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Archive for: August 2015

Tigers Man Handle Bobcats in Season Opener

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

 

Coach Tory Giacomo told KRTN before the game that the defense worked all week on getting 11 helmets to the ball and that they did holding the McCurdy Bobcats to three and out on their first two series in the season opener in Espanola Saturday afternoon on their way to a 42-6 win.

The Raton offense also performed well under the leadership of sophomore quarterback Dustin Segura by taking their first series 69 yards in only nine plays for the first score of the game. Segura took the ball the five yards to pay dirt on the ninth play of the drive and Jonathan Cabrieles topped with a wobbly extra point.

Raton took the Bobcat’s second punt to the Bobcat 48 where they once again put the ball on the ground with the running of Dakota Martinez, Jonathan Cabrieles and Dustin Segura. Martinez started the second quarter with a four-yard run to pay dirt for the second Raton TD. Cabrieles split the uprights this time and made it a 14-0 game.

It looked like the Bobcats might put something together but a five-yard loss and a six-yard sack forced McCurdy to punt the ball away after only seven plays. Raton let the ball roll to their 39 where they started a 12 play drive to pay dirt. Martinez pounded the ball through the line on a one-yard run for six and Cabrieles tied the ribbon on it with another straight thru extra point.

One of the problems with having to play both sides of the ball is the risk of injury is higher and Dakota Martinez took a shot in the knee on the kickoff that put him out of the game for the rest of the afternoon. On the first play of the series Bobcat quarterback Andres Martinez put up a long pass that Dustin Segura managed to get his hands on and create the first turnover in the game. Raton took a knee to end the half at 21-0.

Second half action took off as Raton carried the ball to the 47-yard line on the opening kickoff. From there Segura scampered 13 yards and Cabrieles took a handoff one-yard then a 24 yard pass play to Cabrieles put the ball back in the end zone. Cabrieles missed the PAT leaving the score 27-0.

McCurdy fumbled the ball on their first drive of the half and Raton recovered on the Bobcat 25. It took the Tigers only four plays to put the ball in on a one-yard run by Segura. Raton then put the ball in the air to Juan Sarinana for the two-point conversion and a 35-0 lead at 8:17 in the third quarter.

A 35-point spread means a running clock and the Bobcats ended their next series after seven plays and turned it over on downs at the 38-yard line. Raton then took the ball into the fourth quarter and another TD with 6:42 left in the game. Cabrieles split the uprights and made it a 42-0 game.

McCurdy didn’t waste any time taking the kickoff to the 43. Five plays later Martinez put one up to Josh Waters who scrambled on to pay dirt, a 36-yard play that put McCurdy on the board with 2:58 left on the clock. The 2-point try failed and left it 42-6. Raton ended the game on a couple of runs and a knee.

Coach Giacomo indicated that the offense worked hard during two-a-days and in the last two weeks to prepare for the game. In the past Raton had been a passing team this year the ground game will be the primary as sophomore quarterback Segura gains strength in his arm. Segura only put up seven passes with two completions for good yardage.

The Raton running game has a wide variety to choose from with a tall and lanky Cabrieles to a tall stockier Dakota Martinez. Segura is a 5-9 130 pounds and Kyler Daniel, back after a 2-year injury hiatus, is a 5-3 150 pound stump of a runner for short yardage plays.

Raton will host the La Junta Tigers Friday evening in the Jungle at 7:00 p.m. for another revenge match after being trampled 52-0 last year in La Junta.

Preseason_00007-1

Raton High Football head coach Tory Giacomo

 

In Loving Memory of Antonio “Tony” Gennaro

Antonio “Tony” Gennaro, 81
On Thursday, August 20, 2015, Antonio (Tony) Gennaro lost a valiant battle
with cancer. Tony’s departure from this world occurred with the exact same
dignity and class as Tony lived his incredibly full and productive life. As
his friends and family know, Tony was a very private man. He chose to live
out his last two years without the burden of sympathy or sorrow. He chose
to persevere by hiding his pain with his famous Gennaro wit and humor. As
he was in all things in life, he was a role model of how to deal with a
devastating terminal disease.
In life Tony embodied the definition of a Renaissance man: He was a poet.
This talent is on display in the form of numerous beautiful poems he wrote
to his beloved Marjorie. He was an artist. He completed his last painting
only a few weeks before his passing. His art is proudly displayed in the
Gennaro home, and is an immense source of pride from those who loved him.
He was a musician. He played the harmonica, the clarinet, and the
saxophone. His talent in music was a source of joy for all of us fortunate
enough to participate with him. He was a writer as well as a TV and radio
host, having hosted three radio and three TV shows over the years. Tony
also authored and published two books-Nature’s Way and Wildlife Falsehoods.
Both books are currently being read and enjoyed by so many. He was a
philosopher. He was a contributor to the Portales News Tribune for two
years with a weekly inspirational series entitled, “Tony’s Tidbits.” Tony
was very proud of his Italian heritage. He continued mastering that
language until his last days. Tony took pride in his military service,
having obtained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. He was indeed a
patriot.
We should also remember that while Tony enjoyed and shared all of these
talents, in his “real job” he was one of the finest educators to ever grace
the campus of Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU). A brief listing of his
recognition includes: Presidents Faculty Award for Teaching and Research,
Presidents Faculty Award for Contributions to Science and Technology, and
the New Mexico Academy of Science Award for The Outstanding Science Teacher
in New Mexico. He might have been the most proud of his contributions to
the establishment of the Natural History Museum in Roosevelt Hall on the
campus of ENMU.
Out of respect for brevity, it is not possible to list all of Tony’s
achievements; however, above all else, he will be remembered by his
immediate family as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and
great grandfather. His earthly presence will be missed tremendously but
remembered fondly by Theresa Marney and her family, Carrie and Jeff
Scheufele and their family, Janelle and David Lawrence and their family,
Charles (Chuck) and Karen James and their family, Sheri and Jack Wood and
their family, and Shana and Danny Dictson and their family, and of course,
Marjorie, the love of Tony’s life.
There will be Memorial Service in celebration of Tony’s life on Saturday
August 29th at 2:00 PM at Wheeler Mortuary Chapel, Portales.
Marjorie and the family request, in lieu of flowers, contributions to the
Dr. Antonio Gennaro Endowed Scholarship Fund at ENMU. Please make checks
payable to ENMU Foundation, ENMU Station #8, Portales, NM 88130.
Arrangements are under the direction of Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.
575-356-4455,wheelermortuary.net

Boil Water Advisory for Vermejo Park Headquarters Water System Issued

Santa Fe, NM (AP News) — The New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau has issued boil water advisories including Vermejo Park Headquarters Water System. The advisories were issued Thursday, August 27. 2015 after E.coli bacteriological contamination was detected in repeat drinking water samples. Vermejo Park Headquarters Water System serves approximately 140 people and is located about 45 miles west of Raton.

Users are advised to boil the water for about five minutes before drinking, cooking, dishwashing and bathing.

Raton Water Works Prepares for Very Expensive Dam Projects

By Marty Mayfield

 KRTN Multi-Media

 

  Raton Water Works is preparing for some expensive and lengthy projects at Lake Maloya with work on the dam and water intake facilities at Lake Maloya at the north end of Sugarite Canyon State Park.

Dan Campbell, Raton Water Works General Manager, noted that the 100 year old earthen dam has grown from one with only a few acre feet of capacity to a dam that now stores over 3000 acre feet of water for the city of Raton. While the dam has weathered many a storm with little problem the new regulations for emergency overflow will require the water department to engineer and expand the emergency spillway and or design a shield to protect the dam in the event of water spilling over the dam above the current small concrete spillway.

When the issue first came up in the 1970s it was calculated that the emergency spillway was about 50% adequate but with the new regulations and weather predictions they are estimating the emergency spillway to only be at 9% of the needed size to handle that catastrophic weather event. The emergency spillway extends from the current boat ramp to the east and around the east side of the dam.

The issue with the water intake is one of age. The conduits or piping was installed first in 1917 and has been extended as the dam grew in size. It was found that one of the pipes was leaking into the dam and as a result it was isolated and valved off while another pipe has been completely closed off with grout. The challenge now is to inspect the other two pipes and determine their condition. Are they in good enough shape to keep using, or are they leaking or crumbling? The pipes are made from cast iron and as the dam grew another section was added and made of concrete, a concrete tube.

The inspection will require the use of divers and a special camera to be placed inside the pipes. This will be a very expensive part of the project costing upwards to $300,000 to perform. Once the inspection is performed the water department will decide how to proceed. If there is damage one option is to use a sleeve inside the existing pipe. If the damage is worse the piping may be abandoned and a new system put in place. One of the concerns is seepage along the pipe or leaking from the pipe causing internal erosion to the dam.

They will also need to drill into the dam and place special sensors to monitor the level of seepage through the dam. Seepage is common in an earthen dam the question is how much is too much. With the age of the Lake Maloya dam the seepage through the dam becomes more of an issue.

According to Campbell and City Manager Scott Berry some of the issues had set on the back burner but with new regulations and more stringent enforcement the state engineers office has made it a higher priority and will also be seeking funding from a federal level and state level to help fund these projects. The city will need to have money available for matching funds, something the water department has been planning for by setting some money aside. Total cost of the projects is yet to be determined but Campbell has mentioned it will be in the millions of dollars.

As Campbell noted these will be expensive and long range projects, ones that will require specialized contractors to perform. He also noted that these will be projects that have to be performed with water in the lake. Draining the lake is not an option.

 

Watershed Restoration Essentially Complete

Raton City Manager Scott Berry reports that the restoration of the Lake Maloya watershed is essentially complete and it is time for Mother Nature to take over.

There is one small project on Segerstrom Creek to correct an erosion issue to complete this fall. The work has been delayed due to the endangered Jumping Mouse protection.

Berry noted that quick response by dirt contractors in the area helped to save the lake from major sediment deposits. The contractors were able to begin work on entrapment ponds even before the smoke had cleared on the Track Fire. Raton Water Works General Manager Dan Campbell noted in the conversation with KRTN that those seven ponds filled to about 60% capacity with sediment keeping that sediment out of Lake Maloya.

He went on to say that early on after the Track Fire that the filter plant had to deal with some turbidity issues but that has gotten better as time has passed. Raton was lucky too in that grass and oak brush quickly reestablished itself with rain after the fire and has continued to thicken and establish a natural erosion control.

Berry noted that it will take the watershed a long time to return to what it once was it has come a long ways since the fire.

Areas where work on the dam may take place

Grass and shrubs and trees occupy the emergency spillway at Lake Maloya. Work will have to be done on this area as it is estimated that the emergency spillway is only about 9% as big as it needs to be to handle a catastrophic weather event.

Grass, shrubs and trees occupy the emergency spillway at Lake Maloya. Work will have to be done on this area as it is estimated that the emergency spillway is only about 9% as big as it needs to be to handle a catastrophic weather event.

The 200 foot wide boat ramp at Lake Maloya is the beginning of the emergency spillway for the lake.

The 200 foot wide boat ramp at Lake Maloya is the beginning of the emergency spillway for the lake.

Work on the Lake Maloya dam will include work to the water intakes that reside well below the water level, vent vipes for the pneumatic valves on the intakes rise above the dam.

Work on the Lake Maloya dam will include work to the water intakes that reside well below the water level, vent vipes for the pneumatic valves on the intakes rise above the dam.

Before the 2011 Track Fire

Fall Colors at Lake Maloya before the Track Fire

Fall Colors at Lake Maloya before the Track Fire

Lake Maloya Fall colors_7920

Boaters enjoy fishing and the fall colors at Lake Maloya before the 2011 Track Fire

Boaters enjoy fishing and the fall colors at Lake Maloya before the 2011 Track Fire

 

During the 2011 Track Fire

Almost lost to the 2011 Track Fire had it not been for the efforts of the many firefighters Almost lost to the 2011 Track Fire had it not been for the efforts of the many firefighters

The smoke lingers after the 2011 Track Fire devastated the watershed around Lake Maloya

The smoke lingers after the 2011 Track Fire devastated the watershed around Lake Maloya

It was a devastating and heart wrenching site around Lake Maloya during the 2011 Track Fire

It was a devastating and heart wrenching site around Lake Maloya during the 2011 Track Fire

After the 2011 Track Fire

Boaters and fishing return to Lake Maloya after the 2011 Track Fire

Boaters and fishing return to Lake Maloya after the 2011 Track Fire

A yellow boom is stretched across the lake to help keep sediment and debris at bay after the 2011 Track Fire.

A yellow boom is stretched across the lake to help keep sediment and debris at bay after the 2011 Track Fire.

Its green again as the houses below the dam were almost lost to the 2011 Track Fire

Its green again as the houses below the dam were almost lost to the 2011 Track Fire

After the 2011 Track Fire

After the 2011 Track Fire

While burned trees still stand the area around Lake Maloya has greened up and looks more normal.

While burned trees still stand the area around Lake Maloya has greened up and looks more normal.

Raton City Manager Scott Berry said the restoration of the water shed is essentially complete but it will be a long time till the lake looks like it once did.

Raton City Manager Scott Berry said the restoration of the water shed is essentially complete but it will be a long time till the lake looks like it once did.

A few years after the 2011 Track Fire the green has returned

A few years after the 2011 Track Fire the green has returned

After the 2011 Track Fire the area around Lake Maloya is green with new growth.

After the 2011 Track Fire the area around Lake Maloya is green with new growth.

Lake Dorothy in 2015 looks great with all the green around it.

Lake Dorothy in 2015 looks great with all the green around it.

 

 

 

 

In Loving Memory of Victoria Baxter

Victoria Baxter   (September 23, 1972 – August 22, 2015)

Victoria Baxter left this world to join the Lord’s kingdom in heaven on August 22, 2015.She was preceded in death by her father Bernave A. Sedillo Sr., brother Michael T. Sedillo, and uncle Juan Sedillo.

She is survived by her mother Gloria Rivera of Santa Fe NM, daughter Misty Steen and husband Adam Steen of Colorado Springs, daughter Miracle Baxter of Colorado Springs, son Juan Carter of Colorado Springs, brother Bernave Sedillo, Jr. and wife Catherine Sedillo of Chama NM, brother Donald Cordova and wife Pamela Cordova of Las Vegas NM, sister Monica Vialpondo of Santa Fe NM, sister Stella Alvey of Las Vegas NM, longtime friends James and Martha Lopez of Springer NM, James Baxter of Raton, NM as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Funeral services will be held Friday August 28th at 1:00 p.m. at the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home Chapel in Raton, NM. Rite of committal and interment will take place at the Springer Cemetery in Springer, NM. A reception will follow at the Springer Rec Center. Donations may be made online at http://inmemoryofvictoriaebaxte.mydagsite.com/

Funeral arrangements for Victoria Baxter are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home of Raton.

Raton Teacher Pay Catches State Eye

Dval Westphal

Special to KRTN Multi-Media

The results of the state’s first venture into teacher pay for performance offer up what could be a

valuable lesson in quantity vs. quality when it comes to where the dollars should go. And the New Mexico Public Education Department is paying attention.

Of the six districts and 13 charters that chose to participate in the $7.1 million pilot program (Albuquerque Public Schools did not), one offered its employees 78 ways to get merit pay.

Another offered just three.

There’s a four-page spreadsheet of Santa Fe Public Schools’ individual and group options, with most of the measures incremental ones, such as being rated “effective” in the first classroom observation and having increased student attendance on the 40th day of classes. Almost 79 percent of the district’s 1,138 teachers – 896 – got bonus checks. The average payout was $3,407; the total district award was $4.73 million.

In contrast, Raton Public Schools offered merit pay only to individuals who received overall “effective,” “highly effective” or “exemplary” ratings on their annual evaluations. Yet it handed out bonuses to almost as many of its classroom leaders – 61 of 83 teachers, or 73.5 percent. The average payout was $2,330; the total district award was $153,000.

And while PED approved both pay-for-performance plans – maintaining each of the options was tied back to student performance – it now believes the narrower, individual-focused metrics like those used in Raton are more likely to deliver student improvement.

“It was a pilot year,” PED Secretary Hanna Skandera says, and now that the data are in, her take-away is that a tighter focus on individual measures is the best way to reward those educators who really move students forward.

Santa Fe Public Schools did not return a call seeking comment for this column, but Superintendent Joel Boyd has called the merit pay checks “a much-needed pay increase for our hardworking school-based employees.”

However, the program was not designed to be a “pay increase.” Considering Raton and Santa Fe have similar proficiency levels – 44.2 percent (Raton) vs. 47.6 percent (Santa Fe) in reading and 36.3 percent vs. 36.1 percent in math, respectively – it will be interesting to see which approach to merit pay ultimately pays off in greater student improvement.

In Raton’s proposal, the district says that “we know without a doubt that the single greatest factor in student achievement lies in the effectiveness of our teachers and leaders,” that “many of our teachers are working hard (but) need an incentive to work smarter, not harder” and “typically teachers are motivated, in part, by compensation. … Our hope as well is that rewarding highly effective and exemplary teachers will result in them remaining in the teaching profession longer.”

Skandera says those are the two bottom lines to the merit pay program: “award our best and brightest, and retain them.”

And at least in Raton, the teachers are on board. Susan Siefertson, who has taught general, special and gifted elementary education classes in the past 14 years, says “it’s a tough job” and “we all work hard.” The merit pay “became a fun little carrot to remind us all that hard work is appreciated.”

She says she was “very surprised and very grateful” to get monetary recognition for being rated “highly effective,” and while there are concerns in the teaching ranks about the different factors that go into evaluations, “everyone was excited to have the opportunity to receive incentive pay.”

Raton High School principal Kristie Medina, who wrote the district’s application for the performance-pay program, says her bottom lines were to include all classes of teachers and principals, make the process simple and understandable, and ensure the award amounts were “substantial enough to continue to motivate” recipients. (Raton set its top award, for “exemplary” teachers, at $5,181.64; the top individual award in the pilot statewide was $10,000, given to several “highly effective” teachers and the principal at North Valley Academy in Albuquerque.

Raton Superintendent Neil Terhune adds that “teachers are happiest when they see kids learning,” and “the goal (of incentive pay) is to improve student performance. (This system) improves fidelity to the NMTEACH system, and if NMTEACH delivers, (it should) result in higher student achievement as well as “maintain a cohesive, collective group of teachers … who want to stay here and be part of” a successful and rewarding educational system.

Raton’s application ended with the district saying, “Extra money is not a ‘silver bullet’ and we will ensure that the incentive pay model is supported by professional growth for teachers, mentoring, and support and solid feedback through the NMTEACH system to help them improve their craft.” Terhune, Medina and Siefertson say the district has followed through on that promise, setting up mentoring and weekly professional learning communities to brainstorm through everything from curriculum to institutional strategies, all with a focus on student achievement.

Raton and 26 other districts and charters have submitted applications for the second round of pay for performance, and Skandera says demand once again exceeds allocated resources – PED has more than $15 million in proposals and just $9.2 million to award. APS has not applied this time, either.

As staff evaluate those applications, it is clear one school district in northern New Mexico has already taught officials a thing or two about how to target merit pay.

UpFront is a daily front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to assistant editorial page editor D’Val Westphal at 823-3858 or road@abqjournal.com. Go to ABQjournal.com/letters/new to submit a letter to the editor.

 

Recoil Article Slams Raton

 
In a recent blurb published in “Recoil” a shooters magazine a recent unnamed visitor to Raton royally blasted the City of Raton. 
 
The blurb came to the attention of City Manager Scott Berry who then shared the article with KRTN as well as his response to the blurb. KRTN also wants to share this with our readers. 
 
The Blurb written by an unnamed individual in Recoil

The Blurb written by an unnamed individual in Recoil

 

City Manager Scott Berry's response to the blurb

City Manager Scott Berry’s response to the blurb

 

The magazine cover the blurb appeared in

The magazine cover the blurb appeared in

 

Editor's page for the Recoil Magazine

Editor’s page for the Recoil Magazine

 
 

Commission Approves Projects and Hears Good GRT News

By Marty Mayfield

 KRTN Multi-Media

 

  Raton City Commissioners met Tuesday evening and heard that the gross receipts tax revenue for July is up by about 3.5% over budget.

In the financial report City Manger Scott Berry also noted a slight increase in the cash balance for the city and noted the street work has been completed and those figures are in the report with a balance still remaining in the street fund.  (Link to the July 2015 Financial Report)

Commissioners approved the Domestic Violence Awareness Walk application for the Raton BPW and appointed Robert Walton to the Economic Development board, which was created by the changes in the LEDA ordinance.

Commissioners also approved a request from the Shuler Restoration Commission, Inc. for management of the Shuler Theater. The group brings years of expertise in the Shuler operations with it and will work with the city to go over the rate structure and make any needed changes there to make it affordable for the different organizations that use the Shuler.

Commissioners also approved the Capital Improvement plan for the period of 2017-2021. The plan moves the transfer station down to number five on the list as Jason Phillips noted to commissioners that solid waste projects are not as high on the legislative list as it has been and that street improvements have a higher priority. The Lake Maloya Dam project was also moved up to second with RPD patrol vehicle replacement third and the MainStreet Great Blocks project fourth.  (Link to the ICIP Plan Final)

Phillips noted that some of the projects are funded in different ways or through different sources but they are finding that they need to be on the plan to show the other funding sources that these projects are important to the city.

Commissioners heard from Attorney Steven McConnell who is representing the seller of the Sands Motel. As the sale progressed it was found that after the motel was built in the late 1950s that an alley way was platted but never built and in the 1960s a luxury wing was built across the platted alley way.  (Link to the Sands Motel Alley Vacate Docs)

In order to clear this matter up the city has agreed to vacate the platted alley in exchange for an easement for the current power lines that provide electricity to the motel. McConnell also noted that the motel was built 6.15 feet into the Emerson Street platted area, which has been there for many years. He is also asking the city to vacate that strip of Emerson Street to clean up this situation. Commissioners approved the vacations, which will allow the sale of the property to move forward.

Commissioners then approved the Lodger’s Tax board recommendation to approve the remaining $12,500 amount for the Gate City Music Festival. They had approved $12,500 in fiscal year 2015 for the event and the remaining $12,500 for fiscal year 2016 which totals to $25,000 for the event that was originally requested and approved by the board.

Commissioners approved a change order for Engineering Analytics on the First Street repaving project that will extend the work to be done all the way from Pecos to Savage.  Because of the work done recently on Tiger Drive, the city has a better-cost estimate of the work and materials and so can now almost double the 1st Street project with some additional monies coming in from NMDOT.

Commissioners also approved Molsen-Corben Engineering to proceed with engineering work at the airport which will include a gate to keep wildlife out as well as a water pollution plan and rehabilitation of the main taxiway. A recent inspection found that the third fuel tank at the airport had problems and Molsen-Corben will do the engineering to replace that tank.

In the city manager’s report Berry noted that: Amtrak will begin work to improve access to the train station.

The Raton Police Department will soon be outfitted with body cameras as a result from a grant from the NM Municipal League;

The city will call for bids for soil to start the reclamation on the landfill;

There will be another CDBG grant public hearing on Monday August 31 at 5:00 to get more public input for a CDBG grant project;

The city will work with another vendor to develop a more bear proof dumpster lid as they have seen mixed results with the current design. Berry has also asked residents to hold off putting trash in the dumpster until pickup day. He noted that in his neighborhood residents have agreed to do that and it has worked very well;

 Residents are also asked that if they can’t get trash such as sofas or appliances to the transfer station to call the city office and schedule a crew to come pick them up for you. For a small fee the city can take the items out to the transfer station. He noted this is a very labor-intensive problem if the items are dumped by the dumpster and that it takes crews away from other projects like pothole repair, plus it is illegal and makes the whole town look bad.

The next regular meeting of the Raton City Commission will be September 8, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on KRTN AM 1490.

 

Commissioner Linde Schuster pins a pin on Frankie Mahannah for his You Rock Award. Methodist Preacher Adrianne Coleman was on the committee that selected Mahannah.

Commissioner Linde Schuster pins a pin on Frankie Mahannah for his You Rock Award. Methodist Preacher Adrianne Coleman was on the committee that selected Mahannah.

 

Frankie Mahannah was selected for the You Rock Award which is given quarterly to an individual who has done good for the community. L to R Commissioner Linde Schuster, Frankie Mahannah and Pastor Adrianne Coleman

Frankie Mahannah was selected for the You Rock Award which is given quarterly to an individual who has done good for the community. L to R Commissioner Linde Schuster, Frankie Mahannah and Pastor Adrianne Coleman

 

Platte of the Sands Motel with areas to be vacated.

Platte of the Sands Motel with areas to be vacated.

 

Looking east from Emerson Street down what will become the utility easement. The platted alley way is to the right in the picture.

Looking east from Emerson Street down what will become the utility easement. The platted alley way is to the right in the picture.

 

Looking West from Price Street the back side of the Sands Motel. The bare area is where the easement for utilities will be. The area between the air conditioners is where the platted alley way should have been.

Looking West from Price Street the back side of the Sands Motel. The bare area is where the easement for utilities will be. The area between the air conditioners is where the platted alley way should have been.

 

A panorama view of the alley way and Emerson Street behind the Sands Motel.

A panorama view of the alley way and Emerson Street behind the Sands Motel.

In Loving Memory of Robert “Buster” Wetsel

Robert “Buster” Wetsel, age 97, died Sunday, August 23, 2015, in Dalhart, Texas.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, August 27, at the First United Methodist Church in Clayton, New Mexico with Rev. Robert Hunt, pastor and Terrell Jones, pastor of the Trinity Fellowship Church in Clayton, officiating. Burial will follow in the Clayton Memorial Cemetery by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton.

Robert “Buster” Wetsel was born on October 8, 1917 to Robert Otis Wetsel and Maggie (Prentice) Wetsel in a dugout North of Clayton, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of Clayton, Buster graduated from Clayton High School and joined the US Army where he served during WWII. Buster married Mildred Mae (Hemphill) Wetsel on May 11, 1941 in Clayton, New Mexico and she preceded him in death on December 6, 1990. He worked for the Safeway Grocery Store in Clayton for over 30 years and was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clayton and a past member of the American Legion. In addition to his parents and wife, Buster was preceded in death by two sisters; Lava Butt on November 5, 2008 and Gracie June Connell on March 21, 2011.

SURVIVORS:

1 DAUGHTER: Mary Catherine Davis and her husband John of Mountain Park, Oklahoma.

1 SON: Robert Leroy Wetsel and his wife Della of Clayton, New Mexico.

4 GRANDCHILDREN: RaChel Smith of Snyder, Oklahoma, Janel Funkhouser and her husband David of Austin, Texas, Levon Sink and Michelle Jones and her husband Terrell all of Clayton, New Mexico.

7 GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN: Callie Smith, Carter Smith, Aiden Funkhouser, Evan Funkhouser, Liam Funkhouser, Clay Jones and Jesse Jones and his wife Kate.

And numerous nieces and nephews.

MEMORIALS: The family suggests that memorials be made in Buster’s memory to the First United Methodist Church, PO Drawer M, Clayton, New Mexico 88415 or to Coon Memorial Hospice, 1411 Denver Ave., Dalhart, Texas 79022.

Las Animas County right on budget 

by Bill Knowles
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — Hitting the midpoint in expenditures for the year, the Las Animas County Board of County Commissioners heard from 12 department heads for a mid-year budget review.  They offered praise and advice to the dozen supervisors who actually oversee the spending of taxpayer generated funds.
“We have spent, on average, fifty percent of our general fund budget through June 30 of this year,” County Administrator Leann Fabec said.  Even though spending in some departments was higher then the average 50 percent, due mainly to the payment of yearly dues or contract fees, other departments have been holding the line by not filling vacancies in staff.
The Clerk and Recorders office, for example, is down one employee as is the Assessorʼs office.  The Road and Bridge department is down one or two employees as well.
The Administratorʼs office is still holding $45,000, a sum that canʼt be spent on other line items, for payment on contractual services.  In discussion, both offices were concerned the funds might not be enough to pay for various services from copier contracts to computer services.
Overdoses are down in Las Animas County, only 25 so far this year, and the Coroner reported his officeʼs expenditures were under budget by ten percent.  “The increased survival from overdosing can be attributed to good response times by EMS crews.  However weʼve noticed an increase in oxycodone overdoses over heroin.  Oxycodone is easier to get.” said LAC Coroner Dominic Verquer.
One of the bigger spenders in the county is the Road and Bridge Department.  However the department has spent just 40 percent of its 2015 budget leaving 60 percent in the general fund at the halfway point of the year.  “We still have one or two vacancies in the department to fill,” said department head Phil Dorenkamp.
A good deal of funding used by the Road and Bridge department is attached to grant funding that comes in from the state, the Department of Local Affairs, and the USDA.  Funds from the department can then be used to match grant funding or for in-kind matches for county projects.
Further discussion between Dorenkamp and  Fabec concerned ways to further itemize funding by project in an effort to better keep track of expenditures.
Accounting found itself over-budgeted with spending from the general fund driven by lease purchases it paid out in March of this year.  One outstanding bill is payment for the 2014 audit.
The Sheriffʼs Office has spent 55 percent of its general fund budget. “We are running on a “bare bones” budget now,” Sheriff James Casias told the commissioners.  Telephone bills are up with deputies using them more as radio use is limited in the outlands of the county.
Other expenditures listed were unanticipated overtime payments.  Travel and transportation expenditures were also up.  However jail expenditures were down to just 45 percent of budget due mainly to understaffing at the detention facility.  Food expenditures were down but medical spending was up for the first half of the year.
“Overall the county is in good shape heading into the second half of the year,” said Fabec.  The kicker is going to be the 2016 budget.  With revenues predicted to fall, expenditures will have to be cut unless something can be done.