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Local News

  • Democrat criticizes opponent

    The embattled Jerome Block, a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, has shied away from debating his only opponent in the Nov. 4 election.

    But in the last few days, Block has taken shots at his Green Party rival, Rick Lass, on a new blog on his web site.

    For months, Block’s site was limited to photos of himself in front of various scenes, including a sunset, mountains and solar panels.

  • West heating at issue

    Some students are complaining about what they call a lack of heat at West Las Vegas High School. School officials disagree.

    Monique Martinez, a West senior, was among those who called the Optic on Tuesday about the heating situation.

    “The hallways are really freezing. Our windows had ice on them this morning,” she said. “They don’t want to fix anything.”

    However, West Superintendent Jim Abreu said the heat is up and running in the school.

  • Group: Block claim false

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    The campaign of Jerome Block, the Democratic candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, states that the nation’s biggest Hispanic organization has endorsed him.

    However, a top official in the state chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens said that’s not true.

  • Educator focuses on energy

    Las Vegas native Stephanie Gurul-Leyba doesn’t just want to lecture about alternative energy. She seeks to give students hands-on lessons.

    Gurul-Leyba was recently in the national spotlight after being named as one of the nation’s most innovative educators in the 2008 ING Unsung Heroes awards program. That award got her $2,000. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

  • Candidate says he was negligent

    Jerome Block, the Democratic candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, is changing his story again.

    Last month, Block’s campaign repeatedly stated that local band Wyld Country played at a campaign rally near Romeroville in May.

    One of his supporters, San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez, the county’s chief election official, belonged to Wyld Country. After originally going along with Block’s story, he told the Optic that Wyld Country didn’t play and that the rally never even happened.

  • City may give more money to EDC

    Las Vegas’ main economic development group would get a sizable increase in funding from the city under a proposed agreement.

    The contract with the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation calls for upping the city’s annual donation from $40,000 to $65,000.

    The City Council will consider the agreement at its meeting Wednesday.

  • Candidate forums planned

    The Las Vegas Optic will hold a candidates forum Thursday at Memorial Middle School’s auditorium.

    The Optic will take written audience questions for the candidates.

    From 5:30-6:30 p.m., the County Commission candidates will take center stage. The District 2 candidates are Democrat Marcellino Ortiz and Republican Mary Bridget Maloney. From District 5 are Democrat Nicolas Leger and Republican Fred Romero.

  • RFK Jr., union leader speak in town

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wowed an audience gathered at Margaret Kennedy Hall on the Highlands campus Friday with stories about his father’s involvement in the fight for civil rights, including the early days when he was deeply involved with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers’ struggle for equality.

    Kennedy also had the crowd laughing at times when he talked about some of his own experiences supporting environmental causes around the world.

  • Official says he's here to stay

    East school board member Ramon “Swoops” Montao wants to set the record straight: He said he has every intention of staying on the board through the end of his term in 2011.

    Montao said many people are under the impression that he has moved out of town. But he said he still maintains a residence in the Las Vegas City Schools district.

    One of Montao’s colleagues wants to discuss his residency at a meeting this week, saying that Montao has “to do the right thing.”

  • Court reduces warrant number

    Municipal Court has made progress in reducing the number of those wanted on outstanding warrants.

    Judge Eddie Trujillo said last week that many people have come into his court since late August when the Optic published the names of those wanted on warrants.

    “It was a big help. I was hoping for more people, but we really cleaned up a lot of files. Some people were deceased, and we had no way of knowing it, so we had death certificates brought in,” he said.