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 […]

Federal agencies should back off land regulation

Freedom Newspapers Samuel Alito, the newest justice, sat in for the first time last week as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two important cases that could do much to define the regulatory reach of the federal government and the priority given to private property rights. The cases could tell us a great […]

2/3 Local roundup

Former prosecutor joins DA’s office A former Albuquerque prosecutor joined the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office this week. Roderick Juarez, 50, was a prosecutor in Albuquerque from 1998 to 2000 and worked in private practice until this year, he said. “I like being a DA better (than a private attorney) …I have a strong sense […]

Q&A: Forensic chief talks bullets, fingerprints, blood

Ann Talbot, 50, is the forensic laboratories bureau chief for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety in Santa Fe. Talbot holds her Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and chemistry and has been the lab’s bureau chief for nine months. Clovis law enforcement officers send bullets, blood and fingerprints to the Santa Fe lab. […]

FBI’s reporting requirements need beefing up

Freedom Newspapers The FBI has committed at least 13 violations of the guidelines governing its conduct under the Patriot Act serious enough to be referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board. That’s an arm of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is charged with examining violations of laws and directives. These facts came to light […]

Expert combats crime with computers

By Andy Jackson: CNJ staff writer For the last four years, Dennis Usery, 47, has been a man the public doesn’t see — a pivotal person behind thousands of criminal case investigations from the 9th judicial District Attorney’s Office, New Mexico State Police and local law enforcement agencies. Usery is the Information Systems Manager for […]

State’s second West Nile victim from Tucumcari

By Ryn Gargulinski: Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — A Tucumcari man is New Mexico’s second West Nile fatality of the year. Alan Bugg, who lived through a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant in June, died Oct. 7 from the mosquito-borne virus, his wife said. Catherine Buggis is angry the state’s Department of Health doesn’t do more […]

Compensation reviews cause more stress

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Ronald Nesler of Las Cruces, a Vietnam veteran rated 100-percent disabled by post-traumatic stress disorder, learned this month that his case, as decided in 1997 by the Department of Veterans Affairs, lacked documents to support the finding of service-connected PTSD. The VA regional office in Albuquerque advised Nesler in an […]

O’Connor honorable, frustrating on bench

CNJ staff She made history as the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court — by Ronald Reagan in 1981 — and then proceeded to flummox conservatives and liberals alike as she became what the pundits called the “swing vote” on issues with ideological ramifications. It might be more accurate to say that Sandra […]

Salmonella cases linked to single New Mexico hatchery

By Leslie Radford: CNJ staff writer Seventeen cases of salmonella poisoning in the Southwest since April have been linked to a single New Mexico hatchery, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Department of Health Public Information Officer Deborah Davis declined to release the name of the hatchery or where it is located because […]

Many people owe their success to loving mothers

Freedom Newspapers Mothering babies might not seem what it used to be. We seem to see growing instances of mothers who abuse or abandon their children, whether leaving them alone at home or in hot car seats. We still hear news about spectacular cases such as that of a Texas woman, who with her common-law […]

Relay by numbers

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11 — Age of youngest team captain, survivor Kye Ellen Skelton. 13 — Hours organizers said they spent this week viewing the Weather Channel. 14 — Activities scheduled in addition to the running and walking. 40 — Cases of water donated by Clovis Bottlers. 61 — Members on the largest team, Plains Regional Medical Center. […]

Local salmonella cases traced to state

CNJ staff Salmonella cases reported in Curry and Roosevelt counties are linked to young poultry from a New Mexico hatchery, state officials said. A total of nine people from New Mexico and four other states have reported salmonella infections in the past two months, most cases occurring in children age 1 or younger, according to […]

Teen Court inspires youth to pursue law careers

By Leslie Radford: CNJ Staff writer Jennifer Aasen and Hope Watkins know exactly what they want to do when they graduate Clovis High School in 2006 — attend college and become lawyers. It is a career choice that stems from participation in a volunteer youth program in Clovis that puts the justice system in the […]

Police concerned about identity theft

By David Irvin: CNJ Staff Writer Bob Hagan of the New Mexico Securities Division said many victims of identity theft don’t even know they have fallen victim to a crime. “It’s important for people to realize they are a victim of a crime and file a report,” he said. “We believe that here in New […]

Class action legislation step in right direction

CNJ staff At first glance a bill that would shift most class-action suits from state to federal courts looks like something of a power grab by federal authorities. Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid of Nevada put it this way: The bill the Senate approved last week “turns federalism on its head by preventing state courts […]

Officials: flu season normal

CNJ staff State health officials are monitoring three cases of pneumonia in Curry County to see if each illness was spawned by influenza. “It’s not abnormally high (number of cases) … (but) the reason we’re monitoring it is because it’s related to the lung and there may be a viral connection and possibly related to […]

Late DA appointment postpones court cases

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor Criminal court cases scheduled for Monday were postponed because Gov. Bill Richardson had not appointed a district attorney in time to replace Brett Carter, whose duties end at 5 p.m. today. Carter has accepted a job to work as the district public defender. Incoming District Attorney Matt Chandler — […]

Lifetime ban that keeps felons from voting is overkill

Freedom Newspapers The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear two cases concerning whether convicted felons should be denied the right to vote. Although the Supreme Court has absolute control over what cases it will take and the rationale in these two cases might not have been especially strong, this is an issue that is […]