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Local News

  • An annual tradition at El Sombrero

    Come one, come all. That’s the message from El Sombrero Restaurant.

    For the 13th year in a row, the restaurant is holding its annual free Thanksgiving dinner. And the entire community is welcome.

    Helen Rivera, the restaurant’s owner, started the tradition in 1996.

    “I always wanted to do something like this, but I didn’t have a place to do it,” said Rivera, who opened the restaurant more than two decades ago. “We decided to do this for everybody.”

  • Ex-city accountant pleads guilty

    This last season, the coaches of the Highlands University football team frowned upon players going to bars — and they actually swept such establishments to make sure they stayed away.

    “We definitely went to bars and kept them out. We didn’t want issues with fighting. We made a conscious effort to clean these bars out,” Athletic Director Ed Manzanares said. “It’s not unusual to sweep bars. Each program has its own rules.”

    Manzanares said his coaching staff did the same when he headed the basketball team a few years ago.

  • Agenda for Las Vegas City Council meeting

    • The Las Vegas City Council will meet at 6 p.m. today in the council’s chambers in City Hall, 1700 N. Grand Ave.

    Presentations

    • Tree board presenting the Tree City USA Award

    • Louie Loera on recommendations of the Plaza Task Force.

    • Arturo Mondragon and Susanna Gonzales from the Parks and Recreation Task Force.

    City manager’s informational report

    • Status of Legion Drive project.

    • Status of Lee Drive roundabout.

    • Status of Tony Ortega properties.

  • Officials: Dorms on schedule

    The construction of new dorms at Highlands University is on schedule, officials said last week.

    “It’ll really be a step up for student life,” said Bill Taylor, the school’s vice president of finance. “The dorms are moving along nicely.”

    Marisol Greene, the university’s director of facilities and planning, said the contractor, Franken Construction, has finished much of the outside work and is now focusing on the inside.

    “We are on target,” she said.

  • Mayor goes over HUD official’s head

    Mayor Tony Marquez is going over the head of a top federal housing official in New Mexico because of the official’s alleged vendetta against Las Vegas.

    Marquez has invited Justin Ormsby from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department regional office in Fort Worth, Texas, to meet with the Las Vegas City Council.

    The mayor also informed federal elected officials about the Las Vegas Optic story of the alleged vendetta against the city by HUD official Floyd Duran, according to a city press release.

  • Residents: Don’t pave our road

    Many rural residents want their roads paved, but those living on a forest road near Pecos apparently don’t.

    The U.S. Forest Service had asked San Miguel County to accept Forest Road 223 as a county road. But a county road-viewing committee recommended against doing so, saying that the agency needed to obtain the proper easements from landowners and settle all issues involving the road.

  • Las Vegan seriously hurt after accident

    A man who rolled his pickup truck in Mineral Hill with his two sons riding along was drinking and driving, state police said.

    Jorge Gallardo, 41, a Mexican national living in Las Vegas, was charged with aggravated DWI and two counts of child abuse, state police Lt. Craig Martin said.

    Martin said state police verified that Gallardo was paralyzed from the chest down. Gallardo, who was taken to St. Vincent Christus Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, has been charged but not booked into jail because of his medical condition.

  • Residents want road improved

    Franchesca Hentsch and others want help from the government to improve their street, Don Gallegos Circle.

    But there’s a problem: It’s a private road.

    Hentsch said she and others are concerned with the ruts in the road, which can become a major problem in the winter. This situation is particularly problematic for a small nursing home on the street, she said.

    Don Gallegos Circle is off of Eighth Street on the north side of town; dozens of houses are along the street.

  • Police: Woman was showing off

    A woman was trying to show off to her passengers as she was driving to Montezuma last week, state police said.

    Apparently no one was impressed.

    Venessa Marie Montaño, 19, of Albuquerque rolled down an embankment around 5 p.m. Wednesday and found herself charged with two counts of reckless driving, police said.

  • HU has lowest tuition in the West

    Highlands University has the lowest tuition and fees of any four-year college in an 11-state region in the West, according to a study.

    In the study, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education showed that Highlands’ tuition and fees for undergraduate residents was at $2,688 per year, far lower than other colleges in the region, which includes the dozens of colleges in California.

    The next lowest was Metropolitan State College of Denver, which charges $3,241 in tuition and fees.