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Local News

  • Police look for robbery suspect

    Police are searching for a Las Vegas man who allegedly attacked and robbed another man last week.

    Magistrate Court has issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Garduño, 18, 614 Taos St. He is charged with robbery, aggravated battery, tampering with evidence and three counts of conspiracy.

    His uncle, Paul Garduño, 51, who is also accused in the attack, has been arrested on the same charges.

  • University gets 10-year accreditation

    Highlands University has received official notice of continued accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association of Colleges and Schools following a comprehensive evaluation in 2009-10.

    The accreditation is for 10 years.

    Highlands University was first accredited by the Higher Learning Commission’s North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1926, and has retained its accreditation since then. The university was last awarded accreditation in 2000.

  • County eyes new idea for wind rules

    Most of the debate about San Miguel County’s proposed law for wind farms has focused on a provision requiring a three-mile distance between wind turbines and homes.

    The industry contends such a rule would keep wind farms out of most places in the county. But wind-farm opponents argue that turbines would create nose and ruin the area’s scenic views.

    This week, however, county officials attempted to move the discussion away from the three-mile setback.

  • Police search for robbery suspect

    Police are searching for a Las Vegas man who allegedly attacked and robbed another man last week.

    Magistrate Court has issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Garduño, 18, 614 Taos St. He is charged with robbery, aggravated battery, tampering with evidence and three counts of conspiracy.

    His uncle, Paul Garduño, 51, who is accused in the attack, faces the same charges.

  • Highlands University proposes parking permit system

    When motorists are looking for a parking place, it’s always a great feeling to see an open space close to their destinations.

    But with a lot of new construction going on at Highlands University, parking is becoming a major hassle, some say.

    President Jim Fries told the Board of Regents at a recent meeting that the school’s master plan stresses the importance of a permit system for future parking on campus.

  • At 25, woman leads county ag office

    Samantha Ortiz joined 4-H when she was 5. At 25, she now oversees a lot of the organization’s local activities as the San Miguel County 4-H and Agriculture Extension agent.

    Ortiz says she, Mora agent Skip Finley and the fair board all have had their hands full in recent days preparing for the county fair, which begins today and runs through Sunday, but has been in the works since the end of the 2009 event.

    “The work really never ends on the 4-H side, as we guide the kids in the right way, for show-time,” Ortiz said.

  • Official, ex-queen asked to leave

    The embattled Fiesta Council, which began its meeting more than a half hour late Tuesday, closed its doors to the public.

    As a result, members told City Councilwoman Diane Moore, former Fiesta Queen Carmela Montoya and an Optic reporter to leave.

    On Wednesday, city officials expressed concern about the closed meeting.

    The Fiesta Council is an independent nonprofit group, but depends heavily on city’s help to put on the annual Fiestas de Las Vegas, which is held around the Fourth of July every year.

  • City to clean up junkyard

    The city is poised to clear the large junkyard along Interstate 25.

    City Attorney Dave Romero said this week that the city could begin the project in two to three weeks. That’s contingent on the federal government giving the the city the clearance to access the junkyard from the U.S. interstate, which the city expects to happen.

    The estimated price tag is $200,000.

    About three years ago, the city made headway in convincing frequent code violator Tony Ortega to get rid of the junk on his properties on Railroad Avenue.

  • Council member suffers illness

    Councilman David Romero recently suffered a health problem, his family said in a statement this week.

    The family didn’t reveal the nature of the situation, but they said he was in the care of medical experts.

    “The family asks for you to continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers in this time of recovery and rehabilitation,” the statement said. “We are optimistic for a speedy recovery, and we are confident that the city of Las Vegas will make reasonable accommodations as needed.”

  • Art boosters split in fight with state

    Las Vegas’ Arts and Cultural District is in good standing with the state, despite a dispute between the district’s former chairman and a state official.

    However, the controversy has caused a split among local arts advocates.

    The state has designated six Arts and Cultural districts in New Mexico to promote arts and culture as a way of increasing economic development. Las Vegas got its designation nearly three years ago.

    The local district operates under MainStreet Las Vegas, which focuses on improving the downtown areas, officials said.