4/17/2012 - Hobbs Chamber of Commerce
News - S u n
A CENTENNIAL DINNER THEATER will be
held from 6:30-8:30
p.m. at the Center for
the Arts on April 26
featuring Hobbs High
School actors who will
perform a short presentation and guest
speaker Judge Roy
Bean, an actor from
Council of Carlsbad.
Tickets for the catered
dinner are $25. For
tickets, visit the Center
at 122 W. Broadway or
Reminder that today is
TAX FILING deadline
TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012
Thrill of border wild cattle roundup may find its way to Hollywood
Copter Cowboy relies on cow sense
Editor’s note: The following is part two about
area helicopter pilot and rancher Russ Hill.
FOR THE NEWS-SUN
“Upon returning from the Middle
East I moved back to the Hill Ranch,”
Russ Hill said. “I started Hilco
Helicopters and was
the fixed base operator for three years
County Airport in
“Today I live on
the ranch with my
wife Lynn running
a cow/calf operation,” he continued.
“I have been flying
helicopters for 42
years. Thirty two of those years I have
been gathering cattle by helicopter on
many of the largest ranches in West
Texas, New Mexico and Arizona,
working with the cowboys.
“There are a lot of helicopter pilots
but not many who work cattle,” he
said. “If you don't have cow sense, if
you've never worked cows from a
horse, you are not going to be any
good at it from the air.
“When I say cow sense I mean knowing how livestock are going to behave
and react,” he explained. “Some of
the cattle we round up are wild. When
Russ Hill with a roundup crew and his helicopter "The Red Grasshopper."
we start pressing them into unfamiliar surroundings they can get very
aggressive. You have to know what
cattle are going to do when they are
“It takes a lot of patience to work
livestock,” he said. “You can only
drive cattle as fast as the slowest cow.”
For the last ten years one of Hill's
favorite events has been the roundup
of wild cattle along the Rio Grande in
the Black Gap State Park northeast of
Big Bend National Park near
“These are American cattle and
SEE COPTER, Page 3
I EQUESTRIAN FACILITY
The New Mexico
Department of Health,
the New Mexico
Association, the City of
Hobbs, and many community partners will
host a day of HEALTH
AND WELLNESS educational activities suitable for the whole
family as part of this
inaugural Semana de
Week. The event will
kick off with a walk at
noon at NMJC.
The NEW MEXICO TEXAS
MARATHON will be
Saturday from the Lea
County Museum in
Lovington to the Western
Heritage Museum in
Hobbs. For more information, call 396-4805.
Registration is due Friday.
SESAME STREET LIVE
presents “Elmo Makes
Music” at 10:30 a.m.
and 7 p.m. today at
the Lea County Event
Center. Tickets start at
$16.50 and are available at the Lea County
Event Center box
office and through
be site for
The Hobbs City Commission
isn’t holding on to its horses. On
Monday night, the commission
agreed to give 21.75 acres of land
to Lea County to possibly construct a new equestrian center
north of town.
Although Lea County is
reportedly in the preliminary
stages of planning an equestrian center, the commission
agreed to donate land at the
Hobbs Industrial Air Park and
SEE CENTER, Page 2
TOP: Centro Impacto
Christiano, 721 S. Shipp,
recently held graduations for
local students of the U.S.
Association. Pictured are
instructor Andres Mora,
graduates Pastor Joel
Maldonado, Jerry Solorzano
and Adela Solorzano.
for ER service
Patients who seek emergency
medical service at Lea Regional
Medical Center in Hobbs can
now expect to wait 30 minutes or
less to receive medical attention.
A 30 minute pledge launched by
the hospital on April 2 is
RIGHT: Lea County Sheriff
Mark Hargrove, left, and
Hobbs Police chief J.D.
Sanders, congratulate the
SEE PLEDGE, Page 4
Fun & Games ......................5
Mark the date ....................6
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I RADIOACTIVE DUMP
Draft Lea budget includes
2 percent employee raise
I Texas lawmaker wants to
release documents revealing
officials’ concerns about
waste site east of Eunice
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A lawmaker
said Monday he has confidential documents detailing state officials’ concerns
about possible groundwater contamination at a radioactive waste dump in West
Texas, and is seeking official permission to release them.
State Rep. Lon Burnam wrote a letter
to Attorney General Greg Abbott asking
him to waive the confidentiality agreement for documents expressing the
Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality’s concerns about Waste Control
Specialists LLC’s application to build
the site in rural Andrews County near
the New Mexico border. The site is just
east of Eunice.
Burnam, a Democrat from Fort Worth,
A Texas Democrat says documents
detail concerns about possible water
contamination at a waste site east
said he obtained the documents under a
2009 open records request — and only
after years of legal battles. He said he’s
not allowed to release what’s in them
but said they contain officials’ concerns
about the location of groundwater
tables near the dump site; the margin of
safety in the event of groundwater contamination; and the possible risk of
public exposure to radiation.
Burnam also said other paperwork
that can be released indicates water has
already seeped into a buffer zone around
the radioactive waste disposal facility.
SEE WCS, Page 2
The first draft of the 2012-13 Lea
County budget will be considered
by county commissioners next
Commissioners previewed the
$52 million budget during a meeting in Hobbs April 10.
Gallagher said the budget is an
overall reduction, even with pay
raises for county employees.
Under the draft budget, employees will receive a 2 percent cost of
living raise, with up to an additional 3 percent in merit pay.
employees could see a 5 percent
pay raise in 2012-13.
Even with the employee raises,
Gallagher said the budget is
about $2 million less than 2011-12.
County finance director Sherri
SEE BUDGET, Page 4
Lovington man killed in rollover
NEWS SUN STAFF REPORT
A Lovington resident died in a
single vehicle rollover Sunday
According to New Mexico State
Police a 2012 Dodge pickup was
traveling eastbound on U.S.
Highway 62/180 about 15 miles
west of Hobbs when the driver
Joel Lopez, 24, apparently fell
Reports state the vehicle then
drifted into the center median
and the driver overcorrected to
the right in an attempt to get the
vehicle back on the road. NMSP
reports the vehicle then reentered the roadway and as it was
exiting the south side of the road
the driver overcorrected to the
left, causing the vehicle to begin
sliding with the passenger side
leading, trip and rollover.
According to the press release
SEE ROLLOVER, Page 4
HOBBS NEWS-SUN • TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012
THE FRONT PAGE
from PAGE 1
SUBMITTED PHOTO/COREY CRUCE
The one vehicle roll over on Sunday on the Carlsbad Highway shut traffic down as rescue
crews called in a helicopter to transport the wounded.
from PAGE 1
all occupants including the driver Joel Lopez,
and passengers Ulises Lopez, 22, Martin
Martinez, 20, and Joseph Noack, 30, were ejected from the vehicle.
Reports indicate three of the occupants were
airlifted to Texas hospitals and Joel was pronounced dead at Lea Regional Medical Center.
Police have identified driver fatigue and failure to use seatbelts as contributing factors.
Alcohol was not a contributing factor, according to police.
NMSP Sgt. Pete Estrada, who was at the scene,
said the roads were closed for about three hours
and volunteers including a nurse stopped at the
scene to render aid.
Estrada said seatbelts can help save lives.
“At that point you are at the mercy of the vehicle, you are pretty much going where the vehicle is going,” he said. “Last year all but one of
the fatalities would have been prevented is seatbelts had been used.”
He said this year there have been five fatal
crashes with seven fatalities. Estrada said lack
of seatbelts contributed to three of those fatalities.
Wild hogs spreading toward Dona Ana
LAS CRUCES (AP) — Wild
hogs are likely on their way to
Dona Ana County as the animals continue to spread across
parts of New Mexico, federal
The animals have spread from
two New Mexico counties seven
years ago to 17 today and are
present along the Rio Grande in
neighboring Sierra County.
They travel along the river
because it’s a source of water.
Alan May, state director for
Agriculture Wildlife Services,
said feral pigs have been
spreading mostly in eastern
New Mexico counties. But
humans transported them,
they’ve reached the Rio
Grande basin. They’ve got a
presence in Sierra, Socorro
and Valencia counties, too.
The animals, a cross between
domestic pigs and Eurasian
hogs introduced by hunters
into the U.S., can reach up to
250 or 300 pounds. They breed
prolifically, travel in groups of
about 10 to 15 and are difficult
designed to offer patients emergency care in an
efficient and quick way.
“That’s why Lea Regional has launched a 30
minute ER service pledge, to assure patients
that we are dedicated not only to offering the
best quality care, but also to providing that care
as efficiently and quickly as possible,” said
LRMC chief executive officer Tim Thornell in a
According to a press release from the hospital,
when a patient comes to the emergency room
the arrival time is noted and that is when the 30
minute pledge begins. Time is also noted when
the patient is seen by a clinical professional
which can include a doctor, physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner. The pledge is aimed
at the time a patient waits to see a doctor or
from PAGE 1
Bunch said the $52 million
estimate does not include
potential construction projects
Construction projects, she
said, will be added closer to the
June 30 deadline for the final
“It’s a work in progress,” she
explained. “A budget is a living
document. Nothing is set in
stone at this point.”
One capital project commissioners did earmark money for
is a possible drug and alcohol
addiction treatment center.
The earmark, though, comes
with some stipulations.
healthcare professional, and the total length of
time a patient may spend receiving treatment
depends on each case.
“We believe this service pledge will distinguish us from other health care providers in the
area, and underline our commitment to the people who live and work in the Lea County community,” Thornell said in the release.
Thornell added the 30 minute pledge is not an
effort to rush patients through the emergency
room, but to get quickly get patients to a treatment room where they can they examined.
Average waiting times can be found online at
www.learegionalmedical.com . The times displayed are based on a two hour average and are
updated every 15 minutes.
“Our process improvements focus on getting
ER patients into a treatment room as quickly as
possible, enabling our clinical professionals to
see a patient and begin diagnosis and treatment
in a timely manner,” Thornell said.
Bunch said $200,000 is set
aside out of the 2012-13 budget
for an addiction treatment center or program — but it will
not be allocated to a specific
During budget meetings last
month, several non-profit
groups approached the County
Commission individually to
request money for drug and
alcohol addiction treatment or
the construction of a treatment facility.
During the April 10 meeting,
commissioners decided to set
aside money, but not to dole
out any to a specific non-profit.
“I think they could work
together,” commission chairman Gregg Fulfer said during
the April 10 budget session.
Fulfer said there are at least
three non-profit groups wanting funding.
Ideally, the non-profits will
work together for a treatment
plan instead of compete with
each other for public funds, he
Bunch said the $200,000 will
not be earmarked for a specific
group until commissioners
change their minds.
Bunch also said the $52 million figure is likely to grow, as
construction projects that are
not completed in 2011-12 will
be added to the 2012-13 budget.
County commissioners are
scheduled to review the budget
later this month.
206 W. Broadway 397-4605
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