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Archive for: July 2013

Raton City Commission Special Budget Meeting

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

The Raton City Commission met Friday at noon in the commission chambers to handle budget matters that required their attention before the end of the month.

Commissioners approved a budget adjustment as well as a Raton water works budget adjustment. They then approved the May and June financial reports.

With a unanimous vote commissioners approved the final Raton city budget of $4,519,072, up just a mere $124,000 over last year’s budget. The city is expecting revenues of $4,519,072 and expenditures of $4,418,633.

The city is required to keep $368,219 or 1/12 of the budgeted amount in reserves. According to City Manager Butch McGowen if they had not received the $461,000 insurance money from the freight building insurance the city would be below their required 1/12 reserve requirement causing the state to take a hard look at Raton’s finances.

Mayor LeDoux once again commented that this commission is having to deal with decisions of the past commissions. Indicating they made the best decisions they could at the time with the information they had. The economy simply isn’t what it could be.

Water and Streets Topics at City Commission Meeting

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

Raton Water Works Manager Dan Campbell is asking that citizens of Raton not do any outside watering for the next 72 hours while the water department deals with the runoff water from recent rains.

Campbell explained to commissioners that the recent rains have created a turbidity issue at the water plant. Turbidity is sediment, silt, sand and trash which muddies up the water. There has a lot of sediment and such washed into Lake Maloya and is being pulled into the water system, which takes extra work to be removed from the drinking water. Campbell explained that the amount of rain is more the problem and that all the sediment ponds that were built to deal with the Track Fire burn scar are full and overflowing thus causing additional runoff into Lake Maloya.

Stella Sintas presented a letter to the commissioners in response to not being allowed to speak during the July 9 meeting. Mayor LeDoux indicated that the issue occurred during the business portion of the regular meeting not during the public comments period. Sintas also complained about potholes, former City Manager Pete Kampfer and the aquatic center as well as the $6 service fee that will be up for referendum in September at a cost to the city of about $6000.

Martha Phelps spoke about the flooding issues on Park Avenue explaining that the water had run into her business at Second and Park. City Manager Butch McGowen informed the commissioners that Resolution 2013-26, which the commission passed during the business part of the meeting, will address the flooding issues on Park. This is a grant agreement with the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

Commissioners also approved Resolution 2013-27 to finish off the street work on South First Street after the water department work that replaced some old water line.

Commissioners approved the precinct assignments for the special election in September. They also approved the budget adjustment dealing with the Juvenile Justice grant.

Commissioners heard from David Stafford concerning upcoming tree planting projects in downtown. He is requesting assistance with the projects from city staff. The help he is requesting is for concrete cutting and water taps to water the trees. Commissioners approved Resolution 2013-29 to make that help available for this beautification project. The tree planting projects are being made possible with grant monies that Grow Raton has applied for and received.

City manager Butch McGowen indicated that they received a letter from Mark Van Buskirk concerning the land next to the landfill and that a tort claim will likely be filed. The city will work on pothole repairs as soon as cold mix arrives many of the street repairs will be a 50/50 split with Raton Water Works who purchased the cold mix for street repairs.

McGowen also asked that the citizens continue to help out in keeping their weeds mowed and helping the elderly with their yard work. He also asked that citizens continue to help with the bear problem and keep trash picked up. It is also suggested that citizens check when there particular part of town is scheduled to be picked up by the sanitation department and put your trash in the dumpsters on pickup day so that there isn’t anything in the dumpster for bears to pick through.

The city commission will meet again on Friday July 26 at noon to go over some budget items. The next regular meeting is scheduled for August 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Osos are Robbed of Wins Monday by the Train Robbers

Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

Vegas  13
Raton   1

Vegas  5
Raton 3

The second inning seems to be the bane of the game for the Osos as the Train Robbers put seven over the plate in the first game Monday afternoon and another three runs in the second game of the double header in Raton.

The game Monday afternoon was a makeup game from Saturday. That game was postponed due to a very wet field from Friday night when Raton saw about 2.00 inches of rain over a five hour period. While this game was a runaway the season finale was a lot closer as the Osos seemed to find the holes in the Robber defense.

However the Osos still couldn’t get players rounded to home. A couple of broken bats didn’t help as the ball lazily flew into the infield for outs.

It was a great crowd and another perfect evening for the last home game for the Osos. The stands were almost full and cars lined the left field parking area with spectators. For now fans can look back on a first season of professional baseball in Raton and look forward to another.

Stedman Smith slides to second as Randy Wells makes a flying leap for a wayward ball

#22 lets a low outside ball go by on really nice afternoon for baseball in Raton

Gary Stauff slides for second as the ball flies in from catcher Bryan Gregory, however shortstop Aaron Carmen cant quite find the handle on the ball

Gary Stauff is safe at second as the ball gets away from shortstop Aaron Carmon 

Train Robber Andrew Lopez tries to get around Bryan Gregory at home plate during the Osos last home game of the season.

Andrew Lopez slid past home plate and scrambles back as catcher Bryan Gregory goes for the tag.

Osos catcher Bryan Gregory makes the tag as Travis Renwick slides into home plate

Travis Renwick looks at the umpire after being tagged at home plate

Trinidad Times / Raton Range Announce Temporary Closure

By Christina Boyce ~ KRTN News

Trinidad Times IndependentTrinidad Times Independent (TTI) News and Raton Range did not reach readers on Friday. Publisher and owner Paula Murphy posted a long letter of explanation Sunday afternoon on the TTI website and facebook page. Murphy writes that deals that would have extended publication fell through on Friday, resulting in stopped presses.

Murphy says that the problem unless a last option she is working on is successful the paper and it’s sister publication, the Raton Range will no longer exist. The weak economy and dwindling paid advertisers are cited as contributing factors to the publication’s closure.

Expressing deep regret for her decision to outsource the publishing of the two papers back in January of 2012, Murphy writes,

Now in hindsight, I believe (the outsourcing) to be my biggest regret. But I had no choice. The technology our press used involved film. Film is not being produced in the United States. I was going to have to buy a very expensive piece of equipment and did not have the resources to do so. The printing bid I got was more than my costs to produce but not that much more. But when I started outsourcing that price nearly doubled. But I could not go back to what we had been doing.

While the website headline says this is a temporary closure, the tone of Murphy’s letter is somber. Holding out some hope, she writes, “So this may not be our death, but merely a regrouping. Please be patient and pray”.

KRTN has extended a call out to Murphy and hopes to learn more about the option she is working on.
Trinidad Times Independent Phone: (719) 846-8799

Relevant Information:

Raton Range Phone: 575-445-2721

Links:

Trinidad Times Independent Paula Murphy Letter

Raton Range ~ Murphy Letter

Superintendent, M. Neil Terhune D. Ed., Hits the Ground Running

By Christina Boyce
KRTN News

M. Neil Terhune, D. Ed. 350pWRaton Public Schools (RPS), working with new Superintendent, M. Neil Terhune, D. Ed., has been moving at a brisk pace to make sure the district is ready for the new school year. Terhune has been at work for RPS for just one week but teachers report back in three and a half weeks, on August 12th, and students will be back in class on Thursday, August 15th. KRTN attended Monday’s school board meeting and met with Terhune in his office Tuesday to report on the district’s progress.

The regular monthly board meeting on Monday was well attended. Public comments are taken at the beginning of the meetings and Nate Ashbaugh, who resigned as Choral/Band Director was listed on the agenda as the first item. Ashbaugh was not present as the public comments began. Board President Art Armijo announced that Linda Ortiz, sponsor of Raton Middle School FCCLA program, and students who had attended last week’s National FCCLA Conference in Nashville, TN, were also present to address the board.  Armijo gave the floor to Ortiz and her students who reported on their conference experience, projects and awards.

Ashbaugh had arrived and was given his time to address the board. He was there to argue for additional staffing for the Choral & Band programs. Passionately advocating for music programming, Ashbaugh stated his opinion that the music department job description is more than one person can do and be expected to do well.

Lita Sanchez, Financial Director, announced that all district employees would see a 1% salary increase for the upcoming contract year during the financial report.

The board then discussed and approved a change in athletic/activity eligibility requirements that brings Raton schools into alignment with the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) GPA standard. This change lowers the required GPA for athletic and activities participation from a 3.2 to a 2.0 (with only one F). Ortiz, RMS teacher and FCCLA sponsor spoke to the loss of population in the school district, saying that the lower GPA requirement would increase the pool of eligible students for sports and other activities. Brian Saccomanno, Raton High School PE teacher and football coach spoke to the power of sports to keep students engaged and to prevent dropouts.  Superintendent Terhune commented that the change “does not take away from the parents right to enforce a higher standard” for their own children.

Terhune reported that amongst the staffing changes, the job of Athletic Director  (AD) would no longer be part of the Principal’s job description but would be split into two part-time positions hired internally. Terhune announced that Coach Saccomanno was one of the new ADs, however, the second AD candidate had not yet responded to the offer and Terhune would not name the candidate during the public portion of the meeting.

Terhune and the board were also waiting to hear from the principal search committee’s pick for the Principal at Raton High School. They went into Executive Session to discuss these personnel matters.

KRTN visited with Terhune on Tuesday afternoon to find out more about some of the changes and learned that the district has hired a new Principal for Raton High School: Erik S. Fredell, Ed. D. of Colorado Springs, CO.  Fredell writes in his letter to the search committee that he returns to the “job I love, working with parents, students, and teachers to prepare for the future.” He has been taking care of elderly parents for the past two years. Prior to that he was Campus Director of Mohammed Bin Zayed Campus of Emirates National Schools from 2009 – 2011. He was the Principal at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, CO from 2001 – 2009, and served as Principal at Greeley West High School from 1996 – 2001. Fredell starts his job at Raton High School in two weeks.

Terhune also reported Teresa Kuchan’s acceptance for the second Athletic Director position. Kuchan teaches 8th Grade CMP mathematics at Raton Middle School. Terhune says that for now, Kuchan will handle the girls’ sports and Saccomanno will handle boys’ sports.

The position of Assistant Superintendent will not be replaced after Paul Malano completes his contract. That will affect the Special Ed Department, which will see some changes as the duties of Director of Special Ed are distributed within the department’s staff. Terhune believes that the changes will benefit students.

Terhune plans to make a practice visiting with KRTN’s listeners on This, That & the Other on Tuesday mornings after regular school board meetings and also half way between meetings. He’ll discuss what is going on in district, but he stated that he’d like to know what people want to hear about. Terhune can be reached at Raton Schools Administration office by phone at 575-445-9111.

Terhune plans to stop in on Thursday for his first visit. KRTN looks forward to the opportunity to speak with him. If you have any questions for Dr. Terhune please give us a call at 575-445-3652 or send an email to info@krtnradio.com.

Raton SF Split a Double-Header Tuesday

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

A wet field on Monday postponed the Raton, Santa Fe game on Monday evening in Raton and it was played at 2:00 pm on Tuesday with a win for Raton 3-2.

Later in the day, however it was another matter when a grand slam by Cameron Sherrer started a 7-run streak in the second inning yo put Santa Fe well on the way for a win.

Raton simply couldn’t find the hole in the Santa Fe defense to make things work.

What did work for the Osos on Tuesday night were the pink t-shirts they wore to support the Colfax County Relay for Life. The t-shirts were auctioned off and they raised $368.75.

Matt Lynch can’t quite find the handle on the ball

Bryson Sims justs beats the ball in to Osos catcher Evan Richards

 

Erik Kozel slides in safe at second as Aaron Carman drops the ball on the throw down.

Osos v SF 7-16-13_3751

Osos take pride in the Raton community and help out the Colfax County Relay for Life by wearing pink Jerseys for the game. They raised $368.75 for the event this Friday in Raton.

Raton’s New VA Clinic to Break Ground Today

Raton’s New VA Clinic to Break Ground Today
Story & Photograph
By Christina Boyce ~ KRTN Multi-Media

Site of new VA Clinic in Raton, 1493 WhittierA groundbreaking ceremony at 3:00 pm Tuesday, July 16th at 1493 Whittier Street will mark the beginning of construction on Raton’s long awaited new Veterans Affairs (VA) Clinic.

Recent rains have created a mud-bog of the unpaved Whittier Street so you’ll want to drive your four-wheel vehicle to attend, and wear sensible shoes.

People gathering to officially mark the start to the project will include representatives from Senator Tom Udall’s office and Senator Martin Heinrich’s office, City of Raton officials and members of Raton’s VA Clinic, VFW, DAV, and the Albuquerque VA Department. The public is welcome to attend.

The new clinic is scheduled to open by January 2014; along with street improvements, it will bring much-needed upgrades in facility and in quality of services to area veterans and their families.

A press release from U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich’s office stated that, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján secured commitments from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Under Secretary for Health, Dr. Robert Petzel, to improve quality of care and address chronic infrastructure problems at clinics in northern New Mexico. Dr. Petzel has assured the New Mexico lawmakers that the VA is aware of the problems and will do everything in its power to address them, including meeting the January 2014 deadline for opening a new community-based outpatient clinic in Raton.

Raton’s existing VA Clinic will remain fully functional up until the day the new clinic opens up.

To get to the site take Hereford east off of South 2nd Street and turn north onto Whittier Street. 1493 Whittier is just north of the old Morgan Building site.

Related Links:

Raton VA Clinic
My HealtheVet
US Department of Veteran’s Affairs
 

Train Robbers halt Osos

Another Tough Night for the Osos

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

A third inning six run rally by the Train Robbers to help put the game out of reach early. Oh but dont count the Osos out that early a 3-run fifth and 4-run seventh inning brought them back in the game but it was too little to late.

Evan Richards put one over the right center field fence for a 3-run homer in the fifth. It was singles and a double that brought in the other four runs in the seventh.

Vegas 0  1  6  1  1  2  0  0  11
Raton 0  1  0  0  3  0  4  0   8

 

Matt Lynch readies to catch the ball as AJ Alexander slides in.

 

Whoops there goes the ball as AJ Alexander slides in safe to third

 

Wesley Jones gets the bunt, he also makes it to first on the play and advances the runner at second.

 

AJ Alexander gets by shortstop Aaron Carman at second.

Rain Delay for Osos Taos Game

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

As the clouds moved in rain was expected however what happened in the fifth was not the expected kind of rain that delayed a 2-0 game at Gabriele Field as the Osos hosted Taos.

Raton put two around in the first inning after holding Taos to a goose egg. The remainder of the game went scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when the real rain came down canceling the game and giving Raton the win over Taos 2-0.

Matt Lynch slides safe at home beating the ball home.

Matt Lynch slides safe at home beating the ball home.

 

A unexpected rain delay came in the fifth inning then the game was called for real when the clouds let loose in the bottom of the sixth.

Tough Night for Osos after Comeback Win Last Night

Tough Night for Osos after Comeback Win Last Night

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multi-Media

While it was a beautiful night for baseball it was a tough night for the Osos as the Blizzard really froze them out Wednesday night at Gabriele Field with a 15-6 win.

The big bright spot for the Osos came in the second inning when Stedman Smith sent one over the right center field fence. Taos’ Ryan Sonberg however countered with a three run homer of his own in the fourth to extend the Blizzard lead.

Raton simply had a hard time finding the holes in the Blizard defense as they were able to make contact with the ball, it just fell in the gloves of Taos. Taos however did find the holes and and had three innings with three runs or more. 

Taos  1  3  1  5  4  0  0  1  0  15
Raton 0 3  0  2  0  0  1  0  0   6

Stedman Smith is met at home plate after he put one over the right center field fence for a three run homer.

 

Ryan Barban makes the throw for a double play early in the game.

 

Evan Mansell beats the throw to third on the base hit.

 

Ryan Sonberg makes contact with this one and sends it over the left center field fence for a three run homer.

 

A wide throw from right field to hold the runner at third

 

WesLey Jones pops this up and over the backstop for another strike