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Local News

  • Official: Rural NM facing crisis

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE — State officials have been fielding a steady stream of phone calls and emails from the managers of community drinking water systems around the state as drought refuses to give up its grip on New Mexico.
    The managers are looking to the state for help as they work to avert a crisis. Water levels are still dropping, aging infrastructure is being pushed to its limits and federal funding is growing more scarce.

  • In Brief - New Mexico News - Aug. 9, 2013

    The Associated Press

    Judge upholds sentence

    FARMINGTON — A judge in San Juan County has upheld the death sentence for one of only two New Mexico death row inmates, a Farmington man condemned to die for a killing that occurred before New Mexico generally abolished the death penalty in 2009.
    District Judge Karen Townsend on Wednesday denied a defense motion to overturn the death sentence of 39-year-old Robert Fry for the 2000 killing of 36-year-old Betty Lee.

  • Prep practices announced

    Robertson High School volleyball is beginning official practice with two sessions on Monday, Aug. 12, at Mike Marr Gym. The sessions are from 7 to 8 a.m. and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Contact head coach Judith Trujillo for more information.

    Memorial Middle School seventh- and eighth-grade volleyball practice will begin at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the school, Trujillo said.

  • Area man accused of rape

    A Las Vegas man is being held at the San Miguel County Detention Center on a $50,000 cash bond after a woman reported that he got into her vehicle on Chavez Street early Saturday morning, forced her to drive away and then raped her.

    Anthony Ray Esquibel, 35, of the 500 block of Chavez Street has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual penetration, all third-degree felonies, and with a single count of false imprisonment. After taking the report, Las Vegas police arrested Esquibel, who, according to court documents is known to go by the alias “Spooky.”

  • Original compositions on tap - Music spectacle will dazzle

    Las Vegas will experience a different type of music this weekend as part of the Meadow City Music Festival. Las Vegas native and Robertson High School class of 2000 graduate, Mark Winston, has been dazzling audiences in Chicago for years and on Saturday, his fellow Meadow City natives and visitors will have a chance to hear his artistic musical creations.

  • Lawyers say Luna chair can’t be axed

    Attorneys for the state Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority are warning the Luna Community College Board of Trustees that attempting to oust their chairman before the next board election would be a violation of state law.

    In separate letters to college officials dated Aug. 1, those attorneys say state law is clear on the issue. Their interpretation backs up the legal opinion proffered by Tony Ortiz, the school’s own attorney at the last board meeting.

  • Court dismisses funding appeal

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Behavioral health providers under investigation for possible overbillings, mismanagement and fraud lost an appeal Monday of a ruling that allows New Mexico to continue to withhold Medicaid payments.

    Among the providers affected is TeamBuilders, which has an office in Las Vegas.

    The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver dismissed the appeal by eight nonprofit providers.

  • Audit: Nonprofit operators received $1.5M

    The Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE — An audit of 15 behavioral health providers in New Mexico says a couple who run a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that provides Medicaid-funded services to children and families is estimated to make as much as $1.5 million a year in salaries and other income.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the audit says Shannon and Lorraine Freedle derived much of that income from leases paid by the nonprofit, TeamBuilders Counseling Services Inc., to holding companies owned in full or in part by the Freedles and other TeamBuilders officers.

  • State eyes opening deadly prison riot site as museum

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico state officials are hoping to make a tourist attraction out of an unusual place: a prison where one of the nation’s deadliest riots took place in 1980.

    In February 1980, inmates at New Mexico’s “Old Main” prison killed 33 fellow prisoners in a violent clash that included beheadings, amputations and burned bodies. More than 100 other inmates and guards were hurt in the 36-hour riot fueled by overcrowded conditions.

  • Firm will defend Mora County

    The New Mexico Environmental Law Center has agreed to represent Mora County if it is sued over the Community Rights Ordinance that the commission majority adopted earlier this year, board chairman John Olivas announced recently.

    The ordinance bans oil and gas extraction within the county and also seeks to strip corporations that want to drill of rights that courts have said they enjoy.

    Olivas said in his release that the New Mexico Environmental Law Center has agreed to defend the county on any constitutional claims that might arise.