Local News

  • Officer plans to run for mayor

    Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz says he wants a younger, more energetic person to take his place when his term expires.

    City police Officer Dennis Nelson, 41, thinks he’s that person.

    Last week, Nelson, a city officer for the last couple of years, revealed that he would be running for the city’s top job in 2012. He is the first to announce his intention to run for mayor; Ortiz said a few weeks ago that he would serve just one term.

  • County yet to select Cinder bidder

    San Miguel County had been prepared to award a contract to a local company to build a walkway along Cinder Road.

    But the county delayed making a decision this week because of a licensing issue with the contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel Products.

    The company’s previous license expired April 30. It was renewed Aug. 18.

  • Feds: Housing agency improves

    The Las Vegas Public Housing Authority is making progress in a number of areas, which may result in its shedding of its troubled status, a federal official said last week.

    The U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department placed the authority in troubled status in 2005 because of a number of problems. That status meant HUD would give the local agency much greater scrutiny.

  • City eyes privatizing trash service

    For the first time in recent memory, the Las Vegas City Council heard a pitch for privatizing its solid waste service.

    The privatization idea has long been a political hot potato, even though the city has hired a private ambulance service for years.

    Last week, representatives of Houston-based Waste Management Inc. touted the efficiencies of a large national corporation.

  • Three West schools make standard; only one at East does

    Three schools in the West Las Vegas school district have met a nationally-imposed standard, while only one in the Las Vegas City Schools jurisdiction did.

    On the west side Rio Gallinas Charter School and Union and Valley elementary schools made the federal standard of adequate yearly progress. Rio Gallinas and Union also passed the year before.

    East’s Paul D. Henry Elementary also met the standard for the second year in a row.

  • City official criticizes Fiesta Council, calls it unprofessional

    City Councilwoman Diane Moore is calling for the city to take over Fiestas de Las Vegas, saying the group that runs the annual event is plagued with problems.

    At last week’s City Council meeting, Moore told her colleagues that she felt the current Fiesta Council had been unprofessional. She requested that the city bring Fiesta Council leaders to the next council meeting to discuss the group’s finances.

  • Week's success credited to marketing

    This year’s Heritage Week festivities drew many more people than usual, a success attributed to an effective marketing campaign, a businesswoman told the City Council last week.

    Nancy Colalillo, owner of Tome on the Range Books, said her store was one of 20 organizations that worked to showcase the history and culture of Las Vegas during Heritage Week.

    The groups provided 35 events and activities from Aug. 7 to Aug. 15, with the Places With a Past Tour anchoring the first weekend and the People’s Faire anchoring the second.

  • Official: City hiked rates improperly

    A 2008 increase to trash rates never went before the City Council, which is a violation of a city ordinance, a top official said last week.

    During the recent debate over whether to increase garbage rates by 43 percent, Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron said a 10 percent increase in late 2008 hadn’t gone before the council. Gurule-Giron, who wasn’t on the council at the time, said residents had been overcharged since then.

  • Romero still in hospital

    City Councilman Dave Romero is still in the hospital, where he is reportedly recovering from a stroke.

    He apparently suffered the stroke two weeks ago and was sent to an Albuquerque hospital.

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz told the council last week that he had visited Romero.

    “He recognized me. He shook my hand, but he didn’t verbalize anything. I hear he’s doing better on a daily basis,” the mayor said. “I hope things go well for him.”

  • City starts cleanup of junkyard along I-25

    The city of Las Vegas deployed dozens of its employees Saturday to begin the cleanup of a junkyard along Interstate 25.

    Armed with a court order, the city showed up unannounced, hoping that owner Tony Ortega hadn’t been tipped off. By mid-morning, Ortega, a longtime code violator, hadn’t gone to the property.

    City workers used dump trucks and tractors to clear the trash. The harder part will come later when they remove at least 50 inoperable vehicles, including semi trucks, school buses and trucks. Old mobile homes also sit on the property.