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Local News

  • No more anonymous comments

    I have pulled the plug on the online comments at the end of our Optic stories and commentary.

  • N.M. has 'tyrannical administration'

    Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., came  with his son Pete Jr. to Las Vegas on a recent day to promote the son’s gubernatorial campaign.

    However, neither the senator nor his son is a stranger in these parts. Sen. Domenici was considered the driving force in getting the millions of dollars to build the Ivan Hilton Science and Engineering Building at Highlands University. Pete Jr. is the attorney in a local land grant dispute.

  • Money sought for Valley

    The West Las Vegas school district is seeking big state grants for Valley Middle School, which is underperforming under state standards.

    If the district gets the grant, it will have to get a new principal for Valley.

    Last week, top West officials submitted an application for a state grant that would mean $500,000 annually for three years, which would pay for staff, professional development, equipment and supplies, Superintendent Jim Abreu said.

  • Mayor to deal with billing dispute

    The Las Vegas City Council has appointed Mayor Alfonso Ortiz to negotiate with Luna Community College in a dispute over years-old natural gas bills.

    The city admits that it incorrectly billed the college for gas consumption from January 2001 to September 2006 because of an incorrect meter register number that was entered when the gas meter was installed.

  • Top Luna official leaves in a hurry

    A top official at Luna Community College has left her post, giving her letter of resignation about a week before her departure.

    Mary Medina, vice president of students services and planning and the school’s athletic director, submitted her letter of resignation April 16, according to a statement from Jesse Gallegos, the school’s spokesman.

    Gallegos said Medina’s letter stated that her last day of employment would be April 30. But she left her job late last week and is not expected back.

  • Sports saved -- for now

    Last month, the Highlands University Board of Regents was ready to drop the school’s rodeo and wrestling programs. In a last-minute attempt to save the two sports, the board turned to state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, for help.

    At Wednesday’s board meeting, supporters of the programs were able to breathe a sigh of relief after board Chairman Leveo Sanchez announced that rodeo and wrestling will be around for at least another year.  

  • Sheriff planning for Tasers

    San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil says he doesn’t need the County Commission’s permission to use Tasers.

    He announced last week that his department will start carrying the electroshock weapon in early June.

    That took county officials by surprise.

    Previously, the commission had taken up the issue of whether the sheriff should be allowed to carry Tasers. At one point, county officials asked Vigil to come up with a policy.

  • Magistrate judge candidates answer questions

    The candidates for magistrate judge appeared to agree on most issues during a forum last week at Highlands University.

    On the June 1 primary ballot for Division 1 magistrate judge are incumbent Philip Romero, and challengers Ruth Trujillo, a Democrat, and Daniel Holguin Sr., a Republican. Division 2 Magistrate Judge Chris Najar is running unopposed.

    QUESTION: What factors into a decision to send a suspected DWI offender to jail? 

  • East leader's contract extended

    The Las Vegas City Schools board extended Superintendent Rick Romero’s contract by two years. His pay stays the same.

    Only one member voted against the extension, but even he said he approved of the official’s performance.

  • Council divided on boxing issue

    A local business requested money from the city to help with the promotion of a boxing event. It didn’t get all that it wanted.

    Crespin’s Boxing requested $2,500 for an event, which happened Saturday in Las Vegas. But the city staff recommended against approving the application because of “funding constraints.”