Local News

  • Gonzales receiving student support

    Highlands University Regent Javier Gonzales, a Democrat who is considering whether to run for Congress, has attracted some local support.

    Former student body president Jesse Lopez has organized a group of students who are supporting Gonzales’ possible run for the 3rd congressional district seat.

    Gonzales said he would make a decision in the next couple of weeks. He said he wanted to wait until Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., makes his announcement for his expected run for the Senate.

  • Las Vegas bank plans to change its name

    Las Vegas has New Mexico’s oldest state bank, and soon, it will have its newest.

    Bank of Las Vegas, founded in 1890, is the oldest. And starting Dec. 3, First National Bank will be called Community First Bank to reflect its new state designation.

    First National President Keith Tucker said the change was made because state banking regulations are more geared to New Mexicans, while national bank rules are designed for the banking conglomerates.

    Already, one of First National’s competitors appears to be trying to gain mileage from the name change.

  • New club communicates a vision

    A new club is silently voicing its presence at Highlands University and in the community of Las Vegas.

    It’s called the American Sign Language Club of Highlands University, and it’s reaching out to both the hearing and deaf communities. The deaf community in Las Vegas is about a dozen people, said Carol Litherland, club sponsor and American Sign Language instructor.

  • Vegas students build replicas

    Building replicas of Las Vegas landmarks was a fun project for Lauri Madrid’s second-grade class at Paul D. Henry Elementary.

    Displayed along the hall outside Madrid’s classroom were miniatures of places like K-Bobs, Plaza Hotel, Fort Union Drive-in and Robertson High School. Gabriella Tafoya said she was a big Cowboy fan and wanted to resurrect the old Highlands highrise.

    Tafoya took a 4-by-4 block of wood and painted windows and the name of her favorite team, the Cowboys, to complete her project.

  • Luna group looking at how it can grow its fund

    The Luna Community College Foundation, which provides scholarships for students, could get a better return on its investments, officials said last week.

    The foundation now has $242,000, which is a big increase from the few thousand dollars it had just a few years ago. But officials said the foundation could further increase the amount.

    This calendar year, $44,000 was distributed in scholarships, according to the foundation. About 40 students benefitted.

  • Treasurer wants to collect on taxes for moved trailers

    San Miguel County’s treasurer wants to send a message: If you move your mobile home, you’re going to have to pay your taxes.

    Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz is proposing the County Commission pass an ordinance requiring mobile home owners to pay their property taxes, even if they move such homes to other places in New Mexico. He said the ordinance would require mobile home owners to get permits before moving their structures. That process is already in place, but he said the ordinance would formalize the procedure.

  • Advocate: Go after sources of DWI

    When it comes to conquering the problem of drinking and driving, society will have to go after the sources of the problem, an anti-DWI advocate said last week.

    Ray Collins, whose daughter and her family died in an alcohol-related crash in November 2006, said he will lobby at the Legislature, as he did last year, for the enactment of stiffer laws.

  • Trustee: Back college president

    Ambrose Castellano, chairman of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees, said last week that his colleagues need to show their support for the school’s interim president, Sigfredo Maestas.

    As such, he said he called for the board to meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at its campus meeting room, in part, to address a proposed agreement with a consultant that failed to pass at a meeting last week because the trustees deadlocked.

  • Highlands appealing ruling on School of Education

    Highlands University is appealing a ruling from an agency that evaluates the School of Education. But officials are emphasizing that the school remains accredited.

    A team from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, or NCATE, visited the university’s School of Education during the fall of 2006. The group said the school made improvements since the team’s 2004 visit, but the department had not set up a sufficient assessment system of its students and programs.

  • Hundreds see New Mexico debut

    A man carrying a hunting rifle squints. He stands on the rim of a bowl-shaped depression, his mustache dripping with sweat. Heat rises from sparse desert scrub, from the splay of dust-splattered pickup trucks belching bloodied flesh.

    His boots barely sink into ground as he gingerly makes his way down the canyon side; there is no water, no comfort, nothing to absorb the fury of maggot and sun.