Today's News

  • Jerome Block, new PRC member, pays $21,700 in fines

    SANTA FE — A newly elected member of the Public Regulation Commission paid $21,700 in penalties for lying on a campaign finance report and misusing public funds provided to his campaign.

    Jerome Block Jr. paid the secretary of state's office on Thursday, according to documentation provided Friday by the office.

    Block had complained the penalties were excessive but didn't pursue the option of appealing and requesting arbitration.

  • PRC: No utility winter shutoffs

    SANTA FE — The state Public Regulation Commission says a moratorium that protects low-income New Mexicans from having their utilities disconnected over winter has begun.

    But Las Vegas officials have declined to say whether that moratorium applies here.

    The agency says state law calls for utility customers who may be eligible for the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program to be protected from Nov. 15 through March 15. Customers also must have no past due amounts on their billing statements.

  • Ex-interim chief working for sheriff

    William Cruz, the former interim chief of the Las Vegas Police Department, is now a San Miguel County sheriff’s deputy.

    This week, the County Commission unanimously approved hiring Cruz, who spent nearly two decades with the Las Vegas police.

    After Tim Gallegos resigned as chief in late 2006, then-Mayor Henry Sanchez appointed Cruz as the interim chief.

    Cruz applied for the permanent position and was a top candidate, receiving the endorsement of the police officers union.

  • University called ‘fiscally strong’

    Highlands University is “fiscally strong in all respects,” a top official said last week, but the school expects budget cuts because of the declining economy.

    Gov. Bill Richardson has ordered all executive branch agencies to trim spending by 5 percent, a directive that doesn’t apply to the state’s universities.

    However, Highlands President Jim Fries warned the Board of Regents at its quarterly meeting on Friday that the Legislature may reduce universities’ budgets during the legislative session beginning in January.

  • Thumbs

    UP thumb ... PROTECT THE CROSSES. We’re happy to see state Attorney General Gary King intervening in a U.S. Court of Appeals case out of Utah seeking to prohibit roadside crosses memorializing fallen state troopers in that state. This case could impact the longstanding tradition of descansos in New Mexico, so we think King’s brief is justified.

  • LETTER: It's value-added manufacturing

    Please put a wind generator “in my back yard.” Even though wind generation has some ill side-effects, the many benefits should outweigh negative aspects for almost any mesa near Las Vegas.

  • Rancher withdraws water offer

    A rancher who offered to lease wells to the city has withdrawn his proposal, saying he had been mistaken in his belief that the city wanted the water.

    In a letter to Mayor Tony Marquez this week, rancher Alexander Milliken noted that he got a team of professionals “at considerable effort and expense to me” to help in providing the city with all of the information it needed.

    Milliken was responding to a city request for proposals in February 2007.

  • Football assault trial goes to SF

    Criminal proceedings in the Robertson High School football team rape and assault case will be held in Santa Fe.

    The parties agreed Thursday to a change of venue from San Miguel County.

    They concluded that fair proceedings couldn't take place in Las Vegas because the matter is “a singular topic of conversation,” according to one attorney.

    Meanwhile, the school district could face a civil lawsuit from the victims. A notice to seek damages has been issued to the superintendent of Las Vegas City Schools by the attorney for the victims.

  • Verisimilitude: quite chilling

    One of the classiest motivators, something virtually guaranteed to get people to pick up a book, appeared a few years ago.

    It was a several-paneled cartoon which started simply with a kid’s beginning to read a book. The second panel showed the child expressing greater interest.

    The third section showed some kind of monster on the page, and the young reader growing fangs, facial hair and claws.

    The exaggerations continued, with the message that by the time the child got well into the book, the child herself had changed. She had become what she was reading.

  • Official: Vets have much to teach

    Sometimes when veterans go to schools, the children see them only as old guys, the commander of a National Guard unit says, but the students should understand that they are much more than that.

    John David Sedillo, commander of the National Guard’s 615th Battalion, told a crowd at Tuesday’s Veterans Day ceremony that veterans have experienced much defending America’s freedoms, and they have valuable lessons to teach everyone else.