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Local News

  • County decides to ban wolves

    In the San Miguel County Commission’s mind, it’s the big, bad wolf. Others disagree.

    Last week, the commission voted unanimously to ban the wolf — domestic and wild — from the county.

    A month earlier, ranchers had asked the commission to pass such a change to its ordinances, saying that the animals would pose a threat to their livestock. It’s based on a fear that the federal government will launch a Mexican wolf reintroduction program in northern New Mexico, as it has done in the Gila National Forest in the southern part of the state.

  • Guardian angels

    It was quite a turn of events for me. But I saw the best side of human nature.

    Area elementary school students were having a grand time learning about nature and the environment. It was during the annual Earth Day festivities at the U.S. Forest Service back lot on Seventh Street on April 24.

    I was there covering the event for the Optic and climbed aboard a large National Guard troop carrier where kids were getting a chance to sit in the driver’s seat.

  • State rep's residency questioned

    Bengie Regensberg, a District 68 state representative candidate, says there’s no doubt where he lives — Cleveland, just north of Mora.

    But he said there’s a big question about where his rival, Thomas Garcia, resides.

    The men are running against each other in the June 3 Democratic primary.

  • Officials stay away from second meeting

    This week, two City Council members have stayed away from meetings, with one publicly criticizing the mayor. Amid the controversy, a radio DJ played a recording of a wailing baby to poke fun at the two councilmen.

    On Thursday, Mayor Tony Marquez presided over a meeting to create a draft strategic plan for the next two years. Councilman Morris Madrid was a no-show, while Councilman Cruz Roybal stayed for a half hour, saying he had another city meeting to attend.

  • Volunteer: City shows lack of respect

    A volunteer took the City Council to task last week for what she considered its berating of people who are devoting their time to the community.

    During the public input portion of the council’s meeting, Barbara Smith, who is active with Keep Las Vegas Beautiful group and the Las Vegas Tree Board, protested the council’s treatment of volunteers. She emphasized that she was speaking for herself and not for the two groups.

  • Changing of fire department's name subject of dispute

    More than 150 residents in the Pecos Canyon want to name their fire station after a former San Miguel County commissioner who is running again for the same post in June.

    But the County Commission turned back the effort, saying it wanted to receive input from firefighters in the Pecos Canyon Fire Department and members of the Fire Chiefs Association.

  • Longtime Highlands supporter takes post

    Leveo Sanchez remembers working as a ditch digger at Highlands University. Now he is one of its regents.

    A day after Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Sanchez as a regent last week, Sanchez’s new colleagues had nothing but good to say about him.

    “He has given so much of his life to the university. He has given so much of his experience and his money to the school,” said Javier Gonzales, chairman of the Board of Regents.

    Gonzales said he doesn’t know of anyone who has given so much money to the university individually.

  • Most county hopefuls don't show

    Eight County Commission candidates were invited to a forum Wednesday night; only three showed.

    Of the three candidates for the Las Vegas-based District 5 commission seat, only Nicolas Leger attended. Richard Maestas, Leger’s opponent in the June 3 Democratic primary, and the lone Republican, Fred Romero, didn’t show. Maestas said a couple of days ago that he would be attending his grandmother’s 96th birthday party in Albuquerque.

  • County agrees to land grant request

    San Miguel County is asking that the federal government give land grants the right of first refusal when it is selling its lands.

    Members of the San Miguel del Bado Land Grant told the commission this week that the Bureau of Land Management is planning to sell various parcels in San Miguel County.

    Ramon Lucero, who is an heir to the grant and a commission candidate, said the federal agency is planning to dispose of its parcels before it finishes a draft resource management plant.

  • Council members walk out

    Two City Council members walked out of a special meeting Tuesday morning, saying they weren’t properly notified.

    Mayor Tony Marquez, however, said he believes they were notified, though the matter was left up to staff to do so, as is typically the case.

    “There was no malicious intent to leave them out of the loop,” Marquez said.