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Local News

  • Facilities-use policy still at issue

    Highlands University Regent Jesus Lopez says he was surprised to find out that the university allowed political rallies and any number of private events to be held on campus.

    At a recent meeting of the university’s finance committee, Lopez said he found out about such events when he opened up the newspaper after June’s Democratic primary. On the front page was a picture of an elated state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, who was celebrating his victory over three opponents at his party at the university’s Kennedy Hall.

  • West worker gets driving rights back

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    The West Las Vegas school district has restored the driving privileges for an employee who totaled a district vehicle last year.

    In April, John J. Roybal, 41, West’s head mechanic, pleaded guilty to careless driving and failing to maintain his lane of traffic. In return, the state dropped a DWI charge against him.

    After the crash occurred in August in Moriarty, the district removed Roybal’s driving privileges. That was to apply until June 30.

  • Man's body recovered at Storrie Lake

    Las Vegas Optic

    A state police dive team last week recovered the body of a 45-year-old man who drowned in Storrie Lake.

    Authorities haven’t released his name yet.

    State police Lt. Eric Garcia said three people were “messing around” in a boat Thursday evening when they ran out of gas. So a man in the boat started swimming to the shoreline but reportedly didn’t make it, he said.

  • Calendar

    TODAY

    • Story time will be at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 1, in the children area at Carnegie Public Library. The theme will be “Harvest Time,” and the book will be “The Little Red Hen” by Timothy S. Donehoo. The craft will be a handprint hen. The programs are open to the public.

    THURSDAY

  • Cops use rare type of warrant

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    Last year, local authorities got an “anticipatory search warrant” to go through a suspect’s car for drugs.

    It’s a rarely issued type of warrant — the constitutionality of which New Mexico courts haven’t specifically addressed.

    Such warrants are issued when officers have convinced a judge that they have probable cause to believe that there will be certain evidence at a specific place at a future time.

  • Officials say they learned lessons

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    San Miguel County officials say they have learned some lessons from the task force that produced a proposed ordinance regulating wind farms.

    They spoke during the first meeting of the oil and gas task force, which is expected to draft an ordinance for energy production in the county.

    County Manager Les Montoya said he hopes the new task force will focus on its members.

  • Fiesta leader blasts Optic, official

    Fiesta Council President Mathew Martinez last week accused the Las Vegas Optic of violating journalistic values in covering his group, saying the public needs to hold the newspaper accountable.

    He also contended that City Councilwoman Diane Moore was grandstanding when she suggested the city take over the Fiesta Council until it regains its stability.

    For three days last week, Martinez used his morning New Mexico music program on radio station KNMX to defend the Fiesta Council against recent criticism.

  • Ruling against search stands

    A drug search that led to charges against Las Vegas resident Kenneth Ulibarri has been deemed illegal.

    But that does little good for Ulibarri, who served two years in prison because of the charges.

    On Aug. 19, the state Supreme Court let stand a Court of Appeals ruling in July that found the search illegal.

    The Court of Appeals had overturned a decision by local District Judge Abigail Aragon allowing drug evidence in the state’s case against Ulibarri, 32.

  • City avoids hiring consultant

    The Las Vegas City Council recently rejected hiring a consultant to help form a residents council for public housing. So the city found a free way to get the job done.

    The authority has entered an agreement with Highlands University master’s student Gloria Tafoya to start the residents council and work on other projects for the housing authority.

    In June, the housing authority proposed that the city enter into a contract with Highlands University professor James Alarid for up to $5,700 to form the residents council, which amounted to $25 per resident.

  • Refuge telescope stolen

    The field telescope from Crane Lake Overlook at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge has been stolen.

    The 85-pound long-distance field telescope was stolen from Crane Lake Overlook sometime last week. The refuge staff became aware of the missing telescope on Aug. 27 after a birding visitor discovered it missing and reported it. The bolts securing the telescope (25 inches long and 9 inches wide) to the column were severed leaving the column standing alone.