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Today's News

  • EDITORIAL: AG won't let Block escape

    The state attorney general’s office stepped up to the plate when Jerome Block Jr. admitted to the Optic last fall that he had lied on his campaign finance report. The AG immediately launched an investigation of Block, who won a seat on the state Public Regulation Commission in November.

  • 2006 election may have been illegal

    In late 2006, then-Las Vegas City Councilman Michael Gallegos was the subject of a recall election, but he beat it back.

    Now it turns out the recall election may have been illegal in the first place. An expert in municipal government told the council last week that the city wasn’t supposed to have provisions to recall an official in the city charter.

    Randy Van Vleck, an attorney for the New Mexico Municipal League, said that the city is not a home-rule community, so it is limited by state law about what it can have in its charter.

  • City puts landlord issue on hold

    The Las Vegas City Council is delaying a decision on a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for landlords to avoid liability for their tenants’ utility bills.

    At last week’s council meeting, a majority of members agreed to hold off on the proposed ordinance. That was after Councilman Morris Madrid raised some questions.

    The council decided to address the issue at a meeting in May. Meanwhile, the city plans to seek an attorney general’s opinion and conduct a financial analysis on the proposed ordinance.

  • LETTER: ‘Johnston’s Law’ hard at work

    Congratulations to our City Council! In a rare display of wisdom, they nixed the silly ideas that have been proposed for beautifying Grand Avenue.  These proposals are a fine illustration of a general law: Give a committee enough money and enough time, and it will inevitably come up with the worst possible solution. This law, which I will modestly name after myself, should rank right up there with Murphy’s Law as a guiding principle of the universe.

    Bob (Robert K.) Johnston

    Las Vegas

  • East suspects plead not guilty

    Three of the adults charged in connection with sexual assaults at a Robertson High School football camp pleaded not guilty Thursday.

    Superintendent Richard Romero, Athletic Director Mike Yara and former football coach Ray Woods entered their pleas in Magistrate Court. Each is charged with the misdemeanor of failure to report child abuse or neglect.

    Not appearing were former assistant coaches Adam Alvarez and Ikaika Neizman, who are facing the same charge.  Neizman is in Alaska, while Alvarez waived his arraignment, prosecutors said.

  • City says it gets back water money

    In January, the city of Las Vegas lost $1.2 million for water projects because of confusion over what the state money was for.

    More than a week ago, Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill for water projects, including the $1.2 million that the city had lost, according to a city press release. The funding comes through the Water Trust Board, an arm of the New Mexico Finance Authority.

    The press release states that the $1.2 million is for water storage, conveyance and delivery system improvements for the city.

  • County to start up crusher soon

    San Miguel County could open its facility to make road materials in as soon as two months — a project officials hope will make it easier for the county to improve more roads.

    The county plans to have the crusher operation on its land in the wood business park on Las Vegas’ north side. It is the same site as the old Medite of New Mexico fiberboard factory, which closed years ago.

    Also on the site, the county plans to construct a building for its public works department, but that part of the project has been delayed because of a snag in the bidding process.

  • City agrees to inquiry into utility finances

    The city’s auditor told the City Council on Wednesday that he has discovered “anomalies” in the utilities department’s finances. As such, he asked for authority to conduct a more thorough investigation.

    The council had no objections to the auditor’s request, and City Manager Timothy Dodge said he would approve the inquiry.

  • Faculty upset with HU officials

    Highlands University’s faculty union contends the school is taking care of administration but leaving professors behind.

    University President Jim Fries disagrees, saying the administration is trying hard to get the faculty to the bargaining table.

    It’s the first time in years that the faculty has openly rebelled against the administration. In early 2005, professors loudly criticized then-President Manny Aragon’s decision to deny tenure to a number of professors, despite faculty committees’ recommendations to give tenure.

  • WLV jumpers shine in elite meet

    Two West Las Vegas track and field standouts got a jump start on much of their competition Monday afternoon in Albuquerque.

    Chris Ellis-Phillips cleared 6 feet, 2 inches, in the high jump to place fourth in the annual Marilyn Sepulveda Invitational. Linda Esquibel went 34-2 in the triple jump to place sixth of nine entrants.

    The Marilyn Sepulveda Invite is limited to elite high school track and field competitors, who must achieve meet standards by April 4 and be invited to enter the meet. As a result, the competitive field is mightier than the average meet’s.