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Local News

  • Officials: Dorms on schedule

    The construction of new dorms at Highlands University is on schedule, officials said last week.

    “It’ll really be a step up for student life,” said Bill Taylor, the school’s vice president of finance. “The dorms are moving along nicely.”

    Marisol Greene, the university’s director of facilities and planning, said the contractor, Franken Construction, has finished much of the outside work and is now focusing on the inside.

    “We are on target,” she said.

  • Mayor goes over HUD official’s head

    Mayor Tony Marquez is going over the head of a top federal housing official in New Mexico because of the official’s alleged vendetta against Las Vegas.

    Marquez has invited Justin Ormsby from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department regional office in Fort Worth, Texas, to meet with the Las Vegas City Council.

    The mayor also informed federal elected officials about the Las Vegas Optic story of the alleged vendetta against the city by HUD official Floyd Duran, according to a city press release.

  • Residents: Don’t pave our road

    Many rural residents want their roads paved, but those living on a forest road near Pecos apparently don’t.

    The U.S. Forest Service had asked San Miguel County to accept Forest Road 223 as a county road. But a county road-viewing committee recommended against doing so, saying that the agency needed to obtain the proper easements from landowners and settle all issues involving the road.

  • Las Vegan seriously hurt after accident

    A man who rolled his pickup truck in Mineral Hill with his two sons riding along was drinking and driving, state police said.

    Jorge Gallardo, 41, a Mexican national living in Las Vegas, was charged with aggravated DWI and two counts of child abuse, state police Lt. Craig Martin said.

    Martin said state police verified that Gallardo was paralyzed from the chest down. Gallardo, who was taken to St. Vincent Christus Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, has been charged but not booked into jail because of his medical condition.

  • Residents want road improved

    Franchesca Hentsch and others want help from the government to improve their street, Don Gallegos Circle.

    But there’s a problem: It’s a private road.

    Hentsch said she and others are concerned with the ruts in the road, which can become a major problem in the winter. This situation is particularly problematic for a small nursing home on the street, she said.

    Don Gallegos Circle is off of Eighth Street on the north side of town; dozens of houses are along the street.

  • Police: Woman was showing off

    A woman was trying to show off to her passengers as she was driving to Montezuma last week, state police said.

    Apparently no one was impressed.

    Venessa Marie Montaño, 19, of Albuquerque rolled down an embankment around 5 p.m. Wednesday and found herself charged with two counts of reckless driving, police said.

  • HU has lowest tuition in the West

    Highlands University has the lowest tuition and fees of any four-year college in an 11-state region in the West, according to a study.

    In the study, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education showed that Highlands’ tuition and fees for undergraduate residents was at $2,688 per year, far lower than other colleges in the region, which includes the dozens of colleges in California.

    The next lowest was Metropolitan State College of Denver, which charges $3,241 in tuition and fees.

  • County can file liens on properties

    San Miguel County has a new tool at its disposal for rural residents who don’t pay their solid waste bills — liens.

    This week, the San Miguel County Commission passed an ordinance allowing the county to assess liens on properties in which owners don’t pay their solid waste bills. The ordinance also increases the fine for illegal dumping from $500 to $1,000.

    Officials said the county would would consult its attorney before filing any liens to make sure all laws are followed.

  • Class features hands-on activities

    Students in Mike Boyle’s Introduction to Engineering class at Robertson High School are getting hands-on lessons.

    This week, they’ve been working on a “puzzle cube” lesson in which they make parts to a cube. First, they must design the parts with a hand-drawn sketch, then do so on a computer.

    “It’s supposed to assemble. Everyone has to do their own individual cube,” said freshman Dillon Martinez. The class is made up of students from every grade — from freshmen to seniors.

  • Gun range closed for now

    For the time being, the city has closed its shooting range to everyone but law enforcement agencies.

    That’s because of vandalism, debris and litter, officials said. Also, some people are shooting at things such as a shack that they’re not supposed to use as targets.