D.A.: Portales police probe expected to be completed by end of week

Freedom New Mexico An investigation into undisclosed allegations at the Portales Police Department is expected to conclude by the end of this week, District Attorney Matt Chandler said Tuesday. The investigation was launched Nov. 30, the same day Deputy Chief Lonnie Berry was placed on paid administrative leave. Chandler said investigators from his office and […]

Police identify dead body

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PNT Reports Investigators have identified a man found dead Monday evening, but they don’t know why he died. James McCulley, 48, was found dead by his 51-year-old girlfriend in her apartment in the 700 block of East Brazos Street, said Portales Police Deputy Chief Lonnie Berry. Police were classifying the death as suspicious. An autopsy […]

Former Portales resident involved in shooting tragedy

Staff and wire reports A 9-year-old Lubbock girl is dead after her grandfather shot her while rabbit hunting in what investigators are calling “a very tragic accident” at the family farm about 20 miles northwest of Lubbock. Lubbock Christian School Superintendent Peter Dahlstrom, 61, was hunting with four grandchildren on the family farm Friday evening […]

Country club cited for gambling

Freedom New Mexico State officials have cited the Portales County Club for gambling and a Department of Public Safety spokesman said Wednesday that investigators plan to meet with the district attorney to determine if criminal charges will be filed. State Police Lt. Eric Garcia said a DPS Special Investigations Division agent issued the citation after […]

Weekly update — Aug. 15

Investigators unable to ID victim Roosevelt County Sheriff’s investigators are still working to learn more about the victim of a Wednesday shooting in Dora. Sheriff Darren Hooker said investigators know the man’s name, however they are not making the information public because they haven’t been able to fully identify him. “We don’t know a whole […]

Abandoned building burns

By Eric Butler: PNT Staff Writer An abandoned building on East Brazos in Portales caught fire late Tuesday night. Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said Wednesday afternoon the damage was so extensive investigators weren’t cleared to walk through the structure and could not determine the cause of the fire. “When the guys got out there, […]

Portales seeks outside investigators’ help on local fires

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer The State Fire Marshal’s Division is investigating three commercial fires in Portales that occurred over a 10-day period at the request of local authorities. The latest was Sunday afternoon at Portales Valley Mills. Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said Sunday’s fire appeared to have started on the second floor […]

Business feature: Restaurant reopening keeps it in family

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By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer La Hacienda restaurant has reopened in Portales under new management, but is still in the Ornelas family. Nick Bara is the new owner. Bara said he made his mother-in-law Esther Ornelas an offer and she agreed to sell. La Hacienda closed in November after serving the Portales area for […]

Investigators seek suspects in homicide

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom New Mexico Police are seeking half a dozen suspects they believe were involved in a home invasion turned homicide that claimed the life of a Honduran national in Texico last week. Elvin Osmin Orellanna Rivera died Nov. 25 from a single gunshot during a robbery at a home in the 500 […]

Police determine driver in wrong lane of fatal crash

Freedom New Mexico State police have determined the vehicle driven by an 88-year-old Clovis man killed in a head-on collision last week was traveling in the lane of oncoming traffic. Capt. Jimmy Glascock said evidence and witness statements led investigators to conclude Charles Sims was traveling north in the southbound lane on N.M. 209 Wednesday […]

Prosecution and defense rest in homicide trial

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By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico Lawyers will deliver closing arguments this morning in the first-degree murder trial of Edward Salas, accused in the 2005 shooting death of a 10-year-old Clovis boy. The prosecution rested its case Thursday afternoon, and the defense followed suit after nearly three hours of testimony in a Curry County courtroom […]

Woman injured in explosion dies in hospital

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A Portales woman injured in an explosion at her home Wednesday has died in a Lubbock hospital. Clytie Calton, 91, whose family owned and operated Calton Furniture in Portales, died late Saturday morning. Services are pending for Calton with Wheeler Mortuary. Family members smelled natural gas odorant inside the […]

Woman remains hospitalized after house explosion

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A 91-year-old Portales woman injured in an explosion at her home was in serious condition and in an intensive care unit Thursday at Lubbock’s Covenant Medical Center, according to an e-mail from the family. Family members said Clytie Calton suffered multiple injuries to her legs and ankles. Her son, […]

Government not reliable in protecting public

Editorial Following the 9/11 attacks, Americans have become accustomed to increasingly obtrusive and expensive security measures ostensibly designed to keep terrorists from boarding airplanes. But recent government security tests confirm what many of us suspect: Most of the poking, prodding, wanding, X-raying and searching by Transportation Security Administration security guards is largely for naught. Government […]

Man arrested in Tucumcari slaying

By Chelle Delaney: Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — State police arrested a man in connection with the death of a 60-year-old employee Wednesday at the Microtel Inn. State Police Sgt. Andrew Tingwall said James Benuska has been charged with an open count of murder in the death of Nancy Archibeque of Tucumcari. Investigators believe she was […]

Authorities: Dentist ‘person of interest’ in Okla. killings

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A local dentist serving a life sentence for killing a Clovis woman is considered a “person of interest” in connection with four unsolved homicides in Oklahoma, according to a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigators. Jessica Brown said Saturday that agents are investigating whether James Smith is connected […]

Police department break-in remains unsolved

By Freedom Newspapers New Mexico State Police officials will not release details about their continuing investigation of the break-in Thursday night of the Fort Sumner Police Department’s evidence room except to say no cases would be compromised. “No cases will be jeopardized based on what was taken,” said state police spokesman Lt. Rick Anglada. Anglada […]

Forensics dominate day’s testimony

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By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Footprints found on the shallow grave of a Portales teen match the boots the defendant in her murder trial was known to wear, according to a state crime lab expert’s testimony Tuesday at the Roosevelt County Courthouse. The second day of Richard Baca’s homicide trial was dominated in the […]

Teens accused in robberies

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Two Clovis teens have been charged in connection with robberies that took place about the same time and place a homicide occurred last week. District Attorney Matt Chandler said the teens have not been charged in connection with the killing. “Additional information is being collected, (investigators) are completing interviews and […]

Tucker death without suspect three years later

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers It was a late Thursday night when sheriff’s deputies were called — a Clovis man was found by his family, shot to death at the business he owned. Three years later investigators still don’t know who killed J.C. Tucker, owner of Tucker Auto Sales and Tucker Self-Storage on U.S. 60-84 […]