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Local News

  • Cops use rare type of warrant

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    Last year, local authorities got an “anticipatory search warrant” to go through a suspect’s car for drugs.

    It’s a rarely issued type of warrant — the constitutionality of which New Mexico courts haven’t specifically addressed.

    Such warrants are issued when officers have convinced a judge that they have probable cause to believe that there will be certain evidence at a specific place at a future time.

  • Officials say they learned lessons

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    San Miguel County officials say they have learned some lessons from the task force that produced a proposed ordinance regulating wind farms.

    They spoke during the first meeting of the oil and gas task force, which is expected to draft an ordinance for energy production in the county.

    County Manager Les Montoya said he hopes the new task force will focus on its members.

  • Fiesta leader blasts Optic, official

    Fiesta Council President Mathew Martinez last week accused the Las Vegas Optic of violating journalistic values in covering his group, saying the public needs to hold the newspaper accountable.

    He also contended that City Councilwoman Diane Moore was grandstanding when she suggested the city take over the Fiesta Council until it regains its stability.

    For three days last week, Martinez used his morning New Mexico music program on radio station KNMX to defend the Fiesta Council against recent criticism.

  • Ruling against search stands

    A drug search that led to charges against Las Vegas resident Kenneth Ulibarri has been deemed illegal.

    But that does little good for Ulibarri, who served two years in prison because of the charges.

    On Aug. 19, the state Supreme Court let stand a Court of Appeals ruling in July that found the search illegal.

    The Court of Appeals had overturned a decision by local District Judge Abigail Aragon allowing drug evidence in the state’s case against Ulibarri, 32.

  • City avoids hiring consultant

    The Las Vegas City Council recently rejected hiring a consultant to help form a residents council for public housing. So the city found a free way to get the job done.

    The authority has entered an agreement with Highlands University master’s student Gloria Tafoya to start the residents council and work on other projects for the housing authority.

    In June, the housing authority proposed that the city enter into a contract with Highlands University professor James Alarid for up to $5,700 to form the residents council, which amounted to $25 per resident.

  • Refuge telescope stolen

    The field telescope from Crane Lake Overlook at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge has been stolen.

    The 85-pound long-distance field telescope was stolen from Crane Lake Overlook sometime last week. The refuge staff became aware of the missing telescope on Aug. 27 after a birding visitor discovered it missing and reported it. The bolts securing the telescope (25 inches long and 9 inches wide) to the column were severed leaving the column standing alone.

  • East loses data when server goes out

    The Las Vegas City Schools district lost data when one of its servers went out on Aug. 19, but the problem hasn’t affected students, an official said last week.

    Superintendent Rick Romero said both hard drives in one of the district’s servers went out, so that meant a loss of data inputted in June, July and early August.

    He said if just one of the hard drives had lost the data, the other one could have recovered the information.

    Now, district staff is reinputting the data, which includes student scheduling information, Romero said.

  • Blues festival's organizer explains meaning behind event's name

    On Saturday, Casa de Cultura will put on the second annual Ain’t Got No Frijoles Blues Festival. It’s an unusual name for an event, but it has a special meaning for organizer Miguel Angel.

    “When I was a boy growing up on Taos Street in Las Vegas, my great aunt, Estafanita Flores, would have a pot of beans cooking on the stove almost every day of the year,” he said. “On the rare day that we didn’t have beans, we suffered pangs of denial.”

  • Officer plans to run for mayor

    Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz says he wants a younger, more energetic person to take his place when his term expires.

    City police Officer Dennis Nelson, 41, thinks he’s that person.

    Last week, Nelson, a city officer for the last couple of years, revealed that he would be running for the city’s top job in 2012. He is the first to announce his intention to run for mayor; Ortiz said a few weeks ago that he would serve just one term.

  • County yet to select Cinder bidder

    San Miguel County had been prepared to award a contract to a local company to build a walkway along Cinder Road.

    But the county delayed making a decision this week because of a licensing issue with the contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel Products.

    The company’s previous license expired April 30. It was renewed Aug. 18.