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Local News

  • Kids put on play after six days’ practice

    Actor Caitlin Leyba and a cast of more than 60 kid-actors put on the 2009 Missoula Children’s Theatre stage production of “The Amazing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe” over the weekend.

    The West Las Vegas High School 10th-grader came up through the ranks, performing in 10 Missoula productions at the historic Ilfeld Auditorium in her young acting career. Last year, Leyba played the second lead as the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood.

  • County's roads official retiring

    Harold Garcia, San Miguel County’s public works supervisor, and County Manager Les Montoya go back a ways.

    Montoya hired Garcia at the city a quarter century ago, with Garcia fresh from architectural training at Luna Community College.

    At the end of this month, they’ll be parting ways when Garcia retires from government service.

    Garcia has been the county’s public works supervisor for much of the last decade, hired on after Montoya, a former city manager, went to the county.

  • Ex-cop admits paperwork mistakes

    A former Las Vegas police officer says he made administrative mistakes that got him in trouble with the law.

    Earlier this month, Shawn Montoya pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and filing a false claim, both fourth-degree felonies. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed 27 other counts against the former officer, and if he abides by the agreement, the court won’t punish him, in what is known as a conditional discharge. He will be on probation for 18 months.

  • Maestas is the new Luna chairman

    Jerry Maestas is the new chairman of the Board of Trustees at Luna Community College after a unanimous vote during a reorganization of officers.

    Maestas replaces Ambrose Castellano, who has served as chairman for the past five years. Member Frankie Tenorio, a Santa Rosa resident who was elected earlier this year, nominated Maestas for the top post. Trustee Levi Alcon was not present for the vote at the monthly meeting on Tuesday, nor did he attend the June 10 meeting held in Springer.

  • School gets new leader

    Longtime local educator Eddie King is the new principal of Robertson High School.

    Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Rick Romero an-nounced the decision Thursday. King, Robertson’s assistant principal since 2007, was one of 10 applicants. A panel of administrators, teachers, parents and students interviewed five of the applicants.

    Romero said King has shown loyalty to the district, starting as an English and Spanish teacher at Memorial Middle School in 1981 and moving on to the high school as a teacher in those subjects in 1998.

  • Inquiry clears Vegas officer

    Authorities have cleared a Las Vegas police officer of any criminal wrongdoing in his handling of a suspect earlier this year.

    District Attorney Richard Flores announced this week that a state police investigation found that Officer Martin Salazar’s actions didn’t rise to the level of a crime — a conclusion with which the DA agreed.

    Flores said the state police conducted a thorough investigation, interviewing about 20 people, including jailers who alleged that Salazar threatened the female arrestee, Bernadette Varela, with violence.

  • Salazar may sue county

    A Las Vegas police officer is seeking more than $250,000 in damages from San Miguel County for releasing documents about him that he contends should have been kept secret.

    On July 8, Officer Martin Salazar filed a tort claims notice with the county, which is a warning that he may sue.

    He stated that he has suffered from emotional distress since stories have appeared in the Optic about county jailers’ allegations against him.

    A top county official counters that he and his employees have followed the law.

  • Woman recalls the day husband was attacked

    Frances Sisneros was focused on her Spanish television shows when her husband, Euvaldo “Eddie” Sisneros, told her that he was going to take his regular walk.

    Those were his last words to her.

    Five blocks away, a man attacked Eddie from behind, pulling the 79-year-old by his necklace. It was in the middle of the afternoon on June 16 in a neighborhood full of retirees in Richmond, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco.

  • Senator praises merchants, says earlier comments misconstrued

    In the spring, state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, contended that the merchant class in the Plaza area was made up of newcomers who wanted to change Las Vegas into a Santa Fe or Taos.

    The longtime lawmaker took a different approach this week.

    On radio station KFUN, Griego, who was on a show with other local lawmakers, praised the downtown business community, touting how it benefits Las Vegas. He said his earlier comments were misconstrued by the print media.

  • Ex-city cop pleads guilty to fraud

    A former Las Vegas police officer has pleaded guilty to allegations that he defrauded city government, prosecutors say.

    On July 7, Shawn Montoya entered his plea in court to charges of fraud and filing a false claim, both fourth-degree felonies, District Attorney Richard Flores said.

    Under the terms of a plea agreement, Montoya is required to pay full restitution to the Police Department and to an insurance company to which he defrauded, and perform 100 hours of community service, Flores said. Montoya will be on probation for 18 months.