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Local News

  • County tries to prove its ownership of transfer station land

    San Miguel County is trying to prove its ownership of the land where the Bernal solid waste transfer station lies.

    County officials said they need to get that information to connect the site to the area’s rural electric utility, which needs to know who owns the easement so it can extend power lines.  

    As a result, the employee who mans that site has had to spend much time in his truck to keep warm. An on-site building is wired for electricity; it just needs to be hooked up to the power system run by the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative.

  • City candidates debate the issues

    Candidates running for mayor and City Council met in a public forum last week. The election is March 2.

    The mayoral candidates are Daniel Holguin Sr., Alfonso Ortiz and Patrick Romero. The Ward 1 City Council candidates are Macario Gonzalez, Tonita Gurule-Giron, Bruce McAllister and Roland Medrano. In Ward 4, they are Joseph P. Baca Jr., David Romero and Michael Roybal.

    Monday’s Optic featured some of the topics addressed. Here are a few more:     

    QUESTION: How many hours per week will you put into the job if you are elected?

    Mayor

  • Lawyer: Victim out for money

    The lawyer for a former Robertson High School teacher and coach accused of having sex repeatedly with a student said Friday that the student made up the story because she is “dead-set on financial gain.”

    Tom Clark, the attorney for Jay Quintana, said during the first day of his client’s preliminary hearing that the student, who has since graduated and is now attending college, lacks specificity in her claims against Quintana, who was her golf coach.

  • City plans to take on loose dogs

    The city is continuing to negotiate with a local nonprofit group to take over the city’s animal shelter services, which officials say will free up animal control officers to take care of such problems as loose dogs.

    The city has been in talks with the Animal Welfare Coalition for a number of months. Meanwhile, officials say they have been making some progress in the animal control department.

  • Hopefuls divided on city charter

    Candidates running for mayor and City Council in the March 2 election agreed water should be the city’s top priority.

    They also said city streets were a problem and need work.

    Their solutions on how to get there were often different, but they were civil during a two-hour forum Thursday night, sponsored by the Las Vegas Optic and the Committee for the People. Nearly 100 people attended.

  • Las Vegas officials say goodbye

    Wednesday was the last City Council meeting for council members Cruz Roybal and Morris Madrid, both of whom decided against running for re-election.

    It was also to be the last for Mayor Tony Marquez, but he didn’t show up.

    At the beginning of the council meeting, Councilwoman Diane Moore told her colleagues that the mayor informed her that he was running late because he was tending to legislative business in Santa Fe. He sent that information via a text.

  • No jail for ex-deputy accused of DWI

    Most people go to jail after they’re arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

    Not former San Miguel County Undersheriff Joe Robert Urban, 63.

    Urban, instead, was released to Sheriff Benjie Vigil, with whom he had worked a long time. Urban retired from the Sheriff’s Department a few months ago after more than a quarter century of service.

  • Mora schools superintendent resigns; interim leader remains

    Dora Romero, the superintendent of the Mora school district, resigned this week, two months after the school board placed her on leave, officials confirmed.

    She submitted her letter of resignation to the school board, promising to assist the district with any matters that occurred during her time as superintendent.

    She specifically said that she would be willing to help with issues related to Mark Cassidy, the high school cross country coach and assistant track coach. Under her administration, Cassidy’s contract as girls basketball coach wasn’t renewed.

  • Police: Man died after being stabbed

    A man accused of killing his brother apparently was drinking with the victim the night of the murder when they got into a fight, police say.

    Joseph J. Maestas is charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in the death of his brother, Michael L. Maestas, 55.

    It’s the first murder of the year in Las Vegas.  

  • Senator wants 'super board of regents'

    Highlands University President Jim Fries says there are a number of legislative initiatives being proposed that could affect higher education, including replacing boards of regents at state colleges with a single board.

    “Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, does plan to submit some form of a bill that would move us toward a Super Board of Regents that would basically replace the individual board of regents at New Mexico universities with a single statewide board of regents, probably with nine to 11 members,” Fries said.