Archive for: January 2016

Springer Vandalism Damage Estimates Up to $25,000

by Sherry Goodyear
WJ 250x55SPRINGER — If asked, most residents of Springer would’ve said that it is a safe, quiet place to live, but that perception was shattered in the wee morning hours of Friday, January 15, 2016.  The Springer Market, located on Maxwell Avenue, was receiving its tri-weekly bread delivery when the truck driver realized the glass in the windows of the two front doors were broken out, and all the plate glass windows along the front of the building had holes in them.  Suspecting gunfire to be the source of the broken windows, the driver immediately called 911.
Officer Jessica Medina was the lone officer on duty when the call came in, so she asked Municipal Judge Lance Lacey to accompany her to the store.  Store owners, Bud and Cindy Valentine were also called, and the investigation into what exactly had happened began.
The front doors of the grocery store were shattered.  According to Mr. Valentine, they found glass all over the sidewalk in front of the store, but it was also tracked around the store, into the alley, and for many blocks away. Evidently when the perpetrators crawled through those windows, broken bits of glass clung to their clothes, and dropped like breadcrumbs as they made their getaway.  Broken glass wasn’t all the thieves left in their wake. Several packages of stolen meat were also dropped:  one behind the grocery store, one behind the Valentine’s house a couple of blocks away, and one in the alley behind the police station — a Hansel and Gretel trail down Colbert Street.
It wasn’t until the sun came up on the day of the crime that the store owners began to realize just how much damage had been done, because the meat thieves hadn’t contained their destruction to gaining access to the food they wanted to steal — they also went on a vandalistic rampage, breaking all the windows in the Springer Market, and then breaking windows in Potter’s Beauty and Antique Shop next door, and in Two Feather’s Restaurant on the corner, as well as across the street in the Brown Hotel, where windows in the top story had been broken out.  In addition, it took awhile for investigators to realize it wasn’t a gun that had done the damage, but rather hammers, one of which was found in a nearby dumpster.  Roy Ackerman, who owns the vacant Brown Hotel, discovered the vandals had broken out a window in the back of the hotel.  Once the vandals gained access, they went through the hotel, ripping a sink fixture off the wall and breaking various light fixtures before smashing several windows out in the second story of the building.
“If I could use one word to describe all of this,” Mr. Valentine said, “It would be ‘senseless’”.  His wife refused to comment because she is so disturbed by the devastation.  So far just how much money it is going to cost to replace the windows in the four buildings the vandals struck remains to be seen, but the low estimate is somewhere in the $20-25K range.  “If it was just an issue of them being hungry,” Valentine continued, “All they had to do was ask me for some meat, and I would have given it to them.  I have done that before.  Why did they have to destroy everything?”
To help deal with the aftermath of the destruction, Rodney Hood and his crew from H and H Meat Packing Plant west of town came as soon as they received word of the vandalism, and brought sheets of wafer board and covered up all the broken windows until they can be replaced.  Valentine said it was a great help because he thought he would have to make a trip to Raton to buy supplies, but here came Hood with the items necessary to cover up the damage.
In a time when small towns like Springer are economically struggling, it is anybody’s guess just what these vandals/ thieves were thinking on that cold January night.  Stealing meat is one thing, as is breaking one window to gain access to that meat, but the idea of these perpetrators going on a hammer welding rampage just for the heck of it makes those who try their hand at running a business shudder at the disrespect and inability to understand just what business owners go through to make their often struggling businesses succeed. The sheer monetary damage they caused is bad enough, but with boarded up store fronts, the owners of these businesses are reeling at how quickly Springer’s pleasant main street façade was given the appearance of a war zone.   So far those responsible for single-handedly destroying the face of Springer’s Main Street are still at large.

BROKEN WINDOWS ON MAIN ST. Business after business in Springer, NM had their windows broken out last Saturday. Photo by Sherry Goodyear

BROKEN WINDOWS ON MAIN ST. Business after business in Springer, NM had their windows broken out last Saturday. Photo by Sherry Goodyear

LAC OKs Pay for Sheriff’s Deputies/Detention Officers

by Bill Knowles
WJ 250x55TRINIDAD — The Las Animas County Commissioners, after meeting with the county’s attorney, decided they will pay sheriff’s deputies and detention officers for the second half of December.  The decision will also pay for overtime through the 15th of December, including the Thanksgiving holiday.
The total payout to the sheriff’s budget from the county’s contingency fund will amount to $53,000 after billings for payroll and overtime from the sheriff’s office have been received by the county’s treasurer.  This follows an approval by the county commission to transfer $12,300 from the commissioners’ budget to the sheriff’s budget during a special meeting on Dec. 29, 2015.
However the issue took a quick turn when the sheriff’s office released a statement to the press indicating a possible legal challenge to the action.  County commissioners, during questioning at the Jan. 19, 2016, regular meeting, stated that as overtime for the December 2015 pay period was filed with the federal government’s Wage and Labor Board, a possible investigation of the matter could arise.  “We have to pay for the overtime and wages,” Commission Chair Mack Louden said.
The commission found around $53,000 in a contingency fund within the general fund from the 2015 budget and set that aside to cover the last pay-period for December 2015.  The commissioners took the responsibility to cover some of the overspending out of funds that will have to be paid back by the county.
Sheriff’s Statement
A press release from the sheriff’s department, written with the assistance of the Colorado State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Southern Colorado Fraternal Order of Police; Lodge 51, also threatened a lawsuit.  It referenced the Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office Budget Issues and was dated Jan. 3, 2015 (the date should have been Jan. 3, 2016).
In the document, the sheriff’s office disputes the $53,000 total in overtime expenditures the county alleges, stating that the real number is closer to $7,000 for 2015.  The county commission has claimed that the sheriff’s office is eight percent over budget for overtime in 2015.  It also states the resolution passed on Dec. 29, 2015, stopping both compensatory pay and overtime pay, was illegal.
The resolution however stopped wages for Dec. 16 through Dec. 31, 2015, including holiday pay, not for the entire month of December, as the press release alleges.
Money and Politics
The reversal by the county commission however, will allow the sheriff’s staff and deputies to be paid for the Thanksgiving holiday as well.  Christmas and New Year holiday pay and overtime pay will also be covered as the sheriff’s office remits vouchers to the county.  Even with this help, the sheriff’s office will still be about $100,000 to $150,000 short for 2015.
The county will close out the books on the 2015 budget by the end of January 2016 or February 2016, after all the accounts payable billings have been processed.
As for a political agenda being worked to impede the run by Sheriff James Casias for Colorado Senate District 35, county administrator Leeann Fabec told the World Journal that’s not what’s happening.  “A year ago, in December 2014, we sent him a memo for the first time saying ‘this budget year (2015) is tight.  Your allocation is $1.7 million, you cannot overspend your budget.  If you overspend your budget the county cannot, by law, backfill you.  This was before he even announced he was running for anything.  This has nothing to do with him running for office.”
In July 2015, the county sent the sheriff another letter alerting him that he was already running over budget for the first six months of the year.  “He was notified that he had to start cutting his expenditures and should institute cost cutting procedures,” said Fabec.  He never took the steps asked for by the county to contain his expenditures.
He was also made aware that overspending his budget is in violation of Colorado budget law which states in §29-1-110 that… ‘no officer, employee, or other spending agency shall expend any money or incur any liability, or enter into any contract which, by its terms, involves the expenditures of money in excess of the amount appropriated.’  The sheriff said he would take care of the situation.
The stresses on the county budget will only increase through 2016 with 2017 becoming worse as property valuations continue to fall.  Already the county has seen a decrease in its mill levy from 9.357 percent in 2015 to 8.71 percent for 2016.  The 2016 valuations are what set the amounts collected by the county for the 2017 budget.
As funds from the contingency are used to cover the over expenditures from the sheriff’s office, the county will have to approve their use by taking action and voting on them.
“Here’s what the county did by using the contingency fund,” county attorney Dixie Newnam said. “If you had a brother that took out a loan and was unable to pay it back and he asked you to help, your choices would be to either give him the money to pay off the loan or you could step up and pay the loan for him.  That’s what the commissioners did.  They took the responsibility to pay the wages and overtime for the sheriff’s office.”

LAC Commission Appointments Starts 2016

by Bill Knowles
WJ 250x55TRINIDAD — The Las Animas County Board of County Commissioners began filling slots on various committees and quasi-governmental agencies during the Jan. 19, 2016 regular meeting.
Commission Chair Mack Louden was chosen on a 3-0 vote to continue sitting on the executive board for the Southern Colorado Council of Governments, a position he’s held for five years.  Commissioner Gary Hill will also return as the primary representative from Las Animas County to the Board of Directors of the Otero Partners, Inc. (OPI), for 2016.
The OPI is the managing entity for the economic development of both Otero and Las Animas counties.  They manage both a business loan fund and a revolving loan fund.  Leeann Fabec, the Las Animas County Administrator, was chosen as the alternative.  Daniel Berg represents Otero County.
Kristee Coberly, the Las Animas County Treasurer was chosen to represent the county on the OPI Loan Review Committee with Commissioner Anthony Abeyta filling in as the alternate.  It was noted by Abeyta that Las Animas County had no loans out with OPI.  Part of qualifying for a loan with the partners is a refusal by a bank to grant a loan.  The regional loan fund has seen a decrease in requests for loans to establish new businesses in the two county area.
Abeyta, on a 3-0 vote was also appointed to represent Las Animas County on the Third judicial District Community Corrections Board.  The board was established by Third District Judge, Claude Appel.  The board works with inmates coming out of corrections to parole, helping them to locate housing, work, and education.
Abeyta was also chosen as the proxy from Las Animas County to work with the Sunflower Valley Pipeline Association.  The association is a mutual ditch, irrigation, telephone, electric company or like organization located in Trinidad, Colorado.
Kim Chavez was appointed on a 3-0 vote by the commission to sit as a member of the Southern Colorado Regional EMS and Trauma Advisory Council (SCRETAC).  The council develops and supports a regional EMS and Trauma care system to improve the health and safety of residents and visitors within the region.
The commissioners also voted 3-0 to award the contract for the renovation of the Department of Human Services at Fort Wooton to Maxwell Builders.  For the county it has been a lot of work, because of the historical implications of the building that is to be renovated.  “I am excited to have reached this part, the approval of the contract,” noted Fabec.
Road and Bridge Supervisor, Phil Dorenkamp, delivered the road inventory report to the commission.  The report was approved with a 3-0 vote and will now be submitted to the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Highway User’s Tax Fund (HUTF).  There are a lot of highway miles in Las Animas County according to Dorenkamp.  “We have 3,235 lane miles in the county.  That would stretch across the country from California to New York with some left over.”

Walsenburg Still Searching for Administrator

by Brian Orr
WJ 250x55WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council moved forward in their quest to find a new city administrator, stated interim administrator Lew Quigley.  Ads are being placed, with the hope that the council will be able to interview candidates in February, and having someone start in the position by April 1.  No foolin’.
Quigley mentioned he has had people call for more information, but to date, no one has applied.
LiveWell Administrator Cindy Campbell told the council about a meeting LiveWell and CDOT are holding at the Huerfano County Community Center to get community input on a million-dollar grant to build bike lanes and safer crosswalks throughout Walsenburg.  The meeting was held Wednesday night, after presstime.
Planning and Zoning member David Roesch told the council the Tiny Homes neighborhood project, set to build in the football field behind the Spanish Peaks library, is still on track to break ground in the spring, with a future problem being a planned six-foot wide drainage pipe needing to be sized down into the city’s three-foot wide drainage pipe.  Problems with the size reduction would be rare, but with a massive storm, it could lead to flooding issues downhill.
Council members ended the meeting with general grousing about trains in the Walsenburg area, with their new habit of stopping, then backing up, then stopping again, then slowly going forward.  It was mentioned that the tracks in town are literally coming apart, and the railroad ties are rotting away, forcing the trains to slow down to 10 miles an hour.
The tracks are managed by Union Pacific,which have not returned the city’s calls about what is going on.

Trinidad City Council:  Appointments and Agreements

by Bill Knowles
WJ 250x55TRINIDAD — The Trinidad City Council moved through the agenda quickly, finishing business in just over an hour during their regular meeting Jan. 19, 2015.
A contract with Blue Diamond Builders for roof repair at the Rice Building, the new home for the Trinidad Police Department, in the amount of nearly $44,000 was approved with a 7-0 vote.
The city approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Main Street giving it a budget cap of $25,000. And an Inter-Governmental Agreement between CDoT and the city was approved for work on the Sopris Trail. Funding for the project is a $565 thousand grant the city matched with $135 thousand
Deborah Bernhardt was appointed to the Arts and Culture Advisory Commission.  Howard Lackey was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and Martha Fitzgerald was appointed to the Tree Board.

Pushing 150 . . . Happy Birthday Colfax County!

by Nancy Christofferson
WJ 250x55COLFAX — Colfax County will celebrate its 147th anniversary Jan. 25.  It was created in 1869 from the eastern portion of Taos County and named for the vice president of the United States of the time, Schuyler Colfax.
Schuyler Colfax as a vice president does not come readily to mind when one is asked to name his or her favorite veep, but perhaps he should.  There are all kinds of geographical features named for him, from towns in five states to a mountain and from schools to streets, including the noted Colfax Avenue in Colorado’s state capital.
Colfax County is notable in many ways, but historically it may be unmatched.  While 147 years seems relatively young, the area’s known history stretches into ancient times.  For instance, the Folsom people were found by their remains to have wandered the eastern plains of the county as early as 9000 B.C., or 11,000 years ago.  A Folsom site is but one of the 28 recognized properties or districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Colfax County.
Besides the ancient native presence in Colfax County, many early Spanish became familiar with it as they explored the plains, valleys and mountains of the far west.  It is thought that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was the first to transverse it as far back as 1541 while seeking the fabled golden city of Quivira on the Great Plains.  This is a mere 50 years after the discovery voyage of Christopher Columbus.
More than 150 years passed before Don Diego de Vargas traveled with his troops through the area in 1696 in search of the Picuris Indians, who were believed to have been kidnapped by Apaches.  Just 10 years later, in 1706, Juan de Ulibarri did the same, still looking for those same missing Picuris.  Ulibarri’s route carried him north through Las Animas and Huerfano counties as well.  Both the Valverde and Villasur expeditions followed in the early 1700s.  Valverde made it all the way into Kansas.  Villasur did not fare so well  – he was killed by Indians, most likely Pawnees, near the North Platte River.  These men could be considered the true fathers of the Santa Fe Trail.
The Spanish began colonizing in northeastern New Mexico in the 1600s.  In the late 1700s and early 1800s, French Canadian trappers began settling down here after their lives of adventure in the mountains led them south to more pastoral leanings.
Merchants and speculators began crossing the prairies from the United States in the early 1800s, only to be imprisoned by Spanish authorities who had banned foreigners.  After Mexico won its independence in 1821, the borders were opened to trade and immigration.  Many of the traders made their homes in the area.
The War with Mexico brought the armies of the United States into Colfax County.  Following the treaty in 1848, settlers came from the east and joined the former trappers and traders living there.  Villages sprang up all along the water courses where agriculture was possible through the use of acequias, or irrigation ditches, and herds of cattle and sheep vied with the resident buffalo and antelope.  Stagecoaches across the plains and Raton Pass, opened as a toll road in 1865, brought more newcomers.
In 1866 copper was discovered in the mountains and the following year, gold.  The most famous of the gold camps was Elizabethtown, called E-town, which became Colfax County’s first seat of government.  The camp boasted more than 100 buildings, an irrigation system, and a peak population of 7,000.  By 1871 it was rapidly becoming a ghost town with a population of 100.  Other mining camps included Hematite, Baldy, Twining and Virginia City.
While the gold rush in the western end of the county was waning, coal mining in the northeast was gaining.   The largest of these mines was Dawson which grew to house nearly 10,000 residents before the company closed the mines, but the first to boom was Blossberg near Raton.  The first telephone in Colfax County was located in a doctor’s office in Blossberg, and the town had all the amenities from saloons, a camp band and a newspaper before it was flooded in 1886.  Its end came about 1895 after a miners’ strike led many to abandon the camp for others being opened in the same vicinity.
The agricultural centers greatly outnumbered the mining camps.  Cimarron would be considered one of these, with its flour mill and many businesses (and saloons).  Settled in 1841 because of its location on the vast Beaubien- Miranda Land Grant, it was a principal stop on the Santa Fe Trail in the 1860s when Lucien Maxwell became the first postmaster.  Later it served gold miners, the Ute Reservation, and tourists.  It was the second county seat.  It is said Buffalo Bill created his first Wild West show in Cimarron, which truly was a wild town in early days.
Springer, too, was an important mercantile center for local ranchers.  After its settlement in 1879, it became Colfax County’s third county seat before it was overshadowed by Raton, which was basically founded by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad in 1880.  Raton encompassed the old watering spot and government forage station on the Santa Fe Trail called Willow Springs for decades but the Santa Fe Railroad’s arrival began the city’s growth and future.
While Lucien Maxwell might well be Colfax county’s richest resident of yore, his friend Kit Carson could well be the most famous in terms of recognition of the name.  Carson settled at Rayado in 1841, thinking himself retired from government service, but it was not to be.  Carson is intrinsically bound into the histories of northern New Mexico and southeastern Colorado.
Then there is the geography of Colfax County.  The foothills lead into the Sangre de Cristos on the west.  It was here the gold was found.  New Mexico’s highest point, Wheeler Peak, 13,161 feet in altitude, is here (though just west of the county line) along with many other behemoths that defied early explorers.
Its eastern plains are just like those of Las Animas and Huerfano counties.  Here lived the cattle barons on their huge ranches, and the homesteaders on their modest claims.
Colfax has a half dozen mountain passes linking it to Las Animas County to the north, used through the centuries by Native Americans, Spanish troops, mountain men and settlers.  Indeed, many of the earliest colonists of Las Animas and Huerfano counties used these byways.
Colfax contains the upper reaches of the Canadian, Vermejo and Canadian rivers.  Its 3,768 square miles also include the historic Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, the National Rifle Association’s Whittington Center, the vast privately-owned Vermejo Park, Santa Fe Trail ruts, Vietnam Veterans Chapel, Sugarite Canyon Park, Folsom Man and Dorsey Mansion State Parks, recreation areas such as Eagle Nest Lake, Cimarron Canyon State Park, Carson National Forest, Kiowa National Grasslands and Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge, museums and historic sites (such as one called Black Jack’s Hideout and the spot where Huerfano County Sheriff Ed Farr was killed in 1899 by train robbers).
All in all, it features some of the same scenery admired by Spanish explorers and other travelers for more than 450 years.

Springer Lady Devils: every game a new lesson

by Kara Burton
WJ  250x55SPRINGER — The Springer Lady Devils basketball team has had two busy weeks of competition.
In the first round of three day tournament play at the Evangel Christian Academy Tournament in Albuquerque, they faced Mesilla Valley Christian School, and out scored the Sonblazers in three of four quarters to win the game with a score of 60-34.
The Lady Devils kept the momentum rolling in the semifinal game against the tournament host team, Evangel Christian Academy, winning 91-44, with good teamwork proving to be the winning factor as four of the Devils scored in the double digits.
The win put them into the tournament championship against the Espanola JV Sundevils.  An intense four quarters led  to overtime where the Lady Devils ended up losing with at least three of their starting five fouling out.
Back at home in Springer,  the Lady Devils played the Questa Lady Wildcats in a challenging game with an enormous amount of fouls and injuries.  The Lady Devils came out on the losing side and were unable to take the coveted Cowbell from the Wildcats.
To end the week, the Lady Devils traveled to 1A Grady where the teams were closely matched and played an exciting game.  The Lady Devils came out slow in the third quarter, outscored 18-10.  The Devils fought hard to narrow the margin and win the game, but just did not have enough time, losing 58-45.
Although the Lady Devils lost both of their games this past week, they are working to improve their game and are looking forward to their next opportunity to come out on the winning side of a game.

In Loving Memory of Patrick McClure Cherry

Patrick McClure Cherry, age 47, of Anchorage, Alaska passed away in Clayton, New Mexico on January 26, 2016.

Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held in Alaska at a later date. Cremation arrangements were under the direction of Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton.

MCCLUREPatrick McClure “Mac” Cherry was born on July 5, 1968 in Socorro, New Mexico.

He worked for the State of Alaska in Anchorage, and was an avid sports fan, golfer and fisherman.

Mac suffered from leukemia, and came to Clayton for the last days of his life to live with family.

Mac was the son of Mae Cherry of Clayton, and the brother of Kimila Cherry of Anchorage, Alaska and Alexander Cherry III of Anchorage, Alaska. Patrick’s father, Alexander Cherry, Jr. passed away in 2006. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Lions Dominate Tigers Thursday

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

The JV Lady Tigers and JV Tigers had a tough go as the Lions from Santa Rosa dominated the court Thursday evening, January 28th as Raton began district play this week.

The boys played their game at the Russell Marcy Academy while the girls were in Tiger Gym. The boys kept it close for a quarter before the Lions turned up the heat and in the third quarter ran off with the game scoring 26 points in the quarter.

The girls also struggled as turnovers and missed opportunities turned into points for the Lady Lions. The second half of the game Raton was held to only eight points while Santa Rosa knocked in 24 for the win.

JV Girls 

Santa Rosa  17  15 11  13  58

Raton           12   9    3    5  29

JV Boys

Santa Rosa  14  12  26  15  67

Raton             7    7    9   13  36

During the girl’s varsity game the Lady Lions played a tight defense that held Raton to single digits scoring in the first half of the game. When Raton managed to get the ball down the court, turnovers or missed shots resulted in the Lady Lions taking it back down court for points. The second quarter was the toughest for Raton as they were held to only four points while Santa Rose dropped in 20.

The Lady Tigers did better at the line posting a 9 of 16 shots while Santa Rosa could only muster 7 of 19 attempts on the night. The Lady Lions held Raton scoring to a minimum as none of the girls managed to score more than seven points in the game. The second half of play was a closer scoring game as Raton stepped up the defense and held Santa Rosa to only 10 points in the third and 14 in the fourth. Despite the much better play in the second half the second quarter deficit was to much to overcome for Raton and when the final buzzer sounded it was a win for the Lady Lions.


Santa Rosa 13  20  10  14  57

Raton           8    4   11  10  33

Santa Rosa High Point

Sharmaine Benally  19  3 of 5 free throws

Free Throws  7 of 19 attempots

Raton High Point

Andie Ortega 7

Free Throws 9 of 16 attempts

The Raton varsity boys started the game out better than any of the other teams, but it wasn’t long into the first quarter before Santa Rosa put on the press and started to pull away. By the end of the first quarter the Lions had taken a 15 point lead. The Santa Rosa press forced Raton to turnover the ball often and when Raton did get down the court the Lions out rebounded the Tigers missed shots. By the end of the first half it was a 52-24 game.

Second half action for Raton was a turnaround game as they came out and started finding the basket and working the ball inside. Raton broke the lion press and managed to put in 18 points with nine of those coming from Jason Parker who popped in three 3-pointers before the Santa Rosa defense could figure out a way to slow him down.

The Tigers continued their scoring ways into the fourth and the defense began to work as they outscored the Lions 13 to 7. But once again that first half was more than the Tigers could come back from with the final buzzer sounding a 74-55 win for the Lions.

Santa Rosa  25  27  15  7  74

Raton           10  14  18 13 55

Santa Rosa High Point

Christian Chavez  23  5 3-pointers

Javante Chavez 20  4 of 4 free throws

Free Throws  10 of 14 attempts

Raton High Point

Jonathan Cabrieles 18  1 of 6 free throws

Jason Parker 13  3  3-pointers

Jesse Espinoza  12  1 of 5 free throws

Free throws  4 of 17 attempts

Kerrigan Weese (21) goes for the shot while Jasmine Silva (30) and Kylie Harrison work in for the block

Kerrigan Weese (21) goes for the shot while Jasmine Silva (30) and Kylie Harrison work in for the block

Becca Muniz (24) goes in for the lay-up but Jasmine Silva(30) and Ambria Lucero (2) make the shot impossible during the JV game Thursday in Tiger Gym

Becca Muniz (24) goes in for the lay-up but Jasmine Silva(30) and Ambria Lucero (2) make the shot impossible during the JV game Thursday in Tiger Gym

Cassidy Guana (31) makes the block and draws the foul as Estrella Vargas goes in for the shot Thursday evening in the girl's varsity game

Cassidy Guana (31) makes the block and draws the foul as Estrella Vargas goes in for the shot Thursday evening in the girl’s varsity game

Amber Higgins (13) struggles with Autumn Archuleta (0) for the ball during the varsity girls game Thursday evening

Amber Higgins (13) struggles with Autumn Archuleta (0) for the ball during the varsity girls game Thursday evening

Coach Victor Esparza wearing sneakers as it was Suits and Sneakers Coaches against Cancer night.

Coach Victor Esparza wearing sneakers as it was Suits and Sneakers Coaches against Cancer night.

It was coaches against cancer night at Tiger Gym as boys coach Jose Archuleta wears the suit and sneakers

It was coaches against cancer night at Tiger Gym as boys coach Jose Archuleta wears the suit and sneakers

Joaquin Romo (25) impedes Jesse Espinoza (1) as he goes in for the shot Javanese Chavez (34) stands by during the boy's varsity game in Tiger Gym

Joaquin Romo (25) impedes Jesse Espinoza (1) as he goes in for the shot Javanese Chavez (34) stands by during the boy’s varsity game in Tiger Gym

V Raton v SR 1-29-16_3461

Austin Jones (5) drives the lane as Joaquin Romo goes for the block and draws the foul in the boy's varsity game Thursday evening in Tiger Gym

Austin Jones (5) drives the lane as Joaquin Romo goes for the block and draws the foul in the boy’s varsity game Thursday evening in Tiger Gym

Jesse Espinoza goes in for the shot while Joseph Esquivel (24) and Mark Saiz go for the blocks Thursday evening

Jesse Espinoza goes in for the shot while Joseph Esquivel (24) and Mark Saiz go for the blocks Thursday evening

Jonathan Cabrieles drives inside as Luis Medford attempts to block the ball and draws the foul as he comes down on Cabrieles arms Thursday night in Tiger Gym

Jonathan Cabrieles drives inside as Luis Medford attempts to block the ball and draws the foul as he comes down on Cabrieles arms Thursday night in Tiger Gym


In Loving Memory of Jim E. “J.J.” Johnson

Jim E. Johnson,  “J.J.” passed away unexpectedly on January 17, 2016 at the age of 73.

He was preceded in death by loving wife, C.J. Johnson.

Survivors include son  D.J. Johnson, sister Helen, brother James and several friends.

Jim Johnson PicMemorial Services will be held Friday, January 29, 2016 at 5 pm at the Comi Chapel with Pastor Cary Nelson officiating.

Inurnment at a later date.

Arrangements made under the direction of the Comi Funeral Home.