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Local News

  • Man still not in jail, despite sentence

    Joseph Floyd Santillanes was supposed to begin his six-month jail sentence for his fourth DWI conviction on Jan. 30.

    He’s still not there — the county jail won’t take him.

    During a Jan. 26 hearing, the 53-year-old local man entered into a plea agreement in which he admitted to drunken driving.

  • Survey focuses on joining of districts

    Some local politicians don’t like to even mention the issue of consolidating the two Las Vegas school districts.

    A Highlands University class, however, is taking the issue head on.

    Throughout this week, a marketing research class led by Professor Margaret Young is gauging the community’s views on ideas to consolidate the West Las Vegas and Las Vegas City Schools districts.

  • Mariachis progress quickly

    They seem like they’ve been performing for years. But it’s only been a few months.

    Children in the 21st Century mariachi after-school program have already wowed a crowd at Fiesta de la Hispandad and are now heading to a big show in Tucson, Ariz., for the International Mariachi Contest in a few weeks.

    Ben Lucero and Emily Maestas, the co-directors of the young mariachi group, have had extensive musical careers themselves.

  • Dem chairman wins big

    In a landslide, Martin Suazo was re-elected to another term as San Miguel County’s Democratic Party chairman on Saturday, but some protested the credentials of certain delegates.

    Suazo, a Las Vegas stove salesman, won with 84 votes to 10 for Ambrose Castellano, the chairman of the Luna Community College Board of Trustees. The vote occurred during a nearly three-hour party convention at West Las Vegas Middle School’s cafeteria, two days after the party conducted precinct meetings in which delegates were elected.

  • County touts benefits of path; some residents disagree

    Some residents touted the health benefits of a path for pedestrians and bicyclists along Cinder Road. Others called it a waste of money and questioned whether it would impede community irrigation ditches.

    San Miguel County held its third public hearing last week on the proposed 1.5-mile path that it hopes to begin building soon.

    The path is part of a long-term plan to link the city’s riverwalk, which the county hopes to eventually extend all the way to the United World College in Montezuma.

  • State plans to measure water use

    New measuring stations on the Gallinas River should give the state a better handle on how much water acequias are using, officials say.

    It’s been a slow process, but the state engineer’s office has entered agreements with 11 of 12 area Las Vegas-area acequias — community ditch organizations — to allow the installation of state-funded measuring stations to tabulate water use.

  • East board closes the doors

    During a special noontime meeting of the Las Vegas City Schools board, members quickly called for a vote to go behind closed doors. The only item on the agenda was limited personnel matters relating to the superintendent and school matters.

    After about an hour, board members returned to public session and board President Phillip Vigil an-nounced that no action was taken, and the meeting was adjourned. None of the members would talk to the Optic about what was discussed.

  • Several mull running for Vegas mayor

    It’s 11 months away, but a few local residents are thinking about running for mayor in next year’s municipal election.

    May-or Tony Marquez, who was elected last March, hasn’t revealed whether he would run for a second two-year term.

    Two City Council members are considering runs for mayor.

    “I’m thinking about it. I haven’t made up my mind,” Councilman Andrew Feldman said.

  • Three credited with saving officer’s life

    Las Vegas police Officer Clarence Romero is alive today, and he knows whom to thank for that.

    On Jan. 27, Romero had just ended his shift and arrived at the city recreation center around 6:30 a.m. to begin his workout, playing a few games of racquetball. Shortly after playing, he walked into the fitness room, where he collapsed.

    Debbie Martinez, a local registered nurse and a regular at the center, came to the rescue. She determined that Romero had no pulse and used the center’s automated external defibrillator, a device that is used to revive people.

  • Audit may mean relaxed controls

    A good audit for the West Las Vegas school district is expected to help the district convince the state to relax its heightened controls, which have been in place for more than two years, officials said.

    West Las Vegas Schools business manager Doug Hendrickson distributed the 2007-08 audit opinion and findings to school board members. He said it would be an action item for the next meeting.