Local News

  • Mora Co. assessor says she'll enforce law

    Mora County Assessor Angela Romero announced last week that she would enforce a state tax law that would change the status of many properties classified for grazing, which are entitled to lower taxes.

    That decision apparently came after a meeting between state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, who represents Mora County, and state Taxation and Revenue Department officials.

    Tensions flared between Romero’s office and the state Property Tax Division last month after she asked three division employees to stop changing the values of properties.

  • Officials say voters need privacy

    Voters had no curtains or makeshift cardboard boxes to hide their ballots as they made their choices in the city election last week, and that has two City Council members concerned.

    In previous municipal elections, voters went into booths with curtains. Most state elections now have voters make their choices in mini-cardboard booths.

    But last Tuesday, voters went to tables to vote, with it relatively easy for passersby to see their choices. At one poll site, voters were reportedly making their choices at a table next to other voters waiting in line.

  • A change in leaders

    Mayor Tony Marquez called for unity in Las Vegas and promise to govern with citizen involvement after he was sworn in as mayor Saturday.

    With more than 100 people in the audience, Marquez and City Council members Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman took the oath of office at Highlands University’s Leveo Sanchez Lecture Hall.

    “We are moving forward as one community united — no longer East or West or Democrat or Republican, but one community as a whole,” Marquez said to applause.

  • West leader gets $15,000 pay hike

    West Las Vegas Superintendent Jim Abreu was given a one-year extension on his contract last week, which also included a $15,000 raise from $100,000 to $115,000 a year.

    Board President Kenny Lujan said the board was unanimous in its decision.

    “We as a board felt that Dr. Abreu has done a tremendous job for the district in the 10 months he’s been on the job. He’s at work early, stays late and works hard for the school and the kids,” Lujan said.

  • Vigil says he'll run for another term

    With three others already in the race, state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, has announced that he’ll run for another term.

    Vigil, who has served for the last decade, acknowledged the three announced candidates and called for a civil tone in the campaign.

    “I am optimistic we can focus on the issues important to the people of House District 70 and New Mexico without the need to divide our communities with negativity and personal attacks,” he stated in a news release.

  • Marquez takes oath in Santa Fe

    It’s never been done this way as far as anyone can remember.

    Mayor-elect Tony Marquez was to be officially sworn in during a public ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday at Leveo Sanchez Lecture Hall. But Thursday morning, Mayor Henry Sanchez came to City Hall only to be told he was no longer mayor.

    On Wednesday, a day after the municipal election, Marquez went to a notary public in Santa Fe, where he works, and had himself sworn in privately, which caught everyone at City Hall off guard, especially the outgoing mayor.

  • Mayor seeks legal opinion on pay

    Mayor Tony Marquez said Thursday he is requesting a legal opinion on how the city should handle the results of the ballot questions over whether to cut the pay of the mayor and City Council members.

    “I think the council needs to abide by the wishes of the community. The public voted to amend the charter, and the voters had the power to change the mayor and council salaries,” said Marquez, who took his oath of office on Wednesday.

    He said he has directed interim City Manager Elmer Martinez to get a written legal opinion from City Attorney Matt Sandoval.

  • West district trying to get uniforms

    The West Las Vegas track team is trying to get uniforms from last year’s members, so there are enough for this year’s participants, Superintendent Jim Abreu said this week.

    He said it would be difficult to track down some of the uniforms, but he said James Esquibel, coach for both the boys and girls track teams last year, is working on the project.

    Esquibel only coaches the girls this year, while Mike Maldonado heads the boys team.

    Abreu said such problems often occur during coaching transitions.

  • Students experiment with plants

    Young scientists at Sierra Vista Elementary worked on experiments to determine what methods were best for growing plants during a six-week investigation.

    Belinda Laumbach’s class is an unusual combination of kindergarten and first-grade students who worked together on the project.

    “One of the benchmarks for the New Mexico standards is that they learn the scientific process, and I figured at this grade level if I didn’t actually have them do it, they wouldn’t learn how to develop the steps leading to scientific discovery,” Laumbach said.

  • Nursing home to close this month

    Brookhaven Nursing Home is closing by the end of the month, laying off 25 people and sending its 15 residents to other homes.

    Acting Administrator J. Sabine Griego said the nursing home has found new employment for its employees at such places as Vida Encantada Nursing Home. A couple of employees are starting new jobs elsewhere by as early as Saturday, Griego said.

    Employees and residents were informed of the pending closure Friday.