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Local News

  • Sheriff investigating release of inmate

    The San Miguel County Sheriff’s Department is investigating County Manager Les Montoya’s role in the release of an inmate over the weekend.

    Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who has differed with Montoya on a number of issues, confirmed the inquiry, but he said he wouldn’t release any details until he finished it.

  • District judge maintains joint custody terms, for now

    The attorney for a state police officer under investigation in an altercation with his former girlfriend last week asked a judge on Monday to transfer full custody of the pair’s child to the officer.

    But state District Judge Abigail Aragon decided to keep the joint custody terms in place until a surveillance tape that captured the fight is made available.

  • Residents wonder about colored water

    Some city residents have noticed rusty-colored water with a slight odor in recent weeks. But a city official says it isn’t health-threatening.

    The Optic has received calls from a number of water customers concerned about their water quality.

    City Councilman Andrew Feldman said some of his constituents have called him about the problem. He said anytime that the city works on the pipeline system, that will release some accumulated sediments into the system.

    “It’s a visual thing,” he said.

  • City unable to get water from Storrie

    Storrie Lake serves as a backup for storage of city water, but that doesn’t mean much now.

    In late July, a flood caused damage to the pipeline connecting Storrie to the city’s water plant.

    That’s not a big issue now because the city’s two main reservoirs, Peterson and Bradner, are filled up. But it could become critical if Las Vegas were in a drought.

  • Official asked about tax hike

    The president of the Las Vegas City Schools board on Monday pelted the district’s business manager with questions about how she could have avoided a financial problem that is leading to a big increase in taxes.  

    Afterward, board members closed their doors, saying they wanted to discuss a personnel matter involving the 30 percent property tax hike. No decisions were made.

  • Man charged in local burglary

    A man who had just burglarized a business was caught after he parked his car at a convenience store and fell asleep, police said.

    Fernando Garcia, 27, of 1207 N. Commerce St., was charged with burglary, larceny, tampering with evidence, marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and damage to property.

  • State cop under investigation

    A state police officer is under investigation in an altercation that took place outside the Las Vegas Police Department.

    Officer Tom Lucero, in his late 20s, is now reportedly on administrative leave from the state police.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said Friday that around 9 p.m. Wednesday night, the officer met with his former girlfriend for a child custody exchange involving their 17-month-old at the Police Department’s public parking lot. Many such exchanges take place there as part of custody agreements, the chief said.

  • County to consider buffer zones

    The debate over San Miguel County’s proposed ordinance regulating wind farms has boiled down to one major issue — how far they should be away from homes.

    On Tuesday, the County Commission will talk about creating buffer zones for wind turbines along the Pecos and Gallinas rivers — and idea raised in August. It’s not clear how wide the buffers would be.

    The county wind farm task force has proposed a three-mile setback from homes, but the industry and its supporters have called such a restriction onerous and unworkable.

  • Mayor's event pulls in at least $18,000

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz reported Friday that the recent Mayor’s Charity Ball raised at least $18,000.

    The Sept. 25 ball, intended to raise money to help those in need, attracted many local dignitaries.

    Most of the money was raised with the dinner, but a charity casino afterward also drew some dollars.

    The ball was held as part of Las Vegas’ 175th anniversary events.

  • Man accused of abusing 7-week-old

    A Las Vegas man was charged with abusing a 7-week-old baby after he and his wife took their child to the hospital.

    Mathew P. Sandoval Sr., 18, 2323 Calle Bonita No. 24, was charged with one count of child abuse, a third-degree felony.

    On Sept. 23, Sandoval and his wife took their baby to the emergency room at Alta Vista Regional Hospital, according to an arrest warrant.