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Today's News

  • Shop owner pleads guilty

    The owner of a local auto repair shop has pleaded guilty to attacking customers who owed him money.

    In plea agreements in January, Romero, 32, owner of Michael’s Precision Automotive, admitted to two counts of aggravated battery and one count of attempting to commit a felony, all of which are misdemeanors.

    As part of the agreements, prosecutors dropped charges of unlawful taking of a vehicle, robbery, kidnapping, extortion and intimidation of a witness.

    His attorney said this week that his client’s guilty pleas were a business decision.

  • EDITORIAL: It's politics as usual

    Isn’t home where you hang your hat? We thought so, but politicos often seem to struggle with this question.

    Last week, we reported on Manuel Lucero, the treasurer for the campaign of Tony Valdez, who ran successfully for a seat on the Luna Community College Board of Trustees.

  • Don Cecilio classes go to Union

    Union Elementary School is bustling as its student population doubled in January to accommodate kids from Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary, where one wing of the school is undergoing a complete renovation.

    Principal Delbert Saavedra said children from four classrooms in second, third, fourth and fifth grades made the move on Jan. 6, which effectively doubled the number of kids attending his school.

  • Mora County man accused in battery

    A Cleveland, N.M., man who went to his family’s house to talk out some of their differences ended up being arrested for allegedly attacking them.

    Robert Lawrence Romero, 22, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on household members and criminal damage to property.

  • LETTER: It’s not broke, don’t try to fix it

    It is my belief that the Las Vegas City Council voted appropriately in their decision to not make Grand Avenue two lane for a five-block distance. Grand Avenue is an inter-city highway. It serves as a business loop through Las Vegas. It also serves as a route for emergency vehicles to traverse the city as well as to quickly exit to emergency situations on Interstate 25.

  • Luna says it’s improving hiring process

    A member of Luna Community College’s Board of Trustees says he appreciates that the school’s human resources department is developing a firm hiring process.

    “I have felt we have been too loosey-goosey in the past,” Trustee Abelino Montoya said at last week’s monthly meeting of the trustees. “I’ve had my doubts in the past about how we have hired people and how they came in.”

    Montoya said the school gets a lot of negative feedback on its hiring process.

  • LETTER: Thrilled to see litigation ending

    As a former member of the Las Vegas Community Water Board, I am thrilled that the city and the Storrie Project Water Users Association are ending their litigation.

    It is disappointing, to say the least, that the city lost $1 million in state funds which were intended for the project to pipe water to the Storrie users, due to city officials trying to change the original intent.

    I trust the city will actively pursue settlement with the Acequias Association, who in my opinion, have legitimate concerns regarding their share of water from the Gallinas River.

  • Employees gone as result of inquiry

    Two employees of the state hospital are no longer working there as the result of an investigation, one of them said.

    They are Deputy Hospital Administrator Isaac Apodaca and Housekeeping Director Carlos Michael Lopez, Department of Health spokeswoman Deborah Busemeyer confirmed. The two had previously been placed on administrative leave.

    A third employee resigned after he was put on leave, Lopez told the Optic.

  • COLUMN: Conference Committess

    Anyone who pays attention to the Legislature has had this experience: Differing versions of a bill pass the House and Senate; the bills go to a conference committee; the bill that comes out is substantially different from the two that went in.

    What happened? Hard to tell.

    Why? Because New Mexico is among a handful of states that close conference committee meetings to the public.

    So what? Depends on whether you want government to conduct business in the open or behind closed doors.

  • Agents arrest 3 in drug bust

    The regional narcotics task force says it has put a major drug operation out of business.

    On March 6, agents from the Region 4 Narcotics task force said they executed a “high-risk” search warrant at a house at 910 Gallinas St. Three men were arrested.

    Task force Sgt. Mack Allingham said agents discovered marijuana being grown inside the house, with the narcotics having an estimated worth of $7,500 to $10,000. They also found the necessary equipment, packaging materials and chemicals used to manufacture, sell and process marijuana, he said.