Today's News

  • Family sues railroad, agencies

    The family of a man who was killed trying to cross railroad tracks has sued the railroad, among other entities, for its suffering since the accident.

    The lawsuit, filed Thursday in state District Court in Las Vegas, names as defendants Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Amtrak, the city of Las Vegas, San Miguel County and the Ride to Pride Partnership, which owns land next to the crossing.

  • Agency admits official on leave

    It’s official: Isaac Apodaca, the state hospital’s deputy administrator, is on leave.

    On Thursday, the Optic received pay records indicating that Apodaca, who has been in charge of public relations and staff development, has been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 29.

    This information was revealed after the newspaper sent a written public records request to the state Health Department, which oversees the hospital, known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute.

  • College of Santa Fe accused of fraud

    SANTA FE — The financially-troubled College of Santa Fe is being accused of fraud for how it handled a 2006 bond transaction.

    The private college, which is on the verge of either closing or being taken over by New Mexico Highlands University, has defaulted on the $25 million bond debt and $2 million in associated fees.

    Radian Insurance, the company that insured the debt, is alleging that the college committed fraud in its insurance application and that the financial statements provided by the college failed to disclose its true financial picture.

  • 1,000 sign petition about RR crossing

    More than 1,000 people have signed a petition asking that area government officials do something about a railroad crossing where two people have died in collisions over the last four months.

    The petition effort was organized by the family of Michael Esquibel, who was killed in January at the crossing near the city’s transfer station. Also giving significant help is the local Ride for Pride Partnership, which is near the crossing and whose young members quickly arrived after the most recent accident to help out.

  • LETTER: Report was insensitive, wrong

    I am a family member and friend to the deceased Damian Lucero-Ortiz and Stephanie Dimas. I am writing this article on behalf of both Damian’s and Stephanie’s families to again remind the community of the horrific tragedy that occurred more than a year ago on Dec. 20, 2007, which has left both families in deep sorrow.

  • Assault suspects plead

    SANTA FE — A teenager described by victims as the ringleader in the Robertson High School football hazing case pleaded not guilty to 19 felony counts, including multiple counts of criminal sexual penetration.

    Michael Gallegos, 17, was arraigned Thursday over assaults that occurred last August at a preseason camp near Las Vegas, where victims were held on the floor and told to “take it like a man” by assailants.

    When state District Judge James Hall read the counts, Gallegos replied, “I deny all the charges.”

  • Director acts as college leader

    As a Las Vegas City Schools board member, Elaine Luna oversaw then-Superintendent Pete Campos, who has been a Democratic state senator since 1991.

    Now their roles have been reversed.

    On Jan. 9, Campos, in his new role as Luna Community College president, named Luna to serve as acting president while he’s away at the Legislature until its annual session ends in mid-March.

    Campos, who started as president last summer, issued a memo to Luna, designating her as the acting president. The memo was copied to other college officials.

  • Recycling as a last resort

    Of course, recycling is all the rage, but now I must be the heretic once again and point out that recycling is the LAST resort of the responsible consumer.

    Let your mantra be the four Rs,





    These Rs are ranked in order of energy and resource consumption. Best to refuse; if you can’t refuse, reduce; that which you do use, try to re-use as well, and when all of that is done, recycle.

  • Teen arrested on school grounds

    A 18-year-old was arrested this week on drug charges in an investigation on Robertson High School grounds.

    Raphael Lobato, a Robertson student, 735 Dalbey Drive, was charged with trafficking crack cocaine in a drug-free school zone.

    Around 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Region 4 Narcotics Task Force approached Lobato on the Robertson campus to speak with him about his suspected drug activity, which was reported by confidential informants, according to court documents.

  • EDITORIAL: Thumbs

    DOWN thumb ... INFORMATION AND POWER GAMES. Information, it has been said, is power. And it’s certainly a potent force in City Hall battles over the past year. Months ago, after Mayor Tony Marquez took over, councilors Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal charged that they were being kept out of the loop on matters of importance, and now its Councilman Andy Feldman saying essentially the same thing; he says the mayor isn’t providing him with information related to George Du Four’s dismissal at utilities director.