Portales police deputy chief arrested (updated)

Freedom New Mexico Portales Deputy Police Chief Lonnie Berry is accused of destroying traffic tickets issued to a woman and her boyfriend. The accusations are part of a 19-page affidavit filed Thursday in District Court after Berry was arrested and charged with three felony counts of tampering with public records. Berry, a 26-year career Portales […]

Policy changes in place at jail

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File photo Curry County officials are hoping a laundry list of policy changes coupled with surprise inspections by the county manager and others will eliminate escapes at the problem-plagued jail. Robin Fornoff Curry County officials are hoping a laundry list of policy changes coupled with surprise inspections by the county manager and others will eliminate […]

Club notes — Dec. 4

Roosevelt County Extension The Roosevelt County Council of the Extension Association of New Mexico met Nov. 7. A roll call showed a total of 10 members present from the Bethel Chapter, Causey Chapter, Pep and 9 to 5 chapters in attendance. There were no guests in attendance. Connie Moyer the home economist was also in […]

Road department conducting fog sealing

CNJ staff The Curry County Road Department will fog seal on County Road 6 from County Road F to County Road R from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Friday, according to a county press release. According to the release: • All or parts of the construction zone will be closed during works. Motorists […]

Products confiscated from Portales smoke shops

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Freedom New Mexico: Alisa Boswell A glass case in FN Smoke Shop in Portales displays signs warning customers that the incense sold is not for consumption. Alisa Boswell Editor’s note: We’ve made a major correction to this story since it originally published on Monday night, Nov. 28. Deputies did not seize any cash in this […]

City tree brings holiday spirit to courthouse lawn

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CNJ staff photo: Benna Sayyed Lee Delk, facilities operations director for Curry County, left, and Steve Henson, maintenance worker for Curry County, construct the community Christmas tree on the Curry County Courthouse lawn. The tree will be illuminated Saturday during the Christmas Light Parade at 6 p.m. and remain on until the second week of […]

Report details mistakes leading to escape

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Curry County Detention Officer Cody Longenecker operates cell doors and monitors cameras Tuesday from within the master control room of the Curry County Detention Center. Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer Inmate Narcizo Soto Jr. convinced a Curry County Adult Detention Center officer that a supervisor had OK’d his maintenance work outside of his cell, and […]

Fifth jail employee facing termination

CNJ staff Another Curry County jail employee was notified Monday they are facing termination, according to County Manager Lance Pyle. The employee is the fifth to face being fired since the Nov. 13 escape of inmate Narcizo Soto Jr., 35. A sergeant was fired two days later. Three others were served Friday with notice of […]

Report: Commissioner may have created hostile work environment

Robin Fornoff A private consultant has concluded Curry County Commissioner Dan Stoddard may have created a hostile work environment for county employees in his treatment of County Manager Lance Pyle. The consultant’s report, obtained Monday by the CNJ through a state Open Records request, notes that while Stoddard’s behavior probably doesn’t rise to the level […]

Jail input sought from public

By Lance Pyle: Guest columnist I would like to openly address public concerns about the recent incident at the Curry County Adult Detention Center. Interim Detention Administrator Tori Sandoval and Assistant County Manager Connie Harrison have completed the investigation into the escape that occurred early last Sunday morning. The results of that investigation concern me […]

Police looking for jail inmate

CNJ staff A Curry County jail inmate is on the loose after a mental health facility in Roswell released him, according to a press release received by fax Thursday from County Manager Lance Pyle. Quran Wiggins was taken Oct. 7 from the jail to Sunrise Mental Health Center for treatment, the release said. He was […]

Former bank building sold

CNJ staff The building that formerly housed First Community Bank is in new hands. The building was purchased recently by Jim Sitterly, who has owned Curry County Title and Abstract for 31 years. “We’re still trying to decide (a purpose),” Sitterly said, “but I believe we’re going to make a professional business center. It’s going […]

County should reveal details of investigation

The mysterious investigation conducted at the request of Curry County Attorney Stephen Doerr has concluded, Doerr and Commission Chairman Caleb Chandler confirmed on Wednesday. Now it’s time officials tell us what they were investigating and what they found out. Doerr announced following an executive session with county commissioners on Tuesday that his office was asked […]

Commission votes down contract negotiations with security firm

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer A divided Curry County Commission voted Tuesday against entering into contract negotiations with a security consulting firm for security improvements at the Curry County Courthouse. The 3-2 vote during the meeting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library covered a recommendation from the county’s courthouse security citizens committee to negotiate with […]

County manager: One jail employee terminated

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CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Curry County Interim Detention Administrator Tori Sandoval gives a report Tuesday to county commissioners on the status of the detention center regarding on-going training for her staff. By David Stevens and Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff One jail employee has been terminated in connection with Sunday’s jail escape, Curry County Manager […]

Problems continue at jail

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CNJ staff photo: Kevin Wilson Officials have cited poor construction of the facility, limitations in organizing inmates within the facility and overcrowding as ongoing reasons for the jail’s problems. By Kevin Wilson and David Stevens At least one Curry County jail employee has been placed on paid administrative leave and “more than one” appears to […]

County needs to get out of jail business

CNJ staff Are you kidding? Again? Unbelievable. That sentiment was expressed repeatedly Sunday as area residents learned that yet another violent inmate had escaped custody of the Curry County Adult Detention Center. This continued incompetency — 14 inmates have escaped custody in nine years, by our count — leads us to only one conclusion: It […]

Press release: Inmate escapes from Curry County jail

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Courtesy photo Narcizo Soto Jr. On November 13, 2011 at approximately 1:23 AM, Narcizo Soto Jr. escaped from the Curry County Detention Center while on a work detail at the facility. Soto’s identifiers are as follows: Hispanic male 35 years of age 5’6” tall 175 lbs, brown and grey hair, grey moustache and goatee, brown […]

Shoutouts — Nov. 13

Curry County volunteers honored A dinner was held on Nov. 4 to recognize all the volunteers in Curry County for their service and to award the volunteer who contributed the most time. Approximately 150 people attended, representing the volunteer stations and Senior Centers where they volunteer to help improve out community and five elementary schools […]

Portales veteran recalls World War II

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Judy Hall: Courtesy photo Portales World War II veteran Joe Blair recently qualified for the Southern Honor Flight, a program out of Las Cruces, which sends World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to see the World War II memorial. Blair said the veterans boarded their bus in Las Cruces to a military honor guard. […]