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Local News

  • Wind farm setback a half mile

    Wind turbines can be as close as a half mile from a home under San Miguel County’s new law on wind farms.

    Dismaying many in the audience of more than 50 people, the commission on Monday rejected a three-mile setback for turbines that a county task force had proposed.

    That was the biggest issue in the task force’s proposed wind ordinance.

    Commissioner Nicolas Leger proposed cutting the setback to a half mile between wind farms and homes, churches, businesses and schools. The commission quickly approved his proposal, without any discussion.

  • Mentor of the Month: Overseeing federal programs

    Elaine Martinez-Gonzalez looks after the West Las Vegas school district’s programs that provide about $1 million for tutoring and additional instruction for kids and teachers.

    “The little bit of extra attention and little bit of extra time you put in with students does help them. It helps them a lot,” Martinez-Gonzalez said. 

  • Budget ax ‘taking toll’ at state hospital

    The state hospital, Las Vegas’ largest employer, has taken a big hit from state budget cuts over the last two years.

    The hospital — known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute — now has 855 employees, down from 938 more than two years ago, said Troy Jones, the hospital’s administrator. That’s a drop of nearly 9 percent.

  • Official’s future up in the air

    Troy Jones, the administrator of the state hospital, doesn’t know whether he will keep his job after New Mexico’s new governor takes office Jan. 1.

    Jones, who has been in charge of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute for two and a half years, said his position was converted to governor’s appointee status — or exempt — under his predecessor.

    That means Jones serves at the pleasure of the governor.

  • Fire destroys area musician’s house

    A fire on Monday destroyed the home of well-known local musician Antonia Apodaca, the same place where she was born, her son said.

    Apodaca, who performs around the area with her accordion, was at her house around 11:30 a.m. Monday when high winds apparently broke off a stovepipe, causing the blaze.

    The 88-year-old fell trying to save some of her property, hitting her head, her son, Max Apodaca, said. She also reportedly suffered some smoke inhalation.

  • East official criticizes board

    Las Vegas City Schools Associate Superintendent LeeEtte Quintana says she got a rotten deal from the school board as she was left out of any discussions concerning the replacement of Superintendent Rick Romero.

    “I have not been treated with the dignity and respect that I deserve,” she said in an interview. 

    “I feel that I was disrespected by the board. I have dedicated much of my career and education to Las Vegas City Schools, not for anything more than to do good,” Quintana said.

  • Sauce for the Goose
  • City reverses decision on development

    The Las Vegas City Council last week approved a west-side subdivision, reversing a decision from a year ago.

    The council did so on the advice of its attorney, who reported that District Court had sided with the developer, who had filed a lawsuit over last year’s rejection.

    In a public hearing in November 2009, some residents said they opposed the proposed four-lot subdivision of modular homes in the 2300 block of New Mexico Avenue because it would consist of low-income homes that would attract a “criminal element.”

  • Retired teacher runs for East board

    A retired educator plans to run for the Las Vegas City Schools board. Filing day for candidates is Tuesday.

    Gloria M. Lovato Pacheco, 52, a native of Watrous and a resident of Las Vegas for 36 years, is a retired Robertson High School special needs teacher and transition specialist.

    “I think the primary task and focus of a board member is to assist the greater community in taking ownership of its school system,” she said in a statement.

  • West superintendent: Don’t close any elementary schools

    West Las Vegas residents have made one thing clear: Don’t close any schools.

    That’s what West Las Vegas Superintendent Ruben Cordova recently reported to the school board.

    He said public hearings have been held as part of the district’s effort to draft a new master plan.