Local News

  • Records show girl was victim of abuse

    Jasmine Garcia, the 6-year-old girl killed nearly two weeks ago, lived a short, troubled life, court documents show.

    Over the last few years, her parents, Ruby Sanchez, 25, and Michael Garcia, 29, pleaded guilty to a number of crimes, two of which involved Jasmine as the victim.

    Las Vegas police have yet to charge anyone in Jasmine’s death. Jasmine, who had recently completed her kindergarten year, was sleeping in her mother’s bed at 304 Union St., when a shot ripped through an outside wall facing the street.

  • 2007 murders called drug-related

    A state police official this week called last December’s double murder drug-related, as the agency released new details about the crime.

    State police Lt. David Martinez said evidence and witness statements indicated that the murders were drug-related, but he wouldn’t say exactly why. He said a small amount of marijuana and items used for drug consumption were found in the mobile home at 728 Dora Celeste, where the murders occurred.

    The bodies of Stephanie Dimas, 25, and Damian Lucero-Ortiz, 24, were found inside their home during the morning of Dec. 20.

  • A harrowing rescue

    A young girl's death and a heroic rescue still have people’s hearts going from sadness to relief — sadness from the tragic loss and relief after a harrowing rescue.

    Kimberly Karlson, 15, of Albuquerque fell hundreds of feet to her death June 11 from the cliffs at Montezuma. Her best friend of eight years, Mathew Cartee, 14, of Las Vegas was successfully rescued from the rock face overlooking the skating pond.

  • Mora school district's sports complex project delayed

    A top Mora school district official calls a planned multipurpose sports complex “much anticipated.” Now it looks as if the anticipation will last longer than expected.

    Dora Romero, who will become the Mora district’s superintendent starting next week, said in a statement that the first phase of the project, which will include a football field and track, was stopped in early June.

  • Ex-fire chief seeks city job; interim officials named

    Former Fire Chief Andrew Duran, one of six city officials fired last week, is trying to get a job with the Fire Department, an official said Wednesday.

    City Manager Sharon Caballero said Duran has asked to become deputy fire chief for the city. The department already has a position for assistant fire chief, but not one for deputy chief, she said.

  • Program puts focus on health

    Kids say they’re having a blast at the 21st Century Program summer program 2008 with a host of activities going on at all times.

    Christa Lucero, a West Las Vegas High School senior, along with other high school and college students, help certified teachers administer the program and are picking up paychecks during their summer vacation.

    “I love working with the kids. It’s a blast, and they always put a smile on my face,” Lucero said.

  • No-kill shelter closing

    The Animal Support Center, or TASC, is closing Monday.

    The center, which is a no-kill shelter, cannot accept any more animals and had at last count 25 cats, eight dogs and seven puppies, which must be adopted out by Monday, said Maureen O’Brien, who is assisting with the closure of TASC.

    Those wishing to adopt can call 425-3450 for cats, 426-8203 for dogs and puppies.

    O’Brien said animals can be taken to the city’s animal control department.

  • State hospital's top official retires

    Steve Martinez, interim administrator of the state hospital, is retiring after 27 years.

    Martinezs last day at the hospital known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute is Monday.

    State Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil named Troy Jones, current deputy administrator, as Martinezs replacement.

    During his career at the hospital, Martinez has worked in a number of positions, including administrative budget analyst and deputy hospital administrator. He has been interim administrator for the last three years.

  • Utility members to decide on issues

    Members of an electric cooperative serving northeastern New Mexico will consider doing away with health insurance for the Board of Trustees and strictly barring nepotism, among other proposed changes, during the utility’s annual meeting Saturday.

    Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative members will consider eight proposed bylaw changes during the meeting, which will last from 9 a.m. to noon at Mora High School.

    John Pintek and other members of an informal group of members opposed to the cooperative’s leadership proposed five of the bylaw changes.

  • Lawsuit claims police dog attacked sleeping man

    A man is suing the city of Las Vegas, claiming that a police dog attacked him while he was sleeping in his son’s house.

    Demetrio Esquibel Sr. filed a lawsuit in state District Court earlier this month against the city and Las Vegas officers Albert Sandoval, Juan Montao, Steven Gutierrez and Matias Apodaca.

    Represented by Taos attorney Stephen Peterson, Esquibel claims to have suffered permanent injuries to his stomach, thigh and leg.