Category: Articles

Breaking Down Barriers: Program decriminalizes addiction by emphasizing recovery, not jail

Breaking Down Barriers: Program decriminalizes addiction by emphasizing recovery, not jail

From the Las Vegas Optic ALAMOSA, Colo. — They are struggling, often at the lowest point in their lives. Then they’re arrested. Charged with a crime, they face fines, fees and maybe even a lengthy sentence behind bars. They come from varied backgrounds and walks of life. The events that led them into the courtroom…

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One man hospitalized following Sunday shooting

One man hospitalized following Sunday shooting

From the Las Vegas Optic One man is hospitalized and one man is facing felony charges following a shooting Sunday evening on the west side of Las Vegas. Dominic A. Lopez, 28, of Las Vegas, was arrested Sunday night and charged with one count of third-degree felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and two…

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Breaking Down Barriers: ‘An ongoing battle’: Corrections staff work to prevent drug trade in county jail

Breaking Down Barriers: ‘An ongoing battle’: Corrections staff work to prevent drug trade in county jail

From the Las Vegas Optic Editor’s note: The following is part five in an ongoing series on drug and alcohol addiction in San Miguel and Mora counties. In the coming weeks, we’ll explore what’s being done about it and take a look at how other communities are addressing addiction. Ashley N. Fernandez approached the nondescript…

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Jail staff, inmates test negative for COVID-19

Jail staff, inmates test negative for COVID-19

From the Las Vegas Optic No new coronavirus cases were detected during testing of all inmates and staff at the San Miguel County Detention Center, according to Warden Matt Elwell. The testing was prompted after one inmate tested positive May 5 during routine testing. New Mexico Department of Health officials tested staff and other inmates…

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Jail staff, inmates await coronavirus test results

Jail staff, inmates await coronavirus test results

From the Las Vegas Optic Twenty-two staff members at the San Miguel County Detention Center are currently living at the jail after an inmate tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, according to Warden Matthew Elwell. New Mexico Department of Health officials tested all inmates and staff members on Wednesday, though he was not given a time…

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Affeldt appointed to governor’s Economic Recovery Council

Affeldt appointed to governor’s Economic Recovery Council

From the Las Vegas Optic Hospitality entrepreneur and philanthropist Allan Affeldt, who owns the Plaza and La Castañeda hotels in Las Vegas, has been selected as one of 15 business and labor leaders from across New Mexico to advise Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on strategies for reopening businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.…

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Father charged with felony child abuse remains free, receives summons

Father charged with felony child abuse remains free, receives summons

From the Las Vegas Optic A Pecos man was charged with two felony counts of child abuse for allegedly kicking and slapping his children on several occasions, according to court records. Andrew Page, 39, was charged April 6 with two counts of child abuse not resulting in death or great bodily harm, both third-degree felonies.…

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Coronavirus outbreak a concern for jails

Coronavirus outbreak a concern for jails

From the Las Vegas Optic Most businesses and some government offices have closed temporarily to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but closing isn’t an option for the state’s courts and jails. The U.S. Constitution provides several rights to anyone charged with a crime, and the New Mexico Rules of Criminal Procedure further outline rights…

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Data on local COVID-19 testing remains elusive

Data on local COVID-19 testing remains elusive

From the Las Vegas Optic More than 14,000 New Mexicans have been tested for the COVID-19 virus, but the number of people tested in San Miguel or Mora counties is difficult to determine. Data provided by the New Mexico Department of Health does not detail the number of tests given in particular counties, and according…

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Jail bookings, arrests lower since first case of coronavirus

Jail bookings, arrests lower since first case of coronavirus

From the Las Vegas Optic Criminal bookings at the San Miguel County Detention Center have decreased substantially since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in New Mexico on March 11, according to data compiled by the Optic. During the two-week period of March 11 to March 25 in 2019, SMCDC had 92 criminal bookings. During…

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