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Today's News

  • Changing of fire department's name subject of dispute

    More than 150 residents in the Pecos Canyon want to name their fire station after a former San Miguel County commissioner who is running again for the same post in June.

    But the County Commission turned back the effort, saying it wanted to receive input from firefighters in the Pecos Canyon Fire Department and members of the Fire Chiefs Association.

  • Longtime Highlands supporter takes post

    Leveo Sanchez remembers working as a ditch digger at Highlands University. Now he is one of its regents.

    A day after Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Sanchez as a regent last week, Sanchez’s new colleagues had nothing but good to say about him.

    “He has given so much of his life to the university. He has given so much of his experience and his money to the school,” said Javier Gonzales, chairman of the Board of Regents.

    Gonzales said he doesn’t know of anyone who has given so much money to the university individually.

  • Most county hopefuls don't show

    Eight County Commission candidates were invited to a forum Wednesday night; only three showed.

    Of the three candidates for the Las Vegas-based District 5 commission seat, only Nicolas Leger attended. Richard Maestas, Leger’s opponent in the June 3 Democratic primary, and the lone Republican, Fred Romero, didn’t show. Maestas said a couple of days ago that he would be attending his grandmother’s 96th birthday party in Albuquerque.

  • County agrees to land grant request

    San Miguel County is asking that the federal government give land grants the right of first refusal when it is selling its lands.

    Members of the San Miguel del Bado Land Grant told the commission this week that the Bureau of Land Management is planning to sell various parcels in San Miguel County.

    Ramon Lucero, who is an heir to the grant and a commission candidate, said the federal agency is planning to dispose of its parcels before it finishes a draft resource management plant.

  • Council members walk out

    Two City Council members walked out of a special meeting Tuesday morning, saying they weren’t properly notified.

    Mayor Tony Marquez, however, said he believes they were notified, though the matter was left up to staff to do so, as is typically the case.

    “There was no malicious intent to leave them out of the loop,” Marquez said.

  • State rep hopefuls talk spending

    State Rep. Richard Vigil told an audience at a candidates forum Tuesday about legislation he’s pushed that he said has helped Las Vegas.

    One of his opponents, Travis Regensberg, questioned the state’s priorities for spending, and another rival, Naomi Montoya, spoke against the expansion of government.

    The three are vying to be the Democratic nominee for District 70 state representative in the June 3 primary. District 70 covers Las Vegas, the Valley, other rural areas in San Miguel County and the eastern portion of Torrance County.

  • Council wants look at gas credits

    Just before the March city election, the biggest issue was how much the city would give back to natural gas customers for alleged overcharges.

    Since then, little has been said.

    Councilman Morris Madrid broke that relative silence about possible credits for customers during last week’s council meeting. He proposed that the city get Dennis Gee, a natural gas rates consultant, to examine the issue.

    “He’s independent of the city. He’s outside of it, and he has no axes to grind,” he said.

  • Film about Vegas woman whose son is on death row

    Two documentary filmmakers from a Danish television network recently visited Las Vegas to interview and record the daily life of Muina Arthur, the mother of a Texas death row inmate.

    Martin Martensen-Larsen and Martin Sundstrm and their team back in Denmark will present a 30-minute film about the death penalty to the Danish people. Capital punishment does not exist in any European Union country, the two said.

    They have also visited Texas on this trip, where they interviewed a woman whose son was executed by the Texas prison system in 2000.

  • High-profile student leader leaving for Hawaii

    Jesse Lopez, perhaps the most high-profile student leader locally in years, praised Highlands University officials at his final Board of Regents meeting last week. He even had kind words for old adversaries.

    Lopez, previously the undergraduate student body president and more recently the graduate student president, collected his master’s degree at Saturday’s commencement and plans to move to Hawaii later this month.

  • Highlands University raising employees' salaries

    The Highlands University Board of Regents approved a contract with the faculty union last week, giving members an average of 10 percent increases.

    The faculty union started a couple of years ago, and last week’s agreement was its first with the administration.

    The regents also signed off on pay raises for nonunion employees. The lowest-paid workers will get the biggest increases.

    Highlands President James Fries called the agreement with the faculty union a “historic document.”