Year in Review: October 2007
Published: Thursday, December 27th, 2007
A daily look at top news stories in October reported in the Clovis New Journal: Oct. 1: Air Force Special Operations Command officially moved into Cannon Air Force Base. In formal ceremonies, Col. Scott West, 27th Fighter Wing commander, relinquished command of the base to Col. Tim Leahy as Cannon was also officially designated the 27th Special Operations Wing. Oct. 2: Curry County commissioners approved an ordinance that prohibits smoking within 25 feet of county property. Penalties for violating the ordinance, which was approved unanimously, ranged from $100 for a first violation to $500 for a third violation. Oct. 3: Maxine Wallace, 79, of Grady had been selected for the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women’s annual Pioneer Award. ... Republican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici intended to retire at the end of his term in 2008, ending a 36-year career in Congress. Domenici made an official announcement the next day, citing health reasons. Oct. 4: Two Clovis men were convicted in the 2005 shooting death of 10-year-old Carlos Perez. Demetrio Salas faced more than 46 years in prison, while David Griego faced up to 20 years in prison. ... Clovis Mayor David Lansford issued a written statement expressing the City Commission’s support of City Manager Joe Thomas. City officials would not say if Thomas had received any disciplinary action for an Aug. 3 incident in which Thomas pleaded guilty to an open-container violation. The statement read in part, “We are confident with (Thomas’) leadership and consider the circumstances of the recent past resolved.” Oct. 5: Curry County officials confirmed County Manager Dick Smith had written a letter of resignation though county workers said Smith was still on the job. Four days later Smith told a reporter his resignation was effective Jan. 30. He cited unspecified personal reasons for leaving. Oct. 6: Hundreds of members of the 522nd fighter squadron began returning to Cannon Air Force Base after a four-month deployment to Guam. ... About 300 people attended the Clovis 100th Anniversary Gala at the Clovis Civic Center as the city celebrated its centennial. Oct. 7: Clovis had received the economic development award from the Governor’s Economic Development Summit. Officials said the community’s resolve in the face of possibly losing Cannon Air Force Base was the key factor in the city receiving the state’s first award for excellence in economic development. Oct. 8: A California health care company had assumed ownership of two Clovis health care facilities. Skilled Healthcare Group bought Laurel Plains Healthcare and Laurel Ridge Healthcare and renamed them St. Anthony’s Healthcare and Rehabilitation and Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, respectively. Oct. 9: The Clovis-Curry County New Mexico Workforce Connections One Stop Center hosted a grand opening ceremony. The center, on the corner of Main and First, provides businesses and job seekers a single location for assistance. Oct. 10: Curry County commissioners voted to terminate the contract of County Manager Dick Smith, effective immediately. They paid Smith about $16,000 to comply with contract terms since he’d given 60 days notice. ... Assistant County Manager Lance Pyle was named interim manager. Oct. 11: An Albuquerque company had been selected to head a transition study intended to help area officials understand changes upcoming at Cannon Air Force Base. Keystone International would receive $542,775 for the study, with the federal government paying 90 percent of the costs. Oct. 12: A man accused of shooting a teenager to death in 2006 pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. John Cameron, 26, agreed to serve 8 1/2 years in prison for the slaying of 19-year-old Amos Soliz. Officials said Cameron and Soliz were arguing prior to the shooting. Oct. 13: Clovis’ Lyceum theater hosted the sixth annual Fiery Film Festival. More than 100 people and about 30 independent films were part of the two-day event. Oct. 14: Area peanut farmers said they were enjoying a quality harvest, although it would not match quantity records set in 2005. Oct. 15: The United States Air Force Band of the West performed at Marshall Junior High. … The Clovis News Journal launched its “e-Paper,” a digital version of the print edition. Access was free for the first month. Oct. 16: Clovis’ Bank of America received its third bomb threat in five months, but again, “there was nothing there,” a police spokesman said. Oct. 17: A grass fire east of Portales burned about 3,000 acres and closed U.S. Highway 70 for about three hours. No injuries were reported and no major structures were destroyed. Oct. 18: Clovis city commissioners approved plans for 170 homes in two subdivisions just north of the city. … A bridge near Logan was shut down for about four hours after a recreational vehicle struck an expansion joint, leaving a 2-foot by 6-foot gap in the westbound lane. Officials said the bridge was structurally sound and a steel plate was soon welded over the gap until the joint could be replaced. Oct. 19: Clovis and Artesia high school football players received national television exposure as ESPNU broadcast the game from Artesia. While most city residents were unable to watch the broadcast at home, two Clovis restaurants picked up the feed and hosted dozens of fans. The Wildcats came from behind to win, 35-31. Oct. 20: Clovis Civic Center hosted a 24-hour video gaming tournament. About 50 gamers participated. Oct. 21: Firefighters responded to a blaze at an abandoned home at 500 Sheldon St. Officials said damage was heavy. … Portales law officers were investigating thefts from vendors at the annual Peanut Valley Festival. Cash and jewelry were among items stolen overnight. Oct. 22: Clovis school board members were considering asking voters to approve a tax increase for a vocational institute. If approved, more high school students could gain dual credit toward a college degree. Oct. 23: Curry County commissioners toured the construction site of the Special Events Center. The south and north arena walls for the $7 million project had been erected. Oct. 24: Spotted hyenas and black bear cubs were the newest additions to Hillcrest Park Zoo. Oct. 25: First Church of the Nazarene pastor Wally Yeager and his two sons had organized a stuffed animal toy drive for victims of California wildfires. They ultimately collected about 2,400 stuffed animals. Oct. 26: A Curry County sheriff’s deputy resigned more than two weeks after he was placed on paid administrative leave amid allegations regarding his off-duty conduct. Deputy Larry Garrison was alleged to have verbally abused a woman from whom he wanted to buy a car. Oct. 27: The Clovis High School band won the Zia Marching Band Fiesta in Albuquerque. Officials said Zia, considered the state’s top marching contest, attracted 32 bands from New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. Oct. 28: Goodwill Industries, which uses proceeds from its nonprofit retail operations to fund workforce development training programs, was planning to open a branch in Clovis. Officials said Goodwill would open in December in the old Hancock Fabrics building on North Prince. Oct. 29: Law officers arrested a man in Roosevelt County and charged him with trafficking cocaine. The undercover operation netted 1.2 ounces of cocaine, $789 in cash, a handgun, scales and packaging material. Officials said the cocaine had a street value of about $1,300. Oct. 30: Waggin’ Tails doggie day care hosted a costume contest for pets. Roxann Gutierrez’s pit bull, “Capone,” won the cutest award dressed as a pirate. … Community members surprised children in Plains Regional Medical Center’s pediatric ward with Halloween treat bags. … Six Clovis residents were arrested on narcotics charges after police seized 5 pounds of marijuana. Oct. 31: A three-vehicle accident west of Texico on U.S. 60/70/84 backed up traffic for three hours. A cattle truck was involved, but police reported no serious injuries.
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