Rico Sena sentenced to 10 years in stabbing

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Rico Sena is led away by Curry County deputies after being sentenced on Tuesday for voluntary manslaughter by District Judge Stephen Quinn.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com Veronica Menzie described her baby brother Devin Saiz as a comedy character from the movie “Shrek.” “… The effervescent, lively and comical donkey,” Menzie said. “There was never a moment in which Devin wasn’t making someone smile or laugh.” On March 30, 2013, Rico Sena stabbed and killed Devin […]

In tribute: Mortgage loan officer friend to many

Zala Smith

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer kwilson@cnjonline.com Zala Smith was a hometown girl born on the Fourth of July who took pride in helping people find homes and in making Clovis a better place to live. Smith, a longtime mortgage loan officer and member of numerous local boards and committees, died Saturday of complications from liver […]

Pages past — Dec. 10

Pages-past

On this date … 1964: New Mexico State Police Officers Joe Cotton of Clovis and David Kingsberry of Portales were the top shooters in a district competition held east of Clovis. Cotton scored the maximum 100 points in the marksmanship contest; Kingsberry scored 99.2 1959: Quail hunters who killed six tame geese on the Olan […]

Southwest Cheese takes Best of Show in parade

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
A brightly-lit semi carrying various John Deere tractors moves through the traffic.

Staff report Southwest Cheese is the Best in Show winner of Clovis’ annual Christmas Lights Parade. Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Lisa Pellegrino-Spear said an estimated 6,000 people turned out Saturday for the parade. That’s about 1,000 more than last year’s crowd estimate. Pellegrino-Spear said the parade featured about 50 participants, including floats, marching groups and […]

Day trips: Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway

Courtesy photo
Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway offers day-use and camping facilities, hiking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, mountain-biking, boating on a no-wake lake, fishing, swimming and guided tours.

Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway outside Quitaque, Texas, is a longer drive than Palo Duro Canyon, but includes similar spectacular views, and offers the state’s official buffalo herd. What’s there: The park offers day-use and camping facilities, hiking, wildlife watching, horseback riding, mountain-biking, boating on a no-wake lake, fishing, swimming and guided tours. Almost […]

A good day to remember Port Beasley

Port Beasley

By David Stevens Editor dstevens@cnjonline.com Port Beasley claimed he was “the scaredest man there.” He probably wasn’t, but this is his story. He had just finished breakfast on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when hundreds of planes began to fly into Pearl Harbor. “Bullets hit about three feet away from us,” Beasley told a […]

Parade goes smoothly

Joshua Lucero: Staff photo
From left, Adilene Trillo, Analiya Trillo, and Imari Rodriguez rush to grab candy Friday night during the 28th annual Christmas Jubilee Light Parade in Portales. The three girls were most excited to see Mr. and Mrs. Claus during the parade.

By Joshua Lucero jlucero@pntonline.com Candy, lights, and Santa Claus were a few of the reasons for Portales residents to line the streets Friday night. The 28th annual Christmas Jubilee Light Parade made its way from the Portales Recreation Center to the town square with more than 40 floats in tow. Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce […]

Suspect in slaying initially said he was hired

Matthew Jennings

By Robin Fornoff Projects Editor rfornoff@cnjonline.com The man accused of killing 23-year-old Ariel Ulibarri first told police he was hired by someone, but later changed his story and said he did it out of rage, according to Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders. Sanders said a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court Wednesday charging Matthew Jennings, […]

Woman arrested in dealership fires

Courtesy  photo: Elizabeth Brown
Clovis teacher Elizabeth Brown snapped this shot Wednesday morning of police arresting arson suspect Angela Madrid on 17th near Thornton moments after she allgedly started a fire at Greene Acres Park.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com The woman accused of setting fires at two car dealerships, a house and a city park told police she did it because something bad was going to happen with fire, according to court records. Angelica Madrid, 40, told a Clovis detective “we needed to evacuate the town …” because […]

New families finalized on adoption day

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek
The Ninth Judicial Court celebrated National Adoption Day Wednesday by finalizing the adoptions of seven families and holding a ceremonial balloon release. Harmony Rose Smith and her sister Carnation were adopted by their parents Joe and Denise Smith.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com Tears are not out of place in a district court room, but on Wednesday they were tears of joy as district judges united families from Curry and Roosevelt counties. “We are here to celebrate families, children and adoptions,” said Ben Cross, the 9th Judicial District Court staff attorney. “Adoption […]

Police: Suspect confessed to killing Ariel Ulibarri

Matthew Jennings

Staff report Ariel Ulibarri did not know her alleged killer, her sister said Tuesday. Police say Matthew P. Jennings, 25, of Clovis on Tuesday confessed to the Nov. 9 slaying of Ulibarri at the Goodwin Lake walking trail. Jennings was being held on charges not related to the stabbing death early Tuesday evening, but officials […]

Owner says family’s ‘whole lives’ invested in paper recycling business

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek
A Clovis Fire Department crew checked the Paper Recycling Depot for smoldering Monday morning after the department fought a major fire at the structure the night before.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com Frank Lasky and his children have been part of the Clovis business community for 19 years. They did a job they said no one else wanted, at one point processing more than 100 tons of recycled paper per month. On Sunday their business burned. “I built this business with […]

Call open for parade entries

File photo
Clovis’ Christmas Lights Parade is Saturday and the theme is Candy Land Christmas, according to a release from the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce.

Staff report Clovis’ Christmas Lights Parade is Saturday and the theme is Candy Land Christmas, according to a release from the Clovis/Curry County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber release was a call for entries in the annual night-time celebration of the holiday. The parade is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. There is no entry […]

Clovis paper recycling center burns

Officials said the fire was reported about 5:30 p.m.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com Clovis firefighters on Sunday night were battling a blaze at the Paper Recycling Depot on Curry Avenue, south of Mabry Drive. Firefighter Joel Gershon said the business’ owner reported the fire about 5:30 p.m. While the outside of the building was contained, Gershon said firefighters as of 6:45 p.m. […]

Community homes, businesses, churches deck the halls

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek
Sherri Brewer worked hard with other volunteers to arrange decorations at the Living Stones Community Church of the Nazarene Saturday. This is the eighth year Brewer has volunteered to help set up the Christmas decorations at the church. Volunteers carefully placed dozens of poinsettias, wreaths and other decorations among the brightly lit Christmas trees at the church.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com Many ordinary houses transformed into elegant holiday displays this weekend, elaborately decked out in dazzling lights and colorful decorations. Local businesses also set up sparkling Christmas trees in their display windows to lure in holiday shoppers. A well-crafted holiday decorating job may look effortless, but behind the scenes there […]

Bookmobile brings library to rural towns

Courtesy photo
The New Mexico the New Mexico State Library Rural Bookmobile East is one of three New Mexico has three bookmobiles that serve more than 15,000 people statewide.

By Lillian Bowe Staff Writer lbowe@pntonline.com For 58 years, the bookmobile program has been serving rural communities in New Mexico by bringing books and other resources to areas where they are generally not available. The New Mexico State Library Rural Bookmobile East is one of three New Mexico bookmobiles that serve more than 15,000 people […]

Food bank director feels efforts ‘barely scratching the surface’

File photo
Inventory and Receiving Clerk Mida Cadena of Clovis cleans, inspects food for the food bank’s backpack program earlier this year.

By Kevin Wilson Staff writer kwilson@cnjonline.com The easiest part of being the executive director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico is knowing how much the efforts help people. The hardest part, Dianna Hernandez said, is knowing how much that help was needed. “I’ve been trying to go out to all of our sites, […]

Black Friday mixed for merchants

Staff photo: Tony Bullocks
Cheyenne Clemons of Clovis stocks shelves Friday afternoon at Bath & Body Works. According to manager Yvette Smith of Clovis the traffic was steady and the store was on pace to meet its goal of top sales in its region, something the store accomplished last year.

By Aubry Buzek and Joshua Lucero abuzek@cnjonline.com jlucero@pntonline.com Depending on the retailer, locals showing up for Black Friday shopping this year may have experienced smaller than usual or just about right crowds searching for holiday savings. Several large retailers in Clovis offered consumers the savings early, opening in the afternoon on Thanksgiving Day and at […]

Holiday meal brings community together

Staff photo: Aubry Buzek
Victoria Chavez, a senior at Clovis High School, served warm meals to community members at the Lighthouse Mission’s Thanksgiving Day meal. More than 87 volunteers served 256 people at the mission, and delivered 282 meals to homebound, disabled and elderly people and their family members.

By Aubry Buzek Staff writer abuzek@cnjonline.com For 12 years, the Lighthouse Mission on L. Casillas boulevard fed, clothed and provided a place for people to celebrate together on Thanksgiving Day. This year’s occasion offered people more than a warm holiday meal; it was a chance for 256 members of the community and 87 volunteers to […]

Day trips — Nov. 28

Courtesy photo: Wildlife photographers have plenty to see at the Bosque Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

At the Bosque Apache National Wildlife Refuge, sometimes it’s hard to tell which makes the greater flock — sandhill cranes, geese and other birds, or the long-lens photographers who gather to click photos of the flocks with wings. The details: The refuge encompasses 57,331 acres along a wild stretch of the Rio Grande near Socorro […]