Local News

  • County planning to get state funds

    San Miguel County is taking the first steps to seek funding from the state Legislature, which convenes in January.

    This week, the County Commission generally agreed with County Manager Les Montoya’s recommendations for requests for legislative funding.

    Montoya’s top requests include:

    • Hydrological assessment to see how much water there is in high-growth rural areas. This request would be in conjunction with the city of Las Vegas.

  • Forums being held tonight

    The Las Vegas Optic will hold a candidates forum tonight at Memorial Middle School’s auditorium.

    The Optic will take audience questions for the candidates.

    From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the County Commission candidates will take center stage. The District 2 candidates are Democrat Marcellino Ortiz and Republican Mary Bridget Maloney. From District 5 are Democrat Nicolas Leger and Republican Fred Romero.

  • Officials seeking a roads schedule

    San Miguel County commissioners said this week they would like to have a schedule for maintenance of the county’s rural roads.

    The county’s top roads official said he could create such a schedule, as he has done before. But he warned that he couldn’t make any promises on dates for maintenance.

    At Tuesday’s commission meeting, Chairman David Salazar asked Harold Garcia, the county’s public works supervisor, to create such a schedule, so residents know when their roads are due for maintenance.

  • West planning homecoming

    West Las Vegas is promising a bigger and better homecoming this year.

    West Las Vegas homecoming 2008 will feature a lot of activities that through the years went by the wayside such as singing the school fight song around a towering bonfire and handing out corsages for parents of seniors.

    Thanks to the creativity of the student council, homecoming week will also include many things that will create an atmosphere of spirit for the student body and the community, organizers said.

  • Democrat criticizes opponent

    The embattled Jerome Block, a candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, has shied away from debating his only opponent in the Nov. 4 election.

    But in the last few days, Block has taken shots at his Green Party rival, Rick Lass, on a new blog on his web site.

    For months, Block’s site was limited to photos of himself in front of various scenes, including a sunset, mountains and solar panels.

  • West heating at issue

    Some students are complaining about what they call a lack of heat at West Las Vegas High School. School officials disagree.

    Monique Martinez, a West senior, was among those who called the Optic on Tuesday about the heating situation.

    “The hallways are really freezing. Our windows had ice on them this morning,” she said. “They don’t want to fix anything.”

    However, West Superintendent Jim Abreu said the heat is up and running in the school.

  • Group: Block claim false

    By David Giuliani

    Las Vegas Optic

    The campaign of Jerome Block, the Democratic candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, states that the nation’s biggest Hispanic organization has endorsed him.

    However, a top official in the state chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens said that’s not true.

  • Educator focuses on energy

    Las Vegas native Stephanie Gurul-Leyba doesn’t just want to lecture about alternative energy. She seeks to give students hands-on lessons.

    Gurul-Leyba was recently in the national spotlight after being named as one of the nation’s most innovative educators in the 2008 ING Unsung Heroes awards program. That award got her $2,000. She will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

  • Candidate says he was negligent

    Jerome Block, the Democratic candidate for the state Public Regulation Commission, is changing his story again.

    Last month, Block’s campaign repeatedly stated that local band Wyld Country played at a campaign rally near Romeroville in May.

    One of his supporters, San Miguel County Clerk Paul Maez, the county’s chief election official, belonged to Wyld Country. After originally going along with Block’s story, he told the Optic that Wyld Country didn’t play and that the rally never even happened.

  • City may give more money to EDC

    Las Vegas’ main economic development group would get a sizable increase in funding from the city under a proposed agreement.

    The contract with the Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corporation calls for upping the city’s annual donation from $40,000 to $65,000.

    The City Council will consider the agreement at its meeting Wednesday.