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Local News

  • School fund for breakfast dries up

    State funding for the West Las Vegas school district’s breakfast program has dried up, an official said last week. It’s not clear whether the programs will continue next year.

    The district was hit with a 2.5 percent reduction in the 2008-09 allocation, the district’s budget director, Doug Hendrickson, told the school board at a meeting.

    Board President Christine Ludi asked if there was a way to make sure the program continues.

  • Dem chief beats challenge

    A statewide Democratic Party committee on Saturday rejected a challenge to the San Miguel County party chairman’s recent re-election.  

    But the attorney for the challenger promised to seek a court’s determination on whether the party should seat certain delegates.

    Earlier this month, Chairman Martin Suazo, who has headed the local party for eight years, was elected to another two-year term, getting 84 delegates’ votes to Ambrose Castellano’s 10.

  • Lujan visits Vegas

    U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., was in Las Vegas Friday to open a constituent office that will be headed by Pam Garcia.

    The office is on the the Highlands University campus across the street from Ilfeld Auditorium. Lujan said the office is one of six he is opening in the 3rd Congressional District.

    “We are opening up offices throughout the district that will be accessible to the constituency and in areas that we can provide a high level of service. We have offices opening in Santa Fe, Tucumcari, Gallup, Farmington, Rio Rancho and Las Vegas,” Lujan said.

  • County won’t take over road

    The U.S. Forest Service has officially backed off from a petition asking the county to take over a forest road in the Pecos area.

    This week, the County Commission unanimously voted to accept the federal agency’s request to withdraw the petition.

    In November, the Forest Service requested the county take over Forest Road 223. But a county road-viewing committee recommended against doing so, saying the agency needed to obtain the proper easements from landowners and settle all issues involving the road.

  • 2006 election may have been illegal

    In late 2006, then-Las Vegas City Councilman Michael Gallegos was the subject of a recall election, but he beat it back.

    Now it turns out the recall election may have been illegal in the first place. An expert in municipal government told the council last week that the city wasn’t supposed to have provisions to recall an official in the city charter.

    Randy Van Vleck, an attorney for the New Mexico Municipal League, said that the city is not a home-rule community, so it is limited by state law about what it can have in its charter.

  • City puts landlord issue on hold

    The Las Vegas City Council is delaying a decision on a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for landlords to avoid liability for their tenants’ utility bills.

    At last week’s council meeting, a majority of members agreed to hold off on the proposed ordinance. That was after Councilman Morris Madrid raised some questions.

    The council decided to address the issue at a meeting in May. Meanwhile, the city plans to seek an attorney general’s opinion and conduct a financial analysis on the proposed ordinance.

  • East suspects plead not guilty

    Three of the adults charged in connection with sexual assaults at a Robertson High School football camp pleaded not guilty Thursday.

    Superintendent Richard Romero, Athletic Director Mike Yara and former football coach Ray Woods entered their pleas in Magistrate Court. Each is charged with the misdemeanor of failure to report child abuse or neglect.

    Not appearing were former assistant coaches Adam Alvarez and Ikaika Neizman, who are facing the same charge.  Neizman is in Alaska, while Alvarez waived his arraignment, prosecutors said.

  • City says it gets back water money

    In January, the city of Las Vegas lost $1.2 million for water projects because of confusion over what the state money was for.

    More than a week ago, Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill for water projects, including the $1.2 million that the city had lost, according to a city press release. The funding comes through the Water Trust Board, an arm of the New Mexico Finance Authority.

    The press release states that the $1.2 million is for water storage, conveyance and delivery system improvements for the city.

  • County to start up crusher soon

    San Miguel County could open its facility to make road materials in as soon as two months — a project officials hope will make it easier for the county to improve more roads.

    The county plans to have the crusher operation on its land in the wood business park on Las Vegas’ north side. It is the same site as the old Medite of New Mexico fiberboard factory, which closed years ago.

    Also on the site, the county plans to construct a building for its public works department, but that part of the project has been delayed because of a snag in the bidding process.

  • City agrees to inquiry into utility finances

    The city’s auditor told the City Council on Wednesday that he has discovered “anomalies” in the utilities department’s finances. As such, he asked for authority to conduct a more thorough investigation.

    The council had no objections to the auditor’s request, and City Manager Timothy Dodge said he would approve the inquiry.