2006 Year in Review: PRMC leadership changes

Residents lauded the city’s first roundabout at Llano Estacado Boulevard and Norris Street when it opened in March. The City Commission supported it as a cost-effective way to alleviate congestion and control traffic. (CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth)

CNJ staff

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Plains Regional Medical Center’s Administrator Brian Bentley resigned in February. Although no reason was given for the resignation, it came on the heels of an unannounced hospital inspection earlier in the month by New Mexico Department of Health officials.

The administrator’s resignation also followed the resignations of two hospital board members: Dr. Allan Haynes and Steve Hudson.

State health officials conducted an unannounced inspection of PRMC on Feb. 6. The inspection was spurred by a complaint, according to David Rodriguez, chief of the state’s health facility, licensing and certification bureau.

Hudson, chairman of the PRMC board of directors, said his resignation was strictly personal and not related to issues at the hospital.

“This is about me, not the hospital,” said Hudson, a Portales accountant.

“I resigned because I have too many conflicts of interest, as a board member and as a (certified public accountant),” Hudson said. “I have clients who are physicians.”

He said Clovis and surrounding area residents should not be concerned about the quality of healthcare the facility offers.

Hudson said Haynes, a Clovis doctor, also resigned due to personal reasons.
Bentley served in the position since September 2003, when construction of the 15,000-square-foot Healthplex was completed.

No reason was given for his resignation.

Hoyt Skabelund, 37, took over as PRMC administrator in June. He has been with
PRMC’s parent company, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, for a decade.

Special Ops interest: A major Air Force operation headquartered in the Florida Panhandle said Cannon Air Force Base is being considered as a new home for its expansion.

The Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., made two official visits to Cannon, one late last year and another in January, according to Capt. Andre Kok of the Cannon Public Affairs Office.

Hurlburt Field is home to about 8,000 active-duty special operations personnel, according to base officials.
Pentagon officials announced in June they were moving the 16th Special Operations Wing to Cannon.

Airman indicted: More than 16 months after her death, Air Force officials in March charged Kimberly Susan Novak’s husband with murder.

Novak, 20, died of blunt force trauma in her Cannon Air Force Base residence in late October 2004, according to Cannon’s Public Affair’s Office.

Her husband, Airman Edward Novak II of the 27th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was charged with murder and child abuse, according to a Cannon press release.
Edward Novak is in military confinement awaiting trial.

Mouse fire: A Fort Sumner man fell victim to a mouse fire in January. Luciano Mares said he caught a mouse inside his residence and discarded the creature in a pile of garden refuse he was burning on his property near the home. The fiery mouse ran from the burning leaves to below a window of the home, setting the house ablaze. All contents of the wooden home were destroyed, according to village Fire Chief Juan Chavez. Aside from the mouse, no injuries were reported.

Cannon supporter dies: Longtime Cannon Air Force Base advocate Doc Stewart, 81, died in February from heart and pulmonary complications in a Lubbock
hospital. A Clovis businessman and original member
of the Committee of Fifty, Stewart won the friendship of some of the most influential men in the military. “He helped shape our lives and he left us better than he found us,” Comiittee of Fifty member Randy Harris said.

Thumbs down:
The movie “Brokeback Mountain” arrived in Clovis in February at the Hilltop Twin Theater. The award-winning film depicted two cowboys falling deeply in love. The movie only grossed $1,400 locally and was met with disapproval by numerous residents.

104 and counting: Nina Lolita Luckett celebrated her 104th birthday in February. The Clovis resident celebrated the
occasion surrounded by family and friends in the lobby of Retirement Ranch. Luckett swore it was her 106th birthday, but her friends and relatives firmly reminded her of her true age.

For the birds: Zoo officials said in February the peacock population was out of control. Officials estimated more than 70 of the colorful fowl roamed freely at the zoo. To alleviate the overcrowding, zoo employees offered the birds for public sale. They sold about 30.

They said it

“It’s the good Lord’s will that it stayed open.”
— Wendi Winn, concerned parent on the February decision to keep Ranchvale Elementary open. Ranchvale caters primarily to military families at Cannon.

Go Figure

Lance Pyle’s age when he was elected mayor of Melrose in March. He said he hoped to serve as an example to young people that they’re voice does matter.

Dollars Clovis City Commissioners donated to Relay for Life during a March meeting. The donated the money in place of waiving a $485 city bleacher fee.