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Local News

  • Former official facing charges

    Former City Councilman Eugene Romero was arrested over the weekend after a dispute with a woman at his house, police say.

    Romero, 40, 300 Cumbres Patio, faces charges of false imprisonment, a fourth-degree felony, and criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor. The longtime councilman left office in March.

    Police responded to a call from Romero’s house shortly after 5 p.m. Friday.

  • Suspect's friend 'freaked out'

    Martin Chris Romero describes himself as “freaked out” after he found out that his friend reportedly fired the gunshot that killed a 6-year-old girl.

    But he didn’t call the police. Instead, he says he kept it a secret from the authorities until investigators asked about the murder months later.

    Romero testified on Monday during the preliminary hearing of David Levi Chavez, 507 New Mexico Ave., who has been charged with an open count of murder in the June 15 death of Jasmine Garcia.

  • City natural gas rates set to rise

    Count your heating bill as among those that will increase soon.

    City officials revealed that residents’ natural gas bills starting in November will increase by nearly 8 percent. They stressed that this hike was because of an increase in the price of natural gas.

    “No other city cost is expected to increase other than the cost of the natural gas,” City Manager Sharon Caballero told the City Council at last week’s meeting.

  • Governor speaks in Vegas

    Gov. Bill Richardson spoke to a crowd of about 100 Las Vegans during a stop in the Meadow City in a last big push to encourage Democrats to register to vote.

    Richardson told the Optic that Democrats in northern New Mexico are starting to really get enthusiastic about presidential candidate Barack Obama.

  • See trash as having value, city advised

    The city could reduce the amount of trash it hauls to the Wagon Mound landfill and help the environment at the same time, according to a Highlands University study.

    For years, Highlands has been researching the use of what is known as mechanical biological treatment technology to help a small community such as Las Vegas better manage its waste. The study is funded by the federal government, and an advisory committee has been in place for the project.

  • A parade of Cardinal spirit

    In the Robertson homecoming parade contest, the senior class’ “Cardinal Thriller” float took first, the sophomores’ “Kiss” came in second and the juniors’ float finished third. Others floats were the class of 1958 and Legion Elementary. Among bands, Robertson and West Las Vegas tied for first, with Memorial Middle School finishing second.

  • Cheaper fuel now available at City Hall station

    The compressed natural gas station at City Hall is once again up and running, but residents are encouraging the city to lower its prices.

    At this week’s City Council meeting, Karen Plagge, who uses the cheaper and cleaner fuel in her car, said the price for the gas is $2.23 a gallon in Santa Fe, less than than the $2.99 in Las Vegas. While Las Vegas’ price is less than gasoline, it will be hard for the city station to compete with the City Different, she said.

    The city is planning to advertise its station on billboards and the Internet.

  • Hospital budget picture brighter

    The state hospital recently warned its employees that the organization is facing financial difficulties because of rising costs. Today, hospital officials said the budget situation is looking brighter.

    In a Sept. 30 memo to staff, Troy Jones, the hospital’s administration, said the state Administrative Services Division told officials that the hospital was unsuccessful in generating the revenue that it had projected.

  • Ex-pro player in county lockup

    Most inmates in the San Miguel County jail probably aren’t asked for their autographs, unless such requests involve court documents.

    Gilberto Reyes is the exception.

    The former player for the Montreal Expos, a Major League team, has been in the jail since last December on a charge of distribution of marijuana. And he has reportedly been asked to sign his baseball card since he entered the lockup.

    On the morning of Dec. 22, Reyes, 44, rolled over his pickup truck north of Las Vegas on Interstate 25. He and a woman passenger were taken to the local hospital.

  • Council reluctantly OKs budget, criticizes state

    The City Council this week approved a budget that would make cuts in the general fund to meet state requirements. But city officials weren’t happy with the state agency that oversees the city’s finances.

    The council signed off on a $9.9 million general fund budget, which pays for everything from police to parks. That’s down from the $10.6 million budget approved during the summer.