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Cimarron River fish safe to eat, tests show

Cimarron River fish safe to eat, tests show

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Dan Williams: (505) 476-8004


Cimarron River fish safe to eat, tests show

EAGLE NEST – Recent tests of trout in the Cimarron River show that the fish are now safe to eat because no traces of pollution were found from a 2016 fuel spill.

A 1.5-mile stretch of the river off N.M. 64 within the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area and Cimarron Canyon State Park was closed in December 2016 after a tanker truck overturned and spilled approximately 1,100 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel into the river.

The area between mile marker 291 to the Perryville Fishing Access Area was reopened to angling in May 2017 after successful restoration efforts, but anglers were advised to eat no more than three meals of fish per month from the spill area. That recommendation has been lifted because recent tests of fish from the area showed no signs of contaminants in the fish tissue.

For more information about fishing New Mexico, including the Environment Department’s fish consumption advisories for certain waters, please visit the department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.


RHS December Students of the Month

Congratulations to the following students for being selected as Raton High School December Students of the Month!


L to R Ella Sanchez–Academic, KayLee Maes–Service, Guillermo Cabriales–Most Improved, Kira Medina–8th Grade, Cayden Walton–7th Grade.

Colfax County Sheriffs Office Press Release

KRTN received this press release from Colfax County Sheriff’s Office:

December 6th, 2017

Press Release

On November 30th, 2017, Jeremiah Atencio of Raton, NM was arrested by Colfax County Deputies for Abuse of a Child (1st Offence – tortured, cruelly confined or cruelly punished), a 3rd degree felony.

The charge resulted from an October 25th, 2017 report from Miners’ Colfax Medical Center of possible physical child abuse involving a five-week old child. Medical staff believed the injuries were not consistent with the explanations given for them.  A follow-up examination at UNM Hospital identified additional evidence of previous child abuse. The Colfax County Sheriff’s Office performed numerous interviews with the parents of the child, witnesses, medical professionals and executed a search warrant, prior to obtaining an arrest warrant for Atencio.

Jeremiah Atencio, the father of the child, later confessed to physically abusing the child on October 24th, 2017.

press release atencio

Federal Funding Announced for Raton Water Treatment Plant

Special to KRTN Multi-Media

(Presented to Commisisoners at 11-28-17 Meeting)

New Mexico Lawmakers Announce Over $2.5 Million in Federal Funding for the Raton Water Treatment Plant

WASHINGTON, DC – US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Congressman Ben Ray Luján announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded funds, totaling $2.58 million, to help the City of Raton in northern New Mexico upgrade its Water Treatment Plant.

“The Raton Water Treatment Plant has served the City of Raton well since 1947 but it is long past time for the system to be upgraded and repaired,” Rep. Luján said. “This funding will not only allow Raton to make those improvements but will also address important health and safety concerns for the water plant’s employees.”

“Improving the outdated water treatment system in Raton is a worthy investment for the community. This grant will fund needed improvements to modernize the treatment facility and improve health and safety issues for workers,” Sen. Udall said. “The USDA provides important funding for rural development in New Mexico, and as a member of the subcommittee that oversees funding for the USDA, I will keep fighting for investments that help our rural communities thrive.”

“Through this funding, the City of Raton will be able to modernize their current water treatment plant. These kinds of investments yield long term public health benefits by ensuring families have access to clean and reliable drinking water,” said Heinrich. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to prioritize investments that improve infrastructure in our rural communities.”

The City of Raton will receive a loan of $1,754,000 and a grant of $829,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program. The funds will be used to upgrade the Raton Water Treatment Plant by repairing and replacing equipment, and by correcting existing health and sanitary issues in order to make the facility safer for personnel. These repairs will help the Raton Water Treatment Plant to continue to provide clean water to the city’s residents and 413 commercial customers for years to come.




Raton Commission Hears Good News About Marketing

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


At their regular meeting on Tuesday, November 28th, Raton City Commissioners heard from Geoff Peterson and Jessica Barfield from the Center for Sustainable Community about the progress they have made in marketing Raton through the ExploreRaton.com web page and other programs they are working on for the community.

Peterson and Barfield came to the commission to request Lodger’s Tax Funding to continue the progress they have made in promoting Raton through the ExploreRaton.com webpage and expanding on the promotion that web page brings to the city. The duo has created 17 Ad Campaigns promoting Raton which was a total of $35,000 in advertising dollars. According to Barfield 584,375 individuals saw the advertising and Google Ads prompted over 25,000 people to visit the ExploreRaton.com web page. They also were able to partner with Jackrabbit to enable visitors to book hotel rooms through the ExploreRaton website.

Barfield noted that the website is seeing over 6200 visitors a month with over 35% of those on mobile devices which she feels will continue to climb. They are continuing to improve the site by adding a Facebook presence and Instagram account to help promote the local hotels booking capability and promotions of local events. Peterson noted that they are working on two more projects that include an association with Fat Pipe Albuquerque to help locals with growing a small remote business by offering high speed internet and office space. The other project is called small town affordable living which promotes the advantages of small town living. Commissioner Linde’ Schuster noted that she had met a lady who chose to move to Raton because of the small town affordable living promotion.

To continue the work that they have started Peterson requested $2000 a month through the end of the fiscal year, June 2018. He told commissioners that they are also working with Grow Raton for additional funding to help promote remote workers. Commissioners were impressed with the work and the numbers so far and approved that request.  (Link to the Numbers and other Website Data)

Commissioners held a public hearing then approved the adoption of the resolution to send Ordinance 977 to the voters in March 2018. The ordinance will change the gross receipts tax that goes to the water department from one cent to 3/4 cent. The GRT money is essential to the water department as match money and to help with improvements. (Link to Ordinance 997 Water Gross Receipts Tax Question)

Commissioners approved Election Resolution 2017-58 for the March 2018 election which includes two city commission positions, Municipal Judge and two questions. The municipal election will be March 6, 2018.  (Link to Election Resolution)

Commissioners approved the Financial Report which once again shows an increase in gross receipts taxes. City Treasurer Michael Ann Antonucci reported that the city departments continue to operate under budget which is a good thing as the city moves into the lean time of winter. Commissioners also approved a budget adjustment for the library.  (Link to Full Financial Report 11-28-17)

City Manager Scott Berry told commissioners that the work at the municipal airport should be completed by the end of the week, weather permitting. Taxiway D is now finished and Taxiway A is all that remains.

Berry also reported that a Joe Apache work of art was donated to the city by resident Bill Allen, which will be hung in city hall.

Commissioners will meet again on December 12, 2017 at 6:00 p.m and the meeting will be broadcast on KRTN-AM 1490.

Geoff Peterson and Jessica Barfield told commissioners about the work they have done on the ExploreRaton.com website and projects they are working on to help promote Raton.

Geoff Peterson and Jessica Barfield told commissioners about the work they have done on the ExploreRaton.com website and projects they are working on to help promote Raton.

“No Contest” Pled In March 2016 Abandonment Of Child Resulting In Death

KRTN received this press release from the Colfax County Sheriff’s Office.


RHSs: FCCLA, NHS, and FFA Fundraise for Positively Pink Week

FCCLA, NHS, and FFA present the check to Jaime Esquibel for the money they raised during the 2017 RHS Positively Pink Week! The three organizations did fundraiser activities that enabled them to donate $1032.50 toward finding a cure for cancer. Jamie Esquibel will walk for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk in San Diego, California, in November 2018.

Thank you to everyone who participated and made it such a success!


Front row LtoR: FCCLA President Halle Medina, Jaime Esquibel, and NHS Treasurer Sydni Silva.


NOTES from NOV 20, 2017 MEETING
 The application for the grant has to come from a 5-member steering committee and must have a local
government partner and partner with a 501-C3 (the Chamber is working to establish a 501-C3 in time for the
application deadline).
 Foundations that are seriously considering financial support for a project:
o Phillips Foundation
o NM Resiliency Alliance
o Ausherman Family foundation (Jim is a Trustee)
 Need to revisit Cimarron Strategic Plan
 Deadline for the application is January 31, 2018
a. Put the last photo up
b. Picnic tables, restrooms
c. Dog walking area
d. Trash cans
e. Directional signs (welding project)
f. Landscaping
g. Skate park
2. IMPROVE VILLAGE PARK; perhaps a large chair for people to take group/family pictures in.
7. IMPROVE BALLFIELDS IN WEST END OF TOWN; including grading, lighting, landscaping, backstops/dugouts,
bleachers, & facilities (bathroom, concession stand, dressing rooms, storage)
8. SKATE PARK – location to be determined
10. NEW VISITOR CENTER with parking and restrooms
 Monday, December 4, 2017 (narrow down possibilities)
 Monday, January 15, 2018 (make final decisions)
 Meet at Baptist Church at 5:15pm

Superintendent Sees Hope for Raton Schools

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media


Raton Public Schools Superintendent Andy Ortiz sees hope for the future of the Raton Schools after a couple of tumultuous years with budget cuts, staff cuts and cuts in programs.


Ortiz noted it has been a tough couple of years but he sees things turning around for the schools as morale is beginning to see a turnaround, student’s grades are improving and the financial outlook while it is still very tight is looking up.


The 40 Day count showed 911 students enrolled in the Raton Schools. Ortiz was hopeful the 80 and 120 day counts will hold, however in the past they often were slightly down from the 40-day count. Raton Schools are funded on the 80 and 120 day counts. Ortiz noted that last year the school showed 943 students. The lower numbers in one way are a positive in that the school is getting back some of its small school units, however, it would be nice to see higher numbers.


Ortiz noted that the district is in the process of updating their school facilities master plan that they have to have in place in case they have to go to the Public Schools Facilities Authority for emergency funding for repairs or other needs. The plan is required to be updated every five years and the current plan expires in 2017. Yes, the plan does include a new school however, building a new school is not in the works for at least a couple of years.


The Raton School’s buildings are old and in need of regular maintenance. How long can they keep this up before it becomes too expensive is the question and Ortiz knows that to meet technology demands and keep the buildings safe for students, one day it will require a new building, but as he noted, not this year. Other issues on the plan include a new track at the football stadium and other work there.


Over the years there have been complaints about the schools not being as good as they should be. Ortiz said that it takes a community to raise a student, students also have to be engaged and have the desire and want to succeed. He noted one of the most important things is parent involvement. He has told faculty, parents and others if they have a problem my door is open, come talk to me so we can fix the problem. Ortiz talked about programs that are in place to help students including some peer-to-peer tutoring. Teachers are available in the mornings before school to help students. There are other programs to help students, but if that student just doesn’t want to be there or do the work it is hard to make them.


Ortiz knows that parents were disappointed in some of the program cuts that were done last year but noted that while one teacher is not doing PE, PE is still happening just in a different way. He is also looking at ways to make improvements and bring more dual credit classes to the high school.


Overall Ortiz is optimistic that things in the Raton Schools are turning around and as he walks through the schools he is seeing positive teaching in the classes and students engaged in the learning process. Ortiz is still looking for ways to keep the budget lean and help the teachers accomplish their jobs.


Luna Community College Issued “Show-Cause Order”

By Holly Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

Luna Community College, of Las Vegas, New Mexico has been issued a “Show-Cause Order” by the Higher Learning commission Board of Trustees (HLC), on November 11,2017.

A “Show-Cause Order” is a procedural order that requires an institution to present its case to HLC as to why accreditation should not be withdrawn.  The HLC Board of Trustees issued the Show-Cause Order based on its finding of non-compliance following a HLC visit to Luna Community College back in June.

According to HLC public disclosure notice, HLC took the action because it determined that Luna

Community College does not meet HLC’s criteria for accreditation. The Show-Cause Order was taken because of concerns about the college’s institutional integrity and ethics, board autonomy, and effective leadership and collaboration.  HLC also has concerns about the institute’s resources.

According to the public disclosure notice the next step for the college is to file a report by February 1, 2018, providing evidence that it has addressed the issues that HLC is concerned about.  That will be followed by an on campus visit by HLC no later than March 2018, for further verification that the college has indeed addressed the issues in question.  Then in June 2018, the HLLC Board to Trustees will determine whether Luna Community College has demonstrated that it is in compliance with the Board’s Criteria for Accreditation and whether the Show-Cause Order can be removed.

The Higher Learning Commission Board was established in 1898 as one of six regional accreditors in the United States for degree granting post-secondary educational institutes. Luna Community College was granted accreditation on April 29, 1982.

In a press release provided by Luna Community College, Interim President, Ricky Serna stated that:   “We respect the Higher Learning Commission’s Show-Cause Order and we are working on a plan of action that will include: administration, faculty, staff, students and community members,” said Serna. “The immediate response from employees is that we will stand together to successfully overcome this challenge on behalf of the students we serve.”

For more information visit Luna Community College’s web page at www.luna.edu and by clicking on the HLC’s Mark of Affiliation at the bottom left of the home page or by searching for Luna Community College’s profile on Higher Learning Commission’s website www.hlcommission.org.