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Local News

  • Students show off their talents

    Music lovers all over the country are complaining that programs at schools are either being slashed or completely abandoned. Studies say not only do band and choir programs lift the spirits of students, they also lift the grade point average in student’s academic pursuits.

    During a recent band and choir presentation at a Las Vegas City Schools board meeting by students from Mike “Mateo” Sena Elementary, band director Wallace “Wally” Sanchez said students from elementary through high school are getting more time to learn about the arts.

  • West attracts most attention

    By Art Trujillo

    Las Vegas Optic

    Charges of corruption, consumer concerns, prison terms and personnel turnover comprised the top news stories for 2007, as selected by the editorial staff of the Las Vegas Optic.

    The top articles, in order:

    1. Bilingual Bash aftermath. Officials chose to forgo more adults-only, invitation-only parties celebrating bilingualism, in light of indictments handed down against West Las Vegas Schools Superintendent Joe Baca, who retired shortly before being indicted in connection with a probe of questionable spending practices at West.

  • Official criticizes city water proposal

    One Las Vegas City Schools board member wants the board to reject the city’s proposal to get the district’s water rights in exchange for treated wastewater.

    City Manager John Avila is asking the districts to enter such agreements for the benefit of the community.

    However, at a recent board meeting, member Phillip Vigil commented about the city’s proposal to work with the schools on water rights belonging to the two districts.

  • Ex-state worker to run for mayor

    A former state employee is the first to announce for mayor since Mayor Henry Sanchez decided last week he wouldn’t run for another term. More candidates are expected to announce.

    Tonita Gurul-Giron, who ran unsuccessfully for a City Council seat in 2006, said Friday she had the experience and the qualifications to be the city’s next leader. The municipal election is March 4.

    Sanchez, 70, announced last week on a radio program that he wouldn’t run for a fourth two-year term, saying if he won, he may be a “hindrance” to city government.

  • Police want officers at schools

    Las Vegas police say they’re still working on getting the money to put resource officers into the schools.

    The Las Vegas City Schools board received an update recently from Police Chief Gary Gold and Officer Shawn Montoya on a plan that would put resource officers on school grounds.

    “Shawn Montoya, the grant writer for the Las Vegas Police Department, is working very, very hard to try to get this proposal together so that we can have school resource officers at Robertson High School and West Las Vegas,” Gold said.

  • House burglarized; holiday gifts stolen

    A house on the east side was burglarized, with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise stolen.

    Stephen Hedval, an Albuquerque resident, said his fiance, Janice Kavanaugh, came back to her 920 Jackson St. house Sunday morning and discovered that someone had broken in and stolen all of the Christmas presents that she had planned to give, jewelry, rosaries and a new 40-inch plasma TV.

    “She came home from Mass in the morning and saw her Christmas tree torn down and all the drawers turned upside down.”

  • Shots reported half day before

    Police got calls about gunshots in the area of a double homicide more than 12 hours before two bodies were discovered in a mobile home on Dec. 20, authorities say.

    Around 3 p.m., the bodies of Stephanie Dimas, 25, and Damian Lucero-Ortiz, 24, were found in their home at 728 Dora Celeste.

    Around 2 a.m. earlier that day, the Las Vegas Police Department received two calls — one from Enchanted Hills mobile home park and another from a mobile home park a block away on Dora Celeste — about reported gunshots.

  • Garbage piles up in some areas

    Garbage is piling up for some residents, especially for those who didn’t see the notice that trash pickup schedules had changed.

    Mary Martinez, who lives on El Creston Circle, said trash was bursting out of residents’ rollout containers. She said she and others didn’t see the city notice that instead of picking up trash on Monday, which was Christmas Eve, solid waste crews were to come by the previous Friday.

  • Murder suspect to be resentenced

    A teenager convicted in the murder of another was sent to prison in October, but that sentence no longer holds.

    Eloy Trujillo, 18, was sentenced to 7-1/2 years in state prison for the April 2006 killing of 18-year-old Anthony Maes during an alleyway fight near Robertson High School. Trujillo recently was transported from state prison to the county jail.

  • Three arrested in drug investigation

    Three residents were arrested last week on drug charges after authorities carried out a search warrant on a Union Street house.

    A married couple, Gilbert “Cartoon” Garcia, 42, and Marlene Garcia, 37, both of 115 Union St., are facing charges of trafficking crack cocaine, tampering with evidence, possession of hydrocodone, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and bringing contraband into a jail. Gilbert Garcia also faces a charge of cocaine trafficking.