Local News

  • Judge: Court needs a car

    Municipal Judge Eddie says he’ll return the keys for the court’s city-issued car once he gets assurances that his staff will still have access to a vehicle.

    In a memo last week to City Manager Sharon Caballero, the judge said that his clerks need access to a city car to run errands that are essential for court business. They regularly go to the bank for deposits, the post office, the Police Department, and Magistrate and District courts, and the state Motor Vehicle Division office, he said.

  • HU may absorb Santa Fe college

    Highlands University is considering whether to assume control over the College of Santa Fe.

    A top Highlands official said the university is serious about the option of taking over the College of Santa Fe.

    Higher Education Secretary Reed Dasenbrock has been charged with exploring the possibility of bringing the College of Santa Fe into the state’s higher education system, Gov. Bill Richardson announced Wednesday.

    The College of Santa Fe has been suffering major financial difficulties.

  • Could East, West share costs?

    Just about every government entity is looking at cutting costs because of declining tax revenue.

    The East and West school districts are no different. And the leaders of those two districts say they would look at opportunities to share costs.

    Veronica Garcia, secretary of the state Department of Education, sent a letter to all school superintendents suggesting they need to begin looking for ways to save money.

  • City OKs moratorium to prevent winter gas shutoffs

    The city has enacted its own policy on prohibiting shutoffs of natural gas to the poor during the winter months.

    And it comes with an acronym that’s hard to forget — WARM, which stands for the Winter Assistance Repayment Method.

    Recently, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling for the shutoff moratorium from Nov. 15 to March 15 of each year.

  • Lujan promises to keep in touch

    U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan came to Las Vegas on Monday as part of his thank-you tour, and he promised to make town-hall meetings a regular practice.

    He cruised past two opponents in the general election earlier this month.

    Lujan told a gathering of about 50 residents at Highlands University’s Leveo Sanchez lecture hall that he wants to have a strong presence in the district and plans to open constituent offices soon after he is sworn in Jan. 6.

    He said he plans to keep the local constituent office.

  • 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.