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Local News

  • Commissioner, state representative forums this week

    Forums for San Miguel County Commission and state representative candidates are planned for Wednesday and Thursday.

    The forum for candidates for the District 1 and 3 County Commission seats will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at Highlands University’s G35 (Leveo Sanchez Lecture Hall), which is next to Donnelly Library.

    The forum for District 70 state representative hopefuls is Thursday, with the same hours and place.

    The forums are sponsored by the Committee for the People and the Las Vegas Optic.

  • 70 percent of Highlands grads are women, president says

    Seventy percent of Highlands University’s graduates on Saturday were women.

    The capacity crowd at the 2010 commencement ceremony at Wilson Complex cheered the news the day before Mother’s Day.

    “What a tremendous and impressive statement,” Highlands President Jim Fries said to applause.

    Fries also noted that students on the main campus include 19 tribes, 43 states and 32 countries. He said 40 percent of students are studying at the master’s degree level.

  • East schools set to lay off 15

    The Las Vegas City Schools expects 15 employees to be leaving the district because of retirement or other reasons. But that won’t make up a more than $1 million shortfall in the budget.

    The district’s superintendent, Rick Romero, said at a meeting last week that some “good people” will have to be laid off to make ends meet. That cut would affect 15 — four teachers and 11 other staff, he said.

    It didn’t appear that the district will be laying off any principals or other top administrators — an idea floated earlier.

  • Student graduates from Luna before high school ends

    Sarah Bustos took part in Luna Community College’s graduation Saturday. That’s two weeks before she gets her diploma at West Las Vegas High School.

    Isn’t that out of order?

    Not for Bustos.

    The West cheerleader has been taking classes at Luna since she was a high school sophomore. She got enough credits to get her general education certificate at Luna’s graduation. That’s enough, she said, to qualify her as a junior at Highlands University — a big head start for a bachelor’s degree.

  • Fees dropped at transfer station

    City solid waste customers can now bring trash for free to the transfer station.

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz has signed an executive order waiving fees for people to bring garbage to the station. All they have to do is show a city utility bill for proof.

    Alvin Jiron, the solid waste manager, said the order takes effect Monday.

    Officials said the order was an attempt to reduce the amount of illegal dumping in alleys and arroyos.

  • College graduations this weekend

    Graduations for Highlands University and Luna Community College are set for this weekend.

    Highlands University’s commencement is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at Wilson Complex. Luna’s will be at 10 a.m. the same day in a big tent on campus.

    The commencement speaker at Highlands will be Edward Lujan, an insurance salesman from Albuquerque. He is the chairman of the board of Manuel Lujan Insurance Co, now the second largest independent insurance agency in the state.

  • Ex-officer sues city over his firing

    A former Las Vegas officer has sued the city of Las Vegas and its chief of police for allegedly violating his rights to family leave.

    Michael Padilla, who was fired last May, claims the city harassed him while he was taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. He was taking the leave to help his wife, who had undergone surgery and was recovering.

    An attorney for the city said the lawsuit doesn’t provide any details to support Padilla’s allegations.

  • County to Kilmer: Show up

    The San Miguel County Commission wants actor Val Kilmer to explain himself — in person.

    The commission is considering a proposed lodging business on the “Batman” star’s ranch near Rowe.

    Kilmer’s neighbors have complained about his comments to national magazines, which they see as degrading toward northern New Mexico’s Hispanics and veterans.

  • Couple charged in local stabbing

    A couple is accused of stabbing a woman at their house last week.

    Judy Padilla, 30, 1222 Seventh St., and Charlie Vigil, 48, were charged with allegedly attacking a woman visiting their house around 1:30 a.m. April 28.

    According to Magistrate Court documents, the alleged victim got into a fight with Padilla’s sister inside the house. Then Padilla allegedly got involved, and the altercation was taken outside.

  • Girl reported as a runaway

    The Las Vegas Police Department has reported Jasmine S. Gallegos, 14, as a runaway. She is an eighth-grader at West Las Vegas Middle School.

    Her family said she was last seen around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Her parents are Candice and Gary Gallegos.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said the police were informed around 6:30 a.m. Thursday that Gallegos had run away.

    Gold said the girl had left a note with her parents and had called them since. She told them not to worry, Gold said. She hasn't said where she is.

    "We'll treat this seriously," the chief said.