Robberies spike in Clovis

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers In recent months there has been a spike in robberies in Clovis, bringing the number of cases for the year so far, with more than three months remaining, to about the same as the total for 2005, according to police. Portales hasn’t seen the same increase, say local police. Summer […]

Congress, courts need to take action in death penalty cases

Editorial R obert Charles Comer wants to take responsibility for the murders, kidnapping, robbery and rape he committed nearly 20 years ago at Arizona’s Apache Lake and face the ultimate punishment — state execution by lethal injection. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals won’t let him. Instead, a three-judge panel has refused to rule […]

Sex offender oversight has little local impact

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Only one local case was affected by a statewide oversight that led to approximately 100 convicted sex offenders receiving parole periods shorter than they should have. The state Corrections Department has identified more than 100 cases in which sex offenders weren’t given the proper amount of probation or parole time […]

What Supreme Court ignores tells as much as what it addresses

Editorial Sometimes the cases the U.S. Supreme Court does not agree to review tells as much about the high court’s mood as those cases it decides to hear. That’s the situation this week as the high court continued to proceed with a caution that is becoming familiar in the weeks since a new member and […]

Supreme Court now handling tougher cases, more controversy

Editorial The U.S. Supreme Court is moving from a period when it has been handling some of the easier cases on its docket, resulting in a surprising number of unanimous decisions, to handling more controversial decisions that will almost surely split the high court. One case decided last week led newly installed Chief Justice John […]

Judge Hartley surgery delays 27 local cases

Andy Jackson: Freedom Newspapers Ninth Judicial District Judge Teddy Hartley will be off the bench for at least two weeks while he recovers from back surgery he had on Tuesday. Hartley’s case load has been rescheduled— 27 cases have been delayed to later dates, according to Karen Hill, Hartley’s administrative assistant . Some of Hartley’s […]

Americans deserve more accountability from government

Freedom Newspapers The FBI has committed at least 13 violations of the guidelines governing its conduct under the Patriot Act serious enough to be referred to the Intelligence Oversight Board. That’s an arm of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which is charged with examining violations of laws and directives. These facts came to light […]

Unlicensed contractors drawing complaints

By Ryn Gargulinski By Ryn Gargulinski CNJ STAFF WRITER ryn_gargulinski@link.freedom.com Problems with unlicensed contractors in New Mexico have reached an all-time high, according to state officials. It’s become such a problem the state recently released a top 10 list of known unlicensed contractors, a first-time measure Construction Industries Division spokeswoman Charmaine Jackson-John said the agency […]

O’Connor at center during polarized times

She made history as the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court — by Ronald Reagan in 1981 — and then proceeded to flummox conservatives and liberals alike as she became what the pundits called the “swing vote” on issues with ideological ramifications. It might be more accurate to say that Sandra Day O’Connor […]

Salmonella outbreak linked to state hatchery

By Leslie Radford: Freedom Newspapers Seventeen cases of salmonella poisoning in the Southwest since April have been linked to a single New Mexico hatchery, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. Department of Health Public Information Officer Deborah Davis declined to release the name of the hatchery or where it is located because she […]

Mothering babies isn’t what it used to be

Freedom Newspapers Mothering babies might not seem what it used to be. We seem to see growing instances of mothers who abuse or abandon their children, whether leaving them alone at home or in hot car seats. We still hear news about spectacular cases such as that of a Texas woman, who with her common-law […]

Officials monitoring pneumonia cases

Freedom Newspapers State health officials are monitoring three cases of pneumonia in the Eastern New Mexico area to see if each illness was spawned by influenza. “It’s not abnormally high (number of cases) … (but) the reason we’re monitoring it is because it’s related to the lung and there may be a viral connection and […]

Late appointment leaves district without D.A. temporarily

By Mike Linn Criminal court cases scheduled for Monday were postponed because Gov. Bill Richardson had not appointed a district attorney in time to replace Brett Carter, whose duties end at 5 p.m. today. Carter has accepted a job to work as the district public defender. Incoming District Attorney Matt Chandler — whose official term […]

Roosevelt among five counties served by child support center

By David Irvin In 2003, the child support division of the New Mexico Human Services Department collected $3.4 million for families in Curry and Roosevelt counties. With the opening of a regional office in Clovis, state officials are hoping to collect even more. The Clovis child support enforcement office has been operating as a satellite […]

Social workers face pressure of ramifications

By David Irvin One of the hardest tasks Sherel Whited faces as a social worker is making decisions she knows will change the lives of the parents and children. A social worker supervisor for the Children, Youth and Families Department in Curry County, it’s Whited’s job to initiate steps toward removing a child from a […]

Prosecutors say Chandler stretching the truth

By David Arkin: PNT Correspondent Four prosecutors in the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s office claim former colleague Matt Chandler is misrepresenting his record in hopes of being elected on June 1. Chandler said information he’s supplied in fliers and in media advertisements is accurate. He called the prosecutors’ comments “disappointing.” “For this to come out […]

D.A. candidates talk crime at forum

By Darrell Todd Maurina CLOVIS — In a 90-minute debate of Republicans seeking the position of Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Incumbent Brett Carter promoted his experience while challenger Matt Chandler spoke of an aggressive new vision for fighting crime. Although both presented different visions for the future of the district attorney’s office, they were agreeable […]

Flu season is here, no cases reported in area

Darrell Todd Maurina Although flu is striking all around New Mexico, it seems to have had less effect on the local area. Not a single flu case has been reported so far in Roosevelt, Curry or Quay counties, authorities say. Beth Velasquez, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Health, said there have been 108 […]

Attorneys have opposing views on sex offender laws

Darrell Maurina New laws passed recently by the New Mexico legislature markedly increase penalties for sex offenders whose victims are children. Two criminal defense attorneys who have handled sex-related cases in the 9th Judicial District have opposite views of the new legislation. Clovis attorney Michael Garrett said the new laws give prosecutors important tools through […]

Lack of personnel at D.A. office causes concern

Mike Linn Local law enforcement officials say they are concerned about a perceived shortage of personnel at the Roosevelt County District Attorney’s Office. Officers say they sometimes have to act as attorneys when prosecuting crimes such as shoplifting and disorderly conduct. In an effort to seek remedy, police officials and members of the local Crime […]