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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - may 9, 2014

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By Optic Editorial Board

GIVE GRANDE EVENT RAISED $853,000
Congratulations to the Community Foundation Coalition of New Mexico for raising $853,001.94 from 7,799 donors through its inaugural Give Grande New Mexico campaign. Among the 409 nonprofits receiving donations during this 24-hour online fundraising event were several from San Miguel and Mora counties. Indeed, MainStreet de Las Vegas raised $10,055 through the campaign. It came in 14th on the list of top fundraisers.

NATIVE AMONG TORNADO VICTIMS
The tornadoes that struck Arkansas late last month killed several people, including Glenna Sue Pickett Lavergne and her husband, Dennis Troy. Glenna Sue was a native of this area, having graduated from Robertson High School in 1978. Besides claiming the couple’s lives, the tornado destroyed their family home, leaving nothing behind but the cement slab where the home once stood. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pickett and Lavergne families.

ALLEGED RAPE
Las Vegas police are investigating a report of an alleged rape at the West Las Vegas High School parking lot on April 24. The suspect is an 18-year-old senior and the alleged victim is a 15-year-old underclassmen.

FATAL HOUSE FIRE
Alfredo Garcia, 53, died in a house fire on the 2700 block of Plata last Wednesday. Garcia was on oxygen, and fire officials speculate that may have been a factor in the fire.

SKANDERA VISIT
State Education Secretary Hanna Skandera spent a day in Las Vegas last week, meeting with officials at both of our school districts during the day and with parents, teachers and other community members during the evening. There’s no question that Skandera is a controversial person, with some people liking her education policies and others despising them. Regardless, we appreciate the fact that she carved out time from her busy schedule to hear feedback from members of our community.

AND WE QUOTE
The university does not have either adequate facilities or a sufficient operating budget for athletics to properly support the (rodeo) program.”
— Highlands President Jim Fries