State economic development secretary hails Sunland Inc. during visit

PNT Staff The chief of New Mexico’s Economic Development Department hailed the expansion of Sunland Inc. peanuts as a model for other cities across the state. Fred Mondragon’s remarks came Thursday while in Portales for a tour of the peanut processing plant and Eastern New Mexico University. Mondragon is secretary of the state economic development […]

U.S. agriculture secretary backs dairy relief proposal

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By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has committed to temporarily raise the price the federal Department of Agriculture will pay for dairy products, providing the director of the U.S. Office of Management and the Budget approves the move. In a meeting with U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and other senators […]

MVD looking online for better customer service

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By Argen Duncan: PNT staff writer Long waits and frustrating automated call systems with the state Motor Vehicle Division could be on their way out, according to the state official overseeing the division. Secretary of the Taxation and Revenue Department Rick Homans was in Portales on Wednesday to explain plans to put many MVD functions […]

Portales police seek school purse thief

PNT Staff Report Steiner Elementary School was locked down Wednesday for 20 minutes after a man walked into the secretary’s office and stole her purse, according to Portales police. Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said around 9:30 a.m., a man entered the school when the secretary wasn’t in her office. “The guy walked around and stole […]

Gates: Health care needs overhaul

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ prescription for what ails the military health care system includes replacing aging hospitals, and raising TRICARE fees for working-age retirees, which Congress has kept frozen since 1995. “Health care is eating the (Defense) Department alive,” Gates told officers attending the Air War College on Maxwell-Gunter Air […]

U.S., Mexico collaboration right step

Freedom New Mexico U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recent meeting with Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa appears to have borne sweet fruit. Since their meeting the two countries have formed a joint working group to make immigration easier. The group will work to make immigration easier and safer, starting with improving the documentation […]

It’s their job: Judit Barrera

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Name: Judit Barrera Job: Secretary at Ace Hardware. Background: I was born and raised in Portales. Time on job: Two years this May.

Timely budgets on secretary’s agenda

By Tom Philpott: FNNM columnist The new secretary of Veterans Affairs, retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, got a recent tour of the paperwork battlefield on which VA claim adjudicators serve every day.

Legislature tidbits, Jan. 28

Santa Fe New Mexico staff Days remaining in session: 51 A swarm of lobbyists More than 500 lobbyists have registered with the Secretary of State’s Office this session, with another 500 expected. There also are 600 organizations represented by lobbyists. That’s a ratio of 4.46 lobbyists to each of the 112 lawmakers. It’s also a […]

Human Services secretary unveils health-care plans

New Mexican staff Days remaining in session: 53 If at first you don’t succeed… Human Services Secretary Pam Hyde on Monday unveiled her department’s health-care reform plans for this session. The 10-point plan includes an electronic medical records act, a requirement that insurance companies spend 85 percent of premiums on direct services to client, and […]

Richardson withdraws bid to be commerce secretary

WASHINGTON (AP) – New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on Sunday announced that he was withdrawing his nomination to be President-elect Barack Obama’s commerce secretary amid a grand jury investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract. Richardson’s withdrawal was the first disruption of Obama’s Cabinet process and the second “pay-to-play” […]

Richardson named commerce secretary

By Barry Massey: The Associated Press SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson is becoming an “economic diplomat” in President-elect Barack Obama’s administration and plans to step down as governor after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Lt. Gov. Diane Denish will become New Mexico’s first female governor when Richardson resigns to assume his […]

Alexander wins hospital board race

By Argen Duncan: PNT Staff Writer Obstetrician/gynecologist Lonnie Alexander has defeated cardiac rehabilitation nurse Bill Rice in the Roosevelt General Hospital board election. Alexander had 56.8 percent, or 660 votes, and Rice received 501 votes, or 43.2 percent. Election results are not official until the New Mexico Secretary of State confirms them on Friday. “I’m […]

Secretary of State speaks to group at ENMU

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By Thomas Garcia: PNT staff writer New Mexico’s acting governor for the day told a group of high school students assembled at Eastern New Mexico University to get involved in government. Secretary of State Mary Herrera, who was acting governor in the absence of the governor and lieutenant governor, encouraged and thanked the attending members […]

Health secretary addresses issues

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By Thomas Garcia, PNT Staff Writer New Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Alfredo Vigil, was in Portales on Thursday and Friday looking over the Department of Health offices and speaking with local health care workers. Vigil was appointed as the Secretary of Health in June 2007. He has since been working with health officials and staff […]

Official discusses possible Cannon nuclear reactor

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer Cannon Air Force Base has been mentioned as a possible home for a nuclear reactor. While that decision seems months away, Air Force officials held an energy forum Monday in Arlington, Va., to talk about a vision for nuclear energy.Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Kevin W. Billings […]

May 13, 2007 Club News

Portales Women’s Club Portales Woman’s Club met Wednesday with 31 members and four guests present. Sasha Parker was introduced by the Education/Scholarship Committee as the GFWC New Mexico State Scholarship winner, as well as the Portales Woman’s Club scholarship winner. At the recent state convention she received a four-year Harriett Donohoo/Dorothy Pendleton Scholarship. Also introduced […]

N.M. Labor Secretary visits region

By Jean Verlich: Freedom Newspapers New Mexico Labor Secretary Betty Sparrow Doris is in Clovis today as part of a two-day visit to eastern New Mexico to lay groundwork for a more integrated approach in meeting the state’s employment needs. Doris met Tuesday in Portales with members of the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board. She […]

New sheriff prepares office

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor Sheriff-elect Darren Hooker says he always politely corrects anyone who refers to the organization he works for as the sheriff’s department. He says he works for the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office — a distinction he says is important. Hooker says the organization isn’t a department of anything — instead […]

Richardson blasts Rumsfeld on talk show

By Marlena Hartz Gov. Bill Richardson’s weekend criticism of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will not scar the search for a new mission at Cannon Air Force Base, according to staunch Cannon advocate and Clovis banker Randy Harris. Richardson, interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” said there is “deep frustration” within the military, “the Iraqi war […]