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Local News

  • Nearly complete

    Work on the Ilfeld Annex — the new addition to the Plaza Hotel — is nearly complete and a number of events are scheduled for this month.

    Plaza Hotel proprietor Wid Slick said this Saturday that Batman would be the honored guest as he helps install the finials at the pinnacle of the hotel’s rooftop. A finial is an ornament at the apex of a building or spire.

    Slick said it was a turn-of-the-century photo that clued him into the fact that the architecture included the decorative ornaments.

  • Mora must pay more than Taos

    Taos County gets a better rate than Mora County for housing its inmates in the San Miguel County jail.

    That’s something a top Mora County official would like to change.

    This week, the San Miguel County Commission approved extensions of agreements with both Mora and Taos counties.

    Mora must pay $65 a day to house an inmate, while Taos gets a better rate at $50 a day. Both must pay a onetime $20 booking fee for each inmate.

    Mora sends only a handful of inmates each month to the local jail, while Taos sends dozens.

  • College coach convicted of DWI

    Peter Ortiz, coach of the Luna Community College baseball team, has been convicted of drunken driving.

    A jury in Magistrate Court on Monday found Ortiz, 45, guilty of DWI and not guilty of reckless driving, the court has confirmed.

    He was also the city’s parks supervisor when he was arrested in March, but he is no longer employed with the city.

    Ortiz and his attorney, Anna Aragon, didn’t return calls for comment left on Wednesday.

  • No one in Vegas running unopposed

    A couple of years ago, two of the three Las Vegas City Schools incumbents coasted to victory without any opposition.

    Not so this year for the East incumbents.

    Tuesday was filing day for school board candidates in the Feb. 3 election.

    Board members Philip Leger, who started 12 years ago, and Elaine Luna, who has served for a little more than five years, are facing two competitors each.

  • No-bullying zone

    The message at Don Cecilio Elementary School is simple: Bullies, stay away.

    Students at Don Cecilio have been getting eye-opening instruction about bullying and ways that children can deal with it in real life.

    School counselor Kathy Perea said the four- to six-week curriculum includes informational posters, videos, card games and a variety of activities that help kids learn about bullying and how to deal with it in a positive and healthy way.

  • Vegas board member gets top post in association

    Ramon “Swoops” Montaño, a member of the Las Vegas City Schools board, has been named to a top leadership position in the New Mexico School Boards Association.

    He became president-elect of the group during its Dec. 5 conference in Albuquerque. He is now on track to becoming the president next year.

    Montaño said among his goals will be to help in the effort to improve the state’s funding formula for schools. He noted that more school districts have been asking for emergency funding than ever before.

  • Grant still an issue

    The city may just have a couple of weeks to get its act together to receive $1.2 million in state funds.

    According to a July 2006 letter, the New Mexico Finance Authority informed the city that it had until Dec. 31 to meet all requirements to get the money. Some of the requirements appear not to be completed, although the city had more than two years to do so.

    The money has caused a big controversy at City Hall in recent weeks, with some fearing that the city may lose the funding altogether.

  • El Centro clinic warning about Hepatitis C

    New Mexico has the highest per capita Hepatitis C infection rate in the United States, and Las Vegas is one of the areas with the highest concentrations of victims, experts say.

    This is a problem that El Centro Family Health wants to tackle.

    Chris Ruge, a nurse practitioner with the El Centro clinic in Las Vegas, is taking part in a statewide effort called Project ECHO to identify and treat patients with Hepatitis C, a disease that causes liver problems.

  • Today is filing day for school hopefuls

    Las Vegas City Schools board members Elaine Luna and Philip Leger, whose seats are up for election in February, say they’re running again.

    For West Las Vegas, Christine Ludi says she plans to seek re-election, while most political observers say Ralph Garcia will be stepping aside after nearly three decades on the board.

    The only other announced candidates on the west side are David George Romero, a local businessman, and Mike Adams, director of information technology at Luna Community College.

  • College seeks to dismiss lawsuit

    Luna Community College contends it had the power to fire a former employee without going through the full disciplinary process because he was probationary.

    The college responded last month to a lawsuit filed by Hans Kuss, a former Luna student services counselor. It is asking that District Court dismiss the lawsuit.

    Kuss has claimed institutional racism that includes discrimination against all non-Hispanics who attend or are employed by the college.