Year in Review: April 2007
Published: Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
A daily look at top news stories in April reported in the Clovis New Journal: April 1: Central Curry Soil and Water Conservation District statistics showed the previous month was the rainiest March in its 90 years of record keeping. Curry County received 3.70 inches during the month, much of it during the March 23 tornado. The previous record for March was 3.10 inches in 1926. April 2: President Bush declared major disasters in Curry and Quay counties, making residents impacted by the March 23 tornado eligible for federal grants and loans. ... Former Eastern New Mexico University basketball player Dana Altman was hired to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks. Altman coached Creighton for 13 seasons, compiling a 260-141 record. ... Clovis’ Guy Leeder, a state softball hall of fame inductee and one of the game’s most active promoters, died of liver and kidney failure at age 64. April 3: Curry County commissioners approved final plans and construction bids for a Special Events Center. The multi-purpose facility carried a $7 million price tag. No dates for construction had been established, but officials said it would take about a year to complete. April 4: Reports compiled by Clovis police showed violent felonies dropped 10 percent in 2006. Statistics also showed robberies increased almost 30 percent and property crimes went up about 17 percent in the city. ... Clovis’ David Loera was named investigator of the year by the New Mexico District Attorneys’ Association. ... The Clovis woman accused of kidnapping a baby from a Lubbock hospital in March pleaded not guilty in a Lubbock district court. April 5: New Mexico Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Texico’s new baseball field. ... Clovis’ air service agreement with Great Lakes Aviation was grounded. City and state officials were concerned that the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Great Lakes a contract to provide service from Clovis to Denver — not Albuquerque as Clovis city officials had requested. The feds had agreed to revisit the issue. April 6: A New Mexico Environment Department hearing officer recommended ConAgra Trade Group be issued a permit for the construction of Clovis Ethanol just west of the city. Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry had yet to approve the permit. April 7: Icy roads contributed to a vehicle accident in which a 7-year-old Melrose girl was killed. Officials said Shiloh Northrup was ejected from a GMC Yukon, which overturned and landed on top of her. April 8: The city of Clovis was preparing to kick off a year-long celebration of its centennial. Events would include unearthing of a time capsule, a weekend honoring pioneers, a community cookout, a gala banquet and the burial of a time capsule for future residents to discover. April 9: Auto body shops reported a spike in repairs related to the March 23 tornado. Officials estimated 3,600 insured automobile owners reported claims caused by the storm. April 10: New Mexico Labor Secretary Betty Sparrow Doris visited eastern New Mexico to discuss ways to better prepare area workers for future jobs. April 11: About 400 Curry and Quay county residents had applied for federal assistance following March 23 tornadoes. About $396,000 had been approved, with $285,000 already distributed, officials said. April 12: Clovis’ Walter “Snap” Cravy died from injuries suffered in the March 23 tornado. The 90-year-old man was buried in the rubble of a trailer home he shared with a friend. He was admitted to a Lubbock hospital with multiple broken bones and never recovered. His death was the second attributed to the storm. ... Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., had raised $393,786 since January for re-election, helping quiet rumors the six-term Republican was considering retirement. April 13: A rusty, metal cylinder ceremoniously buried in 1957 was unearthed and pried open to reveal a pair of 50-year-old newspapers, a book celebrating Clovis’ 50th anniversary and city documents that included the 1957 payroll. Clovis was established in 1907 by the Santa Fe Railway. April 14: About 60 employers participated in a job fair at Clovis Civic Center, attracting about 500 job seekers. April 15: The former Hilltop Twin movie theater was undergoing about $230,000 in renovations as new tenants transformed it into a daycare center. April 16: Clovis Community College Executive Vice President Becky Rowley ran the Boston Marathon. She finished in three hours, 45 minutes. April 17: Area civic leaders used a public hearing to trumpet support for Air Force Special Operations Command, the proposed new tenants at Cannon Air Force Base. April 18: A faulty water heater was blamed for a Melrose fire that destroyed a trailer home. April 19: City commissioners approved an ordinance requiring Clovis residents bag their trash before placing it in a city Dumpster or Polycart. April 20: Texico’s Kevin Burns was named the 2007-2008 Texas Tech Masked Rider. The rider, atop a black quarter horse, wearing black clothes, a mask, bolero hat and cape, leads the Tech football team onto the field. It’s been a university symbol for decades and travels across the Southwest representing the university. ... Eastern New Mexico University officials voted to raise tuition — 4.49 percent for resident undergraduate students, 1.09 percent for non-residents. Graduate tuition rates and fees also were raised, all attributed to higher costs associated with educating students, officials said. April 21: Federal Emergency Management Agency officials reported Clovis-area residents had received more than $600,000 in grants one month after a deadly tornado ripped through the city. April 22: An association of civilian pilots had complained a new mission at Cannon Air Force Base would create hazardous flying conditions for pilots of small, private airplanes. United States Pilots Association members said Cannon’s plan to fly missions at night without lights could prove dangerous for small-plane pilots. April 23: An 18-year-old Clovis man pleaded guilty to intentional child abuse resulting in the January 2006 death of his 4-month-old son. Benito Valdez, 16 when the baby died, was awaiting a hearing to determine if he would be charged as an adult or a juvenile. April 24: A 21-year-old Tucumcari woman was shot and killed, the second homicide victim in three months in the small Quay County town. A 24-year-old acquaintance was charged with shooting Tiffany Throckmorton. April 25: Average gas prices in Clovis were at $2.80 per gallon, about 15 cents higher than a month ago. April 26: About 250 calves arrived at the Curry County Fairgrounds as organizers prepared for the third annual Joe’s Boot Shop Calf Roping event scheduled through the weekend. April 27: Science fiction writers gathered at Eastern New Mexico University to discuss their craft and honor colleague Jack Williamson who died six months earlier. Williamson had hosted the lectureship for 30 years. April 28: A Portales couple working to put in a new yard dug up a hand grenade with a rake. Officials speculated it had been buried for years, and they weren’t sure if it contained live explosives. Portales police evacuated the area until Cannon Air Force Base officials removed the grenade without incident and later destroyed it. April 29: Ryan Williams of Farwell had been recognized by Bayer CropScience for producing more than 2,000 pounds of lint cotton per acre with its cotton seed. Williams was among 78 growers in Texas and Arizona honored for achieving one-ton yields. April 30: Police were looking to solve a recent spike in burglaries. About 60 reports had been filed in two months, most for automobile break-ins.
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