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Today's News

  • LETTER: The details are important

    When I was taking journalism classes at the University of New Mexico, one of the most embarrassing lessons I learned was from a crusty old professor who used to be an editor at a daily paper.

    He had been retired from that job for years, but he still embodied what I thought was the typical image of an old school editor. He was slightly rotund, he always wore a starched white shirt with a few ink stains on it, and occasionally a bow tie. His voice was deep and gravelly, like he had spent a couple decades chomping on a cigar.

  • Co-op board member prevails

    A longtime member of the board for the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative easily won another term last week.

    Carlos Lovato, who has served off and on for nearly two decades, got 109 votes to 70 for Rey Herrera and 27 for Eric Michael Cummings. They were vying to represent District 2, which includes Rociada, Sapello, Buena Vista, Mineral Hill and Watrous. The nonprofit utility serves thousands of customers in the rural areas of San Miguel and Mora counties.

  • Spending in Mora questioned

    Leather jackets aren’t just for bikers.

    In Mora County, school board members and state lawmakers are wearing them, too. It’s courtesy of funds managed by the Mora school district.

    Last month, the Optic issued a public records request for all documents related to spending for the leather jackets and all other expenses involving state lawmakers during the legislative session from January to March.

  • Garcia cleared; Vigil convicted

    SANTA FE — A jury in Santa Fe’s District Court on Thursday found former West Las Vegas bilingual coordinator Roberta Vigil guilty of charges of fraudulently spending public money.

    The eight-man, four-woman jury delivered the verdict after four hours of deliberations. Vigil, the wife of state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, was convicted of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

  • EDITORIAL: Balance needed

    Over the last few months, San Miguel County has undertaken a diligent effort to revise its ordinance regulating wind farms. To its credit, the county drafted the ordinance six years ago, long before anyone seriously considered wind farms around here.

    Last year, when Chicago-based Invenergy presented its idea to have wind turbines in the Bernal area, some residents there expressed concern about noise pollution and the effects on scenery and wildlife. So the county formed a task force.

  • DOT shows off equipment

    Residents this week got to meet the men and women who take care of area highways.

    Those who maintain our roadways are recognized during National Transportation Week and certainly received rock-star recognition from more than 700 students attending an open house at the local Department of Transportation district office. There were heavy equipment displays, survey equipment, traffic control signs, a materials lab demonstration and an automotive shop display. 

  • COLUMN: 'Thank you.' 'No problem.'

    A few weeks ago, driving in Albuquerque, we noticed a couple — one steering, both pushing — who’d run out of gas close to a service station.

    With my wife driving, I did the Good Samaritan regimen, hopped out of the passenger’s side to help them get their Chevette up the ramp to the gas pumps on Montgomery.

  • EDITORIAL: Examples of good teachers

    As we enjoy graduation season, it’s important to recognize the contributions of teachers and principals. Good ones make a big difference.

    The Optic’s last Hometown Heroes feature profiled West Las Vegas’ choir director, Arnell David Arellanes, and West High School principal Gene Parson. Arellanes deserves credit for turning around the choir program a few years ago, and he has received solid support from Parson.

  • Judge: No reasonable jury could find Garcia guilty

    SANTA FE — Two years after being indicted on corruption charges, former West Las Vegas board member Ralph Garcia now has his name cleared.

    On Tuesday, a state district judge threw out the case against Garcia, who was accused of fraudulently spending public money in connection with two parties.

    District Judge Stephen Pfeffer decided to dismiss charges of fraud and conspiracy after the state finished presenting its case. He did so in response to arguments by Garcia’s attorney, Anna Aragon.

  • Local family upset about stolen urn

    There are dumb thieves and despicable thieves, family members of Lillian J. and Lupe A. Trujillo say.

    Those who vandalize and steal from sacred ground fall into the latter category, they said.

    Carmen Holguin said sometime between April 21 and 28 her parents’ grave site was desecrated and a 300-pound urn taken from Mount Calvary Cemetery.