Convicted killer Casillas given consecutive life sentences

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Kevin Wilson A Curry County judge sentenced Anthony Casillas to a pair of consecutive life sentences plus five-and-a-half years in an emotional sentencing hearing Friday afternoon. Casillas, 24, was convicted in August of two counts of murder, a felony firearm possession charge and tampering with evidence with habitual offender enhancements in connection to the 2008 […]

Buzard wins District 5 county commission seat

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Argen Duncan Republican Kendell Ray Buzard won the District 5 Roosevelt County Commission seat Tuesday. Buzard received 70 percent of votes, winning over Democrat Rodney L. Payne, with 30 percent. County Clerk E. Janet Collins said vote totals could change when provisional ballots are counted Friday. Buzard will take over for current Commissioner Paul Grider, […]

Portales past: June 20, 1955

June 20, 1955: Keith Payne, Portales’ assistant postmaster, was asking old-timers to search old letters for postmarks. Payne was attempting to collect a postmark from each of the county’s 60 known post offices.

Buzard and Payne to vie for District 5 commission seat

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By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer Democrat Rodney Payne and Republican Kendell Ray Buzard won their primary elections Tuesday for the Roosevelt County Commission District 5 seat. They will face each other in the November general election. Incumbent Paul Grider could not run for re-election because he reached his two-term limit. Buzard received about 37 […]

Shooting victim remembered as loving father

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Gary Payne traveled to Lubbock on Thursday afternoon to visit his daughter and see her new house. After the visit, he headed home for Melrose, but never arrived. Police said Payne and a Lubbock woman, Melissa Ward, were shot in the head about 11 p.m. Thursday as they drove […]

Agent accused of botching investigation

By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico CANNON AIR FORCE BASE — A special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations was the brunt of defense ire and sarcasm on Wednesday, accused of a botched and careless investigation in the first-degree murder trial of Airman Basic Edward Novak II. Under cross-examination, OSI Agent Thad […]

Clovis body identified as 52-year-old

Freedom Newspapers Fingerprints have established the identity of a body discovered in Clovis Tuesday as that of a 52-year-old transient with ties to Arizona and California, according to Clovis police. Howard Payne’s badly decomposed remains were found in an abandoned house near Wal-Mart, according to police. There were no signs of foul play at the […]

Police attempt to ascertain identity of body

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers Police are attempting to identify a badly decomposed body found Tuesday morning in an abandoned house near Wal-Mart. There were no immediate signs of foul play, Clovis Police Capt. Patrick Whitney said Tuesday afternoon. However, Whitney said because of the extensive decomposition, only a medical examiner can determine time and […]

Decision on jury trial for airman delayed

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers A decision on whether a Cannon Air Force Base airman will face a jury trial in connection with his wife’s death has been delayed while more evidence is collected. Investigating officer Lt. Col. Major Daniel Kiefer agreed Friday to hold Airman Basic Edward Novak II’s Article 32 hearing open for […]

Their perspective: Melrose seniors sound off

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By Rick White: CNJ Managing Editor Thoughts and insights by Melrose’s graduating seniors based on a written survey: Most will be going to college The U.S. military is in Iraq for a good reason Most will likely not return to Melrose to live Alcohol, drugs and peer pressure are the biggest challenges today’s teens face […]