Local News

  • Names suggested for buildings

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic


    Highlands University has received 24 suggestions for names for the new dorms and the student union building under construction.


    A few months ago, the regents sought suggestions from the public for the naming of the new buildings. That’s in contrast to past practice, where only insiders were involved. 


  • HU tries to define at-will employees

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic


    Highlands University’s administration is proposing to change the school’s personnel policy to define those who aren’t covered by the usual employee protections. 


    Those not getting normal protections are known as exempt employees — who are appointed and fired at will. 


  • Martinez wins governor's race

    By Barry Massey

    AP Political Writer


    ALBUQUERQUE — Republican Susana Martinez won election Tuesday as governor of New Mexico, making history as the first Hispanic woman to become a state’s chief executive.


    Martinez, 51, defeated Democrat Diane Denish to also be elected New Mexico’s first female governor. There was no incumbent in the race, with Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson barred from seeking re-election because he is finishing his second consecutive terms.

  • Lawmaker Richard Vigil get seventh term

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic


    Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, cruised re-election to a seventh term in the state House of Representatives. 


    With nearly all precincts reporting in San Miguel County, Vigil had 68 percent of the vote to Republican Mel Root’s 32 percent.


    It was largely a replay of the 2008 election, in which the two men got about the same numbers. 


  • San Miguel sheriff easily wins re-election

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic


    Sheriff Benjamin Vigil, a Democrat, trounced his independent opponent, Rico Giron in Tuesday’s election.


    With 27 of 30 precincts reporting, Vigil had 77 percent of the vote to Giron’s 23 percent. 


    In the Democratic primary in June, Vigil scraped by with 35.6 percent of the vote against four candidates. His closest rival, Joseph  Santillanes, got 34.3 percent. 


  • Area competitive races


    San Miguel County

    27 of 30 precincts 

    Magistrate Judge Division 1

    Philip Romero, Democrat 77.5%

    Daniel Holguin, Republican 22.5




    Paula Garcia, Democrat 64.1%

  • Martinez gets big endorsement

    Las Vegas Democratic politico Jesus Lopez danced with a Republican on Saturday night — literally.

    In a surprise move, Lopez, a former local Democratic Party chairman, escorted Republican  gubernatorial candidate Susana Martinez into the outside area of El Rialto Restaurant in Old Town.

    He and Martinez danced “La Marcha” together at a rally attended by hundreds.

  • HUD gives mixed signals on pot

    The federal housing agency is giving mixed signals about its policy for medical marijuana in subsidized housing.

    Recently, San Miguel County’s housing authority informed local medical marijuana user Robert Jones that it was revoking his federal housing subsidy known as Section 8, which helps low-income people. The authority cited Jones’ use of marijuana.

  • State hopes project done by year’s end

    Officials hope to get the Grand Avenue project completed by the end of the year.

    The state Transportation Department had planned to finish the work by October, but the utilities portion of the project has taken longer than expected, said David Trujillo, the state Department of Transportation’s local assistant district engineer.

    Heavy rains in August also delayed the work, he said.

    “We’ve been lucky with some good weather. Hopefully, it’ll hold,” Trujillo said. “Utilities have been what has been killing us on our schedule.”

  • Feds: County program troubled

    The federal government placed San Miguel County’s housing program in troubled status earlier this month.

    Such a sanction means the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development may transfer the county’s Section 8 housing voucher program to another agency.

    The program provides vouchers to help low-income people get housing.