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Local News

  • Fifth teen pleads in assaults case

    SANTA FE -- A fifth teenager has pleaded guilty to charges in a case involving the 2008 sexual assault of fellow members of the Robertson High School football team.

    Lucas Martinez pleaded guilty to three felony charges for his role in sodomizing fellow members of the Robertson High School football team with a broomstick.

    The 18-year-old will be sentenced under juvenile rules next month.

    Three other former players have been sentenced to terms in a state juvenile facility. A fourth defendant also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on June 4.

  • Four finalists named for Mora schools

    State Rep. Thomas Garcia, D-Ocate, was originally considered the only applicant for Mora schools superintendent to have submitted all that was required in his application packet.

    With member George Trujillo absent, the school board on Tuesday unanimously picked four finalists: Garcia, a Luna Community College instructor; Herman Gallegos, former director of human resources for the Pueblo of Pojoaque; Norma Cavazos, director of support services for the Pecos schools; and Phil Kasper, a principal in the Cortez, Colo., schools.

  • Mural artists seek more money

    A local group says it needs more money from the city for a downtown mural.

    A few months ago, Casa de Cultural, a nonprofit group that promotes the area’s culture, got $15,000 from the city for the mural, which will be called, “The People’s History of Northern New Mexico.”

    The mural will be on the north end of the old Safeway parking lot at Seventh Street and Douglas Avenue.

    At last week’s City Council meeting, Casa de Cultura requested an additional $10,000, saying money from other sources has fallen through.

  • Candidates divided on Tasers

    A forum for San Miguel County Commission candidates attracted three hopefuls Wednesday night. Three others didn’t show.

    Taking part in the forum were District 1 candidates Rock Ulibarri, Ron Ortega and Joe “Yunta” Lucero. Not showing were District 1 incumbent June Garcia and District 3 incumbent Albert Padilla and his opponent, Arthur Padilla.

    Garcia submitted a letter to forum organizers, saying she was in Arizona to attend her godson’s graduation. She said she helped raise him.

  • County workers eye union

    Some San Miguel County government employees are considering forming a union, so the county has hired a firm to negotiate with them.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has been talking with county workers about organizing. So far, jailers and sheriff’s deputies are expressing interest, officials say.

  • Storrie won't be fenced off

    Storrie Lake will be open for fishing this summer, despite earlier threats to the contrary, officials say.

    Last week, the state announced that it had reached a three-year lease agreement with the Storrie Project Water Users Association for land within Storrie Lake State Park.

    The agreement also settled a lawsuit filed by the association against the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.

    The state had balked over entering another agreement paying Storrie $30,000 a year, saying it was the most expensive such arrangement in the parks system.

  • City oil and gas moratorium urged

    Oil and gas drilling just doesn’t occur in rural areas; it happens in cities, too.

    As such, the City Council is considering passing a moratorium on such activity in the city limits. The county already did so a few months ago, so it could have time to draft a more detailed ordinance dealing with energy development.

    Some New Mexico towns, including Carlsbad, Hobbs and Artesia, have oil and gas wells inside city limits. Seven years ago, a rig in Carlsbad had a blowout, causing the evacuation of part of that town.

  • Man attacks woman, leaves her, police say

    A Las Vegas man allegedly beat up his girlfriend near the Tecolote River on Sunday morning. He left, with her there alone along the river, authorities said.

    At one point, the state police received a call that a woman was found dead along the river. Minutes later, dispatchers were told that the woman was actually sleeping.

    The boyfriend, Eric Sena, 24, was charged with aggravated battery against a household member, a third-degree felony. He and his girlfriend had apparently been staying in his pickup truck near the river.

  • Judge named for animal control case

    The city is hiring an interim Municipal Court judge to deal with a case involving an animal control issue.

    Last week, the City Council voted unanimously for Santa Fe-area attorney Santiago Juarez, a former Las Vegas resident, to preside over the case.

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said the city wanted a person not familiar with the community and who wouldn’t bring any pre-conceived notions to the case.

    The case involves Carlos Sandoval, who was cited for not restraining his dog during an alleged attack. He was also cited for not licensing his canine.

  • Garcia may lead Mora schools

    State Rep. Thomas Garcia, D-Ocate, is the only candidate who has met all the requirements in his application to become superintendent of the Mora schools.

    Nine people applied for the position, but only Garcia submitted all the required items for his application packet, said Katherine Valdez, an employee in the district’s central office.

    The school board was expected to interview Garcia at its meeting Tuesday night. The board wasn’t slated to make a decision at that time.