Local News

  • 16 apply for public defender post

    Submitted to the Optic
    The New Mexico Public Defender Commission announced Wednesday that it has received 16 applications for the chief public defender positions.
    Applicants are:
    • Jorge Alvarado
    • Bennett Baur
    • John Henry Browne
    • Sophie Cooper
    • James Egar
    • Joseph Gandert
    • John Gross
    • Lelie Hood
    • Mary McMahon
    • Barry Porter
    • Marc Reitman
    • Tomas Rodriguez
    • Celia Rumann

  • Jail Log - Sept. 13, 2013

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between Aug. 29 and Sept. 6:
    Dominic Branch, 21, probation violation: failure to appear, absconding, Adult Probation Office
    Henry Santillanes, 56, criminal damage to property
    Carmen Salazar, 19, shoplifting larceny
    Anthony Flores, 51, shoplifting, child abuse, bench warrant  LV Municipal/SM Magistrate
    Robert Sena, 51, criminal sexual penetration, dwelling, burglary

  • Wind farms kill 67 eagles in 5 years

    By Dina Cappiello
    The Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists.
    The research represents one of the first tallies of eagle deaths attributed to the nation’s growing wind energy industry, which has been a pillar of President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Wind power releases no air pollution.

  • In Brief - New Mexico News - Sept. 13, 2013

    The Associated Press

    Man gets life sentence

    FARMINGTON — An Arizona man has been sentenced to life in prison in the 2011 beating death of a Farmington man during a break-in.
    The Daily Times reports that District Judge John Dean sentenced 24-year-old Donovan King of Red Valley to life in prison plus 18 years in the death of 40-year-old Kevin Lossiah in Lossiah’s apartment.

  • Ads support Gov in dispute

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press
    SANTA FE — A nonprofit group run by a former official in Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is airing radio ads in support of the Republican administration’s decision to halt payments to mental health providers under investigation for possible overbillings, mismanagement and fraud.
    Sara Lister, executive director of New Mexico Competes, said Wednesday that the radio ads are running statewide through this week.

  • Man sentenced in election fraud case

    The Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE — A New Mexico man recently convicted of conspiring to steal money intended for voter education efforts was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
    U.S. District Judge William Johnson also ordered Joseph Kupfer, of Rio Rancho, to join his co-defendants in paying more than $1 million in restitution to the state and the Internal Revenue Service.

  • Teacher saves choking child

    By Jen Treacy
    For the Optic

    A local fourth-grade boy is still alive because of a teacher’s quick action.  

    Last week Andres Quintana, a 10-year-old who attends Legion Park Elementary School, began to turn blue while choking on a plastic seal from a water bottle.

    Teacher Jessica Gutierrez recognized the emergency and swiftly performed the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging the object and saving Quintana’s life.  

  • Bear invasion - Sightings becoming frequent

    An uninvited guest has been visiting John Vigil and his family almost nightly for nearly a month. Vigil said a black bear has been coming to his neighborhood near the Plaza in search of food.

    Ty Jackson of the New Mexico Game and Fish department said sightings of black bears in Las Vegas are far too common lately. Jackson said the department has responded to 30 incidents from Las Vegas to Pecos regarding black bears since Aug. 20.

  • ‘River of tires’ cleaned up ahead of schedule

    The more than 160,000 scrap tires that had been dumped on state trust land southeast of Wagon Mound have been removed, state Land Commissioner Ray Powell announced Tuesday.

    Cleanup of the site was required under a global settlement agreement reached in March between the Land Office and Kansas Equity Investments and Daniels Ranches. Removal of the tires occurred two months ahead of schedule.

  • Duncan kicks off back-to-school tour

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan kicked off a four-state, back-to-school bus tour in New Mexico on Monday with discussions about early childhood education and efforts to turn around schools where students have been languishing.

    Duncan told a crowd of school officials, teachers, parents and union leaders that the country is at a fork in the road.