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Local News

  • Official: Morale bad at City Hall

    City Councilwoman Diane Moore said last week that she is concerned about the morale of city employees.

    At a council meeting, she said employees have told her the city government is the worst they’ve seen it. She said employees are beginning to get paranoid about their job security.

    As such, she said it’s important to recognize the work of city employees, possibly advertising their accomplishments in a newsletter.

  • Forum planned for Luna candidates

    A forum is planned for the candidates for the Luna Community College Board of Trustees.

    The forum is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Middle School’s lecture hall. Sponsoring the event are the Las Vegas Optic and the Committee for the People, a local watchdog group.

    The election is set for next Tuesday.

    Running for the Las Vegas-based District 2 seat are incumbent Tony Valdez, Tommy Ortiz and Marsha Archuleta. Valdez was appointed to his seat in 2007.

  • Two vying for city manager position

    Mayor Tony Marquez this week revealed the names of the two finalists for city manager — Timothy Dodge of Santa Rosa and Dan Dible of Hobbs.

    Dodge has been city manager of Santa Rosa for the last four years. Dodge, who received his bachelor of arts degree from Highlands University, has said he’s looking for a bigger town to manage.

    He has pointed to the improvements in downtown Santa Rosa as a project that he helped bring about.

  • Native Americans gather in Las Vegas

    Governors and other tribal leaders from 23 Native American tribes and pueblos gathered Thursday at Kennedy Hall on the Highlands University campus to sign an agreement to promote higher education opportunities for Native Americans.

  • Chavez named new Optic ad manager

    The Las Vegas Optic has a new advertising manager. Vince Chavez’s first day on the job was Tuesday.

    Chavez, 52, is in the process of moving to San Miguel County from his home near Taos. He and his wife, Susan Maggie Chavez, are empty nesters who have raised five sons. They also have two granddaughters.

    Chavez grew up in the Midwest, but most of his adult life was spent in New Mexico and Colorado. He’s lived in Mesilla, Las Cruces and Taos in New Mexico. “My real passion is the West and the diversified culture we have out here,” he said.

  • City passes sex offender law

    In a split vote, the City Council this week passed an ordinance that is somewhat stricter than state law on where sex offenders can live.

    State law requires that sex offenders live at least 1,000 feet away from a school or daycare center. The city’s new ordinance would expand that to playgrounds, parks and the city’s recreation center.

    The ordinance was proposed by Mayor Tony Marquez, who told the council that the city can’t always depend on state law.

  • Enrollment down in East schools

    The downward trend in enrollment continues at the Las Vegas City Schools.

    Associate Superintendent LeeEtte Quintana, sitting in for Superintendent Rick Romero, who was in Las Cruces, said at a school board meeting this week that enrollment had dropped.

    “Every month we try to keep you abreast of what our enrollment looks like, from last month to this month we have lost 13 more students. Our current enrollment in the district as of Feb 10 is 1,963 students,” Quintana told the board.

  • Coach pick criticized

    While Robertson High School’s golf coach is on leave facing sexual abuse allegations, his wife will assume head coaching duties — an appointment drawing criticism from some.

    LeeEtte Quintana, associate superintendent for the Las Vegas City Schools, already was the team’s assistant coach, serving under her husband, Jay Quintana, the head coach.

  • Man charged with breaking into relative’s house

    A Las Vegas man is accused of burglarizing a relative’s house, stealing at least one gun.

    Joshua A. Montoya, 20, is facing charges of aggravated burglary, larceny, breaking and entering, tampering with evidence, and criminal damage to property.

    On Feb. 7, the owner of a home on N.M. Highway 84 reported to state police that he returned after several days in Albuquerque to find his home burglarized and damaged.

  • State reveals plans for crossing

    The railroad crossing where two people have been killed in recent months is set to get safety equipment, an official said this week.

    The Rio Arriba Road crossing north of Las Vegas got stop signs and pavement markings Wednesday and more safety equipment may be on the way, said  Paul Gray, the local district engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

    “We’re hoping that  it will raise the awareness of motorists at that intersection, so they will stop and look both ways before making the crossing,” Gray said.