Local News

  • State hospital's top official retires

    Steve Martinez, interim administrator of the state hospital, is retiring after 27 years.

    Martinezs last day at the hospital known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute is Monday.

    State Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil named Troy Jones, current deputy administrator, as Martinezs replacement.

    During his career at the hospital, Martinez has worked in a number of positions, including administrative budget analyst and deputy hospital administrator. He has been interim administrator for the last three years.

  • Utility members to decide on issues

    Members of an electric cooperative serving northeastern New Mexico will consider doing away with health insurance for the Board of Trustees and strictly barring nepotism, among other proposed changes, during the utility’s annual meeting Saturday.

    Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative members will consider eight proposed bylaw changes during the meeting, which will last from 9 a.m. to noon at Mora High School.

    John Pintek and other members of an informal group of members opposed to the cooperative’s leadership proposed five of the bylaw changes.

  • Lawsuit claims police dog attacked sleeping man

    A man is suing the city of Las Vegas, claiming that a police dog attacked him while he was sleeping in his son’s house.

    Demetrio Esquibel Sr. filed a lawsuit in state District Court earlier this month against the city and Las Vegas officers Albert Sandoval, Juan Montao, Steven Gutierrez and Matias Apodaca.

    Represented by Taos attorney Stephen Peterson, Esquibel claims to have suffered permanent injuries to his stomach, thigh and leg.

  • Seeking 'Bigs'

    Big Brothers Big Sisters held an all-day event at the city recreation center last weekend in hopes of recruiting and matching volunteers to explore new horizons with children looking for positive influences in their lives.

    Maggie Romigh, San Miguel County community coordinator, said, “The main thing we need right now is Big Brothers. This afternoon, we’ve got 15 little boys on our waiting list waiting for Big Brothers. This morning, we had 18 kids on the waiting list this afternoon. We’ve already made three matches today.”

  • Man convicted of murder

    An area man accused of killing another man was convicted by a jury last week, according to the district attorney’s office.

    Frank Amos Lucero, 27, of Tecolotito was found guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse, the DA’s office reports. He was found not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

    The five-day trial ended after two hours of deliberation by the jury, with District Judge Eugenio Mathis presiding over the trial.

  • Reward in murder case increased

    A law firm has increased the reward in the search for the killer of a 6-year-old girl, bringing the total to $10,000.

    Albuquerque-based Will Ferguson & Associates is adding $8,000 to the existing $2,000 Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

    Jasmine Garcia, who had recently completed her kindergarten year, was sleeping in her mother’s bed during the early morning of June 15 when a shot ripped through the outside wall facing the street.

  • CYFD secretary visits Vegas

    Newly named Children, Youth and Families Secretary Dorian Dodson was in Las Vegas last week on a listening tour. She has been serving as acting secretary since the resignation of Mary Dale-Bolson in late February.

    “We’ve holding listening sessions around the state, so if the community wants to come and talk to us about the agency, they can do it. We also invite the staff, so we talk to them all at the same time,” Dodson said.

  • Lawmakers want more state bus service

    Two area state lawmakers are requesting the state Department of Transportation increase bus service to San Miguel and Mora counties.

    Sending the request were state Reps. Thomas Garcia, D-Ocat, and Richard Vigil, D-Ribera.

    “We contacted Secretary Rhonda Faught to ensure northern New Mexico is viewed as an integral part of the success of our public transportation system,” Garcia said in a statement. “Our request to provide additional routes, times and buses is critical for our neighbors that utilize this vital service.”

  • Fired official still with city

    On Monday morning, it seemed as if nothing had changed for Carlos Ortiz, the city’s former public works director.

    He was talking on the phone in his City Hall office about preparation for the annual Fiestas and other projects. Just three days before, a City Council majority voted to fire Ortiz and five other department heads — effective immediately.

  • Economic group gets new director

    Sharon Vander Meer, president of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation, was appointed its new executive director this morning.

    Her new role will be a full-time job in which she will oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization, which receives support from the city and the county and businesses.

    In a related action, Matt Martinez, a former Las Vegas mayor, became EDC’s president.

    Vander Meer, who helped found EDC, is replacing Sharon Caballero, who was appointed last week as Las Vegas’ new city manager.