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Local News

  • Grand project concerns council

    Two City Council members last week said they didn’t want planned improvements to Grand Avenue to push more truck traffic to New Mexico Avenue.

    Meanwhile, the city manager backed off on a request to the state Department of Transportation to use an outside firm to help design the project. Her letter to the agency didn’t sit well with the mayor.

  • City takes away phones, cars

    Mayor Tony Marquez last month asked the city administration to reduce the number of take-home cars and city-issued cell phones.

    This week, City Manager Sharon Caballero presented a plan on how the city could achieve that goal.

    However, one official said he wasn’t notified about the city’s decisions before they were announced. He said his office needs a car.

    The city has 41 cell phones — 12 of which are for the Police and Fire departments. Officials agreed that none of the public safety phones should be taken away.

  • Sorority sisters are seeking to mentor local girls

    The area chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters is getting, well, bigger.

    Thirteen members of the local Lambda Kappa Psi sorority at Highlands University currently are enrolling to become Big Sisters with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico.

  • Official: Directive not being followed

    City Councilman Morris Madrid is accusing the city administration of defying a clear council directive.

    When the City Council approved the annual budget on Oct. 1, it also required that the city staff present a budget adjustment request to restore lost funding to the Police and Fire departments. The deadline to get it done was by the very next meeting.

    That directive is clearly reflected in the council’s meeting minutes.

    But four meetings later, City Manager Sharon Caballero has yet to present such a request to the council.

  • Riverwalk cleanup planned

    Residents are encouraged to help with the cleanup of the riverwalk area along the Gallinas River on Saturday.

    The Rio Gallinas Thanksgiving City Cleanup is set to begin at 9 a.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at Bridge Street, where it crosses the river.

    Organizers said trash bags, gloves and tools will be provided. Also furnished will be paint and paint brushes for cleaning up graffiti.

    Lunch will be served to all volunteers.

    Mayor Tony Marquez and other city officials said they would take part in the riverwalk cleanup effort.

  • 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.