Wal-Mart ruling a victory against government interference

A federal judge ruled last week that the state of Maryland can’t use health insurance laws to punish Wal-Mart. The state law in question would have required nongovernmental employers with 10,000 or more workers to spend at least 8 percent of payroll on health care or pay the difference in taxes, according to The Associated […]

SEI to add jobs with $300,000 in state funds in Clovis area

By Jean Verlich: CNJ news editor SEI-CCS LLC plans to add up to 80 jobs by the end of the year to its Clovis bilingual customer care center, nearly tripling the number of employees, according to a company spokesperson. The company received $282,108 in state Job Training Incentive Awards to create 71 of the jobs, […]

Chamber votes against minimum wage increase

By Tonya Garner: CNJ Staff Writer The Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce has taken an official position to oppose increase in the minimum wage, according to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ernie Kos. The decision was reached during the Chamber’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday. The current federal minimum hourly wage is $5.15. State legislators earlier […]

Clovis work force shows surprising skill

CNJ Staff A program geared toward certifying potential employees has shown the Clovis work force to be more skilled than initially thought, according to information presented at a joint committee meeting Tuesday for the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board. A program that tests prospective employees in the areas of mathematics, reading and locating information administered […]

Having a blast: Fireworks family affair

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More than 1,000 fireworks peppered the clear Clovis skies Tuesday at Greene Acres Park during the city’s annual Smoke on the Water fireworks display. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle) By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The quartet drags five, heavy tarps from the trailer, and a city of fireworks is exposed. “Mainly, the tarps protect the […]

Bird droppings making way from roof to offices inside county courthouse

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Curry County Maintenance Supervisor Lee Delk said about 50 pigeons call the roof of the Curry County Courthouse home. (Staff photo: Tony Bullocks By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer The melodic, soft cooing of numerous pigeons can be heard emanating from the Curry County Courthouse. Although the birds’ calls are musical, the proliferation of pigeon […]

Iraq situation too terrible to keep up

Freedom Newspapers Was it only two weeks ago that the United States killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Iraqi government finally got all its ministers in place, and things seemed to be looking up? It is hardly a surprise that al-Qaida or other insurgents would unleash a wave of violence […]

Ammonia leak causes evacuation

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers The DairiConcepts plant west of Portales was evacuated Tuesday morning for about an hour, and two plant employees were treated at the Roosevelt General Hospital after an accidental release of ammonia, according to a company press release. The employees were sent to the hospital for undisclosed reasons and released within […]

Curry County employees get salary hike

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer Several Curry County employees will be smiling all the way to the bank next month because of pay raises. The salary hikes will bring county salaries in line with others for similar positions across the state. A Curry County salary survey found 33 employees’ salaries were at the bottom […]

County waives policy

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer The aunt of a county employee will continue her work as a temporary poll worker as county commissioners waived a nepotism policy in a special meeting held Thursday, thus condoning her employment while eschewing a state statute that prohibits nepotism. The waiver was also granted last year, according to […]

Locals report business as usual

By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer Hundreds of local residents showed support Monday for “the Great May 1 Boycott” or “A Day Without an Immigrant.” As part of a nationwide campaign, immigrant supporters were hoping to prove immigrants play a large role in the workforce. The impact on local businesses was not clear as most […]

Pay boosted for ENMU

By William P. Thompson: Freedom Newspapers Eastern New Mexico University employees and faculty will earn at least 5.5 percent more for the 2006-2007 school year. The Board of Regents approved adding at least 1 percent to a state-funded 4.5 percent pay raise for ENMU faculty and made the 5.5 percent total raise effective for all […]

French protesters have wrong idea

By Steve Chapman: Syndicated columnist French students and unions have been protesting for weeks now over a law making it easier for companies to get rid of employees. Under the measure recently signed by President Jacques Chirac, they may fire workers younger than 26 during their first two years on the job — for no […]

Republicans seek investigation into ’temporary’ hires

Staff and wire reports SANTA FE — Republican lawmakers have asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the Richardson administration’s practice of hiring temporary exempt employees. A March 18 letter from Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque, signed by two dozen other GOP lawmakers, said Gov. Bill Richardson’s practices have resulted in “numerous unauthorized hirings.” Lawmakers […]

Conference spending wastes taxpayer money

Freedom Newspapers It’s not always easy to get a federal employee on the phone. Now we know a bit more about where they are when we call. Federal spending on out-of-town conferences has increased by nearly 70 percent over the past five years, according to Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, one Republican who is taking on […]

Officials say bank transition smooth

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers Access Bank is now officially the First Community Bank and banking officials said customers will notice the transition, but they’re confidentcustomers will only experience minor inconveniences. Linda Wedeen, senior vice president of First Community Bank, said the Access Banks in Portales and Clovis officially became First Community Banks in January. […]

Goal met thanks to community giving

By Errin Burch: Guest columnist I’d like to thank the citizens of eastern New Mexico. Looking back at 2005, United Way of Eastern New Mexico reaching its goal this year was a great tribute to the resilience and generosity of people of our area. To all who contributed — thank you. In the face of […]

Officials hoping to book first events for civic center in April

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Javier Madrid Jr. works on the airduct system Thursday at the Clovis Civic Center. Officials said the center is near completion and has already booked events for May. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth) By Tonya Garner: CNJ staff writer The Clovis Civic Center is welcoming the arrival of its air-conditioner units as well as three new […]

New pay system focused on merit better for all

Freedom Newspapers Americans are almost unanimous in carping about big, wasteful, unresponsive government. Yet almost every effort to improve the way federal agencies function comes to naught, due in part to resistance from government employee labor unions. The unions were out in force again last week, protesting proposed changes in personnel and pay systems at […]

12/13 Business Digest

First State Bank to change name Access Bank of Clovis, acquired by First State Bancorporation in the summer, will soon change its name to First Community Bank, officials said. A company official said customers should not expect any major changes in service, but “a few” employees in the accounting department may lose their jobs. “We […]