Burglaries increase in past week

PNT Staff Report Portales police officials are advising the public to report suspicious activity after a recent increase of burglary and larceny in Portales. Over the past six days, police have received 19 calls involving larceny and burglary, said Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said. Half of the calls were vehicle burglaries; the other half […]

Local reaction to farm bill mixed

Freedom New Mexico Reaction among local ag producers and lawmakers to a farm bill passed in Congress this week is split. The $290 billion measure will increase food aid for the needy as well as subsidies for farmers. Alva Carter, a Roosevelt county dairy owner, thinks that many people are misunderstanding the farm bill and […]

Raises highlight Portales school budget

By Sarah Meyer, PNT Staff Writer The Portales School Board will send its tentative budget to Santa Fe today. The board voted Monday to submit a $38,669,128 overall budget, including $22,898,455 in operating funds. The budget is about $1.2 million more than last year, said Carol Kriegshauser, director of finance. The budget includes a 3 […]

School board considering 3-4 percent teacher raises

By Helena Rodriguez, PNT Staff Writer Nothing is set in stone yet, but Portales Municipal School employees could receive a 3 to 4 percent salary increase during the 2008-2009 school year, largely because of state mandates. The Portales School Board discussed the 2008-2009 budget during a special meeting on Monday night, but no action was […]

Minimum wage boost hits Tuesday

By Sarah Meyer: Freedom New Mexico New Mexico employees working at minimum wage jobs will get a 65-cent pay raise Tuesday, but local business owners say the increase is likely to cause more problems than it solves. The state minimum wage jumps to $6.50 an hour beginning Tuesday from the current federal minimum wage of […]

Fuel sources should be determined by markets, not mandates

It is difficult to overestimate the sheer wrongheadedness of the energy bill Congress passed and the president signed Wednesday. Even if it were a good idea for government to mandate what kind of energy should be used and how, this bill includes obvious missteps and mistakes that will cost taxpayers and consumers for decades to […]

County commissioners approve fund increase

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Roosevelt County Commissioners gave approval for a 4 percent increase in its matching funds for the Sole Community Provider/Indigent Funds program to Roosevelt General Hospital officials at their regular meeting Tuesday. Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino and RGH Business Office Manager John Murray told commissioners the increase was based on […]

Power company trying to correct rate increase information

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico The New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission has received more than 700 comments about a proposed rate hike for Xcel Energy, a case manager with Xcel said. Most of those comments stem from false information, an Xcel spokesman said. Xcel’s Wes Reeves said the proposed increase, filed in May, is […]

Energy rates set to increase

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom Newspapers Energy company Xcel Energy is proposing a base-rate increase from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. The electric and natural gas company is seeking an overall increase of 6.6 percent from all customer classes. Residential rates would increase by 7.3 percent a month for an average household that uses about […]

Roosevelt County Electric Coop to hike rates

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By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer Rising costs for oil and gas as well as wood and steel are forcing Roosevelt County Electric Coop to raise rates for their more than 6,000 customers for the first time in more than 22 years. In a letter mailed to all members earlier this month, the Coop announced […]

Water rates increasing up to 13 percent

Freedom Newspapers Clovis customers of New Mexico American Water will pay up to 13 percent more for water, according to a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission spokesman. The PRC on Tuesday OK’d the rate increase, pending a final staff review of certain cost adjustments by New Mexico American Water, the PRC’s John Arnold said. New […]

ENMU regents OK tuition hike

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Higher education costs are going up across the state and nation, and Eastern New Mexico University will be no different. The ENMU Board of Regents took care of a lengthy agenda Friday, much of which involved discussion of tuition, fees and boarding increases at the university. The meeting also […]

Legislature hits midway point

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor With the 60-day session of the 2007 New Mexico Legislature just past the midway point, local legislators say the pot’s just beginning to boil at the Roundhouse. “Right now we’re in the middle of a lot of things,” Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said. “This is where it really gets […]

Housing allowances increase for new year

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) will increase an average of 3.5 percent next year for the nearly 950,000 service members who live off base stateside. Some BAH recipients will see their housing allowance rise two to three times the average percentage increase while others will see no BAH raise in […]

Rural firefighters hang on after worst fire season in years

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Fueled by strong winds, the Nov. 30 Melrose Bombing Range fire consumed over 27,000 acres of land and kick-started one of the worst wildland fire seasons that this area has seen in years. As it continued into August, the fire season stretched the limits of rural fire department budgets […]

Investigators general make sleeping easier

Editorial The average American taxpayer doesn’t have a lot of friends “inside the Beltway.” Rather, most of the interest groups and individuals that make up the Washington establishment look at the people like tiny ATM machines, from which they want to maximize withdrawals. So today we pay tribute to the largely unsung heroes who are […]

County’s elected officials to receive 15 percent raise

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor After three tries, Roosevelt County commissioners finally passed a 15-percent pay raise for elected county officials Thursday and approved their $8.7 million interim 2006-07 budget. Commissioners convened briefly in a budget public hearing, in which no one spoke out, before taking up the interim budget. On Monday commissioners heard […]

County commissioners ponder pay increases, budget

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Roosevelt County Commissioners favor a 5-percent pay increase for most county employees as part of the 2006-2007 budget. Salaries for elected officials are still up for debate. “The bottom line actually looks better this year than it has in the last four years,” County Administrator Charlene Hardin said. “Gross […]

Regents ponder budget woes

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer With budget numbers on their minds, the Eastern New Mexico University Board of Regents want to see more interaction between the community and athletics programs and more energy-conservation at the university. The board members emphasized their money concerns during a regents’ meeting Tuesday morning. Board members were concerned with […]

ENMU regents ponder fee rise

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico University students may see an increase in their tuition and fees next school year — an average of $180 to $200 per student. ENMU administrators during Friday’s Board of Regents’ meeting in Ruidoso presented a proposal to increase tuition and fees by 6.45 percent. “We will have either the […]