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Local News

  • Las Vegas teen reported missing

    Sixteen-year-old Miranda R. Mondragon of Las Vegas missing, police said.

    Mondragon was last seen Tuesday afternoon.

    Mondragon is described as a 5 feet, 2 inches tall Hispanic female, who weighs 110 pounds.

    Miranda has shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes; she was last seen wearing a white and black hooded pullover and blue jeans. There is suspicion that Mondragon may possibly be in Colorado. Mondragon also has a medical condition that requires medication, police said.  

  • Local official placed on leave

    A top local official in the state Children, Youth and Families Department has been placed on paid leave, a department spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

    Audra Salas, the county manager for the department’s Protective Services Division, has been on leave for the last couple of weeks, spokeswoman Romaine Serna said.

    Serna said because it’s a personnel matter, she couldn’t provide any more details.

    The Protective Services Division deals with child welfare issues such as abuse and neglect. It also handles the foster kids program.

  • West business office criticized

    West Las Vegas school district’s business office is rife with backbiting and gossip, according to a report commissioned by the superintendent.

    In August, Superintendent Ruben Cordova received the report, and soon after, then-Business Manager Dawn Biagianti announced her resignation.

    In an interview last week, Cordova, who started in July, said Biagianti resigned on her own and that he wasn’t aware of the report’s effect on her decision.

    Biagianti, who served about a year, didn’t return a message for comment.

  • Code cops get barrage of calls

    For Las Vegas' code enforcement officers, advertising worked.

    During the summer, the city took out ads on local radio stations to ask residents to report code violations — tall weeds, inoperable cars, junk piles, water waste, and loose dogs and cats.

    Before the ads, the city, which moved code enforcement to the Police Department a few months ago, had the city divided into six sectors. The officers would patrol a different sector each day.

  • Official improving, daughter says

    City Councilman David Romero suffered a stroke last month, and he has yet to return to work.

    Now, residents are helping his family raise funds because Romero and his wife have been away from their jobs since the stroke. Romero is in rehabilitation in Albuquerque.

    “He’s doing great. He’s progressing very fast. He’s walking and talking,” his daughter, Sonia Romero, told the City Council last week.

    “We’re concerned for his health,” Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said.

  • Mentor of the Month: Teaching hands-on skills

    Shortly after graduating from Robertson High School in 1966, John Rudolph was sailing the seas aboard the USS Buchanan, a U.S. Navy-guided missile destroyer.

    As a third-class boatswains mate, he learned a lot about maintenance and keeping up the ship’s appearance.

    Rudolph’s first port of call was Hawaii, so coming from a landlocked state like New Mexico, he was able to see a good bit of the world.

  • Cop, councilman criticize judge

    A police officer’s frustrations with the Municipal Court bubbled to the surface during a meeting last week.

    City police Lt. Lawrence O’Connor said in a meeting with Bridge Street merchants that Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo involved “political BS” in some of his decisions. He said the judge is more lenient with people he knows.

  • Ex-teacher wants trial out of town

    The Las Vegas Optic’s coverage of a local story was the story in a Fourth Judicial District courtroom Friday.

    A former Robertson High School teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student wants to move the trial out of town. During a hearing to change the venue the lawyer for Jay Quintana, Tom Clark, argued that the newspaper’s extensive coverage would taint the jury pool against his client.

    “You have a reporter here today, and this story will be contained in 5,100 newspapers going out to the general public,” Clark told the court.

  • Mayor's ball raises money

    The guests walked in on a red carpet on Saturday night, and a spotlight shone into the sky.

    No, it wasn’t an L.A. awards ceremony. It was the Mayor’s Charity Ball, part of Las Vegas’ 175th anniversary celebration.

    Hundreds showed up for the ball, which took place in the ballroom at Plaza Hotel.

  • Expert: Add effluent to water

    For the last few years, the city of Las Vegas has used its treated wastewater to irrigate city parks, Highlands University’s golf course and Robertson High School’s fields.

    Now, a consultant is suggesting the city look at sending the wastewater — known as effluent — to the water plant, treating it and putting it into the city’s drinking water supply.

    “If this isn’t publicly acceptable, it will be good to know that,” said Ron Mosher of Albuquerque-based Molzen-Corbin and Associates.