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Local News

  • 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.

  • Cops say they followed evidence to suspect

    An alleged burglar left a trail of evidence last week — literally.

    City police said footprints in the snow led them to a suspect in a number of break-ins in an eastside neighborhood.

    Christopher Lopez, 19, 1010 Ninth St., was charged with aggravated burglary, three counts of tampering with evidence and larceny.

    Lopez had been charged in a burglary the previous month; he was out on bail for only four days when he was arrested in the latest break-ins.

  • Four teens charged in vandalism

    Las Vegas police arrested four youths last week in connection with shooting at windows around town with a BB gun.

    No one was hurt.

    Authorities charged a 16-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy. The shootings happened all around town, but mainly on the north side, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    The city police received 27 reports of windows being shot out during the holidays last week. The state police captured the four youths.

    After the arrests, the shooting out of windows stopped, Gold said.

  • West leader calls for unity

    West Las Vegas school board President Christine Ludi has asked her colleagues to put their personal differences aside for the benefit of the district’s students.

    “We all know that there is a division within this board. We have differences of opinion, different ideas and different outlooks on how the district is supposed to be run,” she told the board at a recent meeting.

    “But I hope we have one thing in common — the education of our children, which is the most important thing and the reason we are all here,” Ludi said.

  • Longtime watchdog running for council

    A local businessman and activist is the second candidate to enter the race for the Ward 4 seat on the City Council.

    David Romero of Ro-mero’s Automotive, Tire and Muffler Center said he would run in the March 2 election. The other candidate is Mike Roybal, son of the current Ward 4 councilman, Cruz Roybal, who isn’t running for another term.

  • Highlands student center in the works

    Highlands University officials say plans for a new student center are moving forward.

    But at least one resident in a nearby historic neighborhood promises to oppose the school’s purchase of Eighth Street lots for a parking lot.

    The university plans to go out to bid for the new student center early next year, with construction slated to start in the spring. Construction is expected to last 18 months, with completion sometime in 2011.

  • Report gives East praise, criticism

    Compared to other school districts, the Las Vegas City Schools fared relatively well in a recent state report.

    The Legislative Finance Committee has evaluated the City Schools, West Las Vegas, Bernalillo, Bloomfield and Aztec.

    The team of evaluators told the City Schools that the district did pretty well overall, but needed to look at a financial plan, compensation packages and student performance.

  • Villanueva couple wins $50,000

    Frank and Martha Gutierrez of Villanueva have won $50,000 through the New Mexico Lottery.

    Before turning in late the night of Dec. 20, the road-weary couple decided to play two New Mexico Lottery Scratchers purchased earlier in the evening while on their way home from Albuquerque. They found that they won a $50,000 prize.

    “I woke up every hour wondering, ‘What if this isn’t true?’” Martha Gutierrez recalled for lottery officials in Albuquerque.

    Frank Gutierrez was also in disbelief.