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Local News

  • Official says he's here to stay

    East school board member Ramon “Swoops” Montao wants to set the record straight: He said he has every intention of staying on the board through the end of his term in 2011.

    Montao said many people are under the impression that he has moved out of town. But he said he still maintains a residence in the Las Vegas City Schools district.

    One of Montao’s colleagues wants to discuss his residency at a meeting this week, saying that Montao has “to do the right thing.”

  • Court reduces warrant number

    Municipal Court has made progress in reducing the number of those wanted on outstanding warrants.

    Judge Eddie Trujillo said last week that many people have come into his court since late August when the Optic published the names of those wanted on warrants.

    “It was a big help. I was hoping for more people, but we really cleaned up a lot of files. Some people were deceased, and we had no way of knowing it, so we had death certificates brought in,” he said.

  • College looking at tax increase

    Luna Community College is considering whether to ask voters to approve a tax hike to pay for building improvements.

    Under its proposal, the tax bill for a $150,000 house would go up by $101. That would apply if the Luna service area — Las Vegas, Mora, Santa Rosa and Springer — stays the same.

    If the service area expands to places such as Raton, Vaughn and Pecos, the tax bill for a $150,000 house would be $81.

    The increased tax would allow Luna to sell bonds to generate the proceeds for the improvements.

  • Residents want more info on proposed wind farm

    Some residents are concerned about a proposed wind farm that is proposed for the area near Bernal.

    As such, they are holding a meeting Wednesday at Valley Elementary and Middle School to discuss the plans.

    In March, a representative of Chicago-based Invenergy told the San Miguel County Commission that his company was interested in building a wind farm for electricity generation on the mesa south of Interstate 25.

  • Man arrested in 2007 killing

    A man accused of killing another man in Las Vegas was arrested this week in Alabama.

    Bernardino “Bernie” Baca, 28, was charged with murder in connection with the May 20, 2007, death of David Siler, 53, of Montezuma. Baca was arrested Wednesday.

    Siler was found dead in a small sports car around 12:30 p.m. May 20, 2007. Officers found wounds to the victim’s upper left side of the torso that they said were consistent with gunshots.

  • Dia de los Muertos coming soon

    Students at Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary have been looking forward to making their own sugar skulls as they learn more about Dia de los Muertos from Principal Martha Johnsen, an expert and avid collector of memorabilia associated with the day.

    Johnsen explained to a classroom of fourth-graders and kindergartners that the first two days in November people in Mexico remember those who have passed away, whether it’s family members, friends or even famous people. She said Nov. 1 is for children or los angelitos (little angels) and Nov. 2 is a time to remember adults.

  • Task force arrests four people on narcotics charges

    Four people have been arrested for trafficking illegal drugs in San Miguel County, officials said.

    Sgt. Mack Allingham, commander of the Region 4 Narcotics Task Force, said authorities seized an estimated $7,000 worth of cocaine in raids conducted by the agency.

    On Sept. 12, the task force executed a search warrant on Pork Chop Drive just north of Las Vegas. As a result, three people were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine, according to a task force press release.

  • Mayor targets expenses

    Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez wants to reduce the number of the city’s take-home cars and cell phones.

    At last week’s City Council meeting, he challenged City Manager Sharon Caballero to cut the number by 10 to 20 percent.

  • Ex-Luna employees filed bias lawsuit

    A former Luna Community College employee has sued the school, alleging it systematically discriminates against Anglos.

    Hans Kuss, a former Luna student services counselor, is claiming institutional racism that includes discrimination against all non-Hispanics who attend or are employed by the college. The defendants are Luna and its former interim president, Sigfredo Maestas.

    The lawsuit, filed Sept. 29, states that shortly after Luna hired Kuss in early 2007, an official took Kuss out to dinner and continually emphasized that Kuss was Anglo.

  • A call for unity

    Head Start Director Joseph Griego wants to see more collaboration between programs that offer Las Vegas tots services.

    He said as it stands, there are still children in the community who aren’t being served, but that could change with a little more cooperation between child-care organizations.