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Local News

  • City seeks to get more kids at Fiestas

    The city of Las Vegas, which is organizing next year’s Fiestas de Las Vegas, wants to involve local merchants and attract more children to the annual event.

    Last month, the city took over the July event from the Fiesta Council, a nonprofit group that endured a number of high-profile controversies over the last few months.

    In recent times, the Fiesta Council hadn’t put out a public call for volunteers. Indeed, its president, Mathew Martinez, terminated six of the group’s 18 members in July, saying they were conspiring against him.

  • State police captain retiring

    The captain in charge of the state police stations in Las Vegas and Raton is retiring.

    Capt. Toby Dolan, who joined the state police in 1989, will officially retire on Dec. 31, but he has been taking vacation and sick leave since the beginning of the month.

    “It’s time for me to do something different and let someone else have the reins,” he said.

    Dolan said he had been “hit and miss” the last year and a half while he has suffered from a shoulder problem and he has cared for his father, Mike Dolan, who died in October.

  • Police: Clerk laughs; suspects get scared

    Two Las Vegas men accused of robbing a local convenience store reportedly got an unusual reaction from the victim.

    The clerk laughed.

    That’s because one of the suspects came in wielding a stick at the Sav-O-Mat, 502 University Ave. After the clerk laughed, Anthony Valdez, age unavailable, 518 Columbia, pulled out a knife, according to police.

    The other suspect, Timothy Solano, 31, 703 Socorro St., who allegedly held a knife, later told police that they then got scared and left the store, police said.

  • Man charged in DWI accident

    A Las Vegas man who allegedly hit another driver from behind was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving earlier this week.

    The victim was taken to Alta Vista Regional Hospital for minor injuries and then was released.

    James D. Gallegos, 22, 4635 El Llano Road, was charged with aggravated DWI, his first such offense.

    The victim was Alex Tafoya, San Miguel County’s planning and zoning supervisor.

  • Above and Beyond: Riding to success

    Michael Ortiz will be in Los Lunas this weekend doing what he loves best — riding bulls.

    “I’m going to try to win. I’ve been practicing every day after school,”  the 10-year-old Legion Park Elementary School student said.

    Ortiz is used to winning; he has a collection of almost a dozen championship buckles that he has won at rodeo events statewide. He said he has also competed in rodeos in Texas and Colorado.

  • East board picks interim leader

    Sheryl McNellis-Martinez expressed surprise at being named interim superintendent of Las Vegas City Schools on Monday.

    She wasn’t the only one shocked. The local buzz had other well-known names taking the seat vacated by Rick Romero, whose resignation was accepted at a meeting last week after a controversy over his flash drive that allegedly contained inappropriate files.

  • Transfer station upsets residents

    A city panel on Monday recommended the city annex the solid waste transfer station into city limits and change the area into a heavy industrial zone.

    That upset the station’s neighbors, who contended the city had failed to keep garbage from blowing onto their properties.

    The city, however, wanted to annex the 54 acres to gain the sales tax revenue from a nearly $400,000 project to renovate the transfer station, where trash is taken to be hauled to the garbage dump near Wagon Mound.

  • Fiesta group won’t release finances

    The Las Vegas Fiesta Council is not releasing its finances to the public, its leader says.

    “Our financial records are proprietary at this point,” council President Mathew Martinez said in an e-mail last week to the Optic. “We will not furnish this information to you.”

    The finances became an issue after Martinez terminated a third of the council’s 18 members in July, following the annual Fiestas de Las Vegas. Many of those members said the group hadn’t opened its books to the membership in months.

  • Woman wants East to compensate her for damage to truck

    A Las Vegas woman wants the Las Vegas City Schools to compensate her for damage to her truck after the homecoming bonfire in September.

    Dianna Medrano said her truck sustained extensive damage as a result of the school district’s failure to have appropriate crowd control after the bonfire at Robertson High School on Sept. 9.

    She said she had filed a claim with the school district.

    “Someone needs to pay for the damage. You can’t have kids running around and damaging cars,” Medrano said.

  • Alta Vista’s leader selected

    Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s interim chief executive officer, Maridel Acosta, is keeping her job permanently.

    She has served as interim CEO since Sept. 27, after the resignation of Richard Grogan. The hospital is owned by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.

    Wayne Sonchar, chairman of the hospital’s advisory board, said Acosta is an enthusiastic and accomplished leader who will be a good fit for the hospital and community.