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Local News

  • West board votes for budget freeze

    A divided West Las Vegas school board last week voted to freeze certain items in the budget after a heated discussion over whether the governing body was overstepping its bounds.

    Top staffers opposed the board-imposed freeze.

    Business Manager Dawn Biagianti said she went into shock when she heard about the proposal.

  • Water project nearing finish

    A project to improve the reliability of the Gallinas River’s water supply is expected to be finished soon, officials say.

    The project involves the construction of a flow control weir and river gate at the Storrie Lake point of diversion upstream.

    The previous river gate had deteriorated over the years and is being rebuilt to function as originally intended.

    New Image Construction of Ribera is the contractor. No interference with irrigation is foreseen at this time. Construction is expected to be completed soon.

  • DWI arrests, crashes dropping

    Statistics show that DWI arrests and crashes in San Miguel County have dropped dramatically since 2004.

    According to numbers from the University of New Mexico, 459 DWI arrests were recorded in the county in 2004, a number that dropped nearly 30 percent to 323 in 2008.

    The greatest drop in the county was for repeat offenders, decreasing from 261 in 2004 to 172 in 2008, a difference of 34 percent.

    The total number of crashes also fell during that period — from 791 to 310. Alcohol-involved crashes also took a plunge from 74 to 28, a nearly 60 percent drop.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Man killed, police say; brother arrested

    Las Vegas police are investigating the death of a Las Vegas man.

    Michael L.  Maestas, 55, was found dead outside of his home at 922 Railroad Ave. early Monday morning.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said his department has arrested Maestas' brother, Joseph "JoJo" Maestas, in connection with the death.

    Gold said he expected officers to file charges against Joseph Maestas as early as this morning.

    Joseph Maestas is in the county jail.

  • Robertson seeks efficient heating system

    The main boiler at Robertson High School was replaced soon after Las City Schools Superintendent Rick Romero called the situation dangerous.

    Now contractors are designing additional improvements to the school’s heating system.   

    The design for the heating system at Robertson High School is about 50 percent complete, officials say. Last year, cracks were found in the old boiler at the school, which Romero considered dangerous.

  • Bank buys historic building

    Community First Bank Las Vegas has acquired the Crockett Building -- better known as the historic Murphey's Drug Store.

    The building at 600 Douglas Ave. is one block north from the bank’s main office.

    The bank’s initial plans are to relocate its teller and new accounts representatives, loan department and senior management to the Crockett Building. The operations and IT functions will remain at the current main office in the interim.

  • Highlands restructures scholarships

    Back in 2006, Highlands University established a tuition-free scholarship for freshmen called the Hope Scholarship.

    The goal: Increasing enrollment.

    The scholarship was available to first-time students regardless of age, financial need or their residence, although in recent times, international students have not been eligible.

    New Mexico high school graduates are eligible for the Lottery Scholarship, but must carry 12 hours and maintain a 2.5 grade point average.

  • Bodies found on east side

    Authorities are treating the death of a Las Vegas man as a homicide.

    The body of Michael Ortiz, 20, 1024 Second St., was found on the property of BTU Block & Concrete in the 1500 block of Commerce Street around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    Ortiz’s family had reported him missing to Las Vegas police early Monday afternoon, saying they hadn’t seen him for four days, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

  • CEO won't have to go to meetings

    The administrator for Alta Vista Regional Hospital won’t have to keep showing up at every monthly meeting of the San Miguel County Commission.

    In November, the county had started requiring Grogan or some other top hospital official to attend meetings, so someone would be available to answer questions about indigent payments to Alta Vista.

    Alta Vista gets regular payments from the county for providing health care to the poorest residents. Counties all around do the same for their respective hospitals.

  • Death being treated as homicide

    Authorities are treating the death of a Las Vegas man as a homicide.

    The body of Michael Ortiz, 20, 1024 Second St., was found on the property of BTU Block & Concrete in the 1500 block of South Commerce St. around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

    Ortiz's family had reported him missing to Las Vegas police early Monday afternoon, saying they hadn't seen him for four days, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    A day before, the body of Karlene Rivera, 30, 510 Grand Ave., was found outside her parents' home in the 600 block of Railroad Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.