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Local News

  • Deaths from painkiller overdose triple in decade

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK — The number of overdose deaths from powerful painkillers more than tripled over a decade, the government reported Tuesday — a trend that a U.S. health official called an epidemic, but one that can be stopped.

    New Mexico had the highest overdose death rate (27 per 100,000) and Nebraska had the lowest (5.5). The national rate was 11.9.

  • Patients turn to ‘navigator’

    By Amanda
    Schoenberg
    Albuquerque Journal

    ALBUQUERQUE — Like many patients with advanced cancer, Dennis Williams found himself facing questions he couldn’t ask anyone, even his family.

    Then he met Marcy Zaffron. Since April, when patients diagnosed with advanced cancer need to talk, they find Zaffron. He is the quality of life navigator at Presbyterian Healthcare Services’ Cancer Center, who works with mostly Stage IV cancer patients.

  • In Brief - News - Nov. 4, 2011

    The Associated Press

    Projects to be part of initiative
    ALBUQUERQUE — Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says two projects in New Mexico will be included in a 50-state report outlining proposals for reconnecting Americans to the great outdoors.

    The projects include the creation of an urban national wildlife refuge on Albuquerque's southern edge at the site of the old Price's Dairy and construction of a pedestrian bridge at the Aztec Ruins National Monument in northwestern New Mexico.

  • Gun cartel attorney choice unsettled

    The Associated Press

    LAS CRUCES — A federal judge is considering whether to allow a high-profile Albuquerque attorney to represent all four members of a Deming family accused of selling guns to Mexican cartel members.

    The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that U.S. District Court Judge Robert Brack declined to make a decision on the request Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces but repeatedly cautioned that potential conflicts of interest could hamper attorney Sam Bregman’s defense of the family.

  • Scarce water fuels conflict

    Editor’s note: Today, the Optic concludes its six-part series on the city’s water problems.

    Les Montoya still remembers the letter he received from the Office of the State Engineer about 25 years ago demanding that the city of Las Vegas limit the amount of water it was taking from the Gallinas River to 2,600 acre feet per year.

    The problem was that the city was using about 3,100 acre feet of water at the time.

  • Ex-CYFD worker gets probation

    The former Children, Youth and Families Department case worker arrested in August for hosting an out-of-control, underage drinking party at her home pleaded guilty Monday to a single count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a fourth-degree felony.

    Justina Romero, 29, appeared before District Judge Matthew Sandoval.

    She was sentenced to 18 months of probation, in accordance with the plea deal she reached with prosecutors.

  • A New Vision

    Loretta Abreu-Martin had a vision when she returned home to Las Vegas after being hired as the recreation director at the city’s Abe Montoya Recreation Center.

    The Meadow City native lived in Maine for several years, but soon found herself back home, bringing with her a vision.

    “I wanted to start a true recreation department,” Abreu-Martin said during a recent interview.

    Since taking the reins at the recreation center Martin has implemented several programs.

  • Police say beating investigation ongoing

    The city of Las Vegas Police Department continues to investigate the July attack that left a local man in the intensive care unit for a month, Chief Christian Montaño said.

    John Esquibel, 27, is out of the hospital, but he continues to suffer from injuries sustained in the July 12 attack. His speech is impaired, and he has weakness in his right hand, family members say. He can’t see out of his right eye, and his hearing on one ear is impaired.

  • Educators question rules for grading schools A-F

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Educators on Monday cautioned Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration against rushing the implementation of a new law requiring the state to assign grades to rate the performance of public schools.

    Teachers, superintendents and others raised questions about the grading system at a hearing by the Public Education Department on proposed rules for evaluating schools.

  • Optic staffers win Press Association awards

    Staff and Wire Reports

    ALBUQUERQUE — The Las Vegas Optic won the public service award in its division Saturday for its extensive coverage and editorials on the turmoil with last year’s Fiesta Council.

    This was the third time the Optic has won the public service award in the last six years.

    The New Mexico Press Association and New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors announced the winners of the 2011 Better Newspapers Contest at their annual meeting Saturday.