Evidence evident

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CNJ staff photo: Sharna Johnson Clovis Police Department evidence technician Wendell Blair stands in the evidence room. There are around 18,000 items currently logged in evidence, he said. By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Bicycles, guns, electronics, clothing — the diversity of items in the small, shelf-lined room is reminiscent of a pawn or thrift shop. […]

West Nile threat at peak during summer months

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers The number of West Nile cases in New Mexico has dropped steadily since the mosquito-borne disease was discovered in the state in 2003. No cases have been reported yet this year, according to state health officials. However, summer is the prime time for West Nile, especially with this year’s unusually […]

Cops and Courts: Portales judge makes full-time transition

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Last week marked the first full week District Judge Joe Parker served as a full-time judge in Portales, according to court officials. About 600 cases Parker was assigned to have been divided up among the four judges who remain in Curry County, court clerk Shelly Burger said. Previously, district judges […]

Attorney battles crime on military, civilian fronts

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CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle Christina Tatum said the military offered her the opportunity to travel and gain courtroom experience. By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Christina Tatum lives a double life as a crime fighter. Most days she serves as a deputy district attorney, handling 100 to 200 cases at any given time. She also […]

Police make busts in burglary outbreak

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Police are cutting into a recent spike in burglaries, making more than half a dozen arrests in the last two weeks, according to department officials. Sgt. Jerry Wike, a detective division supervisor, said his department has received more than 60 burglary reports in the last two months. The calls […]

Area flu cases on rise

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer The number of patients being treated for flu-like symptoms has almost doubled in recent weeks, according to area health officials. In response, the New Mexico Department of Health has organized several flu shot clinics, according to a press release. “We’ve seen a big increase … (with patients ranging) from […]

Senator asks for aid in bovine TB fight

By Freedom Newspapers WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici has asked Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns for help as New Mexico grapples with the containment of bovine tuberculosis cases discovered in eastern counties of the state, according to a press release from the senator’s office. Domenici, R-N.M., asked Johanns in a letter Tuesday to work with […]

Legal office may face shuttering sentence

By Tonya Fennell: CNJ staff writer For 29 years, Lucy Lopez has guided low-income residents in Curry County through the legal system maze. Now, her job is in peril. The New Mexico Legal Aid office in Clovis where Lopez works as a paralegal has been recommended for closure. “We are needed (in Curry County),” Lopez […]

Investigator keeps close to cases

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Sandy Loomis came to Clovis by way of the Air Force and took a position with the Curry County Sheriff’s Office in 1993. (Staff photo: Sharna Johnson) By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff The white crest of his cowboy hat takes his already imposing height to new levels. Paired with his broad physique, he projects an […]

Snapshot

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Magistrate Judge Richard Hollis said he finds civil cases the most challenging part of his job. (CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks) By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff What: Magistrate court is a full-time court that handles civil and criminal cases. The severity of the crime or the monetary and/or jurisdiction limitations in a civil action determine […]

Retro pay reaches 31,000, averages $1,500

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Two months into a year-long review of pay records and disability compensation histories for 140,000 military retirees have produced a total of $45 million in back pay to 31,000 disabled retirees, say officials in charge. The lump-sum payments average about $1,500. Ten retirees have received more than $25,000 each, a […]

Murder trial moved

CNJ Staff More than 100 motions have been argued in the homicide cases of two men accused of killing an elderly Portales couple in March 2005, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler. Included in those motions was the decision last week to move Stanley Bedford’s trial to Albuquerque, Chandler said. A motion to […]

City sees spike in robberies

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer In recent months there has been a spike in robberies in Clovis, bringing the number of cases for the year so far, with more than three months remaining, to about the same as the total for 2005, according to police. Summer months have brought on the majority of the […]

Fed interference fails to deter future crimes

By Freedom Newspapers Robert Charles Comer wants to take responsibility for the murders, kidnapping, robbery and rape he committed nearly 20 years ago at Arizona’s Apache Lake and face the ultimate punishment — state execution by lethal injection. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t let him. Instead, a three-judge panel has refused to […]

Sex offender oversight caught early locally

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ Staff Writer Only one local case was affected by a statewide oversight that led to approximately 100 convicted sex offenders receiving parole periods shorter than they should have. The state Corrections Department has identified more than 100 cases in which sex offenders weren’t given the proper amount of probation or parole […]

Congress subject to same laws as rest of us

By Steve Chapman: Syndicated columnist The Bush administration has a habit of misreading the Constitution, pushing its powers as far as possible and expecting Congress to meekly go along. But now the House of Representatives has decided to fight back — not by asserting its rightful prerogatives, but by misreading the Constitution, pushing its powers […]

State health officials report ‘unconfirmed’ mumps cases

By William P. Thompson: Freedom Newspapers A mumps outbreak which has blazed through the Midwest may be knocking on New Mexico’s door. The New Mexico Department of Health has issued a release stating that two “possible” mumps cases have recently been discovered in New Mexico, although the release is quick to add that New Mexico […]

Supreme Court being cautious on controversy

Freedom Newspapers Sometimes the cases the U.S. Supreme Court does not agree to review tells as much about the high court’s mood as those cases it decides to hear. That’s the situation this week as the high court continued to proceed with a caution that is becoming familiar in the weeks since a new member […]

Officials: Summer brings onslaught of vandalism

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer As summer approaches, city workers know, in carefully landscaped areas and well-manicured parks, graffiti will bloom. Buildings will be “tagged” and playground equipment will be etched, painted and defaced. P.J. Odegard, administrative assistant with the Clovis Parks and Recreation Department, said spring and summer bring an onslaught of new […]

Supreme Court heading toward divisive territory

Freedom Newspapers The U.S. Supreme Court is moving from a period when it has been handling some of the easier cases on its docket, resulting in a surprising number of unanimous decisions, to handling more controversial decisions that will almost surely split the high court. One case decided last week led newly installed Chief Justice […]