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Local News

  • Residents get both sides on Tasers

    A state police officer called Tasers an “excellent” tool that help save lives.

    But a Raton woman took an entirely different position. Monica Saenz lost her brother, Jesse Saenz, in 2007 after he was shot 23 times with a Taser by Raton officers while he was reportedly shackled.

    “Tasers pose a threat to society. They shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many lives at stake,” Saenz told a forum at Luna Community College on Thursday.

  • Principal, teacher honored

    It’s extremely rare that both the Administrator of the Year and Music Educator of the Year would be from the same district, and even more rare that they come from the same town and the same school, officials said.

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson and Choir Director Arnell David Arellanes were honored by the New Mexico Music Educators Association during the summer break. Parson was named Administrator of the Year, and Arellanes as Music Educator of the Year. This was the third nomination for both.

  • Consolidation discussion slated

    This week, Las Vegas residents will meet over a sacred cow. The “c” word will be discussed.

    Las Vegas is the only city in New Mexico with two school districts, and this week, citizens will talk about whether that is beneficial or detrimental to the community.

    A public meeting has been scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Kennedy Hall on the Highlands University campus to discuss the pros and cons of administrative consolidation. More than 30 local businesses, organizations and individuals are sponsoring the meeting, including this newspaper.

  • City objects to audit

    A few months ago, the city attorney suggested that the utilities director and a councilman may have taken part in corruption by adjusting customers’ bills.  

    But a draft of an audit report commissioned to investigate this issue doesn’t indicate any criminal wrongdoing by either former Utilities Director George DuFour or the councilman, later identified as Andrew Feldman.

  • State auditor ‘greatly concerned’

    State Auditor Hector Balderas said last week that he was “greatly concerned” that he had not received a final audit report on the city’s utility billing practices.

    Balderas also said he considered “unprofessional delay and premature disclosures” both violations of the state Audit Act.

    “It is my expectation that this report will be provided to my office without further delay,” Balderas said in a letter to the city and its auditing firm, Albuquerque-based Accounting and Consulting Group.

  • City police crack down on parking in downtown areas

    Connie Kemm went to the Plaza Hotel to have lunch with a co-worker last week. When they left, she found an orange marking on her tire.

    That marking signaled the city’s new effort to check whether motorists are parking for more than 90 minutes in downtown areas.

    Kemm didn’t get a ticket because she stayed there for less than the time limit. But she wasn’t happy with the marking.

    “I was annoyed that anyone would mark my tire while it was parked in a legal parking area,” she said.

  • Agency targets Alta Vista

    Alta Vista Regional Hospital has yet to recognize a union that represents its employees, more than two years after it was voted in.

    This week, the two sides met in the county courthouse before a federal hearing officer to hash out differences surrounding the firing of an employee. The attorneys for Alta Vista’s parent company, Community Health Systems Inc., conceded to some of the union’s contentions.

  • East official fights for spouse

    Jay Quintana, who was fired as a Robertson High School teacher this week, has a prominent backer in the school district — his wife, Associate Superintendent LeeEtte Quintana, who is second in command.

    Recently, LeeEtte Quintana has reportedly been circulating a petition in support of her husband, who has also served as golf coach.

  • Attorney: Officials broke the rules

    The city attorney on Wednesday accused two City Council members of breaking the rules during recent meetings. And he urged passage of a resolution to firm up the regulations for the council.

    City Attorney Carlos Quiñones was referring to council members Andrew Feldman and Diane Moore, both of whom have been critical of Mayor Tony Marquez’s administration.

  • District fires RHS teacher

    The East school district fired Robertson High School teacher Jay Quintana this week, six months after he was placed on paid leave as the result of allegations of having sex with a student, the district’s leader confirmed.

    “The district has served Jay Quintana with a notice of discharge,” said Rick Romero, superintendent of the Las Vegas City Schools district. “Obviously, there was considerable conversation with our attorneys and with the gentleman who performed the investigation for our district.”