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Local News

  • Vegas man plans to retire home loan with lottery prize

    Quirino Baca matched all five numbers — 5, 9, 16, 18 and 33 — in the Roadrunner Cash drawing for Dec. 8, but the 38-year-old construction foreman in Las Vegas didn’t know he was a prize winner until a week later when his daughter checked the ticket for him at a lottery retailer.

    Quirino Baca and his wife, Yvonne, waited in their truck where they could see 18-year-old Ashley through the store window.

  • City debates legislative strategy

    City Council members debated last week on how they should approach the Legislature with their funding requests, with some saying the city has done enough and others sharply disagreeing.

    The discussion began at the council’s regular meeting when Councilman Tony Marquez asked why the city didn’t invite state lawmakers from the area to attend the council meeting, so city officials could express their wishes for state funding. The invitation was suggested at a meeting earlier this month.

  • With a Hawaiian flavor

    Children at Paul D. Henry Elementary held their annual Christmas program at Mike Marr Gym last week singing songs of the season and showing some pretty fancy dance steps. Principal Aylene Griego acted as master of ceremonies.

    Band director Wallace Sanchez got things going as he directed the fifth-grade band in a Christmas medley.

    Choir director Mike Campbell directed the fifth-grade choir as they sang “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Up on the House Top.”

  • City starts cell phone enforcement

    A couple of months ago, the City Council enacted a ban on using cell phones while driving, but city police didn’t start enforcing it until late last week.

    That’s because Chief Gary Gold wanted to pass the ban as part of a uniform traffic ordinance, which the council passed at its meeting last week.

    Gold said officers would start issuing verbal warnings right away and begin issuing actual citations Feb. 1. He said the Police Department planned to heavily advertise the new ordinance, so drivers are aware of it.

  • Official defends colleague's absence

    Councilman Eugene Romero has missed the last two regular City Council meetings — the first for “personal issues” and the second for “family obligations.”

    Those were the explanations from city staff members. Councilman Michael Gallegos told his colleagues at last week’s meeting that Romero was gone because he was attending his child’s play, and Gallegos defended that decision.

  • Two killed north of town

    The state police are conducting an investigation into the apparent shooting deaths of two residents.

    The victims were Damian Ortiz, 24, and Stephanie Dimas, 25, state police Lt. David Martinez said. They were killed while inside a mobile home at 728 Dora Celeste, north of Las Vegas. It was believed to have happened between 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. today. Martinez said Ortiz and Dimas were a couple.

    The state police said they didn’t have a motive in the case or any suspects.

  • Mayor says he won't run again

    Mayor Henry Sanchez announced this morning that he wouldn’t run again, saying that if he did, he might be a “hindrance” to the city government.

    “I’ve done the best I could. For the best interests of the city, I will not run for mayor,” Sanchez said on KFUN at the end of an hour-long program.

    Throughout the program, Sanchez accused his critics of pursuing a divide-and-conquer strategy on such issues as City Council salaries and reducing the council’s size. He warned people to beware of “outside interests.”

  • Girls carries on family card tradition

    When Brianna Tenorio sees their eyes light up and the smiles she brings to the faces of her elderly friends, the work she does all year to prepare for the special day feels more like she’s the one getting the gift instead of giving it.

    “It makes me feel good inside because many people are lonely and when I give them a Christmas card, it makes them smile. It also makes me smile and makes me happy,” Tenorio said.

  • Credit union to expand

    State Employees Credit Union is planning an expansion that will deal with a large amount of customer traffic, its representatives told the City Council this week.

    The credit union and the city are planning to enter a lease agreement that would give the credit union use of city land for parking in exchange for improvements and maintenance to the nearby riverwalk property.

  • Some licenses suspended in error

    Virginia Lujan got a speeding ticket in 1994, and she insists she paid the fine. But she has no record of that payment more than a dozen years later.

    Recently, the Las Vegan received a letter from the state Motor Vehicle Division that her license had been suspended because of the 1994 ticket. She was informed that she could go to Magistrate Court on Seventh Street and reinstate her license by paying $25.

    She wondered why she had to reinstate her license after all these years, given that she has been licensed all these years.