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Today's News

  • EDITORIAL: Cop's claim without merit

    District Attorney Richard Flores has cleared Las Vegas police Officer Martin Salazar of any criminal wrongdoing in his handling of a suspect earlier this year. Earlier this summer, Flores sought a state police inquiry into jailers’ allegations that Salazar threatened a female arrestee with violence.

    We don’t know why the DA cleared Salazar or why prosecutors didn’t give credence to the jailers’ version of events. But Flores hasn’t shied away from prosecuting officials in the past. So it’s likely that he had good reasons for his decision.

  • Ex-city cop convicted of 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.

  • COLUMN: Don't break the chain

    First, my best friend got struck by lightning. The next day, my high-school buddy suffered a heart attack while boarding a bus. But the upside is that a man who works near me is now $7 million richer.

    Such would all be true if certain threats and promises really came true.

    But first some background:

    One of my teachers at Immaculate Conception School, Sister Ständige Angst, did a good job of convincing us of consequences. “If you fail to put others first, you will suffer,” she reminded us.

  • Assuming the rec’s reins

    Loretta Abreu Martin, the city recreation center’s director, often has her hands full.

    On a recent morning, she helped look for a 9-year-old girl’s glasses, got an update on the maintenance at Rodriguez Park and went about her plans to increase the offerings at the rec center.

    She’s got her eyes all around the center — literally. On her desk is a computer that shows video from 16 security cameras.

  • Rail Runner coming through town

    The New Mexico Rail Runner Express will be making a special trip north this weekend for open house events in the cities of Raton and Las Vegas. Members of the public will be invited to climb aboard the Rail Runner and check out the train first-hand.

  • COLUMN: We all have regrets

    Often, I read stories in which someone reflects on his career or life and insists, “I have no regrets.”

    Really?

    Boy, some people must be perfect. Being an imperfect person, I have my share of regrets, especially after I read my stories in print.

    Recently, I wrote a column using the word “jihad” in referring to a battle at City Hall. A local police officer, Clarence Romero, wrote a letter to the editor, rightly chastising me for the use of that word, noting that it creates negative connotations about Muslims.

  • LETTER: ‘The problem with cockroaches’

    ‘The problem

    with cockroaches’

    During an economic downturn, citizens are willing to sacrifice as long as the burden is divided fairly.  Inequalities breed irritation and that itch, not scratched, festers and builds to a level of frustration that leaves the average man with only two options: He can curl into a fetal ball and surrender or use the ballot box and demand his voice be heard. You are the voter. You are the one person who makes politicians wake up in a cold sweat at night. You have a voice if you’ll stand up and speak.

  • EDITORIAL: Need to know; want to know

    Now that the saturation coverage over Michael Jackson’s death has subsided, leaving only the cable news channels to continue picking apart every titillating detail about his family and his dermatology, perhaps it’s a good time to take stock of the Fourth Estate.

  • Project saving money

    As work on the Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary renovation project winds down, the architect says he once again had good news.

    “I know it’s difficult to believe when someone comes before you saying they have good news in the way of a change order,” Antonio Ortega told the West Las Vegas school board recently.

    He pointed to a summary from the state Public School Finance Authority that indicated that nearly $500,000 was left over on the additional available bonds for the Don Cecilio project.

  • Group seeking male mentors

    Alex Gonzales’ daughter has been in Big Brothers Big Sisters for the last five years, and by his account, the program has greatly benefited her.

    “It’s a very good program. It influences my daughter quite a bit. Her ‘big’ is a big part of her life. My daughter looks up to her,” the Las Vegas resident said.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters, which has an office in Las Vegas, is the nation’s largest mentoring organization for children 6 through 18. The group says there’s proof that it helps youths become productive citizens.