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Today's News

  • Woman dies in Mills Ave. accident

    A woman died in a crash Tuesday afternoon on Mills Avenue.

    Mary Padilla, age unavailable, was pronounced dead shortly after at Alta Vista Regional Hospital, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    Shortly after 3 p.m., Joe Padilla, 77, with Mary Padilla as his passenger, was headed east on Mills in a Ford Ranger pickup truck when he took a turn north onto Encino Street, Gold said. In the process, a Ford F-250 pickup going west, driven by Orlando Romero, 26, struck the Padillas, the chief said.

  • Asbestos is everywhere, area residents warned

    Las Vegas housing officials say they want to get as many vacant units ready for tenants as soon as possible.

    The housing authority has been rehabilitating a number of units in recent months, but an assessment shows the presence of asbestos in units targeted for remodeling.

    Jeff Lowry of Lowry Consultants told the City Council last week that the asbestos were located in floor tiles and that the problem would need to be solved before housing improvements are made.

  • District names superintendent

    In a divided vote, the Las Vegas City Schools board tapped the superintendent of the Questa school district to take that position here.

    Richard Romero beat four other finalists for the position, including Associate Superintendent Barbara Perea Casey, who criticized the school board for its decision. After making the decision, a couple of board members exchanged angry words.

    Romero will replace Superintendent Pete Campos, who is becoming Luna Community College’s president on July 1. The board has yet to decide on a salary for Romero.

  • Local students win legal contest

    Submitted to the Optic

    The State Bar of New Mexico hosts an annual essay contest in which students write a legal brief based on a fictitious case with state laws and school policy procedures for students to incorporate into the essay.

    This year, the Bar received 107 essays from throughout the state. Jamie Lee Mathis, a West Las Vegas High School Senior, won third place (worth $250). In addition, Renee Alvino, a senior, Sarah Gallegos, Karla Gallegos, and Christopher Yee, juniors, placed in the top 25; Patrick Lopez, a junior, placed in the top seven.

  • Emergency office set to update plan

    The local office of emergency management has received $30,000 to revise and update the area’s emergency plan.

    The plan was last updated in the mid-1990s.

    Dennis English, manager of the San Miguel-Las Vegas Office of Emergency Management, will update the council on the issue at its meeting set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

  • Where to invest?

    The chairman of the Highlands University Board of Regents says he wants the board to be more involved in the planning for the annual budget.

    The board last week approved the annual budget, just ahead of a deadline to turn in a preliminary document to the state government.

    The budget is $95 million, which Highlands finance officials considered relatively flat, given inflation. The core of the budget, in which the regents have more control, is $38 million. Much of the rest involves restricted funds, where expenditures are mandated for particular purposes.

  • HU teams with Ireland, France

    Environmental geology students and faculty at New Mexico Highlands University are collaborating with researchers from Ireland and France on geologic rifts thanks to a recent grant from the National Science Foundation.

    “To me, it’s important not just to teach the fundamentals of geology, but to have students learn how to communicate and work with people around the world,” said Highlands University environmental geology professor Jennifer Lindline.

  • Ex-Mora deputy accepts plea deal

    A plea bargain has been accepted by a former Mora County sheriff’s deputy accused of telling a woman she could either perform a sex act or go to jail after a disturbance call at her home.

    Lucas Marquez pleaded no contest Monday to a fourth-degree felony charge of accepting a bribe by a witness.

    State District Judge Abigail Aragon sentenced him to probation not to exceed 18 months.

    Marquez was dispatched to the woman’s Guadalupita home on June 18, 2006

  • Students to perform musicals

    Interested in what Broadway has to offer? You dont have to go to New York. Just stop by to see West Las Vegas next production.

    The choirs at West Las Vegas high and middle schools will present A Night on Broadway at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at Highlands Universitys Ilfeld Auditorium.

    The program will feature pieces from 10 Broadway musicals performed by the high schools honors choir, the symphonic choir and the middle school choir.

  • Bulldozer used in attempted Mora bank break-in

    It was an unusual way to try to break into a bank.

    Around 2 a.m. Friday, authorities responded to an incident in which someone operating a bulldozer tried to break the walls of the Mora branch of the Bank of Las Vegas. The bulldozer was stolen from a track-and-field construction project on school grounds, said Tim Marquez, Mora County’s undersheriff.

    He said state police responded after a bulldozer triggered the bank’s alarms. He said it appeared as if the person tried to break into the “pretty solid” wall to get to the automatic teller machine.