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Local News

  • Madrid takes staffers to task

    In some of his toughest words on the issue, City Councilman Morris Madrid says city staffers have no excuses for leaving the council out of the loop in changing the purpose of $1.2 million in state money.

    Madrid mentioned only one city staffer by name in an interview about the money last week — George Du Four, the city’s utilities director.

  • City likely to increase heating bills

    City officials expect to see an increase in residents’ heating bills.

    City utilities director George Du Four asked the mayor and the City Council for permission to negotiate prices with natural gas provider Zia Natural Gas Company during a recent meeting.

    The request centered on a discussion of the increase in the city’s cost of natural gas by Zia and the current cost to customers to avoid operating in a deficit.

  • DWI suspects must go to hospital

    City and state police are questioning a policy at the San Miguel County jail that requires medical clearances for all DWI offenders.

    The jail warden counters that his facility is simply following a national standard.

    The police agencies said it would take longer for officers to process the offenders, keeping them off the streets to catch still more. The medical clearances require that officers take offenders to the hospital.

  • Only one DWI arrest over New Year’s

    A DWI saturation patrol on New Year’s Eve yielded one drunken driver, an official says. A checkpoint two days later didn’t result in any DWI arrests.

    The state police enhanced its anti-DWI efforts last week as it usually does during the New Year’s holiday.

  • City may require more of tenants

    City Council members are considering a change in the city’s ordinance that would put more of the burden for filling out required forms for utilities on the tenant and the city.

    That would be a change. As it stands, landlords bear most of the burden, much to their chagrin.

    During public input at a recent council meeting, landlords took the city to task on the city’s landlord-tenant agreement that requires that landlords fill out form with their tenants and then take it to customer service, sometimes making multiple trips.

  • Richardson withdraws bid

    WASHINGTON — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson abandoned his nomination to become commerce secretary under pressure of a grand jury investigation into a state contract awarded to his political donors — an investigation that threatened to embarrass President-elect Barack Obama.

  • Man dies in crash on U.S. 84

    A Tecolotito-area man died in a car accident on an icy road Sunday, state police said.

    Valentin Montoya, 69, was pronounced dead at the site of the accident, state police Lt. Craig Martin said. The crash happened shortly before 10 a.m.

    Montoya was headed south on U.S. Highway 84, 21 miles south of Interstate 25, when he lost control of his car because of the icy road, Martin said. Montoya struck a car going north on the highway.

  • Baby arrives shortly after New Year

    Las Vegas’ first baby of the new year was born at 12:59 a.m. New Year’s Day at Alta Vista Regional Hospital. Baby Devon Trujillo weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

    Baby Devon was welcomed by his parents Emarena Buchanan and Richard Trujillo along with sister Kiaya and brother Christian. Devon’s maternal grandparents are Larry and Maryann Buchanan and paternal grandfather William Trujillo, all from Springer, N.M.

    Devon received a gift package from the hospital welcoming him as the first born of the year.

  • Denish to stay in second spot

    SANTA FE — It’s back to second fiddle for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

    Denish’s plans and preparations to take over New Mexico’s top job came to a screeching halt on Sunday with Gov. Bill Richardson’s surprise announcement that he won’t be leaving after all.

    The Democratic governor, citing an ongoing federal investigation into how some of his political donors won a lucrative state contract, withdrew as President-elect Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of commerce.

  • Suazo: Politics influences hiring

    Think hiring decisions in local government agencies are based on politics?

    Some local officials deny that’s the case, but Marty Suazo, San Miguel County’s Democratic Party chairman for the last decade, freely admits that politics plays a role.

    In a Oct. 23 story in the Washington Post, Suazo talked about how government dominates the local economy. He noted that 75 percent of the jobs are government-driven.