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Local News

  • Attorney: Don't leak private information

    The City Council voted unanimously to close the doors to discuss personnel and litigation matters at a meeting last week. But the city attorney issued the governing body a public warning.

    Carlos Quiones noted that a “code of ethics” used to be posted on a wall in the council’s chambers, now removed because of a planned renovation. He said the code requires council members to honor the confidentiality of closed sessions.

  • Embezzling alleged in city utilities

    A city of Las Vegas accountant has been charged with embezzlement in the utilities department.

    Margaret Cordova, 39, an accountant and a supervisor with city utilities, was charged last week with embezzlement and tampering with evidence.

    On July 18, Cordova stole $1,104 from a money bag that another employee took to City Hall, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court.

    The complaint states that Cordova admitted to taking the money. She told a city police investigator that she needed money to make a house payment, according to documents.

  • City hikes trash rates

    The city is planning to increase garbage rates by 10 percent over the next three months because of a jump in fuel costs.

    The city administration is allowed to adjust rates without the approval of the City Council for up to three months. After that, the council must give its blessing.

    The increase will mean an increase of $1.75 a month for homeowners and $3.15 for commercial customers.

    Besides fuel prices, the city is also seeing an increase in the cost of a rollout container — from $42 to $78.

  • General says he helps soldiers

    By his account, the head of the New Mexico National Guard aims to protect the welfare of his citizen soldiers, even if it risks upsetting higher-ups.

    Major Gen. Kenny Montoya, adjutant general of the New Mexico National Guard, speaks of his soldiers’ accomplishments at every opportunity. He said he is sometimes amazed that he was promoted to general in the first place.

    As the American public is well aware, the troops who have served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are often on a short rotation schedule, many on their third, fourth or more tours of duty.

  • State may investigate Block

    The state is considering whether to seek an investigation into Jerome Block, a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, who acknowledged Wednesday that he lied that a Las Vegas band performed at his campaign rally in May.

    His statements followed shortly after one of his key local supporters, Paul Maez, the San Miguel County Clerk, told the Optic that Block gave the newspaper false information.

  • Man arrested in girl's death

    City police this week arrested a man in connection with the killing of a 6-year-old girl in June.

    David Levi Chavez, 20, 507 New Mexico Ave., faces charges of an open count of murder, shooting at an occupied dwelling, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. He was arrested Tuesday night.

    Jasmine Garcia, who had just completed her kindergarten year, was sleeping in her mother’s bed during the early morning of June 15 when a shot ripped through the outside wall facing the street.

  • Residents seek to increase literacy

    A weekend literacy conference at the United World College explored ways to get kids interested in reading, according to one of the sponsors of the two-day workshop.

    Nancy Colalillo, owner of Tome on the Range and one of the conference sponsors, said, “One of our goals is to get to the kids, get them bitten by the reading bug, get them early and get them interested and form a community of readers. If you can’t read, the rest is moot.”

  • New trial ordered in murder case

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a man convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a 2005 shooting death in Las Vegas.

    The court agreed with Lloyd Lucero that his conviction for the death of Pablo Martinez should be overturned because the jury was not allowed to consider whether Lucero acted in self-defense.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Block acknowledges he lied

    Jerome Block, a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, acknowledged today that he lied that a Las Vegas band performed at his campaign rally in May.

    His statements came shortly after one of his key local supporters, Paul Maez, the San Miguel County Clerk, told the Optic that Block gave the newspaper false information.

    Over the last week, the Block campaign has repeatedly stated that Wyld Country, to which Maez belongs, performed at a May 3 rally.

  • City to fix its natural gas line

    The City Council has approved an emergency contract to make repairs to the natural gas line that serves Las Vegas, but one council member questioned how the city went about choosing the company.

    The city didn’t go through a formal bidding process because officials wanted to solve the problems quickly out of fear that they would either lead to an explosion or a loss of service to the entire city.