Local News

  • Actor criticized at county hearing

    The manager for Val Kilmer’s ranch wanted a San Miguel County panel’s approval for a lodging business on its property near Rowe.

    But the proposal faced opposition from residents who say the actor hasn’t been a good neighbor.

    In a split vote, the county Planning and Zoning Commission’s gave the green light for three guest houses for overnight lodging.

    For years, many San Miguel County residents have been upset with Kilmer, known for his roles in “Top Secret,” “Top Gun” and “Batman.”

  • Police: Local man gets his fourth DWI

    A Las Vegas man was arrested this week for his fourth DWI, state police said.

    Leslie Mike Speed, 55, 500 Douglas Ave. No. 225, was also charged with careless driving and failure to wear a seat belt.

    According to a police report, Speed was headed north on Grand Avenue near the Better Stop convenience store around 2:30 p.m. Sunday when a state police officer noticed he wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

  • Official's residency in question

    Until this month, voter registration records showed that San Miguel County Commissioner June Garcia lived at 220 Delgado St.

    So, of course, she lived there. Or maybe not.

    The Optic decided to drop by.

    Knock, knock.

    A young woman answered the door to the residence, which is part of a duplex. But the woman said Garcia was her landlady and didn’t live there.

  • Calendar


  • ONLINE STORY: Local woman dies in crash; other driver believed to have been drinking

    A Las Vegas resident died in a car accident late Tuesday night when a wrong-way driver struck her car, state police said.

    Mariah J. Arguello, 18, a 2009 West Las Vegas High School graduate, was killed shortly before 10:30 p.m. on Interstate 25 near San Juan. She was apparently driving back to Las Vegas.

    The other driver, Cecilio Jaramillo, 28, of Santa Fe, was traveling south, but then crossed into the northbound lanes, hitting Arguello's Suziki car head on, police said.

  • County employees get pay hikes

    Many government agencies are cutting the number of their employees and furloughing the ones who are left.

    But San Miguel County Commission last week approved a 3 percent salary increase for those who didn’t receive a pay hike earlier this fiscal year.

    County Commission Chairman David Salazar said the increase was to the credit of county staff. And he said officials in different departments have been doing a good job in raising revenue to make the raise possible.

  • Vegas woman gets full sentence

    Bernadette Sanchez, the Las Vegas woman convicted of killing a man last year, has received the maximum sentence.

    Late last year, a jury found Sanchez, 37, guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the April 2009 death of Timoteo M. Jaramillo, 36.

    At a hearing Monday, Sanchez was sentenced to seven and a half years for voluntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.

  • Attorneys disagree over charter

    A former city attorney is urging the mayor and the City Council to accept the premise that voters didn’t pass a new constitution  earlier this month.

    Since the March 2 municipal election, the attorney, Danelle Smith, has argued that even though 56 percent of voters backed the charter, that wasn’t enough for passage. Rather, the city needed 60 percent for its adoption, she maintains.

  • Three arrested on drug charges

    The Mora County Sheriff’s Department has arrested three men on drug charges.

    Emilio Romero, 21, of Sapello; Nicky B. Branch, 19, of Holman; and Joseph Valdez, 21, of Cleveland, N.M., were charged March 12.

    Romero faces charges of trafficking cocaine and ecstasy, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Valdez is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy, and Branch faces charges of conspiracy and tampering with evidence.

  • Council debates conservation

    In a split decision, the City Council last week voted to take the next step toward enacting an updated water conservation ordinance.

    One council member argued that the proposed law would be burdensome for residents. But another countered that it was needed to ensure an adequate water supply.

    At issue was the part of the ordinance requiring water-conserving plumbing. The proposed ordinance would mandate that all nonresidential water users retrofit their buildings with low-water-use fixtures.