Local News

  • Mora official explains practices

    State Auditor Hector Balderas said this week he believes mismanagement and a lack of training are the core issues in a recent state audit of the Mora school district.

    He recently released an audit that found that most of the money deposited into a discretionary account was done so improperly.

    In an interview this week, the district’s business manager, Agnes Padilla, said the district often found it easier to use the account in question. She also said the district lacked policies for some expenditures.

  • East has some bus scheduling problems, but teams getting to games

    Las Vegas City Schools student board member Molly Salman last week hit a nerve with Superintendent Rick Romero when she reported that the women’s soccer team was having trouble getting bus service for out-of-town games.

    “Something that has been brought to my attention is that two or three times, the girl’s soccer team has not been able to get a bus to take them to a district game. They have either not got a bus at all or had to wait two hours for one to arrive,” Salman said.

  • Robertson replaces potentially dangerous boiler

    The potentially dangerous boiler at Robertson High School has been replaced.

    And the leaking roof at Sierra Vista Elementary School will be repaired in short order, officials promised.

    “We’ve got a brand spanking new boiler that was built for the Las Vegas City Schools district,” Superintendent Rick Romero said at last week’s school board meeting. “We didn’t have any choice, and I didn’t think the board would appreciate us not having heat at Robertson High School during the winter season.”

  • Officials disagree on runoff elections

    Neither Las Vegas’ mayor nor three of the four City Council members got a majority of the vote when they were elected.

    Only Councilwoman Diane Moore enjoys the distinction of clearing the 50 percent hurdle when she won in a landslide over then-Councilman Michael Montoya in 2006.

    Council members agree that some type of runoff is needed to ensure that council winners have majority support. But they differ over how to make this happen.

  • City gas rates to drop

    Mayor Tony Marquez says that Las Vegas city natural gas customers can expect to see lower rates this winter.

    “I am pleased to announce that based on market conditions, my staff has predicted that the cost of natural gas will go down this winter for the residents of Las Vegas,” Marquez said in a press release late last week.

  • How long will mayoral term be?

    It’s unclear whether the victor of next year’s mayoral election will serve four years or two.

    Since the city charter took effect nearly four decades ago, mayors have served two-year terms.

    The charter also called for two-year terms for municipal judges, but the city increased those terms to four years without changing the charter a couple of decades ago. It did so based on legal advice that state law required municipal judges to serve four-year terms.

  • Big insurance payment affects cash flow

    The city is watching its cash flow closely because it paid all of its insurance premiums for the year at once, rather than breaking out the bills into payments, officials say.

    Six city departments are over budget, in part, because of the city’s insurance payment in September. The insurance is for property, liability, workers compensation, law enforcement, and directors and officers.

  • Report: Deputy clutched gun

    The former San Miguel County sheriff's deputy accused of breaking into a man's house and beating him up while on duty clutched her gun for a time, according to a state police report.

    “I really felt that she was going to shoot me,” the alleged victim said in the report.

    Bolivar, 29, is now facing felony domestic violence charges. A week after the incident, Sheriff Benjie Vigil told the Optic that the charges were false, but a day later, he fired Bolivar.

  • Sheriff freed from some transports

    The San Miguel County Sheriff's Department has been freed of one of its bigger responsibilities.

    For years, sheriff’s deputies have taken arrested juveniles to youth jails in other counties for both the Las Vegas and state police. However, because of a July opinion from the state’s attorney general’s office, the department no longer transports just-arrested youths.

  • Grand Avenue project goes out to bid

    After years of planning, the project to improve Grand Avenue has gone out to bid.

    The bidding process is expected to take up to two months, and then work should begin after the winter ends. The project is slated for completion in the late summer of 2010.

    “The crews will work with business owners to provide access during the project,” said Kenny Lujan, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

    The road should be open nearly all the time, although it may be closed for an hour at times, he said.