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Local News

  • City: No to low-fly zone

    To applause, the Las Vegas City Council voted unanimously against a Cannon Air Force Base proposal to fly its planes as low as 200 feet as part of training.

    The base wants to use much of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado as a training area, and it is seeking public comment until early next month from area communities.

    But the proposal has faced much opposition in some communities, including Las Vegas and Taos.

  • Denish says she would push consolidation

    Democratic gubernatorial candidate Diane Denish said this week that she would pressure the two local school districts to come to the table to talk about consolidating their administrations.

    In an interview with the Optic’s editorial board, Denish said the state should provide incentives for the Las Vegas City Schools and West Las Vegas to combine. For instance, any savings should stay within the districts, going into the classroom rather than administration.

  • East adviser takes some blame

    Regardless of who is to blame, east-side residents will see their property taxes increase by a whopping 30 percent come Nov. 1. 

    At a school board meeting this week, the district’s finance adviser, Al Clemmons, took some of the responsibility for the unexpected hike in taxes.

    San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz told members of the Las Vegas City Schools board at its regular meeting this week that his office is being bombarded with people saying they are not going to pay the higher rate.

  • City-Luna dispute may go to court

    A dispute between the city and Luna Community College over old natural gas bills probably will go to court, the mayor said last week.

    The city says it must collect the bills, while Luna contends they aren’t a valid debt.

    In 2008, then-Utilities Director George DuFour forgave $81,000 in charges after Luna paid half its bill. The city had been undercharging Luna for its gas from January 2001 to September 2006 because of an incorrect meter register number that was entered when the gas meter was installed, which resulted in the debt.

  • Council members raises constituents complaints

    Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron brought up a list of specific complaints from constituents at last week’s City Council meeting, which didn’t please some of her colleagues.

    Among the problems was a drainage issue and a weed complaint.

    Councilwoman Diane Moore said such matters should go through city employee Teresa Duran, whose job is to log and track such complaints.

    “She’ll take care of a majority of those issues,” City Manager Timothy Dodge said.

  • East ponders tax hike

    The superintendent of the Las Vegas City Schools agrees with the county treasurer that property taxes for east-side residents will increase dramatically.

    That’s to pay for a school district bond issue that funds building improvements.

    Last week, San Miguel County Treasurer Alfonso Ortiz announced to the County Commission that residents in the Las Vegas City Schools district would see their tax rates increase by 30 percent. For example, a household that paid $900 in taxes last year would have to fork out nearly $1,200 this year.

  • RHS student faces drug charges

    An 18-year-old Robertson High School student is suspected of dealing drugs.

    Around 1:30 a.m. Sept. 2, city police Lt. Lawrence O’Connor was called to the 1100  block of Columbia Street because of a reported disturbance, according to a police affidavit. When he got there, he saw two cars in the roadway, one of which was a Nissan Pathfinder with its driver’s side door open.

    When O’Connor walked up to the Nissan, he noticed two baggies of marijuana in plain view on the driver’s seat, the affidavit states.

  • Vegas to mark 175th year

    The 175th Las Vegas anniversary celebration is taking place this weekend in the Old Town Plaza beginning Friday and ending Sunday.

    Sponsored by the city of Las Vegas and Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, the event will commemorate “family, friends and neighbors” and welcomes everyone to come together to celebrate the area’s past, present and future.

  • Fiesta group seeks city info

    Fiesta Council Chairman Mathew Martinez said his group wants information on the city’s investments in the annual Fiestas de Las Vegas.

    Martinez said at last Tuesday’s Fiesta Council meeting that the group had asked for a breakdown on expenses that paid for police and fire protection, and sanitation.

  • Mayor opposes Cannon plan

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said last week that the city is preparing a resolution to oppose a Cannon Air Force Base proposal to fly its planes fly at low altitudes in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

    He made that statement during a City Council meeting in which a number of speakers protested the Cannon plan. Cannon is near Clovis.

    Ortiz told the audience he suspects the resolution will be passed — an announcement that prompted applause from the audience.