Archives for June 2015

Witness changes story, judge dismissed murder charges

A judge has dismissed the case against two men accused of murdering their cousin.

A key witness has changed his testimony at a preliminary hearing.

Police thought Angel and Domingo Martinez shot Fabian Ward, Jr. in December at Phoenix and No Name roads.

Sheriff Lt. Mike Herrington tells the Roswell Daily Record that emotions erupted in the parking lot following the dismissal.

Herrington reports the arrest of Ward’s father for disorderly conduct.

Work begins to build Ocotillo Elementary

Ground has broken on Ocotillo Elementary School in Carlsbad.

The Current-Argus reports construction may finish by the start of not this coming school year, but the next one.

The school replaces Riverside Elementary, and it may absorb students from other schools filled to capacity.

The building can hold up to 650 students.

Voters approved a $60 million bond issue to pay for construction of three elementary schools.

Construction continues at Desert Willow Elementary, which students at Pate and Puckett schools eventually call home.

The superintendent says construction of the third building may start this coming school year.

Report: NM needs to curb Medicaid costs

Legislative analysts say the price tag for providing health care to New Mexicans on low incomes may exceed a billion dollars in state general funds by 2020.

They say the Medicaid rolls have added over 216,000 people in recent years, bringing the total to nearly 800,000.

That number doubles the one from a decade ago.

FBI: Roswell man sentenced on federal narcotics trafficking conviction

A Roswell man has received 10 years in federal prison for meth and cocaine trafficking convictions.

The FBI says the sentence for 45-year-old Simon Sais includes five years of supervised release once he leaves prison.

Authorities arrested Sais last year for allegedly selling over 12 ounces of pure meth and an ounce and a half of cocaine to an undercover agent from the Lea County Drug Task Force.

They claim the sales happened between June and August 2013.

NMMI names West Point grad as new commandant

NMMI has a new commandant.

Academy prep director Jonathan Graff, Jr. assumes command of the cadets as dean of students next week.

This marks Graff’s third promotion in four years.

He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1991 and went into the infantry.

Graff has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His leadership positions include battalion commander.

Pearce kicked off GOP whip team

Congressman Steve Pearce has lost his leadership post.

Republican leaders have told him he can no longer participate in the whip team.

This follows Pearce siding with Democrats against a trade resolution that would have given the President fast-track trade authority.

This type of authority would allow the President to negotiate international trade agreements that Congress can pass or kill, but cannot amend or filibuster.

Ducks still available for Ducky Affair on Saturday

The 26th Annual Ducky Affair takes place Saturday at the Elks Lodge pool in Carlsbad.

Until then, tubs of yellow rubber ducks remain inside the Assistance League of Carlsbad’s building.

League presdent Cindy Elkins tells the Current-Argus that the ducks represent clothing items bought for local kids.

Each duck resembles a five-dollar purchase for Saturday’s grand prize.

Organizers have sold 3,000 tickets already. They have 500 more to sell.

Elkins claims for every hundred dollars this raises, the group can buy clothese for a needy child.

The man behind the mural returns to Roswel

Remember the man who created the “Welcome to Roswell” mural?

He came back to town recently.

KRQE-TV reports the Roswell Chamber of Commerce welcomed John Cerney.

Cerney authored the artwork on Highway 2-85. It shows an alien family asking a human family for some roadside assistance.

Cerney said he just wanted to see the mural in tip-top shape, clean it up, and replace the light bulbs to make it easier to see.

Pecos water levels to rise

Federal officials anticipate water levels on the Pecos River rising over the next few days.

The Bureau of Reclamation keeps moving water downstream for farmers participating in the Carlsbad Irrigation District.

The release from Santa Rosa Reservoir has already started. The Sumner Reservoir releases water once the water from Santa Rosa arrives.

Water managers intend to increase the release from 100 cubic feet per second to 1,500 cfs. The release may last a week.

Managers estimate 21,000 acre-feet of water moving from Santa Rosa and Sumner to Brantley Reservoir north of Carlsbad. An acre-foot covers a household or two for a year.

Man wanted in Chaves Co. homicide case arrested in Texas

Customs and Border Protection reports the arrest of a man with a murder warrant from Chaves County.

Officers working in El Paso say 31-year-old Matthew Sifuentes of Albuquerque entered the country on foot on Friday.

They claim Sifuentes presented a college ID card to the CBP officer at the primary inspection station.

Officers then learned of the warrant. They arrested Sifuentes without incident and turned him over to El Paso police.

Details of the homicide and kidnapping case involving him remain unclear.