Education feature: Clovis High’s Japanese course popular, challenging

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Tyler Kendrick talks with instructor Hisano Richeson during a computer lab portion of Wednesday’s Japanese II course at Clovis High School.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer At a corner classroom at Clovis High School, the letters go up and down and right to left, the last name comes first and the students refer to the teacher as “Sensei.” The Japanese course, taught at two levels at CHS, has been taught for three years, and school […]

Residents donate to replace stolen pumpkins

Staff photo: Lillian Bowe
Elizabeth Vaughan, 4, picks out her favorite pumpkin from the pile of donated pumpkins on Wednesday at the Eastern New Mexico University Childhood Development Center. Program Director Elaine Gard said 10 pumpkins have been donated so far.

By Lillian Bowe Staff writer Elaine Gard was sitting at her desk on Wednesday when she heard the doorbell ring. At the door were three people, each with a pumpkin in hand. Gard, program director of the Childhood Development Center at Eastern New Mexico University, said the three had heard about the pumpkins stolen […]

Riding for veterans

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Matt Littrel of Elbert, Colorado, rests during his coast-to-coast horseback ride Tuesday at the Curry County Fairgrounds with Big Country, one of seven horses he and two companions are using on the trek. They started a Marine Camp LeJune, North Carolina, on May 1 and plan to make Marine Camp Pendleton, California, by mid-December to raise awareness about high suicide rates among veterans.

By Robin Fornoff Projects Editor To hear Marine veteran Matt Littrell tell it, this coast-to-coast horseback ride found him. It was about the time he placed the pistol that was to end his suffering on a table in front of him. “I just didn’t pick it up,” Littrell, 32, recalled during a day-long rest, […]

ENMU Childhood Development Center pumpkin patch vandalized

Staff photo: Lillian Bowe
Lara Vaughan, Eastern New Mexico University’s Childhood Development Center master teacher, looks at the damage caused to the pumpkin plant on Tuesday at the garden. Vaughan said four pumpkins were taken.

By Lillian Bowe Staff writer Learning how plants grow was one of the fun activities Lara Vaughan taught the children at Eastern New Mexico University’s Childhood Development Center. The children tend to gardens and, since June, they had been growing a pumpkin plant. Vaughan said every day they would go outside and observe the […]

No decision reached on artificial turf for par-3 course

Staff photo: Robin Fornoff
City Commissioner Gary Elliott leans on a pin marking a hole Monday at the Hillcrest park par-3 golf course. Elliott and other members of the city’s parks, recreation and beautification committee took a walking tour of the course while considering an upgrade and redesign.

By Robin Fornoff Projects Editor It’s one thing to sit in an office at City Hall and debate. Quite another to actually tour the subject of debate. Which is exactly what the city’s parks, recreation and beautification committee did Monday. They, along with City Manager Joe Thomas, hit the links, walking the soft grass […]

Former ENMU student returns for comedy act

Courtesy photo
Steven Michael Quezada, a former ENMU student, said his comedy act is about family.

By Desiree M. Cooper ENMU Communication Services Former Eastern New Mexico University student Steven Michael Quezada is returning to the Portales campus for a comedy act at 7 p.m. Monday in the ENMU Theater. The actor is known for his role as Steven Gomez on the Emmy-Award winning series “Breaking Bad.” “The show was not […]

Volunteers reviving history at Farwell Cemetery


By Robin Fornoff Projects Editor Lots of big history here. Big as the state of Texas, where almost everything is always bigger, it seems. All of it shared by a less imposing, perhaps more modest, New Mexican border town. This is ranching country and has been for more than a century. That’s when “The […]

Reunion brings Farwell native home

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Farwell’s Clayton Corn has toured as a keyboarder with Phil Vassar and Pat Green. He joins Vassar for tonight’s performance at the Clovis Music Festival.

By Kevin Wilson Clayton Corn loved the Friday night lights of West Texas, so much so that he would do triple duty at Farwell football games — offense, defense and halftime marching band. “I was awful at all of them,” Corn said. “Make sure in the article that I’m not claiming to be a […]

5 Things to know about: The Clovis Music Fest

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Geraldine Offutt, 93,
of Clovis waits to get 
a program from 2014 Pioneer Day Rodeo Queen Janay Blevins before Thursday’s show. Offutt said she came to see Will Banister & The Modern Day Ramblers.

By Kevin Wilson CNJ STAFF WRITER Thursday night cranked up the volume on the Clovis Sound once again, as the Clovis Music Festival began at the Curry County Events Center. Here are five things to know about the annual event, which started in Clovis 27 years ago. • • • Organizers hit the shuffle […]

Clovis Walk for Recovery in its fourth year

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Junctions’ program coordinator Laura Leeder-Martinez, right, and her mother Paulette Leeder prepare goodie bags Thursday afternoon at the Junctions office. The bags will be given out at Saturday’s Walk for Recovery event at Greene Acres to honor children whose parents are in recovery,

By Vanessa Kahin Staff correspondent Stepping out in faith: It’s not an unfamiliar concept for those who have recovered from issues such as abuse, PTSD, drug dependency, alcoholism or divorce. Those who are on the path of recovery — any kind of recovery — are invited to step out in faith once more to celebrate […]

Stansell’s Thriftway closing doors


By Robin Fornoff Projects Editor It isn’t the bargain prices or that owners and brothers Lindy and Randy Stansell know most of their customers by first and last name. What it is, according to customer Dona Dickinson, is a sad loss of a huge chunk of Clovis history. “It makes me sad,” said Dickinson. […]

4 questions with the CHS varisty cheer captains


The four captains of the Clovis High varsity cheerleader squad were asked a question. What’s your favorite song/cheer to perform to? Nela Dixon: If I had to pick one, it would be the cheer “C-L-O-V-I-S”.  It’s short and simple, but it’s the team I cheer for.  It’s the name of the town I’m proud to […]

Q&A: Kentucky HeadHunters guitarist talks career, touring

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The Kentucky Headhunters, who started in 1968 as a family band called Itchy Brothers, will be the opening act for Phil Vassar Saturday at the Clovis Music Festival.

The opening act for Saturday night’s performance at the Clovis Music Festival has been in music for nearly half a century, and draws fans of all genres because everybody has a “Dumas Walker” of their own. The Kentucky HeadHunters, who started with a pair of brothers and their cousins in 1968 as Itchy Brothers, has […]

Labor of love

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Sal Maestas, front, and his uncle, Robert Gutierrez, dry off a car Monday afternoon at the Hilltop Plaza. The two were part of a family effort to defray funeral costs for Julia Maestas, Sal’s mother and Robert’s brother.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer The Maestas family didn’t have any particular plans for Labor Day, but they were probably going to do something as a family. Then the not-so-unexpected happened. The family said good-bye Monday morning to Julia Maestas, a mother of eight, grandmother to 26 and great-grandmother to 34, with many of […]

Q&A: Phil Vassar says he feels like one of the lucky ones

Courtesy photo
Country music performer Phil Vassar has hit the Top 5 seven times with songs such as “Carlene,” “Last Day of My Life” and “American Child.”

After earning a degree in business in his home state of Virginia, Phil Vassar loaded his Pinto station wagon and headed to Nashville like so many others. He feels he was one of the lucky ones. He made his debut in the late 1990s co-writing singles with the likes of Tim McGraw and Jo Dee […]

Music festival going country

vasser-at-levoy-theater copy

Staff report The Clovis Music Festival is going country this year, with appearances by Phil Vasser, the Kentucky HeadHunters and the Highway Men Live tribute band. The 27th annual festival also includes tours of the Norman & Vi Petty Rock & Roll Museum and Norman Petty Studios and the 17th annual Desert Cruzers Run to […]

Water checkup: Mayor talks conservation plan


Clovis Mayor David Lansford is leading the New Mexico Ogallala Preservation & Conservation Initiative. His plan is to use federal grant money to pay area farmers to stop irrigating and switch to dryland farming. An estimated 90 to 93 percent of water pulled from the Ogallala Aquifer — the only source of drinking water in […]

Lila Lee Wilkinson: Shining star


By David Stevens Editor Times change. Who alive in 1948 could have imagined that we’d have mini computers in our pockets today? Or that we’d pay 100 bucks to enter taxpayer-funded professional sports stadiums with fake grass? Or that Colorado and Washington state would legalize recreational marijuana? Eight decades ago, phonograph records and Scrabble were […]

Music fest kicks off September

File photo
Night Ranger was the headline act at last year’s Clovis Music Festival.

By Joshua Lucero If it’s entertainment you seek, September may be the month for you in eastern New Mexico. Fall’s first month will be highlighted by the Clovis Music Festival, which celebrates its 27th anniversary with a three-day run beginning Thursday at the Curry County Events Center. Marshall Law and Will Banister and The […]

5 things to know about CFD’s ladder truck

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
The ladder truck tips the scales at 82,000 pounds, which makes it hard to stop once it gets going.

By Rick White Managing editor At 48 feet long and 41 tons — which is about the same weight as 39 Volkswagen Beetles — the Clovis Fire Department’s ladder truck is the biggest, baddest firefighting machine in the department’s arsenal. Its hydraulic-powered ladder extends 105 feet. Up front it its massive cab there is room […]