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Local News

  • College settles with its former baseball coach

    Luna Community College has settled with its former baseball coach, Sam Soto, for $55,000, officials said.

    In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, Soto, who served as coach from August 2005 to December 2006, alleges that he was fired in retaliation for his having exercised his First Amendment rights.

    Asked why the school settled, Luna’s human resources director, Lawrence Quintana said, “(President) Pete (Campos) wanted to move the college forward. He’s trying to tie up loose ends that previous administrations left here.”

  • Mora native is top enlisted member

    More than 30 years ago, James Abeyta and a friend were looking at a catalog about the U.S. Navy. And it immediately sparked the Mora County native’s interest.

    On Friday, Abeyta, an air force master chief in the Navy, retired after three decades with the service.

    “Had we been looking at an Army catalog, I might have been in the Army,” said the 48-year-old Abeyta.

  • County Commission approves courthouse project

    San Miguel County is moving ahead with its project to renovate parts of the old county courthouse.

    Recently, the County Commission voted to enter an agreement with Las Vegas-based Franken Construction for the project.

    The project’s price tag is $1.9 million. The courthouse was built in 1938.

    Franken, the low bidder, had entered a bid higher than the project budget, but through negotiations, the county was able to bring down the price. For instance, to save money, the county will take care of demolition disposal with its own crews.

  • City may lose state money

    The city may lose more than $1 million from the state because of confusion about what the money is for.

    City officials presented what they knew about the funds during a City Council meeting last week.

    The city received the money — estimated at between $1.2 million and $1.4 million — a few years ago for a water project. Some say it was originally for the recently finished improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Others think it was for study involving a project involving the lining of canals used by the Storrie Project Water Users Association.

  • City reopens gun range

    A few weeks ago, the city closed the range, which is near the National Guard Armory at Camp Luna, because of problems such as vandalism, debris, litter and people shooting things not intended as targets.

    But Police Chief Gary Gold announced last week that the range would be opened because the city, with the help of residents, cleaned up the facility.

    Mercy Lopez, a city spokeswoman, said this week that the range will be locked and that people would need to go to the Police Department to sign in for a key to use the range.

  • Harvey Girls made mark

    Javier Gonzales is leaving the Highlands University Board of Regents after nearly four years to take a seat on the New Mexico State University Board of Regents.

    Gonzales, an NMSU graduate, has been chairman of the Highlands regents for much of his time on the board.

    Gov. Bill Richardson announced Gonzales’ appointment to New Mexico State on Monday.

    Gonzales, who is the Highlands regents’ senior member, has been at the helm during turbulent times at the university.

  • Highlands regents chairman leaving to NMSU

    In 1882, Fred Harvey, the owner of the now-defunct chain of Harvey Houses, dedicated a restaurant at the Montezuma Castle before a crowd of 400 people.

    The restaurant has long since closed, the building now being occupied by the United World College.

  • City set to finish Legion

    The Legion Drive project was delayed by a week recently because the contractor didn’t use materials that met state standards, officials said last week.

     

    City Manager Sharon Caballero said the city’s public works department discovered a deficiency in the base course. Because of the problem, she said the contractor couldn’t wet down the surface, which residents have requested to prevent dust problems.

     

    She expects the project to be completed this week.

     

  • Officials embarrassed about parks

    The report on city parks was damning: Bungee cords holding bleachers together. No trash cans in sight. A makeshift dump.

    Last week, a task force assigned to provide recommendations for the city’s parks and recreation center didn’t have much good to say.

    The City Council’s reaction: It’s embarrassing.

    In the summer, Mayor Tony Marquez appointed a seven-member task force to examine the city’s parks and recreation center.

  • Lions have new charitable mission

    The Greater Las Vegas Lions Club has a new charitable mission to fund this year with proceeds from its annual Holiday Pecan Sale — the KidSight program in area Head Start, day care and primary grades.

    With its new iSight computerized digital screening camera, the local club will join a statewide Lions program to screen all children between 3 and 8 for early detection of vision problems that can interfere with learning and even become lifelong problems if left untreated.