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Local News

  • Utilities director to keep job

    City Utilities Director Ken Garcia, who recently pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge, is apparently safe in his job.


    Earlier this month, Garcia, 45, entered a plea agreement in which he admitted to the fourth-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.


    But he wasn’t convicted. Rather, he received a conditional discharge. So if he follows the law for the next 18 months of his supervised probation, the charge will be dismissed.

  • Two arrested in gate dispute

    A dispute over a ranch gate has resulted in charges against two Mora County men.


    According to Magistrate Court documents, a man reported that he got into an altercation about whether to close the gate at the ranch.


    Roberto Campos, 62, was charged with aggravated battery, a third-degree felony, and Ernie Campos, 59, with aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony.

  • Crews clean Grand Ave. property

    City crews started Friday to fill the giant hole where the Center Block building once stood.


    City officials said Bob Dalton, the property’s owner and a frequent alleged code violator, hadn’t complied with a city ordinance in cleaning up the property.


    Early Friday morning, city employees working tractors and dump trucks put dirt into the hole. A black cat crossed the land, seemingly undisturbed by the activity.

  • Native Americans showcase talent

    The audience stood as Lynnelle Logan sang the National Anthem. The familiar opening notes began. Then something quite unexpected happened as Logan sang in her native Navajo tongue.


    Thomasinia Ortiz-Gallegos acted as mistress of ceremonies, introducing Highlands graduate and former Ramah Navajo Queen Nikki Begay for the opening prayer.

  • City explains taste problem with water

    The city’s top water official last week acknowledged a taste problem with the city’s water. But he said it didn’t pose a danger to public health.


    Utilities Director Ken Garcia said the city had looked into the problem and tracked it to compounds related to algae in reservoirs and the Gallinas River.


    “Those compounds don’t present a health threat to drinking water. Our taste buds are very sensitive to them. That’s why you have a musty taste in the water,” he said.

  • 12 nabbed in warrant roundup

    Authorities arrested eight residents last week in connection with a two-month drug enforcement operation.
    On Thursday morning, members of the Region 4 Narcotics Task Force — a collection of area law enforcement agencies — launched a warrant roundup for the eight drug suspects.
    Another four were nabbed on other charges.
    Nearly all of the arrests were made in Las Vegas.
    According to a press release, the operation — called T-Bow — will impact and disrupt the flow of drugs in northeastern New Mexico for some time.

  • West says it wants parents’ feedback, but it’s not getting much

    The West Las Vegas district is seeking parents’ opinion on the quality of their children’s education. But the superintendent is disappointed about the lack of participation.


    “The participation has been very, very low. If you look at some of the numbers of parents who have responded to the state-mandated survey, in some cases it is two or three people from a school site,” Cordova said during last week’s school board meeting.

  • East superintendent suspended

    The Las Vegas City Schools board has placed Superintendent Rick Romero on leave for seven days because of a violation of the district’s computer-use policy, the school board chairman said this week.


    Chairman Ramon “Swoops” Montaño said the board decided on that discipline after a closed session Tuesday night. He said the complaint about the violation came from a school employee, who reported it about two weeks ago.


    Associate Superintendent LeeEtte Quintina will be in charge of the district in Romero’s absence.

  • Councilors oust Fiesta organizers

    The city of Las Vegas plans to take over Fiestas de Las Vegas.
    On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to set up a city committee to run the annual July 4 weekend event.


    An independent group, the Fiesta Council, has been organizing the festivities for a number of years. But in recent months, the group has been embroiled in controversies over finances and a public battle with the former Fiesta queen, among other issues.

  • Board leader to leave soon

    Las Vegas City Schools board President Ramon “Swoops” Montaño dropped a bombshell at Tuesday’s board meeting, telling fellow members he would be leaving his post before the February election.


    “I will step down from my position on the board of education in December. Being away from my four kids, who live in Rio Rancho, has become too much of a burden,” Montaño said.