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Local News

  • Crime hits Bridge Street area

    Merchants on Bridge Street are calling for action in response to a spate of crime in their area. Many say they are concerned about loitering youths.

    Last week, more than 40 people gathered at the Plaza Hotel for a meeting with Police Chief Gary Gold and other police officials. On the large conference table were dozens of photos showing evidence of graffiti, broken windows and other crimes.

    In a least one instance, a business’ window was broken in the middle of the day — an example of brazenness that the merchants say is becoming more common.

  • Robbery suspect nabbed after standoff

    After a four-hour standoff, Las Vegas police captured a man suspected of robbing a local convenience store.

    Nicholas Leyba, 23, 776 Dalbey Drive, was charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

  • 40-year Las Vegas Optic ex-employee dies

    Clarence Falvey, a printer who worked at the Las Vegas Optic for nearly a third of its 131-year history, died Tuesday.

    Falvey worked at the Optic from 1959 to 1999. That’s a long time for an employee at this newspaper; currently, the paper’s longest-serving employee, Michael Pacheco, has been here a dozen years.

    When Falvey began at the Optic, he initially worked with “hot type.” The type eventually turned cold, with the advent of “offset” printing, and at the same time, Falvey’s position rose, to mechanical superintendent.

  • Calendar

    WEDNESDAY

    • Story time will be at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, in the children’s area at Carnegie Public Library. The theme will be “Football Kickoff,” and the book will be “Kick the Football, Charlie Brown” by Charles M. Schulz. The craft will be a team pennant. The programs are open to the public.

    THURSDAY

    • The Las Vegas Community Water Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the Technology Building of Luna Community College.

  • City: No to low-fly zone

    To applause, the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously against a Cannon Air Force Base proposal to fly its planes as low as 200 feet as part of training.

    The base wants to use much of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as a training area, and it is seeking public comment until early next month from area communities.

    But the proposal has faced much opposition in some communities, including Las Vegas and Taos.

  • Denish says she would push consolidation

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish said this week that she would pressure the two local school districts to come to the table to talk about consolidating their administrations.

    In an interview with the Optic’s editorial board, Denish said the state should provide incentives for the Las Vegas City Schools and West Las Vegas to combine. For instance, any savings should stay within the districts, going into the classroom rather than administration.

  • East adviser takes some blame

    Regardless of who is to blame, east-side residents will see their property taxes increase by a whopping 30 percent come Nov. 1. 

    At a school board meeting this week, the district’s finance adviser, Al Clemmons, took some of the responsibility for the unexpected hike in taxes.

    San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz told members of the Las Vegas City Schools board at its regular meeting this week that his office is being bombarded with people saying they are not going to pay the higher rate.

  • City-Luna dispute may go to court

    A dispute between the city and Luna Community College over old natural gas bills probably will go to court, the mayor said last week.

    The city says it must collect the bills, while Luna contends they aren’t a valid debt.

    In 2008, then-Utilities Director George DuFour forgave $81,000 in charges after Luna paid half its bill. The city had been undercharging Luna for its gas from January 2001 to September 2006 because of an incorrect meter register number that was entered when the gas meter was installed, which resulted in the debt.

  • Council members raises constituents complaints

    Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron brought up a list of specific complaints from constituents at last week’s City Council meeting, which didn’t please some of her colleagues.

    Among the problems was a drainage issue and a weed complaint.

    Councilwoman Diane Moore said such matters should go through city employee Teresa Duran, whose job is to log and track such complaints.

    “She’ll take care of a majority of those issues,” City Manager Timothy Dodge said.

  • East ponders tax hike

    The superintendent of the Las Vegas City Schools agrees with the county treasurer that property taxes for east-side residents will increase dramatically.

    That’s to pay for a school district bond issue that funds building improvements.

    Last week, San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz announced to the County Commission that residents in the Las Vegas City Schools district would see their tax rates increase by 30 percent. For example, a household that paid $900 in taxes last year would have to fork out nearly $1,200 this year.