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Local News

  • Three arrested on drug charges

    The Mora County Sheriff’s Department has arrested three men on drug charges.

    Emilio Romero, 21, of Sapello; Nicky B. Branch, 19, of Holman; and Joseph Valdez, 21, of Cleveland, N.M., were charged March 12.

    Romero faces charges of trafficking cocaine and ecstasy, conspiracy, tampering with evidence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Valdez is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and conspiracy, and Branch faces charges of conspiracy and tampering with evidence.

  • Council debates conservation

    In a split decision, the City Council last week voted to take the next step toward enacting an updated water conservation ordinance.

    One council member argued that the proposed law would be burdensome for residents. But another countered that it was needed to ensure an adequate water supply.

    At issue was the part of the ordinance requiring water-conserving plumbing. The proposed ordinance would mandate that all nonresidential water users retrofit their buildings with low-water-use fixtures.

  • West board ousts superintendent

    Shortly before midnight Thursday, a majority of the West Las Vegas school board voted down a new contract for Superintendent Jim Abreu.

    That means he will be leaving at the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30.

    The board voted 3-2 against renewing its contract with Abreu, a former Highlands University education dean who has served as superintendent for the last three years. Board members Caroline Lopez, Kenny Lujan and David Romero opposed renewing Abreu’s contract, while Christine Ludi and Gary Gold supported the superintendent.

  • FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE: West district votes down superintendent; board member explains vote against Abreu

    Shortly before midnight Thursday, a majority of the West Las Vegas school board voted down a new contract for Superintendent Jim Abreu.

    That means he will be leaving at the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30.

    The board voted 3-2 against renewing its contract with Abreu, a former Highlands University education dean who has served as superintendent for the last three years. Board members Caroline Lopez, Kenny Lujan and David Romero opposed renewing Abreu's contract, while Christine Ludi and Gary Gold supported the superintendent.

  • Plenty of competition in races

    San Miguel and Mora counties will have their share of competitive races in the June 1 Democratic primary.

    San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil is fending off four opponents in the Democratic primary — Las Vegas police detective Roy Pacheco, Las Vegas police Officer Clarence Romero, former Las Vegas Officer Joseph Santillanes and Ben J. Lujan.

  • City of Las Vegas annexes state hospital

    The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday decided to annex the state hospital — in what is believed to the biggest addition to the city in four decades.

    The council voted unanimously to annex the 153 acres of the hospital property and the neighboring land of Eloisa Peña. Peña’s property was needed to connect the state hospital property to the city.

  • Man sentenced for robbing store

    A man who was accused of holding up a convenience store, among other crimes, has been convicted, the district attorney said.

    Richard Griego, 23, of Ribera has been sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison and two years of parole, District Attorney Richard Flores said in a statement.

    According to the DA’s office, Griego held up the Allsups at 113 S. Grand Ave. Witnesses said Griego placed some items on the counter and as a clerk opened up the cash register, Griego jumped over the counter and pulled out the drawer and fled the store with the cash.

  • You're taking property rights, county told

    Two San Miguel County landowners are asking the County Commission to rescind its moratorium on oil and gas drilling. They said it is impacting their property rights.

    Larry Webb and Phil Bidegain — both of whom own land on the county’s east side — told the commission this week that they have leases with companies for possible oil and gas drilling.

    Webb said he has a lease that comes up on May 4. He said he fears the company may not renew it because of the uncertainty surrounding the moratorium.

  • MVD clerks anger residents

    The drill is usually simple at the local motor vehicle office: Take a number and wait your turn.

    But the rules changed Friday, angering customers.

    The office was shorthanded, so its employees took a lunch and left a bunch of people waiting outside. Around 15 were still there when an Optic reporter showed up around 2 p.m.

  • Grand Avenue under construction

    The long-awaited Grand Avenue project is beginning this week.

    Officials said they hope to finish the $4.4 million project by September. The first phase of work includes the area from Tilden to Columbia streets.