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Local News

  • Drug plea nets 5-plus years for Benavidez

    An convicted drug dealer from Las Vegas has been sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison.

    Herminio “Ermie” Benavidez, 32, had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine. The plea agreement came Nov. 6, 2009.

    A federal judge in the Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court sentenced Benavidez on Jan. 25.

  • East board getting a new look

    By Tom McDonald and Don Pace
    Las Vegas Optic

    A veteran member of the Las Vegas City Schools board has been defeated in his attempt for a six straight term in office.

    Ricky Serna, 30, earned his first four-year term on the school board by defeating Patrick Romero by only 59 votes. Serna garnered 41 percent of the vote to Romero’s 36 percent. Stephanie Salazar, a Las Vegas police dispatcher, got 23 percent of the vote in that race.

  • West LV unseats two out of three

    By Tom McDonald and Don Pace
    Las Vegas Optic

    Four years ago, they rode in to office on a wave of dissatisfaction with how the West Las Vegas School District had been handling it finances. This year, two of them were driven out by another wave of apparent dissatisfaction.

  • Man charged with battery, more

    A Belen man is accused of beating his girlfriend, dragging her by the hair, throwing her over a fence, stuffing dirt in her mouth and nose and threatening her life during a Jan. 27 fight near the village of Ribera.

    John Whiteman, 41, of Belen, is charged with first-degree kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and aggravated battery against a household member.

  • ‘A calling’

    For Christian Montaño, it’s a lot more than a job.

    “Being a police officer is a calling more than a career,” the new chief of police for Las Vegas said. “For me, going through the ranks was a calling, to be a police officer but also to become chief. … I was offered the (chief’s) job years ago, but I declined, not really for personal reasons but for the good of the department. I wasn’t ready at that time.”

  • School board election information


    LAS VEGAS CITY SCHOOLS

    Candidates

    Position 3: Felix Alderete, Sandra Madrid, Carlos Perea
    Position 4: Gloria Lovato-Pacheco, Eric Cummings, Mark A. Montoya
    Position 5: Ricky Serna, Patrick Romero (i), Stephanie Salazar

    POLLING PLACES

    PRECINCTS 2, 5, 6, 14A AND 25 – CARNEGIE LIBRARY
    PRECINCTS 4, 11, 12, 27 AND 28 – MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
    PRECINCTS 1 AND 7 – DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
    PRECINCTS 9 AND 10 – MIKE MATEO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

  • 17 candidates on ballots for school board

    Seventeen candidates, including four incumbents, are running for six positions in the two Las Vegas school districts — and Tuesday is decision day.

    Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 11 precincts for this year’s school board elections in the West Las Vegas and Las Vegas City school districts.

    San Miguel County Clerk Melanie Rivera said last week that while absentee and early voting, which ended Friday, have been relatively slow, she’s expecting a strong turnout in both districts.

  • All for literacy

    Kids and parents who didn’t make it to the third annual Literacy Fair at the Las Vegas recreation center Saturday missed a lot of fun stuff.

    Those who did attend the the event got to put puzzles together, draw pictures, act and, of course read (and be read to). Plus, they got freebies like pencils, pens, key chains and children’s books.   

    Memorial Middle School sixth-grader Emilio Martinez and North Star third-grader Jose Ortiz liked seeing their names elaborately written in Chinese and Korean by students at the United World College booth.

  • Montaño named new PD chief

    It was a packed house at the Las Vegas City Council chambers Wednesday, with most in the audience there to see a promotion.

    Surrounded by family, friends and police officers, Christian Montaño, an 18-year veteran of the city’s police force, was named chief of police after nearly three months serving as interim chief. Following Mayor Alfonso Ortiz’s recommendation, the council voted 3-0 to name him to the permanent position.

  • Senior Profile: The ‘garb,’ the ‘grab’ and the ‘brag’

    It was one of those very cold days in January, but what the weather did not offer in warmth, Ravi Parashar more than made up for.

    An instructor in economics at the United World College, Ravi resounds with students, fellow professionals and others who come in contact with him at the college and throughout the Las Vegas community.

    “One really amazing thing — the day we got here he already knew all our names. He really cares about us,” Mauri Lahti, a student from Finland, said.