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Local News

  • Ortiz: City may run Fiestas

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said last week it’s possible that the city could take over the operations of Fiestas de Las Vegas. He called it a “viable option.”

    For years, a nonprofit group known as the Fiesta Council has run the annual event, which is during the Fourth of July weekend.

    Still, the city is heavily involved with the festivities. It sets up the dance floor and bleachers, readies the park and provides help with public works, solid waste, fire protection and law enforcement.

  • Relying on rain

    Four years ago, Ojitos Frios subdivision resident Jack Thompson saw his well level dropping. And so did his neighbors.

    These days, Thompson and many of them have seen their wells go dry. As of last count, 62 households southwest of Las Vegas are without well water.

    Many of them now get their water trucked in. A few others, including Thompson, have resorted to rain catchment systems.

    But catchment systems are expensive. Thompson, whose well went dry over a year ago, paid more than $20,000 for his — a cost he readily admits most people can’t afford.

  • Sentencing for hazing suspect delayed; attorney is sick

    SANTA FE — Final resolution in the Michael Gallegos case will have to wait a while longer.

    Gallegos, 19, had been scheduled for sentencing Friday morning in a Santa Fe district courtroom for his role in the August 2008 Robertson High football hazing scandal. But a reported bout with kidney stones prevented Gallegos’ lead attorney, Billy Blackburn, from attending the hearing, and a postponement was ordered by Judge Mark Macaron.

    Both sides acknowledged that the delay was necessary, albeit an inconvenience to participants.

  • HU president's contract extended

    Highlands University regents last week extended the contract of President Jim Fries by three years.

    The president’s pay will stay at $232,000 a year. Fries, 67, started in early 2007.

    Regent Chairman Leveo Sanchez said after the board discussed the president’s performance over the last three and a half years, it voted unanimously to extend the president’s contract.

  • Speed bumps popular in Vegas

    Las Vegas has many more speed bumps than most communities — and residents regularly ask for more.

    Some towns have none.

    At this week’s City Council meeting, resident Carl Vigil presented a petition to city officials and asked for speed bumps in his west-side neighborhood of Creston Circle. He said speeding is a particular problem near the park in that neighborhood.

    “We’re afraid a kid may be run over,” he said.

    Under a city ordinance, speed bumps and humps are allowed only near schools.

  • Council OKs big hikes to trash rates

    In a divided vote, the Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday approved big increases in garbage rates.

    Under the new rates, residents will see their monthly bills immediately go up from $14.05 to $15.60 a month to cover this fiscal year’s solid waste deficit.

    On Feb. 1, residential bills will jump from $15.60 to $20.10. The two increases amount to about 43 percent.

    Commercial users will see even steeper rises in their bills.

    Overall, the city expects to see a 59 percent rise in revenue for the solid waste department.

  • Businessman gets land for lower price

    Local businessman Ray Herrera had agreed to pay the city $22,800 for a lot in the industrial park earlier this year.

    But after a new appraisal, he will only have to pay $17,000. The council has approved the lot’s sale to Herrera.

    During a City Council meeting in February, then-Councilman Cruz Roybal objected that Herrera had to pay $22,800 for the land. Roybal said he had driven by the land in the Dee Bibb Industrial Park and determined that Herrera, who owns Ray’s Auto Sales, would have to do much work to make it useful.

  • ONLINE STORY: Delay in Gallegos sentencing

    SANTA FE — Final resolution in the Michael Gallegos case will have to wait a while longer.

    Gallegos, 19, had been scheduled for sentencing Friday morning in a Santa Fe district courtroom for his role in the August 2008 Robertson football hazing scandal. But a reported bout with kidney stones prevented Gallegos’ lead attorney, Billy Blackburn, from attending the hearing, and a postponement was ordered by Judge Mark Macaron.

    Both sides acknowledged that the delay was necessary, albeit an inconvenience to participants.

  • East warns more cuts on way

    Las Vegas City Schools officials say more state budget cuts will mean they’ll have to further trim local spending.

    Among the possibilities for reductions are closing a school and cutting travel for athletics, they said.

    Some officials also said they wished local state legislators would have attended a school board meeting this week about the budget cuts. They said they invited the lawmakers.

  • Mayor says he won't run again

    Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz says he won’t run for a second term.

    Ortiz, the San Miguel County treasurer and a former city councilman, won a two-year term in March. But he said he never intended to serve more than two years.

    “I want to get the city moving in a positive direction,”  he said.

    Ortiz, 70, said he was hoping that someone younger and more dynamic would run for mayor in 2012.