Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Travelers block road in Janos, Chihuahua

In November 2012, I traveled to Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.  About 45 minutes before we were to arrive in Nuevo Casas Grandes, the bus I was riding in came to a stop at a check point in Janos.

Normally, cars and buses are asked to stop only momentarily while the military and government types check whatever it is they check.

Our bus was going to be allowed to continue on down the road, but people that were riding in another bus all walked out in front of our bus and refused to move.

Apparently, the first bus had been sitting there for four or five hours while authorities completed a criminal investigation.  The truth was never made clear, but some of the things we were told were that the military had found drugs on the bus.  My guess is that they found a cache of guns, a stash of money, or a fugitive.

Either way, the people that were being detained felt that they were being victimized by the government.  They were upset that they were not being able to leave even though they were obviously not being accused of doing anything wrong.

In this video, the driver of the bus I was on is trying to convince the people in front of the bus to move.  Eventually,  military personnel told the driver to get in the bus and start driving, even if the people did not move.  After guns were pointed at the few people who remained in front of the bus, everyone got out of the way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

DC3 Activities Center plans moving forward

DC3 Activities Center plans moving forward

Jarrett E. Brown

Dodge City Daily Globe

September 13, 2013

Recent developments have increased the likelihood that the previously-proposed Dodge City Community College Activities Center will be built.

In August, the Dodge City Community College Foundation Board and the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees met to discuss plans for the activities center.   Both boards voted in favor of moving forward with the project, according to Roger Proffitt, the director of the foundation.

The foundation has already hired a construction-manager at-risk to finalize building plans and make final estimates about the costs of the activities center, Proffitt said.

The project is expected to cost $8,000,000 and will be financed with Industrial Revenue Bonds, a $491,000 grant from FEMA, donations from businesses and individuals, and revenue from naming rights opportunities, the foundation director said.

To date, $900,000 has been raised or pledged for the project from a variety of sources, Proffitt said.

According to Proffitt, the mill levy will not be raised in order to provide funding for the activities center.
Preliminary building designs and cost estimates need to be delivered to FEMA before the first day of November, Proffitt said.

The FEMA grant also requires that the activities center be built within two-and-a-half-years, he said. 
Under the current proposal, the activities center will be housed in a monolithic dome-structure on the northeast side of the community college campus.  It will have space for a basketball court, a soccer field, a walking track, a wellness center, study and computer areas, community rooms, and a community events center, according to the 2013 Dodge City Community College President’s Report.

The activities center would also serve as a place of refuge for local citizens prior to and during weather events, such as tornados, and as a staging area for disaster responses efforts, according to Proffitt and the 2013 President’s Report.  It is possible that the Ford County Emergency Management Center could also be located inside the center. 

“The center will be a place that students and members of the community can utilize,” Proffitt said.  “The activities center will be more than an athletics complex.”

Proffitt believes that the activities center will be built, but he said that changes to the plans could be made if the actual building costs are not in-line with the estimates.

“We are sure that it [the building of the center] is going to happen,” Proffitt said, “but, we may have to cut some things out of the plans.”