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Local News

  • RHS’ Lopez resigns; teacher’s status up in air

    Robertson High School Principal Richard Lopez, who was placed on leave earlier this year because of allegations of sexual harassment, resigned last week.

    In another development, the Las Vegas City Schools has sent a letter of intent to hire back Robertson teacher Jay Quintana, who is facing sexual abuse allegations, for the next school year.

    But Superintendent Rick Romero said such a letter was “standard operating procedure,” as the district sent letters to nearly all other teachers in the district as part of its annual contract renewal process.

  • Co-op board member prevails

    A longtime member of the board for the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative easily won another term last week.

    Carlos Lovato, who has served off and on for nearly two decades, got 109 votes to 70 for Rey Herrera and 27 for Eric Michael Cummings. They were vying to represent District 2, which includes Rociada, Sapello, Buena Vista, Mineral Hill and Watrous. The nonprofit utility serves thousands of customers in the rural areas of San Miguel and Mora counties.

  • Spending in Mora questioned

    Leather jackets aren’t just for bikers.

    In Mora County, school board members and state lawmakers are wearing them, too. It’s courtesy of funds managed by the Mora school district.

    Last month, the Optic issued a public records request for all documents related to spending for the leather jackets and all other expenses involving state lawmakers during the legislative session from January to March.

  • Garcia cleared; Vigil convicted

    SANTA FE — A jury in Santa Fe’s District Court on Thursday found former West Las Vegas bilingual coordinator Roberta Vigil guilty of charges of fraudulently spending public money.

    The eight-man, four-woman jury delivered the verdict after four hours of deliberations. Vigil, the wife of state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

  • DOT shows off equipment

    Residents this week got to meet the men and women who take care of area highways.

    Those who maintain our roadways are recognized during National Transportation Week and certainly received rock-star recognition from more than 700 students attending an open house at the local Department of Transportation district office. There were heavy equipment displays, survey equipment, traffic control signs, a materials lab demonstration and an automotive shop display. 

  • Judge: No reasonable jury could find Garcia guilty

    SANTA FE — Two years after being indicted on corruption charges, former West Las Vegas board member Ralph Garcia now has his name cleared.

    On Tuesday, a state district judge threw out the case against Garcia, who was accused of fraudulently spending public money in connection with two parties.

    District Judge Stephen Pfeffer decided to dismiss charges of fraud and conspiracy after the state finished presenting its case. He did so in response to arguments by Garcia’s attorney, Anna Aragon.

  • Local family upset about stolen urn

    There are dumb thieves and despicable thieves, family members of Lillian J. and Lupe A. Trujillo say.

    Those who vandalize and steal from sacred ground fall into the latter category, they said.

    Carmen Holguin said sometime between April 21 and 28 her parents’ grave site was desecrated and a 300-pound urn taken from Mount Calvary Cemetery.

  • ONLINE UPDATE: Vigil convicted

    SANTA FE — A jury in Santa Fe’s District Court on Thursday found former West Las Vegas bilingual coordinator Roberta Vigil guilty of charges of fraudulently spending public money.

    The eight-man, four-woman jury delivered the verdict after four hours of deliberations. Vigil, the wife of state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

  • City code offender buys county cars

    Las Vegas resident Tony Ortega is known for acquiring inoperable cars and other junk and placing them on his properties around town — in violation of city ordinance.

    Now, San Miguel County no longer wants to be a party to Ortega’s problems with the city.

  • ONLINE BREAKING NEWS: Case against Ralph Garcia thrown out

    SANTA FE — A state district judge on Tuesday threw out the case against former longtime West Las Vegas school board member Ralph Garcia, who was accused of fraudulently spending public money in connection with two parties.

    District Judge Stephen Pfeffer decided to dismiss charges of fraud and conspiracy after the state finished presenting its case. He did so in response to arguments by Garcia's attorney, Anna Aragon.