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Local News

  • Blowing trash a problem

    Clyde Pickett has lived at his property northeast of town for 43 years. These days, he has to contend with trash flying onto his land.

    About a decade ago, the city built its transfer station next to Pickett’s property, and since then, people living in the area have complained about garbage ending up on their land.

    Of course, the problem gets much worse this time of year when the winds pick up.

    Last week, Pickett took a reporter to his fence line. All along were bags and other pieces of garbage that clung to the barbed wire.  

  • Teen gets 2 years for killing man

    A teenager accused of killing a man in Bernal in September 2007 is getting two years in juvenile prison.

    District Judge Eugenio Mathis on Wednesday sentenced Chris Trujillo before a packed courtroom, with many weeping. Trujillo pleaded guilty to manslaughter, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

    As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors reduced an open count of murder to manslaughter in exchange for Trujillo’s guilty plea.

    Trujillo was 16 when he was arrested for killing Gene Padilla, 30, of Serafina.

  • No traffic lights until project ends

    On Feb. 2, someone ran into the control box for the traffic lights at University and Grand avenues. The lights have been out of order ever since.

    The cost of repairs will be $20,000 to $30,000, said Christina Romero, the Department of Transportation’s spokeswoman. That is so high the department decided to make the intersection a four-way stop until it completes a project to improve that area of Grand Avenue, she said.

    Such improvements may not be finished until 2010 or 2011.

    “It will be an extended temporary fix,” Romero said.

  • West Las Vegas choir takes state

    West Las Vegas High School Principal Gene Parson said the 2009 State Champion Honors Choir has again proved, beyond a doubt, that it is the best in the area and possibly the state.

    The Honors Choir, directed by Arnell David Arellanes, recently met the difficult challenge of defending last year’s state title and returned home as back-to-back state champions. Besides winning the blue trophy in district 3A, the choir placed in the top five in all categories, A through AAAAA. 

  • Vegas gets new city manager

    The City Council on Wednesday voted to hire Santa Rosa City Manager Timothy Dodge to take the same position in Las Vegas.

    The decision followed a statement by Mayor Tony Marquez, who apologized to the community for the learning curve in his first year as mayor.

    In a unanimous vote, the council picked Dodge over Dan Dible, who served as Las Vegas city manager in the 1980s. Dodge, a Highlands University graduate, has served as Santa Rosa’s manager for the last four years.

  • Council supports four-lane Grand

    Grand Avenue is going to stay as it’s been for decades — four lanes.

    The City Council had already voted in favor of a project to improve a five-block downtown portion of Grand. But it had delayed the dicey issue of whether to go with two lanes — as a merchants group advocated — or keeping it at four.

    At a meeting Wednesday, the council voted 3-2 to keep the same number of lanes.

  • Official: City may lose Grand funds

    The City Council is expected to decide this week whether to reduce the downtown portion of Grand Avenue from four lanes to two.

    Merchants groups are pushing for two lanes, while some leaders on Las Vegas’ west side are pushing to keep it four, contending that slower traffic means more motorists would use New Mexico Avenue instead.

    Meanwhile, an official warns that the city could lose $1.2 million in federal funds if a decision isn’t made soon.

  • NEW DEVELOPMENT: Mora High School student appears in court

    Authorities have charged a boy in connection with sexual assaults at Mora High School. He appeared in court Wednesday afternoon.

    Around 2 p.m. Monday, the Mora County Sheriff's Department responded to the alleged attacks at the school. Three girls reported that a boy assaulted them, officials said.

    Authorities said they believe the four were wrestling in the Mora High School gym when one of them got carried away and began to inappropriately touch the others.

  • Voters reject Luna tax increase

    In big numbers, northern New Mexico voters on Tuesday rejected a proposed tax increase to pay for capital improvements and new buildings for Luna Community College.

    Meanwhile, Board of Trustees member Tony Valdez, an investigator with the district attorney’s office, who represents parts of Las Vegas, defeated his two rivals, Marsha Archuleta and Tommy Ortiz, with 44 percent of the vote. Archuleta came in second with 33 percent, followed by Ortiz with 22 percent.

  • DA plans to retry suspect

    The district attorney plans to retry Gilberto Reyes, the man who has been in the county jail for 14 months on a charge of distribution of drugs.

    Last week, a two-day trial resulted in a hung jury in state District Court. Judge Eugenio Mathis said he wouldn’t be able to hold the next trial until July at the earliest.

    Flores said he felt compelled to try the matter again because families are ruined by drug use and sales.