ENMU employees to get 5.5 percent raise

By William P. Thompson, PNT Staff Writer Eastern New Mexico University employees and faculty will earn at least 5.5 percent more for the 2006-2007 school year. The board of regents approved adding at least 1 percent to a state-funded 4.5 percent pay raise for ENMU faculty and made the 5.5 percent total raise effective for […]

Republicans seek investigation into ‘temporary’ hires

Staff and Wire Reports SANTA FE — Republican lawmakers have asked the state attorney general’s office to investigate the Richardson administration’s practice of hiring temporary exempt employees. A March 18 letter from Sen. Kent Cravens, R-Albuquerque, signed by two dozen other GOP lawmakers, said Gov. Bill Richardson’s practices have resulted in “numerous unauthorized hirings.” Lawmakers […]

House bill would stop treasurer from taking contractor contributions

By Barry Massey SANTA FE — The House approved a measure Thursday to prohibit the state treasurer from accepting campaign contributions from contractors who do business with the office. The measure is part of an anti-corruption package that Gov. Bill Richardson recommended to the Legislature in the wake of a kickback scandal involving two former […]

Bank’s transition to new name, ownership expected to be smooth

By Tony Parra Access Bank is now officially the First Community Bank and banking officials said customers will notice the transition, but they’re confident that customers will only experience minor inconveniences. Linda Wedeen, senior vice president of First Community Bank, said the Access Banks in Portales and Clovis officially became First Community Banks in January. […]

Ethics bills move through committees

By Deborah Baker: The Associated Press SANTA FE — A piece of Gov. Bill Richardson’s ethics package got unanimous committee endorsement Monday and headed to the full House for a vote. A Senate panel also approved a much broader measure, barring people who do business with the state from contributing to statewide officials — including […]

Merricks open Ashley Furniture store in Portales

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By Tony Parra June Merrick said one customer entered the Ashley Furniture store this week and said, “It was like she left Portales and entered the big city.” The furniture store has undergone a complete facelift and employees made the transition into the new store this week. Monday was the first day the locally-owned furniture […]

Call center opens in Clovis

Freedom Newspapers The SEI call center in the works since May opened Monday with eight technicians and two supervisors, according to company officials. Located in the former ClientLogic Building on Seventh Street, the technology-based Customer Care Service, or computer help desk, supports inbound customer requests related to technical issues with computer hardware and software. Susan […]

Local charities omitted from state brochure

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Eastern New Mexico charities are absent from a non-profit charity list created as a reference guide for state employee donations. The list includes more than 100 charities, however, almost half of all the charities listed are based in Albuquerque or central New Mexico. United Way of Eastern New Mexico Executive Director […]

Hospital bans tobacco

Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Plains Regional Medical Center will no longer permit tobacco use on its property in attempt to promote a culture of health, according to a hospital official. The smoking ban begins today. The hospital, part of the Presbyterian Health Care Services system, has disbanded its designated outdoor smoking areas, hospital officials […]

Flu vaccine plentiful despite epidemic scare

Tonya Garner: Freedom Newspapers The month of October brings pleasant changes in the form of shorter days and cooler weather. The beginning of fall, however, is also the onset of flu season. Chris Minnick of the New Mexico Department of Health said flu shot shortages were not expected to be a worry this year. “We’re […]

Southwest Cheese to get grant for new employees

Southwest Cheese will receive $294,665 from a state job-training initiative to train 73 new employees, said a state economic development department press release. The cheese company was previously awarded $718,456 for 79 employees by the Job Training Incentive Program in March 2005. The company has hired 88 employees to date, state officials said. Scheduled to […]

Skeleton crews expected during BRAC hearing

Freedom Newspapers Essential public services will be available during the Base Realignment and Closure regional hearing on Friday, but many public offices will operate on skeleton crews and others will be shut so employees can participate in the rally and events. “We have so many people who are just essential people, that we can’t let […]

Commission trying to trim projected deficit

By Tony Parra County commissioners narrowed the gap between the estimate revenue and expenditures from $1.4 million to $715,143 in an effort to balance the county budget for the fiscal year of 2005-06. Commissioners met on Tuesday for their second of three budget hearings. The first budget requests on April 19 showed an amount of […]

Legislation has hospital board guessing

By Kevin Wilson Proposed bills in the state Legislature could leave the Roosevelt General Hospital board with a few answers to burning questions, or create more questions themselves. Items that the state legislators are working on were part of the discussion at Thursday’s board meeting, including a pair of bills which may or may not […]

New rules could be inconvenience for some stores

By Tova Fruchtman New Mexico convenience store employees will not have to brave the graveyard shift alone any more. Starting today, convenience stores must have two employees working between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or only allow customers access to clerks through safety features such as bulletproof glass under a new regulation passed by the […]

Sunland Inc. celebrates opening of new building

By Tony Parra Sunland Inc. president Jimmie Shearer said it’s been a long time coming, but on Thursday he and other Sunland representatives unveiled a new peanut butter processing building. Sunland Inc. officials had an open house from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. The Sunland Inc. plant was […]

Welding business evolves to include family hobby

By Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent Editor’s Note: This story is part of a series about local business owners who have been with their respective businesses for five years or longer. Craig and Tina Hughes are the owners of Craig Hughes Trailer Sales Inc. located on the Cannon Air Force Base highway. They turned their hobby […]

RGH employees pick new health plan

By Tony Parra Roosevelt County General Hospital Board members decided to go in a new direction for a health care plan for employees during Thursday’s board meeting. Members decided in favor of changing to a risk management plan similar to the health care plan state policemen, school employees and employees for Roosevelt County have, according […]

La Casa aids county families

By Tony Parra La Casa De Buena Salud in Portales provided Roosevelt County families with over 40 meals for their Thanksgiving this year, according to La Casa De Buena Salud officials. La Casa de Buena Salud Health Center employees raised funds to provide dinner for needy families. Seferino Montano, chief executive officer at La Casa […]

Plant closes its doors

Freedom Newspapers A longtime frozen fruit manufacturing company in Clovis will close its doors at the end of the month. FrozFruit, with its 18 full-time and 15 part-time employees, will close its Clovis branch because the plant has aged too much, said Lesley Bartholomew, public relations manager for Wells’ Dairy. Wells’ Dairy, a national ice […]