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Today's Features

  • Briana Montaño wants to become the 2011 valedictorian at West Las Vegas High School.

    That would be keeping the honor in the family. The 2010 valedictorian was her sister, Krystle Montaño.

    Principal Gene Parson said Montaño is competitive in academics and is a five-sport letterman, but always competes in a very respectful manner.        

  • Beatrice Maestas-Sandoval and George Ulibarri are master artists in their own right — judging from the array of artifacts tastefully arranged in George’s home and from the works in progress in the adjacent workshop area the two share.

    Beatrice remarks that some of her work is on display at her brother Jose Maestas’ business on Sixth Street.

  • Maggie Romigh is not only a mentor, but a mentor of mentors.

    She has sacrificed financially to work as a community coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico, but said she has been rewarded in countless other ways.

    “When I first came to New Mexico, one of the choices I made was that I was going to do what was important to me, rather than focus on making money,” Romigh said.

  • Judy Cordova-Romero had big dreams when she first came to Highlands University, and many of her dreams to make campus life better for students came true during her tenure.

    As Highlands University vice president for student affairs, Cordova-Romero was an advocate for the new residence hall that students enjoy today. She pushed for a new student center that had its groundbreaking ceremony Monday. And her dreams of refurbishing the Felix Martinez building into a one-stop shop for students’ needs came true during a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week.

  • What would it take to lure renowned musicians into one’s home? What if they were Arturo Toscaninni, considered by many as the greatest conductor ever to wave a baton, or George and Ira Gershwin, renowned lyricist and pianist and the beloved clarinet player, Benny Goodman?

    Luring wasn’t necessary; in the East 90th Street New York City home of Albert Fredric Stoessel, an American composer, violinist and conductor; these visits were customary. Stoessel’s son, Las Vegas resident, Fredrick Stoessel says, “I just thought of them as family friends.”

  • Gary Gamertsfelder went to Kansas City’s recent national SkillsUSA competition and loved every minute of it. While he may be the first local to crack the top 10 in the national competition, he has had a lot of mentors along the way.

    Instructor Anthony Baca remembers the inception of the automotive repair program at Luna Community College. He’s seen five state champions and four national championships during his tenure.

    Baca said Gamertsfelder is so good at what he does he motivates fellow students in the entire Luna auto shop.

  • April Esquibel saw herself as nerdy — and she wanted to change her self-image. So she started competing in pageants.

    The 18-year-old now is Miss Santa Fe and held the titles of Miss Las Vegas 2009 and Hispanic Teen New Mexico 2006. She is this year’s Fiesta queen, with the event taking place this weekend.

  • Most of us would struggle recalling close to 90 years of memories, but Arturo and Marie Montoya do it with ease.

    Arthur George Montoya, born in Las Vegas in 1919, and his wife, Marie Gonzales, born in Clayton in 1921, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary Sept. 15. These two have offered, and continue to offer, a wealth of information concerning life in early 20th century agrarian northern New Mexico and beyond, gleaned from their full lives.

  • A father-daughter project has turned into a real passion for a local family in recent years.

    Ashley Wheeler and her stepfather, Estevan Ortega, began working on a lowrider bicycle a year ago and are now being noticed at major competitions.

    “I was very excited that I won first place in the Impalas Car Show in Santa Fe in May. I love my bike and couldn’t ask for anything more, and I am grateful to my stepfather for helping me be successful,” Wheeler said.

  • Robert Mishler is not a johnny-come-lately in Las Vegas’ historic preservation efforts. He’s been involved for decades.

    Recently, the state Historic Preservation Division gave Mishler, a retired Highlands University anthropology professor, a lifetime achievement award for his dedication to the cause of historic preservation for the last 35 years.

    When he and his wife, Ann, moved to Las Vegas in the late 1960s, much of the Plaza and Bridge Street areas was boarded up. Most of the town’s business and social activity was on Douglas Avenue.