Local News

  • Mora County man accused in battery

    A Cleveland, N.M., man who went to his family’s house to talk out some of their differences ended up being arrested for allegedly attacking them.

    Robert Lawrence Romero, 22, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on household members and criminal damage to property.

  • Luna says it’s improving hiring process

    A member of Luna Community College’s Board of Trustees says he appreciates that the school’s human resources department is developing a firm hiring process.

    “I have felt we have been too loosey-goosey in the past,” Trustee Abelino Montoya said at last week’s monthly meeting of the trustees. “I’ve had my doubts in the past about how we have hired people and how they came in.”

    Montoya said the school gets a lot of negative feedback on its hiring process.

  • Employees gone as result of inquiry

    Two employees of the state hospital are no longer working there as the result of an investigation, one of them said.

    They are Deputy Hospital Administrator Isaac Apodaca and Housekeeping Director Carlos Michael Lopez, Department of Health spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer confirmed. The two had previously been placed on administrative leave.

    A third employee resigned after he was put on leave, Lopez told the Optic.

  • Agents arrest 3 in drug bust

    The regional narcotics task force says it has put a major drug operation out of business.

    On March 6, agents from the Region 4 Narcotics task force said they executed a “high-risk” search warrant at a house at 910 Gallinas St. Three men were arrested.

    Task force Sgt. Mack Allingham said agents discovered marijuana being grown inside the house, with the narcotics having an estimated worth of $7,500 to $10,000. They also found the necessary equipment, packaging materials and chemicals used to manufacture, sell and process marijuana, he said.

  • West works to clean up school

    Classrooms at West Las Vegas Middle School are being cleaned after a sewage backup affected a large portion of the west wing of the school.

    Superintendent Jim Abreu said classes would be held Monday, but the affected area will be undergoing a major cleanup for at least another three weeks by an Albuquerque company that specializes in cleaning flooded-out areas. He said students whose classrooms are in that area of the building would be moved to other classrooms at the school.

  • Luna sees another drop in enrollment

    Luna Community College’s enrollment has dipped again, and members of the school’s Board of Trustees want to know why.

    Luna had 2,113 students enrolled in the fall of 2007, but that number decreased to 1,959 last fall — a 7.3 percent drop.

    The fall enrollment is critical because the state bases its funding for community colleges on such numbers.

    Since 2003, Luna’s enrollment had been going up and down, reaching a high of 2,183 in 2005.

  • 11 docs support union effort

    Eleven local doctors are joining in the effort to persuade Alta Vista Regional Hospital to negotiate with a union representing most of the hospital’s employees.

    The doctors were among 180 residents who signed a recent petition encouraging the hospital to recognize the workers, who are represented by District 1199 of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees. Five nurses and other health-care professionals also signed.

    The petition was sent to Wayne Smith, chairman and CEO of Community Health Systems, Alta Vista’s parent company.

  • People trust us, official says

    Decrying negativity about Luna Community College, one of the school’s trustees this week contended that local residents have faith in Luna’s leadership.

    Abelino Montoya, a longtime trustee at the college, spoke several times during the board’s more-than-three-hour monthly meeting on Tuesday night about what he called the negativity by a few against Luna.

  • A pastor with roots in northern N.M.

    When John Brasher was only 4, his mother Frieda wrote in his baby book that his favorite person was his great grandfather Juan Hinojos, his favorite color was blue, and that he wanted to become a priest when he grew up.

    “I come from a family who have always been involved in doing things for others and are deeply religious. But they didn’t only go to mass, they were involved in all aspects of serving their church,” said Brasher, now pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Las Vegas.

  • Student disrupts Robertson campus, is suspended

    A student in the freshman academy caused a huge stir on the Robertson High School campus last week. And as a result, he’ll be away from school for awhile, an official says.

    Superintendent Rick Romero said last week’s incident was the most disruptive on campus this year.

    He said the freshman was “extremely upset” with his girlfriend and started yelling at her.