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Local News

  • New West official vows to save money

    The West Las Vegas School board has been pushing to hire someone to oversee construction at the district after rising costs of change orders during the construction at Valley School and other schools.

    Jerry Maestas, a former building inspector for the state Construction Industries Division, was hired to watch over all building projects at West. He is also a trustee at Luna Community College.

  • Organizations come out in force

    Kids were having a lot of fun going from booth to booth Saturday at the Dia de Los Nios event, or “Children’s Day,” at the city’s recreation center. More than 35 businesses and organizations set up booths and provided food, prizes and their time to raise money for children who need homes.

    Tanya Gonzales, Victory Home Health marketing director, said the fair was held to raise money for the state Children Youth and Families Department and will go to kids in San Miguel County who need foster care.

  • Ex-jail guard pleads guilty to bribe

    A former San Miguel County jail guard has pleaded guilty to accepting an offer of a bribe to allow two inmates to have sex. Another guard is facing a charge of raping an inmate.

    Meanwhile, the attorney for the alleged rape victim has put the county on notice that she may sue for her suffering because of the alleged incident.

    The cases have prompted the jail to consider additional measures to prevent such situations from happening.

  • Auditor urges more transparency

    New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas has met with Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez and has made recommendations for better budgeting and more transparent government, he told the Optic on Monday.

    “We recommended a city audit committee and citizen-centric reporting,” Balderas said. “The mayor is supportive.”

    The audit committee would be trained to use auditing for city government oversight and would work with the state auditor’s office to explore areas of concern. Balderas said the committee should consist of a portion of the council.

  • Las Vegas EDC works to stimulate entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship as a means of growing local economies is on the upswing, an official said.

    Sharon Caballero, executive director of the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation, said the idea of looking at local resources and evaluating local gaps in products and services is one way to build from within.

  • HU building damaged

    Despite water damage to the main floor, New Mexico Highlands’ commencement ceremony will take place as planned in the university’s Wilson Complex.

    The main floor suffered water damage from a pipe burst recently and will remain closed for use until July 1, according to university officials. The rest of the facility will be open for normal operation.

  • City cleans up Railroad Ave. property

    In late February, the city entered agreements with a couple of prominent code violators to have them clean up their properties by certain deadlines.

    On Friday, city officials demonstrated that they are going to keep their end of the bargain.

    Las Vegas resident Tony Ortega entered an agreement to remove a building that was about ready to collapse onto a neighboring property in the 100 block of Railroad Avenue.

    But Ortega didn’t meet the Tuesday deadline, so the city went onto the property and took care of the problem itself on Friday.

  • Vegas firefighters vote for union

    Las Vegas firefighters taking part in a union election Friday unanimously agreed to organize.

    Of the department’s 18 firefighters, nine were eligible to vote in the election to decide whether to be represented by the International Association of Firefighters; six of them participated. The department’s other nine members couldn’t participate because they are on their year’s probation or they are supervisors.

  • Watchdog group is forming in town

    In March, the Committee of the People disbanded, saying it got much accomplished over its three years of existence.

    Now, some of the members have formed a new group with a slight variation to the old name — Committee for the People.

  • Soup kitchen volunteer to be recognized in May

    Carol Durham, a local soup kitchen and library volunteer, will be recognized next month with a 2008 Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Woman Award.

    She was selected as one of 21 recipients from across the state. They will be honored in a ceremony May 2 in Albuquerque.