Local News

  • State throws out drug charges

    The state has dropped drug charges against Anthony Leroy Benavidez.

    Marc Grano, Benavidez’s attorney, said the dismissal came less than two hours before a hearing that would have brought into question the reliability of Michael Strand Jr., the confidential informant in the case.

    Strand is currently in custody awaiting trial on charges that he stabbed to death, and then set on fire, Roberto Mendez in Mora.

    District Attorney Richard Flores said the decision to dismiss the case was based in part on a recording provided by Grano the day before.

  • ONLINE STORY: Ex-RHS football player enrolls at West

    Lucas Martinez, who was implicated in the assaults at last year's Robertson High School football camp, registered Tuesday as a student at West Las Vegas High School.

  • Ex-RHS players register at West

    Lucas Martinez, one of the suspects in the assaults at last year’s Robertson High School football camp, registered this as a student at West Las Vegas High School.

    Marcus Gutierrez, another one of the suspects, enrolled a few weeks ago, officials said.

    Superintendent Jim Abreu said the district had heard Martinez has been planning on enrolling. He said Martinez, who received a long-term suspension from the Las Vegas City Schools, came in with his mother to register.

  • Teachers getting ready for class

    West Las Vegas High School teacher John Duran says he’s ready for school to start, and like many other teachers in Las Vegas, he spent most of his summer vacation in the teaching mode.

    If that sounds boring, Duran quickly dispels the notion.

    “I took a week off, and then began getting ready to teach engineering, graphics, and auto computer-aided design for the New Mexico MESA Summer Enrichment Program,” he said.

  • Rancho Valmora is closing

    Rancho Valmora, a residential treatment center for troubled teens, is in the process of closing.

    The facility’s parent organization, Social Learning Environments, is consolidating Rancho Valmora’s operations into centers in Fort Davis, Texas, and Missoula, Mont.

    Rancho Valmora started near Watrous in the early 1990s and is believed to have been the largest private employer in Mora County at one point. It is unclear how many employees will lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown.

  • West board argues, then hears input

    About 40 people turned out for a special West Las Vegas school board forum called to hear concerns from parents, staff, students and concerned citizens. 

    After the meeting was gaveled to order, a good portion of her meeting was taken by board members arguing about what direction the meeting should take, what kind of questions would be heard, or if there would be any kind of interaction between the board and the audience. 

  • City urged to act on housing

    The city demolished the old public housing development along Mills Avenue a couple of years ago.

    Nothing has replaced it, but Santa Fe businessman Frank Koppler wants to change that.

    He spoke to the City Council last week about reviving plans to put affordable housing on the site. He wants to pick up where the city left off with such a project a couple of years ago.

  • Las Vegas resident accused in stabbing

    A Las Vegas man has been charged in the stabbing of another at the hot baths at United World College, state police said.

    Louis G. Paredes, 23, 121 Independence No. 2, is facing a charge of aggravated battery.

    According to a probable cause statement, Paredes admitted to stabbing the victim, Apolinario Gonzales, 26. Paredes said he was with his friends at the baths around 5 p.m. July 31 when Gonzales said he could kill Paredes, police said.

  • Fair this weekend

    The San Miguel-Mora County Fair lasts through Saturday at the fairgrounds, which is a mile past Camp Luna on the west side of N.M. Highway 65 on the way to Montezuma.

    Events include everything from a water-melon-eating contest to a Kiddy Karnival.


    8:30 a.m.: Lamb show followed by goats, steers and breeding stock.

    8:30 a.m.: Indoor exhibit hall open to public and remains open until 7 p.m.

    1 p.m.: Small-animal judging, followed by showmanship.

    1 p.m.: Southwest Dairy, milking demonstration.

  • Councilman wants audit released

    City Councilman Andrew Feldman on Wednesday demanded the release of a special audit that he said had cleared him of allegations of corruption.

    In the last minutes of a four-hour City Council meeting, Feldman asked for an apology from the mayor, long after most of the audience had gone home for the evening.

    A few months ago, the city commissioned a special audit into billing adjustments in the utilities department. The mayor had sent letters to the state attorney general’s and auditor’s offices seeking investigations.