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For more than 26 years, Manny Romero has been a staple in the Northern New Mexico basketball community. He has coached at Mora, Robertson and Peñasco, achieving success everywhere he has gone. He is now closing in on 400 career victories, an accomplishment very few high school coaches are able to reach. We would like to thank him for his dedication to the youth in this community, and congratulate him on all his success. Too often in sports, we get caught up in yearly win-loss records and criticizing coaches when they don’t do things exactly the way we would like. But we forget that these coaches take time out of their lives to give back to the communities they live in, and that they try to help children grow, both in competition, and in their lives. When someone dedicates this much of their life to that cause, it deserves celebration. We thank every coach for taking on that often thankless role, and we hope everyone appreciates what they do. As Romero closes in on his 400th career victory, we wish him the best of luck, and we hope he takes time to appreciate how truly special it is. No matter how much longer he chooses to coach, he will always be considered a legend in this part of the state. 



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COVID-19 cases are rising all over the country thanks to the highly contagious Omicron variant, which has taken hold over the past several weeks. While it is considered a mild variant for most people, that does not mean we should take it lightly. Not at all. Hospitals continue to be overwhelmed and deaths related to COVID-19 continue to file in by the dozens daily in New Mexico. The pandemic is still raging on, and people need to continue taking it seriously. We applaud New Mexico Highlands University for requiring booster shots for its students, with the alternative being regular testing. Not only does that help protect students, but also the staff they are around on a daily basis. We all need to be vaccinated and wear masks in indoor public places, including booster shots. We all need to report symptoms when we feel them, and we all need to let people know when we test positive for COVID-19. Doing these things gives us all the best shot at emerging strong from this persistent surge. Chances are, by now, we all know someone who has tested positive for the virus. Many of us know people who have been hospitalized because of it. Some of us even know people who have died because of the virus. We must do whatever we can to keep that death rate from rising any higher. We have experienced enough loss. Please take this pandemic seriously, for the sake of everyone around you.

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