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Local News

  • TUESDAY ONLINE STORY: Only one candidate for mayor

    San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz is the only candidate for Las Vegas mayor in the March 2 municipal election.

    Tuesday was filing day for candidates.

    Running for the Ward 1 City Council seat is former longtime Councilman Macario Gonzalez, who is facing Bruce McAllister, Roland Medrano and Tonita Gurule-Giron. The current councilman is Morris Madrid, who decided not to run for another term.

  • Stores cited for selling to minors

    Four Las Vegas businesses have received administrative citations and felony referrals for allegedly selling liquor to minors.

    State police Lt. Eric Garcia, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, said that as part of Operation Holiday Cheer, 19- and 20-year-olds were sent into businesses attempting to buy alcoholic beverages. Thirty-one businesses in Las Vegas were checked, only four allegedly sold to the minors.

    Owners of the four businesses, Ray’s Liquor, the 77 Liquor, Pino’s restaurant and K-Bob’s, declined to comment.

  • East superintendent expecting more budget reductions

    The head of the Las Vegas City Schools says he wants to prepare the district for budget cuts.

    Superintendent Rick Romero said if the district were to base the 2010-11 budget on enrollment numbers after the 40th day of school, it would be $500,000 in the hole.

    “The district, by virtue of a special session, is having to deal with a 1 percent budget decrease. By this time, we can be assured that that 1 percent is now at least a 1.8 percent decrease,” Romero told the school board recently.

  • Land commissioner to meet with lawmakers about land swap

    State Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons will be meeting with area state lawmakers on the proposed trade of state land with ranchers in the White Peak area.

    Many sportsmen have complained about the swap, saying it's taking prime hunting ground from the public. Gov. Bill Richardson has joined them in the criticism.

    The Land Office has defended the trade as providing a better alignment of state and private lands in the White Peak area. The agency has noted that many people have been trespassing on private land there.

  • West crash tied to alcohol

    An allegedly drunk West Las Vegas employee totaled a school district car nearly five months ago in Moriarty, authorities say.

    The employee, John J. Roybal, 41, a mechanic for West Las Vegas, hasn’t been charged and remains on the job.

    Roybal and another man, David J. Solano, 42, both of Las Vegas, had gone to a bar and then a strip club in Moriarty before they crashed the West Las Vegas car around 12:30 a.m. Aug. 5, according to a report from the Torrance County Sheriff’s Department.

  • Official seeks more oversight

    West Las Vegas school board member Caroline Lopez wants more oversight and scrutiny of the district administration’s decisions and activities.

    And she is requesting direct communication between the board and the state Public Education Department.

    Her latest comments were a further response to a recent report by the state Legislative Finance Committee, which contended the district was top heavy, among other criticisms.

  • Drug bust takes place at Urban Wear

    Two days before the new year, investigators from the Region IV Narcotics Task Force executed what they called a “high-risk narcotics search warrant” at two locations, leading to the arrest of local businessman Alex Romero.

    According on a news release, Romero has been charged with numerous counts of narcotic violations, including child endangerment.

    Romero owns the store Urban Wear at 428 Grand Ave., and resides at 545 Hermosa Lane in the Camp Luna area, north of the Las Vegas city limits. Police say illegal drugs were found at both locations.

  • 2009: A look at the year's top stories

    Unlike in years past, Optic readers got to select the top stories for the year 2009, and the results reveal considerable correlation with selections of the Optic’s editorial staff, which elected this year to let subscribers decide.

    Topping the list was the multiple homicides in the Las Vegas area over the last year.

  • Mayor says he won't run again

    After two years at the helm, Mayor Tony Marquez announced this week that he would not run for another term.

    In March 2008, he trounced Mayor Henry Sanchez with nearly 40 percent of the vote in a five-way race. He came in promising to bring greater accountability and transparency and ending politics as usual.

    In a press release on Wednesday, Marquez said he wanted to spend more time on his faith, his family and on fitness. He also said he would explore his political options.

  • Polar plunge on Friday

    Most people have been staying warm inside their houses the last few weeks, leaving only when they need to.

    But that won’t be the case for Philip Romero and scores of other Las Vegans at noon on New Year’s Day. They plan to take part in the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Storrie Lake.

    They go to the dock, and they all brave the chilly waters of Storrie. Most years, a crew has to break up the ice around the dock just so people can get in.