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State Land Office Oil And Gas Lease Sales Continue To Yield Millions For Public Schools

The State Land Office’s August oil and gas lease sale earned more than $12.6 million, with public schools earning the majority – nearly $8.3 million. In all, the State Land Office collected $12,622,385. In addition to public schools, beneficiaries of the leased acreage and revenues earned include: • New Mexico Military Institute: $2,892,020 • Miners’ Colfax Medical Center: $597,100 • New Mexico Behavior Health Institute: $732,450 • Public Buildings: $128,640 Forty-three bidders from seven states registered for the sale. Fifteen bid on 45 tracts covering 11,843 acres of State Trust Lands in Eddy, Lea and Sandoval counties. The monthly oil and gas lease sales are held online in sealed and open bidding formats. This month, sealed bids generated $9,435,135 and online bids brought in $3,187,250. Chisolm Energy Holdings, LLC, of Ft. Worth, TX, was the highest sealed bidder, paying $2.8 million, or $17,500 per acre, for 160 acres in Eddy County. Grey Wolf Oil and Gas, of Houston, TX, was highest online bidder, paying $505,700, or $1,580 per acre, for 320 acres also in Eddy County. Revenues earned from oil and gas lease sales are paid into the Land Maintenance Fund which supports the State Land Office’s operating budget. The State Land Office is a self-funded agency and spends about five cents of every dollar it earns. The remaining revenue is distributed to the beneficiaries. Public school monies are paid into the state’s General Fund and distributed to each school district as appropriated by the state legislature. The other beneficiaries receive monthly checks directly from the State Land Office. “So far this fiscal year we have earned nearly $43 million from oil and gas lease sales,” said State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. “We are on track to surpass last fiscal year’s lease sale earnings of $65 million and that is good news for public schools.”

ASHD Mill Levy Passes

The mill levy that funds the Artesia Special Hospital District has been renewed. It has been around for decades and yesterday voters approved it by a count of 162 to 125. Dennis Maupin is the Chairman of the Artesia Special Hospital District Board of Directors and he says he was surprised how close the vote was. In a statement issued last night, Maupin says the Eddy County Gross Receipts Tax issue probably had some citizens confusing the hospital mill levy with it. Maupin says he is thankful for the successful outcome and he says this will continue to help district officials bring quality healthcare to the community.

Tennis Anyone?

The Southeastern New Mexico Adult Open Tennis Tournament will be held at Cahoon Park Sept. 2-3. It is sponsored by the SENM Tennis Association, Roswell Parks and Recreation Department, and Roswell Tennis Association. This is a sanctioned tournament that offers both open and age divisions in men’s, women’s and mixed events. Cost to participate is $27 for the singles events and $20 per person for doubles events. Cash prizes will be awarded to first- and second-place finishers. Deadline to register is Aug. 27. Contact Holly Culberson at (575) 317-9018 for more information. The Roswell Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the Roswell Tennis Academy and the Roswell Tennis Association, is sponsoring a free tennis clinic in September. U.S. Professional Tennis Association Professional Chad Mann will be conducting the clinic at the Cahoon Park Tennis Courts. The beginner’s clinic will be held Saturday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and is open to ages 6-12 years. Basic tennis principles will be covered. Pre-registration is required. For registration information, call the Roswell Adult and Recreation Center at (575) 624-6719 or stop by the center at 807 N. Missouri Ave.

UNM Volleyball Hosts Media Day

With the regular season just around the corner, the University of New Mexico volleyball team hosted its annual media day on Monday, ushering in a new season with a media conference. Head coach Jeff Nelson and players Ashley Kelsey, Victoria Spragg and Lauren Twitty(pictured) addressed the local media before the Lobos kicked off their second week of preseason practice in Johnson Center. Watch the comments from Coach Nelson now in the You Tube link at the bottom of the page.

Hooked On Fishing Derby Lots Of Fun

The fifth annual Hooked on Fishing derby at Harry McAdams Park Pond in Hobbs Aug. 5 drew 175 children and their families and resulted in a 27-inch, 6.5-pound catfish being caught. Over 100 catfish, sunfish and largemouth bass were caught during the first hour of the event sponsored by the city of Hobbs and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. All registered anglers received a prize for participating. Free hotdogs, chips and cold water were provided. Guests also practiced shooting on portable archery and pellet gun ranges and were given a chance to improve their skills with coaching from department game wardens. Event organizers reported good public response to the annual event. “One single mom told us she’s been coming for years and really enjoys the valuable time she gets to spend with her son,” said Andrew Jolliff, a department game warden stationed in Hobbs.

HERO Program Comes To Albuquerque

Leslie Byatt(pictured) is the manager of the NM Cancer Care Alliance and offers more information.

Artesia School Board Meets

Supt. Dr. Crit Caton(pictured) says the board has a new member, some new Aquos Boards are on the way and he reminds drivers to get into school mode.

Cause Of Death Released

A Roswell man whose body was found in a tree in southeast Roswell in June died from meth toxicity. The Roswell Daily Record reports that Sergio Alexander Salas’ death has been ruled accidental. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator conducted an autopsy and released the report. Salas was reported missing to the Roswell Police Department in early June by his mother. He was found nearly a week later when the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a body found suspended in a tree. The body was 15 feet above the ground on a farm southeast of East Brasher Road and South Atkinson Ave.

Reduced Admission Fees Offered During Carpet Installation

The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo features exhibits on the international effort to explore space, from the early days of rocketry to today’s space industry. Photo courtesy of Jim Harris.The New Mexico Museum of Space History is offering half price admission for the museum from Monday August 14 through Friday September 1, while new carpeting is being installed on several floors in the building. This phase of carpet installation with complete the new carpeting throughout the museum. In addition to the flooring, sheetrock installation will also be taking place in certain areas of the building. “We worked very hard with Home Service Contractors and First Street Carpet and Tile to come up with a work schedule that would allow us to remain open, but even with before and after hours work there will still be disruption in the galleries,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “We’ll have to move exhibit cases and close off sections of galleries as the installation progresses in steps, so we felt like offering half price admission would be a way to help offset the inconvenience for our guests.” Orwoll added that there is a possibility of an early closure when the work makes its way to the ground floor, where the reception area and gift shop is located. The carpet installation is just one of many planned projects at the museum over the next several months. As sheetrock is installed in strategic locations, gallery redesign will begin on floor 2 B and throughout the rampways, where the International Space Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored. Graphic design elements and artifact displays will begin being incorporated on to floor 3 B, showcasing the existing satellites and incorporating the story of the global positioning system (GPS). Floor 2A will also undergo changes as the exhibit begins to explore manned spaceflight. Outside, near the rocket park, a new playground will be installed along with a sunshade and picnic tables. “The playground project was made possible through a large grant from PNM and support from our Foundation. We’re very excited about it and look forward to everyone coming to play on our new rocket climber!” said Orwoll. An announcement will be made when installation of the playground begins. “Although our guests will be temporarily inconvenienced by the flooring work, we are very pleased that progress continues to be made in upgrades to our museum, exhibits and grounds. It’s this kind of work that resulted in our visitation increases over the past few years and will continue to make a positive impact on our guests,” said Orwoll. The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589

Paul Gessing Podcast Returns

This week the head of the Rio Grande Foundation think tank talks about a judge striking down vetoes of Gov. Martinez, New Mexico spending a lot on education, benchmarking employment in the state’s major cities and a trip last week to Eddy County.

Transient Facing Charges

The Artesia Police Department has released some more information on an arrest that was made late last week. An arrest record shows that a Cesar Jimenez is facing a long list of charges, ranging from indecent exposure to battery upon a peace officer. Court documents show that probable cause has been found against Jimenez. The criminal complaint shows that the suspect managed to inhale fumes of rubbing alcohol and was walking around naked from 7th Street to 4th Street. It also says that he started yelling and exposing himself.

War Unseen On The Horizon

© 2017 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. “There never was a war more easy to stop (which wasn’t) than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle.” Winston Churchill about World War Two It is good that our world has not been in global military conflict since 1945. There have been some very nasty regional conflicts, but it has been seventy-two years since the entire world was at war. Unfortunately, in that time three generations of American leaders have emerged not steeped in the horrors of WWII. That puts all Americans in danger now. We are seeing saber rattling and belligerent talk out of today’s world leaders. These hot hasty words may push our world into a global conflict. Worse, there is an amnesia in our country as to the results of any real military conflict. I was speaking to a couple young men. The potential for global conflict came up and they didn’t seem concerned. I said, “You realize that you young men will fight the next war.” “No,” one countered, “I don’t want to be in the military.” The other one also didn’t fancy serving in the military. “But you signed up for the military,” I stated. “Did not,” they both said. “You signed up for selective service when you turned eighteen.” They were confused. “But we had to so that we could get student loans.” “Yes,” I agreed. “But you signed up with selective service so you can be drafted into the military if our country needs you to fight a war.” That got their attention. Neither of them believed me but I could see they were thinking about this and would get to the truth shortly. Prior to the first and second world wars, America had a small professional military. That was exhausted in a few months and then came the push for civilians. In WWII about sixteen million Americans served in the military. Most were civilian volunteers and draftees. What to do about this possible war unseen on the horizon: Ronald Reagan said, “Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U. S. was too strong.” For our country to stay out of war requires three interconnected actions: first, our country needs a very robust well-trained professional military. Second, we need political and military leaders who can make tough decisions. Finally, a firm strategy for winning conflicts. More so, we need to know at what point do we wave our flags, our bands play and we come home. We experienced the lack of this in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is what our country had in WWII and what it has lacked ever since, with the exception of the Persian Gulf War. America must have a firm grasp of the end in mind when it gets into shooting conflicts. If history is any guide, a larger rule is to take the politics out of military action. Hard to do but never use a political solution for a military problem. Never. Email: - Swickard’s novel, Hideaway Hills,is available at