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Today's News

  • Mora assessor asks state to leave

    Mora County’s tax assessor on Monday said she ordered three state employees to leave her office until they got a written directive from their superior to change property values.

    San Miguel County is seeking a similar directive.

    Officials from both counties fear big increases in taxes for many residents.

    At issue is a recent state effort to crack down on properties that are inappropriately classified for grazing, which are eligible for much lower tax rates.

  • Two men charged with trafficking cocaine

    Authorities said they confiscated an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 worth of powder cocaine and crack cocaine during a recent operation.

    Undercover Region 4 Narcotics Task Force officers conducted an operation on Feb. 4 that covered San Miguel and Bernalillo counties, according to a news release.

    Task force commander Sgt. Mack Allingham said in a statement that agents found out that Joseph Leyba, also known as Joseph Evenson, 27, 500 S. Grand Ave. No. 24, was to meet with a drug supplier in Albuquerque and buy a large amount of crack cocaine.

  • Manager may get severance income

    The Las Vegas City Council is expected to consider giving outgoing City Manager John Avila more than $12,000 in severance pay, but it’s still unclear whether Avila is leaving voluntarily or involuntarily.

    Councilman Morris Madrid, a former city manager himself, is asking that the council consider giving Avila two months of pay after he leaves Friday, but other council members question the proposal.

  • West recognized for program

    A West Las Vegas school district conservation program drew an environmental stewardship award last week.

    During last weeks school board meeting, Daylene Buhl, representing Dallas-based Energy Education Inc., said the district has saved enough electricity in two years to effectively plant more than 18,604 trees.

  • Ex-coach says Luna wanted him to lie

    The former coach of the Luna Community College Rough Riders baseball team has sued the school, alleging that he refused an order to take part in an effort to falsely inflate enrollment.

    Coach Sam Soto was hired in August 2005 and fired in December 2006.

    Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Luna’s Board of Trustees, Human Resources Director Lawrence Quintana and former interim President Gilbert Sena.

  • Vegas came out for Richardson

    Las Vegas area residents contributed more than $50,000 to Gov. Bill Richardson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign last year, much of which was raised during a local event last year. The donors included an attorney who later became a district judge.

    Many of the 40 local donors are government employees, elected officials or business people who have contracts with government agencies, according to Federal Election Commission records. The total was $52,163, a small chunk of the $22 million from 68,000 donors to the Richardson campaign.

  • The great backyard bird count

    Sonya Berg plans to focus her attention on Las Vegas’ winged creatures this Feb. 15-18, as an active participant in the 11th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count. A member of the Friends of Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge, Berg realizes how important citizen science can be.

  • Woman settles with city

    A Las Vegas woman who claimed a police officer dragged her after informing her that she was violating a restraining order has settled a lawsuit with the city.Panchita Maes Alirez’s attorney, Stephen Peterson of Taos, said his client has received $8,500 in return for dropping her lawsuit against the city. “My client was satisfied with the result. It was a long, difficult ordeal,” he said. City Attorney Matt Sandoval didn’t have any comment in the matter.

  • County to seek bids for road projects

    San Miguel County plans to issue bid specifications for a number of state-funded road projects within the next few weeks, an official said.Harold Garcia, the county’s public works supervisor, told the County Commission this week that he is trying to quicken the state’s process for environmental reviews of the projects. He said the state is strict with such clearances, even for roads that have been around for a long time. Still, he expected to get bid specifications out for some of the projects in three weeks.

  • Painted Faith

    Margarito Mondragn pressed gravel into upturned ground, spread asphalt, worked the bulldozers, scrapers, tampers that molded New Mexico’s roads until he shifted gears 13 years ago, retiring from the State Highway Department to become an artist like his grandfather and great-grandfather, both well-known santeros.