Local News

  • City grapples with tax issue

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    In the summer, a high-profile Albuquerque boxing promoter was quickly approved for city money to help advertise a local event.

    It’s not so easy for others.

    Kenny Zamora, owner of the Santa Fe Trail Events Center, has been trying for years to get city lodgers tax funds to help him advertise his annual roping events that he contends bring in upwards of 1,500 participants and hundreds of thousands of dollars to the community.

  • Vegas to get major conference

    The Las Vegas Board of Realtors has announced that the state meeting of the Real Estate Association of New Mexico will be holding its spring 2011 meeting in Las Vegas. It's the first time the state meeting will be held in Las Vegas.

    Las Vegas was selected because of an increase in its motel room count and its expanded ability to host a large group in one meeting room. Association members said Las Vegas is surrounded by beauty and history, and they look forward to having the conference here.

  • HU looking to buy nearby properties

    Highlands University may buy properties near campus, including some next to the new dorms, where residents have complained about noise and other problems.

    At a meeting last month, the Board of Regents approved the purchase of two properties. One was at 1004 Mora Ave., which is surrounded by the new dorms and is known as “The Little Green House.” The other was a small piece of land next to what will become the new student center on Columbia Avenue.

  • Veterans service starts

    San Miguel County plans to begin on Monday its service taking veterans to appointments at the veterans hospital in Albuquerque.

    The service will initially be available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and riders should give the county a week’s notice about their appointments.

    The service will be run out of the county’s DWI prevention program because that agency already has drivers on hand.

    Wendy Armijo, the DWI program’s coordinator, said the county may later change the times of service as it gets feedback from riders.

  • Sheriff fires deputy

    On Tuesday, Sheriff Benjie Vigil contended that battery charges against his deputy, Inez Bolivar, were false.

    A day later, he decided to fire her.

    San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya confirmed Thursday that Vigil was giving notice to Bolivar of her termination. He said the sheriff made the decision because of the charges against her.

    Vigil’s decision was on the same day as a story appeared in the Optic on a Sept. 20 incident allegedly involving Bolivar.

    Vigil didn’t return a message for comment on Thursday.

  • Man got in trouble with law before

    A man accused in a murder last week was charged with severely beating up another man a few years ago, but the case was dismissed.

    In the latest case, Louie Bena-videz, 54, was charged with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Kevin Duran, 32, 814 Chavez St.

    Shortly after 9 p.m. Friday, Las Vegas police received a call about a shooting at Duran’s house. Duran was taken to the hospital by others, and he died soon after.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said his department was trying to determine the motivation behind the shooting.

  • Residents want emergency declaration

    A group of landowners is requesting that Gov. Bill Richardson declare a state of emergency in an area southwest of Las Vegas because 16 homes are now without water.

    The group is blaming the city of Las Vegas’ intensive pumping at Taylor Wells as the reason for residents’ water problems.

    El Creston Domestic Water Community Association, which represents the Ojitos Frios subdivision and other areas southwest of town, is asking the governor to enlist the National Guard to provide a short-term source of potable water.

  • Sheriff's deputy accused in attack

    A San Miguel County sheriff’s deputy is accused of attacking a man in his house earlier this month, but the sheriff is calling the charges false.

    Inez Bolivar, 29, 2405 Sagebrush, was never taken to jail for the felony domestic violence charges, which is unusual in such cases.

    Bolivar, who became a deputy three months ago, also votes with the City Council on housing issues as the representative of public housing residents. The council unanimously supported her for that position a couple of months ago.

  • Saturday detention planned at school

    Oh, no, not Saturday school!

    Yes, it’s official. West Las Vegas Middle School students will now be required to attend school on Saturday for discipline purposes.

    The school may not be all that bad. Remember the 1985 John Hughes classic, “Breakfast Club” where five students meet in Saturday detention and discover they have more in common than they thought?

    Principal Steve Sandoval told the school board last week that sometimes noon detention is not sufficient.

  • Vegas man killed at home

    A Las Vegas man was killed at his house late Friday night, and authorities have already arrested another man in the murder, police said Sunday.

    Kevin Duran, 32, 814 Chavez St., was shot two or three times in the stomach area, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    Gold said police have arrested Louie Benavidez, in his late 40s, on an open count of murder. He said Benavidez was apprehended at mile marker 219 on Interstate 25, which is in the southern part of Albuquerque. Benavidez lives on the west side of Las Vegas, the chief said.