Land sale approved

By Tony Parra City councilors during Tuesday’s city council meeting approved a resolution for the sale of city property to a Portales attorney to create offices for his law firm in the downtown area. Councilors approved the sale of 301 S. Ave. A. for $5,000 to Eric Dixon. City Attorney Stephen Doerr said the real […]

Ute Water Project, Yam Theater topics at city meeting

By Tony Parra Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority Project Manager Scott Verhines is trying to pick up steam for the Ute Water Project before his trip to Washington D.C. Verhines intends to show the support of the communities involved and as far as Portales is concerned, city officials are completely committed to the project. […]

NMFA helps fund Ute Water Project

Freedom Newspapers TUCUMCARI — The New Mexico Finance Authority and the governing body of the Ute Water Project reached an agreement Wednesday for a $2 million grant to help fund the initial stages of the proposed project. Much of the money will go toward engineering services, which include rounds of public meetings at towns and […]

City officials commit to Ute Water Project

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city officials approved a Portales commitment to the Ute Water Project during Tuesday’s city meeting. Ortega said senators and federal government officials have heard verbal commitments from eastern New Mexico communities but they do not have documentation of each community’s commitment. Ortega advised city councilors to review water […]

Residents cite need for speed control

By Tony Parra Portales residents presented concerns during Tuesday’s city meeting over road conditions, speeding and public safety. Rick Matthews said he has seen tractor trailers traveling at a high rate of speed in residential areas. “These trucks are using residential areas as shortcuts,” Matthews said. “God-forbid if a kid is bouncing a ball on […]

Filming could come to Portales

By Tony Parra Hollywood has its eye on Portales again. Mayor Orlando Ortega said he toured the city on Friday with film scouts for a $70 million drama called “Every Word is True.” The movie is based on Truman Capote’s experiences researching his book, “In Cold Blood,” which tells the story of murder in Kansas […]

City council makes changes to street repair plans

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city officials approved a change order on Tuesday during the city meeting to a project which would allow the city to use an excess amount of money from a Community Development Block Grant to make further street improvements. The original grant agreement awarded the City of Portales $457,882 […]

Drinking water reserve at issue for commission

By Mike Linn Members of the Ute Water Commission on Friday voted to form a subcommittee to research options for renewing a contract that reserves water as a drinking supply for eastern New Mexicans. Members of the commission said extending the water reservation for 10 years could hamper the $307 million Ute Pipeline Project in […]

Ortega urges water board members to work together

By TV Hagenah LOGAN — Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega on Wednesday urged members of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority to work together — not independently — in efforts to negotiate with the Interstate Streams Commission for the region’s future water suppy. Ortega criticized Tucumcari City Manager Richard Primrose for sending a letter to the […]

City council discusses legislative priorities

By Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city councilors met on Tuesday an hour before the city meeting to have their legislative priorities in order for Gov. Bill Richardson. They met and agreed the top priority is street improvements, followed by the purchase of equipment. The third priority is concrete approaches’ improvements. City Manager Debi […]

Mayors testify regarding Ute Water Project

By Tony Parra Mayor David Lansford of Clovis and Mayor Orlando Ortega of Portales wanted to send a clear message to Congress that federal funding is vital and necessary now for the Ute Water Project. “There is no viable alternative to this project,” Lansford said. “We will not have the adequate water to sustain the […]

Voters to choose fate on beer, wine licenses

By Tony Parra Portales residents will weigh in on whether beer and wine will be flowing through many restaurants in Portales in the near future when they go to the polls on Sept. 21. If the vote is passed, the Alcohol and Gaming Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department can begin to […]

Hotel could be back in business soon

By Tony Parra The Portales Inn may be full of life once again as a prospective contractor, Steve Nishimuta of San Diego, Calif. is in the process of renovating it and having a restaurant on the bottom floor for when it opens. Mayor Orlando Ortega presented an incentive package proposal to city councilors for the […]

City council eyes facelift for Portales

By Tony Parra Portales residents discussed landscaping during the last comprehensive planning meeting in May and one group will be taking a step into improving the landscaping in Portales. The Ability Service Training Responsibility Achievement girls requested funding for trees and assistance in installing a sprinkler system for landscaping the corner of 18th and Avenue […]

Council wishing for more wells

By Tony Parra City councilors selected Smith Engineering Company from Roswell to provide construction services for Blackwater well improvement on Tuesday. The contract agreement calls for installing pumps into existing irrigation wells and installing water pipelines from the wells to the existing water mains, known as Black Water Well Field Improvements. It is a step […]

Police: No ID yet on dead body

By Kevin Wilson aw enforcement officials said they will know today the identity of a body found buried in a Portales back yard three days ago. That information and the cause of death, Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said, would be available this morning after completion of the autopsy. “There’s not enough (in relation to) […]

James teacher honored with annual award

Tony Parra For the second year in a row, a James Elementary teacher has won the Newspapers In Education Teacher of the Year Award. Alfreda Sigala, a second-grade bilingual teacher at James Elementary School, won the award for the Portales area. Sigala said she has been working as a James Elementary teacher for four years. […]

Mayor plans housing goals for Portales

Tony Parra Portales Mayor Orlando Ortega has 20/20/20 vision. He wants 20 new homes for 20 new homeowners in 20 months. Ortega said he is aggressively pursuing an affordable housing program, something that may be a city-initiated project. “It’s one of the major efforts for the mayor and city council to establish more affordable home […]

City council talks water wells, computers

Tony Parra Mayor Orlando Ortega and city council members discussed the goals for water wells and a Wide Area Network for computers in all of the city’s department in Tuesday’s city council meeting. Ortega said some of the goals he and Tom Howell, the city’s public works director, talked about was to have 10 to […]

Mayor sticking to local politics — for now

Mike Linn For the next two years the only offices Mayor Orlando Ortega will hold will be in his hometown of Portales. The Democrat on Tuesday made public his decision to not seek the District 66 position with the New Mexico House of Representatives. But Ortega said he plans on running for the position when […]