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Local News

  • Mora County gets views on drilling

    MORA — Ojo Feliz resident Emilio Valdez acknowledged during a public hearing that he leased his land’s mineral rights to oil and gas companies. He said Mora County needs economic development.

    “There are people who are opposed to any industry. They look at the negative side of things,” he said, adding that he wanted to make sure future generations of his family had a source of income.

    And he said if others had land to lease to energy firms, they would do so as well.

    Not so, others said.

  • Murder suspect was informant

    The Police Department has used informants who have records of violence, one of whom is now suspected of murder.

    Two residents who are threatening lawsuits against the city of Las Vegas are alleging misconduct by the city police involving the issue of police informants.

    In the last few weeks, they have filed tort claim notices, which inform the city of possible litigation.

  • Teenager shot in drug dispute

    He returned his purchase for a refund, and was shot for doing so, city police said.

    According to an affidavit for warrant filed monday, the events unfolded as follows:

    Aaron Benavidez, 19, told police Sunday from his hospital bed that the situation began when he purchased $140 worth of prescription drugs at 2034 East Drive in Las Vegas from a youth. Benavidez said he left, but later returned to get his money back because the drugs were the wrong kind.

  • Ex-West leader pleads no contest

    Former West Las Vegas Superintendent Joe Baca pleaded no contest on Wednesday to a charge of fraud in connection with the bilingual program.

    Baca, 56, of Las Vegas entered the plea as part of an agreement with the attorney general’s office in Santa Fe District Court. He was convicted on a count of fraud of $250 or less.

    As part of the deal, Baca, who resigned in 2007, has agreed to pay the state $2,750 in restitution.

  • Claims allege cop misconduct

    Four tort claims notices have been filed against the city of Las Vegas in the past two weeks — all involving alleged police misconduct.

    The damages sought are more than $2.6 million.

    Tort claim notices are documents that must be filed within 90 days of injury in the state of New Mexico if one intends to sue the state, county or city governments.

  • Official: Railroad safety is on track

    It has been six months since a car-train collision at the Arriba Road railroad crossing north of Las Vegas claimed the life of Las Vegan Michael Esquibel. It was the second fatality at the site in less than a year.

    Four months earlier, Fred Stark, a Denver man in town for his daughter’s wedding, was also hit and killed by a train at the same crossing.

    In February, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission member Jerome Block said he was “taking the bull by the horns” and was taking initial steps to get safety equipment installed at the site.

  • Reservoir leaks seen as problem

    A city councilman said the leakages from the city’s Peterson reservoir are significant and that fixing such problems could help improve the city’s water situation.

    Councilman Andrew Feldman, who focuses on water issues, said that up to a quarter of the water taken off the Gallinas River is lost to leakage at Peterson reservoir. Additionally, silting in the Peterson and Bradner reservoirs has reduced the holding capacity of the reservoirs by 30 percent, he said. As such, both need to be dredged, he said.

  • Marquez favors police review board

    Mayor Tony Marquez said last week that he favors a police oversight board — an idea that some residents are pushing in light of alleged officer misconduct.

    Marquez said during a City Council meeting that he favors a board that would deal with police issues in a “fair and balanced manner,” adding that he would like to see counselors and social workers on the panel.

    The mayor said he became attracted to the idea when talking to other attendees during the recent annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in Los Angeles.

  • Man hurts self, arrested at police station

    A Las Vegas man wanted to go home, but ended up injured on the parking lot of the police station, according to court documents.

    Las Vegas police said Thomas Lovato, 28, 803 Union St., was assaulting his girlfriend when she was driving him around 8 p.m. June 23. He refused to leave her car, so she decided to go to the Las Vegas Police Department to get help.

  • A Fiestas-fun weekend

    The theme of this year’s Fiestas de Las Vegas was “Our Traditions, Our Treasures.” One of the traditions is rain, and one of the treasures is the people’s will to come back when it clears up.

    Or at least most of them.