Longtime educator Jody Balch chosen as superintendent


By Vanessa Kahin Staff writer vkahin@cnjonline.com After an hour-and-a-half long executive session during a Clovis Municipal Schools board meeting Tuesday at the CMS administrative building, school board members came to a unanimous decision as to who the new superintendent will be: longtime educator Jody Balch. A contract awarding Balch $145,000 annually over the next two […]

Candidates tackle issues at political forum

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
KTQM candidate forum moderator Grant McGee goes over rules before the start of the Tuesday political forum at the station.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer kwilson@cnjonline.com Questions ranging from candidate qualifications and their donors to their philosophies on making the offices they seek more efficient populated the KTQM political forum Tuesday night. Held at the KTQM station south of Clovis on the final Tuesday before next week’s primary elections, the two-hour forum drew more than […]

Scout: Project learning experience


By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com What was to be a simple city project entailing a flag pole and a few roses has turned into an elaborate Boy Scout project with a flag pole, dedication stone and rose garden, according to Trystan Harpold, 17, of Clovis. Harpold said he approached Clovis City Commissioners about a […]

Military feature: Cannon display takes veteran down memory lane

U.S. Air Force photo: Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz
U.S. Air Force Capt. Christopher Smoak, 318th Special Operations Squadron pilot, stands with his father, Cameron Smoak, an Air Force veteran who crewed the F-111A Aardvark displayed at Cannon Air Force Base during the 1970s, during a visit May 9. The father and son searched for the tail numbers Mr. Smoak was responsible for for years before discovering 66-016 on display at Cannon.

By Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Developed in the 1960s, the F-111A Aardvark began its tenure of service with the U.S. Air Force in 1967. In its 31 operational years, the F-111 performed bombing missions in Cambodia and Libya, participated in operations Linebacker and Linebacker II, and was credited with […]

Residents pay respects at Memorial Day service


By Joshua Lucero Staff writer jlucero@cnjonline.com A volley of three shots and “Taps” could be heard as Clovis residents observed Memorial Day Monday morning at Lawn Haven Garden Cemetery. About 150 were in attendance for the hour-long service organized by the Curry County Joint Veterans Council in addition to several residents paying their own respects […]

Officials pleased with air show turnout, reception

Staff photo: Joshua Lucero
Stephen A. Dyczko of Woodland, Texas watches from a 1959 Beechcraft Twin Bonanza as the Thunderbirds prepare for their aerial display Sunday afternoon.

By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com A little thunder and rain wasn’t enough to keep air show enthusiasts away Sunday morning as the second and final day of the 2014 Cannon Air Force Base Open House and Air Show kicked off. After a couple of hours of rain and a brief period of thunder, during […]

Eyes on the skies

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
The Thunderbirds take to the sky Saturday to start their show at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com Awesome seemed to be the word of the day near the flightline on Cannon Air Force Base Saturday afternoon as area children described the experience of climbing into combat aircraft and seeing the Air Force Thunderbirds fly. Saturday was the first of two days for an open house and […]

Long time since we’ve had this much rain

David Stevens

By David Stevens Editor Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were still alive. Dr. Seuss’ “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” was hot off the press. It’s been a long time since we’ve had this much rain — Sept. 16, 1970, to be exact. That’s when the […]

Clovis grads told to leave legacy

Staff photo: Joshua Lucero
Honors graduate Lindsey Davis hugs Clovis High School principal Wayne Marshall after receiving her diploma at the CHS Graduation Friday night at Curry County Events Center.

By Vanessa Kahin vkahin@cnjonline.com Commencement speaker and Clovis High School 2014 graduate Danny Borwick presented his class with a challenge that only time — and possibly their death — could complete. “This is a challenge that cannot be completed until you die,” Borwick said to the 419 graduates that gathered for their commencement ceremony Friday […]

Portales class bids congratulations, farewells

Staff photo: Christina Calloway
PHS cheerleader Kayleigh Montano, left, takes a selfie with her fellow cheerleader and PHS valedictorian Katie Ledbetter after Friday’s graduation ceremony. Ledbetter also took a selfie on stage during her valedictorian speech and said she was able to get her entire class in the photo.

By Christina Calloway ccalloway@pntonline.com Portales High School senior Meghan Urevig repeatedly glanced out at the excited crowd of hundreds Friday night in Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Arena then back down at her feet, nervously shuffling around. As she stood among her fellow graduating seniors as they lined up to be seated before commencement, she […]

Clovis resident describes Thunderbird flight as ‘ultimate roller coaster ride’

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Ronnie Marez shakes hands with a Thunderbirds maintenance  crew member at the end of his flight.

By Alisa Boswell aboswell@pntonline.com Clovis’ Ronnie Marez was the center of attention early Friday afternoon as members of the Thunderbirds prepped him for his “Hometown Hero” flight, which he earned in conjunction with this weekend’s Cannon Air Fore Base air show for his heroic effort early this year. With the flight still two hours away, […]

Bring on the thunder

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
The Air Force Thunderbirds make a grand entrance Thursday afternoon at Cannon Air Force Base  for this weekend’s air show. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com The grin said it all as Maj. Jason Curtis, of the Air Force Thunderbirds, stepped down from his plane. There was no doubting that the 33-year-old pilot loves what he does. “It’s  an extremely humbling experience to be a part of a team that is comprised of such amazing […]

Raintree officials confident they can meet demand

Staff photo: Joshua Lucero
Raintree Site Manager Janet Romero shows the Raintree Apartments to members of the public during a ribbon cutting event Thursday afternoon to kickoff the opening of the complex in northeast Clovis.

By Vanessa Kahin STAFF WRITER vkahin@cnjonline.com The apartment complex is not quite there, but the tenants are. Fifty-five leases have been signed, but 36 apartments are available at the new Raintree Luxury Apartment Homes, 2400 E. Llano Estacado Blvd. No worries — the apartment complex, where a ribbon-cutting event was held Thursday is growing to […]

Farmers’ coop employee rewarded for heroic effort with Thunderbirds flight.


By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com Today marks a significant moment in the life of Clovis resident Ronnie Marez, a meter reader for Farmers’ Electric Cooperative. As the local “Hometown Hero,” Marez will fly in the plane of one of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who chose him for the honor after he was nominated […]

Aerial acrobats: A look at the Thunderbirds


The Thunderbirds will perform Saturday and Sunday at Cannon Air Force Base’s air show and open house. Here are some facts about the Thunderbirds, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron. • On May 25, 1953, the Air Force’s official air demonstration team, designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, was activated at […]

Military feature: Base conducts mass casualty exercise

U.S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Ericka Engblom
Two members of the 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron hose down a simulated aircraft fire during an exercise May 6 at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Senior Airman Ericka Engblom 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs With a shout the exercise is set in motion: runners take off in all directions, frantic calls are made as the dead, wounded and dying lie scattered in various positions of agony across the pavement. Help soon arrives in the form of a fire […]

Clovis High, Choices students to walk together

Staff photo: Vanessa Kahin
Stephen Yung, left, and Dustyn Crane at the Clovis High School band hall.

By Vanessa Kahin Staff writer vkahin@cnjonline.com Clovis High School’s class of 2014 — about 422 members strong — will mark more than an end to high school during a commencement ceremony set to take place at 6 p.m. May 23 at the Curry County Events Center. Not that graduating isn’t reason enough to celebrate, but […]

Scavenger hunt sends teams to Portales landmarks

Staff photo: Lillian Bowe
Molly Glowacki, right, and teammate Wendy Turner read their clues for the scavenger hunt hosted by One Community, which began at Daylight Donuts on Saturday. There were 15 clues which Glowacki and Turner had to find around Portales.

By Lillian Bowe Staff writer lbowe@pntonline.com Molly Glowacki and Wendy Turner read the clue. “The neon sign of Portales.” The reference escapes Glowacki, a Clovis resident, while Turner, a secretary at Eastern New Mexico University, tries to think of all the neon signs in Portales. It’s no easy task at high noon, with most neon […]

Furry friends

Courtesy photo
The Kirby family welcomes their newest addition, Trenton, after he was adopted through Hope Defined Animal Rescue.

Editor’s note: May is National Pet Month in the U.S. Area families celebrate their furry family members and the benefits they’ve brought to the family. By Christina Calloway ccalloway@pntonline.com At the end of a long day, Dan Paciello’s stress can be relieved when greeted by his black Labrador Sox. “He’s definitely my best buddy,” said […]

5 questions with former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek


By Alisa Boswell Staff writer aboswell@pntonline.com Kindergarten through sixth graders at Zia Elementary School screamed in delight as their guest visitor was announced Thursday afternoon in the school gymnasium. Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek came to speak to the students about the importance of a good diet and exercise as part of a […]