VA vows timely GI Bill payments

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist The new Post-9/11 GI Bill, which on average will double the value of education benefits for eligible veterans, will be launched on schedule next August and begin making payments to students and colleges next fall. That’s just as Congress intended, says a senior Department of Veterans Affairs official. Keith M. [...]

Proving VA claims creating process bottleneck

By Tom Philpott In the last decade, the Department of Veterans Affairs has doubled the number of disability claim processors on staff, and yet the average time to process a claim has climbed during that period from four months to six. From January 2007 through June 2008, as VA added 2,700 claim processors to its [...]

Rain brings relief for farmers

By Thomas Garcia PNT Staff Writer Recent rainfall has interrupted stretches of high temperatures and brought some relief to area farmers. The average high temperature in Roosevelt County has been relatively cooler the past few days, said Earl Breon, meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. From June 10 through June 20, temperatures [...]

Stock market’s rough ride has locals nervous

By Mickey Winfield, Freedom New Mexico The Dow Jones industrial average closed Monday at 11,350, marking the worst June for the market since the Great Depression of the 1930’s and it’s lowest point since Sept. 2006. In addition to the current condition of the market, the price of oil hit another record high at mid-day [...]

Honors: NMJC graduates

Two students from Portales were awarded associate degrees from New Mexico Junior College on May 9. Daniel C. Vela received an Associate of Arts degree, and Joseph Roy Friesen received Associate of Applied Science degree. Freisen is an honor graduate, based on a grade point average of 3.5 or better of the credit hours completed [...]

Housing slump hits home

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico Robert Garcia loves the home he and his wife share in Clovis, a three-bedroom, two-bath brick house he considers average. The Garcias are planning to move for a possible promotion with Robert’s computer job, and he’s shared a problem with average Americans in trying to sell his house. A [...]

Tweaked farm bill worthy of Bush’s veto

Editorial Democrats took control of Congress vowing to take a fresh look at wasteful programs and spending priorities. The expiration of the federal farm program — it has to be renewed every five years — was a golden opportunity to put some substance behind those promises. Crop prices are high, and farmers are thriving; net [...]

Farmers pleased with sorghum crop

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Grain sorghum farmers are reporting an above average year with yields double and even triple the average, according to area producers and officials. “It is probably one of the better crops we’ve had in the past five years,” said Toby Bostwick, Curry County farmer and president-elect for the National [...]

Wet weather gives way to heat

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By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer A cooler, wetter than normal late spring may give way to a warmer more humid summer in the city of Portales. According to AccuWeather, Portales’ average temperature in the month of May from 1914 through 2005 is 83 degrees. But this May, the temperature only reached or exceeded that [...]

Four selected to LSC academic team

Freedom Newspapers RICHARDSON, Texas — Three baseball players and one softball player have been chosen to represent Eastern New Mexico University on the Lone Star Conference South Division all-academic teams. The baseball players are junior third baseman Derrick Kennedy of San Antonio, sophomore pitcher-outfielder Seth Clabaugh of Portales and sophomore outfielder Clayton Young of Canyon, [...]