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Local News

  • Stuffed with Love

    Gabrielle Crespin and Arianna Duran want to make the upcoming Valentine’s Day extra special. The 10- year olds have for a few weeks been collecting stuffed animals to give to residents of Las Vegas’ nursing homes.

    “I’m doing this because it will make a lot of other people happy,” Crespin said of her goal to give every nursing home resident a stuffed animal. “I think it will make the people at nursing homes really happy.”

  • District looks to fill top job

    Las Vegas City Schools Board President Gabriel Lucero released the names of applicants for the school district’s top job. Eighteen people from across the nation are looking to fill the seat vacated by former superintendent Rick Romero.

    Four of the names are familiar within the school district, six others are from New Mexico, and the remaining eight applicants come from districts across the United States.

  • Police: Drinking leads to stabbing

    A night of drinking by two friends led to an alleged knife attack, say police.

    Michael A. Garcia, 32, of the 300 block of Washington Avenue in Las Vegas, is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in connection with the Jan. 27 incident.

    Garcia is accused of wielding a kitchen knife and slashing his friend with it during a fight in a Los Vigiles neighborhood (north of Las Vegas) on the evening of Jan. 27.

  • Cold weather blast hits hard

    A blast of winter weather that began Monday and continued into the week wreaked havoc over northern New Mexico in a number of ways.

    Schools closed, as did some businesses. Workers were able to remove most of the snow from the streets and roadways but the ice wouldn’t thaw. Trash collection schedules in Las Vegas were delayed because trucks wouldn’t start. And just as school officials figured they could resume classes on Thursday, with a two-hour delay, they couldn’t get school buses going in the subzero temperatures.

  • Above and Beyond: Fourth-grader thriving at Rio Gallinas

    Taran Franklyn-Atman says he likes Rio Gallinas Charter School, because they go about teaching a bit differently than a traditional public school.

    “Teachers are a lot calmer here. They only yell when they have to,” he said.

    The fourth-grader says he considers everyone in his class his friend. His teachers say the Rio Gallinas student is mild-mannered, kind and a critical thinker.

    Teacher Janice Ulibarri says he’s always prepared for class — and always thinking one step ahead of everyone else.

  • 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.”