Testing: Heat, low oxygen likely behind fish deaths
Preliminary testing has identified high temperatures and low oxygen as probable reasons for hundreds of fish dying at Dennis Chavez Lake.
Parks and Recreation Director Bill Bizzell said a test showed temperatures are abnormally high at 78 degrees with oxygen at a low level of 1.1 milligrams per liter of water.
“That means that it’s just too hot,” he said. “According to those facts it gives a pretty good indication of what’s going on. It’s just probably an algae bloom.”
Installing a fountain to aerate the water could help but would be too costly, he said.
“The only thing that would solve our problem is a good rainfall,” Bizzell said.
Bizzell said samples have also been taken to a lab for toxicology testing to eliminate the possibility of contaminates but those results will take longer to get back.
In the meantime, the city lifted a no fishing ban on the lake, but the water will not be stocked with fish in the current state.
“We won’t even dare to put any fish in there until we know it’s safe,” he said.
Thursday morning, city workers discovered hundreds of dead fish, mostly carp, along the banks of the small lake on west 14th Street.
— Sharna Johnson
Candidate makes stop in Clovis
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen Weh made a stop in Clovis Tuesday to discuss border security.
Weh, the former state GOP chair who finished second to Gov. Susana Martinez in last year’s primary race, said there are three things that need to change about border security.
Weh said there needs to be a national will to enforce border security, better federal-state cooperation and more adequate resources.
Currently, he sees a “tug of war” between states and the federal government, and a figure for border patrol members (21,500) that is not enough.
Weh doesn’t have any immediate visions on appointments he could attain to help with these measures, and for now he’s a former candidate who has a political action committee.
But, Weh said, “It’s more than I was doing before.”
— Kevin Wilson
Officer charged in wreck no longer employed by police
A Clovis police officer charged with vehicular manslaughter is no longer employed by the department, according to city officials.
City Manager Joe Thomas said Stephen Gallegos’ employment ended “relatively quickly” after the indictments against him came down.
His employment ended March 11, Thomas said, declining further comment.
He had been on paid administrative leave since the Nov. 17 crash in which he is charged.
Gallegos was indicted Jan. 21 on charges of vehicular homicide and great bodily harm by a motor vehicle.
There has been little activity in the case against him with no hearings scheduled according to court records.
The judge assigned to hear the case, Robert Orlik, died May 28 of heart failure.
Court officials have said they plan to bring a temporary judge in to manage his caseload until a new judge is appointed.
Police said Gallegos ran a stop sign and crashed into a pickup truck on Sycamore Street while heading east on Grand Avenue.
Truck passenger Mary Castillo, 56, was critically injured in the crash and died the next day at a Lubbock hospital.
The driver of the truck, Edith Payton, 40, was also critically injured and has since been released from the hospital.
— Sharna Johnson