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Local News

  • Man's check largest single donation

    Longtime teacher Lottie Wood Washburn’s educational legacy continues through a $1 million endowment her son, Beverly W. Washburn, established with the New Mexico Highlands University Foundation.

    The endowment is the largest single donation ever made to the university, officials said.

  • Lawmaker gets Mora post

    State Rep. Thomas Garcia will be the new superintendent of the Mora school district.

    Garcia beat out two other candidates interviewed during a Mora school board meeting Tuesday night. The board unanimously approved Garcia as the new superintendent, with member George Trujillo making the motion.

    Garcia, whose District 68 includes Mora County, lives in Las Vegas much of the time but lists his official residence as Ocate, which is in Mora County.

  • 9-year-old girl struck by car

    A 9-year-old girl is in serious condition after being hit by a car while riding her bike Tuesday, city police said. The motorist may have been on his cell phone at the time.

    Madison Holley, 1309 First St., whose mother is Pamela Bustos, was taken by helicopter to University of New Mexico hospital in Albuquerque on Tuesday night.

    According to police, Holley was apparently riding across First Street in front of her family’s house when Peter J. Salazar Jr., 33, 2514 Carmean Drive, accidentally struck her. Other children were reportedly in the area.

  • City follows AG's advice on openness

    What was once secret at City Hall is now public.

    Last year, then-City Attorney Carlos Quiñones told the City Council that one of its members couldn’t be trusted because someone had released e-mails among council members to the public.

    In a confidential memo, Quiñones said an Optic story in March 2009 made clear that someone was releasing the e-mails in violation of the ethics code and his legal advice.

    Last week, however, the new city attorney, Dave Romero, read some of those very same e-mails into the record at a City Council meeting.

  • Students argue issues, but still show respect

    Back in the 1930s, a teacher at a small school in the South told his students they could compete with anyone if they learned the proper skills.

    Teacher Melvin Tolson’s students came from historically black Wiley College in the time when Jim Crow laws were common, and lynch mobs were a pervasive fear for black men and women in the United States.

    Eight decades later, a movie staring Denzel Washington was made based on Tolson, his debate team and their efforts to get on an equal footing with whites in a segregated nation. 

  • City launches cleanup efforts

    City officials say they are working on cleaning up the community in a number of ways.

    Recently, a majority of city employees took part in a cleanup, and they picked up more than 12 tons of trash around town.

    At a recent City Council meeting, City Manager Timothy Dodge said the city plans to keep in place for the time being a moratorium on fees collected at the solid waste transfer station.

  • Local man's conviction upheld

    The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of an area man convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

    The high court reversed a previous Court of Appeals decision for the case of Lloyd Lucero, 27.

    The Court of Appeals had ordered a new trial on the grounds that a requested self-defense instruction was not given to the jury by presiding Judge Eugenio Mathis, according to the district attorney’s office.

  • Cops moved to code enforcement

    The Las Vegas Police Department has transferred two of its officers to code enforcement, where they will focus on parking and animal control violations.

    The police recently took over code and animal control enforcement from the city Community Development Department.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said the code officers’ shifts will include nights and weekends. He said the department had divided the city into six sectors for enforcement.

  • City says it fixes quirk in sewer bills

    Some people get monthly utility bills and notice something strange: They’re paying for more gallons of sewer use than water consumed.

    This is a problem city officials believe they corrected recently.

    Sewer usage rates are based on water use from the previous winter, which is usually when people use less water.

    But when homes change hands, the new occupants may use considerably less water. They then become mystified about the impossibility of disposing more water than they use.

  • DA: Man's drug crimes near school

    A man suspected of selling drugs may be charged with a first-degree felony because he was distributing the narcotics less than 1,000 feet from a school, an official said last week.

    Julian Gallegos, 30, owner of Xtreme Nutrition, 1213 Bridge St., was charged last month with two counts of the second-degree felony of trafficking drugs and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.