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Local News

  • LV man gets drug conviction

    A Las Vegas man has been convicted of multiple drug charges — for the second time in the last 10 years.

    On Feb. 8, a San Miguel County jury found Michael Strand Sr., 52, guilty of trafficking crack cocaine, a first-degree felony.

    Fourth Judicial District Attorney Richard Flores said he will “definitely” seek the maximum 18-year sentence for Strand.  The sentencing hearing is set for 10 a.m. March 21 in the courtroom of District Judge Eugenio Mathis, who also presided over the jury trial.

  • Mora county man gets 18 months

    A Mora County man who allegedly tried to get out of trouble by pretending to be his own brother is headed to prison for identity theft.

    Joseph B. Vigil, 39, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to using his brother’s identity for a second time, 4th Judicial District Attorney Richard Flores told the Optic.

  • Quintana trial stalled ‘til fall

    The former Robertson High School teacher and coach accused of carrying on a yearslong sexual relationship with a student will have to wait several more months for his day in court.

    A trial for Jay Quintana had been scheduled to begin in late February. But delays in the case have pushed back that trial date. He likely won’t go on trial until the fall, Sandoval County District Judge George Eichwald told attorneys during a hearing this week in Bernalillo.

  • Remains in Mora identified

    A Mora County homeowner stumbled onto human remains last month, and when state police showed up to investigate they found additional human remains on an adjoining property.

    On Wednesday, state police announced that the state Office of the Medical Investigator has identified the remains as belonging to 45-year-old Maxine Patsy Trujillo, a resident of Mora and Las Vegas.

    Agents with the state police investigations bureau and OMI are trying to determine the manner and cause of death, state police Lt. Eric Garcia said in a news release.

  • Volcano Venture

    For 4-year-olds, most everything is new, and learning is exciting and fun.

    Kids that age are beginning to learn the basics: how to say their first and last names, letters in the alphabet and numbers and colors.

    Eileen Ortiz’s pre-kindergarten class at the West Las Vegas school district has been studying “Vinnie Volcano,” a book about a character that rescues his friends from a smoking volcano. The book is written predominately in words that begin with the consonant V. Kids create their own volcano by following directions in the book.  

  • Suit against ex-sheriff tossed

    The text messages tell the story about the soured relationship between the former Mora County sheriff and his undersheriff.

    Then-sheriff Roy Cordova wasn’t happy that Tim Marquez, his second in command at the time, had filed to run against him in the Democratic primary in June.

    Among the pointed text messages the two exchanged on March 18, 2010, was Cordova’s asking when Marquez was going to drop out and Marquez saying he heard that Cordova was giving the undersheriff’s job to someone else.

  • Store owner sentenced to 10 years

    The Las Vegas businessman indicted last April on federal drug trafficking and firearms charges has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    Alex Lawrence Romero, 31, of the 500 block of Hermosa Lane, received the minimum sentence that could have been imposed. He was sentenced Thursday in Albuquerque by U.S. District Judge Judith C. Herrera.

  • Peace Corps’ 50th

    Second in a two-part series

    A few days after he took office in 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked his brother-in-law Sargent Shriver to direct a Peace Corps task force.

    Today, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Peace Corps is recognized worldwide for its good works and peaceful intentions. More than 2,000 New Mexico residents have been part of its success.

  • State police make DWI arrests

    State police arrested two repeat DWI offenders Friday and another on Feb. 11, court documents state. All three suspects have Las Vegas addresses.

    David Maes, 50, 2701 Seventh St., was arrested for driving under the influence, his fifth offense. He also was charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license, resisting, evading or obstructing a peace officer, improper display of registration and not having insurance.

  • Highlands board gets two new regents

    Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed two new members to the Highlands University Board of Regents.

    Albuquerque resident Frank Marchi and Highlands undergraduate Caitlin Syner will now go before the state Senate for confirmation. They will begin serving on the board once they are confirmed, a Martinez spokesman said.

    Marchi graduated from Highlands in 1967 with a degree in business. He is a founding member of the university's alumni association and is a member of the foundation board, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.