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Local News

  • Police find stolen items

    Police may be on the way to solving the burglary of a store on Grand Avenue, as they found many of the stolen items in the building next door, authorities said.

    Smokey’s Discount Cigarettes, in the 900 block of Grand Avenue, reported that a break-in had occurred Sunday night. Officers later served a warrant to search a building in the 1000 block and found boxes worth of stolen cigarettes and chewing tobacco, officers said.

  • Official pushes closed campus

    Residents near Robertson High School have recently complained about problems caused by students parking on streets near the school.

    Las Vegas City Schools board member Ramon “Swoops” Montaño asked the board to take a look at the possibility of a closed campus, to include sophomores and eventually juniors. RHS freshmen are already barred from leaving campus.

    West Las Vegas High School has a closed campus.

  • Officials learn of change after fact

    City Councilman Andrew Feldman had planned to water his lawn after last Wednesday’s council meeting.

    He was told he couldn’t.

    Both Feldman and Mayor Tony Marquez found out during the meeting that the city had entered Stage 2 water restrictions two days earlier, which is in response to the dropping water levels in the city’s reservoirs, which are at 72 percent of capacity.

  • Some against recording meetings

    The West Las Vegas school board doesn’t record its meetings, unlike most governing bodies.

    Some members like that policy; others question it.

    “I have visited other institutions where they record their public meetings, I was wondering why we don’t. We have to be accountable for everything we say at these board meetings,” said member David Romero, who asked that the school board consider the issue.

    Member Kenny Lujan said all meetings in the past used to be recorded, but he said nobody knows why the practice stopped.

  • 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.