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New Interim City Manager To Start In January

The Roswell City Council on Thursday night (Dec. 8) approved Paula Hertwig Hopkins of Missouri as the new interim city manager effective Jan. 3. She follows James Rod Hogan, who filled the interim position since early September. Both Hogan and Hertwig-Hopkins were provided to the city by Strategic Government Resources, a Texas firm that provides interim public administrators. Hertwig-Hopkins comes to Roswell temporarily after serving as an interim assistant city manager in Amarillo, Texas, from November 2015 to September 2016. Her public-service work totaling nearly 25 years, she has also been city manager in Warrensburg, Mo., assistant city manager and interim city manager in Columbia, Mo., and assistant city administrator in Osage Beach, Mo. Earlier, Hertwig-Hopkins served with the Northwestern University Police Department at the school’s Chicago campus, finishing her university police work as assistant director/captain. Hertwig-Hopkins holds a bachelor’s degree in political science/urban studies from DePaul University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Hogan’s last day working in Roswell will be Dec. 22. He was unable to extend his time in Roswell because of other obligations. Roswell Director of Administrative Services Elizabeth Stark-Rankins will fill the city manager role for the several days between Hogan’s departure and Hertwig-Hopkins’ arrival. City officials plan to reinitiate the search for a permanent city manager after the beginning of the new year. A search process for a permanent city manager was carried out earlier this year, but ended in mid-October without producing a candidate Mayor Dennis Kintigh thought was satisfactory to recommend to City Council. One candidate had been identified by the mayor for his recommendation, but that candidate took a position elsewhere. The city contracted with the Dallas-based professional search firm of Waters and Co. to generate applicants for the city manager job after Steve Polasek left the position in late July to be closer to family in Texas. Under the existing contract with Waters and Co., the city can have Paula Hertwig-Hopkins nduct a new search process, at no additional cost to the city, to find more candidates for city manager. Hertwig-Hopkins is expected to remain as Roswell’s interim city manager until a permanent city manager can be hired and begin work. That transition could potentially take place around the beginning of May.


Out Of The Box Economic Development Video Essay

A video essay of the 2016 Out Of The Box Economic Development presentation at New Mexico State University. The program was produced by KRWG TV in Las Cruces. Watch it now in the You Tube link at the bottom of the page.


Head Zookeeper Promoted To Superintendent

The longtime head zookeeper at the Spring River Park & Zoo, Marge Woods, is now the zoo’s superintendent. She officially assumed the top job Friday (Dec. 9), although she has been serving as interim superintendent since late August. Woods has been the head zookeeper at the Spring River Park & Zoo for 22 years. Before that, she served as head zookeeper at the Clovis Zoo for 8½ years. Woods says she is “excited about improving the zoo,” which is located at the corner of East College Boulevard and North Atkinson Avenue.


Farm And Livestock Bureau Hands Out Award

Five teachers from an urban school have been recognized for teaching about agriculture. Dalene Hodnett has the details.


Roswell City Council Approves Tax Increase For Rec. Center And Aquatic Facility

(Pictured)-One of the proposed designs that Roswell city personnel were looking at and presented Thursday night to the Roswell City Council. The estimated cost is around $18 million and the gross receipts tax will be raised to pay for it.


Another Scam Reported In Roswell

The Roswell Police Department is receiving calls from local residents describing the newest scam call. These involve the caller claiming to be with the U.S. Marshal’s Service (even saying he is based in Roswell at the federal building). The caller claims an arrest warrant has been issued for the person he is speaking to or one of that person’s family members. So far, the local residents who have reported receiving these calls have ended the call before it went any further. However, people can expect the scammer was going to ask for money to pay a fine or other court cost to rescind the fake warrant. One of the calls did include the scammer claiming the warrant was because someone had failed to report for jury duty. In many cases, the scammer will get belligerent when his authority or credibility is questioned. He may offer a call-back number, which of course simply goes directly back to him instead of any real office. Just the latest wrinkle on the local scam-call front. Residents should be aware.


AAA New Mexico:Statewide Gas Price Average Increases Four Cents

The statewide gas price average in New Mexico is $2.10 for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel, according to the AAA New Mexico Weekend Gas Watch. That price is four cents more than last week and 17 cents more per gallon than last year. Of the major metropolitan areas surveyed in the Land of Enchantment, drivers in Santa Fe are paying the most on average at $2.15 per gallon while drivers in Albuquerque are paying the least at $2.00 per gallon. The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $2.20 which is five cents more than last week and 17 cents more per gallon than last year. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) elected to cut its collective production when the group met last Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, in an effort to rebalance the global oil supply and raise prices. Markets reacted quickly to the production agreement with crude oil gaining 12% and leading to increased retail prices. The deal is set to take effect in January 2017. Traditionally this time of year gives way to lower gas prices as a result of cheaper to produce winter-blend fuel and less demand. However, due to the agreement from OPEC it is still unclear if prices will retreat considerably ahead of the upcoming holidays. “As New Mexicans plan for holiday road trips we encourage them to prepare their vehicles ahead of time to prevent roadside breakdowns and maximize their car or truck’s fuel efficiency,” said AAA Texas/New Mexico Representative Doug Shupe. “Along with tire tread and inflation, drivers should also check their battery’s condition because a fully charged battery is needed to start a vehicle during the colder months of the year.”


Jill Gonzalez Talks About A Pair Of WalletHub Studies

The personal financial website looked at States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections and Hotel Rewards.


Butler, Wright Lead Aggies In Postseason Honors

New Mexico State football’s Rodney Butler and Jaden Wright highlights the group of seven Aggies that earned postseason honors as announced by the Sun Belt Conference Wednesday afternoon. The seven award winners for NM State are the most since the Aggies joined the SBC in 2013. Joining Butler and Wright on the all-conference award list are Sage Doxtater, Tyler Rogers, Anthony McMeans, Greg Hogan and Kourtland Busby. Butler, the nation’s leading tackler with 13.8 tackles per game (165 totals), was named a first-teamer on defense. This is the second all-conference honor for Butler after earning honorable mentions accolades back in 2014 as a sophomore. He also led the nation in tackles 12 of the 14 weeks since the season started on Sept. 3 for NM State. His 24 tackles against Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico was two shy of tying the NCAA single-game tackles record. The Palm Springs, Calif., product recorded double-digit tackles in all but one game this season. His three forced fumbles on the year led the Sun Belt Conference and was good for 28th in the nation while his 63 solo tackles is good for third in conference action and 30th in the country. Butler wrapped up his senior campaign with 165 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception. Wright earned second-team honors on defense after a breakout junior season that included 81 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The Lewisville, Texas, native led the conference with four forced fumbles, which was tied for 12th in the country. His five picks this season was second-most in the SBC and ranked ninth amongst FBS players. He recorded a career-high 15 tackles in NM State’s final home game against Appalachian State while adding one TFL and a forced fumble. Doxtater, a 6-7 tackle from Welland, Ontario, Canada, was named to the Sun Belt Conference Newcomer Team. The freshman started in the first nine games of his collegiate career at left tackle before missing the final three games with an injury. Doxtater became the second Aggie to be named to the SBC newcomer team after Terrill Hanks earned it in 2015. This is the second-straight all-conference honorable-mention award for McMeans, who was recognized on the honorable mention team last season after blocking for Larry Rose III to a Third-Team AP All-American award. Shaq, as he is known to teammates and close friends, was a captain for NM State alongside fellow senior Butler. Rogers had a great offensive year for the Aggies, leading the team to 414.7 total yards of offense per game. The Peoria, Ariz., product threw for 16 touchdowns while rushing in four touchdowns himself along with a receiving TD. He finished the season second in passing TDs, third in points responsible for (126), third in total offense (266.9/game) and third in completions (20.36). His 445 yards through the air at Troy tied him for the 10th-best for passing yards in a single game. Against Texas State at home, Rogers became just the third player in 2016 to have rushed, thrown and caught a touchdown in a game. This is the first postseason honor for both Hogan and Busby after posting solid numbers for the Aggies in 2016. Hogan finished the season with three receiving touchdowns for 377 yards on 32 receptions. His best game came against Louisiana at home when he caught 11 passes for a career-high 1172 yards – including a touchdown in overtime. Busby was one of the anchors for the NM State defense, playing all but one game this season. The 6-3, 255 pound defensive lineman registered 44 tackles on the year, including 5.5 tackles for loss (16 yards). He also picked up a sack in the final game of the season at South Alabama for a loss of eight yards. The Pflugerville, Texas, product also completed his junior campaign with a fumble recovery and seven quarterback hurries.


Woods Houghton Podcast Returns

This week the Eddy County Extension Agent talks about pets and cold weather, Christmas tree care, pesticide school, winter watering and reflecting on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor.


Fred Nathan says Think New Mexico Will “Try It Again”

The head of the Santa Fe based think tank says their fight to improve the state’s infrastructure and create jobs was brought up before the New Mexico Legislature earlier this year. The measure didn’t go anywhere and they will try it again in 2017.


Area Schoolboard Members Honored

School board members from across the state gathered in Albuquerque this past weekend to participate in the New Mexico School Boards Association Annual Convention. Participants heard speeches and participated in breakout sessions. New officers were also elected for the coming year and some were recognized for their accomplishments. Ron Singleton from Carlsbad will serve as the Association’s Immediate Past President. He was the president this year. Lowell Irby(pictured) from Artesia received a 24-year service award. He has been on the Artesia school board for more than 30 years and he is in the NMSBA Hall of Fame.


Santa Patrol Toy Drive Expands To Help More New Mexico Kids

The Albuquerque Police Officers Association is pleased to announce that its annual Santa Patrol toy drive is expanding this year to help more children in New Mexico. Several law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Roswell Police Department, have signed on to take part in third annual Santa Patrol. Officers will hand out the donated toys to families in need that they encounter while on the job. “As officers we often deal with families and children suffering through very low points. They are in distress and getting by on very little. We started Santa Patrol as a way to bring a little cheer to the kids in these situations,” APOA President Shaun Willoughby said. “Thanks to the generosity of the Albuquerque community, we’ve been able to help hundreds of kids over the last couple of years. We are thrilled that this year other law enforcement agencies will be taking part to help kids in their communities.” Joining Albuquerque police for this year’s Santa Patrol is the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and the police departments in Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Hobbs and the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone who would like to donate can drop off new, unwrapped toys to any Planet Fitness gym in these communities through Dec 23. The Roswell location is 1709 S. Main St. “We respect the hard work our law enforcement officers do to make our communities better and help those in need, and that’s why Planet Fitness is honored to team up with them on Santa Patrol,” Mike Shapiro, Planet Fitness President of Operations said.


Good Presidents And Bad

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” Plato The first President in my memory was Dwight Eisenhower. I was born when Truman served but don’t remember him. My father was a career military man. He happily had a badge, “I like Ike.” As someone who studies Presidents, it seems that in a hundred years people may consider Eisenhower the best president of the Twentieth Century. What he did with power was good and he didn’t tell the press. What makes me think of this is social media proclaiming the best and the worst Presidents without research. We must agree on how to judge a President. Many Presidents were very popular during their lives and subsequently dropped as details of their presidency came out. Warren G. Harding was one. Here are my five worst presidents: absolute worst was Teddy Roosevelt. Next was James Polk. Then Andrew Johnson. Next was Lyndon Johnson and fifth worst was Herbert Hoover. I can write a thousand words about their actions that landed them on my bad list. Maybe later. My pick for best presidents involves them doing things that others of their generation would not have done. Washington set the bar high. After him I admire Abraham Lincoln who no one expected to be nominated. He was awful his first year as he tried to grow into the job. Then providence smiled upon him for the ages. Lincoln almost single-handedly ended slavery in our country. He didn’t run to do it but came to understand how he needed to use his presidential powers. Likewise, Thomas Jefferson was bright but there were a dozen bright politicians when he decided to run for President. Once in office Jefferson allowed his curiosity of plants and animals to evolve into sending the Corps of Discovery under the command of Lewis and Clark across North America. In a three-year period, what was known about the North American West was increased way beyond anyone’s expectations. Speaking of a good president: Calvin Coolidge agreed to be Vice-President but did not have greater expectations. He was a quiet effective person who when thrust into the presidency took us out of a bad economic time and give us the “Roaring Twenties.” He like Eisenhower did not toot his horn so many people do not realize how good both were at being president. Ronald Reagan likewise took our nation out of a bad economic time and gave us nearly two decades of prosperity. He almost single-handedly took the Soviet Union down when no one thought it could be done. And he inspired many Americans with his presidency. Which brings us to Donald Trump. No one can tell how he will be viewed in a hundred years and as the saying goes, “A hundred years from now it is all new people.” But there are things we can see both good and bad that give us a framework to watch him as he conducts his four years of being president. Trump already is someone that does not do like the swarms of politicians do in our nation’s capital. That may be both good and bad. Not many thought he had a chance to win but he did. In that he is like Lincoln who ended up with the nomination while the political leaders scratched their heads and wondered how he did it. Lincoln also was a polarizing figure where he was loved or hated. In fact, nine states seceded from the Union before he was inaugurated based on their hatred of him. Trump is also like Jefferson in that he is interested in lots of stuff, but not politics. We can see that Donald Trump is his own man and no one waving money will get his attention. Like Lincoln newly elected Donald Trump is hated by the press. He can grow into the job of the presidency or not. Only time will tell. He may join the others on my list as a great president but he must do things, not just talk. We have had enough talk, it is time for action to get our people back to work and the economy going. Let’s see how he uses his power. Email: drswickard@comcast.net - Swickard’s new novel, Hideaway Hills, is availableat Amazon.com


Chris Cook Looks Back And Ahead For NMMI Bronco Baseball

Despite a slow start in 2016, the NMMI Bronco Baseball team almost made it to the JUCO World Series.


Wes Reeves Looks Back And Ahead

Xcel Energy continues the build out of the power grid in Texas and New Mexico. Nearly 100 miles of new 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line were energized in the two states in 2016 totaling a $105 million investment.


Tom Trowbridge Talks About 2016 And Looks Ahead To 2017

Trowbridge is the host of Dateline New Mexico which can be heard regularly on KSVP and 106.5 Roswell’s Talk FM.


Eddy County Has New 4-H Agent

Wayne Shockey has been on the job for a short period of time. However, the Alamogordo native has plans in place for the 4-H program in Eddy County.