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Today's News

  • Inquiry clears Vegas officer

    Authorities have cleared a Las Vegas police officer of any criminal wrongdoing in his handling of a suspect earlier this year.

    District Attorney Richard Flores announced this week that a state police investigation found that Officer Martin Salazar’s actions didn’t rise to the level of a crime — a conclusion with which the DA agreed.

    Flores said the state police conducted a thorough investigation, interviewing about 20 people, including jailers who alleged that Salazar threatened the female arrestee, Bernadette Varela, with violence.

  • North wins two of three All-Star clashes

    Former West Las Vegas standout Kristen Encinias connected on several big long-range shots Friday night in the Class 3A North-South All-Star girls' basketball game. But her last make, from short range, was the biggest of them all.

    Encinias sank one of two free throws with 24 seconds left in regulation to nudge the North ahead 74-73, and that would end up the final margin in one of the more exciting North-South contests in years.

    The North went on to sweep Friday's hoops doubleheader after also prevailing 101-85 in the boys' game.

  • Salazar may sue county

    A Las Vegas police officer is seeking more than $250,000 in damages from San Miguel County for releasing documents about him that he contends should have been kept secret.

    On July 8, Officer Martin Salazar filed a tort claims notice with the county, which is a warning that he may sue.

    He stated that he has suffered from emotional distress since stories have appeared in the Optic about county jailers’ allegations against him.

    A top county official counters that he and his employees have followed the law.

  • LETTER: Time for real health care change

    I am flabbergasted by the farce that is labeled the “health care debate” currently playing out in Washington D.C. and in the media.

    Each one of us has entered a local store and seen a container near the check-out counter with a label asking for donations to help someone in need of medical treatment. Nowhere else in the industrialized “developed” world would such a request be seen. Why not? Because nowhere but in these United States is health care rationed either by one’s ability to pay or by a bunch of profit-hungry insurance bureaucrats!

  • Woman recalls the day husband was attacked

    Frances Sisneros was focused on her Spanish television shows when her husband, Euvaldo “Eddie” Sisneros, told her that he was going to take his regular walk.

    Those were his last words to her.

    Five blocks away, a man attacked Eddie from behind, pulling the 79-year-old by his necklace. It was in the middle of the afternoon on June 16 in a neighborhood full of retirees in Richmond, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco.

  • Senator praises merchants, says earlier comments misconstrued

    In the spring, state Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, contended that the merchant class in the Plaza area was made up of newcomers who wanted to change Las Vegas into a Santa Fe or Taos.

    The longtime lawmaker took a different approach this week.

    On radio station KFUN, Griego, who was on a show with other local lawmakers, praised the downtown business community, touting how it benefits Las Vegas. He said his earlier comments were misconstrued by the print media.

  • Ex-city cop pleads guilty to fraud

    A former Las Vegas police officer has pleaded guilty to allegations that he defrauded city government, prosecutors say.

    On July 7, Shawn Montoya entered his plea in court to charges of fraud and filing a false claim, both fourth-degree felonies, District Attorney Richard Flores said.

    Under the terms of a plea agreement, Montoya is required to pay full restitution to the Police Department and to an insurance company to which he defrauded, and perform 100 hours of community service, Flores said. Montoya will be on probation for 18 months.

  • City Council agenda

    • The Las Vegas City Council will meet at 6 p.m. today in the council’s chambers at City Hall, 1700 N. Grand Ave. The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. on public housing issues:

    Presentations

    • Marco Gonzales from Work Force on SER Jobs for Progress.

    • Joseph Gallegos from Casa del Cultural proposing a 180-foot historical mural on the old Safeway parking lot wall.

    • Las Vegas-San Miguel Economic Development Corp. quarterly report.

    Business

  • AA wants to spread word

    The spokesman for area Alcoholics Anonymous groups says that if it weren’t for the program, he likely wouldn’t be alive today.

    He and other members want to inform the public about AA during a public forum on Sunday. They want to tell residents about how AA operates and what it can do for the community.

    It’s the first such public forum in years, the spokesman said.

  • WORK OF ART: I-strain: a word for inflation

    Just a few weeks before my 70th birthday in April, a friend from High Rolls, N.M., sent me a booklet that tells all about my birth year, 1939. It’s an easy-to-read booklet whose facts I can hardly believe.

    Let me explain:

    All my life I’ve refused to believe that things could ever inflate as many as 10 times. For example, if I could buy a Coke for a nickel during my youth, I would never expect to pay 10 times that amount or 50 cents, even if I lived to be a hundred.