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Local News

  • Residents support new president

    Matthew Gutierrez, a West Las Vegas High School senior, may be a Republican, but that didn’t stop him from supporting Democrat Barack Obama. And in Las Vegas, he is by no means alone.

    Gutierrez was among hundreds of West students watching Obama’s inauguration Tuesday morning. He comes from a family of Democrats, not surprising for a town that is heavily Democratic that voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

    “We really need Barack Obama. He’s so charismatic,” Gutierrez said. “I liked Bush earlier on, but he made poor decisions later.”

  • Man dies in crash near Tecolote

    A man died Sunday morning as the result of a single-vehicle accident near the town of Tecolote, state police said.

    The man was driving a 1999 Dodge pickup truck southbound on the frontage road only feet from the Tecolote intersection about 11 a.m. when his vehicle went off the pavement on the east side of the road, came back onto the road and then rolled. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no passengers.

  • Senate approves Sabinoso protections

    The U.S. Senate last week passed legislation to designate more than 17,000 acres in southeastern San Miguel County as wilderness by a vote of 73-22.

    The legislation, authored by Sen. Tom Udall when he served in the House, is included in a package of public land bills assembled by Sen. Jeff Bingaman. Both are New Mexico Democrats.

    The proposed new wilderness area would contain lands currently included in the Sabinoso Wilderness Study Area. The land is currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

  • County forms turbine task force

    The San Miguel County Commission has formed a task force to study the county’s ordinance regulating wind turbines.

    The issue has attracted much attention since Chicago-based Invenergy started looking into setting up turbines in the mesa in the Bernal area.

    The County Commission appointed Gloria Luz Gonzales, Ellen Drew, Luisa Quintana, Andrés Aragon, Deb Seabey and Arthur Vargas to the advisory panel.

  • Ex-RHS player pleads guilty

    One of six former Robertson High School football players who face charges in a highly publicized hazing case has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

    Jerek J. Padilla, 17, pleaded guilty Tuesday as a minor to charges of criminal sexual penetration and conspiracy.

    District Attorney Henry Valdez said Padilla will face juvenile sanctions when he is sentenced, which could include being committed to the Children, Youth and Families Department until he is 21.

    As part of the deal, he could be called to testify against other defendants at trial.

  • Man killed by train ID’d

    State police have identified a man killed in a train-truck collision just north of town.

    He was 35-year-old Michael Esquibel of Las Vegas. State police say he was crossing the railroad tracks on N.M. 250 when the Amtrak train hit his pickup truck Thursday. The crossing is designated with a posted rail road crossing sign, but no other controls.

    It was the second fatal collision at the site in the past four months. In September, 11-year-old Fred Stark of Denver died when an Amtrak train hit his car.

  • West gets improved track, field

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson said you don’t have to be an athlete to feel the excitement in seeing the new turf being put in at the new football field on the West campus.

    “Everybody’s happy to see the dream come true, from the moment they laid that first roll of artificial turf, the excitement has been mounting. My assistant, John Bustos, and I went to the field to watch the workers in act-ion, it’s amazing how they lay it down, sew it in place and look for imperfections to make sure that everything is just right,” Parson said.

  • Candidate says she's not running

    Teresa Gray, a candidate for the Las Vegas City Schools board, says she is not running an active race.

    Her name will still be on the ballot because she didn’t meet the deadline for withdrawal.

    She said she decided to pull out because she is now working full time at the Wind River Ranch. Before, she was a part-time employee. She said her schedule won’t allow her to serve on the board.

    “I feel horrible that my name is on the ballot. I hope it doesn’t take votes away from anyone,” Gray said.

  • State pulls back city money

    The city of Las Vegas had changed its mind about how it wanted to spend $1.2 million in state water money.

    Now the state is pulling back the funding altogether.

    The state Water Trust Board on Thursday decided to withdraw the $1.2 million as well as a $200,000 loan that was allocated to the city in 2006.

    City officials had sought a time extension to meet the requirements for the money; the deadline was Dec. 31.

  • Another killed in train wreck

    A man identified Friday as Michael Esquibel, 35, of Las Vegas was killed Thursday afternoon when his pickup truck  collided with an Amtrak train on Rio Arriba Road north of town.

    State Police Captain Toby Dolan said that despite efforts, EMS was unable to save the victim, assumed dead at the scene. The pickup, a black Ford F150, was hauling a flatbed trailer loaded with rubbish and is believed to have been headed to the city’s Solid Waste Transfer Station when the accident occurred.