Local News

  • West district throws off taggers

    Taggers doing mischief at the renovations at Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary School found their graffiti washed away.

    That was due to the foresight of district architect Antonio Ortega. After completing work on a wall, Ortega ordered a special anti-graffiti spray, which construction workers applied.

  • City looks at erasing history

    No one is disputing what happened at the City Council’s Feb. 4 meeting: A split governing body fired then-Utilities Director George DuFour.

    It all happened during an open session, attended by dozens of residents.

    But the city administration apparently prefers not to officially remember the heated discussion before DuFour’s dismissal.

  • Luna worker not following court order

    More and more convicted drunken drivers are being required to get ignition interlocks as a way to make sure they drive sober.

    Drivers must blow into the alcohol-detecting devices, and if they are under the influence, their cars won’t start.

    But it’s not always easy to make sure people are using interlocks, as required by judges.

  • East auditor approved despite dispute

    The Las Vegas City Schools board approved a new auditor, but not without a controversy.

    One member criticized the administration for its handling of the matter.

    Because of an illness of the previous auditor, De’Aun Willoughby, the district fell two years behind in its audits.

    An-other problem in the bidding process came after the fact, when Griego Professional Services submitted a bid reflecting the now-defunct Bridge Academy Charter School in the price of services.

  • Council rejects film moratorium

    Before a standing-room-only crowd, the Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday rejected the idea of a moratorium on film productions in town.

    The idea was to stop all movie projects until the city could revise its ordinances to better protect businesses and residents.

    Instead, the council agreed to hold a special meeting with public input as early as next week to address possible ways the city could handle movie productions.

  • HOMETOWN HEROES: Family keeps station from leaving Las Vegas

    KLVF-FM could have gone to Santa Fe, but Joseph and Loretta Baca made sure it didn’t.

    The local couple was able to keep radio station KLVF local. It has been more a journey than a business transaction for the Bacas.

    Even after a windfall lottery payday, the couple stays focused on a dream they say is even bigger than themselves. Last year, Joseph won $1 million, but the couple didn’t spend it on fancy cars and houses; they decided to invest it into their business.

  • Dealership to lose GM franchise

    Al Romero, owner of Quality Motor Co., plans to stay in business, even though General Motors is ending its franchise agreement with the local dealership.

    On May 14, Romero, whose family has owned the business since 1953, received a letter from GM that it planned to end its franchise at Quality in October 2010. More recently, GM, which filed for bankruptcy this week, notified Romero that it may cancel the contract as soon as January but no later than October 2010.  

  • Local got job with help of governor

    State hospital employee Ralph Gallegos may have a friend in Gov. Bill Richardson.

    Through a public records request, the Optic had obtained documents that make it appear as if the governor’s office helped Gallegos transfer from the state engineer’s office to the state hospital, known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute.  

  • State slaps school eatery

    The state has downgraded the cafeteria at Valley Elementary and Middle School to unsatisfactory status.

    In an inspection last week, the state Environment Department found violations involving improper holding temperatures, plumbing and waste disposal, and inadequate cooking and cooling.

    The department said it will reinspect the cafeteria after corrective measures are taken. Meanwhile, an “unsatisfactory” grade emblem is posted at the facility’s entrance, according to a department press release.

  • School board debates choice of auditor

    The West Las Vegas school board approved a contract with an auditing firm last week, but members debated whether the firm was independent.

    During an earlier meeting on April 16, J.J. Griego of Griego Professional Services, which has overseen the West district’s audits since the state Public Education Department placed the district under heightened financial scrutiny in August 2006, told the school board the district received its third consecutive audit with a top ranking and would hopefully retain oversight of its finances within the year.