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Archive for: October 2015

Tigers Struggle as Yellowjackets Dominate the Field

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

 

Three and out was the start Raton didn’t really want as the rain turned to drizzle and eventually quit in Clayton Friday night as the two teams met for the second district game of the season for both teams in what would turn out to be a total domination by Clayton who ended the game midway through the third quarter.

Clayton after two offside penalties and a fumble, fumbled a second time and Raton recovered it on the 30. Raton caught the break as Jonathan Cabriales took it 28 yards. Then the bad luck hit as two holding penalties and procedure call forced Raton to punt it away.

This time Clayton’s running game jelled and seven plays later Tucker Poling plowed into the end zone. Jacob Naranjo took it the three yards for the 2-point try and Clayton lead 8-0 with 1:26 left in the quarter.

Raton fumbled on the kickoff, Clayton’s Jacob Romero recovered the ball at the Raton 26. Just into the second quarter Jacob Gallagher romps 13 yards around the end for six more points. Edgar Tarin took it in for the 2-point try it was a 16-0 game.

Raton fumbles the ball at the 16-yardline and Clayton once again has great field position. Tucker Poling makes the run down to the 2-yardline where Tarin plows it in for six. The 2-point try failed and at the 10:28 mark on the clock Clayton led 0-22.

Raton’s next drive ends after three with a pass interception by Jose Zamora at the Raton 42. Antonio Lucero starts it with a 14 yard run and Justin Taylor finishes the drive with a 28-yard romp to pay dirt. Taylor tops it off with the 2-point conversion for a 30-0 score at 9:09 on the clock.

Raton recovers the fumble on the kickoff and begins a drive at the 42. Despite a couple of incomplete passes and a bad snap that cost the Tigers 12 yards they managed to take the ball to the Clayton 20 where Dustin Segura scrambled for six around the left end. The 2-point pass attempt failed and Raton was left with a 30-6 score at 5:11.

Clayton didn’t let things sit idle and was helped with a holding penalty that took the ball to the Raton 10. A pass to Justin Taylor for six was called back on a holding penalty but Naranjo and Zamora saw to it the Jackets scored and Taylor tacked on the 2-points.

Another three and out for Raton and a bad punt by Cabriales left Clayton once again with good field position on the Raton 38. Despite a holding penalty on Clayton that moved the ball back Edgar Tarin scrambled 28 to pay dirt for another six. The 2-point failed and left the score at 44-6 with 1:42 on the first half clock.

With a running clock in the second half it took Clayton only two possessions to finish off the game with the 50-point rule. Justin Taylor took the ball 40 yards for the first score and Tarin took it three yards for six after Clayton took over the ball on a Raton fumble at the 25.

It was a tough game for Raton coming off a big loss last week to Santa Rosa. Coach Tory Giacomo knew it would be tough as Clayton was the defending state champs. Their offense is based on a running game and Raton worked on defending that as well as keeping the Jackets out of the backfield and allowing time for Segura to pass. But Clayton came on strong and dominated the game with a strong multi runner offense that just couldn’t be stopped and a defense that found holes in the Tiger offense.

Raton will now travel to Tucumcari for the final game of the season and will hope for a win to repeat last year’s game in Raton.

Jonathan Cabriales takes one for a run unfortunately for Raton one of only a very few.

Jonathan Cabriales takes one for a run unfortunately for Raton one of only a very few.

Edgar Tarin along with a host of other Yellowjackets gave the Raton defense fits all night

Edgar Tarin along with a host of other Yellowjackets gave the Raton defense fits all night

Tucker Poling crosses the goal line for one of Clayton's early scores in the game.

Tucker Poling crosses the goal line for one of Clayton’s early scores in the game.

As was the case a lot in the game Raton QB Dustin Segura was running with a Yellowjacket hot on his tail.

As was the case a lot in the game Raton QB Dustin Segura was running with a Yellowjacket hot on his tail.

 

Wendy’s Heisman Awards

Alyssa Aragon and Kyler Daniel of Raton High School were recently named School Winners for the prestigious Wendy’s High School Heisman Award which highlights exceptional high school seniors and their achievements in the classroom, on the field and in the community. Aragon and Daniel will advance to be considered in the next stage of the program where each could be named a State Finalist.

“We are honored to have two of our students recognized as some of New Mexico’s top student athletes,” commented Lynette Simpson, Counselor at Raton High School.

Alyssa Aragon and Kyler Daniel from Raton High School are 2015 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Winners

Alyssa Aragon and Kyler Daniel from Raton High School are 2015 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Winners

For 22 years, Wendy’s, in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy, has recognized outstanding students and rewarded their commitment and achievements to academics, athletics and community on a national level.

 

In Loving Memory of Matias Alfred Espinoza, Sr.

Matias Alfredo Espinoza, Sr., age 70, a native of Cimarron, NM passed away on Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

Matias Espinoza Sr. was the 7th child of 14 born to Casimiro (Casey) Espinoza Sr. and Magdalena (Martinez) Espinoza.

He met the love of his life Lorenza Martinez in Cimarron NM. They were married in 1964 and were blessed with 3 boys and 2 girls:  Matias (Fred), Vincent, Steve, Krystal and Kristina and also 11 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

Matias Sr. spent most of his life driving trucks; he drove for many different trucking companies throughout North America. They lived in several different cities, finally settling in Belen, NM.

His grandchildren and great grandchildren were the love of his life.

Matias was preceded in death by his father, Casimiro Espinoza; mother, Magdalena (Martinez) Espinoza; brothers, Casey Espinoza, Jr., and Lazario Espinoza; and sister, Marylou Milligan.

 

Funeral services are set for November the 7th at 11:00 AM at Mount View cemetery in Cimarron NM.

Robotics Teams from Raton High School, Trinidad Mid School Win and Advance

TRINIDAD – Two area robotics teams including Raton High School and Trinidad Mid-school, are headed to a regional tournament in Arkansas after top finishes in the inaugural BEST Robotics Hub Competition at Trinidad State on Saturday, October 24th. BEST, an acronym for Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, is an educational robotics program involving schools across the country. There are three hubs in Colorado, two in the Denver area and the other at Trinidad State.

Seven middle and high schools from the area fielded teams, traveling from Branson, Hoehne, Primero, Raton, Swink, Antonito and Trinidad.

Students face a challenge and must solve problems, build, adapt and strategize. And on game day there’s the added pressure of a three-minute time limit and live competition. At Scott Gym, about two hundred people showed up to watch.

Since this is about learning, schools also have the option of competing for the BEST Award. It includes a notebook of how the robot was built, an exhibit, interviews, plus points for spirit and sportsmanship. Those scores are averaged in with the scores the robot receives on the Game Field. Raton High School won the BEST Award when the numbers were tallied at the end of the day.

So Trinidad Middle School and Raton High School have earned the right to continue the BEST challenge at a regional meet in Fort Smith, Arkansas in early December.

Raton High School Robotics GRRT team members included Baylor Walton, Brooke Fleming, Donavin Mendez, Rhianna Hopper, Noah Schoonover, Benjamin Sanchez, Jaden Martinez, Ellen Sanchez and Zena Burgos. Sponsors are Jo Alm and Liz Wick.

The program is supported by donations and is free to participating schools. Well over 800 schools across the country now field a team each year.

If anyone is interested in volunteering, donating or sponsoring next year, please contact Krystalee Moreno at Trinidad State 719-846-5657 or Krystalee.Moreno@trinidadstate.edu.

 

In Loving Memory of Jacqueline T. Paulsen

Jacqueline T. Paulsen, age 78, passed away n October 24, 2015 in Pueblo, CO.

Arrangements are pending and will be announced later by the Comi Funeral Home. 

Raton City Commission approves Liquor License for Brewery

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

 

Raton City Commissioners approved the application for Jim and Karen Stearns allowing them to move forward with the licensing step of their new brewery Tuesday evening.

Colfax Ale Cellar LLC, owned by the Stearns has applied for a license for a small brewery and wholesalers license to sell their beers. No objections were presented during the public hearing for the applications and the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, which lies 297 feet away, also had no objection and a waiver was granted for that distance since it was less than 300 feet.

Commissioners heard from City Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci who informed commissioners that the gross receipts tax had not declined so far this year as it normally does this time of year. The I-25 interchange in south Raton and other up coming projects should also help keep the GRT strong. They also approved the second budget adjustment for fiscal year 2016. (Links to 1st Qtr Financial Budget Adjustment #2 FY16)

Commissioners approved the grant agreement with NMDOT in the amount of $150,000, which will be used for the repaving project on Tiger Drive east of the railroad tracks.

Commissioners also approved the transfer of the grant and contract from the Service Organization for Youth (SOY) to Valle del Sol of New Mexico, LLC. In a letter to the commission SOY noted that it will be transitioning all of its services to Valle. CYFD has already signed off on the transfer. The Transfer will become effective November 1, 2015. According to Danielle Esparza the transfer will be pretty seamless as all of the staff will be retained and services will pretty much go on as they have in the past.

Commissioners also approved the transfer of the lease for a hangar space at the airport from Marty McDermont to Dan Spuza. An individual builds a hangar at the airport and land the hangar sits on is owned by the city. The city then signs a 50-year ground lease with the hangar owner.

Viveenne Van Sweden requested $384.00 from the lodger’s tax to purchase welcome bags for the Chamber of Commerce. The Lodger’s Tax Board approved the request, as did commissioners.

City Manager Scott Berry noted in his report that work on the drainage work on Park and Cook was progressing. Work crews are installing curb and gutter in preparation for repaving on First Street.

The plumbing work at the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library has been completed. The building permit for the Multi-Model Center has been issued and Berry expects work to begin there in the next week or so.

Commissioners then went into execute session to discuss the landfill lawsuit brought by Mark and Lori Van Buskirk.

Commissioners will meet again November 10, 2015 for their next regular meeting.

Private Shane Evans, Private Abenecio Maes, Lance Corporal Aaron Cruz, Lance Corporal Jimmie Mascara's and PFC Claire Durant accept the proclamation from Commissioner Ron Chavez for Red Ribbon week to promote a drug free environment.

Private Shane Evans, Private Abenecio Maes, Lance Corporal Aaron Cruz, Lance Corporal Jimmie Mascara’s and PFC Claire Durant accept the proclamation from Commissioner Ron Chavez for Red Ribbon week to promote a drug free environment. (Link to Proclamation Red Ribbon Week)

NM Game and Fish Fishing Report for October 27, 2015

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This fishing report, provided by Bill Dunn and the Department of Game and Fish, has been generated from the best information available from area officers and anglers. Conditions encountered after the report is compiled may differ, as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.

Check out the stocking report through Oct. 16. Lake levels and stream flows.

big bow maloya

Catches of the week:

  • Eagle Rock Lake: Andres Alvarado, 12, of Santa Fe caught a limit of 17 and 18- inch rainbow trout Oct. 25. He was using a crank bait.
  • Lake Maloya: Casey Romero, 8, of Raton caught a 25-inch rainbow trout Oct 24. He was using a silver lure with red spots.Randy Hestand of Raton, caught a 30-inch rainbow trout Oct. 24. He was using a Colorado spoon. Tom Garcia of Raton caught a 22-inch rainbow Oct. 25. He was using a gold spoon.
  • Sumner Lake: Robert Blackburn, 7, and Jordin Blackburn, 10, both of Artesia caught largemouth bass weighing 4.5 pounds and 3 pounds respectively Oct. 23. They were using craws.
  • Tingley Beach: Aaron Flores of Albuquerque caught a 30-inch blue catfish Oct. 23. He was fishing for trout in the Central Pond and using salmon eggs. Adrian DuPree, 6 and Michael Apodaca, 7 caught limits to trout Oct. 24 at the Youth Pond. They were using salmon peach PowerBait. Adrian also caught an 18-inch largemouth bass using the same PowerBait.

The following came in late but we felt they were definitely worth mentioning:

  • Monastery Lake: Daniel Herrera of Albuquerque caught a 20-inch rainbow trout Oct. 17. He was using red worms under a clear bobber.
  • Lake Maloya: Shelby Sillevent of Amarillo, TX, caught a 25-inch rainbow trout Oct. 17. She was using a mix of orange, orange sparkle and salmon peach PowerBait. It was her biggest fish ever.

If you have a catch of the week story or just want to tell us about your latest New Mexico fishing experience, send it to us at fishforfun2@hotmail.com. We may include your story in our next report. For catches of the week, include name, age, hometown, date, and location, type of fish, length and weight if possible and bait, lure or fly used.

bluewater cat iii

Oct. 27

Northeast

Charette Lakes: Fishing was slow with just a few trout caught by anglers using Pistol Petes and PowerBait. Closes for the season Oct. 31.

Cimarron River: Stream flow on Monday below Eagle Nest was 8.9 cfs. Fishing was fair to good using hares ears, copper John Barrs, red worms and salmon eggs for trout. Fishing at the Gravel Pit lakes was fair using worms, spinners and salmon eggs.

Clayton Lake: Fishing was very good using PowerBait and gold spoons from boats and from the bank for trout. We had no reports on other species. Closes for the season Oct. 31.

Conchas Lake: The lake level rose 2.5 feet this past week with heavy rains in the area. Fishing reports that came in before the big rains were quite good. Anglers were doing well using drop shot rigs, tubes, jigs, spinner baits and creature baits for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. They also reported good fishing for white bass while using spoons and blade baits. Fishing for catfish was fair using liver, shrimp and hot dogs. We had no reports on other species. The surface water temp was in the mid 60s.

Cowles Ponds: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Coyote Creek: Fishing was slow.

Eagle Rock Lake: Fishing was good using small Daredevles, crank baits and PowerBait for trout.

Eagle Nest Lake: Trout fishing was fair using PowerBait, salmon eggs, Platte River specials and Pistol Petes. Fishing was fair to good using worms for perch. There was no snagging action reported and we had no reports on northern pike. 

Gallinas River: Fishing was slow to fair using salmon eggs for trout.

Hopewell Lake: Fishing was fair to good using PowerBait and gold spoons for trout.

Lake Alice: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Lake Maloya: Fishing was very good using gold and silver spoons, PowerBait and wooly buggers for trout up to 30 inches in length. 

Los Pinos: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Maxwell Lake 13: Closes for the season Oct. 31. We had no reports from anglers.

Monastery Lake: Fishing was good using red worms, PowerBait and salmon eggs for trout. 

Morphy Lake: Closes for the season Oct. 31. 

Pecos River: Stream flow on Monday was 58cfs. Trout fishing was good using egg patterns, San Juan worms, salmon eggs, PowerBait and worms. Rob Ruff reported fishing the river earlier this month. He caught and released one rainbow and many brown trout. He was using a variety of flies. We had no reports on catfish. 

Red River: Stream flow below the hatchery on Monday was 53 cfs. Fishing was good using San Juan worms, small spoons, PowerBait, red worms and salmon eggs for trout. 

Rio Costilla: Stream flow on Monday near Costilla was 17 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Rio Grande: Stream flow on Monday at the Taos Junction Bridge was 349 cfs. Fishing was fair using wooly buggers, copper John Barrs, spinners, PowerBait, salmon eggs and night crawlers for trout. Fishing was slow to fair using big streamers and spinners for northern pike. We had no reports on other species. 

Rio Hondo: Stream flow on Monday was 19 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Rio Pueblo: Stream flow near Penasco was 19 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Santa Barbara: We had no reports from anglers this week. 

Santa Cruz Reservoir: Fishing was fair using small crank baits, PowerBait, salmon eggs and worms for trout. We had no reports on other species.

Shuree Ponds: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Springer Lake: Fishing was slow for all species.

Storrie Lake: Fishing was fair to good using PowerBait, garlic cheese and salmon eggs for trout. Anglers using salmon peach PowerBait had the best success. We had no reports on other species.

Stubblefield Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Ute Lake: Fishing was slow for all species as the water muddied up with recent rains. There were a few walleye and white bass caught by anglers using jigging spoons in 30 to 35 feet of water but we had no reports on other species. The surface water temp was in the mid 60s.

Winsor Creek: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Northwest

Abiquiu Lake: Kokanee snagging opened October 1 and runs through December 31. There have been no signs of kokanee for snagging. Fishing from the bank was slow to fair using night crawlers and spoons for walleye and rainbow trout. Fishing for smallmouth bass was slow to fair using jigs, curly tail grubs and night crawlers. We had no reports on other species. The surface water temp was in the low 60s.

Animas River: Water flow near Aztec on Monday morning was 543 cfs. We had no reports from anglers this week.

Albuquerque Area Drains: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Bluewater Lake: Fishing was good using PowerBait, Pistol Petes under a bubble and salmon eggs for trout. We had no reports on other species.

Brazos River: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Canjilon Lakes: Closed by the U.S. Forest Service until further notice due to danger from falling trees.

Chama River: Kokanee snagging opened October 1 and runs through December 31 on that section of river from El Vado Lake to the west boundary of the Chama River Wildlife and Fishing Area. We had no reports of kokanee snagging this week. Monday morning water flows below El Vado and Abiquiu were 206 cfs and 212 cfs respectively. Fishing below El Vado was fair using hares ears, copper John Barrs, wooly buggers, PowerBait and night crawlers for brown and rainbow trout and an occasional cutthroat. Fishing below Abiquiu was fair to good using wooly buggers, copper John Barrs and worms.

Cochiti Lake: Fishing was slow to fair using creature baits, jigs, worms and spinner baits for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. We had no reports on other species. The water was murky and the surface temp was in the low to mid 60s.

El Vado Lake: Fishing was fair using spoons, PowerBait and worms for trout. We had no reports on other species or on kokanee snagging.

Fenton Lake: Fishing was very good using PowerBait, spoons, Pistol Petes, small streamers, hares ears and worms for trout. 

Heron Lake: Closed to kokanee snagging here and at Willow Creek until November 14. No kokanee may be in possession at either location during the closure. Fishing was fair to good using gold spoons, red worms and pink PowerBait for rainbow trout. 

Jackson Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Jemez Waters: Stream flow near Jemez on Monday morning was 27 cfs. Fishing on the Jemez was good using worms, salmon eggs, San Juan worms, copper John Barrs and egg patterns for trout. Justin Woolf reported good fishing on the San Antonio on Oct. 25. He caught a really nice 18-inch brown and several rainbows. He was using an egg pattern for the big brown and San Juan worms, hares ears and copper John Barrs for the rainbows. He also reported that bait anglers did best using worms. Fishing on the Cebolla was slow to fair using worms, salmon eggs and copper John Barrs. We had no reports from other streams in the area.

Laguna Del Campo: Fishing was fair using PowerBait for trout. Closes for the season Oct. 31.

Lake Farmington: We had no reports from anglers this week. Nonmotorized watercraft are now allowed on Lake Farmington. Fees are $50 for the season or $5 daily.

Manzano Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Navajo Lake: Kokanee snagging opened Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 31. The Pine Main boat ramp and the surrounding no wake zone will be closed to anglers during the month of October to allow the Department of Game and Fish to harvest kokanee eggs and sperm. This closed area will reopen to anglers Nov. 1. Snagging was good for anglers working near the dam. Fishing with roe sacs near the snagging areas was fair to good for catfish. Fishing was fair using grubs, tubes, and jigs for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. A few rainbow trout were caught by anglers using roe sacs, PowerBait and salmon eggs. We had no reports on other species. The surface water temp was in the mid 60s.

San Gregorio Lake: Fishing was slow. 

San Juan: Water flow below Navajo Lake on Monday morning was 433 cfs. Flows are expected to be lowered to around 350 cfs by the end of the month and remain there until next spring. Fishing through the Quality Water section was good using fore and aft midges, BWOs, Griffith’s gnats, pheasant tails, RS2s, parachute Adams and midge clusters. Fishing through the bait waters was good using salmon eggs, night crawlers, spinners, WD40s, foam wing emergers and San Juan worms. 

Seven Springs Brood Pond: Fishing was very good using red worms, spoons and PowerBait for a mixed bag of brown and rainbow trout.

Tingley Beach: Fishing the Central Pond was fair using PowerBait, salmon eggs, marshmallows and worms for trout. Fishing at the Youth Pond was good using PowerBait for trout. We had no reports from the Bob Gerding Catch and Release Pond.

Trout Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Southwest

Alumni Pond: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Bear Canyon: Fishing was fair to good using PowerBait, salmon eggs and garlic cheese for trout. We had no reports on other species.

Bill Evans Lake: Fishing was fair using worms for trout. We had no reports on other species.

Caballo Lake: Fishing was slow for all species. 

Elephant Butte Lake: Fishing was good using Kastmasters and Bomber slab spoons for white bass. Fishing was fair to good using spoons, beef liver and shrimp for catfish. Fishing was slow to fair using tubes, jigs and jigging spoons for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. We had no reports on other species.

Escondida Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Gila River: Stream flow as of Monday morning was 335 cfs. Conditions were reported as high and murky and fishing was slow. We had no reports from the Forks.

Glenwood Pond: Fishing was excellent using PowerBait, salmon eggs, Rooster Tails and Panther Martins for trout.

Lake Roberts: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Percha Dam: Fishing was slow for all species.

Quemado Lake: Fishing was fair using PowerBait, salmon eggs and spoons for trout. We had no reports on tiger muskie.

Rio Grande: Stream flow below Elephant Butte as of Monday morning was .57 cfs. We had no reports from anglers in this area or below Caballo.

Snow Lake: Fishing was fair to good using gold and silver spoons, PowerBait and salmon eggs for trout.

Young Pond: Fishing was slow for all species.

Southeast

Bataan Lake: Fishing was fair to good using worms for small bluegill and perch. We had no reports on other species.

Black River: Stream flow at Malaga on Monday was 26 cfs. Fishing was fair using red worms and blue grubs for catfish. We had no reports on other species.

Blue Hole Park Pond: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Bonito Lake: Closed until further notice by the city of Alamogordo due to fire damage.

Bosque Redondo: Fishing was slow for all species.

Bottomless Lakes: We had no reports from anglers this week. 

Brantley Lake: Anglers should practice catch-and-release for all fish here as high levels of pesticides were found in some fish. Fishing was very good using tubes, flukes, worms, orange grubs, crank baits, jerk baits and jigs for largemouth bass. Fishing was very good using beef liver, hot dogs and worms for catfish. We had no reports on other species.

Carlsbad Municipal Lake: Fishing was fair to good using worms, hares ears and flashback pheasant tails for small sunfish. Fishing was fair using worms for small perch. We had no reports on other species.

Chaparral Park Lake: Fishing was slow for all species. Fishing pressure was very light.

El Rito Creek: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Eunice Lake: Fishing was slow for all species.

Green Meadow Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Greene Acres Lake: Fishing was slow for all species. Fishing pressure was very light.

Grindstone Reservoir: Fishing was good using PowerBait, garlic cheese, marshmallows, salmon eggs and Pistol Petes for trout. We had no reports on other species.

Jal Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Lake Van: Fishing was slow for all species.

Oasis Park Lake: Fishing was slow for all species. Fishing pressure was very light.

Pecos River: Stream flow below Sumner Lake as of Monday morning was 97cfs. Fishing was slow. We had no reports on other species.

Perch Lake: We had no reports from anglers this week.

Ruidoso River: Stream flow at Hollywood on Monday was 8.3 cfs. Trout fishing was slow.

Santa Rosa Lake: Fishing was slow to fair using spinner baits and jigs for smallmouth bass. Fishing for walleye was slow but a few were caught by anglers using night crawlers and spoons. We had no reports on other species.

Sumner Lake: Fishing was slow to fair using tubes, craws, jigs and plastic worms for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. We had no reports on other species.           

 

SW Chief Gets $15 Million DOT Tiger Grant

 KRTN Staff Reports   The US Dept Of Transportation awarded a $15.2 million dollar grant for the Southwest Chief Route Advancement and Improvement Project that will continue essential upgrades to Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line.

The new funding is being awarded through the DOT’s Tiger VII grant program and will be used to add approximately 39 miles of new continuously welded rail and repair more than 20 miles of track roadbed. 

The latest grant was awarded to La Junta, CO and will go along with the $12 million Tiger Grant awarded to Garden City, KS last year.  Phase 2 of the project will cost about $24.5 million of a total projected $30 million to complete the entire project.  Local match monies for the project totaled over $9 million and included one million each from the states of New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas, $4 million from Amtrak and $2 million from BNSF with the rest coming from individual cities and counties along the route.

Just three years ago, Amtrak was looking at an alternative route because BNSF was unwilling to maintain or repair tracks entirely at its own cost.  Since then, BNSF has agreed to maintain any new rail put in, essentially cutting the cost of replacement and repair in half.

In 2013, about 350,000 passengers rode the SW Chief – a nearly 40 percent increase since 1997.  Nearly one third of those passengers boarded or detrained at a New Mexico station.  The NM Economic Development Dept. estimated that the route brings in more than $20 million in tourism revenue to New Mexico annually.

Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday Morning

This weekend, Daylight Saving Time ends. On Sunday, November 1, 2015, 2:00:00 AM clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 1:00:00 AM local standard time instead. If preferred, clocks can be turned back one hour at bedtime on Saturday evening.

Clocks BackSunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on Nov 1, 2015 than the day before. There will be more light in the morning. 

Arkansas River Power Authority under the glass in Trinidad: part 1

by Bill Knowles
WJ  250x55TRINIDAD — A move by two Trinidad business owners put the Trinidad City Council on the defensive during a workshop meeting Tuesday, September 22.   Steve Bolton and Tom Murphy made their pitch to the city council to consider using an as yet unfunded account to help Arkansas River Power Authority (ARPA) rate payers defray the high costs of electricity.
When Murphy spoke to the council, he remarked that the presentation was being taped and would appear on a local TV broadcast, “I don’t think that the voters and utility customers really know the history of ARPA. It would behoove us…to learn the history.”
The story begins in 1979 when ARPA was formed by five or six members who began selling wholesale electricity to its customers.  In 1986, ARPA became debt free. 
In 2004 the City of Trinidad approved a plan calling for ARPA to change its Lamar power generation plant from a gas fired steam generator to a coal fired steam generator.  The project was estimated to be completed by 2007 with an estimated price tag of $66 million. 
In 2005, before any ground had been broken, ARPA asked the city for an additional $10 million on top of the original $66 million for the new project. Ground was finally broken in 2006. 
ARPA returned to the City of Trinidad in 2007, asking for another $18 million raising the debt load to $94 million.  Insurance, bond council, and interest for the conversion project cost another $6 million.  Raton, another ARPA customer at the time, voted against the $18 million.  From March to May, the debt jumped another $4 million pushing it to $104 million.
In the beginning of 2008, the plan began to fall apart as Raton sued, and the debt climbed to $110 million.  By March 2008 the debt was up to $124 million.  That same month, Dave Brunelli, the Trinidad City Power and Light Superintendent and ARPA Board member, advised the city, “The plant is 85 percent to 95 percent complete, keep going.”   By 2009 the estimated debt for ARPA’s Lamar project was $130 million. 
Finally in 2010, Brunelli advised that ARPA, “could be a problem.”  Council then approved $631,541 in a pre-payment for ARPA.  
Brunelli also warned of a need for a rate increase, since ARPA’s reserves had dropped to about $700,000 from $1.8 million because of a refusal by the city to approve one.  At this point the debt for the ARPA power plant was at $153 million.
In January 2011, ARPA approached the City of Trinidad, asking for an additional $17 million in funding.  By March, ARPA’s debt is at a staggering $173 million.  
In December 2011, the ARPA power generation plant in Lamar exploded, leaving ARPA with one option: to sue Babcock & Wilcox, the Ohio boiler maker.
With a bond debt between $153 million and $173 million, less than a million in reserves, and a project that has eaten a lot of money, the Arkansas River Power Authority has yet to generate one kilowatt of electricity from its plant in Lamar.