Local News

  • New trial ordered in murder case

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a 2005 shooting death in Las Vegas.

    The court agreed with Lloyd Lucero that his conviction for the death of Pablo Martinez should be overturned because the jury was not allowed to consider whether Lucero acted in self-defense.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Block acknowledges he lied

    Jerome Block, a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, acknowledged today that he lied that a Las Vegas band performed at his campaign rally in May.

    His statements came shortly after one of his key local supporters, Paul Maez, the San Miguel County Clerk, told the Optic that Block gave the newspaper false information.

    Over the last week, the Block campaign has repeatedly stated that Wyld Country, to which Maez belongs, performed at a May 3 rally.

  • City to fix its natural gas line

    The City Council has approved an emergency contract to make repairs to the natural gas line that serves Las Vegas, but one council member questioned how the city went about choosing the company.

    The city didn’t go through a formal bidding process because officials wanted to solve the problems quickly out of fear that they would either lead to an explosion or a loss of service to the entire city.

  • Man charged with leading officer on chase

    A Sapello man was arrested on a charge of drunken driving after he allegedly led a state police officer on a chase.

    Around 11:30 p.m. Thursday, the officer tried to stop Daniel O. Spurlin, 35, on Eighth Street, but Spurlin wouldn’t stop, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court.

    Spurlin led the officer on a chase for several blocks, failing to obey yield and stop signs along the way, the complaint states. Spurlin then reportedly lost control of his car at Moreland Street and Legion Drive. The car went up onto a curb and collided with a fence.

  • Woman finds man breaking into house

    A woman who heard a noise in her house as she was getting into the shower found that a man was trying to break in.

    She called state police, and they later found the suspect, Max Lucero, 45, of Ilfeld, N.M., according to Magistrate Court documents.

    Around 1:30 p.m. last Tuesday, the alleged victim saw the man standing outside the broken front window at her home on La Manga Road in the Las Vegas area. She went to the front door to scare him away.

    Lucero took off running to a Toyota 4-Runner and fled, court records state.

  • OPTIC INVESTIGATION: Band differs with Block

    Jerome Block Jr., a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, maintains that local band Wyld Country performed at his rally in May.

    Not so, says a band member.

    According to a campaign finance report, the Block campaign paid the local band $2,500. Campaign officials have since said they hired the group to entertain at a rally on May 3 at a nearby ranch.

    Joe “JoJo” Aragon, a band member, said Monday that his band didn’t perform and never received the money.

  • West Middle students go to polls

    West Las Vegas Middle School students got a dose of democracy in action as they voted for whom they thought would lead their school and represent their interests on the student council.

    There was a lot of hustle and bustle behind the walls of the school as supporters made signs promoting their favorite candidates and, of course, there were lots of speeches by those running for offices and by their campaign managers.

  • Council debates whether to pick new mayor pro tem

    Usually, the City Council picks a new mayor pro tem every six months. But that’s apparently been in violation of a council resolution from more than a decade ago.

    After the March municipal election, the council voted for new Councilman Andrew Feldman to be the pro tem, who fills in when the mayor is unavailable.

    At this week’s meeting, Councilman Morris Madrid asked the council to address the pro tem issue because six months had passed.

  • Activist uses pennies to make a statement

    A couple of sacks of pennies may not go far in paying off a debt with the city’s housing authority. But as far as local activist Lorenzo Flores is concerned, the coins can make a big point.

    At last week’s City Council meeting, Flores, who has long been active in housing issues, lashed out at council members Cruz Roybal and Morris Madrid, only referring to them by their initials.

  • Water rules stay in place

    The city plans to keep its water restrictions in place at least for a few more weeks, despite plentiful rainfall over the last few months.

    The City Council voted 3-2 in favor of the restrictions at its meeting last week, with Mayor Tony Marquez casting the tie-breaking vote.

    The Stage 1 restrictions limit residents to watering their lawns to two days a week and bar them from watering their cars outside their homes.