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Local News

  • Panel wants council powers curtailed

    Members of a city panel say they want to curtail the powers of the mayor and City Council in the city’s new constitution, so the governing body doesn’t get out of control.

    Last week, an attorney recommended the Charter Commission think twice before being too restrictive with the council, saying such plans could backfire.

    The commission has drafted a 30-page city charter and hopes to get it before the voters in the March municipal election. The council would need to approve it first.

  • City backs down on issue

    For six months, the city of Las Vegas denied the Optic’s requests for e-mails between City Council members and the mayor.

    The city reversed course last week. It released more than 100 pages of such e-mails.

    That was after the state attorney general’s office, in response to an Optic complaint, recommended that the city hand over the documents to the Optic.

  • Residents near dorms complain

    Marcia Henning’s house is next to the new Highlands University dorms that opened last month. And she, like her neighbors, are unhappy with the increased traffic and noise.

    Her house is at Washington and Ninth streets, just across from the dorms, which have the capacity to house 276 students.

    “Walking on this block of Washington is now extremely hazardous to pedestrians. I’ve almost been hit twice,” she said.

  • Cops’ stories vary on search

    Authorities have conflicting explanations about a search of a woman’s home in public housing.

    At issue is resident Bernadette Varela’s dealings with Las Vegas police on Feb. 18.

    It turns out that officers went to her home twice that day. But the Police Department’s reports say nothing about a morning search, only referring to an afternoon visit.

  • Rash of burglaries reported in historic neighborhood

    The historic neighborhood on the east side has seen around 15 burglaries in recent weeks, says the leader of a residents’ group.

    The group has been issuing mass e-mails regularly about burglaries and other happenings in the area.

    Ron Wooten-Green, coordinator of the Historic North New Town Neighborhood Association, said most of the break-ins have been during the day.

    “The police are trying to solve them, and we’re trying to help,” Wooten-Green said.

  • Man accused in attack

    A Buena Vista man was arrested for allegedly attacking another man and threatening to kill him.

    Norman P. DeHerrera, 45, was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and concealing identity.

  • Resident fighting charge

    For more than a year, Las Vegas resident Lalo Sanchez has been fighting a charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer.

    He was found guilty in Municipal Court, but he appealed the matter to state District Court.

    Sanchez maintains that when police entered his property, he asked what they were doing. He said one of the officers “got nasty” with him, so he asked if the officer had a warrant.

    Sanchez said the officer replied by saying that he was under arrest for resisting and obstructing an officer.

  • Residents take sides on consolidation

    Former teacher Victor Cordova questioned why anyone would want to fix the two local school districts.

    “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” Cordova asked.

    “It is broken,” resident Olivia Lovato said.

    Those were two of the views at Tuesday’s forum on whether to consolidate the two school districts. More than 150 residents packed Kennedy Hall to talk about a topic that has often been considered politically toxic.

  • Superintendents talk on subject of uniting districts

    When asked for their thoughts about consolidation of the two local school districts during a public forum Tuesday, Superintendents Jim Abreu and Rick Romero didn’t mince words.

    “I want to go on the record as saying I’m not for consolidation,” said Abreu, who leads West Las Vegas. “We have two fine school districts in this town, and there are some distinct reasons for that.”

    Abreu said the recent survey on consolidation conducted by a Highlands University class had some of its facts wrong.

  • County getting ready to start transport service for veterans

    San Miguel County is getting ready to launch its service to provide veterans transportation to medical appointments in Albuquerque.

    Officials hope to start it next month.  

    Last week, the County Commission approved policies for the service, which will be provided Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    The service will be offered through the county’s DWI prevention program. That’s because the program already has drivers for its Safe Ride service, which takes people home from bars.