Local News

  • Council wants look at gas credits

    Just before the March city election, the biggest issue was how much the city would give back to natural gas customers for alleged overcharges.

    Since then, little has been said.

    Councilman Morris Madrid broke that relative silence about possible credits for customers during last week’s council meeting. He proposed that the city get Dennis Gee, a natural gas rates consultant, to examine the issue.

    “He’s independent of the city. He’s outside of it, and he has no axes to grind,” he said.

  • Film about Vegas woman whose son is on death row

    Two documentary filmmakers from a Danish television network recently visited Las Vegas to interview and record the daily life of Muina Arthur, the mother of a Texas death row inmate.

    Martin Martensen-Larsen and Martin Sundstrm and their team back in Denmark will present a 30-minute film about the death penalty to the Danish people. Capital punishment does not exist in any European Union country, the two said.

    They have also visited Texas on this trip, where they interviewed a woman whose son was executed by the Texas prison system in 2000.

  • High-profile student leader leaving for Hawaii

    Jesse Lopez, perhaps the most high-profile student leader locally in years, praised Highlands University officials at his final Board of Regents meeting last week. He even had kind words for old adversaries.

    Lopez, previously the undergraduate student body president and more recently the graduate student president, collected his master’s degree at Saturday’s commencement and plans to move to Hawaii later this month.

  • Highlands University raising employees' salaries

    The Highlands University Board of Regents approved a contract with the faculty union last week, giving members an average of 10 percent increases.

    The faculty union started a couple of years ago, and last week’s agreement was its first with the administration.

    The regents also signed off on pay raises for nonunion employees. The lowest-paid workers will get the biggest increases.

    Highlands President James Fries called the agreement with the faculty union a “historic document.”

  • West school may close

    The elementary students in the Family Partnership may be moved to other West Las Vegas district schools next school year.

    Superintendent Jim Abreu decided Monday to recommend that the Family Partnership elementary students be absorbed into other schools — a move he said was required by budgetary constraints.

    “I really didn’t want to do it, but we had to do it because of our situation right now,” he said. “If I didn’t have the budgetary shortfall hanging over my head, this wouldn’t have come up.”

  • Official: Ordinance violated

    Recently, Las Vegas resident Robert Jones complained to the City Council about his sewer bill, saying he didn’t know where else to go.

    Now he’s got an answer.

    George DuFour, the city’s utilities director, told the council last week that the city had been violating its own ordinance in charging for sewer service.

    At a previous meeting, Jones reported that he used only around 800 gallons of water in a month’s time recently, but was charged for a whopping 8,000 gallons of sewage.

  • Graduates going separate ways

    Highlands University students Ashley Ramirez and Rebecca Sena shared classes in political science. Now they’re going their separate ways.

    Ramirez of Carlsbad and Sena of Las Vegas talked together Saturday as they stood in a long, narrow hallway with graduates waiting for the commencement ceremony to begin. They were preparing to collect their bachelor of arts degrees in political science.

  • Brothers arrested in assaults

    Two brothers have been arrested in connection with assaulting two people at a gasoline station in the Valley, state police said.

    The two suspects are Richard Joseph Griego, 21, and Christopher Griego, 19, both of whom live in Villanueva, state police said. They face charges of robbery, two counts of assault, conspiracy and burglary.

    According to Magistrate Court documents, one of the alleged victims reported that he was at the Sunshine Station in Villanueva shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Luna Rough Riders ride it out

    Luna Community College students crossed the stage Saturday morning to celebrate their 2008 commencement.

    About 700 audience members cheered on the 141 graduates who walked the line, with 73 members of the class graduating in absentia.

    The Rev. John C. Brasher of Our Lady of Sorrows gave the invocation.

    “We ask health for the graduateseeso that they themselves can always serve you faithfully in their chosen fields,” Brasher said. “May they prosper with the work of their hands all the days of their lives.”

  • Official: Customer service a problem

    A top official says the city’s billing department has a problem with customer service. And he’s promising to make improvements.

    George DuFour, the city’s utilities director, said the city plans to move the billing department to his offices on 12th Street by the beginning of June. In a couple of weeks, the city will close the department for a couple of days to make the move from City Hall.