Local News

  • Acequias ask city to negotiate

    Acequia users appeared before the City Council last week to ask that the city come to the table to negotiate an agreement that would end the decades-long litigation over the Gallinas River.

    “We have been in litigation for many, many years. I’ve been involved for 57 years...,” said Gabe Estrada, one of the acequia users. “What have we accomplished? Zero. Enough is enough. Ya basta. People, we need to stop that litigation immediately and start negotiating.”

  • Senior profile - George and Joanne Sprenger

    By Lupita P. Gonzales
    For the Optic

    Like the Energizer Bunny of commercial fame, George and Joanne Sprenger keep going and going. This local couple is involved in many activities.

    Born in 1939, George was raised on a small dairy farm in Plainview, Minn., where his father taught him carpentry, electricity, and other key skills that he continues to practice and share. He graduated from high school in 1957, enrolled at Winona State and proceeded to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, where he earned his master of science degree in 1968.

  • NMBHI receives accreditation

    Submitted to the Optic

    The New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute has gone through its triennial voluntary accreditation and certification survey and received the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital, Nursing Care, Behavioral Health and Laboratory Accreditation.

    The New Mexico Department of Health runs the Behavioral Health Institute, often referred to as the state hospital. It is the only state psychiatric hospital in New Mexico.

  • Wage hike, right-to-work bill clears House

    By Vik Jolly
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Following a debate that took combative turns, the Republican-controlled New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a right-to-work bill which also includes a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage hike.

    The legislation, which passed 37-30 Wednesday, prohibits requiring workers to join a union or to pay dues as a condition of employment. It would apply to both public and private sectors.

  • Snow Day
  • House approves $6.2 billion budget bill

    By Vik Jolly
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico House of Representatives has approved a $6.2 billion spending proposal for the next fiscal year that includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers.

    The House voted 42-25 Tuesday after three hours of debate. Five Democrats sided with 37 Republicans in the majority. The bill now moves to the Senate.

    While most department budgets remain largely flat, the bill boosts spending for education, the state’s child welfare agency and tourism.

  • Man settles solitary confinement lawsuit

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    A New Mexico man allegedly kept in filthy solitary confinement conditions and reportedly denied proper health care while in jail has settled his federal lawsuit for $2.9 million, according to court documents.

    The agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque said Otero County and Jerome Gonzales, 51, would settle the case and the southern New Mexico county would admit no wrongdoing.

  • In Brief - News - Feb. 27 , 2015

    The Associated Press

  • Regulators punt ride service decision

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE — After a heated meeting and charges of holding an illegal hearing, New Mexico regulators tabled a decision Wednesday to allow ride-booking service Lyft to operate in the state while lawmakers debate the future of such companies.

    The Public Regulation Commission voted not to issue a ruling on San Francisco-based Lyft’s request to function in New Mexico — at least until new legislation is passed — amid confusion over current state laws.

  • Clock ticking on compact

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Casinos run by some American Indian tribes in New Mexico would get to stay open around the clock and offer complimentary food and lodging under a revamped gambling compact negotiated by Gov. Susana Martinez’s office and the tribes.

    A special committee of lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss the latest version, which would also clear the way for the casinos to extend credit to some high-rolling patrons.