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Local News

  • Audit slams Mora schools

    The state auditor found on Tuesday that the Mora school district didn’t follow procedures in spending thousands of dollars in public funds on leather jackets, snacks and dinners for area state lawmakers and other top officials.

    The district improperly diverted $64,000 in funds to a discretionary account, according to a special audit by State Auditor Hector Balderas.

    His audit states that the district may have violated the state constitution, which bars public money from going toward private causes.

  • Man gets time for biker's death

    A 19-year-old has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection with the death of a motorcycle rider.

    Nico Barela, 19, has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and failure to render aid, both three-degree felonies, according to the district attorney’s office.

    Upon completing his prison term, he will be on parole for two years.

  • SPECIAL REPORT: Audit slams Mora school district; official says district addressing problems

    The state auditor found on Tuesday that the Mora school district didn't follow procedures in spending thousands of dollars in public funds on leather jackets, snacks and dinners for area state lawmakers and other top officials.

     Click here to view the audit in PDF format.

    The state auditor found on Tuesday that the Mora school district didn't follow procedures in spending thousands of dollars in public funds on leather jackets, snacks and dinners for area state lawmakers and other top officials.

  • City seeking input on water projects

    Mayor Tony Marquez announced today that at the Wednesday, October 21st Council Meeting, the Mayor/City Council will be ranking various water system infrastructure projects for a New Mexico Water Trust Board funding application, which is due November 2nd.  Public Comment is encouraged.

  • Resident wants road to stay public

    The San Miguel County Commission took the first step last week toward the possible abandonment of a road in the eastern part of the county.

    That upset a resident who contended he needed C-53-B for access to his home.

    The commission voted to send a road-viewing committee to visit the area and make recommendations on how to handle a petition to vacate the road, which is in the Maes area.

  • Man acquitted; city loses case

    A state district judge on Monday found a City Hall critic not guilty of obstructing a police officer during an investigation last year.

    In so doing, Judge John Paternoster questioned the constitutionality of the city ordinance under which resident Lalo Sanchez was charged.

    After a bench trial, the judge rejected City Attorney Carlos Quiñones’ arguments that Sanchez interfered with a city police officer’s investigation into the safety of a renter on Sanchez’s property.

  • No-bid process divides board

    The West Las Vegas school board has approved a request for a new fire alarm system at Armijo Elementary, but one member dissented, objecting that the district wouldn’t be going out to bid for the project.

    Jerry Maestas, the district’s construction manager, said even though bond money had been approved for an upgrade and the system had been functioning, it’s slowly got to the point where it needs to be replaced. 

  • Details emerge of hours before death

    Las Vegan Chriselda Lopez says she was the only witness to her friend’s death in Colorado last week, other than her boy-friend, who has been charged.

    At first, Joseph Daniel Mascarenas, 18, of Las Vegas was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his sister, 16-year-old runaway, Destiney Monique Mondragon.

    But authorities in Adams County, which is part of suburban Denver, downgraded the charge to second-degree assault. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t provide an immediate explanation for that decision.

  • Mayor: No inquiry into leaks

    The city attorney may be interested in pursuing a “leak” of city e-mails, but Mayor Tony Marquez is not.

    Marquez told the Optic in an e-mail Thursday that the e-mails should have been released under the state Inspection of Public Records Act. Marquez also said he drafted a new policy in early September in response to concerns raised by the state’s attorney general.

  • ADA upgrades planned

    The mayor’s ADA committee, a group of volunteers appointed by the mayor, helps the city with compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    The group also serves to address the needs of citizens with disabilities and to increase awareness in our community of the issues of handicapped people.