Archive for: July 2016

In Loving Memory of Frances (Alford) Franz

Frances (Alford) Franz, age 78, died Sunday, July 24, 2016 in Clayton, New Mexico.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Clayton, New Mexico with Rev. Billy Rammage and Marion Turner, officiating. Burial will follow in the Grandview Cemetery by Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton.

FRANZFrances (Alford) Franz was born on September 10, 1937 in Nara Visa, New Mexico to Edgar Wilson “Ned” Alford and Edith Ann (Coggin) Alford. A lifelong resident of Union County, Frances married Martin Franz on January 9, 1956 in Clayton, New Mexico. Francis and Martin raised their two children on the ranch and also raised Tony Alford and Sue (Alford) Dickens. She was an active member of PEO and the Clayton Arts Council. Frances loved to ride horses and paint, and she especially loved all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Frances always kept her family unified and together. She spent many years working the ranch along side Martin and they enjoyed cowboying and doing day work all over the area together. Frances was preceded in death by her parents and by a brother; Joe Edgar Alford on November 11, 1957


HUSBAND: Martin Franz of Clayton, New Mexico.

1 DAUGHTER: Thelma Wright and her husband Gary of Seneca, New Mexico.

1 SON: Clinton Franz and his wife Owida of Clayton, New Mexico.

5 GRANDCHILDREN: Tye Franz of College Station, Texas, Casey Wright of Houston, Texas, Talisha Valdez and her husband Josh, Shawna Wright and Tessa Franz all of Clayton, New Mexico.

4 GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN: Riata Valdez, Raley Valdez, Kollin Beckner and Gracelyn Wright.

3 SISTERS: Virgie Henry and her husband Larry of Temple, Texas, Lorraine Parsons and her husband Earnest of Mineral Wells, Texas and Sue Dickens and her husband Sherman of Salmon, Idaho.

2 BROTHERS: Eddie Jim Alford and his wife Catherine of Gilbert, Arizona and Tony Wilson Alford and his wife Darla of Mineral Wells, Texas.

And numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

MEMORIALS: The family asks that memorials be made to the PEO Scholarship Fund or to a charity of your choice In Memory of Frances.

Funeral ServiceFriday, July 29, 2016
10:00 AM

First Baptist Church, Clayton
223 Oak Street
Clayton, New Mexico 88415

Raton City Commissioners Hear About Animal Ordinance

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Raton City Commissioners met in regular session on Tuesday, July 26th and heard about an animal ordinance that was presented to the commission about 16 months ago that never got any farther than that.

The Raton Humane Society, proponents of changes in the ordinance, are wanting to see stronger penalties and more teeth in the current ordinance that was adopted in 1983, so that officers and animal control have something to work with. One of the provisions will deal with shelters giving specifics about size and type. Other provisions will deal with dog bites and vicious dogs as well as spay and neuter issues.

According to Leslie Fernandez of the Raton Humane Society approximately 500 dogs a year are brought into the shelter and about three quarters of those are not claimed. The society then picks up the costs that the city doesn’t take care of included getting the animals spayed/neutered and adopted or transported elsewhere. Because the Raton Animal Shelter is a No-Kill facility, those costs are very expensive. The Commissioners wanted to read the proposed ordinance and create a panel to go over it and come up with a full working document.

City Manager Berry noted that the city also needs to do that with a solid waste ordinance and others to get fees in line as well as making them more usable.

Commissioners then tabled the two items on the fixed assets due to an incomplete list as the city treasurer waits on the police department and fire department to complete their very detailed lists.

Commissioners approved the final budget adjustments of the fiscal year. According to Michael Ann Antonucci most of the adjustments are line item transfers to zero out the end of the year on grants and other funds.  (Link to Year end Budget Adjustment FY16)

The fourth quarter financial report was also approved with Antonucci noting that all income from taxes were below budget and down at 5.28%. She also noted that general fund expenses were down by 9.78%. Antonucci noted that if the GRT continues to fall short they will have to visit with DFA because those figures should reflect the construction projects that are in progress around Raton or finished up like McDonalds. (Link to June 2016 Financial Report)

The final budget was approved and will be sent to DFA soon. The only concern at this time is health insurance premium rates. They are expected to go up but by how much is still unknown as the city is still negotiating those costs.  (Link to 105th Raton NM Fiscal Budget)

Commissioners approved an MOU with the Raton Schools for a school resource officer. The grant that pays for the officer has been extended and the MOU is to meet those grant requirements.

City Manager Scott Berry noted that the repaving projects on the downtown avenues is progressing with milling on Apache and Cook being completed. Tiger Drive is closed with the milling there being completed on Tuesday and paving will begin on Wednesday and Thursday. Stripping will take place next week.

The multi-modal center is progressing but completion maybe delayed due to the welcome or in the construction process unwelcome rains that have muddied the parking area and delayed the paving process.

The Troy Street fire department is nearing completion as the FD will get bids for parking lot paving. They are also working on phone systems and alarm systems as well.

Berry noted that the Great Blocks project will be about $1 million dollars and they are seeking different funding sources such as the NM State MainStreet. The engineering and architectural studies are all done and it is a shovel ready project.

Berry told commissioners that the Tiger 8 grant was turned down. The only good side is no matching funds will have to be expended.

Berry noted that the transfer station will not accept construction and demolition debris as he noted there will likely be a lot due to the roofing work that should begin in the near future. The city had been charging $10 a cubic yard but is finding the costs to handle that type of waste is now reaching $60 a cubic yard. He also cautioned homeowners to check up on the contractors doing the roofing work and make sure they are licensed to work in New Mexico.

Commissioners will meet again on August 9, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the commission chambers.


Jami Esquibel accepted the proclamation for the walk/run for the Cure at Roundhouse Park coming up August 13, 2016

Jami Esquibel accepted the proclamation for the walk/run for the Cure at Roundhouse Park coming up August 13, 2016


Mike and Sara Kowalski were presented the You Rock pin and certificate for their volunteerism around town from Commissioners Lindé Schuster and Don Giacomo.

Mike and Sara Kowalski were presented the You Rock pin and certificate for their volunteerism around town from Commissioners Lindé Schuster and Don Giacomo.


Ethan Washburn Receives NJCAA Academic Pinnacle Award

Every summer the National Junior College Athletic Association takes a break from athletic competition to look at the academic achievement of the over 50,000 student-athletes which compete under its banner each year. This year the NJCAA recognized a record-number 4,587 athletes for their success in the classroom as it presented the 2015-16 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards. Trinidad State Junior College saw 21 of its student-athletes recognized on the 2015-2016 list, including Raton High School graduate and member of the RHS baseball team, Ethan Washburn, who received the Pinnacle Award.

The awards are broken into three categories. The Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence is given to those students who maintained a 4.00 GPA, the Superior Academic Achievement Award is for those with a 3.80 to 3.99 GPA and the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award is for those with a 3.60-3.79 GPA.  This is the first year the awards are available to first-year student-athletes who have completed at least 24 semester-hours.


NJCCA Athlete awardsTrinidad State Junior College Pinnacle Award recipients for Academic Excellence: 4.00 GPA

Christopher Mohr – Baseball
Ethan Washburn – Baseball
Dorian Ray – Volleyball
Kaitlyn Smith – Volleyball
Madeline Hagedorn – Volleyball
Yasmin Mookerdum – Women’s Soccer

Art Of The Gun Comes To Trinidad

TRINIDAD – Sometimes a gun is just a gun, but customization and craftsmanship can elevate it to art status.


Next month the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art, in cooperation with Trinidad State and its renowned gunsmithing program, will feature Art of the Gun, a gun show highlighting the craftsmanship and history of American guns. The show will run Friday night through Sunday, the weekend of August 12, 2016 at the Mitchell Museum located at 150 E. Main Street in Trinidad.


Guns on display will include three from the museums operated by the NRA. These guns were chosen for their artistic style and exemplary craftsmanship. On the other end of the spectrum is “Gator” a four-barrel shotgun built by Trinidad State Gunsmithing students and used in a 1988 movie called Big Bad John. That movie was filmed in the Trinidad area and featured Jimmy Dean of Jimmy Dean Sausage fame as Sheriff Cletus Morgan. The gun has been modified so it cannot fire, but Dean noted that it had a real kick, saying “…my arm was numb for about ten minutes.”


Gatling gun fullAlso on display will be a replica of a Gatling gun built by Paul Moore of Aguilar. The Gatling gun was first used by Union forces in the Civil War and was the precursor of the machine gun. Moore’s replica features a brass plate, indicating it was built in Trinidad. It fires .22 long rifle shells and includes a carriage mount with wheels. It took Moore several years to solve a jamming problem caused by the different shape of modern cartridges. He built more than a dozen of them over a period of years. Moore no longer builds Gatling guns, but does sell the plans on the internet. 


Another gun that will be featured is a rifle made by P.O. Ackley, the father of the Trinidad State Gunsmithing Program, which began in 1947. The .270 Mauser is part of Trinidad State’s permanent collection and is considered a mid-grade Ackley. Ackley traded it to Trinidad Dentist Dr. Gordon Sanders in exchange for new dentures. It is believed the gun has never been fired.


Trinidad State Gunsmithing graduate Gary Yee is also an author and historian.

Trinidad State Gunsmithing graduate Gary Yee is also an author and historian.

During the show, Trinidad State Gunsmithing graduate Gary Yee, who is also an author and historian, will be building a flint lock rifle alongside the static displays. Yee’s rifle is based on a design from around 1730. Yee will be available to talk about the history of black powder guns and is looking forward to the interaction. “You work on the gun and people come in and interact and talk with you,” said Yee. “You get to educate the public about what you’re doing, maybe get them interested in taking a class (at Trinidad State).”  


The show runs from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. on August 12th, and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the A.R. Mitchell Museum. Admission is $10 per person per day. Tickets will be sold at the door.


On Saturday night, August 13th, a banquet and silent auction will be held at Brix Sports Bar and Grill at 231 East Main Street starting at 7 p.m. The speaker will be NRA Director of Education and Training Bill Poole. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of TSJC Gunsmithing Endowed Faculty Fund. RSVP by calling Donna at 719 846-5541. Cost is $30.

In Loving Memory of Johnny E. Valdez

Johnny E. Valdez, this otherwise happy soul, lost a very fast and dirty fight with stinking pancreatic cancer, dying at his home on July 25, 2016 in Truth or Consequences, NM. He was 73 years old.


He was born to Ascencion Cardenas Valdez in Raton, NM on August 13, 1942. His grandmother, Manuelita Cardenas, helped raise him.


Johnny graduated from Raton High School in 1960 and immediately served in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller for four years.


He was married to Linda Hale at Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon, NM on April 1, 2004 – no fooling.


Johnny spent several years with White’s Auto Stores in Albuquerque and then Raton until opening his own shop “Johnny’s Care & Lawnmower Repair” and retiring in 2004.


Valdez JHe was very proud to be a native New Mexican and lived most of his life in Raton. He was enjoying his retirement years in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. He would go fishing with his brother, Andy, and enjoyed playing golf, especially the 19th hole. He loved entertaining his many friends on the “Redneck Patio & Cantina”.


He was an inventor of many useful items, including his fan favorite, “Johnny Block”. He made several Adirondack-style patio chairs that many of his friends all enjoy.


Johnny was known as a verbal antagonist to his friend, Leroy, and the “Nooners” at  Sierra del Rio (i.e. Coach, Butch, Bobby, Deano, Jim, Warren, Norb, Bill and Jerry).


Johnny is survived by his spouse, Linda Hale; he was very proud of his only son, John Paul and his wife Carmen Valdez, of Albuquerque, his daughter Annemarie & husband Dave of Ohio, step-daughter Jaime and husband, Mitch Bengston of Rio Rancho, mother-in-law Judy Hale Markes of Florida, grandchildren Kira, Joaquin, Rome, Siena, Amelia, Adam, Micaela, Talya, Malakai and Kapriana, brothers Andy and wife Rosalie of Albuquerque and Jerry (Cupie) and wife Lucy of Louisiana, sisters Viola (Nena) Barela of Colorado, Loretta and Dennis Worthington of Ruidoso, and Larry and Anthony Cardenas.  He also had several much younger friends he loved and called his hitos:  Pasquinel and Zeb Marchiondo, Gene Garcia and Pat Lovato in Raton, and recently Ricky and Vicky Bouvet of Garfield. He loved his cat Leche!


He was preceded in death by his sister, Henrietta Valdez, in 1949.


Rosary will be on July 31, 2016 at 7:30 PM and Mass at 10 AM Monday, August 1, 2016 at St. Patrick’s-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Raton, NM. Johnny will be laid to rest in Fairmont Cemetery in Raton, NM.


Honorary pallbearers are J.P. Valdez, Rome Valdez, Joaquin Valdez, Gene Garcia, Patrick Lovato, Ricky Bouvet, Leroy Bierner and Malakai Bengston.


A special thank you to the staff at the Veteran’s Hospital in Albuquerque and the Roadrunners Women’s Golf Association.

In Loving Memory of Stella Delores Raught

Stella Delores Raught was born December 5, 1928 in Delagua, Colorado to parents Celedon and Ruby Vigil. She passed away July 21, 2016.


Stella was the oldest of seven children. Her father was a coal miner and farmer in Southern Colorado. The family later moved to Trinidad where Stella went to school in Trinidad and graduated High school in 1946.

In the fall of 1946. she began her teaching career in Jansen, Colorado. She was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school. This was right after World War ll when teachers were very scarce. Stella met Melvin Raught in 1946.


Stella taught school in Colorado for 16 years and then moved to Raton where she continued her career of teaching. She taught school in Raton, New Mexico for 25 years for a total of 41 years of teaching. She continued to substitute in schools and was very active in working with the placement of abused children by serving on the New Mexico Child Abuse and Neglect Citizen Review Board.

Stella was a member of the National Education Association, the Colorado Education Association and the New Mexico Education Association during her career as an educator. She was a member of the NEA and the NEA-New Mexico Minority Caucus. Stella was inducted in to the NEA New Mexico Hall of Fame.

She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Catholic Daughters, Legion of Mary, Carmelita’s, the Raton Colfax County Hispanic Chamber.



Preceding her in death were Deborah Rose Raught-Bond, son-in-law Ralph Bond; parents, Celedon and Ruby Vigil; sisters Irene Vigil and Evangeline Hildreth and brothers Robert Vigil and Ernest Vigil.

Surviving family is daughter Donna J Raught and grandchildren Bryan Bond (Brandie Bond and Sasha Hurlock), Kristie Bond Vanthul (Christopher Vanthul) and Robin Bond. Great-grandchildren are Petty Officer Second Class Dustie N. Bond, Codie M. Bond and Lily K Bond. Siblings are Rose Maestas and Loretta Yates (Hugh Yates) as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She will be missed by her family and friends.

Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will be held on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at 10:00 am recited by the Legion of Mary. Solemn Mass of the Resurrection will follow at 10:30 am with Father Bill Wytovith as the Celebrant. Rite of Committal and Interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.


Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomery Funeral Home.

In Loving Memory of Helen L. Brandfas

Helen L. Brandfas age 77 of Maxwell New Mexico passed away on July 22, 2016 in Pueblo Co. She was born April 22, 1939 in Manzanola, Co. to Robert and Mildred Earl Arko.

She is preceded in death by her parents and brother Charles Brandfas.


Helen is survived by her husband of 60 years, Edward Brandfas, daughter Julie Brandfas- Mance and husband Max of Maxwell, New Mexico, Son Robert Brandfas and wife Tammy of Maxwell, New Mexico. Five Grandchildren Amanda Chapman and husband Garrett of Gigharbor, Wa., Amy Hronich and husband Joe Bob of Raton, New Mexico, Kaitlyn Mance-Gomez and husband Alan of Maxwell, New Mexico, Thea Brandfas and Loni Brandfas.

brandfasVisitation for Helen L. Brandfas will be on Friday July 29, 2016 from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home Chapel in Raton, New Mexico. Services will be held on Saturday July 30, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor John Spruill officiating. Internment will take place at the Brandfas family ranch in Maxwell, New Mexico.

In lieu of flowers, The Brandfas Family requests donations can be made to the Sangre de Cristo Joni Fair Hospice in Pueblo, Colorado.

Arrangements and celebration of love for Helen L. Brandfas are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton, New Mexico.

In Loving Memory of Mandy Lynn Vanlandingham

Mandy Lynn Vanlandingham age 36, of Raton passed away Wednesday July 20 2016 in Raton.


She was born July 12, 1980 in Raton the daughter of Charles D. Vanlandingham and Della Diane Yob.


vanlandinghamMandy was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church and worked for K-Mart for a few months and Super Save for many years. She loved working with the public and loved her nieces and nephews. She also loved her kitties and lady bugs.

She is survived by her daughter Tayler Marie Sandoval of Raton, her mother Della Diane Yob of Raton, her father Charles David Vanlandingham and step-mother Evelyn of Springfield, MO, sisters Crystal Dawn Lucero and husband Manuel of Colorado Springs, CO, Erika Sisneros and husband Vince of Raton and Myla Jo Marie Vanlandingham of Springfield, MO. Numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Visitation will be Monday July 25, 2016 from 2:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home in Raton.

Funeral Services will be Tuesday July 26, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. at the Calvary Baptist Church in Raton with pastor Ed Buerkle officiating.

Arrangements and celebration of love for Mandy Lynn Vanlandingham are under the direction of the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home of Raton.

In Loving Memory of Kendra Lynn Anderson

Kendra Lynn Anderson, age 42, passed away suddenly in Kalispell, Montana, Saturday, July 16, 2016. Kendra was born in Springer, NM on May 22, 1974 to Richard and Diana Anderson of Roy, NM. She is survived by her daughter, the love of her life, Elora Shanan Lynn Akins of Kalispell.


Surviving are her parents, Richard and Diana Anderson, one sister, Laura Anderson, two brothers Richard, (wife Elizabeth) Anderson and Randy, (wife Alison) Anderson. Many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and other relatives also survive.


Kendra, as a child, was active in 4-H, school athletics and was an honor student. She loved to play the piano, at school, church and other functions in Roy. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Roy. After graduating from High School, she joined the Marines. She married while in the marines and her pride and joy, Elora, came from that union.


Kendra and Elora, joined her sister Laura, who was living in Montana. Kendra attended college in Missoula, MT and earned a two-year degree in Electrical Engineering. She was employed by Applied Materials in Kalispell for 16 years come this December.


She loved visiting the Kalispell VFW, playing pool with some of the best pool players in town. They loved seeing her big smile and treated her like a granddaughter.


A memorial service was held July 22nd in Kalispell, Mt. and a memorial service will be held in Roy, NM at the First Baptist Church of Roy, Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM. Graveside services with Military Honors, Roy Cemetery, Roy, New Mexico.

MCMC Again Upgrades Equipment/Services

By Bill Donati  – While many hospitals pare down services, Miners Colfax Medical Center (MCMC) in Raton continues on a path to keep improving its equipment, staff and services offered.  CEO Shawn Lerch visited KRTN’s “This, That and the Other” program on Friday, July 22 and had a long list of positives that MCMC has either installed or is in the process of instituting.

With the recent closing of the obstetrics wing at Alta Vista Hospital in Las Vegas, MCMC has renewed and upped its commitment to the area’s obstetrical needs.  Now the only facility between Raton and Santa Fe offering obstetrics,   the MCMC Auxiliary is ramping up fundraising efforts to help purchase a new $250,000 Centricity Central Monitoring system for  expecting mothers.

The medical imaging capability of MCMC is taking a huge leap forward with new computed tomography capability.  The installation of a  the new 3-D imaging machine/computer will upgrade from 16 slice to 64 slice which will have dramatic advanced capabilities for both cardiology and pulmonary services offered.  Completion is expected by August 22 and until then the MRI scans will continue, but temporarily can only be offered on an every other week basis until completed.

With that imaging capability, MCMC is also completing a new service contract to provide much-needed cardiology services that will provide both out-patient advanced stress testing and in-patient consultations.  Official clinics will begin in September with onsite clinics being held twice per month.   For cardiology scheduling and information, call 575-445-7865.

MCMC laboratory services are also getting an upgrade as two new chemistry analyzers are being installed that will vastly enhance their testing capabilities.  This includes providing microbiology in-house testing that previously had to be sent to Albuquerque.

The Behavioral Health service component is being further integrated with the addition of a psychiatrist, LISWs (Licensed Independent Social Workers) and certified counselors to work in conjunction with the recently-completed Primary Care Clinic.  The clinic has been very busy since opening in August of 2015 and is actively recruiting two new providers (either Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant) and is also actively recruiting another Family Medicine physician.

Lerch also said that MCMC is planning a community meeting for sometime in August. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a “State of the State” report for the communities they serve and provide updates on their strategic initiatives, financial reports and give the public a forum to ask questions.