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Local News

  • FFA teacher dies in crash

    Gary Leger, the national award-winning FFA teacher at Robertson High School, died in a car accident Wednesday evening,

    His brother, James Leger, said Thursday that the crash happened around 6:30 p.m. in Oklahoma and that his brother was airlifted to Amarillo. He died shortly after.

    James Leger said his brother apparently pulled away from a stop sign but didn’t see an oncoming car, which was the same color as the surroundings. The other car struck the driver’s side.

  • City police not using Tasers
  • Nearby blaze partly contained

    The Tecolote fire was 10 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, officials said.

    The blaze, which started Friday night, has burned 700 acres. But the fire hasn’t struck any buildings, and no evacuations have been ordered.

    “No structures are immediately threatened. We’ve had people talk to homeowners,” said Denise Ottaviano, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

    The fire is on Bear Mountain, about 2.5 miles south of Gallinas Canyon. The blaze is raging on rugged terrain in the Santa Fe National Forest.

  • Governor visits Vegas

    Gov. Bill Richardson flew into town Monday to announce a $150,000 infusion of cash into Luna Community College’s film program.

    “We have one of the most successful movie programs in our history these last eight years. That’s because we have offered the movie companies incentives, free state land, loans, and as a result, we have had billions of dollars in direct and indirect benefits for the state,” Richardson said.

  • Some cars damaged by hail

    Las Vegas has had a couple of hailstorms in recent weeks.

    While it appears that most cars haven’t sustained any damage as a result, some have, according to insurance companies.

    Representatives of Progressive and GEICO insurance companies have called the Optic in recent days to say they’re receiving claims for hail damage to cars.

    The hailstorms occurred on May 27 and June 6. A representative of Geico said that most of the claims are coming from Las Vegas’ north side.

  • East to shuffle principals

    For the second year in a row, the Las Vegas City Schools will see a shuffling of principals.

    The changes were unveiled in an interview with Superintendent Rick Romero last week.

    The highest-profile change will be the promotion of Manuel Lucero to serve as principal of Memorial Middle School. Previously, he had been the principal of Sierra Vista Elementary. Over the last few years, he has served as a principal in both the East and West school districts.

    Leslie Damon will remain the assistant principal at Memorial.

  • Top Mora school official gets pay hike

    A top Mora school district official is getting a raise because he is taking on extra duties, an official said last week.

    For the fiscal year starting July 1, Roger Gonzales, the district’s director of institutional support and advancement, will see his pay increase from $71,000 a year to $79,000, said Joseph Griego, chairman of the Mora school board.

  • Firefighters work on fire in Tecolote area

    Extreme fire behavior and high winds throughout the day made it unsafe for firefighters to get containment of the Tecolote fire on Saturday, state officials said.

    Large smoke plumes were visible since Saturday morning, which made it hard to adequately size up the fire, officials said.   

    The use of airtankers was halted due to strong winds, but a Type 1 helicopter continued to make water drops.

    No structures were immediately threatened and no evacuations were ordered.  

  • Apartment complex opens

    A housing complex on Ridge Runner Road has been completed.

    The Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico and the Vista Gallinas Community Partnership recently celebrated the official grand opening of the Vista Gallinas Apartments, a 15-unit permanent supportive housing project. The project provides affordable housing to citizens of Las Vegas who have struggled with homelessness and disabilities.  

  • Co-op plans for more reliable power

    A rural electric project that is expected to reduce the number of power outages is slated to start next month.

    The Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative recently received approval to move forward with the project from the state Transportation Department.

    As it stands, power outages frequently leave more than 5,000 area residents in the dark. The cooperative serves customers in rural San Miguel, Mora, Santa Fe and Guadalupe counties.