New job, new state
In 2020, I made a big change, taking a reporter job in New Mexico at the Roswell Daily Record. In my first year, I was honored to earn second place in the feature writing category of the New Mexico Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest for a story profiling a local Vietnam veteran published on Veitnam War Veterans Day.
Thursday’s graduation day lacked caps and gowns and was a little less formal than traditional pomp and circumstance, but it was no less joyous for the participants who filled the third-floor courtroom in the Ellis County Court House.
The six who graduated were among the first to be sentenced 15 months ago to Drug Court and complete its five phases that aim to treat the offenders’ drug problem and give them the tools to not return to their former habits.
Drug Court, while a part of an offender’s sentence with strict requirements, is often informal in its proceedings when it meets every two weeks in the second-floor courtroom of 23rd Judicial District Chief Judge Glenn Braun. He likens Drug Court to more of a conversation between him and each individual, where they share their ups and downs in their lives.