Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS DOWN! RADIO THREATS. Let this be a lesson for all who get their hands on a radio used by emergency personnel — don’t mess around with it. The Federal Communications Commissions has announced that it intends to impose a $25,000 fine against a local man who got hold of a police radio and used it in an inappropriate way.

Well, “inappropriate” is a dramatic understatement. Estevan J. Gutierrez, 23, used the radio to threaten local police officers and their families. He would also be facing criminal charges from the incident if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s already serving a four-year prison sentence in connection with a home invasion last December (the radio incident happened a couple months later, in February). As a result of his plea agreement, the interference with communications charges were dropped.

THUMBS DOWN! POACHING. State police responding to a two-vehicle collision at the Old Las Vegas Highway and NM 283 recently discovered a headless deer in the back seat of one of the vehicles. A Game and Fish officials suspect the deer was poached in the Mineral Hill area.

Charges are likely to be filed against two people — rightly so if the evidence points to poaching. It’s a serious and unnecessary crime, and those who are caught illegally killing game should be fully prosecuted.

THUMBS UP! HONORED. Valley Elementary and Middle School has named its gymnasium after the late Jesus “Jesse” Griego, a West Las Vegas graduate who was killed in Vietnam. It’s a fitting tribute to a young man with a passion for sports, who gave his life for his country.

THUMBS DOWN! TRAGIC RESULTS. Twenty-two months after Richard Baca shot and killed Las Vegas resident Benito Lemos during a road rage incident, a jury found Baca not guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

A life is lost and a family still grieves. And even though Baca, a veteran, got to walk away a free man, for two years he faced the possibility of losing the freedom he defended overseas. Everyone must face the consequences of their actions. Everyone loses in a case like this.

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“A recording really helps everybody be on the same page. ... Sometimes (a written document) does not match what was said at all.”
— Raychel Hosch, an advocate for parents and owner of Pathways Therapy Services, regarding a newly passed West Las Vegas Schools district policy prohibiting the use of video and audio recorders during Individual Educational Program (IEP) meetings between parents and teachers.