Monday, February 27, 2017
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Oil company goes into hibernation

Oil company goes into hibernation

Knight Oil Tools rumored to be closing doors until oil rebounds

Charlie Benton

News-Sun

Knight Oilfield Tools could be the latest victim of the down oil economy.

Knight Oilfield Tools is shutting its doors and laying off all its workers, according to an employee. This move will abandon the company's Highway 62-180 yard west of Hobbs that was built just three years ago. 

The same employee said the company has been steadily laying off its workers for some time. Another employee said on Wednesday that the yard may reopen when oilfield conditions improve. Representatives at the Company's Lafayette, La., headquarters declined to comment as did a manager at the company's Hobbs office.

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Speeders laughing off the law

Speeders laughing off the law

Traffic citations growing by 4,500 a year

Charlie Benton

News-Sun

Hobbs Assistant City Attorney Efren Cortez knew that higher traffic fines were needed after a speeder laughed in Cortez's face in municipal court, saying he'd rather pay his traffic fine than go through a defensive driving course at New Mexico Junior College to have the ticket expunged. 

The effects of that attitude by drivers can be seen in the number of traffic citation the city is seeing as Cortez pointed an increase of 4,500 traffic tickets given in 2015 over 2014 and the trend is continuing this year. 

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10 things about oil you probably didn’t know

One investor's perspective

Editor’s note: This list was taken from an interview with Bill Munn, director of investments with Mack Energy.

Supply, demand
1. It doesn’t comply with the principles of supply and demand.
Oil doesn’t follow the basic rules of supply and demand, says Bill Munn, investor for Mack Energy. As most things go, the less the supply and greater the demand, the higher the price.
However, for oil, consumers want and use more of it the greater the supply and lower the price. So when oil hits a surplus like we’re seeing now and the price drops at the pump, consumers drive more. If oil hits $70 a barrel and the price at the pump climbs, then drivers find ways to cut back and drive less.
“Gas consumption is not demand,” Munn said, talking about the current state of oil in the world market. “Demand at $30 a barrel is higher than at $70 and at $100 we know what happens — drivers start changing behavior because that is too expensive.”

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Wet winter a mixed bag for area farmers

Wet winter a mixed bag for area farmers

Charlie Benton

News-Sun

With a wetter than usual winter, area farmers have had a mixed bag of good and bad to deal with, from wetter conditions for some better crop growth, but also increased potential for some crop diseases that ravage harvests. 

"We got some bad, and we got some good. That's kind of the way farming is though," said Lea County farmer Gary Jackson. "We've had some blessed rains in spots, and we've had some very damaging hail in spots."

He said that some of his cotton and chile fields received severe hail damage, with 100 percent wipeout in some places. However, he said the hail damage this season is nowhere near as bad as it was in the 2014 and 2015 growing seasons. 

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NMJC adds petroleum tech degree to curriculum

Dorothy N. Fowler
News-Sun

Once upon a time it was all about nuclear energy as New Mexico Junior College planned courses to meet the needs of URENCO and the WIPP. That's still important, but no more important than the addition of the energy technology degree to emphasize petroleum technology.
Courtney Puryear, director of energy programs at NMJC said as the price of oil climbs and production resumes, big oil companies will be competing for entry level technicians with a two-year degree.

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Texas doctors bill takes effect

Texas doctors bill takes effect

CURTIS C. WYNNE
NEWS-SUN

Legislation designed to prevent Texas doctors who treat New Mexico patients from being sued in New Mexico's patient-friendly courts took effect today.

Designated as House Bill (HB) 270, “Out-of-State Health Care Provider Access,” the original bill was sponsored by Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Las Cruces, and strongly supported by legislators representing Lea County. McMillan is a surgeon. The bill also states Texas doctors may ask New Mexico patients to sign a form agreeing to sue in Texas courts, if they sue for malpractice. 

Based on two real cases currently being heard by the New Mexico Supreme Court, many Texas doctors reportedly warned late last year that if New Mexico residents were allowed to sue Texas doctors for work performed in Texas, they would simply refuse to accept New Mexico patients.

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Lea County to get power boost

Lea County to get power boost

For the News-Sun

AMARILLO — Hobbs and Lea County are about to get some more power.

Xcel Energy is planning a major addition to the power system as part of its Power for the Plains grid enhancement initiative that will deliver a more reliable and abundant electricity supply to customers in New Mexico and Texas.

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Recent rains have little, if any, effect on aquifer

Despite regular rainstorms in southeast New Mexico, the water is probably not doing much to recharge the Ogalalla Aquifer. 

Charlie Benton

NEWS-SUN

According to Mike Johnson, hydrology bureau chief with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, whether or not rain recharges the aquifer is a complicated question due to the fact that the OSE does not measure recharge directly. 

“It’s difficult to measure, but we do measure water level in wells, and there’s a lot of wells in the High Plains (Ogalalla) Aquifer, and our office cooperates with the United States Geological Survey, a federal agency to measure water level in those wells. Those give you an idea of how much water is in the aquifer, and if water levels are going up or down or staying steady.”

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Don’t cry for Bunny

Don’t cry for Bunny

Bunny, an American bulldog with five puppies, was scheduled for certain death at a pound in West Texas ... until the Dog is My Copilot program came to the rescue

Dorothy N. Fowler

NEWS-SUN

At 7:15 a.m. tears were flowing freely down the faces of Gina Beard and Shelly Chesser as Philip Rork’s plane, with its Dog is My Copilot logo on the tail, lifted off from Lea Regional Airport Friday morning.

Rork, one of the founders of Dog is my Copilot and chief pilot for the organization, was taking off from the airport for the third time this year, this time to deliver a record cargo to places as remote as Salt Lake City.

It was loaded with 63 animals rescued from

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Senior housing project a first in Hobbs

Senior housing project a first in Hobbs

More senior housing could be coming to Hobbs after a vote by the Hobbs Planning Board in its Tuesday morning meeting

Charlie Benton

News-Sun

The board unanimously recommended a sketch plan for a gated community to be located in the Zia Crossing development northwest of Zia Park Casino, Hotel and Racetrack. The proposed development will be open to those aged 55 and older and include a homeowner’s association as laid out in the New Mexico Homeowner’s Association Act. The development will include 90 homes in total as well as a pool, Jacuzzi and clubhouse.

With a recommendation by the Hobbs Planning Board the next step for the housing complex is an approval by the Hobbs City Commission. No date has been determined when that will take place.

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