Local News

  • Official: City may still get money

    At least one city official is holding out hope that it can get back a $1.2 million state appropriation for a water project that it lost recently.

    In a news release on Jan. 15, the city announced that the state Water Trust Board, which is part of the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, pulled back the money. That was after the city had changed the purpose for the funding once and then wanted a time extension to meet the grant’s conditions.

    But last week, George Du Four, the city’s utilities director, said the board’s decision isn’t final.

  • Few disagreements at candidate forum

    There wasn’t a lot of disagreement among candidates running for the West Las Vegas School Board.

    Many of the regular questions were asked — about what they thought about consolidation of school districts, nepotism, and a willingness to be open with the press and public.

    The candidates running for Position 4 in Tuesday’s election are Michael Adams, David G. Romero and John Trujillo. Vying for Position 5 are incumbent Christine Ludi, Manuel Lucero, Jose R. Salazar and Yvette Arellanes.

  • Las Vegas gas rate increase comes late

    The city is supposed to calculate its natural gas rate every month, taking into account such factors as the cost of gas.

    But an increase in the cost of gas in October didn’t get processed until two months later. And this meant a loss in revenue for the city’s natural gas utility, an official said.               

  • Vegas man charged with robbery

    A Las Vegas man is accused in connection with the robbery of a local convenience store.

    Daniel Lujan, 18, 211 Chico, was charged with armed robbery and tampering with evidence.

    According to a Las Vegas police report, the Allsups convenience store at 113 S. Grand Ave. was held up shortly before midnight Jan. 17.

    Not long after, a police officer apprehended Lujan and another man for questioning. The other man told the police that he had dropped off Lujan at the store but said he went home after that.

  • Optic’s long history as a daily to end

    The Las Vegas Optic announced today that it will be reducing its publication frequency from five days a week to three.

    The Optic, which currently publishes Mondays through Fridays, will begin a Monday-Wednesday-Friday publication schedule by March 2, editor and publisher Tom McDonald announced.

    “Economic circumstances necessitate the change. We’ve got to cut expenses,” McDonald said.

  • Local musicians get awards

    Juan Ortega is a household name among Las Vegas and New Mexico music lovers. He was recognized for his talents at the New Mexico Hispano Music Award ceremony this month in Española as he received the Hispano Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Ortega is best known for his song “Padre Querido” and one of the few songs that he didn’t write himself, “In the Misty Moonlight,” an old Jerry Vale song Ortega translated and sang as a bilingual tune.

  • Grazing lease deal questioned

    A top city utilities department official was the only bidder for a city grazing lease last fall. Now, some are questioning whether he had an inside track.

    In August, the city advertised that it would accept sealed bids for the grazing lease on Sept. 11, but the legal ad didn’t include any information about where the parcel was or how many acres it included.

    When the Optic requested all public documents related to the issue, none of them contained that information.

  • Multiple offender to get mandatory time

    A local man was sentenced Monday to a mandatory six months in the San Miguel County jail for what was legally considered his fourth DWI conviction. But officials say the jail may not be able to take him because of his medical problems.

    In November, Joseph Floyd Santillanes, 53, entered a plea agreement with prosecutors, admitting to drunken driving. It was actually the fifth time he had been convicted of DWI, but for the purposes of his sentencing, an 1989 conviction wasn’t counted because of a legal technicality.

  • Mayor: City to get names of candidates

    Mayor Tony Marquez said he hopes to get five or six names of city manager candidates within days.

    He said the city has contracted with Santa Fe-based Mercer Group to recruit a new city manager, a position that has been vacant since the sudden resignation of Sharon Caballero last month.

    Marquez made the announcement at a City Council meeting last week after Councilwoman Diane Moore urged the mayor to move as possible to fill the manager’s position.

  • Inoperable cars moved to site

    It’s an eyesore that perhaps not many Las Vegans see regularly, but plenty of out-of-towners do.

    Over the last couple of years, a growing pile of junk, including old buses, trucks, cars and assorted items, has developed on the west side of I-25 between the University and north exits.

    When using I-25, most residents either use the north or south exits, so they may not be aware of the growing eyesore.