Local News

  • Baca says he'll run for judge

    District Judge Gerald Baca announced Monday that he is running for election to remain in his position.

    Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Baca in July for a new district judgeship position. Previously, San Miguel County only had two district judges.

    Baca will run in the June Democratic primary. He is the first to announce for his position.

    The Fourth Judicial District consists of Guadalupe, Mora and San Miguel counties.

  • Luna expected to pick new president

    Luna Community College’s Board of Trustees is set to select a new president at its monthly meeting today.

    The five finalists are Sharon Caballero, former Highlands University president; Hans Kuss, former president of Maysville Community College in Kentucky; Dan Chacon, vice president of student support with San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based Cuesta College; James Alarid, a professor and director of a leadership academy at Highlands; and Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Pete Campos.

  • Montoya brings campaign to Vegas

    Harry Montoya, a Democratic candidate for northern New Mexico’s congressional seat, sees himself as socially conservative and fiscally “semi-liberal.”

    Montoya, a Santa Fe County commissioner, visited Las Vegas on Friday, touring the state hospital and meeting with the Optic’s editorial board. He said he is running to push the issues of health-care and education reform. He said the economy is doing poorly because of the war in Iraq, which is draining American resources.

  • Alta Vista names new leader

    Alta Vista Regional Hospital on Monday named a new chief executive officer, nearly three months after its former CEO left suddenly.

    Richard Grogan served as Alta Vista’s chief nursing officer and associate CEO from 2003 to 2005. For the past two years, he has been the CEO of Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine, Texas.

    He starts at Alta Vista on Jan. 28.

  • Highlands eyes orientation charge

    The Highlands University student affairs committee heard a request to approve a fee that new students would have to pay to attend the mandatory orientation for incoming freshmen.

    After hearing a presentation, the panel voted to recommend the fee to the Board of Regents.

  • District Court starts county pilot adult drug court

    The District Court in San Miguel County has set up a pilot adult drug court, which officials say is a major step toward effectively addressing the local drug problem.

    The Fourth Judicial District drug court seeks to provide treatment and rehabilitation of offenders with substance abuse problems.

  • Gonzales says he rejects partisanship

    Marco Gonzales, a 10-year legislative assistant to Sen. Pete Domenici, was in Las Vegas on Friday to announce his candidacy as a Republican for the 3rd Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

    The GOP candidate spoke to a group of five supporters at Spic and Span. The 5 o’clock evening hour might have been part of the reason for the small turnout.

    Gonzales said maintaining and expanding the mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory would be a primary focus if he were elected to Congress.

  • Man accused of ramming cars

    A Las Vegas man is accused of ramming cars and nearly hitting four people in the process, police say.

    Marvin Martinez, 21, 119 Railroad Ave., was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, driving while intoxicated and criminal damage.

    According to a police report, Martinez rammed several cars in the 5100 block of Hightower north of town shortly after midnight last Tuesday. When state police officers showed up, they witnessed Martinez hitting a white minivan, the report states.

  • West OKs contract for sports facility

    The West Las Vegas School board last week approved a master plan and contract for the first phase of the multi-purpose sports facility.

    The board indicated the necessity to have the project move forward before asking for more money for the next phase.

    The board also discussed its legislative agenda concerning the athletic complex, calling it the district’s No. 1 priority. The Legislature starts meeting this week.

  • Land Office: E-mail broke state policy

    An employee in the State Land Office used the state e-mail system to spread the message suggesting that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is involved in a radical Islamic conspiracy to take over America.

    He sent the e-mail to nearly four dozen people, many of whom are employees in state government, including Public Regulation Commission Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, who is a Democratic candidate for Congress.

    The e-mail was also sent to a Las Vegas city councilman, a local merchant and reporters for the Optic and the Albuquerque Journal, among others in Las Vegas.