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Local News

  • Two women reported hurt in crash

    Two women were injured in a car accident Thursday morning, city police said.

    According to police, 63-year-old Lillian Sanchez was headed north on Grand Avenue when she attempted to turn left onto New Mexico Avenue. She struck a car driven by Sara Dean, 29, who was headed south on Grand, police said. The collision caused Dean’s car to swerve to the right, hitting a car driven by Sarah L. Moore, 59, who was waiting at the stop sign on New Mexico.

  • Chamber chief criticizes official

    The head of the Chamber of Commerce took aim at a city councilman last week, even hinting that the official was guilty of a procurement violation.

    Matt Martinez, president of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, spoke during the public input portion of the council’s meeting, saying he wanted to respond to Councilman Andrew Feldman’s criticism of the group, which aims to help the local business community.

  • Inquiry may target housing agency

    The Las Vegas housing authority may become the target of both criminal and civil investigations, the city attorney said Wednesday.

    After a 45-minute closed meeting, attorney Dave Romero reported that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was concerned about previous activity in the local housing authority as well as others around the state.

  • Ex-undersheriff found guilty

    A jury in Magistrate Court has found former Undersheriff Joe Robert Urban guilty of drunken driving.

    It also found him guilty of negligent use of a deadly weapon and not staying in his lane of traffic.

    Urban, 64, was arrested in February on Mountain View Drive after he allegedly crossed the double yellow lines. State police said Urban had a loaded .22-caliber Magnum handgun, which drew the negligent-use charge.

    He had retired just months before his arrest.

  • Fiesta Council member quits in protest

    A Fiesta Council member resigned Tuesday, accusing other members of using a “false reason” to close their meeting last week.

    Joselle DeMarco-Chandler, a local teacher, made the accusation in a letter of resignation to President Mathew Martinez.

    At last week’s meeting, Fiesta Council members except DeMarco-Chandler voted to close the meeting to the public. As such, they asked City Councilwoman Diane Moore, former Fiesta queen Carmela Montoya and an Optic reporter to leave.

  • West considers stricter policies

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson wants new policies on tattoos, facial piercings and students with many unexcused absences.

    Parson said all sorts of things have been tried over the last couple of years to stop kids from skipping class.

    “We are often questioned about why students are allowed to pass with a huge amount of absences. It’s time we do something about it,” Parson said during a discussion on the student handbook at a recent school board meeting.

  • Study: Valley residents like things as they are

    Consultants hired by San Miguel County found out that most residents in the Valley want to keep things as they are.

    “They would like to see a continuation of the existing land use,” said Mariana Padilla, a consultant with Parametrix, which has an office in Albuquerque.

    Most of the land is now used for ranching and farming.

    Padilla said the residents like the agricultural character of the Valley and believe that any development should be in the already developed areas.

  • County vacates road amid protests

    The San Miguel County Commission decided last week to abandon a road in the eastern part of the county, but a couple of landowners at the meeting protested the decision.

    County officials said only one person used the 3.5 miles of County Road C-53B slated for abandonment. That road is in Maes, N.M., about 35 miles east of Las Vegas.

    The officials said the county hadn’t maintained the road in years and that it would cost at least $300,000 to bring it up to county standards. A committee of road viewers this summer recommended that the county abandon the road.

  • Officers object to jail policy

    The county jail requires that anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs get a medical clearance from the hospital before being locked up — even if a suspect had a couple of beers beforehand.

    And the suspect must pick up the costs of an emergency room visit, even if the suspect is later found innocent, the jail’s warden said.

    Both city and state police officials contend the policy is unnecessarily burdensome.

  • Alta Vista CEO asked to appear

    San Miguel County Commissioner Nicolas Leger is still waiting for an update from Alta Vista Regional Hospital on its dealings with an employees’ union.

    Last month, he asked for Richard Grogan, the hospital’s CEO, to come before the commission to answer questions about the union.

    The county gives monthly payments to Alta Vista for providing medical services to the very poor. At Leger’s urging last year, the commission held back payments until a hospital official appeared personally to take questions.