May we honor true King of Christmas with open hearts

By Curtis Shelburne Local columnist “The king of Christmas.” That’s what some of my kids called me the other day. It’s a world-class compliment, and I way more than halfway hope they’re way more than halfway right. But surely it’s far too strong a statement. No borderline blasphemy is intended. There’s only one King of […]

Restaurant owners say they serve Lord through meal

Staff photo: Derek Major
Joe Semante gets some food.

By Derek Major Staff writer dmajor@pntonline.com Most restaurants in Portales were closed on Christmas Day. But cars lined up early Thursday morning at the El Rancho restaurant as it hosted its annual free luncheon. Portales came together to celebrate the holiday and help those who are less fortunate. “We’ve been doing this for 11 years […]

God puts special people in our paths

By Judy Brandon Local columnist I read an article this past week on what rich parents buy their children for Christmas. Someone bought their child a gold Game Boy for $30,000. Diamond pacifiers are popular at $17,000 each. For children old enough to drive, a Ferrari 612 Scagletti — for $500,000 — is an option. […]

Carols necessary Christmas sound

Recently I read a brief bit of information that explained how Christmas carols were invented to tell the story of the Nativity to people who couldn’t read. I had never heard it described quite that way before, but it struck me as very plausible. While I have always enjoyed Christmas songs, I’m talking here about […]

McManigal: Slavery can be red tape or chains

Most people think of slavery as an evil from the past, at least in America and other “first world” places. Yet it’s still all around us, only in slightly modified form. Libertarians are the modern-day abolitionists seeking to change this. Is slavery OK if you believe the slave would die without being owned and controlled? […]

Collaboration crucial for competent rural health care

Getting health care access to rural/low-income New Mexico requires creative collaboration. It happened when psychologists were given prescribing privileges like their M.D. psychiatrist colleagues. And when Gov. Susana Martinez put together incentives to attract more nurse practitioners. And when various provider groups embraced telemedicine. Because expecting throngs of doctors and dentists, specialists and oral surgeons […]

Wyoming man accepts PRMC administrator job

Staff report Wyoming hospital executive Vince DiFranco has accepted an offer to become the new administrator at Plains Regional Medical Center, according to PRMC board Chairman Lonnie Leslie. Leslie confirmed Wednesday that DiFranco will begin his duties Feb. 9 at PRMC. He is relieving Bo Beames, vice president for regional operations for parent organization Presbyterian […]

Shoppers out ’til last minute

By Aubry Buzek Staff Writer abuzek@cnjonline.com With a day left until Christmas, many shoppers felt the pressure Wednesday to pick up last-minute gifts. Shortly after stores at North Plains Mall opened, shoppers poured in early to beat the crowds for Christmas Eve shopping. Several shoppers at the mall early Wednesday said they were shopping mostly […]

Former resident welcomed back

By David Stevens Editor Editor’s note: This is one in a series of columns looking back at regional news in 2014. It will continue through Jan. 1. Roy Ebihara was 8 when he was run  out of town because of his heritage, but he was excited to return home in 2014. Micah Thompson pitched a […]

Youth exchange scholarship deadline Jan. 7

Staff report The deadline to apply for a 2015-2016 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad scholarship is Jan. 7. The scholarship enables students to study for one academic year at a high school in another country while living with a host family. The merit-based scholarship covers travel, visa fees, room and board, tuition and […]

NASA offers holiday treat

By Betty Williamson Local columnist Ready for a break in the holiday routine?  Here’s an idea to get you (and any nearby over-sugared children) out of the house. The International Space Station is one of the more reliable attractions in the night sky — a slow-moving, brilliant point of light — and we’re going through […]

Pages Past — Dec. 25

On this date … 1974: Most of eastern New Mexico experienced a white Christmas night. Melrose residents reported snowfall began about 7 p.m while Cannon Air Force Base began seeing snow about 8:15 p.m. Portales reported about 2 inches while Grady led the area with 3 inches, weather watchers said. 1963: An abandoned well house […]

Extreme holiday spirit

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Roger Hepler of Clovis with a small Santa Claus figurine he plans to gift to a friend.

By Kevin Wilson STAFF WRITER kwilson@cnjonline.com Some people collect baseball cards. Some collect music, be it eight-track, cassette, CD or vinyl. Still, others collect Christmas. A pair of Clovis couples on the city’s northwest area decorate their homes inside and out. For Troy and Tonia Gilliard, the lawn at their home on John Doe is […]

Salvation Army helps 236 families

Staff report For the last 23 days, the Salvation Army has shared stories of local families whose circumstances made the holidays a time of increased financial stress, not seasonal joy. From single mothers struggling with crippling medical expenses to grandmothers tasked with supporting their grandchildren on a fixed income, the Empty Stocking Fund aimed to […]

Buffalo soldiers such as Clovis’ Ira Pottard deserve recognition

Tony Bullocks: Staff photo
ra Pottard waves to the crowd during the Veterans Day Parade of  2013.

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Local columnist Clovis’ Ira Pottard is one of the last living buffalo soldiers. He was 19 when he was drafted into the famed all-black cavalry unit in 1942. “You didn’t think much about being drafted,” he said. “You got a letter from the president saying, ‘Congratulations you’re in the Army.’” I spoke […]

N.M. Fishing Report — 12-25

his fishing report, provided by Bill Dunn and NMDGF, has been generated from the best information available from area officers and anglers. Conditions encountered after the report is compiled may differ, as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities. Northwest Abiquiu Lake: Fishing pressure was very light and fishing was slow for […]

Yes, Virginia, Santa remains alive and well

The New York Sun in 1897 published its most famous editorial in response to a question from a reader. Dear Editor— I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there […]

Christmas is about the experiences

By Tom McDonald State columnist In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. I read somewhere that Halloween comes in as a strong second, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere close to the money we Americans spend for the yuletide. Perhaps that makes me a little off the mark, […]

Police confirm home invasion

Staff report Clovis police have confirmed a home invasion Sunday evening east of Norris. When asked about a home invasion Sunday, the Clovis Police Department’s Public Information Officer Daron Roach, “There was one, it’s under investigation and has been passed on to detectives.” He said the incident report is not ready to be publicly released. […]

Q&A: EPCOG director talks needs and changes

Sandy Chancey

Sandy Chancey is executive director of Eastern Plains Council of Governments. We asked her about changes in the association of county and municipal governments that includes public entities in Curry, De Baca, Quay and Roosevelt counties. Question: How has EPCOG’s role changed over the past two or three years? Chancey: EPCOG’s role has changed considerably. […]