ENMU commencement ceremony set for Saturday

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Argen Duncan Sweet 16 and walking the stage. Among the 484 spring graduates and 69 summer graduates eligible to participate in Eastern New Mexico University’s commencement Saturday is 16-year-old Hobbs resident and biology major Jessica McGraw, according to ENMU information. Her brother, John, expects to graduate at age 19 in December with a double major [...]

USDA to offer training

Freedom New Mexico The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is conducting free training sessions for its Rural Energy for America Program and Value Added Producer Grant program. Eligible applicants for REAP include agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Eligible applicants for VAPG include independent producers, farmers or rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups and majority-controlled [...]

Texas man gets life for 1993 shooting

Freedom New Mexico An Odessa, Texas, man was sentenced to life in prison Friday for a 1993 shooting of a Portales man. Arnoldo Navarette, 40, was also given a three-year sentence in connection to a 1993 shooting that killed Reynaldo Ornelas Sr. and injured a bystander. Navarette was found guilty by a jury Sept. 30 [...]

‘Stop loss’ troops eligible for payment

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Let’s go on a scavenger hunt! The object is to find one (or more) of 89,836 service members, many of them now veterans, who were forced to stay on active duty under “stop loss” orders, for days or months beyond projected separation or retirement dates, sometime from Sept. 11, 2001, [...]

Portales men sentenced for sex offenses

Freedom New Mexico A Portales man was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for molesting an 8-year-old child. Derek Garcia, 27, will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according [...]

Roosevelt farmers, ranchers eligible for disaster aid

Freedom New Mexico Roosevelt and Quay are among six New Mexico counties declared eligible for disaster assistance Thursday due to continuing drought. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., announced eligibility due to their proximity to Texas counties, which were declared disaster areas. Farmers and ranchers in Dona Ana, Eddy, Lea, Otero, Quay, and Roosevelt counties are now [...]

Diseases linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam expanded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases [...]

Stop-loss vets eligible for payment

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist About 185,000 veterans who were forced by wartime “stop loss” orders to serve on active duty after enlistment contracts had expired, or past their approved retirement dates, are due a retroactive special payment of $500 for each extra month they served. But these veterans must apply by Oct. 21 to [...]

USDA error cuts grazing time for local ranchers

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer A state lawmaker is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for additional grazing time for roughly 100 Roosevelt County ranchers involved in a federal program. U.S. Rep.Tom Udall, D-N.M., said a clerical error resulted in the ranchers eligible for a special U.S. Department of Agriculture program that allowed grazing [...]

County gets disaster declaration

PNT Staff Report The U.S. Department of Agriculture on July 30 declared 31 New Mexico counties as disaster areas including Curry, Quay and Roosevelt counties because of persisting drought conditions, according to a USDA press release. Eligible farmers have an eight-month deadline to apply for low-interest emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency to help [...]