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Local News

  • Highlands students visit Chihuahua

    Eighteen students from New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work had the chance to practice both their social work and Spanish-speaking skills during a two-week visit to Chihuahua City, Mexico.

  • City to look at transferring authority

    The City Council today is expected to look at a plan to transfer day-to-day authority over the Las Vegas-San Miguel County Office of Emergency Management to the county.

    In December, the County Commission agreed to have the county assume control of that agency, which coordinates responses to emergencies.

    Dennis English, the county’s safety coordinator and a former Las Vegas police captain, is expected to head the emergency office. County Manager Les Montoya has said that English has the background to run the office.

  • Campos named president

    In a widely expected decision, the Luna Community College Board of Trustees named Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Pete Campos as the school’s new president.

    The board voted 6-0 in favor of Campos, with Trustee Levi Alcon abstaining. The trustees must still negotiate a start date and salary for Campos, who is also a state senator.

    Campos couldn’t attend the meeting because the City Schools board meeting was at the same time, but he got word of the decision through a text message.

  • Members take leave of absence

    Two members of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation’s board have taken leaves of absence until the March 4 municipal election.

    Sharon Vander Meer, EDC’s president, announced this week that EDC Vice President Matt Martinez and board member Diane Moore will step away from the organization until the election.

  • 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.