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Local News

  • Trustees vote to appoint committee

    The search for a new president of Luna Community College is under way.

    On Tuesday, the college’s board of trustees unanimously voted to appoint a committee to review and screen the applicants. The board is expected to name committee members during an Aug. 8 meeting.

    The committee will include community members the college’s regional area, Santa Rosa, Mora, and Springer. Members will also be from regional school districts and staff and faculty from the college.

    College trustees expect to have the permanent president in place by February.

  • Fire near Pecos was started by lightning

    A fire, ignited by a lightning strike Tuesday, remained small, but is being monitored closely by fire crews in the Pecos Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service.

    The fire began about six miles northeast of the village of Pecos near Cow Creek.

    The fire is in the burn scar from the 2000 Viveash Fire and is burning through slash and dead and down timber.

  • San Miguel, other N.M. counties to benefit from PILT

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S.  Sen. Tom Udall and Rep. Martin Heinrich recently announced that counties across New Mexico are receiving more than $38.5 million through the 2017 Payment in Lieu of Taxes program.

    Funding for this year’s PILT program was provided in the bipartisan budget agreement to fund the government through September as part of the Interior Department’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

  • In Brief - New Mexico News - July 21, 2017

    The Associated Press
    McCain has brain tumor
    Arizona Sen. John McCain says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support after his brain cancer diagnosis. He’s promising to be back soon.

    In a tweet Thursday, McCain says: “I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support — unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!”

  • Juvenile rolls car on airport runway

    A juvenile driver received multiple citations after a taking a car onto a Las Vegas Airport runway and getting into a rollover accident — with an 8-year-old passenger in the car.

    At about 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, a 2004 Nissan 4-door drove onto the airport runway, according to Las Vegas Police. The car later flipped, possibly rolling multiple times. The vehicle also struck a concrete barrier, breaking it into pieces, as well as fence, a steel pole and a steel gate.

  • A unique Mora County retreat center is begun by those who develop work skills

    By Jason W. Brooks, Optic Editor

    Getting to Ocate Cliffs isn’t easy. Getting things done at Ocate Cliffs isn’t always easy, either, but that’s usually the point of going there.

    Designed as a new employment model for adults diagnosed with autism and Asperger syndrome, Ocate Cliffs is a nonprofit foundation that utilizes 139 acres on a mesa northwest of the village of Ocate, in northern Mora County.

  • Rape convict to serve time locally

    A Las Vegas man, who faced possible state prison time on a charge of criminal sexual penetration, will instead serve his time in the county’s detention center.

    Francisco Maestas, 23, was sentenced June 29 to one year in San Miguel County Detention Center for a crime to which he pleaded guilty in January. San Miguel District Court Judge Abigail Aragon technically ordered an 18-month state sentence for Maestas, but six months of the sentence are suspended, and will be permitted to serve his sentence at the county jail.

  • Suspects in three murder cases await court dates

    Suspects in three different San Miguel County murder cases are at various stages as their cases move ahead.

    Ruth Rivera of Ribera and Daniel Sullivan of Las Vegas have trials scheduled, while Richard J. Griego of Villanueva does not have a trial date yet, according to court records.

  • Childrens Theater
  • In Brief - New Mexico News - July 19, 2017

    The Associated Press
    County sheriff recall possible
    PORTALES — A group of residents in eastern New Mexico want to launch efforts aimed at recalling Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker.

    The Eastern New Mexico News reports the group is asking a state district judge to allow them to circulate a recall petition.

    Records show the petition claims “Malin Parker has a policy, custom and routine of retaliating against any individual(s) ... who oppose him and his policies.”