Rape fliers, Floyd fire top end of 2005 headlines

Staff Reports

Editor’s note: The following is a brief look at the stories that made news locally in 2005. The PNT will run the year-in-review in each of the coming issues through Jan. 1.

Nov. 1
• Rape fliers circulated — Police said that a flier, warning of a rapist, circulated on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University and around Portales may be misleading. Police were investigating more than one rape case but Capt. Lonnie Berry of the Portales Police Department said they were not related.
• Charges dropped on street preacher — Charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest were dropped against street preacher Shawn Miller. The American Civil Liberties Union came to Miller’s defense in the case.
• Zia soccer short of tourney — The ENMU womens soccer team couldn’t get a win or tie against Texas Woman’s College in order to get into the conference tournament.

Nov. 2
• Coach Elliott dies — Longtime and beloved ENMU football coach Bud Elliott, 73, died after an extended illness. He retired a year ago after 37 years coaching collegiate football, the last 11 as the Greyhounds coach.

Nov. 3
• ENMU student arrested in bomb scare — Joshua Gilpin, 28, of Portales was arrested after several buildings at ENMU were evacuated due to a bomb scare. Ordnance disposal teams from Cannon Air Force Base removed several suspicious items from Roosevelt Hall.
• ‘Mousetrap’ a hit — The ENMU theatre department presented “The Mousetrap” to audiences on a three-night stand at the Theatre Center.

Nov. 4
• Miss Native American crowned — Shannon Saltclah was chosen as Miss Native American at a ceremony at ENMU. She said one of her biggest concerns is Native Americans’ struggle for sovereignty and control of their lands.
• Hospital elections coming — The Roosevelt General Hospital board elections are less than a week away with four people vying for two openings.

Nov. 5
• Ute Project meetings announced — A series of public meetings throughout the region designed to paint a clearer picture of the proposed Ute Water Project was announced. The first of those four meetings was scheduled for Portales.
• Rams playoff hopes alive — Even after a tough 56-35 shootout loss to Ruidoso, the Portales Rams still have hopes of a playoff berth thanks to the new seeding system being used in football.

Nov. 6
• Lockers out of favor — The days of the locker at schools are numbered. When the Portales Junior High was rebuilt two years ago no lockers were included. Portales High School only has one small section of lockers left.
• Lady Rams advance — The Portales Lady Ram volleyball team advanced to the second round of the state playoffs after beating Wingate in a tough three-game sweep.

Nov. 8
• Elliott remembered — A public memorial service for ENMU football coach Bud Elliott was held at the Campus Union Building Ballroom. Approximately 575 people turned out to say farewell.
• Rams are in — Despite losing their last eight regular season games, the Portales Ram football team is going to the playoffs thanks to the expanded seeding system being used for the first time this year. It’s been two years since the Rams went to the playoffs.

Nov. 9
• Police investigating another rape — Portales police confirmed they are investigating a second sexual assault within a month. The assault occurred amid heightened fears by the public of the crime.
• Lady Rams a target — With a 10-game winning streak and the No. 1 seed going into the state tournament, the Portales Lady Ram volleyball team knows it has a target on its back.

Nov. 10
• Cone retains seat — Local CPA Terry Cone retained his seat on the Roosevelt General Hospital board following elections. Lydia Ornelas ran unopposed in the other district up for grabs.
• Closure list confirmed — The base closure list officially took effect today following legislative review. Supporters prepared to search for a new mission for Cannon.

Nov. 11
• Assaults prompt safety workshops — ENMU officials announced a series of personal safety workshops in the wake of recent sexual assaults in town.
• Lady Rams to semifinals — The Lady Ram volleyball team swept Soccoro to advance to the semifinal round of the 3A state volleyball tournament.

Nov. 12
• Vets remembered — Portales honored its veterans during Memorial Day activities at the Memorial Building and at the Veteran’s Memorial on the ENMU campus.
• Lady Rams make finals — The Lady Rams held off St. Michaels in five games to advance to the championship of the 3A state volleyball tournament.
• Raton knocks Rams out — The Ram football team made an early exit from the state football playoffs after a hard-fought 15-7 loss to Raton.

Nov. 13
• Lady Rams take title — Following their season-long motto, “Never Retreat, Never Surrender,” the Lady Ram volleyball team won their second five-game match in two days to claim the 3A state crown in an emotional win over Pojoaque.
• Stanfield to perform — Nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Jana Stanfield is set to perform a benefit concert at Portales High School. The event will feature local performers in the mix.

Nov. 16
• Police investigate third assault — Portales police were investigating the third assault case since late August. Police said they wanted to “warn people that this is out there.” Police said they felt like it was the same person in the cases.
• Family defends Gilpin — The sister of a man in jail in connection with a bomb scare at ENMU said the police investigation of her brother was misguided and erroneous.

Nov. 17
• Bomb scare suspect indicted — Joshua Gilpin, a former ENMU student arrested in connection with a bomb scare at the university was indicted by a Roosevelt County grand jury on charges of possession of an explosive incendiary device, possession of marijuana, larceny and tampering with evidence.

Nov. 18
• ENMU tuition among lowest — A survey of universities in the Southwest ranked ENMU second lowest in tuition cost among 76 schools.
• Casey entertains Chamber — Cowboy singer/poet T.J. Casey entertained the crowd at the annual Roosevelt County Chamber banquet. Craig Hughes of Craig Hughes Welding won the Harley and Faye Borden Memorial award and Sharon Davis won the Workhorse award at the banquet.

Nov. 19
• Dora boys win opener — The Dora Coyote basketball team won its season opener in front of a home crowd as it defeated San Jon 79-36.

Nov. 20
• Kids brave cold to fish — Nearly 85 kids braved cold temperatures and icy winds to attend the 15th annual Kids’ Free Fishin’ Clinic at Oasis State Park.
• Future educators gather — ENMU was host to 2005 Future Educators Association State Conference. High school students from all over the state got insight into an education career choice at the two-day conference.

Nov. 22
• Mayor’s tree decorated — The Portales Art Club and students from Portales High School decorated the Portales Mayor’s Christmas tree. The tree contains the names of approximately 200 children in need of Christmas presents.

Nov. 23
• Elida student killed in crash — Elida High School student Clayton Ford died in a one-car rollover crash west of Elida. The entire Elida school system mourned the loss.
• Wind farm nearly complete — The wind farm near Elida is nearing completion. When complete, the system will have 120 wind turbines and generate about 120 megawatts of power for Excel Energy Inc.

Nov. 24
• Kabrick chose Rambelles — PHS senior Megan Kabrick signed a letter of intent to play volleyball for the San Angelo State Rambelles. Kabrick made the decision after leading the Lady Rams to the state championship this fall.

Nov. 25
• Thanksgiving meal offered — Nearly 400 people were fed at the Memorial Building in Portales on Thanksgiving Day at the community Thanksgiving meal. When they were done they boxed up the leftovers and drove them to Mexico for the needy.

Nov. 26
• Zias stay perfect — The ENMU womens basketball team moved to a 3-0 mark on the season with a 82-67 win over West Texas A&M at the Thanksgiving Shootout in Canyon, Texas.

Nov. 27
• Hounds outlast Adams State — The Hound basketball team moved to 3-1 after a home win against a scrappy Adams State College squad.
• Portales ready for Christmas — Portales prepared to host several holiday events in the next week with the Altrusa Holiday Happening and the Parade of Lights on the horizon.

Nov. 29
• ENMU student dies in crash — Jarrod Michael Knox, 18, an ENMU student from Missouri died in a one-car accident north of Clovis. He was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash.
• Coyotes go 2-0 — The Dora boys basketball team has a two-game win streak after they beat Clovis Christian 64-45.

Nov. 30
• Dealership wins legal fees — A district court judge ruled in favor of Big Valley Auto in Portales in action related to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit. The court awarded attorney fees of $185,000 to Big Valley and threw out the plaintiff’s request for a new trial.
• Team arrives at CAFB — An eight-member team arrived to evaluate possible new missions at Cannon Air Force Base in the wake of the BRAC hearings in September.
• Elder to retire — Longtime ENMU professor and dean Thurman Elder announced he would retire from the university after the spring semester.

Dec. 1
• Grass fire rages near Floyd — A grass fire that started on the Melrose Bombing Range spread across nearly 35,000 acres, burning in and around the town of Floyd. More than 200 firefighters from 14 different departments were deployed to fight the fire.
• Floyd evacuated — A huge grass fire forced evacuation of Floyd schools. Up to 100 people were evacuated from the community.

Dec. 2
• Family loses home in fire — One family, the L.A. Davis’ of Floyd were left homeless after the grass fire that ripped across western Roosevelt County. Other structures were destroyed or damaged but the Davis’ home was the only occupied residence destroyed.
• Cannon admits fire started on range — Cannon Air Force Base officials confirmed that the Nov. 30 grass fire began on the bombing range but said the exact cause was still under investigation. CAFB began distributing claim information to residents with property damaged by the fire.
• Bingaman visits Yam — U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman toured the Yam theater on a regular visit to the area. The senator helped secure $200,000 in federal funds to restore the facility.
• Cannon evaluation positive — The Cannon evaluation team ended its tour of the facilities and communities surrounding CAFB feeling optimistic that a new mission will be found for the base.

Dec. 3
• Bingaman gives interview — U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman sat down with the staff of the PNT and CNJ for an in-depth interview. Bingaman expressed optimism about Cannon’s future and said he felt a final outcome in Iraq would be a long time in coming.
• Timeline set for CAFB’s new mission — As the mission evaluation committee left Clovis after its visit they told officials that they would complete their report early next year.

Dec. 4
• Domenici visits area — U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici visited the area and talked with the PNT and CNJ staff while here. The senator expressed optimism and surprise at the speed at which the Cannon mission evaluation team was working. He also said he thought the Ute Water Project would be passed but funding it would be a big problem.
• Parade and Holiday Happening held — The Christmas Jubilee Light Parade and Altrusa’s Holiday Happening kicked off the holiday season in Portales.

Dec. 6
• Gamble’s purse strings tighter — ENMU president Steven Gamble was judged as among the most frugal of university presidents in the state in a copyright story done by the Albuquerque Journal. His expense report for the fiscal year was $9,635.
• Relay For Life organized — Portales High School students began organizing the 2006 Relay for Life, set for Feb. 24-25. The goal of the event is $40,000, which will be used for cancer research.

Dec. 7
• Land owners get claim help — Floyd area land owners met with CAFB officials and extension experts to talk about filing claims related to the Nov. 30 grass fire and to discuss erosion problems left in its wake.
• Floyd teams sweep — Both the Floyd boys and girls varsity basketball teams got early season victories as they hosted Carrizozo.

Dec. 8
• Church members offer relief — A group of local church members talked about their volunteer work in providing on-site relief for hurricane victims.
• Temperatures plunge — Temperatures plunged to the single digits through much of the day Dec. 7. Combined with 15-24 mph winds the weather kept most people indoors.

Dec. 9
• CAFB mission identified — Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley said a potential new mission for Cannon had been identified. He did not discuss the specific nature of the mission, however.
• Rotary hosts Holiday Home Tour — The Portales Rotary Club announced that it would hold its first ever Holiday Home Tour in Portales next weekend.

Dec. 10
• Zias shorthanded — A rash of knee injuries, three among starters to be precise, has forced the Zia basketball team to rely on senior forward Tiana Bryant and junior guard Heather Brown.

Dec. 11
• Fire destroys home — Fire destroyed a mobile home east of Portales, leaving the owner, Donald Anderson III without a home.
• Care package effort grows — What started as a simple care package effort for a friend serving in the military in Iraq, grew into an outpouring that could reach 100 servicemen. A group of ENMU students was scrambling to raise postage to get the packages out before Christmas.

Dec. 13
• Breakfast offered — The Portales school system will begin offering breakfast at four of its elementary schools nest year. Currently only some students receive free breakfasts, the plan will offer it to all students.

Dec. 14
• Local students graduating at ENMU — There are 38 students from the Portales area graduating among the 250 scheduled to walk across the stage at fall commencement.
• Caiman gets new home — The South American caiman donated to ENMU has a new home in a special display built in the Natural History Museum. Museum officials also determined that the reptile is a male. A naming contest will be announced.

Dec. 15
• Accion rep appointed — Accion New Mexico has added a representative in southeast New Mexico. Pamela Nance will be available to help small businesses with loans for expansion or new establishment.
• Kabrick makes All-Star team — Portales High School senior Megan Kabrick was selected to the North/South volleyball squad as a first team pick. She was the only 3-A player in the state selected.

Dec. 16
• New fire chief named — Raul Muniz, a former New York City firefighter and City of Raton fire captain, was selected as Portales new fire chief. The hiring follows the retirement of Jesse Mowrer from the position.
• United Way sponsors Blessing Tree — The United Way of Roosevelt and Curry counties announced it would sponsor a Blessing Tree on the Roosevelt County courthouse grounds next week. The idea will supplement fund-raising efforts for the organization in its annual drive.

Dec. 17
• Grad numbers up — Along with enrollment, graduation numbers at ENMU are up as well this fall. With 261 graduates, the numbers are up 69 students over a year ago.
• Dora outlasts Farwell — The Dora Coyote basketball team held off Farwell’s press to post a 65-47 home victory. The win brought Dora’s season to an 8-3 record

Dec. 18
• Habitat completes fourth home — Habitat for Humanity of Roosevelt and Curry counties completed its fourth house in Portales. Amanda and Andy Johnson were presented the keys to their new home by outgoing construction manager Dan Gould.
• Lady Tigers win Route 66 — The Elida Lady Tigers basketball team defeated host Tucumcari to win the Route 66 Tournament and post a 9-1 season record.

Dec. 20
• Santa cop comes to town — Portales police officers distributed toys to 250 children in Portales and Roosevelt County as the Christmas closes in. The cops said it was a change of pace to knock on a door with good news for a change.
• Woman convicted of arson — A Portales woman was found guilty of arson, child abuse and cruelty to animals in a May 15, 2004 case in which Clovis firefighters responded to a structure fire in Clovis. Dayna Kendall, 27, could up to 12 years in prison.

Dec. 21
• Local dentist charged in murder — A dentist who worked at La Casa de Buena Salud in Clovis and Portales was arrested in connection with the death of Clovis resident Laura McNaughton. James Smith, 36, of Clovis was charged with an open count of murder.
• Knudson continues as county attorney — Randy Knudson will continue as Roosevelt County attorney after commissioners approved a contract with him on a 4-1 vote. Knudson’s contract was allowed to expire without renewing it in the normal timeframe, clouding his reappointment.

Dec. 22
• Restaurant hosting Christmas dinner — El Rancho Restaurant in Portales will once again host its annual free Christmas day dinner. The Garcia family has been doing the dinner for three years as a way to give back to the community.

Dec. 23
• Ortega says he’ll run — Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega announced that he will seek re-election to a second term in elections next spring. Ortega said he still has unfinished business to see through.
• La Casa caps food and toy drives — La Casa de Buena Salud in Portales ended its holiday food and toy drive by distributing food to 74 families and providing new and used toys to dozens of youngsters.

Dec. 24
• ENMU looking to conservation — ENMU officials are hoping that a new program to conserve water and energy on campus will result in a savings of thousands of dollars and pay for the retrofitting of fixtures quickly.

Dec. 25
• Edwards celebrate Christmas together — Harold Edwards, a Roosevelt County deputy, got home a month early from deployment with his National Guard Unit in Iraq. His arrival in time for Christmas was a welcome present for his family.
• Salvation Army drive nears end — With the Dec. 31 deadline for their fund drive looming, the local Salvation Army says it helped 958 children this season. That compares with 723 last year. A surprise $12,500 donation prevented the charity from dipping into reserve funds to offer the services.

Dec. 26
• Portales looks to industrial future — After over 40 years, the Portales Industrial Park is full. Former civic leaders reflected on its beginnings and city officials talked about the future.

Dec. 29
• Youth shelter nears completion — The new Roosevelt County Youth Shelter is scheduled to be complete in January. Officials from Teambuilders were still working on final plans to provide service out of the new facility which cost $528,000 to build.
• Air Force official to tour — Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics William Anderson will tour CAFB and the surrounding area Jan. 4. The Air Force said his visit is to show his personal commitment to finding a new mission for the base.

Dec. 30
• Facade program at work — A program through the Portales MainStreet Organization that matches downtown business owners efforts to restore facades of their businesses has given out $5,000 so far. Three businesses have received the grants.
• Lady Rams make Clovis finals — The Portales Lady Ram basketball team defeated Gallup to advance to the final round of the Plateau Holiday Classic in Clovis.

Dec. 31
• World War II vets honored — Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico capped its months-long feature telling the stories of the area’s World War II veterans stories with a special keepsake section with over 100 veteran profiles along with feature stories.
• Clovis defeats Lady Rams — The Clovis Lady Wildcats won their own Plateau Holiday Classic basketball tournament by defeating the Portales Lady Rams for the second time this season.