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Features

  • Staff Sgt. Martin David Gallegos is a graduate of Robertson High School, but visited both East and West schools last week to unfurl three U.S. flags flown over war-torn Iraq. 

    The flags were flown by his National Guard unit in a Iraq. With each flag, Gallegos also presented a plaque describing its history. 

    Gallegos is serving with the 515th Regiment out of Belen. The soldiers are stationed at Camp Bucca, a forward operating base about 200 miles south of Baghdad.

  • CASA volunteers help children who have no one else.

    The program’s local director, Barbara Perea Casey, said community volunteers are part of the Court Appointed Special Advocates program and are highly trained individuals who are the voice for children who are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.

  • Leah Lucero says no teenager should miss their prom night for lack of a dress or tuxedo.

    “No one should have to sit at home on prom night, so I thought if we asked for donations of prom attire, whether it’s dresses, suits, or accessories, we could organize a prom closet. It’s also a good way to get the community involved in one of the biggest school functions of the year,” Lucero said.

    Lucero said she originally brought up the idea at Key Club, where she is  president. But members already had another project in mind.

  • Wherever Martin Sena teaches he makes his students shine, partly because he makes learning fun.

    But mostly when they listen to this master of mariachi, they find themselves at ease on stage because they’re confident in their skills.

    “This is something easy for me to do because the kids like it so much,” Sena said. 

  • Courtney Ferguson was crowned the new Miss Las Vegas 2010, and Erin Scott won the title Miss San Miguel County in the annual pageant -- a prelude to the Miss New Mexico and Miss America stages.

    “I feel amazing, I didn’t think I did well in the interview, but I guess I did better than I thought. It’s just so exciting and a real eye opener -- I’ve never done anything like this, so it was definitely an experience of a lifetime,” Ferguson said.

  • They’ve devoted a lifetime to the care of others and each other. John Sketchley Moore and Edith Turner Moore, pharmacist and nurse, respectively, have more than related professions to explain their almost 61 years’ close-knit relationship.

    One cannot miss the unspoken communication between the two — a good-hearted smirk from John, a quick glance and softening of facial features into a sweet smile from Edith — no doubt about it, there’s something special here.

  • During her 46 years of teaching, Margie Seay-Maez most likely had you or someone you know in class.

    She taught well over 6,000 Las Vegas students during her long career.

    Seay-Maez can truly say that she has touched the future, having influenced district judges, doctors, nurses, lawyers, scientists, college professors, teachers, school administrators, past and present city mayors.

    “I taught 16 different subjects over the years,” Seay-Maez said. “I always liked teaching different subjects; it’s more exciting that way.”

  • United World College student Jen Kim says she didn’t invent the Empty Bowls Project, a program whose mission is to feed the hungry.

    But her energy brought her love of ceramics and concern for world hunger together at a local event. 

    “I took ceramics in ninth grade, and I really loved the class. It was one of my favorites. We also did an Empty Bowls fundraiser, which is an organization that fights world hunger, so when we I came to UWC, I wanted a pottery activity, but they had discontinued it,” Kim said.

  • When it comes to school, Bonita Baca has always been marked as present. She’s never been a no-show since the beginning of kindergarten.

    Not one single day.

    “I just love school, I love learning,” said the West Las Vegas senior.

    Baca is also a year into her college career, having taken dual-enrollment classes at Highlands University. She maintains a 4.1 grade point average as a senior, and has earned a 4.0 GPA in her studies at Highlands University.

    West Las Vegas Principal Gene Parson said everything about this teenager is impressive.

  • Sometimes dreams do come true, especially as Joe Cocker once sang in his song, “With the help of my friends.”

    Until 6 p.m. Friday, Las Vegans can help a favorite son realize his dream marriage with a click of their mouses.

    For the last three years, a statewide contest has offered a lucky New Mexico couple a $50,000 wedding that includes wedding attire, the ceremony and the reception at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort near Albuquerque, and a seven-day honeymoon in Paris.

  • Buses from Belen, Cobre, Pojoaque, Bernalillo, Springer, Maxwell, Santa Rosa and other schools dropped off students to attend College Night on Tuesday.

    The event began a dozen years ago when Luna Community College invited students from Las Vegas and the surrounding area to bring in their juniors and seniors to see what the college offered.

    Highlands University joined Luna the following year, and officials say it has grown every year since.

  • Robertson High School’s Marr Gym was recently packed with students and parents.

    They weren’t there for a sporting event. Rather, they were honoring academic achievement of the school’s 275 students who have been making good grades this year.

    Superintendent Rick Romero said he thought it was important that people have an opportunity to see the good in the district. He said in recent times the school has received its share of bad publicity because of the actions of a few misguided people.

  • A generalization holds that one learns by interacting with others -- listening, speaking, reading, but what if one cannot hear? We might conclude that being unable to use one of these modalities would result in a disability.

    Not necessarily.

    Take Las Vegas’ Clarence and Faye Falvey. They stress that deafness or being hard-of-hearing is not a handicap, but rather -- a difference. Both were born into hearing and speaking families.

  • Minnijean Brown-Trickey says despite what many people say, she wasn’t courageous in walking past angry mobs to attend Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

    She just wanted to go to school.

    Brown-Trickey spoke to several hundred people at United World College on Sunday night, talking about her experiences as one of the Little Rock Nine, the black students who desegregated the Arkansas school under the protection of federal troops.

  • Unveiling a mural two days before Martin Luther King Day, Casa de Cultura Director Miguel Angel quoted King as saying, “Our goal is to create the beloved community, and this will create a qualitative change in our souls, as well as a qualitative change of our lives.”

    Angel said people must become more active in their community.

    “The youth are our focus. Dr. King used to say, ‘A community that does not esteem its youth has no future,’ and we take that to heart,” Angel said.

  • Dolores Maese told a large audience of family and friends that for the last 32 years she loved to go to work because every day she worked with heroes.

    “I have so much respect for those who lay their lives on the line, those who are on the front lines fighting fires, and those who manage the forests and state parks,” Maese said.

    Maese started with the U.S. Forest Service in 1978, rising from a clerk-typist at the Las Vegas Ranger District to a public affairs officer at the regional office in Santa Fe.

  • The words became more difficult as the spelling bee progressed at Paul D. Elementary School last week. And the younger kids began to drop out.

    But third-grader Austen King finished in the top three and stood with fifth-graders A.J Larrañaga and Connor Houdek, who won took first and second places respectively.

    In all spelling bees, there are lessons learned even when kids misspell a word. For example, one of the younger children spelled “honest,” O-N-E-S-T, which makes perfect phonetic sense, and was a lesson in silent consonants and vowels. 

  • Click here to view the School Consolidation Study in PDF format

  • Wendy Armijo doesn’t claim to be a teetotaler. And she won’t tell you to never drink.

    But she draws the line at drinking and driving.

    For the last eight years, Armijo has served as the coordinator for the San Miguel County DWI Planning Council. She says she comes to that role with an understanding.

  • Unlike many dog lovers, Leslie Moniot isn’t looking for purebreds. She prefers mutts.

    That’s because she’s interested in rescuing canines, and plenty of places exist for purebreds. Not so for mixed breeds.

    Over the summer, she moved from a small town in southern California to Romeroville. Since 2001, she’s been providing homes for dogs.

    She takes in large dogs from animal shelters, usually just before they are about to be put down.