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Local News

  • State slaps school eatery

    The state has downgraded the cafeteria at Valley Elementary and Middle School to unsatisfactory status.

    In an inspection last week, the state Environment Department found violations involving improper holding temperatures, plumbing and waste disposal, and inadequate cooking and cooling.

    The department said it will reinspect the cafeteria after corrective measures are taken. Meanwhile, an “unsatisfactory” grade emblem is posted at the facility’s entrance, according to a department press release.

  • School board debates choice of auditor

    The West Las Vegas school board approved a contract with an auditing firm last week, but members debated whether the firm was independent.

    During an earlier meeting on April 16, J.J. Griego of Griego Professional Services, which has overseen the West district’s audits since the state Public Education Department placed the district under heightened financial scrutiny in August 2006, told the school board the district received its third consecutive audit with a top ranking and would hopefully retain oversight of its finances within the year.

  • Dozens of abandoned canines found in home

    When Rick Kingsbury came home Saturday night, he had 20 or so strange dogs hanging out in his yard. He traced them to the home of a neighbor, and to what may be the biggest animal cruelty case in the history of El Valle.

    Kingsbury, whose home is the headquarters of Pecos Valley Grassfed Beef in Villanueva, said he had heard barking from a neighbor’s house, and so he went over there to have a look.

  • Residents talk about police

    A crowd estimated at more than 100 people came together over the weekend to talk about alleged police misconduct in Las Vegas.

    The standing-room-only crowd, which filled the VFW hall on Mills Avenue, included several officials, including Assistant District Attorney Tom Clayton and City Council members Andrew Feldman and Diane Moore.

    Council members Morris Madrid and Cruz Roybal weren’t present. Neither was Mayor Tony Marquez.

  • West doesn’t renew some contracts

    The West Las Vegas school district recently decided against renewing the contracts of more than 10 non-tenured employees, but the superintendent said the district hasn’t triggered the formal process known as a reduction in force.

    A few weeks ago, some school board members questioned whether a reduction in force was planned this year because of budgetary constraints. Abreu told the members that he was doing all he could to prevent that from happening.

  • RHS booster club to meet

    The Robertson High School Football Booster Club is meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the football fieldhouse. The public is welcome. For more information, call 454-7037.

  • EDC hiring new director

    The Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corp. is getting a new executive director.

    Roberto Rios, a New Mexico native, will take the reins today as the new director. He has years of experience in the area of economic development.

    “I want to come back home to New Mexico,” Rios said in a telephone interview last week. “My wife and I look forward to being contributing members of the community.”

  • Woman's charge reduced

    The district attorney’s office last week reduced the charge for a woman charged in the killing of a man.

    Bernadette Sanchez, 36, a resident charged in the stabbing death of Timoteo M. Jaramillo, never entered the courtroom for a scheduled preliminary hearing Thursday on the case before Magistrate Judge Chris Najar.

    Najar said the state had reduced the charge from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter and waived the charge of tampering with evidence.

    “So we will not be having this hearing today,” Najar said.

  • City to look at utility rates

    The city plans to hire a consultant to study rates for water, wastewater, solid waste and natural gas, the mayor says.

    Officials expect the study to include the creation of a water rate structure that would encourage conservation and a review of the basis for sewer charges, according to a city press release. It would also examine the controversial transfer of money from the utilities to the city’s general fund, which pays for everything from police to parks.

  • DA seeks inquiry into allegations

    District Attorney Richard Flores has decided to ask the state police to investigate county jailers’ allegations that a Las Vegas police officer threatened a woman in the county jail’s booking area.

    He made that decision after the Optic sent copies of the jailers’ reports to the district attorney’s office. Although the reports had been referred to Las Vegas Police Chief Gary Gold in March, the DA’s office had never seen them.