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Local News

  • Violence suspect accused of drugs

    A man who beat up his girlfriend also had marijuana plants growing next to his house, state police said.

    Ignacio Villanueva, 34, of Villanueva was arrested May 10.

    According to Magistrate Court documents, Villanueva got angry because he didn’t go to his girlfriend’s family’s house for a Mother’s Day dinner because they didn’t like him.

    The girlfriend admitted to slapping Villanueva, state police said. After she did that, he allegedly threw her out of the house, hitting, slapping and kicking her.

  • Union official: County could save money

    A union is criticizing the San Miguel County Commission for hiring a firm to deal with employees who want to organize.

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has been talking with workers about forming a union. So far, jailers and sheriff’s deputies have expressed an interest, officials say.

    Enrique Mejia, a union organizer, said he has found 90 percent support among jailers and deputies. As such, he said it would be a waste of money for all concerned to have an election.

  • Seven apply for West post

    The West Las Vegas school district has received seven applications for superintendent.

    On Monday, the school board reviewed the applications behind closed doors. It plans to interview the candidates next Monday.

    The candidates are:

    • Gene Parson, principal of West Las Vegas High School

    • Ruben Cordova, former associate superintendent of West Las Vegas

    • Kaye Peery, former superintendent of Zuni schools

    • Darlene Ulibarri, assistant superintendent of the Pecos schools

  • Rec center to be closed on Sundays

    Because of a budget crunch, the city plans to close its recreation center on Sundays.

    “The city has been supplementing $500,000 a year at the rec center. The costs just continue to increase,” City Manager Timothy Dodge said. “Sunday is the day that we’ve identified as the most underutilized at the rec center.”

    With the tough economic times, the city needs to find ways to cut costs so as to avoid layoffs, Dodge said.

  • Hopefuls debate donations

    One candidate for District 70 state representative said last week that two of his rivals have been “bought and paid for.”

    In response to a question about incumbents having the ability to attract big money, candidate Chris Lopez said he and another candidate, Eric Cummings, had not served as legislators, while incumbent Richard Vigil and Barbara Perea Casey had.

  • Revolving door at jail an issue

    Some residents are pushing San Miguel County to seek money for a center that would reduce the number of repeat visits to the jail.

    Seventy percent of the jail’s inmates come back again, while 80 percent of them have substance abuse problems, say members of the jail’s citizens advisory committee.

  • Fifth teen pleads in assaults case

    SANTA FE -- A fifth teenager has pleaded guilty to charges in a case involving the 2008 sexual assault of fellow members of the Robertson High School football team.

    Lucas Martinez pleaded guilty to three felony charges for his role in sodomizing fellow members of the Robertson High School football team with a broomstick.

    The 18-year-old will be sentenced under juvenile rules next month.

    Three other former players have been sentenced to terms in a state juvenile facility. A fourth defendant also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on June 4.

  • Four finalists named for Mora schools

    State Rep. Thomas Garcia, D-Ocate, was originally considered the only applicant for Mora schools superintendent to have submitted all that was required in his application packet.

    With member George Trujillo absent, the school board on Tuesday unanimously picked four finalists: Garcia, a Luna Community College instructor; Herman Gallegos, former director of human resources for the Pueblo of Pojoaque; Norma Cavazos, director of support services for the Pecos schools; and Phil Kasper, a principal in the Cortez, Colo., schools.

  • Mural artists seek more money

    A local group says it needs more money from the city for a downtown mural.

    A few months ago, Casa de Cultural, a nonprofit group that promotes the area’s culture, got $15,000 from the city for the mural, which will be called, “The People’s History of Northern New Mexico.”

    The mural will be on the north end of the old Safeway parking lot at Seventh Street and Douglas Avenue.

    At last week’s City Council meeting, Casa de Cultura requested an additional $10,000, saying money from other sources has fallen through.

  • Candidates divided on Tasers

    A forum for San Miguel County Commission candidates attracted three hopefuls Wednesday night. Three others didn’t show.

    Taking part in the forum were District 1 candidates Rock Ulibarri, Ron Ortega and Joe “Yunta” Lucero. Not showing were District 1 incumbent June Garcia and District 3 incumbent Albert Padilla and his opponent, Arthur Padilla.

    Garcia submitted a letter to forum organizers, saying she was in Arizona to attend her godson’s graduation. She said she helped raise him.