Spelling champ making second trip to D.C.

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis Christian School 8th grader Ariel Kokoricha, 13, won the 2016 New Mexico spelling bee statewide competition Saturday at Sandia Elementary School and will now advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C.

By Douglas Clark Staff Writer dclark@cnjonline.com By virtue of emerging victorious during Saturday’s 2016 New Mexico Spelling Bee, Clovis Christian Schools eighth-grader Ariel Kokoricha has punched her second ticket to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Kokoricha, 13, correctly spelled lanceolate at the state competition at Sandia Prep to clinch a spot on […]

Military members looking off-base for homes

Courtesy photo: Balfour Beatty Communities
Privatized homes are being newly built or renovated at Cannon Air Force Base.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com The privatized housing project at Cannon Air Force base is well under way, but trends in the local Clovis/Portales real estate market show military members have been more likely to look off-base for homes. Privatization at Cannon consists of Balfour Beatty Communities owning, operating and managing the five neighborhoods […]

Bodies found in Portales fire

Staff photo: Alisa Boswell
Investigators go in and out of a charred house on North Avenue J Wednesday morning. Two bodies were found in the home after firefighters put out the flames early Wednesday morning.

By Alisa Boswell Managing Editor aboswell@pntonline.com Portales emergency workers responding to a house fire early Wednesday found two people dead inside. Police said they did not know the cause of the deaths and had not identified the bodies. Portales Police Officer Charlie Smart said officials responded to the structure fire at 1:30 a.m. in the […]

Business feature: Twin Arrow Bingo set to open next week

Staff photo: Brooke Finch
Construction is finishing up for the March 25 opening of the Twin Arrow Bingo hall at Hilltop Plaza.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com Twin Arrow Bingo, located at Hilltop Plaza on West 21st Street, is scheduled to open March 25, Owner Rocky Bernard said. Construction has been ongoing about eight months. Bernard said he has plans for the gaming and entertainment center to include a restaurant, but that section of the facility […]

Melrose tops Mora for school’s fourth title of year

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Melrose senior Wyatt Williams celebrates with fellow senior Braden Hemminger after the close of Saturday's Class 2A title game at The Pit in Albuquerque. Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds in Melrose's 63-51 win over Mora.

By Kevin Wilson MANAGING EDITOR kwilson@cnjonline.com ALBUQUERQUE — Forget maroon. Blue is the new color for the Melrose Buffaloes. The Buffaloes led wire-to-wire in their latest coronation, a 63-51 win over Mora for the Class 2A state championship Saturday at The Pit. Led by sophomore Cade Barnard’s 20 points, the Buffaloes (26-3) claimed their fourth […]

Opinions on gun law mixed at show

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Vendors Jim Beevers, left, and Gale Blackwell, both of Clovis, price their inventory at the Clovis Evening Lions Club Gun, Knife, and Coin Show at the Clovis Civic Center. Today is the last day of the show; hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com House Bill 336, which Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law on Feb. 28, aims to strengthen gun safety by requiring that New Mexico courts report mental health records to the National Criminal Background Check System. The bill unanimously passed through the House and the Senate, but brought mixed reaction […]

Equine training event new at Ag Expo

Staff photo: Alisa Boswell
Roosevelt County Extension Home Economist Connie Moyers shows area residents how to cook Pecan-Crusted Chicken Friday morning during her Simply Prepared Meals and Menus class during the 2015 AG Expo.

By Alisa Boswell Managing editor aboswell@pntonline.com An equine training event is a first for the annual New Mexico Ag Expo this year. Suzette Howard, who is hosting the event with her son and daughter-in-law, Sterling and Chelsea Howard, said the presentation titled “A New Look: Training Horses for Multiple Disciplines” will have education and safety […]

Texico whips Tucumcari to claim state title

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Texico senior Brannon Karger draws contact from Tucumcari defender Jose Flores-Duran in the second quarter of Saturday's Class 3A state championship at The Pit in Albuquerque. Karger had 24 points in Texico's 77-52 win.

By Kevin Wilson MANAGING EDITOR kwilson@cnjonline.com ALBUQUERQUE — The family joined the fraternity. Behind an attacking defense and a 46-point, 21-rebound effort from Brannon Karger and Nathan Phipps, the Texico Wolverines joined the ever-growing fraternity of state champions with a no-doubt 77-52 Class 3A win over Tucumcari to claim its fifth title in school history […]

Faith: Dallas Christian College choir to perform in Clovis

Courtesy photo: Mark Worley
The Dallas Christian College concert choir is set to perform in Clovis tonight.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com The Dallas Christian College concert choir is set to perform in Clovis tonight. The concert, called “Identity,” is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at First Christian Church of Clovis, 1700 N. Main St. It’s part of the choir’s 2016 Kingdom Week Tour Program. The tour occurs during Dallas […]

Chorus holding annual spring concert

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis Community Chorus Director Virginia Morrison of Clovis directs the choir at Tuesday night’s practice at First United Methodist Church. The choir’s spring concert is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

By Brooke Finch Staff Writer bfinch@cnjonline.com The Clovis Community Chorus has scheduled its annual spring concert next week at the First United Methodist Church sanctuary, 1501 N. Sycamore. The concert is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday. This is one of two concerts the choir has each year; the other will be around Christmas. Virginia […]

Doug Ford named Clovis police chief

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Clovis City Manager Larry Fry announced Tuesday that Clovis Captain Douglas Ford, who has served as Interim Clovis Police Chief since June 13 of last year, will be the city’s new chief. Ford replaces Steve Sanders, who retired the day before Ford received the interim tag.

By Douglas Clark Staff Writer dclark@cnjonline.com After 18 years with the Clovis Police Department, Capt. Douglas “Doug” Ford has been tabbed for the unit’s top spot. The city of Clovis named interim chief Ford as its new police chief at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at the Clovis City Hall. City Manager Larry Fry selected […]

Business owners ready for construction to end

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Traffic lanes are closed at the intersection of Norris Street and Mabry due to ongoing construction.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com Cars have been pumping their brakes on Mabry Drive since July due to road construction — and so are some businesses. “Business has been affected quite a bit,” said Rishi Bhakta, general manager of Motel 6. “People cannot see the hotel at night. It’s so dark on the road.” […]

Agility trials put dogs through their paces

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Cheryl Birdwell of Lorenzo, Texas, lets her Australian Shepherd, Ruby, go through the weave portion of the novice jumpers event at Friday’s running of the Clovis/Portales American Kennel Club Agility Trials at the Curry County Events Center.

By Douglas Clark Staff Writer dclark@cnjonline.com The American Kennel Club agility competition hosted this weekend by the Clovis-Portales Kennel Club delivered a bit of local flair on Saturday, as Clovis resident Dee Durland put one of her Golden Retrievers through the paces before judges at the Curry County Events Center. AKC officials said the event, […]

School joins nation in reading celebration

Staff photo: Doug Clark
Parkview Elementary School Principal Mandy Carpenter reacts to a passage of “Skippyjon Jones: Lost in Spice,” which was read by the Rev. Jeb Archey of the First United Methodist Church of Clovis.

By Douglas Clark Staff Writer dclark@cnjonline.com Academic researchers maintain reading aloud is widely recognized as the single most important activity leading to language development and literacy enhancement. Among other benefits, experts believe reading aloud builds word-sound awareness in children and stands as a potent predictor of reading success. To that end, Parkview Elementary School expanded […]

Floyd jamboree promises family fun, classic country

File photo
The annual Floyd Lions Club Country Jamboree is approaching later this month with live classic and modern country music performed by locals. The event will be $7 per ticket and will be March 24-26 at the Floyd schools gymnasium.

By Eamon Scarbrough Staff writer escarbrough@pntonline.com The 66th annual Floyd Lions Club Country Jamboree will be held March 24-27 at the Floyd High School gymnasium. According to Paul Benoit of the Floyd Lions Club, this year’s event will have the standard fare of performers, “which means we don’t have anyone new on the show this […]

Ag Expo on its way

File photo
Along with multiple presentations on a variety of agricultural subjects, the annual Roosevelt County Ag Expo also has a variety of vendor booths during the two-day event.

Staff report The New Mexico Ag Expo will be held at the Portales fairgrounds March 18-19. The event will feature exhibitions, seminars, food and several vendors and non-profit booths. One event that is returning to the Ag Expo on Saturday, according to Portales Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karl Terry, is the antique tractor games, […]

Lunch and a recap

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
District 64 Rep. Randy Crowder, R-Clovis, adds toppings to his bowl of chowder Friday afternoon at the Clovis/Curry County Chamber office prior to the start of his briefing of the recent legislative session.

By Brooke Finch STAFF WRITER bfinch@cnjonline.com Rep. Randy Crowder was the guest at “Chowder with Crowder,” as the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce helped him wrap up the recent legislative session. The luncheon for Crowder was sponsored by the chamber and the Clovis Industrial Development Corporation. Crowder and Sen. Pat Woods, R-Broadview, enjoyed bowls of […]

Governor signs bills at Southwest Cheese

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signs a bill into law Thursday afternoon at the Southwest Cheese Plant as supporters applaud.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com Gov. Susana Martinez visited Southwest Cheese’s Clovis plant Thursday afternoon to sign two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 72 and House Bill 270. A crowd from both agricultural and medical industries gathered around to witness the signing of these two bills. Senate Bill 72, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, […]

Buffalo soldier keeps memories alive

Staff Photo: Brooke Finch
Ira Pottard sits in his Clovis home as he tells about his days as a World War II Buffalo Soldier.

By Brooke Finch Staff writer bfinch@cnjonline.com Ira Pottard can’t get out to the public schools anymore, as he did for decades. Health issues prevent him from making veterans’ events and riding in the parades down Clovis’ Main Street as well. But Pottard, 93, still proudly tells visitors to his Davis Street home that he has […]

Clayton takes District 1; Taylor-Sawyer retains seat

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Sandra Taylor-Sawyer points poll numbers out to her mother, Ruth Taylor, Monday night at City Hall, while her husband Donald Sawyer looks on. Taylor-Sawyer defeated Gayla Brumfield to keep her position as District 2 commissioner.

By David Stevens Editor dstevens@cnjonline.com Ladona Clayton said she worked hard, even secured voters who didn’t know there was an election on Tuesday until she told them. But she also had high praise for the five candidates she defeated for the District 1 Clovis City Commission seat. “I was running with excellent candidates,” she said. […]