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Local News

  • Week's success credited to marketing

    This year’s Heritage Week festivities drew many more people than usual, a success attributed to an effective marketing campaign, a businesswoman told the City Council last week.

    Nancy Colalillo, owner of Tome on the Range Books, said her store was one of 20 organizations that worked to showcase the history and culture of Las Vegas during Heritage Week.

    The groups provided 35 events and activities from Aug. 7 to Aug. 15, with the Places With a Past Tour anchoring the first weekend and the People’s Faire anchoring the second.

  • Official: City hiked rates improperly

    A 2008 increase to trash rates never went before the City Council, which is a violation of a city ordinance, a top official said last week.

    During the recent debate over whether to increase garbage rates by 43 percent, Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron said a 10 percent increase in late 2008 hadn’t gone before the council. Gurule-Giron, who wasn’t on the council at the time, said residents had been overcharged since then.

  • Romero still in hospital

    City Councilman Dave Romero is still in the hospital, where he is reportedly recovering from a stroke.

    He apparently suffered the stroke two weeks ago and was sent to an Albuquerque hospital.

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz told the council last week that he had visited Romero.

    “He recognized me. He shook my hand, but he didn’t verbalize anything. I hear he’s doing better on a daily basis,” the mayor said. “I hope things go well for him.”

  • City starts cleanup of junkyard along I-25

    The city of Las Vegas deployed dozens of its employees Saturday to begin the cleanup of a junkyard along Interstate 25.

    Armed with a court order, the city showed up unannounced, hoping that owner Tony Ortega hadn’t been tipped off. By mid-morning, Ortega, a longtime code violator, hadn’t gone to the property.

    City workers used dump trucks and tractors to clear the trash. The harder part will come later when they remove at least 50 inoperable vehicles, including semi trucks, school buses and trucks. Old mobile homes also sit on the property.

  • Two women reported hurt in crash

    Two women were injured in a car accident Thursday morning, city police said.

    According to police, 63-year-old Lillian Sanchez was headed north on Grand Avenue when she attempted to turn left onto New Mexico Avenue. She struck a car driven by Sara Dean, 29, who was headed south on Grand, police said. The collision caused Dean’s car to swerve to the right, hitting a car driven by Sarah L. Moore, 59, who was waiting at the stop sign on New Mexico.

  • Chamber chief criticizes official

    The head of the Chamber of Commerce took aim at a city councilman last week, even hinting that the official was guilty of a procurement violation.

    Matt Martinez, president of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, spoke during the public input portion of the council’s meeting, saying he wanted to respond to Councilman Andrew Feldman’s criticism of the group, which aims to help the local business community.

  • Inquiry may target housing agency

    The Las Vegas housing authority may become the target of both criminal and civil investigations, the city attorney said Wednesday.

    After a 45-minute closed meeting, attorney Dave Romero reported that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was concerned about previous activity in the local housing authority as well as others around the state.

  • Ex-undersheriff found guilty

    A jury in Magistrate Court has found former Undersheriff Joe Robert Urban guilty of drunken driving.

    It also found him guilty of negligent use of a deadly weapon and not staying in his lane of traffic.

    Urban, 64, was arrested in February on Mountain View Drive after he allegedly crossed the double yellow lines. State police said Urban had a loaded .22-caliber Magnum handgun, which drew the negligent-use charge.

    He had retired just months before his arrest.

  • Fiesta Council member quits in protest

    A Fiesta Council member resigned Tuesday, accusing other members of using a “false reason” to close their meeting last week.

    Joselle DeMarco-Chandler, a local teacher, made the accusation in a letter of resignation to President Mathew Martinez.

    At last week’s meeting, Fiesta Council members except DeMarco-Chandler voted to close the meeting to the public. As such, they asked City Councilwoman Diane Moore, former Fiesta queen Carmela Montoya and an Optic reporter to leave.

  • West considers stricter policies

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson wants new policies on tattoos, facial piercings and students with many unexcused absences.

    Parson said all sorts of things have been tried over the last couple of years to stop kids from skipping class.

    “We are often questioned about why students are allowed to pass with a huge amount of absences. It’s time we do something about it,” Parson said during a discussion on the student handbook at a recent school board meeting.