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Local News

  • Alta Vista’s leader selected

    Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s interim chief executive officer, Maridel Acosta, is keeping her job permanently.

    She has served as interim CEO since Sept. 27, after the resignation of Richard Grogan. The hospital is owned by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.

    Wayne Sonchar, chairman of the hospital’s advisory board, said Acosta is an enthusiastic and accomplished leader who will be a good fit for the hospital and community.  

  • Return of Renaissance
  • Leader’s resignation accepted

    Las Vegas City Schools board members accepted the resignation of Superintendent Rick Romero at last week’s meeting. However, one board member praised the superintendent.

    Board member Phillip Vigil said, “I personally want to thank him very much for all his help, and for all the hardships he went through, and still he stayed. A lot of superintendents would have left on Day 29.”
    He was referring to the attacks on players during a football camp that happened soon after Romero took office.

  • Economist: Keep young in county

    San Miguel County needs more younger residents for its economy to improve.

    “Your population is getting older quickly. The population you’re losing is from 20 to 40 years old, which is demographically the sweet spot,” said Jeffrey Mitchell of the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

    Employers are increasingly relying on technically-skilled employees, requiring more flexibility, he said.

  • District keeps secret the report on ex-official’s alleged violation

    The Las Vegas City Schools is keeping secret the details of its investigation into former Superintendent Richard Romero’s alleged violation of the district’s computer-use policy.

    The district’s attorney, Ramon Vigil, denied a request from the Optic last week to see the investigatory report on Romero.

    Romero allegedly gave a flash drive to an employee, who opened it and found files with labels considered offensive. Officials haven’t described the files.

  • Raises given to Mora officials

    Mora teachers got an extra dollar this year in their annual contracts. But in May, the district gave pay raises to at least six central office employees.

    Then-interim Superintendent Leroy “Huero” Sanchez signed off on the increases days before he left his post in late May. The raises were in the thousands of dollars.

    Even the two top officials allegedly involved in questionable spending got pay hikes, which all took effect July 1.  

    The others who got raises were mainly clerical employees.

  • Official leaves after nine years

    Ramon “Swoops” Montaño is a guy who pretty much wears his heart on his sleeve.

  • Veterans angry with closure of centers in rural areas

    A federal Veterans Affairs official this week had to explain a decision to close nine rural health clinics in northern New Mexico, facing a room full of angry veterans.

    George Marnell, the veterans hospital director in Albuquerque, tried to explain a new contract to end the veterans services at El Centro Family health clinics.

  • District gets books year later

    With the school year about half over, the Las Vegas City Schools has finally received teacher workbooks the district ordered more than a year ago.


    School districts generally order textbooks in the spring for the upcoming school year.


    During a recent meeting of the school board, teachers’ representatives were complaining that teachers were having to share books because the district received only a partial shipment of language arts workbooks for kindergarten through eighth grade. Board member Patrick Romero wanted to know why.

  • Lt. Gov.: Cut unnecessary rules

    One audience member walked out of Lt. Gov.-elect John Sanchez’s town hall meeting Monday because she said she thought it was about supporting small businesses.