Local News

  • City follows AG's advice on openness

    What was once secret at City Hall is now public.

    Last year, then-City Attorney Carlos Quiñones told the City Council that one of its members couldn’t be trusted because someone had released e-mails among council members to the public.

    In a confidential memo, Quiñones said an Optic story in March 2009 made clear that someone was releasing the e-mails in violation of the ethics code and his legal advice.

    Last week, however, the new city attorney, Dave Romero, read some of those very same e-mails into the record at a City Council meeting.

  • Students argue issues, but still show respect

    Back in the 1930s, a teacher at a small school in the South told his students they could compete with anyone if they learned the proper skills.

    Teacher Melvin Tolson’s students came from historically black Wiley College in the time when Jim Crow laws were common, and lynch mobs were a pervasive fear for black men and women in the United States.

    Eight decades later, a movie staring Denzel Washington was made based on Tolson, his debate team and their efforts to get on an equal footing with whites in a segregated nation. 

  • City launches cleanup efforts

    City officials say they are working on cleaning up the community in a number of ways.

    Recently, a majority of city employees took part in a cleanup, and they picked up more than 12 tons of trash around town.

    At a recent City Council meeting, City Manager Timothy Dodge said the city plans to keep in place for the time being a moratorium on fees collected at the solid waste transfer station.

  • Local man's conviction upheld

    The state Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of an area man convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

    The high court reversed a previous Court of Appeals decision for the case of Lloyd Lucero, 27.

    The Court of Appeals had ordered a new trial on the grounds that a requested self-defense instruction was not given to the jury by presiding Judge Eugenio Mathis, according to the district attorney’s office.

  • Cops moved to code enforcement

    The Las Vegas Police Department has transferred two of its officers to code enforcement, where they will focus on parking and animal control violations.

    The police recently took over code and animal control enforcement from the city Community Development Department.

    Police Chief Gary Gold said the code officers’ shifts will include nights and weekends. He said the department had divided the city into six sectors for enforcement.

  • City says it fixes quirk in sewer bills

    Some people get monthly utility bills and notice something strange: They’re paying for more gallons of sewer use than water consumed.

    This is a problem city officials believe they corrected recently.

    Sewer usage rates are based on water use from the previous winter, which is usually when people use less water.

    But when homes change hands, the new occupants may use considerably less water. They then become mystified about the impossibility of disposing more water than they use.

  • DA: Man's drug crimes near school

    A man suspected of selling drugs may be charged with a first-degree felony because he was distributing the narcotics less than 1,000 feet from a school, an official said last week.

    Julian Gallegos, 30, owner of Xtreme Nutrition, 1213 Bridge St., was charged last month with two counts of the second-degree felony of trafficking drugs and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Council rejects consultant for public housing authority

    The Las Vegas City Council rejected a proposal to give money to a consultant to help the public housing authority form a residents council.

    Authority officials asked the city to grant a contact to Highlands University professor James Alarid for up to $5,700 to set up the council — which would amount to $25 per public housing resident.

  • Martinez, Denish visit Vegas

    New Mexico’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates visited Las Vegas’ Spic and Span on Friday — separated by just a few hours.

    Both Republican Susana Martinez and Democrat Diane Denish spoke to supporters in the restaurant’s new meeting room, trading barbs just three days after the party primary elections.

    Both of the parties’ lieutenant governor candidates were also on hand — Democrat Brian Colon and Republican John Sanchez.

    Martinez took audience questions; Denish did not.

  • Witnesses: Official hurt man

    Witnesses last week testified that city Utilities Director Ken Garcia attacked another man in a local bar, hitting the alleged victim in the head with a beer bottle.

    At the end of a preliminary hearing on Thursday, Ken Garcia, 44, was bound over for trial in state District Court. He faces a felony charge of aggravated battery.

    Most of the witnesses in the Magistrate Court hearing didn’t know or barely knew either Garcia or the alleged victim, Rick Nelson, 37.