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Today's News

  • 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.

  • ONLINE UPDATE: 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.

  • COLUMN: Belt-tightening may be on way

    These days, Gov. Bill Richardson isn’t doing sitdown interviews with reporters from New Mexico. Since a pay-to-play controversy forced him to decline his nomination as Commerce secretary, Richardson has held just one such interview — with a reporter from the Washington Post.

  • LETTER: We all have to do our part, right?

    As an education employee of the state of New Mexico, I have been asked to give up 1.5 percent of my pay for the coming fiscal year. A $400 million shortfall, they tell us. OK. The school district comes to us today, and asks us to give up one day’s pay to help balance the budget here in our district, and keep everybody employed. A $400,000 shortfall, they tell us. OK. We all know state revenue is down. A lot. I guess we all have to do our part, and we know things are much worse in other parts of the country.

  • EDITORIAL: Co-op vote

    This past weekend, a few hundred Highlands University and Luna Community College students walked across the commencement stage and received their degrees. And while some will go on to pursue another degree, most of them are about as academically prepared as they’re going to be for the working world.

    Unfortunately, they will enter the workforce during a recession, so it won’t be easy. Just about every job opening out there will have numerous applicants, so standing out in a crowd will be a challenge.

  • City code offender buys county cars

    Las Vegas resident Tony Ortega is known for acquiring inoperable cars and other junk and placing them on his properties around town — in violation of city ordinance.

    Now, San Miguel County no longer wants to be a party to Ortega’s problems with the city.