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Local News

  • RHS suspect pleads guilty

    SANTA FE -- Michael Gallegos, the ringleader behind the sexual assaults on his fellow Robertson High School football players nearly two years ago, admitted to the crimes Monday.

    In Santa Fe’s District Court, Gallegos pleaded guilty to counts of criminal sexual penetration, attempted criminal sexual penetration and conspiracy.

    Gallegos, the son of former City Councilman Michael Gallegos, apologized to his family and his former teammates. He said he understood how hard it’s been on the victims.

  • Police: Chacon man beat up wife

    A Chacon man is accused of beating up his wife after drinking, state police said.

    Roger Romero, 48, was charged with four counts of aggravated battery against a household member and interference with communications.

    According to Magistrate Court documents, Romero kicked his wife out of his home after beating her up on May 13.

  • West board picks schools leader

    The West Las Vegas school board chose a familiar face to take the district’s reins.

    In a unanimous vote, the board on Monday selected the district’s former associate superintendent, Ruben Cordova, as the new superintendent. That was after the board had interviewed candidates behind closed doors earlier that day.

    “It seems like he (Cordova) will fit well. He’s already been here. He doesn’t have to learn the system,” board member Gary Gold said.

  • West board says it's being underpaid

    West Las Vegas board members sparred with their business manager last week, saying they were being underpaid.

    Business Manager Dawn Biagianti said the district paid board members for 18 meetings, but that it is supposed to pay for one meeting a month.

    “That’s why I budgeted what I did,” Biagianti said during a school board meeting.

    Board members disagreed.

  • Council keeps workers' perk

    The City Council last week rejected a proposal that would have ended the benefit in which employees can use the recreation center for free.

    Sixty to 80 employees use the rec center each month — a free benefit for both workers and city retirees. But officials proposed that employees and retirees pay a discounted price for the services.

    Under the officials’ proposal, city employees would pay $15 a month to use the rec center, instead of the $30 rate for other customers. Additional family members would get in for $10 a month.

  • RHS grads claimed victories, suffered 'unthinkable blow'

    At Robertson High School’s graduation on Friday night, speakers noted the winning sports teams and academic achievements. And they gave particular credit to the nationally acclaimed FFA club.

    But Leah Lucero, a graduating senior and a top academic achiever, also talked about the “unthinkable blow” to Robertson at the beginning of her class’ junior year.

  • Budget includes raises for officials

    The West Las Vegas school board approved a budget last week that includes hefty raises for two top district officials.

    Members Caroline Lopez and Kenny Lujan voted against the document. They protested giving pay hikes to the two officials when the district was asking others to sacrifice in lean times.

    “This will hurt morale in the district. People who have heard about this are upset,” Lopez told the Optic.

    Superintendent Jim Abreu disagreed.

  • West class keeps its spirit to the end

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson said his heart was with the class of 2010. A major reason for that was his son, Spencer Parson, was among its graduates.

    Another reason was the class’ spirit, the longtime principal said during Saturday’s commencement ceremony.

    Just a day before, a dozen seniors painted the D (for Dons) on a hill near town — an annual ritual.

    They had scheduled the painting a few times before, but bad weather prevented them from going up the hill.

  • Hazing ringleader admits crimes

    SANTA FE -- Michael Gallegos, the ringleader behind the sexual assaults on his fellow Robertson High School football players nearly two years ago, admitted to the crimes Monday.

    In Santa Fe’s District Court, Gallegos pleaded guilty to counts of criminal sexual penetration, attempted criminal sexual penetration and conspiracy.

    Gallegos, the son of former City Councilman Michael Gallegos, apologized to his family and his former teammates. He said he could imagine how hard it has been for the victims.

  • Applicant mired in controversy

    One of the candidates for West Las Vegas superintendent is in jeopardy of losing her licenses. But she’s fighting the allegations against her.

    Kaye Peery, who is on paid leave as the superintendent of Zuni Pueblo schools, is among seven applicants for the West position. She makes $130,000 a year.

    She was placed on leave in January 2009 after allegations of misspending and improper hiring surfaced. The Zuni district, which is south of Gallup, has had an interim leader since that time, in effect paying for two superintendents.