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Local News

  • Council tackles unpaid accounts

    The city’s top utilities official recommended this week that the city hire a company to help the city collect on unpaid accounts.

    George DuFour, the city’s utilities director, said the city had unpaid accounts going back to the early 1980s, which still remain on the books. He urged the city write off the oldest debt, saying it was highly doubtful the city would ever find the people, many of whom may be dead.

  • Union: Don't hire consultants

    A union representing city employees pleaded with the City Council on Wednesday to end its relationship with a management consulting firm that helps government agencies with negotiations.

    Council members then directed city management to do just that.

    During the public input portion of the council’s meeting, Christian Laumbach, an official with the state chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, urged the city administration to negotiate directly with the union, without having any third party.

  • No answers from health trust

    Sunday marks a year since the Las Vegas Health Trust vowed to communicate more with the public about what it’s doing. At a public meeting last year, its president even promised to provide a press release.

    The Optic is still waiting for the release, and its calls to trust officials went unreturned this week.

  • Las Vegan accused of ramming man's car

    A Las Vegas man stands accused of repeatedly ramming another man’s car last week.

    Steven Quintana, 31, 205 Commerce St., was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

    Shortly before 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Quintana, in a blue pickup truck, followed another man driving on Commerce Street, according to documents filed in Magistrate Court. After a few blocks, Quintana struck the victim’s car a number of times, police said.

  • Learning 24/7

    After her first trip to Nicaragua, Lillian Gorman, director of Spanish as a Heritage Language summer program at Highlands University, said she was hooked on the cultural connections between northern New Mexico and the Latin American country.

    Gorman, a Highlands professor who is working on her doctorate at the University of New Mexico, has taken five groups of students to Nicaragua, where they are immersed in the language and where host families speak no English. This year, Gorman took 12 students, the largest contingent so far.

  • Reina pageant to kick off Fiestas de Las Vegas

    The 120th annual Fiestas de Las Vegas will start today with the Reina de Las Vegas pageant.

    The event is set for 7 p.m. at Ilfeld Auditorium.

    Four young women are vying to assume the crown from Alyssa Moya:

    • Jackie Conway, 23, a 2003 graduate of Robertson High School and a 2007 graduate of the University of New Mexico.

    • Rita Raya, 17, a Robertson High School student.

    • Carmela Montoya, 19, a Luna Community College student.

    • June Duran, 24, a 2002 graduate of Robertson High School and a 2007 graduate of Luna.

  • Bus contracts discussed in secret

    The West Las Vegas school board took its discussion about bus contracts behind closed doors last week.

    Almost half of the district’s bus drivers are under contract. The biggest contractor, which runs seven buses for the district, is RV Transportation, which is owned by state Rep. Richard Vigil, D-Ribera, officials said.

  • Candidate challenges trustee election

    A candidate for a seat on an electric cooperative board has sued the utility, claiming that it failed to follow its own bylaws and discriminated against him.

    In May, Louis Clayton lost by one vote to Daniel Romero in the San Juan-based District 4 race for trustee for the Mora-San Miguel Electric Cooperative board. Romero took 34 votes to Clayton’s 33.

  • Program praised as affordable

    As a young girl, Anastacia Rivera imagined herself healing people in her native El Pueblo in the Villanueva Valley and thought about medicine as a profession.

    “Since I was little, I always played doctor. I like helping people, and I think being a nurse you’ll always have a job,” Rivera said. She is taking the nursing curriculum at Luna Community College and says she hopes to be on the job in just a few more years.

  • Leader: Some changes unpopular

    Sigfredo Maestas, Luna Community College’s interim president, says he has changed a number of things in his year at the helm, including the centralizing of purchasing. Such actions have angered some, he acknowledges.

    “I know that as a result of the things I did, I won’t be liked by everyone here,” he said. “I put a stop to a number of things we shouldn’t be doing.”

    But Maestas didn’t want to detail all of his changes out of fear that such information would reflect poorly on Luna officials.