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Local News

  • Man gets 18 years for sex crimes

    A local man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting a girl at his home.

    Bobby McKenna, 54, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 13, a first-degree felony, District Attorney Richard Flores said.

    The charge stems from incidents dating back to January 2007. The victim and two younger girls would spend weeks at McKenna’s home, and that’s when McKenna, by his own admission, would have the victim perform oral sex on him, according to the district attorney’s office.

  • Cop faces drug charges

    A former Las Vegas police officer and his wife were arrested early Thursday afternoon on charges of distributing prescription drugs.

    Robert Ortega and his wife, Judith Ortega, were taken into custody after a lengthy investigation. He faces three counts of trafficking prescription medications, while she faces two counts, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

  • Hail hits Vegas

    Shoveling your walk in late May?

    That’s what happened for many in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon after a hailstorm hit town around 1:30. It lasted more than an hour, and some areas of town were harder hit than others.

    The marble-sized hail took down with it many leaves on local trees, and it’s likely that many gardens suffered severe damage.

    Particularly hard hit were the the downtown areas of Old Town and New Town. Meanwhile, much of north Las Vegas was largely unaffected.

  • Sheriff criticizes county official

    San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil contends the county government isn’t giving his department the resources it needs. And he said that’s largely because the county manager controls the County Commission.

    The sheriff went public with his criticism of County Manager Les Montoya after the commission decided last week against Vigil’s request for high-voltage stun guns for his deputies.

  • State loosens scrutiny at West

    Nearly three years ago, the state put the West Las Vegas school district on a tight leash financially. But in recent times, the scrutiny has been loosened.

    The state Public Education Department placed the district under heightened financial scrutiny in August 2006 in response to information that West’s bilingual department held an invitation-only, adults-only nearly $10,000 party. And it was discovered that the program spent money on top-of-the-line furniture and a large refrigerator, among other items.

  • SENIOR PROFILE: A woman’s lifelong balancing act

    For Gerda Zimmermann, born in Germany in 1927 and raised in Hamburg from the age of 3, World War II hit hard, as fire-bombs exploded the world of her early teens.

    “Life changed drastically,” the Las Vegas resident recalled, saying that the devastation transformed “children into workers, boys into soldiers ... so life was always work, work, work. The Nazis put us to work when there were air raids. We had to find places or even dig ditches for children to take cover. We had to go to the train stations to help refugees, feed them, carry their baggage.

  • Student inquiries increase at HU

    Inquiries from prospective Highlands University students have increased 60 percent in academic year 2008-09, compared to those in 2007-08.  

  • Ex-county clerk goes back to old office

    San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez left office on Dec. 31, but he already has a new job — in the same place he has worked the last eight years.

    Last week, the County Commission voted for County Clerk Melanie Rivera’s recommendation to hire her former boss to become supervisor of the office’s elections bureau, the job she held until becoming county clerk nearly three weeks ago.

    Maez will take only a slight reduction in pay. He used to make $50,000 a year as county clerk, but now he will make $46,173.

  • Firm closing its doors for now

    Las Vegas’ remaining call center expects to close at month’s end, with company representatives hoping it will only be temporary.

    The latest announcement has been just another example of Las Vegas’ years-long roller-coaster ride with call centers.

    The Results-Las Vegas call center now employs 40 people, half what it had in late April.

    Carole Gonynor, Results’ human resources manager, said the center’s parent company hopes to find more clients so the center can stay in operation. She said the center is losing its three clients.

  • Students reflect on school year

    It’s an age-old tradition — one in which both Dons and Cardinals took part last week at their schools: They scrawled messages in each other’s yearbooks.

    It was also a time to reflect on the last school year.

    West Las Vegas High School student body President Christa Lucero said, “Last year when I decided to run for president, I told myself that we were going to make sure this year was a year to remember.”

    And indeed the West Las Vegas class of 2009 had many successes — they were champions in academics, music and sports.