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Local News

  • Ex-official is facing harassment complaint

    The former academic director of Luna Community College has accused a former president of sexual harassment, according to a sexual discrimination complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Leroy “Huero” Sanchez is accused of touching and making inappropriate comments to Charlene Ortiz-Cordova, 37, between October 2005 and April 2006, according to the complaint, which was filed in October 2006.

    Ortiz-Cordova said in the complaint that Sanchez made inappropriate comments, such as “You are making me horny.”

  • Regent in charge of academic panel

    Nancy Long has replaced Rosanna Vazquez as New Mexico Highlands University regent. The Santa Fe attorney said her law firm, Long, Pound & Komer, of which she is president, represented the university of many years.

    “I really grew to enjoy the people here and got to know a lot about Highlands, so I’m really happy to return as a regent,” Long said.

    Long took the chairmanship of the Academic Affairs Committee Monday and said she’s taking the post with an open mind and a desire to take a fresh look at things

  • Salazar to run for second county term

    San Miguel County Commission Chairman David Salazar announced Thursday that he is running for a second term.

    Salazar, 62, is the commissioner who proposed the county look into setting up a rock crusher operation as a way of lowering costs for road improvements. The county is now moving in that direction and plans to dedicate a voter-approved tax toward that purpose.

    Initially, the county had planned to use the money from the tax by dividing it equally among all five commission districts. But Salazar said the portions would have been too small to make any real difference.

  • Club spending target of inquiry

    Luna Community College officials said they have discovered the school’s former baseball coach and the team’s booster club president made unauthorized expenditures from the now-defunct club’s fund.

    Additionally, the college contends that it can’t account for $7,875 in money that should have been collected from team members.

  • Las Vegas watchdog group disbands

    The group that spearheaded the effort three years ago to reduce the City Council from eight members to four has disbanded.

    Members of the Committee of the People reported that they voted this week to dissolve the group because they completed their job.

    “We accomplished our goals. We encourage other people to get involved in the system and form a group,” said member Leith Johnson.

  • HU reports enrollment increase

    First-time freshman enrollment at Highlands University continues to grow, an official said.

    Thomasina Ortiz-Gallegos, director of academic support at Highlands, said that as of Feb. 27, 1,836 freshmen have submitted applications for the fall semester, compared to 1,295 in 2007, an increase of 541 first-time freshman. She told the university’s academic affairs committee that there’s still a lot of work to do getting transcripts and other paperwork completed before the university can say for sure how many freshmen will be in the classroom.

  • State hospital plans to remove piles

    To the casual observer, the piles of material next to one of the state hospital’s parking lots are junk.

    But state officials don’t see it that way. They said they are trying to transfer the piles to an entity that needs scrap materials.

    They said the hospital — known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute — soon plans to remove the materials from the area east of the parking lot, which is just east of Hot Springs Boulevard. The piles can’t be seen from Hot Springs.

  • County looks at wind farm proposal

    A national company is looking at developing a wind farm for electrical generation in the Valley, but it is seeking help from the county in the form of reduced taxes.

    Chicago-based Invenergy has been conducting wind tests in San Miguel County and wants to build a wind farm on the mesa south of Interstate 25 and east of N.M. Highway 3, which leads to Ribera.

    Sean Logsdon of Invenergy told the County Commission this week that his company is getting good results with the wind tests, so it wants to proceed with the project.

  • Coach faces DWI charge

    Peter Ortiz, Luna Community College’s baseball coach, was arrested last weekend on a charge of drunken driving. An officer’s report indicated that the coach appeared “obviously heavily intoxicated.”

    Peter Ortiz, 44, 409 Tecolote St., who is also the city’s parks supervisor, is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless driving. He was arrested by city police Cpl. Robert Gutierrez.

  • Stores offer machine to convert coins

    Probably everyone in America has a coin stash that through the years keeps growing as people empty their pocket change. Some people take the time to count and roll their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, but most don’t have the patience.

    The two Lowe’s grocery stores in Las Vegas now have an easier way to turn those coins into cash.

    Ron Martinez, Lowe’s Supersave store manager on Mills Avenue, said the machines have been in the stores since December and get daily use.