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Local News

  • DWI arrests, crashes dropping

    Statistics show that DWI arrests and crashes in San Miguel County have dropped dramatically since 2004.

    According to numbers from the University of New Mexico, 459 DWI arrests were recorded in the county in 2004, a number that dropped nearly 30 percent to 323 in 2008.

    The greatest drop in the county was for repeat offenders, decreasing from 261 in 2004 to 172 in 2008, a difference of 34 percent.

    The total number of crashes also fell during that period — from 791 to 310. Alcohol-involved crashes also took a plunge from 74 to 28, a nearly 60 percent drop.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Man killed, police say; brother arrested

    Las Vegas police are investigating the death of a Las Vegas man.

    Michael L.  Maestas, 55, was found dead outside of his home at 922 Railroad Ave. early Monday morning.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said his department has arrested Maestas' brother, Joseph "JoJo" Maestas, in connection with the death.

    Gold said he expected officers to file charges against Joseph Maestas as early as this morning.

    Joseph Maestas is in the county jail.

  • Robertson seeks efficient heating system

    The main boiler at Robertson High School was replaced soon after Las City Schools Superintendent Rick Romero called the situation dangerous.

    Now contractors are designing additional improvements to the school’s heating system.   

    The design for the heating system at Robertson High School is about 50 percent complete, officials say. Last year, cracks were found in the old boiler at the school, which Romero considered dangerous.

  • Bank buys historic building

    Community First Bank Las Vegas has acquired the Crockett Building -- better known as the historic Murphey's Drug Store.

    The building at 600 Douglas Ave. is one block north from the bank’s main office.

    The bank’s initial plans are to relocate its teller and new accounts representatives, loan department and senior management to the Crockett Building. The operations and IT functions will remain at the current main office in the interim.

  • Highlands restructures scholarships

    Back in 2006, Highlands University established a tuition-free scholarship for freshmen called the Hope Scholarship.

    The goal: Increasing enrollment.

    The scholarship was available to first-time students regardless of age, financial need or their residence, although in recent times, international students have not been eligible.

    New Mexico high school graduates are eligible for the Lottery Scholarship, but must carry 12 hours and maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

  • Bodies found on east side

    Authorities are treating the death of a Las Vegas man as a homicide.

    The body of Michael Ortiz, 20, 1024 Second St., was found on the property of BTU Block & Concrete in the 1500 block of Commerce Street around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    Ortiz’s family had reported him missing to Las Vegas police early Monday afternoon, saying they hadn’t seen him for four days, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

  • CEO won't have to go to meetings

    The administrator for Alta Vista Regional Hospital won’t have to keep showing up at every monthly meeting of the San Miguel County Commission.

    In November, the county had started requiring Grogan or some other top hospital official to attend meetings, so someone would be available to answer questions about indigent payments to Alta Vista.

    Alta Vista gets regular payments from the county for providing health care to the poorest residents. Counties all around do the same for their respective hospitals.

  • Death being treated as homicide

    Authorities are treating the death of a Las Vegas man as a homicide.

    The body of Michael Ortiz, 20, 1024 Second St., was found on the property of BTU Block & Concrete in the 1500 block of South Commerce St. around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    Ortiz's family had reported him missing to Las Vegas police early Monday afternoon, saying they hadn't seen him for four days, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    A day before, the body of Karlene Rivera, 30, 510 Grand Ave., was found outside her parents' home in the 600 block of Railroad Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

  • Forum planned for city hopefuls

    A forum for city candidates will be held on Feb. 18 at Memorial Middle School.

    The Las Vegas Optic and the Committee for the People are holding the forum for candidates for Las Vegas mayor and the Ward 1 and 4 seats on the City Council.

    The forum will last from 6-8 p.m., and audience members can submit questions to the moderator.

    The election is March 2, but early voting lasts until Feb. 26. Voters can cast their ballots during business hours at City Hall.

  • 3 charged in Mora County altercation

    A Mora County man is accused of striking a woman unconscious with a shovel, but authorities have also charged the woman and her daughter following an apparent altercation two weeks ago.

    Sam Olivas, 76, is charged with aggravated battery, a third-degree felony, and misdemeanor trespassing.

    Elizabeth Trujillo, 61, who was reportedly struck with a shovel, faces petty misdemeanor charges of  assault and battery, and her daughter, Charity Montoya, 23, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony.