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Local News

  • Mora woman wins $50,000 in lottery

    ALBUQUERQUE — Beatrice Vigil of Mora won $50,000 playing the New Mexico Lottery’s “Holiday Chile Tree” Scratcher.

    “I’m overwhelmed,” Vigil said. “I still can’t believe I won.”

    Vigil bought her lucky $5 ticket on Dec. 20 while waiting for her sister-in-law to buy milk. After finding the prize, the winner drove home to show the ticket to her husband, Sam Martinez, who was sick in bed.   

  • Police: Trespassers attack men on their property

    Two Las Vegas men allegedly used rocks and pieces of firewood to attack a couple of other men after trespassing onto their property on Dec. 20, police say.

    Martin Gutierrez, 46, of 907 Don Fidel, and Estevan Gutierrez, 23, of  1112 Montezuma Ave., each face charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated use of a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing in connection to the Dec. 20 incident. The elder Gutierrez also faces one charge of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

  • Republican governor takes oath

    By Barry Massey
    Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, making history as the nation’s first female Hispanic governor, called Saturday for New Mexicans to unite to solve economic, budget and educational problems confronting the state.

    Martinez sounded a bipartisan tone during her public inaugural ceremony on the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

  • Local GOP leader sees ‘opportunity’

    A local leader of the San Miguel County Republican Party says he and other members of his party see an opportunity in Susana Martinez’s election as governor.

    “(Party) members feel confident that it is a great opportunity for us to strengthen and rebuild our party,” Republican Mel Root said in a statement after returning from Saturday’s gubernatorial inauguration event in Santa Fe.

  • West grad dies in crash

    “Unbelievable” was the single word an 18-year-old man’s mother used to describe her feelings about the death of her son.

    Joseph “Joey” Portillo, 18, died on Wednesday evening as a result of an automobile accident on Interstate 25 south of Las Vegas.

  • New Year’s Baby

    Marcus Barela made his grand entrance at 12:42 a.m. to officially become Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s first baby of 2011. Barela is the son of Mark Barela and Adella Jaramillo of Las Vegas and the brother to 2-year-old Ariana Barela.

    “Pretty exciting,” Jaramillo said in describing the birth of her son on New Year’s Day. “I didn’t expect to have him on New Year’s.”

  • Taking The Plunge
  • Husband facing criminal charges

    A Las Vegas man is facing criminal charges after allegedly choking his wife until she momentarily lost consciousness during an argument in their home on Dec. 17.

    State police have issued an arrest warrant for a 35-year-old Las Vegas man on charges of aggravated battery against a household member, false imprisonment and assault.

    According to records filed in San Miguel County Magistrate Court, the alleged victim told police her husband turned violent in an argument and choked her with his right hand, causing her to “black out.”

  • 2010: A look at the year’s top stories

    1 Over the last year, residents have clashed over how to regulate wind farms in San Miguel County, making it the Optic’s top story for 2010.

    The controversy brought out the issue of economic development.

    Many argued that opening the door to wind turbines would boost the area’s economy and increase tax revenue by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year.

    But others argued that turbines would adversely affect the area’s scenery, create constant noise for neighbors and kill wildlife.

  • Petition calls for vote on wind farm

    Opponents of the San Miguel County Commission wind ordinance are gathering signatures on a petition calling for a popular vote on the matter. But the legality of the petition itself is already being called into question.

    Rock Ulibarri, an opponent of the wind ordinance that passed Dec. 20, said the petition began circulating that day. The petitioners believe they must gather 15 percent of the county’s qualified voters within 30 days to force the matter on a special election ballot.