.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Local News

  • County changes panel after criticism

    The San Miguel County Commission this week decided to change the composition of its oil gas task force after some contended that it was heavily weighted toward the industry.

    County officials said they wanted to change the makeup of the 10-member task force after they received disclosure forms from applicants.

    In April, the commission formed the task force to make recommendations for an ordinance that would deal specifically with oil and gas drilling. No requests for drilling are pending, but there are some in neighboring counties.

  • RHS probation kept quiet

    Diehard Robertson High School football fans know that the team won the state championship in 2005 and 2006.

    But it wasn’t publicly known that the New Mexico Activities Association placed the football program on probation for two years.

    The information came out in a lawsuit filed this week by victims in the sexual assaults during a football camp in August 2008. It was included to demonstrate alleged incompetence and negligence in the program.

    Three school board members interviewed this week said they had no idea about the probation.

  • Vegas man gets 10th DWI

    A Las Vegas man was charged with his 10th DWI over the weekend, with an officer’s having to place a spike strip to stop him, state police said.

    Michael Benavidez, 49, 2328 N. Gonzales St., was charged with aggravated DWI, driving on a suspended or revoked license, evading an officer and having an open container of alcohol.

  • City enacts tougher penalties

    The city’s new water conservation ordinance increases penalties for violators and urges big users to install water-friendly fixtures.

    Last week, the City Council passed the ordinance after going through several versions over the last few months.

    The ordinance is considered the first of a two-part strategy for conservation. The second is expected to bring more progressive water rates — in other words, even higher rates as a customer uses more water. Those new rates are slated to come before the council later this year.

  • Deputies, jailers vote for union

    San Miguel County’s jailers and deputies on Wednesday unanimously voted for a union to represent them.

    It may well be the first time in the county government’s history that workers have formed a union, officials say.

    All 22 employees who took part in the election supported having the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees as their representative in negotiations with county officials.

    Twenty-eight were eligible to vote; probationary employees, who have been with the county for less than a year, couldn’t take part.

  • Official criticizes Optic over editorial

    San Miguel County Commission Chairman David Salazar promised that the county’s oil and gas task force’s meetings would be open to the public.

    He also criticized the Optic for not making that fact known to the public.

    A few weeks ago, Alex Tafoya, the county’s planning and zoning supervisor, told the Optic he wasn’t sure if the public would be allowed in the task force’s meetings.

  • Police: DWI suspect had kid in car

    An area man didn’t try to hide the fact that he had been drinking after the state police stopped him Sunday, reports state.

    Madio Michael Trujillo, 30, of Rociada, who was stopped on Grand Avenue shortly after 10 p.m., acknowledged to a state police officer that he had had two shots and four beers not long before driving, police said.

    In the back seat was a 6-year-old girl. The other passenger was Valerie Quiñonez of Española, who gave her name as Jessica Hill, police said.

  • Code cops making progress

    The city’s two new uniformed code enforcement officers are making headway on the issues of loose animals and illegal parking, officials say.

    The city recently transferred such responsibilities from the Community Development Department to the Police Department.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said that in a recent two-and-a-half week period, the two officers, Jacob Herron and Rodney Perea, had issued 50 citations, including  warnings.

    They also captured 42 loose animals, the chief said.

  • Woman celebrates 100th birthday

    Lucille Frances Katherine Duran celebrated her 100th birthday Sunday with many family and friends.

    After services at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Duran was presented a bouquet of flowers as the Rev. John Brasher and the congregation sang “Happy Birthday” and “Las Mañanitas.”

  • Assault victims file suit

    A lawsuit filed by seven victims in the Robertson High School football team assaults allege that the coaches and school officials acted recklessly and with indifference.

    The lawsuit names 30 defendants, including top officials, the former coaching staff and the attackers and their parents.

    Both former and current superintendents Pete Campos and Rick Romero were named as well. Campos wasn’t superintendent when the assaults happened in August 2008 at a team camp, but the litigation alleged that he allowed the atmosphere in which they were allowed to occur.