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Local News

  • County officials back medical pot

    A majority of the County Commission supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes.


    Commissioners David Salazar, Nicolas Leger and June Garcia all agreed on the issue. Their colleagues, Albert Padilla and Marcellino Ortiz, couldn’t be reached for comment.


    The commission plans to hold a special hearing on the subject Nov. 24.


    The issue is particularly relevant with the commission because of the county housing authority’s recent decision to stop giving a federal subsidy to a resident who uses medical marijuana.

  • County seeks money for EMS

    San Miguel County officials say they’re going to have to find ways to fully fund ambulance services, particularly in Pecos.


    In the Nov. 2 election, 60 percent of voters rejected a proposed quarter-cent sales tax that would have helped pay for ambulance services and the launch of a central dispatch service.


    The tax would have amounted to 25 cents for $100 in purchases.

  • Soccer coach allegedly got into scuffle at party

    Robertson High School’s girls soccer coach got involved in a fight during a party over the summer, according to testimony last week.


    Ray Parks, 43, has been charged with a petty misdemeanor count of battery. After a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a magistrate judge reduced a felony aggravated battery charge against Parks’ wife, Brenda Parks, to a misdemeanor.


    The alleged victim was a 17-year-old girl, who was at a Fourth of July party in the Sapello area, where the couple was.

  • Vegas official pleads guilty

    A top city official has pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge in connection with attacking a man at a local bar.


    Ken Garcia, 45, the city’s utilities director, admitted to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a fourth-degree felony.


    Garcia will be on supervised probation for 18 months. He must write a letter of apology to the victim and pay the victim’s costs associated with the attack.

  • County fires housing director

    San Miguel County has fired its housing director, Gilbert Almanza, just weeks after an unfavorable audit.


    Almanza’s last day as director is today.


    County Manager Les Montoya confirmed the county terminated Almanza from the position. But he said the county’s finance department was hiring Almanza as an information technology employee to help install a new computer system.

  • Official wasn’t told about letter

    By David Giuliani
    Las Vegas Optic
    In October, San Miguel County’s housing authority informed Las Vegas resident Robert Jones, 70, that he was losing his federal housing subsidy because of his use of medical marijuana.


    But the county’s top official didn’t know about that decision beforehand.


    The case has attracted national attention.

  • Officials back low-fly proposal

    Four of the five San Miguel County commissioners say they support Cannon Air Force Base’s plan to fly planes low over northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.


    Cannon, which is near Clovis, wants to fly its aircraft as low as 200 feet. It promises to avoid towns and to conduct most missions at night.


    In September, the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously for a resolution to oppose the training flights.

  • County expected to act on wind farm regulations next month

    San Miguel County plans to decide on an ordinance regulating wind turbines next month.


    This week, the County Commission voted to begin the process of adopting an ordinance.


    The proposed ordinance would require that wind turbines be at least three miles from occupied homes — a provision that the industry staunchly opposes.

  • Changing of guard

    Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said with greater power comes greater responsibility. The former deputy chief was sworn in Friday as interim chief by Mayor Alfonso Ortiz.


    Montaño replaces Gary Gold, who retired Friday after more than three years on the job.

  • Highlands gets USDA funding

    Highlands University was awarded a new $290,000 USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant aimed at increasing student interest in science majors and professions.


    “The primary purpose of this new grant is to motivate students to major in science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math — the STEAM disciplines,” said Edward Martinez, a Highlands University natural resources professor who is the project administrator for the grant.