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Local News

  • A weekend of Fiestas fun

    When it comes to Fiestas de Las Vegas, Paul Cordova is something of an expert. Even though he’s from Albuquerque.

    This week’s festivities marked the 50th year Cordova has sold refreshments in Plaza Park. On both sides of the Plaza he had booths selling candy apples, funnel cakes and other goodies as part of his business, Duke City Concessions.

    He started selling the treats when he was 12, during the days when his father ran a carnival in front of today’s Plaza Hotel.

  • Five women vie for crown

    The 2008 Reina de Las Vegas Fiesta Queen Pageant is the prelude to the community’s wider celebrations — a tradition dating back to 1938 when Mary Ulibarri Trujillo was crowned.

    This year’s masters of ceremonies, Pete Campos, and 2007 Reina Alyssa Lynn Moya, kept the audience in stitches with all their antics. Campos, a state senator, often wandered out into the crowd passing out crazy hats and other props he used throughout the show, while Moya kept the audience laughing with her dry wit and natural stage presence.

  • Little said about controversies

    During an emotional meeting less than two weeks ago, a City Council majority voted to dismiss six city department heads. By contrast, Wednesday’s council meeting was relatively calm.

    The meeting was held on the same day that the city held an employee appreciation lunch, which some officials said was the first such occasion in recent memory.

    No one directly addressed the firings during the meeting, but some noted the resulting tension.

  • Station cancels weekly program

    A local radio station has canceled a weekend talk show, saying the program was too negative.

    KFUN owner Joseph Baca informed Bernard Schaer on Monday that the station was ending Schaer’s one-hour talk show, which has been running for two and a half years. The decision took effect immediately, with Baca asking Schaer to turn in his station keys.

  • Albuquerque news program to focus on Las Vegas

    Albuquerque’s Action 7 News will focus on Las Vegas as part of special segments in the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newcasts on Friday.

    At 6 p.m., Action 7 News reporter Matt Grubs takes Mayor Pro Tem Andrew Feldman for a ride in Sky 7 to talk about the colorful history and to see some of the local landmarks around Las Vegas from the air.

    At 10 p.m., the mayor pro tem will discuss the renewed interest in building a dam in Gallinas Canyon and how city officials are trying to get funding from the federal government.

  • Council tackles unpaid accounts

    The city’s top utilities official recommended this week that the city hire a company to help the city collect on unpaid accounts.

    George DuFour, the city’s utilities director, said the city had unpaid accounts going back to the early 1980s, which still remain on the books. He urged the city write off the oldest debt, saying it was highly doubtful the city would ever find the people, many of whom may be dead.

  • Union: Don't hire consultants

    A union representing city employees pleaded with the City Council on Wednesday to end its relationship with a management consulting firm that helps government agencies with negotiations.

    Council members then directed city management to do just that.

    During the public input portion of the council’s meeting, Christian Laumbach, an official with the state chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, urged the city administration to negotiate directly with the union, without having any third party.

  • No answers from health trust

    Sunday marks a year since the Las Vegas Health Trust vowed to communicate more with the public about what it’s doing. At a public meeting last year, its president even promised to provide a press release.

    The Optic is still waiting for the release, and its calls to trust officials went unreturned this week.

  • Las Vegan accused of ramming man's car

    A Las Vegas man stands accused of repeatedly ramming another man’s car last week.

    Steven Quintana, 31, 205 Commerce St., was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

    Shortly before 6 p.m. last Wednesday, Quintana, in a blue pickup truck, followed another man driving on Commerce Street, according to documents filed in Magistrate Court. After a few blocks, Quintana struck the victim’s car a number of times, police said.

  • Learning 24/7

    After her first trip to Nicaragua, Lillian Gorman, director of Spanish as a Heritage Language summer program at Highlands University, said she was hooked on the cultural connections between northern New Mexico and the Latin American country.

    Gorman, a Highlands professor who is working on her doctorate at the University of New Mexico, has taken five groups of students to Nicaragua, where they are immersed in the language and where host families speak no English. This year, Gorman took 12 students, the largest contingent so far.