Gas leak cause of home explosion
On Thursday, Victor and Alma Dominguez saw what was left of their home following Tuesday night’s explosion in South Hobbs.
“It was a sad thing to see,” Dominguez said. Hobbs Fire Marshal Shawn Williams was still conducting his investigation as HFD officials searched through the debris looking for a cause.
Former Hobbs News-Sun reporter and current officer Beth Hahn shot and killed 36-year-old Juan Reynaldo Duran after responding to a call about shots being fired.
According to police, Duran pointed a firearm at Artesia police officers several times and ignored repeated commands to drop his weapons.
Duran died at the scene.
Hahn has been employed by the Artesia Police Department for more than two years.
The shooting remains under investigation.
The New Mexico State Police has released the identity of the suspect who was shot by a Eunice police officer Tuesday.
The NMSP preliminary investigation indicates that Eunice officers responded to a home on the 600 block of South Main in reference to a domestic violence call. One officer entered the home and found Roberto Granados Ocona, 41, armed with a knife. A struggle ensued that resulted in the officer shooting Ocona in the chest.
After two attempts for helicopter medical service, an ambulance took Ocona to Lea Regional Medical Center for treatment. He is currently listed in stable condition. Helicopter service was unavailable due to the large thunderstorm that his the Eunice area Tuesday afternoon.
The officer was not injured in the incident and has been placed on paid administrative leave while NMSP official investigate the incident.
Eunice Police Chief Jimmie Jones didn't believe there was a threat of danger to anyone else outside of the residence. He said the placing of the officer on paid administrative leave is standard with an officer-involved shooting.
"His identity will be released once the investigation concludes," said Sgt. Chad Pierce, NMSP Public Information Officer. "Usually these investigations take about two weeks to conduct. The investigators will interview the officers involved and collect any data or evidence."
As earlier reported, Eunice dispatch received a 911 call at around 4:31 p.m. Dispatch logs indicate that an argument between Ocona and a female took place with the female stating, “why do you want to kill me? You just came to kill me.”
Ten minutes after the officer arrived, the ambulance was requested in reference to a subject with two gunshots to the chest.
Jones, who has been with the Eunice Police Department for five years, believes the last officer-involved shooting in Eunice that he knows about occurred in the late 1980s or early 1990s when there was a bank robbery in downtown Eunice.
“It happened at the bank that is now our Wells Fargo bank at Main Street,” Jones said.
'It shook the whole south side'
Raul Alvarado woke up late Tuesday night to the sound of shattering glass.
He thought the worst.
“All I heard was this big boom and I thought someone broke into the house,” he said. “I got my gun, went downstairs and saw the window was broken. Then I heard someone screaming for help.”
You shouldn’t speed in Hobbs, but if you do, don’t do it after Sept. 5.
That’s when the city’s new traffic code goes into effect and the fines for traffic violations will increase almost threefold.
Monday night the Hobbs City Commission threw out the old traffic code and adopted a new one that is more in line with traffic fines across the state.
Nearly one in every 10 Lea County workers is unemployed.
According to numbers from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, Lea’s unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent (unadjusted). Unadjusted numbers do not include seasonal jobs not yet tallied by the state.
It’s an unemployment rate the likes of which Lea County hasn’t seen since 1999 when the rate climbed as high as 11.1 percent and stayed at or above 10 percent for five months of the year. The average unemployment rate in 1999 was 9.2 percent.
Waste Control Specialists may be ahead of Lea and Eddy counties in landing a long-term storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, but there could be room for both projects.
That was the word from WCS Communications Director Chuck McDonald this week as he touted the latest developments in WCS’s attempts to land a spent fuel storage facility at the company’s facility just five miles east of Eunice in Andrews County, Texas.
Eunice residents and motorists may have witnessed billowing smoke Saturday afternoon as a fire engulfed a home located east of town, but no one was hurt.
The Eunice Fire Department responded to a structure fire on 5th Street and Texas Avenue at 4 p.m. Saturday and firefighters had the blaze under control about 5:30-5:45 p.m., according to Eunice fire chief Jesse Davis. The department was on scene until approximately 7:22 p.m., while Eunice police and the Lea County Sheriff’s Department provided traffic control around the area.
“It was a trailer house and it caught fire,” Davis said Monday. “It was a total loss. We were able to stop it before it got to the living room and the kitchen area and the back bedroom, but due to the extensive heat damage — we’re going to classify it as being a total loss.”
Davis said two people were occupying the home at the time of the fire, but both were able to exit the home, and there were no injuries.
“(The homeowner) had quite a bit of stuff on the outside of the fire that also got involved in the fire,” he said. “The cause is going to be of an electrical nature and it looks like it started back in the east bedroom. That’s where the actual electric control boxes were and that looks like where the cause of the fire was.”
According to Davis, the fire spread to a shed on the outside of the trailer home that was also a “complete loss.” In addition, some vehicles and other mechanical items on the property were damaged in the fire.
Hobbs store to close by Oct. 31
A Hobbs staple for DVDs, books, records and more on North Turner Street will close along with 125 other locations nationwide due to Hastings Entertainment’s nationwide liquidation.
The Amarillo Globe-News reported Thursday the Amarillo-based retail company must liquidate all of its stores by October 31 after being sold to two consultation and management companies. The company announced last month it was trying to find a buyer due to “financial challenges.” The locations are closing on a “store-by-store” basis with seven-day notice required for employees.