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Local News

  • Valdez won't run for sheriff

    Tony Valdez, who had planned to run for San Miguel County sheriff, has decided against entering the race after all.

    Valdez, an investigator with the district attorney’s office, said he decided not to run for “personal reasons.”

    Valdez had held a fundraiser at the Night Owl, complete with a band. He said he would put that money into a campaign fund for a race in 2014, either for sheriff or magistrate judge.

    Valdez, who is a member of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees, said he appreciated the support for his campaign for sheriff.

  • City judge's pay hike irks council

    With his new term in office, Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo will now make $80,000 a year, up from $68,000.

    That’s because of a 2003 City Council ordinance that ties the pay of the municipal judge to that of state magistrate judges.

    It’s not a change that members of the City Council are happy with. At a meeting last week, some suggested the possibility of repealing the ordinance that calls for the pay hike.

  • Mayor urges strict compliance with Open Meetings Act

    Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said last week that he wants to avoid even the appearance of holding secret meetings.

    At his first City Council meeting as mayor, he said council members shouldn’t even sit next to each other during events they attend outside of council meetings.

    He said he wanted to make sure the council strictly followed the state Open Meetings Act, which prevents a quorum of members from talking about public business outside of advertised meetings.

  • Lawmaker's memorial service set

    The memorial service for former local lawmaker David Salman will be held at 1 p.m. Friday in the state Capitol.

    Salman died Feb. 28, 2010. He was 74.

  • Alamo Street residents upset

    There’s no sugarcoating the condition of a portion of Alamo Street: It’s a muddy messy.

    And some residents there are fed up.

    The city suspended construction on Alamo from McRae to South Pacific streets at the onset of winter in mid-December. The same went for Piñon Street.

    With 18 snows so far this season, Alamo has become muddier and muddier. Two weeks ago, a garbage truck got struck. And the street contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel, found its tractors sliding around when it tried to fix after a recent rain.

  • Lucero seeks county seat

    Joe “Yunta” Lucero, an employee in the San Miguel County assessor’s office, plans to run for the District 1 seat on the County Commission.

    That seat is held by June Garcia, who was elected four years ago. She is widely expected to run for another term.

    District 1 covers part of Las Vegas and the areas northwest of town.

  • Judge to run again

    Philip Romero, a local Magistrate Court judge for the last 14 years, plans to run for another four-year term.

    He will compete in the June 1 Democratic primary. The only other announced Democratic candidate for Romero’s position is Ruth Trujillo, a paralegal.

    “I would like to continue to serve the people as magistrate judge,” Romero said. “I promise to answer to my obligations in making fair and honest decisions.”

  • West class sizes questioned

    A Union Elementary parent wants to know why classes at Union are so much bigger than those at Don Cecilio Elementary.

    The answer: Union is more popular with parents.

    Still, an official said the district plans to better balance out student numbers by classroom next school year.

    During a question-and-answer session at Union Elementary last week, as part of special meeting of the West Las Vegas school board, parent Betsy Sanchez wanted to know why some classes at Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary have as few as eight students.

  • Lawyer mum on charter position

    The Las Vegas city attorney declined to say Wednesday whether he believed local voters passed a new charter, which is the city’s constitution.

    But the city manager didn’t hesitate to give his opinion: The voters passed it.

    Last week, 56 percent of voters voted for the new charter. But some, including former City Attorney Danelle Smith, have argued since the election that a super-majority of 60 percent was required for passage.

  • City manager gets a contract

    With the new mayor breaking a tie, the City Council on Wednesday voted to give the city manager a three-year contract.

    City Manager Timothy Dodge, a Santa Rosa native, will get $95,000 a year, which is what he has been making since the city hired him last spring. Dodge will be able to get increases of 1 to 5 percent a year, based on the council’s evaluations of his performance.

    In another decision, the council voted unanimously to hire interim City Attorney Dave Romero for the permanent position. He’ll make $100,000 a year.