Speed Spills

McKinley West fire department's Lt. Rudy Nez talks to the driver of an overturned semi-truck while filling out an accident report Wednesday morning just east of the Arizona and New Mexico state line on I-40. The accident caused police to close the east-bound lanes of I-40 for several hours, but no injuries were reported.


Motel Investigation

Investigators from the New Mexico state fire marshal's office discuss their findings Tuesday morning at the El Dorado Motel in Grants, after a fire swept through a portion of the building the night before. The only comment the investigators would make was that the fire was still under investigation.


Old and New

The McKinley County Sheriff's department puts their new DWI Enforcement vehicle on display Monday in front of the County Courthouse in downtown Gallup, opening the vehicle up for interested people to look inside and ask questions about the newest piece of equipment in the war against intoxicated drivers.

A look at the interior of the truck.

The machine that proves it - the Breathalyzer.

I am not a big fan of covering these media events that are held solely for my benefit, so that I will go back and fill our reader's eyes with controlled propaganda. I'd much rather cover the cops using this rig for real. When I think about how ridiculously out of control drunk driving is in New Mexico and suddenly I don't care if it is a PR reps idea. When we continually hear stories of people with four and five, and even more, DWI arrests out on the streets driving and killing other people I'll stop worrying about my ego and what I think is visually fun to make images of.

This is a statue of Chief Manuelito. It is now on display in the front lobby of Zanios Cash and Carry warehouse food store. Apparently the statue was originally placed inside of an old trading post at the same location where a very shrewd business man (this is from my meager memory so no, I don't remember his name) helped to see the Navajo weavings as blankets and pieces of art and worked very hard to create a world market for the tapestries. In the 1990's the building had to be torn down for structural problems. Now the statue is on in display in the new building that is on the same plot that the old one was.


Pretty Pets

Chaz, a bassett hound, rests up after strenuously demonstrating his trick of playing dead for the judges Friday during the Kid's Pet Show at the Gallup Sports Complex. Chaz impressed the judges enough to earn second place in the competition, and did not even have to resort to his other trick of tripping on his ears.

Cocoa, a pug owned by Jackie Daniels, does his best to pass as a bumble-bee Friday morning during the Kid's Pet Show.

Emilio Chavezlets his pet millipede, Arnold, crawl on his hand Friday after showing it to the judges during the Kid's Pet Shows at the Gallup Sports Complex. Chavez said that the name Arnold is actually short for Arnold Schwartzenegger.

Hayley Menapace gets a doggy-kiss from her blue heeler, Dakota, while waiting for the judges to tally the scores.


Drilling for Water - Thirsty Work

Jose Navarez, left, and Rolando Mendoza unhook a heavy chain Monday afternoon while moving the next section of the drill shaft to be installed into position at Indian Hills Park in Gallup. The crew from Roswell, NM has set up a 110-foot tall drilling rig and anticipate they will need to reach a depth of nearly 4,000 feet before they hit water as they drill a new well to supplement the city's water supply.

Drill operators Alberto Marquez and Rolando Mendoza measure the next length of metal shaft to be hooked up Monday afternoon while drilling for water.


Elderly Hillbillies

Iva Olive, right, and other members of the Kitchen Band look out of the door of the South Side Senior Citizen's Center while performing a skit during the 'Hillbilly Days' activities Friday afternoon. In addition to the skit seniors also sang songs and participated in hog calling and Minnie Pearl howdy contests.

Mary Landfried plays the jams on her electric guitar Friday while performing a skit with the Kitchen Band
Now, before I make this next comment, I need to say that I am a fan of Aerosmith. Steven Tyler has some real talent and I like that he is very matter of fact about his chemical dependency and impressed with his taking getting clean. Okay. Done with the disclaimer, I had to wonder if maybe this was Steven Tyler's mother. . . . jamming on guitar like nobody's business.

Martha Tecklenburg stands up and reads from a letter from home Friday afternoon while performing a skit with other members of the Kitchen Band.


Legal Cuban Imports

Santa Fe Smoke Shop manager Beatriz Rodriguez displays one of the many varieties of cigars the store now has available to its customers at 211 W. Santa Fe Avenue in Grants, NM.
When I first heard about this assignment I had some grand ideas about a darkened room with the store owner lit with side/back lighting, smoke wisps encircling his head. Instead I found a climate controlled room, the owner out sick and a reporter trying to conduct an interview at the same time as I was making images. The manager did agree to show off some of the products, including a Cuban cigar that they sell,and is imported legally. But the realities of newspaper work often get in the way of the creative visions of a photographer. Too often things end up being situations where I just have to settle for what I can get.


Spinning the Platters - KDSK-FM

KDSK radio station owner Derek Underhill shows off some of the vintage 45 rpm discs from his archives Wednesday in front of the station in Grants, NM. The station has a streaming internet broadcast, as well as transmitting over the FM airwaves, and plays a variety of old music that includes nearly 30,000 tracks between its digital and vinyl collections.

KDSK radio station owner Derek Underhill takes his turn at the microphone inside of the station's studio offices in Grants, NM.

A peak inside the KDSK radio station offices reveals a radio museum, including this mock-up ofan old D.J.'s console, turntable and cart machine.

KDSK-radio DJ Steve Ricketts makes himself comfortable behind one of the studio microphones as he is on the air.

I walked into the station with our reporter and was soon feeling very at ease. Friendly guys who were down to earth and easy going. Steve Ricketts was making me chuckle from behind my camera as he rattled off his monologue into the microphone. I thought of the old sit-com, WKRP in Cincinatti, and apparently others had too. In the back corner of the museum there was a toy WKRP turntable and microphone play set.

So, that brings up a point that makes me say 'hmmmmmm'. Has anybody ever noticed that newsman Les Nessman always had a bandage on someplace on his body - face, hands, arms, etc. in every episode and NOBODY ever commented on it? I guess the news business is a dangerous way to earn a living.


British Rules Soccer

Dylan Overheim, 9, slides on his knees Tuesday as he moves to intercept a shot on goal by Jackson Ferguson, 10, at the Gallup Soccer Complex. The boys were participating in a week-long soccer clinic run by Challenger British Soccer, a company that sends between 500 to 600 coaches to the U.S. each year to help teach children the finer points of the game.

Michael DiGregorio, 8 uses his knee to practice juggling a soccer ball Tuesday at the Gallup Soccer Complex while participating in a week-long soccer clinic.

British Soccer coach Paul Robinson works with Delaney Ignace as she learns how to use her insole to pass a soccer ball


All-Star Girls: Practice

Navajo Pine graduate Quortnii Francis handles the ball Thursday afternoon during practice for the upcoming North-South All-Star basketball game, being held Saturday at Gallup High School.


Blocking it out

John Goffe, a resident of the Mentmore subdivision on the west side of Gallup, looks out the back window of his home Thursday evening. Goffe says that he has to close up the windows of his house every night because of the obnoxious odors that creep into the neighborhood from the waste water treatment plant nearby. The plant is undergoing renovations that are aimed at reducing the odors, but he and others in the area have not noted any improvements.

Photographing some things is very difficult. Wind can be tough, but showing the effects afterward is doable. But how does a photographer capture a sense of smell? It is not like some of the new media being used - video and sound - for web reporting would be able to do any better. So the best option that I could manage for this assignment was to find a resident bothered by the smells from the water treatment facility and find out what he does about it. The answer? Close up his home in the evenings.


Abused Animals

I may be a city boy, and don't know much about horses, but even I could tell that the pair of horses that the animal control officers seized from their owners today are not healthy. For instance, look at the first image of Romie stretching his hand out to sooth one of the animals. Look at its left eye and you can see something crusty and dried around that eye.

When a concerned neighbor reported that the horses were being mistreated investigators went out to see for themselves, What they found was little food and a bone dry water tub and no shade.

While the older horse went pretty easily into the trailer the officers had to take them away, the younger horse, Dusty, was not at all interested in going for a ride.

And finally, this last image shows the one horse really well. Its ribs are showing, its hair is coming out in patches (possibly mange) and it just doesn't look healthy. Through it all the owners kept saying they were not abusing the horses, and even claimed that the officers were there to take the horses for themselves.


When the Wind Blows

The winds started to pick up speed yesterday, and by today they arrvived with nearly hurricane force. Wind speeds were sustained in the 40-50 MPH range, and at one point the speed was recorded at 70 MPH. The rest of the state had high winds as well, but Gallup took the top honors, and the results were not all the surprising. A truck was blown over on I-40, a roof was blown off a home (and the owners are gone on vacation), and power poles snapped in Fort defiance, Ariz. Despite all the chaos, I did not hear of anybody being injured.


Lunch is Served, with a Snack

Tito Bustinza, 3, bites into a fork-full of spaghetti and sauce while taking advantage of the free lunch program at Stage Coach Elementary School in Gallup. Stage Coach, Juan De Onate, Roosevelt, Churchrock and Tohatchi Elemtnary schools, as well as Crownpoint and Thoreau High School serve free hot lunches through July 27th, and many other sites offer cold lunches and breakfast.

Joshua DuBoise, 9, (left) and Isaac Bustinza, 5, slurp up spaghetti noodles and sauce while taking advantage of the free lunch program at Stage Coach Elementary School in Gallup.

Natalie and Cara DePauli dip into their profits while selling lemonade Tuesday along South Fifth Street in Gallup. Joining them in their financial endeavors is their cousin, Steven DiGregorio, who is visiting from Albuquerque.


Learning Young

Gallup high school's Erin Wilson gives Lindsey Loretto, 6, some pointers on shooting a basketball Monday morning during the 26th Annual Gallup Bengals Girls Basketball Camp at Gallup High School. Girls basketball head coach John Lomasney said when the camp first started he only had seven girls show up, and now he gets 100 or more.

Lucy Martinez, 6, puts some effort into shooting the basketball over the hand of Gallup's Erin Wilson on Monday at Gallup High School.