Local News

  • Hospital defends stance on union

    Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s top official on Tuesday defended its policy not to negotiate with the union until an appeal is resolved.

    Richard Grogan, the hospital’s chief executive officer, told the San Miguel County Commission that since he took the helm in 2007, Alta Vista has turned around for the better. And he accused the Optic of distorting the facts regarding the hospital’s relationship with its employees.

  • Man attacked woman, police say

    A Las Vegas man is accused of attacking a woman and threatening her with a gun while her children were in their bedrooms, state police said.

    Peter Salazar, 32, 2033-1/2 Grand Ave., was arrested on a number of charges.

    According to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court, state police officers arrived around 1 a.m. Monday and saw a woman leaving her Serafina house with blood smears on her face, chest and pants   legs. She told the officers that Salazar was in the house with a gun, police said.

  • County attorney gets new contract

    San Miguel County Attorney Jesus Lopez has entered another four-year agreement with the county.

    Last week, the County Commission unanimously voted for a new contract with Lopez, a former district attorney. He will get $67,500 each year, up from $60,000 in the previous four-year agreement.

    County Commission Chairman David Salazar praised Lopez’s service.

    “I appreciate that you’re really honest about what you have to say. That’s what you’re hired to do. You are to protect the county,” the chairman said.

  • Sign celebrates downtown areas

    Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez was speaking about economic development during an outside ceremony Friday when a loud cement truck came by.

    No one could hear the mayor for a moment, but he didn’t seem to mind.

    After the truck went away, Marquez said, “We hope to hear that kind of sound all the time.”

    Marquez was among more than 20 local and state officials who attended the unveiling of a sign at Douglas and Grand avenues celebrating the work of MainStreet Las Vegas, a downtown redevelopment organization.

  • West gets praise as it approves bond firm

    The West Las Vegas school district got some praise last week after it authorized the sale of bonds to pay for school improvements.

    The board unanimously approved the Baker Group of Oklahoma City for the $1.1 million in bonds. The company offered an interest rate of 2.75 percent.

    West’s investment adviser, Al Clemmons of George K. Baum & Company, said Moody’s, a financial research firm, is pleased with the performance of the board and administration.

  • County moves toward oil and gas moratorium

    The San Miguel County Commission has taken its first step toward setting a year-long moratorium on oil and gas drilling permits while it enacts new regulations.

    On Tuesday, the commission voted unanimously to publish the proposed moratorium and seek public comment.

    As it stands, the county has about a half page of regulations for oil and gas regulations. That’s from a land-use ordinance in 1986 that’s about an inch thick.

  • Man dies in apartment fire

    A man perished in a fire early Saturday evening, but authorities have yet to identify him.

    The fire was contained to one apartment in an eight-unit complex on Collins Drive, a couple of blocks north of the main fire station on Legion Drive. Firefighters arrived around 6:40 p.m.

    Fire Chief Phillip Mares said the fire had been going for a while when his department showed up.  He said it’s possible it took a while for anyone to call because most people were at the annual Light Parade, which was just ending when firefighters got  the call.

  • Rainsville woman hurt in accident

    A Rainsville woman remains in the hospital after her car was reportedly struck by a drunken driver early Saturday afternoon.

    Glenda Fernandez, 28, is at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, in Santa Fe, her adoptive mother, Virginia Fernandez, said. The accident happened around 2 p.m. on N.M. Highway 518 near the Midway Grocery in Sapello.

    Fernandez was headed south to her job at the state hospital when a northbound car driven by Robert Wooley, 27, of Rockwall, Texas, swerved into Fernandez’s lane, hitting her head on, state police said.

  • Alamo, Pion projects to be suspended

    The projects to improve Alamo and Piñon streets will be suspended for the winter later this month.

    To finish the projects, the city needs to have at least two days of weather of 60 degrees or warmer, said Carlos Ortiz, the city’s public works director. That’s not likely to happen until March or April, he said.

    So the contractor for those projects will get a few final things done and then stop around Dec. 19, Ortiz said. The Alamo project is nearly finished, he said.

  • Chainsaw taken from fire truck

    A chainsaw valued at $1,200 was stolen from a Gallinas Volunteer Fire Department truck between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in front of K-Bobs restaurant on Seventh Street, an official said.

    Fire Lt. Lorenzo Montoya said the crew had been battling a fire near La Morada, which had started on Thanksgiving Day and had returned from putting out hot spots to eat dinner. He said the Fire Department will not press charges if the chainsaw is returned. He asks that anyone with information about this theft call 425-6171.

    Montoya said the La Morada fire was successfully contained.