1,259 acres burned over weekend
With 100-degree temperatures and the occasional thunder, grass fires have scorched more than 1,200 acres in Lea County within the last week pushing 2016’s total closer to 10,000 acres lost.
Lightning strikes were blamed twice for causing two significant grass fires within a 48-hour period that torched an estimated 1,259 acres with an 809-acre blaze on State Highway 176, west of Eunice, last Friday and another 450-acre fire Sunday night.
Exhibit chance of a lifetime
Next week, a crew from Atlanta will arrive in Hobbs to set up an exhibit of artifacts from the Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912 and lay undisturbed more than three miles below the water until her remains were discovered in 1985.
Since then, thousands of artifacts have been recovered and put on display at museums around the world, and several hundred of those artifacts will be on display at the Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame beginning July 28.
Hobbsans attend vigil outside HPD in support of Dallas police
Five law enforcement officers were slain in Dallas Thursday night and communities across the nation began an outpouring of support, grief and love. The City of Hobbs gathered Friday morning for its part.
Hobbs police officers, fire personnel, City of Hobbs employees, numerous residents and community leaders turned out on short notice outside the Hobbs Police Department for a prayer memorial. An hour and a half before, the city announced an impromptu vigil honoring the fallen Dallas officers to honor a request by the City of Dallas for communities to pray with them at noon Central Standard Time.
County has lost 8,333 acres to wildfires this year
Curtis C. Wynne
The weather is not only hot, it’s fiery hot.
The National Weather Service in Midland issued a heat advisory for southeastern New Mexico and much of West Texas, and the Lea County Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff Broom warned of a fire weather situation.
Broom said the number of grass land fire calls and the acreage burned in Lea County at this point in 2016, just through June, already well exceeds either of the past two full years.
“So far in 2016, … we’re at 8,333 acres lost throughout the county with a total of 72 wild land fire calls,” he said. “Put that into perspective, in 2015 (all year) we had a total of 529 acres lost with a total of 56 wild land fire calls.”
Knight Oil Tools rumored to be closing doors until oil rebounds
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.
Traffic citations growing by 4,500 a year
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.
One investor's perspective
Editor’s note: This list was taken from an interview with Bill Munn, director of investments with Mack Energy.
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.”
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.
Dorothy N. Fowler
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.