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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Underarm deodorant and total security

    I was looking through a magazine the other day and it caused me to wonder, what would we look like if these advertisers wouldn’t tell us how to look? I didn’t even have to open the magazine and on the cover, the alleged woman of today was smiling at me.

    She wore a low-cut, pink miniskirt. She wore no glasses or braces, she was slim, and had overly white perfect teeth. Come to think of it, when was the last time you saw a cover girl who wore glasses, had braces, or was flat chested?

  • 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.

  • Plunging into the new year

    Last Jan. 1, several dozen Las Vegans braved the brisk morning air. Their cars ground frozen snow beneath unsure wheels, slid along Seventh Street, past Wal-Mart, past the after-holiday sales. Storrie Lake loomed before them. A yellow backhoe rested near the shore, it’s operator satisfied with the job he did hacking up ice three-inches thick. An ambulance driver stood ready, his hands warm inside heavy wool mittens. They both glanced at the crowd of Polar Bear Club members giddy for a chance to welcome the New Year with a burst of hypothermic pain.

  • 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.

  • Trio Alegre brings musical joy to Las Vegas

    Billie Mathews remembers pressing the keys of an upright piano every Sunday morning. Her grandmother sat beside her on a polished bench. Mathews strung together the kind of eclectic melodies an untrained six-year old dreams, expressions of satisfied joy.