Wrong-way Driver Faces Dwi Charge

New Mexican
February 5, 2009

An Alcalde woman with a history of drunken driving was arrested Wednesday after she was spotted driving the wrong way on Interstate 25, state police said.

Stephanie Maestas whose driver's license was already suspended for drinking and driving was first seen by another motorist about 11 a.m. traveling southbound in the northbound lanes, police spokesman Peter Olson said. Maestas U-turned in the road's median at least twice, he said.

A deputy in an unmarked Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department car was able to stop the car briefly, but Maestas, 41, took off, according to a state police news release. Two Sheriff's Department vehicles were able to stop Maestas on I-25 at the Eldorado exit, Olson said. No one was injured in the incident.

Maestas smelled of alcohol and couldn't walk "very well," the news release said, but she refused to take a breath-alcohol test.

She was charged Wednesday with DWI, driving with a suspended or revoked license, careless driving and other charges.

She has been arrested twice before for DWI, the statement said.

Jailed priest seeks Obama clemency

The Web site for a Manila newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, reported that a former Santa Fe priest serving a 10-year sentence for child molestation is seeking a pardon from President Barack Obama.

The Web site quoted Persida Ruada-Acosta, the chief of the Public Attorney's Office in Manila, as saying that Jose Superiaso had asked her for help in relaying his request for clemency. She said Superiaso, who has been behind bars for five years, "has already satisfied the rehabilitative and reformative intent of incarceration."

Superiaso was a priest at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi when he was arrested in Northern California on charges involving a sexual relationship with a girl he baby-sat in the mid-1990s. He pleaded guilty in 2005 to six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14. The charges date to his time as a priest at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Daly City, Calif., prior to his assignment to Santa Fe.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, opposed the pardon in a statement saying, "Kids are safer with Fr. Superiaso behind bars. We hope he stays there."

Pecos rejects school bond issue

PECOS A $3.5 million bond issue for the Pecos school district failed to pass in Tuesday's election.

The proposal lost by a mere 37 votes 270 people voted yes and 307 people voted no.

The rejection came amidst light turnout among voters. A total of 577 people cast ballots out of 3,060 eligible to vote on the bond question.

Proceeds from the bond issue were to be used mostly for maintenance and security upgrades. The bond would have raised property taxes by an estimated $1.25 a month for every $150,000 of home value.

Last March, Pecos voters rejected a $4.7 million bond issue by a 34-vote margin. That measure would have raised property taxes by $3.75 a month for every $150,000 of home value.

The two Pecos residents who ran unopposed for the Pecos School Board Victor Ortiz and Michael Flores will take their seats during the board's Feb. 17 meeting. Ortiz got 377 votes and Flores 278.

Principal on leave at Robertson

LAS VEGAS, N.M. The principal of Robertson High School, where members of the football team were accused of assaulting fellow team members last fall, has been placed on leave, but officials say it's unrelated to the sexual assault case.

Superintendent Rick Romero says Principal Richard Lopez was put on paid leave Friday in a separate matter.

He would not comment further, saying it's a personnel issue.

"I don't want people to misunderstand or misconstrue the circumstances that have led to this and the situation that occurred in the fall," Romero said.

Issues recently brought to the attention of the district prompted the decision to put Lopez on leave, he said.

Lopez became assistant principal and athletic director in 1999. He was promoted to principal in 2001.

Last month, a judge ruled five former Robertson football players would stand trial on felony charges in the sexual assault case. A sixth former player pleaded guilty to criminal sexual penetration and conspiracy charges.

S.F. Opera offers deal to subscribers

The Santa Fe Opera is offering 2009 season subscribers a chance to save.

People who by tickets for the whole season can get a 25 percent discount off the purchase of two additional tickets for four of this summer's operas, through Feb. 27.

A letter the opera has sent to subscribers urges them to use the coupons "to purchase extra tickets for your own use, to bring friends on your performance evenings, or to give to others to encourage them to attend Santa Fe Opera performances."

The offer applies to Mozart's Don Giovanni, Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, Gluck's Alceste, and the world premiere of Paul Moravec and Terry Teachout's The Letter, starring soprano Patricia Racette. Verdi's La traviata, with international favorite Natalie Dessay in the title role, is not part of the offer.

Hunt application deadline extended

Because of e-mail service problems, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will extend the deadline for applications for 2009-2010 oryx licenses, bear Wildlife Management Area permits, population reduction hunts and special spring turkey permits to Friday. Online applications must be made before 5 p.m. on the deadline day. Paper applications must be delivered or postmarked on or before the deadline day.

For more information about big-game hunting in New Mexico, see the 2009-2010 Big Game & Trapper Rules and Information Booklet, available at all license vendors and department offices, and online at Information also is available by calling 505-476-8000.

To be eligible for the drawing, all hunters must obtain a free customer ID number online at www.wildlife.state.nm

.us or by visiting a department office in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Las Cruces or Roswell.

N.M. soldier dies in Iraq wreck

FORT CARSON, Colo. The Defense Department says a Fort Carson soldier from New Mexico died after a vehicle accident in Iraq.

The military said Wednesday that Spc. Darrell L. Fernandez died Saturday in Kirkuk. The accident is under investigation.

The 25-year-old Fernandez was from Truth or Consequences. He graduated from Hot Springs High School and married his high school sweetheart, Katrina, shortly after graduation, said his father-in-law, Richard Fair.

Governor appoints new NMMI regent

Gov. Bill Richardson has appointed John F. Russell II of Roswell to the New Mexico Military Institute Board of Regents.

Richardson described Russell as an active member of the community and a distinguished NMMI alumnus.

Russell owns the Robert V. Ely Insurance Agency in Roswell. He is a high school and junior college graduate of NMMI and has a bachelor's degree from Eastern New Mexico University.

Russell replaces Bill Armstrong. His term will expire Dec. 31, 2014.


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