safety.

Anger and sadness erupted at the funeral Friday for four men in their 20s, all friends from the Naples seaside suburb of Torre del Greco, whose lives were snuffed out as they drove over the bridge heading to a vacation in Spain.

“You can’t, you mustn’t die for negligence! For carelessness! For irresponsibility! For superficiality!” thundered Naples Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe in his homily.

Finding the cause of the bridge’s collapse during a driving rainstorm might take weeks or months to determine. But Genoa prosecutors say they are focusing their investigation into possible criminal blame on design flaws or inadequate maintenance on the heavily traveled bridge, which was completed in 1967 and linked two high-speed highways in the city.

“My boy and the others suffered murder,” said Roberto Battiloro, whose 29-year-old son, a videographer, was one of the four friends who died. “They died an absurd, blameless death just for going on holiday.”

His voice shaking with anger, Battiloro said his son was the “victim of a cruel fate, but also of whoever didn’t think that on that bridge could be the children of those who are despairing today.”

“I have died inside, but I have to find the clarity of mind to say that four boys were not No. 27, No. 28, etc (on the victims’ list), but people who loved life,” Battiloro declared.

Other private funerals were held in Piedmont and elsewhere in Italy.

Survivors, for their part, were shocked at how they escaped with their lives.

Davide Capello, 33, a firefighter and soccer player, was driving alone on the bridge when his Volkswagen Tiguan and the road it was on plunged to the ground. He immediately understood that the structure was collapsing, watching in shock as a car in front of him “disappeared in darkness.”

“It came down, everything, the world came down,” he told The Associated Press in an interview Friday, adding that he managed to walk away physically unharmed but psychologically traumatized.

His car plunged nose first, then stopped with a crash, air bags releasing all around him. He said he saw only gray, as concrete dust covered the windows.

Capello used the touch-screen phone in the car to call colleagues at the Savona dispatch center, who sent help. He then called his girlfriend and his father, a retired firefighter, who told him to get out of the car immediately for fear that it would destabilize or something heavy would fall on top of it.

Since neither the car’s windows nor its doors would budge, he unclipped his seat belt and climbed out through a hole in the rear of the car that was blasted open by the crash. Outside, he said, “there was an unreal silence” — destroyed vehicles and piles of broken concrete and asphalt, but no signs of life, no cries for help.

Rescue workers then helped him climb down from the rubble.

“I got out with my own legs,” said Capello, who plays for a Serie C club in Liguria. “I don’t know if anyone else managed to. I was saved by a miracle.”

“The car protected me. Besides God, the car also did its job,” Capello said.

On Thursday, prosecutors said as many as 20 people could still be missing in the bridge collapse, but cautioned that some people initially reported as unaccounted for might be on vacation and hadn’t yet contacted their families.

Civil protection department officials said Friday there might only be five people missing, but the exact number was fluctuating.

Excavators have begun clearing large sections of the collapsed bridge. Rescuers have been tunneling through tons of jagged steel and concrete blocks to look inside crushed vehicles.

Several vehicles, abandoned by their fleeing occupants on the intact ends of the bridge, were gingerly removed Friday. Among them was a green food delivery truck, which — its windshield wipers swishing, its gear shift in reverse — had halted only few meters (yards) from the jagged edge of the abyss.

For many, the truck at the brink became a symbol of destiny and survival. Highway workers, directed by firefighters, backed it off the bridge and into a nearby tunnel.

Authorities are worried about the stability of large remaining sections of the bridge, which was built over or adjacent to several apartment buildings. Hundreds of residents in those buildings have been evacuated — and there is no guarantee they will ever return to those homes.

Emergency workers also want to quickly remove the tons of debris that fell into the dry riverbed under the bridge so it doesn’t create a dam that floods the rest of the city if heavy rains fall again.

Cuomo on his ‘inartful’ remark: ‘Of course America is great’

In this May 10, 2018 file photo, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York. New York Gov. On Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, at a bill signing event in Manhattan, Cuomo said that America "was never that great" during remarks criticizing Republican President Donald Trump and his slogan "Make America Great Again," saying America won't be truly great until all Americans have true equality. Republicans quickly pounced on Cuomo's remarks. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo, running for a third term and a potential candidate for president in 2020, acknowledged Friday that he was “inartful” when he said this week that America “was never that great.”

The Democrat went on to expound on something that few elected officials ever need to spell out.

“I want to be very clear: Of course America is great and of course America has always been great,” Cuomo said on a teleconference with reporters.

Cuomo’s appraisal of the nation was somewhat different Wednesday when, speaking at a Manhattan bill signing, he critiqued Republican President Donald Trump and his slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

“We’re not going to make America great again — it was never that great,” Cuomo told the audience, which reacted with gasps and laughter. “We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged.”

The comment set off a wave of criticism of Cuomo, who is seeking a third term this fall and is considered a possible White House contender in 2020.

New York Republicans demanded an apology and purchased Cuomo a one-way bus ticket to Montreal. Trump tweeted that Cuomo was having a “total meltdown.” Cuomo primary challenger and former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon accused Cuomo of trying to sound like a liberal and failing. CBS late night host Stephen Colbert said the comment was “the dumbest thing you could say as a politician.”

Trump ridiculed Cuomo again Friday in several tweets, comparing the comment from “Hightax Andrew Cuomo” to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of the word “deplorables” to describe many Trump supporters during the 2016 campaign.

“I say Andrew’s was a bigger and more incompetent blunder,” Trump tweeted. “He should easily win his race against a Super Liberal Actress, but his political career is over!”

Other critics took issue with Cuomo’s use of the word “inartful” when trying to walk back his comment.

“That falls well short of the apology he owes,” said Republican lawmaker Brian Kolb, the minority leader in the state Assembly.

During Friday’s teleconference, Cuomo said he has no plans to run for president but will continue his criticism of Trump, who attended a Long Island fundraiser Friday. Calling the president “vindictive, petty and small,” Cuomo said “Make America Great Again” reflects Trump’s desire to return America to a time of greater intolerance and inequality.

“Everything he does is repugnant to our values,” he said.

Commission looks at separating mingled airport funds

Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh, also chair of the city’s Airport Advisory Commission, discusses a possible parcel acquisition at Thursday’s meeting. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

City staff want to proceed with plans to separate city general funds and the old municipal airport funds from the enterprise fund used for the Roswell International Air Center, as members of the Airport Advisory Commission discussed Thursday.

Meeting for the second time, the commission continued some of the discussions begun at its first meeting two weeks before.

Consisting of three local business leaders as well as Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Roswell Parks and Recreation Director Jim Burress, the commission has been created to improve airport-tenant relations and to take steps necessary to boost the airport, aviation activities, private investment and business and job creation at the Roswell International Air Center.

Kintigh explained that the city considers it important to know exactly how much and which funds the air center generates and how much money it spends. He and city staff estimate that separating all the revenue and expense funds related to the air center could take up to two years.

Ideally, he said, all air center expenses and salaries would be supported solely by the revenues generated from leases, landing fees and other air center funds and activities.

“Unfortunately it has gotten real complicated because, we still have, believe it or not, the old airport terminal, the old airport property,” he said. “When we got this, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires that the revenues from the old municipal airport area, if we generate something from like the sale of land, that goes into the airport enterprise fund. It doesn’t go into the city general fund. But if we build a street out there, that comes from the city general fund.”

The city airport used to be located on the northwest side of the city, across West College Boulevard from the Cielo Grande Recreation Area and just west of the Noon Optimist Little League fields. The new airport on the south side of Roswell began operations in 1975.

Kintigh said he and City Manager Joe Neeb think the time has come to work out an arrangement with the FAA to release the city from the requirements regarding the old airport land, given that the city’s general fund has been supporting the new airport for years.

Michael Garcia with Armstrong Consultants Inc., which assists with planning, construction administration and financial analysis for the Roswell International Air Center, said the FAA has a process to request a land release of the old municipal airport property.

The meeting also included an extended discussion about the standard lease used by the city for buildings at the airport. Air Center Director Scott Stark said the lease has undergone only minor changes in the past five years. Commission members Dane Marley, Riley Armstrong and Bud Kunkel, real estate and business leaders, recommended that the city make some changes to attract more tenants.

Suggestions included making the leases more straightforward and simple; developing new leases rather than allowing more than two addenda to existing leases; recognizing that if a building needs extensive repairs and upkeep that the city cannot charge high rents; and changing provisions that would give the city the ability to terminate a lease with only 30 days’ notice.

City Attorney Aaron Holloman said that the termination clause had never been exercised by the city to his knowledge, while Stark noted that some tenants had negotiated for up to 180 days’ notice. But some commission members said businesses might not even consider signing a lease with such a provision in it.

As part of the lease discussion, some members indicated that it is not reasonable to expect tenants to be responsible for major repairs or projects, such as ramp maintenance, roof repairs, electrical rewiring or installing heating and air conditioning systems. Kintigh said he hoped at some point that the city could develop a “chunk of money” to modernize and repair all of the leasable buildings.

The commission also discussed plans to better catalog data about existing facilities and to identify some land parcels that will be available for future development, including documenting exactly what is needed to make them shovel-ready. City staff and commission members said that having such information at staff’s fingertips will be crucial to attracting tenants and developers, who will look elsewhere if they have to wait months for information necessary to analyze the financial aspects of a move here.

Kintigh also updated commission members on a topic discussed at the first meeting, the possible acquisition of a portion of a 12.5-acre parcel at Mathis Street and East Earl Cummings Loop that now belongs to the Jobs Corps and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kintigh said U.S Rep. Steve Peace (R-Hobbs) has worked with city staff to develop proposed legislation that would transfer the land from the federal government to the city. Kintigh said that the city thinks the parcel, located across from Aersale, would be a good site for a warehouse or storage.

Commission members also planned a Sept. 20 tour of the air center, which most likely will not be open to the public because of restrictions about how many people are allowed at one time on secure parts of the airfield.

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

Giddyup, cowboys and cowgirls

Two cowboys show how team penning works. (Roswell Daily Record Archive Photo)

This year the 30th annual New Mexico Championship Ranch Rodeo takes place at the Bob Crosby Arena for one night only, Saturday, with a special presentation during the grand entry at 6:30 p.m. The rodeo starts at 7 p.m.

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Posse will provide a concession stand with hamburgers, cheeseburgers and hot dogs at a low cost. Judaun Prichard, who is helping with organizing the event, said, “They are reasonably priced so you can go and have dinner and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.”

This rodeo is the real deal with cowboys and cowgirls from working ranches participating. The teams competing show skills that are needed in everyday ranch life, which includes branding, penning, bronc riding, stray gathering and trailer loading.

Ranch rodeos are a throwback to the old days when ranchers came together to see who had the best hands. It was also a way for young cowboys to show what they were made of.

Benny Wooton is a member of the Chaves County Rodeo Association, which puts the rodeo together. Asked about the history of the ranch rodeo, he said, “It’s basically for the most part the same group of people — an association — that put the rodeo together and it evolved from there. We started with two groups. There was a 4H group for young ones and the ranch rodeo. We merged those groups into the Chaves County Rodeo Association.

“Our purpose is to promote the western way of life and we are about giving scholarships to ranch-type, country-type kids to go to school,” Wooton said.

Prichard has the numbers going back 12 years since the merger of the rodeos. “Since we formed in 2006 through this year, we’ve awarded $213,200 in scholarships,” she said. “We’ll be awarding $20,000 in scholarships on Saturday night.

“Starting in 2005 they started giving a Ranch Family of the Year Award,” Prichard said. “This year’s recipients are going to be Robert and Sara Armstrong of Salt Creek Farm and Ranch. Mr. Armstrong owns Armstrong Energy here in town.”

“On this particular rodeo we are going to have eight teams, some of them ladies,” Wooton said. “Each team can have a minimum of four and up to six members. The ranch has to submit to the Working Ranch Cowboy Association (WRCA) that they want to have a team for that ranch and the people on that team. They have to be owners of the ranch, heirs to the ranch, full time employees of the ranch or dayworkers — somebody who works part-time for them. They have to send in financial data, 1099s, W2s showing that they have worked for this ranch. Every ranch has to have a minimum of 300 cows or run 500 yearlings throughout the year. They are all authentic, legitimate ranch teams. And they are issued a team card and those are the only teams that we can take.”

According to Wooton, the rodeo is open to any team that received an official team card by WRCA. This year, five of the teams come from New Mexico, one from Arizona, one from Oklahoma and one from Texas.

“The events are designed to mimic what activities we have on a ranch. Then, we couple that up with speed,” Wooton said and laughed. Each team has only three minutes to master each event, with the exception of the bronco riding.

Laughter is guaranteed during the wild cow milking. Each team has to do whatever it takes to catch and milk a wild longhorn cow. Of course, if no milk is collected the team gets no points.

The team penning is today one of the favorite events in ranch rodeos nationwide. Only a real cow whisperer can read and judge the cattle’s behavior and a well-trained cutting horse is necessary to cut unwilling cows from the herd and then drive them to the pen. When the rider and horse are a good team, it almost seems as if they can read the mind of the cow before it moves.

However, during a ranch rodeo the challenge is not only between one man, one horse and one cow — the entire team has to be attuned to each other. The team is facing a herd of cattle and in that herd there are three cows to extract who carry the same number.

“We give them the number when the team comes to the herd. They have to go into that herd and cut out just the three numbers; get them out, into a pen and shut the gate. Every person needs to know where to be and work with the other team members to get the job done. It’s not as simple as I described it,” Wooton said and laughed.

Cutting became necessary as cows frequently mixed with other ranch cattle stock on open ranch land.

During the team branding three calves have to be put in position, but no branding irons are used. Instead, a flower represents the branding itself.

In reality, branding also includes giving antibiotic shots; if ear ticks are present they get medicine for that and the males are castrated.

During the stray gathering, a similar technique is used, but the cowboy has to handle an adult cow. “If you got wild cattle out there or cattle that need to be doctored and they are big cattle, it’s a two-person deal. They have to catch them by the head and the other by the heels, they get him (the cow) down and they can doctor it. Sometimes they swallow cactus and they can hardly breathe. They got to catch them and get in there and get the cactus out. Lots of times you have a 250-pound cowboy working on a 1,200-pound cow and they can do that,” Wooton said and laughed.

Another audience-favorite is bronc riding. Each team choses one member to ride a bucking bronco for eight seconds. The saddle permitted is a regular working ranch saddle — it takes a lot of grit to hold on for those eight seconds.

Asked where the animals come from, Wooton said, “We have a stock contractor that brings them and the horses that he has are born and bred to buck. That’s their purpose in life. They are pretty special animals that he brings.”

The newest event is trailer loading. “The team catches one (cow), cowboys load it in the trailer, load their horses in the back of the trailer and then all four get into the pickup and when the doors shut the time stops. They do that amazingly fast,” Wooton said and laughed.

The winning team qualifies to compete in Amarillo, Texas in November at the Working Ranch Cowboys Association’s 23rd World Championship Ranch Rodeo.

“There is one event that we also do and it’s kind of fun for the kids,” Prichard said. “It’s called the calf scramble with 10 or 20 calves. We tie ribbons on their tales and any kid that is below the age of 12 is allowed to go to the arena. We let the little ones get a little closer to the calves and the older kids stand back about 10 feet and we release the calves and the kids chase these calves and if you happen to pull a ribbon off the tail, we got prizes for the kids. Everybody leaves the arena with a sucker. That is one the kids really like. It happens between the team branding and the bronco riding.”

When American cowboys of the 1800s began using and breeding their best horses to work their cattle, the smaller cutting horses became indispensable. Modern times and rough New Mexico terrain have not changed that, despite pickup trucks and squeeze chutes that took the place of other cow horses who were used to guard the cattle or drive them to the loading places. On average a cowboy had three horses, his prized possession being the intelligent cutting horse.

According to the National Cutting Horse Association one of the first cutting contests was advertised in the Dallas News and The Kansas City Star in 1898. Lured by the ads, 15 thousand people attended. The nearest railroad was at that time 50 miles away — they came on horseback, by wagon. Eleven riders entered to win a prize of $150.

The New Mexico Championship Ranch Rodeo in Roswell is much easier to reach and offers plenty of parking. The Bob Crosby Arena is located at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, 2500 SE Main St. For more information, visit its event Facebook page.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.

Vote on RISD admin salaries causes some ‘heartburn’

Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy addresses assistant superintendents Brian Byrd and Chad Cole (not pictured) on Tuesday night at the school board meeting. Mona Kirk and Alan Gedde, school board president and secretary, are seated next to McIlroy on the dais. (Alison Penn Photo)

The Roswell Independent School District (RISD) school board on Tuesday voted to approve a new salary schedule for administrators after multiple members of the board expressed concerns about the significant increases compared to the salary schedule for teachers.

RISD passed a salary schedule in May for teachers and the RISD board asked for a salary schedule to be developed for administrators. Chad Cole, superintendent of finance and operations, said the district budget allocates 85 to 90 percent for salaries.

Board President Mona Kirk asked if the new salary schedule for administrators would keep those salaries as 8 percent of the budget; Cole said he did not have an answer at this time.

Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy said $726,150 was the cost of benefits for all RISD employees and staff.

The final vote Tuesday was 3-2. Dr. Kathleen Pittman, Board Secretary Alan Gedde and Vice President Ruben Sanchez voted in approval, while Kirk and James Edwards cast dissenting votes on the measure.

Prior to the final vote, Kirk made a motion to table the salary schedule until more answers could be given and interested parties could give their input. Board member Edwards seconded the motion but it failed 3-2.

Kirk compared her reaction to the administrative salary schedules to “heartburn” and said the divide between the teachers and administrators “really hurt” to examine. Gedde and Sanchez said their hearts had skipped a beat in reaction to the salary schedule. Edwards said he had no comment during the discussion and Pittman showed support for the salary schedules.

Kirk said she used her past experience as an elementary and secondary principal when looking at the salary schedules. She argued that high school principals worked from 7:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. or later, while elementary principals worked only until 5:30 p.m., and received the same daily rate.

“Our teachers got a 4 to 4-and-a-half percent average raise but our administrators are getting a 14 percent average raise,” Kirk said. “Fourteen percent — where is the equity? I value our administrators. I value our teachers. I just think we’re doing our teachers an injustice when we put such a heavy scale on administrators.

“I can tell you the public is going to be looking at this, board members, because they already think we are top-heavy. So when they see this 14 percent on an average increase to salaries they’re going to be knocking on our doors.”

Sanchez said he understands that the district is trying to give everyone a raise with “honest effort.” He said the administrators were without an increase for 10 years with a small exception when the insurance increased. When he looked at level-three teacher salary schedules last month, he said there was a “pretty minimal incremental increase amongst the staff.” He said the supervisor/principal scale was not as “aggressive” but saw a significant increase with the assistant superintendents’ salaries. Sanchez said he wanted no animosity among the district’s people.

Sanchez said there seemed to be no right answer on the matter and it was a double-edged sword. He asked Cole if the incremental division between teachers and administrators could be reviewed again, and asked if the district would have more growth in the future. Though the schedules can be reexamined, Cole said the district will have to be “very controlled” with the budget for next year, and there is “no wiggle room at this point” for more money in the budget for fiscal year 2019.

Cole said representing the financial arm of the district he felt “comfortable” that payroll is covered until the end of this year, with the exception of any unbudgeted or unforeseen costs.

McIlroy said the new salary schedule would create a real career ladder and inspire teachers to consider an administrative position later in their careers. McIlroy said the new salary schedules would address pay equitability based on experience for certified and noncertified staff.

“My goal and my vision for RISD is to create a world-class educational organization,” Dr. McIlroy said. “Research proves time and time again that instructional leadership is the No.1 cause for student achievement gains. It’s just like great teachers in the classroom — they’re going to move more kids up to the bar that you set. An instructional leader does that with their teachers, and the more teachers that we can get with great instructional leaders, the more our students are going to achieve.”

When Kirk asked who developed the administrative schedules, McIlroy said that she, Brian Byrd, assistant superintendent of Human Resources, and Cole did. Kirk said the board in the past requested practitioner representation in the development of any salary schedules.

Cole said he would not give an opinion about the schedules since he would potentially benefit. Cole said the district has invested $3 million total for all of the district’s salaries and that the district has a sufficient and solid cash balance.

Cole also said RISD’s strong AA bond rating was because of “sound financial controls” and comparable to Albuquerque and Santa Fe’s public schools — though Roswell does not have Albuquerque’s voluminous tax base or Santa Fe’s wealthier tax base.

Gedde said he looked at the schedules and had some feeling for those who would not see much of an increase and for those who would. He also said he had faith the district was doing the right thing.

“You can’t pay our teachers enough or our administrators enough because they go beyond what hours of those days are,” Pittman said. “I do believe that it’s only commonsense that we have a hierarchy in salaries.”

Kirk showed concern about the daily rate for teachers and she and McIlroy went back and forth on the correct daily rate figures. Some audience members vocally displayed their feelings and shook their heads in disapproval until the correct figures were reached.

Kirk said she wanted equitable pay based on various teachers’ and administrators’ service and the divide for teachers was increasing.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

Candidates speak to Republican Women

From left, Gary Clingman, New Mexico State Supreme Court Justice; Arthur Castillo, candidate for New Mexico State Treasurer; E.J. Fouratt, Chaves County Magistrate Court Division 2 judge; and Dara Dana, candidate for Chaves County Commissioner District 1, prepare to address the Chaves County Federated Republican Women Wednesday at the Elks Lodge. (Alex Ross Photo)

Four candidates for state and local office touched on their backgrounds and what they will do if elected during the monthly meeting of the Chaves County Federated Republican Women.

The four speakers made their pitches to an audience at the Elks Lodge, 69 days before the November election.

Though races for governor, U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives will be decided in the upcoming elections, a host of judicial, statewide, state legislative and countywide candidates will also be on the ballot.

Dara Dana, a former two-term state representative, will be on the ballot as the Republican candidate for the District 1 seat on the Chaves County Commission. Dana will go up against Democrat Micheal Trujillo in November for the District 1 seat now held by James Duffy. Duffy is unable to run for a third term due to term limits.

Dana is no stranger to politics. She was elected to represent District 58 in the State House of Representatives in 1996, re-elected in 1998 and defeated in 2000.

Dana said it has been interesting to get back on the campaign trail after an 18-year absence.

“And it has been fun to see what is out there and who is out there and talk to them again and say, ‘May I have your vote? I am Dara Dana,’” she said.

Dana added that she looks forward to working with the other four commissioners if elected, lauding them for their management of the county budget and county roads.

She said that based on her experience as a state lawmaker, she knows that sometimes elected officials have to “say no” to new spending or spending increases.

“There is no money tree, so we have to work within our budget, with the dollars we have.” Dara said.

Arthur Castillo, a Republican candidate for New Mexico State Treasurer, also spoke at the meeting. Castillo is running against incumbent Treasurer Tim Eichenberg, a Democrat. Castillo is a retired chief financial officer and previously worked for the New Mexico State Treasurer’s office.

Castillo said that while his resume shows he has worked extensively within government, he is not a “career politician,” the type of people that he said have managed the state treasurer’s office for too long. He said the office needs a fresh face and a new approach.

“That is why I am running,” he said.

Castillo said back when he worked in the treasurer’s office, it was audited. He added that if elected, the first thing he will do is request an audit of the office so he can find out how to improve it.

“I don’t plan on reinventing the wheel,” he said. “If something is working, I am going to leave it there, but if something is broken, I want to fix it.”

Two judges — one on the Chaves County Magistrate Court and the other on the New Mexico Supreme Court — also spoke.

Chaves County Magistrate Court Division II Judge E.J. Fouratt is running to retain his seat this fall, fending off a challenge from Libertarian Mayna Erika Myers.

A fifth generation former law enforcement officer, Fouratt said that he never imagined running to be a judge, but was persuaded to do so by many people when a seat on the Magistrate court became vacant. He then got on his motorcycle and delivered his application of candidacy to Santa Fe shortly before the filing deadline.

“I put a lot of thought into it, talked with a lot of people to make sure I was a good fit for this,” Fouratt said.

He said that one of his biggest accomplishments was when he and Magistrate Court Division I Judge K.C. Rogers established a no contact order as a means to prevent witness intimidation and tampering in criminal cases.

“With my years of experience and his years of experience, we could tell there was a lot of witness intimidation and witness tampering going on,” he said.

The no contact order has since been approved at the state level and is used in almost any criminal case that involves a victim, he said.

Despite years in law enforcement, Fouratt said he does not believe incarceration is always the answer to crime.

“Do I believe everybody belongs in jail? Absolutely not,” he said.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Gary Clingman also spoke to the group. He was appointed to the New Mexico State Supreme Court earlier this year.

Clingman said he has been asked what he contributes to the court and he said he brings geographic diversity. He said he is the first justice in about 25 years who is not a product of the Albuquerque or Santa Fe political process.

He added that there will be two additional vacancies on the court in December when two justices plan on retiring. Whoever wins November’s governor’s race will fill those two seats on the high court, Clingman said.

“I think that tells you the importance of the governor’s race.” he said.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

New service checks up on residents who live alone


Roswell Police have instituted a new telephone program that provides daily telephone calls to individuals who live alone and want the reassurance of knowing they will be contacted each day to ensure they are okay.

The Good Morning Call program is free to Roswell residents.

“The difference these calls can make to the lives of so many people is beyond belief,” Police Chief Phil Smith said. “Many of the community members we will call could in fact be receiving the only call or it will be the only person they speak to all day. Our service ensures all our community members are checked upon each day of the year. This gives reassurance not only to the community member, but also to friends and family.”

People who sign up for the program receive a telephone call from a Roswell Police Department employee each day between 9 and 11 a.m. If a call goes unanswered, it is repeated after a short interval, and if it remains unanswered, action is taken by the department.

In most cases, this initial action consists of contacting a relative, friend or neighbor who has been nominated by the program participant.

At least two contact people will be sought on each program application. If there is no reply from the listed contacts, the RPD will call the local hospitals and or the participant’s health center or another care center they use. RPD would then determine any further appropriate steps that need to be taken to check on the person’s welfare, such as paying a visit to their home.

Applications for The Good Morning Call program are available at the front desk of the Roswell Police Department at 128 W. Second St. Anyone who would like to sign up for the program is encouraged to submit an application. Anyone who knows of someone who would benefit from the program is encouraged to let them know about it and perhaps bring them an application. Anyone who needs assistance obtaining an application can call RPD at 575-624-6770.

Weldon D. Wagner


Weldon D. Wagner, went to be with our Lord on August 15, 2018.

Weldon D. Wagner was born in Duncan OK, to Trellis Mae (Atha) and Allie Sampson Wagner on May 9, 1938. His parents moved to Roswell while he was still an infant to escape the hardships of the Dust Bowl in OK. Allie had family who were farmers who had relocated here earlier. Allie worked for and with the local old time farmers until he could purchase his own farm and raise his family. Weldon was the second oldest of 5 children; therefor, he grew up working and helping his dad when his mom was unable. It was truly a family operation. Weldon grew up accepting the responsibility of hard work, learning to drive a tractor at the age of 5, before and after school, all summer and during school breaks (known as vacation to other students).

He graduated from RHS and soon after married, started his own family and purchased his own farm. He has been farming until his last crop where he rented out his present farm. His enjoyment these last few years has been buying, flying and working on his airplanes and visiting and working with his airport buddies. He was one of the few TOTALLY HONEST men left here on earth. When he said he would do something you could know without a doubt that it would be done exactly as he said it would.

He has never considered doing anything other than farming here in Chaves County. During these last few months of his courageous battle with cancer, he never complained just graciously accepted his fate in life and moved on saying, “That’s just life. I’ve had a long, full life and it is ok.” He accepted Christ as a youngster and never faltered in his belief.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents from both parents, numerous aunts, uncles and other family members, including his second child, an infant named Susan. He was also preceded in death by his nephew Tom Jones, his sister’s son.

He is survived by his wife, Dixie and his children, Kevin Wagner (Ann), Sheila Cousins (John) and Laura Navarrete (Al). He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is survived by his sister, Wanda Jones and brothers, Wayne Wagner (Georgie), Robert “Bob” Wagner (Mary) and Jerry Wagner (Joy). He is also survived by Kevin and Sheila’s mother, Sue Johnson; along with 3 generations of family and numerous friends who respected and loved him very dearly.

Funeral service will be at 11:00 AM, Saturday, August 18, 2018 at Christ’s Church, 2200 N. Sycamore Ave. with Pastor Lyman Graham officiating.

The family sincerely invites you to bring your favorite dish and join them for a pot luck lunch after the service at Christ’s Church foyer.

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

Adon Briseno Sosa


Our beloved father, Adon Briseno Sosa, 90, passed away peacefully on August 9, 2018, in Roswell, NM. He was born in Haciendita, TX, to Eusebio Gomez Sosa and Felipa Briseno Sosa. Adon resided in Artesia, NM, and served in the Army Post World War II in 1947. He was married to Elvira (Vera) Wilson Sosa from Carlsbad, NM, in 1951 for thirty-six years and had four children, Juanita A. Mendoza (Antonio), Daniel A. Sosa, Sylvia I. Sosa, and Sandra D. (Edward Chavez) of Albuquerque, NM. Adon and Elvira resided in Artesia, Roswell, and Dexter, NM.

Adon’s career was a building contractor and masonry, both of which he loved and enjoyed immensely. There are many examples of his creative work throughout the city of Roswell and Chaves County. He loved horseback riding, enjoying friends and family, listening to his Spanish music and being outdoors. Adon was very loving and playful to everyone he met. In his later years, he developed a love for creating beautiful crosses with natural rock and would give them away to anyone who visited him.

Preceding Adon in death were his parents; son, David Biscano (Pauline); five brothers: Joe, Marcelino, Jesse, Issac and Samuel Sosa.

Surviving to cherish Adon’s memory are his remaining siblings: Margarita Villalva and Ramona Analla of Arizona, Eusebio Sosa Jr. of Colorado, Phillip Sosa (Dolores) and Hope Torrez of Roswell, Mary Reyes (Johnny) of Artesia; daughters, son, thirteen grandchildren, thirty-six great-grandchildren, and fifteen great-great-grandchildren whom, he loved very much and took great pride in talking about.

Memorial arrangements were under the care of Anderson Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory. Celebrate Adon’s life by visiting www.andersonbethany.com to offer a memory or expression of sympathy for his family.

Adon’s tribute was beautifully written in his honor by his family.

Bob Allen Posey


Bob Allen Posey, age 80, of Rochelle, Texas passed away Monday, August 13, 2018 in Brady. Bob was born May 4, 1938 in Ouachita, Arkansas to Floyd Albert Posey and Clara Glenn (Taylor) Posey. He graduated from the Harmony Grove High School in Camden, Arkansas. He began his undergraduate studies at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas. He completed his undergraduate degree and his masters degree at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. He worked on his doctorate degree at Texas A & M University in College Station. He was an educator most of his working life. While at Sam Houston State University he was a member of the faculty for 4 years, served as Assistant Dean of Student Life, University Police Chief, University Bookstore Manager and Director of University Housing. He was Vice-President of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas for 14 years, retiring in 1987. Bob married Elizabeth Jane Fitzgerald on November 19, 1983 in Ft. Davis, Texas. After retiring, Bob moved to New Mexico where he was Superintendent of House Municipal Schools in House, NM, followed by Superintendent of the Floyd Municipal Schools in Floyd, NM. He then moved to Dell City, Texas where he was Principal of the Dell City ISD. He moved back to New Mexico where he was Superintendent of the Hagerman Municipal Schools in Hagerman, NM and finally to Hobbs, NM as Elementary and Junior High School Principal where he retired. He has been a resident of the area since 2006, moving here from Grady, NM. He was a member of the Brady Presbyterian Church in Brady.

A memorial service for Bob Allen Posey will be held at 10:30am, Saturday, August 18, 2018 at the Brady Presbyterian Church in Brady with Reverend Regina Maas officiating. Interment of the cremated remains will be at the Hill Crest Cemetery in Ft. Davis, Texas at 10:00am Monday, August 20, 2018 with Reverend Matt Miles officiating. Friends may view Bob Allen Posey’s Memorial Video Tribute and/or sign the online memorial guest book at www.leatherwoodmemorialchapels.com. Honorary Pallbearers will be Steve Posey, Mike Posey, Blaine Posey, Coleman Posey, Dax Posey, Kaleb Posey, Logan Posey, Ryan Pond, Mitzi Soloman and Starla Posey.

Bob Posey is survived by his loving wife, of over 34 years, Elizabeth Jane Posey of Rochelle, Texas; sons Allen Posey and wife Rhonda of Burnet, Texas and Kevin Posey and wife LeeAnn of Oregon City, Oregon; daughters LaDonna Pond of Burnet, Texas, Teri Nichols and wife Michelle of Tucson, Arizona and Tana Carlberg and husband Jim of Ft. Worth, Texas; sister Mary Walker of Conway, Arkansas; grandchildren Ryan Pond, Starla Posey, Mitzi Soloman, Randal Eggemeyer, Kaleb Posey, Jordan Nichols, Blaine Posey, Sarah Noe, Jason Noe, Coleman Posey, Logan Posey and Dax Posey; and 6 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, son-in-law Cade Pond, brothers Al “Buddy” Posey and Max Posey and sister Annis Smith.

Memorial contributions in memory of may be made to the Brady Presbyterian Church, 900 South Blackburn, Brady, Texas 76825 and/or to Parkinson’s Disease Foundation at www.parkinson.org.

Merced González Lazcano Villagran


Merced González Lazcano Villagran was born October 22, 1922 in Guanaceví, Durango, México to Simona González and Julián Villagran. Starting from a young age, he was a rancher, farmer, and miner.

In 1949 he began working in the United States through the Bracero Program. In 1952, the program brought him to Roswell, New Mexico. Proving he was an excellent rancher and farm hand, Merced and the González family were sponsored to live and work in Roswell. He later became a naturalized citizen and enjoyed a long and fruitful life as a contributing member of the Roswell community.

Merced and his wife, Francisca, shared 66 years of marriage together. Here they raised their 12 children: Clotilde (Kenneth Lake, Houston, TX), María de los Ángeles, Isidro Alvaro (Melinda), Benjamin (Nancy, Las Cruces, NM), Gloria Estela, Samuel Francisco (Marsha), Julian, David (Mary Elizabeth), Daniel, Armando Elias (Sharlene), Merced Jr., (Ruth) and Roberto.

A devout Christian, he proudly served as an ordained Deacon at Iglesia Bautista “El Calvario” for many years.

Merced’s family grew to include 23 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren. He filled his life with a garden of laughter and song.

Merced González passed away peacefully at the age of 95 on August 13, 2018. He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, his wife Francisca Nuñez González, and his children María de los Ángeles González and Julián González. He will be lovingly remembered by his 10 living children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren, and his 3 dogs (Pinto, Cielo, and Chiquita).

A visitation from 8 to 10 a.m., followed by a service in celebration of Merced’s life, will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2018 at Bethel Baptist Church, 2420 N Garden Ave, Roswell, New Mexico. Pallbearers: Marcos González, Tomás González, Adán De la Peña, Andrés De la Peña, Omar González, Danny González Jr. Honorary Pallbearers: Richard Romero, Jacob Gurule, Jacob Rodriguez, Juan Rodriguez, Scott Toby, Vernon Moore, Albert Meza Travis Ackerman, Isaac Hicks, Joe Lopez and Thomas Guzman. His final resting place will be South Park Cemetery, Roswell, New Mexico.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the María de los Ángeles González Nursing award will be appreciated. Send donations to ENMU-Roswell Foundation, PO BOX 6000 Roswell, New Mexico, 88202. Make checks payable to ENMU Roswell Foundation. Memo: María de los Ángeles González Nursing Award.

Is Holtec Project good business?


Is it immoral or is it good business? I could be referring to the oil and gas industries or I could be referring to the wind and solar energy industries or I could be referring to the industrial cattle and dairy industries. Why do these industries get a free moral pass when you look at the environmental and heath issues they cause? The simple answer is that most people really don’t think about it. We go on with our daily lives drinking ice tea through our plastic straws. But isn’t it interesting that everyone takes notice when a few ‘moral’ people decide eradication of the plastic straw is the new agenda?

But I diverged, we all know that I am referring to the nuclear energy industry. After reading through all of the comments submitted to the NRC and the Holtec International HI-STORE Consolidated Interim Storage Facility Project, only a few of the comments dealt directly with the science involved. Some valid points where made and they should definitely be addressed. The majority, probably more than 90 percent, were comments base on the legacy of misinformation about nuclear radiation, historical government commitments and their own personal moral reactions.

Is the Holtec Project immoral or is it good business? For me, it is both. One thing immoral about spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is that is was created in the first place when that wasn’t technically necessary. The moral thing to do now is stop producing SNF and eliminate it from storage. The solution to both of those issues is found in advanced reactor technology that Bill Gates’ company, Terrapower will provide. There are several companies developing similar technology to eliminate waste, proliferation and meltdowns while providing clean efficient industrial heat and electricity. Idaho National Labs with Northwest Power and Oak Ridge National Labs with Southern Power are both sponsoring test facilities.

These new reactors are radically different from today’s power plants and won’t be widely available for 10-20 years. That is why we still need interim storage, which is good revenue business for New Mexico.

Martin Kral

Celebrate the harvest at Bosque Chile Festival Saturday



Aug. 18

Bosque Chile Festival

Join in the celebration of the chile harvest at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. SW. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

This event offers entertainment, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, beer, wine, agricultural workshops and chef demonstrations.

New this year, the Chicharron Challenge featuring local restaurants firing up disc-It-grills to make the best chicharrones in Bernalillo County.

Registration is open for the inaugural Ristra Run 5K Fun Run starting at 8 a.m. at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. SW. Ristra Runners receive an event T-shirt and admission to the Bosque Chile Festival.

For more information email bosquechilefestival@bernco.gov or call 505-468-1418.


Aug. 18

Walking Old Lincoln

New Mexico History Tours is holding their Walking Old Lincoln tour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting at the Visitor Center in Lincoln. The Walking Old Lincoln tour will include learning about the Apaches who were here first, the first Hispanic settlers and why they came and how they lived and why Fort Stanton was established.

The tour also includes visiting historic sites such as the Torreon, San Juan Church, Tunstall Store and Murphy-Dolan’s historic house which later became the Courthouse, along with many other structures that help tell the story of Lincoln.

New Mexico History Tours participants will stroll in the footsteps of John Tunstall, Lawrence Murphy, Sheriff William Brady, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

More information and tickets are available at eventbrite.com.


Aug. 18

Music In The Streets

Every Saturday until Oct. 27 the free Ruidoso community program features midtown live performances from 2 to 6 p.m. Musician Chris Miles will perform this Saturday. For more information, visit discoverruidoso.com.


Aug. 24 to 26

Ruidoso Noon Lions Club Antique Festival

The Ruidoso Noon Lions Club Antique Festival takes place at the Ruidoso Convention Center, 111 Sierra Blanca Dr. For more information, visit heritageeventcompany.com.


Aug. 25

Red Dirt Black Gold Festival

The annual Red Dirt Black Gold Festival is the signature event of the Artesia Arts & Cultural Disctrict and takes place at Heritage Plaza. The event features music, food, vendors, artists and entertainment for the entire family. Headliners are this year Roger Creager and William Clark Green. The other artists are JD and the Badlands Band and The Yarbrough Band. For more information, visit artesiaacd.com/red-dirt-black-gold or call 575-736-3264.


Aug. 25

Second annual Amazing Race — Carlsbad

Registration for the second annual Amazing Race — Carlsbad, have to be made by Aug. 20th to guarantee a spot. It kicks of at 8 a.m. and there will be cash prizes for first, second and third place winners. For more information and registration, visit SENMCAC.com, its Facebook event page or call 575-200-3929.


Aug. 25

The Blowback Rally

The Blowback Rally gives the community a chance to meet the first responders for Hagerman and surrounding areas. There will be activities throughout the day, including a friendly competition of Shield vs. Hose at 3:30 p.m., Sand Volley Ball Tournament — call 575-840-4864 to register; Horse Shoe Competition — call 575-626-8813 to register; Cowpie Bingo — tickets can be purchased at Hagerman Police Department or call 575-626-8813.

There will be food and refreshment booths, dunk-a-cop or -firefighter, a donut eating contest, face painting, enchilada dinner and a movie in the park at 8:30 p.m.

Volunteers who want to participate, call Rachelle at 575-626-8813. All proceeds will benefit the two families that lost their homes in the June wind storm. For more information and updates visit the Hagerman Police Department Facebook page.


Aug. 25

Music In The Streets

Every Saturday until Oct. 27 the free Ruidoso community program features midtown live performances from 2 to 6 p.m. Roswell musician Marie Manning will perform this Saturday. For more information, visit discoverruidoso.com.

Santa Fe

Aug. 25

Centennial anniversary of the end of WWI

The free symposium focusing on the 100th anniversary of the End of World War I takes place at the New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Ave., at 9 a.m.

Among the topics is New Mexico’s role in the war with 14,000 New Mexicans sent to fight overseas and the key role an artillery unit from New Mexico played in the war — achieving some of the highest accolades by U.S. Army Commanding Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing.

New Mexico Department of Veterans Services Secretary Jack Fox, who is a commission member, will give the welcome address and set the stage for the day’s presentations. For more information, visit nmdvs.org.

Santa Fe

Aug. 25

Purple Heart Award recipients honored

Purple Heart Award recipients will be honored at a special Purple Heart recognition ceremony at Santa Fe Veterans Memorial, 407 Galistea St. — Northwest corner of the Bataan Memorial building — at 10 a.m. Award recipients, their family members, friends, and the public are invited to attend. The ceremony is presented by the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, the New Mexico National Guard, the Department of New Mexico Military Order of the Purple Heart, Berardinelli Family Funeral Services and the City of Santa Fe to honor recipients for their sacrifice in service of our country. For more information, visit nmdvs.org.

Jets’ Darnold looks like rookie in 15-13 loss to Redskins

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws under pressure from Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, left, during the first half of a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Sam Darnold threw an interception and showed some of the growing pains of a rookie quarterback in his first preseason start for the New York Jets, who lost to the Washington Redskins 15-13 on a last-second field goal Thursday night.

Darnold was 8 of 11 for 62 yards, but took two sacks and had a couple of throws batted out of the air, including the pass that was intercepted . It was a far cry from the impressive debut in which the third overall pick went 13 of 18 for 96 yards and looked like the front-runner to win New York’s starting QB competition.

The former USC star played the entire first half before giving way to veteran Teddy Bridgewater. The former Vikings quarterback had his own inconsistences, going 10 of 15 for 127 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Redskins starter Alex Smith was 4 of 6 for 48 yards in one series, his only work so far in the preseason.

Jets coach Todd Bowles has said he needs to evaluate Darnold the most because he’s plenty familiar with incumbent starter Josh McCown and knows about Bridgewater. Darnold showed flashes for the Jets (1-1), going 5 of 5 on his second drive, but was sacked by Preston Smith to force a field goal on a night full of them.

Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins made all five of his field-goal attempts, including a 40-yarder as time expired to win it for the Redskins (1-1).


Jets: CB Jeremy Clark left with a hamstring injury. … LT Kelvin Beachum (foot), RG Brian Winters (abdominal), RB Isaiah Crowell (concussion) and DL Steve McLendon (leg) did not play.

Redskins: RB Samaje Perine injured an ankle on his first carry, a 30-yard run , and did not return. … RB Byron Marshall was evaluated for a lower-leg injury. … LT Trent Williams, RB Chris Thompson, WR Maurice Harris, TE Jordan Reed, OT Ty Nsekhe and DL Matt Ioannidis and Phil Taylor were among those nursing or coming off injuries who didn’t dress.


After second-round pick Derrius Guice’s season ended because of a torn ACL , Rob Kelley was up first to show he deserves to be Washington’s starter. Kelley had seven carries for 17 yards, Perine was impressive on his one run before being injured, Marshall had a kick-return fumble that was overturned on video review and Kapri Bibbs made six catches for 47 yards with only 6 yards on the ground.


Linebacker Jordan Jenkins was flagged on the game’s opening drive for roughing the passer against Smith when he drove the QB into the ground. Darron Lee was penalized for a horse-collar tackle on Redskins punt returner Danny Johnson. Then, there was rookie Frankie Luvu, who led with his helmet into Colt McCoy on a more egregious roughing-the-passer violation than what Jenkins had.


All players appeared to stand for the national anthem. Jets players locked arms along the visiting sideline with no one remaining in the locker room.


Jets: See what more Darnold can do in game action when they face the Giants on Aug. 24.

Redskins: Are expected to give Smith more snaps Aug. 24 when they host the Denver Broncos.

Acuna HR streak ends, Rockies rally past Braves 5-3

Colorado Rockies' David Dahl (26) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ATLANTA (AP) — Colorado snapped Ronald Acuna Jr.’s home run streak and Atlanta’s five-game winning streak, rallying for three unearned runs in the ninth inning to beat the Braves 5-3 on Thursday night.

David Dahl homered in the third and capped the winning rally with a two-out, two-run single off Brad Brach. The Rockies took advantage of an error by shortstop Danby Swanson leading off the ninth to win for the fifth time in six games.

One night after being plunked in the left arm by Miami’s Jose Urena, Acuna was back in the lineup looking to extend his homer streak to six games. Wearing a red protective guard, the 20-year-old slugger received a standing ovation his first time up and lined the second pitch — one more than he saw the previous game — into center field for a single, extending his hitting streak to nine games.

That was the highlight of his night. Acuna finished 1 for 4, lining out to right in the eighth in his last chance to become the first player in Braves franchise history to homer in six straight games.

Urena received a six-game suspension from Major League Baseball.

The Braves squandered a strong outing by Julio Teheran, who turned in his longest start since May 30. He pitched three-hit ball over seven innings and helped his cause with a run-scoring single in the fifth, snapping a 2-2 tie.

The Braves couldn’t hold the lead.

After Luke Jackson escaped trouble in the eighth, striking out Nolan Arenado with runners at second and third, Brach (1-3) came on in the ninth looking for his first save since being acquired by Atlanta in a trade-deadline deal with Baltimore.

The trouble began when Swanson bobbled Trevor Story’s grounder and rushed a high throw to first that pulled Freddie Freeman off the bag. After pinch-hitter Ryan McMahon tied the game with an RBI single to right, Brach gave himself a chance to work out of the jam by fanning Chris Iannetta.

But Dahl came through with a game-winning single to left.

Seunghwan Oh (5-3) earned the win and Wade Davis worked a scoreless ninth for his 33rd save.

The Braves, who began the night with a two-game lead in the NL East, missed out on their longest winning streak in nearly two years.

Kurt Suzuki homered for Atlanta in the second , tying the game at 1. Dahl put Colorado back ahead with a solo shot deep into the right-field seats.

Suzuki was in the middle of things again in the fifth, doubling with one out. He came around to score on Swanson’s two-bagger to the gap in left-center . Teheran followed with his RBI single.


Braves LHP Max Fried (blister) is set to make a rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. If all goes well, he could get a start for Atlanta next week.

LHP Sam Freeman (shoulder inflammation) is also rehabbing at Gwinnett and could return to the Braves bullpen shortly.

Longer term, RHPs Peter Moylan (forearm strain) and Brandon McCarthy (knee tendinitis) have been throwing on the side for the Triple-A team and are in line to make rehab appearances next week.


Rockies: LH Kyle Freeland (10-7, 3.02) has the lowest ERA in the National League by a qualifying left-hander. In three career starts against the Braves, he is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA in 18 innings.

Braves: LH Sean Newcomb (10-5, 3.40) beat Freeland when they faced each other on April 8 in Denver. The Braves starter threw six innings in a 4-0 win over the Rockies. Overall, Newcomb has made three career starts against Colorado, going 1-0 with a 3.78 ERA in 16 2/3 innings.

Yanks load bases in 9th, but Rays rookie escapes for 3-1 win

Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Adam Kolarek, right, and catcher Michael Perez celebrate after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, in New York. The Rays defeated the Yankees 3-1. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — As he jogged from the bullpen, Tampa Bay rookie left-hander Adam Kolarek reminded himself that he’s pitched out of bases-loaded, no-out situations before.

In the minors, at least.

“It just hasn’t been at this level,” he said. “And certainly not in a stadium like Yankee Stadium.”

Or in the majors, period.

Kolarek escaped a critical jam in the ninth inning Thursday for his first career save, lifting the Rays over New York 3-1 to win their first series at Yankee Stadium since 2014. Tampa Bay had lost 12 straight series in the Bronx, a record since the ballpark opened in 2009.

“This can be an intimidating, daunting place to play,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “But I don’t think these guys really concern themselves with that too much.”

Kolarek got his moment in the Bronx spotlight after Sergio Romo struggled in the ninth. Romo allowed consecutive singles to Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres — Torres’ bloop ended his 0-for-17 skid — then walked Neil Walker on four pitches.

Cash then called for the side-arming Kolarek. Lefty-hitting Greg Bird popped out in foul territory on his first pitch, and then the 29-year-old Kolarek — who entered with a 6.00 ERA — struck out veterans Brett Gardner and Austin Romine. Romine chased a high fastball clocked at 95 mph.

It was the first time Kolarek had faced bases loaded with no outs in his big league career. He escaped in nine pitches.

“Getting Bird out on that first pitch was huge,” Kolarek said. “Because once you get one out, you’re like, ‘OK, I’m one pitch away.’ To get the strikeouts was just a little bit more special.”

The struggling Yankees lineup, still without injured sluggers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, scored just six runs during the three-game series.

“We have people more than capable of putting runs on the board,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “You obviously take two star-level players out, that’s certainly a big deal.”

Tommy Pham returned from the disabled list and helped the Rays jump on Masahiro Tanaka (9-3) with an RBI double during a two-run first inning, and Blake Snell (14-5) and the bullpen took over from there.

The left-handed All-Star made his third start since a DL stint for left shoulder fatigue and struck out six over five innings of two-hit ball. He was coming off five perfect innings against Toronto, though he was pulled from that start after just 47 pitches. He threw 76 pitches Thursday.

The Rays got to Tanaka with four straight hits to open the game. Mallex Smith lined a single the other way, stole second, then scored on Joey Wendle’s double to the right-center gap. After Jake Bauers’ single, Pham got his first hit with the Rays, driving a double off the wall in the left-field corner.

Pham was placed on the DL by Tampa Bay with a broken right foot two games after being acquired from St. Louis on July 31 for a trio of minor leaguers. Pham played one minor league rehab game, homering and getting three hits for Class A Hudson Valley on Wednesday night. He pleaded with Cash to get in the lineup and play his first career game at Yankee Stadium.

Pham added a single in the third, then hit a drive to the warning track in left-center that was caught by center fielder Aaron Hicks leading off the sixth.

Tanaka recovered after his shaky first, pitching scoreless ball for the next five innings before handing off to Zach Britton. Tanaka allowed nine hits, struck out six and also picked off a pair of baserunners.

Bauers squeezed home Smith against David Robertson in the eighth. Bauers’ bunt hugged the first-base line and gave Robertson no chance at a play at the plate.

Smith had two hits from the leadoff spot. He entered the game batting .353 with a .450 on-base percentage since being moved atop the order Aug. 5.


Giancarlo Stanton hit a ball in the eighth off the wall in the right-field corner that was originally ruled a home run by first base umpire Greg Gibson, but overturned to an RBI double after a video review . The ball hit about halfway up the wall, right on the foul stripe, and was nearly touched by a fan.

“Originally Greg thought it was a home run and then he said, ‘I think it was foul because it hit the wall in foul,” crew chief Jerry Layne told a pool reporter. “He goes, ‘I’m trying to get some help here.’ So he didn’t clearly see it. We weren’t a 100 percent.”


The Rays improved to 8-2 in their past 10 against New York and 8-7 overall this season. Tampa Bay hasn’t won the season series since 2014. The teams still have a four-game set at Tropicana Field in late September.


The first thing Judge did after arriving at Yankee Stadium was put Aretha Franklin on the clubhouse sound system, starting with her version of “I Say A Little Prayer.” The Queen of Soul died Thursday at the age of 76. Judge said his mom was a fan of Franklin’s, and he heard a lot of her music around the house as a kid.

“Good music,” he said. “Perfect for a day game.”

The Yankees played Franklin’s iconic performance from the movie “Blues Brothers” on the video board during the sixth inning.


Rays: RHP Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham to make room for Pham.

Yankees: Hicks was visited by a trainer after reaching on an error in the eighth. He remained in the game. Hicks turned his right ankle slightly on first base but thinks he’ll be fine. … Sanchez did sprints and worked on popping out of the squat in the outfield before the game. It was the first outdoor running for Sanchez since going on the disabled list July 24 with a strained right groin. Sanchez could begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. … Boone is hopeful that LHP CC Sabathia (right knee) will return from the DL to start the next time through the rotation. … RHP Tommy Kahnle was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to fill the spot vacated when RHP Luis Cessa was optioned to the RailRiders on Wednesday night. Kahnle pitched a scoreless inning.


Rays: RHP Stanek (1-3, 2.45) is the scheduled opener against Boston LHP Brian Johnson (3-3, 3.95) at Fenway Park on Friday night.

Yankees: RHP Lance Lynn (8-8, 4.46) faces Toronto RHP Marcus Stroman (4-8, 5.03) on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Lynn has a 0.54 ERA in three appearances (two starts) since being acquired from Minnesota.

‘Really cool feeling’: Brandt Snedeker shoots 59 at Wyndham

Brandt Snedeker reacts after making a birdie putt on the ninth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. Sneaker shot a 59 in the first round. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Brandt Snedeker predicted low scores at the Wyndham Championship — but not this low.

Snedeker shot an 11-under 59 on Thursday, falling one shot shy of matching the PGA Tour record.

He made a 20-foot putt on his final hole to become the 10th player in tour history to break 60. Jim Furyk set the record with a 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship in 2016.

“I better be smiling,” Snedeker said. “I don’t do this every day.”

This is the third consecutive year the PGA Tour has had a sub-60 round. Snedeker is the first to shoot 59 since Adam Hadwin in the third round of the 2017 Careerbuilder Challenge.

It gave him a four-stroke lead after one round. Ryan Moore and John Oda shot 63s, and Martin Flores, D.A. Points, Brett Stegmaier, David Hearn, Abraham Ancer, Ollie Schniederjans and Jonathan Byrd had 64s.

Snedeker — who said a day earlier that the tournament would turn into a “birdie-fest” — began the round at par-70 Sedgefield Country Club with a bogey at No. 10, and took off from there. He played the front nine in 27, including an eagle 2 on the par-4 sixth hole when he holed out from 176 yards.

After that shot, Snedeker said a 59 felt like a real possibility. He remembered a non-tour event he played in China in which he was one putt from that score, but those thoughts “got in the way.”

“To know what you’re trying to do and step up and have a 20-footer (on the final hole) and know what it means, I was very aware of what was going on, and to knock that putt in was really special,” Snedeker said. “To know I’m a part of a small club on tour and not very many people have done this, really cool feeling right now.”

Snedeker, the 2012 FedEx Cup champion, won the Wyndham in 2007. He broke Si Woo Kim’s 2-year-old Wyndham record of 60 and had the best opening round in this event’s history. Arjun Atwal had a 61 in 2010.

“The trick for him is, he’s playing great. Now he’s just got to rest, relax and start over tomorrow from scratch and go play three more good rounds,” said Furyk, who also shot a 59 at the BMW Championship in 2013. “It’s awesome to see.”

It’s been a somewhat frustrating, turbulent year for Snedeker. He has three top-10 finishes and two missed cuts in his last seven events and has not won on tour since 2016. During his first 16 tournaments of the season, he finished in the top 10 just once.

“Nobody could see this coming — trust me,” Snedeker said. “As much as I tried to positive self-talk myself into playing good, I didn’t see 59 coming today, to be honest with you. … Luckily, it kind of clicked all day today, and hopefully it will keep clicking for the next three days.”

At No. 80 on the points list entering the final event of the tour’s regular season, he’s nowhere near the playoff bubble and his spot at The Northern Trust next week in New Jersey seems safe. But that ranking is his lowest since the tour’s postseason format debuted in 2007.

During his tie for 42nd at the PGA Championship last week in St. Louis, Snedeker says he “kind of found something” when he simplified some swing fundamentals and began to feel better about that part of his game.

Then, he spent the first round showing it off.

Snedeker, who began his round on the back nine, reeled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 13-16. He then got even hotter on his final nine holes, with six birdies in addition to the shot of the day on No. 6. But he missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 8 that would have made a 58 possible.

“Could have been even more special,” he said, “but happy with the way everything turned out.”

Moore, who won here in 2009, made a move up the leaderboard in the afternoon with five birdies in a six-hole span on the front nine. Oda, a second-year pro coming off a tie for third earlier this month in the Barracuda Championship, had three consecutive birdies on the back nine to pull even with Moore.

“You see a round like (Snedeker’s) and maybe kind of encourage you there’s birdies out there, that the course is playing scorable and there’s rounds to be had,” Moore said. “I kind of took that mindset of, well, better get out there and make some birdies if you don’t want to be 10, 11 shots behind by the end of this day. Like, let’s try and close that gap a little bit.”

Marlins’ Urena suspended 6 games for hitting Acuna

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena leaves the field after being ejected for hitting Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

NEW YORK (AP) — Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Urena has been suspended six games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally hitting Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves with a pitch.

Major League Baseball announced the penalties Thursday, a day after Urena hit Acuna on the left arm with his first pitch in the Marlins’ 5-2 loss in Atlanta. The 20-year-old Acuna went into the game having homered in five straight games, including four homers in the three games against Miami — three of them leading off.

The 25-year-old Urena, from the Dominican Republic, is 3-12 with a 4.74 ERA in 24 starts. Unless appealed, the suspension is scheduled to begin Friday at Washington.

Also, Braves first base coach Eric Young was suspended one game and fined.

Acuna was back in the lineup for the Braves on Thursday night against Colorado. The training staff signed off on Acuna returning after a CT scan on his elbow was normal. X-rays also were negative.


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