Governor orders offices closed

CNJ staff

Citing critical supplies for natural gas and power services caused by inclement weather, Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered non-critical state operations to close Friday to decrease the drain on energy supplies throughout New Mexico.

“Due to statewide natural gas shortages, I have ordered all government agencies that do not provide essential services to shut down and all non-essential employees to stay home tomorrow,” Martinez said in a release Thursday night. “I have also encouraged all schools that have not already announced closures to strongly consider doing so.”

Clovis High Athletic Director Brian Stacy, who was in contact with other Clovis Municipal School officials said Clovis Schools will stay open Friday. Schools were closed Thursday, and absences were excused Wednesday due to inclement weather.

Portales Schools were on a two-hour delay, but Superintendent Randy Fowler made the call late Thursday night to cancel Friday’s classes.

The declaration has pushed back Clovis High and Portales High district basketball games scheduled for Friday. Portales was to play a doubleheader at Ruidoso. The Clovis boys were scheduled to visit Hobbs, while the Clovis girls were hosting the Eagles.

Hobbs canceled school Friday. New Mexico Activities Association rules ban practices or games on school days whenever classes are canceled.

All of those games are now Saturday, with Portales’ doubleheader in the afternoon.

Stacy said a Clovis High swim meet scheduled for Friday will likely be pushed to Saturday.

Martinez recommended residents turn down their thermostats if possible and assist family, friends and neighbors.

Eastern New Mexico University had already canceled classes, but was keeping campus offices open. Wendel Sloan of the college’s communications office said he hadn’t heard the announcement from Martinez late Thursday.

Clovis Community College, which doesn’t hold Friday classes, closed operations for Friday. Executive Vice President Becky Rowley said without classes, the college doesn’t draw a lot of students on Fridays anyway, so the inconvenience would be minimal.

Clovis and Portales District Attorney Matt Chandler said late Thursday he had not heard about the governor’s order and would try to get in touch with district court officials to see if they plan to close the courthouses.

City and county offices do not fall under the governor’s order, but Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said he will make a determination early this morning whether the county offices will open.

In the event Clovis schools close, Pyle said county offices will open at least two hours later than usual, a standing directive from the county commission.