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Local News

  • Jose Campos seeks high office

    Jose Campos is one of several Democratic candidates for New Mexico’s lieutenant governor, but he is the only one from outside the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.

    Campos is the mayor of Santa Rosa and a state representative, and he has been visiting Las Vegas frequently to gather local support for his campaign.

  • Mayor won't allow attorney debate

    Two Las Vegas City Council members wanted the city to consider the idea of having an in-house city attorney.

    But Mayor Tony Marquez apparently doesn’t want to talk about it.

    The members, Andrew Feldman and Diane Moore, requested that the attorney issue be on the agenda for next week’s council meeting. But the mayor rejected their request late last week.  

    Marquez didn’t return a message for comment.

  • Police seek to nail down motive

    City police are trying to determine the motivation behind a recent killing on Chavez Street, an area that officials say has been a hot spot for crime.

    Louie Bena-videz, 54, of Las Vegas, is charged with an open count of murder in connection with the killing of Kevin Duran, 32, 814 Chavez St.

    On the night of Sept. 25, Duran was fatally shot outside his house. Police Chief Gary Gold said his officers have heard that Benavidez and Duran were cousins, but they haven’t confirmed that information.

  • Builder: School will last long time

    Jim Franken, whose family’s company built Sierra Vista Elementary School two decades ago, disagrees that it should be on any list for demolition.

    “It sounds like they’re going to burn the house down to get rid of the rats,” Franken said of talk that Sierra Vista needs replacement. “Tearing it down to build a new school is ridiculous.”

  • City grapples with tax issue

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    In the summer, a high-profile Albuquerque boxing promoter was quickly approved for city money to help advertise a local event.

    It’s not so easy for others.

    Kenny Zamora, owner of the Santa Fe Trail Events Center, has been trying for years to get city lodgers tax funds to help him advertise his annual roping events that he contends bring in upwards of 1,500 participants and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community.

  • Vegas to get major conference

    The Las Vegas Board of Realtors has announced that the state meeting of the Real Estate Association of New Mexico will be holding its spring 2011 meeting in Las Vegas. It's the first time the state meeting will be held in Las Vegas.

    Las Vegas was selected because of an increase in its motel room count and its expanded ability to host a large group in one meeting room. Association members said Las Vegas is surrounded by beauty and history, and they look forward to having the conference here.

  • HU looking to buy nearby properties

    Highlands University may buy properties near campus, including some next to the new dorms, where residents have complained about noise and other problems.

    At a meeting last month, the Board of Regents approved the purchase of two properties. One was at 1004 Mora Ave., which is surrounded by the new dorms and is known as “The Little Green House.” The other was a small piece of land next to what will become the new student center on Columbia Avenue.

  • Veterans service starts

    San Miguel County plans to begin on Monday its service taking veterans to appointments at the veterans hospital in Albuquerque.

    The service will initially be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and riders should give the county a week’s notice about their appointments.

    The service will be run out of the county’s DWI prevention program because that agency already has drivers on hand.

    Wendy Armijo, the DWI program’s coordinator, said the county may later change the times of service as it gets feedback from riders.

  • Sheriff fires deputy

    On Tuesday, Sheriff Benjie Vigil contended that battery charges against his deputy, Inez Bolivar, were false.

    A day later, he decided to fire her.

    San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya confirmed Thursday that Vigil was giving notice to Bolivar of her termination. He said the sheriff made the decision because of the charges against her.

    Vigil’s decision was on the same day as a story appeared in the Optic on a Sept. 20 incident allegedly involving Bolivar.

    Vigil didn’t return a message for comment on Thursday.

  • Man got in trouble with law before

    A man accused in a murder last week was charged with severely beating up another man a few years ago, but the case was dismissed.

    In the latest case, Louie Bena-videz, 54, was charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Kevin Duran, 32, 814 Chavez St.

    Shortly after 9 p.m. Friday, Las Vegas police received a call about a shooting at Duran’s house. Duran was taken to the hospital by others, and he died soon after.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said his department was trying to determine the motivation behind the shooting.