Local News

  • Top official placed on leave

    Mayor Tony Marquez placed Utilities Director George Du Four on leave without pay late Friday afternoon.

    It was a move that sparked harsh criticism of Marquez from two City Council members who have traditionally allied themselves with the mayor since he was elected in March.

    The mayor didn’t give any public reasons for his decision, and he’s not giving council members any justifications.

  • Police: Man who rams gate arrested

    Joe Abeyta apparently really wanted to get into the cemetery in Los Vigiles, state police said. And he did.

    Now, he’s facing the consequences.

    Around 12:30 p.m. Jan. 11, state police got a call that a man was ramming the gate to the cemetery. When officers arrived, they found that Abeyta, 45, of Las Vegas, had gotten in and was very drunk, state police Lt. Craig Martin said.

  • Student inquiries increase at HU

    Inquiries from prospective Highlands University students have increased 60 percent in academic year 2008-09, compared to those in 2007-08.

  • Woman sentenced for man's death

    A woman has pleaded guilty in connection with the death of an elderly man a couple of years ago.

    Jessica Livingston, 24, of Las Vegas entered a plea agreement last week with prosecutors in which she agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges. She was convicted in connection with the June 2007 death of Jose Apodaca, 83.

    She originally had been charged with felony murder, among other charges. Her plea agreement had her pleading guilty to the reduced charges of homicide by vehicle, robbery, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit the offense of tampering.

  • Man walks in front of car, is killed

    Seth Grant, a patient from a boarding home on N.M. Highway 518 near Storrie Lake, was hit and killed by an oncoming car near Storrie lake Thursday morning, state police said.

    State police Lt. Craig Martin said an eyewitness to the collision saw Grant walk out in front of the car and the case is being treated as a suicide based on the witness' account.

    The vehicle that struck Grant was a Ford Mustang going south at near the speed limit. The vehicle sustained minor damage; the driver was emotionally distraught, Martin said.

  • Ex-players heading to trial

    SANTA FE — Five former Robertson High football players will stand trial on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and conspiracy for their roles in alleged attacks during a preseason camp.

    The five young men, who were juniors at RHS before getting booted from school because of the camp scandal, are accused of holding several underclassmen against their will and sodomizing them with a broomstick. The alleged attacks took place Aug. 12 and 13 during a preseason “team-building” event at Western Life Camp in the Gallinas Canyon.

  • City delays decision on housing project

    A company apparently wanted a quick decision from the City Council to allow it to build affordable housing on city land.

    But city officials didn’t want to rush the process.

    The city based its decision largely on advice from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provides much of the funding for the local housing authority.

    City officials had only a few days to look at a proposal from Santa Fe-based Western Trails Inc., whose managing partner is Frank Coppler.

  • Program spreads anti-drinking message

    Residents and police officers are getting out the message about the laws against underage drinking.

    Last weekend, they placed stickers on multi-packs of alcoholic beverages as part of the MADD Sticker Shock event. The San Miguel County DWI program participated in the effort.

    The “Paul Storm” youth team also volunteered, including Edward Estrada, Elaine Estrada, Dyonne Estrada, Letticia Gutierrez, and Alexis DeVries.

    Law enforcement officers were also present, consisting of state police Officer Frank Chavez and sheriff’s Deputy William Cruz.

  • Man is killed in Mora County

    A man is accused of killing another in Mora County on Wednesday.

    Leroy Lovato, 61, of Holman was the victim, state police Capt. Toby Dolan said. Arrested on an open count of murder was Daniel Lovato, 27, of Las Vegas, who is believed to be related to the victim, officials said.

    Around 10:30 a.m., a call was made to 911 about a possible homicide. Four state police officers responded to the call, which was made from Holman, three miles east of Mora.

  • Victims: Coaches were aware

    SANTA FE — “I went to the bathroom, and I cried.”

    That’s what the youngest victim of an alleged sexual assault at a Robertson High football preseason camp recalled of the moments after he was allegedly ambushed, pinned to the floor and violated with a broomstick by a group of teammates.