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Local News

  • Hunters angered with state's planned land swap

    Elk season is on at White’s Peak, but a proposed land swap may eventually remove some portion of that prime hunting ground from public use.

    And that’s angering some hunters.

    The State Land Office is proposing to give a portion of the White’s Peak land to the Express UU Bar Ranch and the Stanley Ranch in exchange for other land. The White’s Peak land, opponents say, has been used by area residents for hunting and herb gathering for generations. They fear that hunting that land would become a privilege of the rich if it were given to the ranches.

  • MONDAY ONLINE STORY: Power restored in Las Vegas

    Power was restored in much of Las Vegas at 9:40 a.m. Monday after being out for nearly an hour.

    The outage stated at 8:52 a.m., according to Public Service Company of New Mexico, the electric utility for Las Vegas.

    Power is reportedly out at Highlands University, among other places.

    A PNM spokeswoman said a cause hasn't been identified yet, but she said crews are working on the problem.

  • Chamber lets go of its marketing coordinator

    The local chamber of commerce let go its marketing coordinator last week — a decision that is angering some members.

    The board of directors unanimously voted against renewing the contract for Vince Howell, who has served as the coordinator since September 2008.

    This week, Howell called the action “retribution through association.”

    Matt Martinez, president of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, said the contract was too pricey.

    “We want to get the best bang for the buck,” he said.

  • Murder suspect found guilty

    SANTA ROSA — The family of murder suspect David Levi Chavez thought it had good news when the judge read the jury’s verdict Friday afternoon — not guilty of first-degree murder.

    They erupted in loud cheers — prematurely as it turned out.

    District Judge Abigail Aragon then announced that the jury had found Chavez, 22, guilty of second-degree murder in the 2008 death of 6-year-old Jasmine Garcia. She had been sleeping in a house on Las Vegas‘ Union Street when she was struck by gunfire.

  • State report blasts West

    The West Las Vegas school district is top-heavy and needs to shift more money to the classroom, according to a state report released this week.

    The Legislative Finance Committee unveiled an analysis of five small school districts — West Las Vegas, Las Vegas City Schools, Bernalillo, Bloomfield and Aztec. It was most critical of the West district.

    The staff report was presented to the committee Thursday morning in Santa Fe.

  • Fire destroys northside home

    A fire destroyed a mobile home north of Las Vegas on Sunday night.

    It started while its renter, Andrea Torres, an inserter for the Optic, had left for awhile. She is now staying at her cousin’s house.

    Torres said her bedroom set was saved, but nearly everything else was lost.

    “My clothes were smoke-damaged. My couches were water-damaged,” Torres said.

    She said she had been gone for an hour and a half when her brother called to tell her that fire trucks were at her house.

    Torres had lived there for the last three years.

  • Property values drop near Las Vegas

    A dropping water table southwest of Las Vegas is apparently taking a big toll on some home values.

    Last month, a San Miguel County panel decided to lower valuations for four properties in the Ojitos Frios subdivision, where some residents have been without water. This will likely mean reduced property taxes.

    A recent market estimate for Jack and Betty Thompson’s property came in at $275,000. But the county has since reappraised the property at $22,000 — a loss of more than 90 percent.

  • Lead witness testifies in murder case

    SANTA ROSA — "I didn't think he was going to do it."

    That's how prosecution witness Chris Romero explained why he drove accused killer David Levi Chavez and his shotgun to the trailer where Chavez allegedly shot through the wall of the trailer, killing 6-year-old Jasmine Garcia as she lay in bed in June 2008 in the 300 block of Union Street.

  • Boxing promoter wants city money

    A local boxing promoter is seeking city money to help with a youth tournament set for next month.

    Carlos Crespin of Crespin’s Boxing has applied for $1,500 in lodger’s tax funds. The money would help pay for advertising and trophies for winners — all of which would include the city’s logo.

    Crespin said the three-day tournament would bring up to 100 boxers to Las Vegas, giving business to motels, restaurants and other local businesses.

    “This will bring money into the city. I’m not making any money off this,” he said.

  • Council favors idea on runoffs

    The City Council has taken another step toward getting a new municipal constitution before voters.

    Last week, the council voted 2-1 to include instant runoff elections in the proposed city charter, which a panel of citizens drafted.

    Council members have said they wanted some type of runoff in the charter to make sure that the mayor and council members get the support of a majority of voters. As it stands, only Councilwoman Diane Moore got more than 50 percent.