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Local News

  • Man charged with sex crime

    A man accused of performing a sexual act on a teen has been sentenced to probation.

    Tony Cisneros, 54, a government employee, pleaded guilty last week to a charge of criminal sexual penetration, a fourth-degree felony.

    He entered a plea agreement with prosecutors and will not be registered as a sex offender if he complies with the terms of his agreement.

    He could have faced up to 18 months in prison.

    According to authorities, Cisneros performed the sexual act on a boy in July 2009 at the youth’s home.

  • Blaze destroys house

    Firefighters responded to a blaze at 1515 S. Pacific St. early Monday afternoon.

    Authorities blocked off nearby streets as hoses were pointed toward the house, which has a large front yard.

    The smoke from the blaze could be seen around town, and as usual, that drew traffic to the westside neighborhood.

    City Fire Chief Phillip Mares said the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire, but a resident, Douglas James, who lives on the property, was not displaced because he lives on another place on the property.

  • Ex-deputy on trial for alleged attack

    Witnesses on Monday described a former San Miguel County sheriff’s deputy as a jealous woman in a rage when she attacked a man she considered her boyfriend.

    Meanwhile, Sheriff Benjie Vigil, who fired the deputy after the incident, said he still believes her side of the story.

    Inez Bolivar, 29, was on trial for charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault and criminal damage.

  • City holds off on trash rate hike

    The Las Vegas City Council last week delayed making a decision on hiking trash rates after a number of residents feared the increases would hurt the elderly and others on fixed incomes.

    City staffers entreated the council to enact a 43 percent increase to residential rates, which would cost a household an extra $72 per year. Monthly bills would go up from $14.05 to $20.10.

    On top of that, the proposed rate structure would call for automatic 5 percent yearly increases from 2012 to 2015.

  • Chamber deal OK’d, amid questions

    The Las Vegas City Council has signed off on a new annual contract with the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce to promote the community to tourists.

    But one council member raised questions about the group, saying he wants more accountability.

    The new contract will give the chamber $164,000, down from last year’s $200,000. Much of that drop is because the city has hired an in-house events coordinator, a role the chamber performed previously.

  • New leader

    The West Las Vegas school board has been split on just about everything in recent times.

    But it seemed to give the new superintendent a chance to get his footing on some pressing issues during its monthly meeting last week.

    Ruben Cordova spent his fifth day on the job working into the midnight hour, along with the school board, on a long agenda that included construction projects that are running behind schedule to fire code violations that could get the schools shut down.

    The board also addressed an appearance of a conflict of interest.

  • Boy's body pulled from lake

    After two days of searching, a state police dive team found a missing 13-year-old boy in Storrie Lake.

    They found the boy, identified as Louis Lucero, around 7 p.m. Saturday, state police spokesman Peter Olson said.

    Storrie Lake park staff started the search Thursday afternoon after they were notified that the boy had gone missing and was presumed to be in the water.

    The state police dive team was also called out.

    The team was in and out of the water that first night. A heavy rain slowed them down just after midnight.

  • City may owe HU $600,000

    The city of Las Vegas may have overcharged Highlands University by $600,000 for natural gas.

    “It appears we had a defective meter,” City Attorney Dave Romero told the City Council last week. “We are verifying this with our own experts. Highlands University has its people looking into this.”

    It was unclear how long the overcharges occurred. City officials didn’t say how they would pay back the money if it was found that the city overcharged the university.

    Romero said it was important to get such information to the public.

  • Council raises sales tax

    The Las Vegas City Council has passed a new sales tax that will amount to 25 cents for every $100 in purchases.

    The city expects the tax to bring in hundreds of thousands every year. For the first five months of the year, it is projected to get the city $300,000. It will take effect Jan. 1.

    The City Council voted 3-2 for the tax, with Mayor Alfonso Ortiz and council members Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman in favor and David Romero and Tonita Gurule-Giron against.

  • County delays warden’s pact

    The County Commission recently delayed consideration of a proposed new three-year contract with Patrick Snedeker, the jail warden.

    Under the proposed agreement, he would get $70,875 a year, which is what he has been making, county officials said.

    Commission Chairman David Salazar made the motion to table the contract. The commission unanimously voted to do so.

    No reasons were given for the decision.

    In other County Commission business: