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Local News

  • City: Cleanup progress made

    A resident who has filled her house with trash for years has moved somewhere else. So the problem appears to have improved some — except for when she visits her old place, an official said last week.

    The neighbors of Gordy Maxine Thatcher-Godfrey have objected for years to the junk she collects around town and then puts in her front yard and in her house on Tilden Street.

    The neighbors fear that her house is pulling down the values of their homes.

  • A man for all reasons

    The trim gentleman in a cowboy hat, rain slicker and cowboy boots strides across the already snow-covered entryway: one could almost imagine his, “Howdy, Ma’am” greeting.

    But no, that was not his utterance, and as he crossed the threshold into the house, he wiped his boots on the mat. Despite his outward appearance, this was no “rowdy cowboy.”

  • Candidates file for school board seats

    All three West Las Vegas school board incumbents whose seats are up for election are running again.

    For the Las Vegas City Schools, only member Patrick Romero is seeking to stay.

    Tuesday was filing day for school board candidates around New Mexico. The election is Feb. 1.

    West board members Kenny Lujan, Gary Gold and Caroline Lopez filed candidacies for second four-year terms.

    Lujan is facing Henry Abeyta Sr., while Lopez is up against Marvin Martinez.

  • Man accused of killing his grandmother found unfit

    A man accused of killing his grandmother has been found to be unfit for trial, an official said.

    Ryan Garcia, 27, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his grandmother, Margaret Garcia.

    She died three days after her grandson allegedly attacked her.

    District Attorney Richard Flores said Garcia is at the state hospital in Las Vegas.

    “They will make attempts to ‘treat him to competency.’ We will be given periodic reviews as to their success,” Flores said in an e-mail.

  • Support cause with New Year

    All are invited to ring in the new year at the 2010 New Year’s Eve Black Tie and Blue Jeans annual benefit ball and celebration at the Plaza Hotel.

  • 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.