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Local News

  • Members of utility seek openness

    MORA — Members of the area’s rural electric cooperative voted Saturday to require the utility to follow the guidelines of the state’s open meetings and public records laws.

    Meanwhile, they rejected a proposal to make it easier to move the headquarters —which many believed was a first step to move the cooperative’s base of operations from Mora to Pecos.

  • City eyes garbage rate hike

    Residents will need to budget $72 more for garbage service each year if the City Council approves a proposal for rate hikes.

    Under the proposal, the city would up the residential monthly rate from $14.05 to $20.10 — a 43 percent increase.

    City officials say the increase is needed to pay back debt in the solid waste department, clean up the old landfill at Camp Luna and pay for staff for the neglected recycling program.

  • Girl recovering from injuries

    The 9-year-old girl struck by a car on June 8 suffered major injuries, but she is expected home from the hospital in the coming days, her family says.

    Madison Holley, 1309 First St., was taken by helicopter to an Albuquerque hospital after a car driven by Peter J. Salazar, 33, 2514 Carmean Drive, hit her on First. Holley is the daughter of Pamela Bustos.

  • Kilmer apologizes

    Actor Val Kilmer on Wednesday apologized for comments attributed to him that many residents have considered derogatory toward Hispanics and veterans.

    Under a heavy police presence at the old courthouse, the San Miguel County Commission approved Kilmer’s plans to convert three guesthouses on the actor’s ranch property in Rowe into a lodging business.

    At a meeting last month, the commission delayed a decision on Kilmer’s request for the lodging business until he appeared personally to answer to criticism of his magazine quotes.

  • Suspect faces more prison time

    A man accused of killing another in a road-rage shooting faces another charge, which could mean more years in prison if he’s convicted.

    Richard Baca, 21, was facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the November killing of Benito Lemos, 22, in central Las Vegas. That charge carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.

    Now, he faces a charge of shooting from a motor vehicle, which has a maximum of 15 years.

  • Mora gets more certified deputies

    The Mora County Sheriff’s Department has two new certified officers in its ranks.

    Americk Padilla and Amos Espinoza graduated from a law enforcement academy in Farmington last week. That brings the total number of certified officers to four, including Sheriff Roy Cordova and Sgt. Michael Benjamin.

    Another deputy is expected to graduate from an academy in late August.

    The department is also planning to hire another deputy.

    Benjamin said Monday that having five certified deputies is likely the most the department has had at one time.

  • Mentor of the Month: 'He made us his life'

    For many years, both Gary Leger and his FFA students have been recognized locally, statewide and nationally for their achievements.

    But the real testament to his teaching skills came from the students themselves. He just called them “his kids.”

    Leger died in a car accident Wednesday night in Oklahoma; he had been attending an agricultural teachers conference.

  • Commentary; 'No, I want to hug you'

    Last Thursday morning, I received a call from a friend and associate, “Lupita, are you sitting down?”

    “What’s the matter? Tell me.”

    “Well, I don’t know how to say this, but ....”.

    I learned that a dear friend and former colleague at Robertson High School, Gary Leger, had been in an auto accident near Oklahoma. He was airlifted to the nearest hospital, in Amarillo, but died a bit later.

  • Blaze 70 percent contained

    The fire near Gallinas Canyon is more than 70 percent contained, officials said Monday.

    The blaze, which started last Friday night, has burned 777 acres. No evacuations have been ordered.

    The first is about 2.5 miles south of Gallinas Canyon, northwest of Las Vegas.

    Officials said that for a time, it was the nation’s top priority forest fire because of its nearness to the Gallinas watershed, which supplies 90 percent of Las Vegas’ water.  

  • County prepares for Kilmer

    San Miguel County officials aren’t taking any chances during actor Val Kilmer’s appearance before the County Commission today.

    They are arranging for city and state police, sheriff’s deputies and jailers to be on hand to provide security. The meeting is at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of the old county courthouse.

    The “Batman” actor has requested the commission approve a lodging business at his Rowe ranch.