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Today's News

  • Police pick up 14 on arrest warrants

    Las Vegas police officers served 14 Municipal Court arrest warrants over the course of a day last week, a top police official said.

    “That’s quite a bit. That’s officers taking the initiative to get it done on their own,” Deputy Police Chief Christian Montao said.

    Last month, Municipal Judge Eddie Trujillo told the City Council that his court had a pile of 1,532 warrants and $350,000 in fines more than 180 days past due.

  • HU to inform public about dorms

    Highlands University will host a community open house Wednesday about the new residence hall being built near Washington and Ninth streets.

    The open house will be at 6 p.m. at the Margaret Kennedy Alumni Hall at 905 University Ave. Light refreshments will be served.

    Architectural plans will be displayed at the open house so the community can visualize how the 100,000-square-foot residence hall will look at completion.

    The new building will house 276 students in 89 apartment-style suites and is geared toward incoming freshman.

  • DA throws out marijuana charges

    Prosecutors have dismissed drug charges against a woman who says she was growing marijuana to help with her cancer.

    District Attorney Richard Flores confirmed Monday that he dismissed the charges last week because of “potential” problems with the search that resulted in the discovery of the marijuana plants at Vicky Harvey’s house in Holman.

    He stated in an e-mail that District Judge Gerald Baca had ruled that the search was not valid.

  • County workers get raises

    The San Miguel County Commission approved its final budget for this fiscal year last week — on the same day as the deadline to turn in the document to the state.

  • Hospital has fewer vacant positions

    The state hospital has brought down the number of vacancies in its workforce over the last couple of years, officials say.

    With 930 employees, the hospital — known formally as the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute — is Las Vegas’ largest employer. The hospital is authorized for 1,025 positions — with a vacancy rate of 9.3 percent. That’s down from 13.2 percent in 2006.

  • Transparent budgeting

    Did you notice the additional coverage the Optic gave the city budget process this year? More than once it led the day’s news, even with less-than-flattering headlines expressing “rejection” and “concern.” But in the end the job was got done, and the budget was passed — looking about as good as one might hope for in a fiscally tight year.

  • Trouble with truthfullness

    In June, Jerome Block Jr. won with 23 percent of the vote in the six-way Democratic primary race for northern New Mexico’s seat on the Public Regulation Commission, which oversees a host of industries, including utilities and insurance.

    He has no Republican opponent, but the Green Party is running Rick Lass. If history is any guide, the odds are that Block will be our next PRC commissioner in this heavily Democratic district.

  • City to consider collections contract

    The City Council on Wednesday will consider a contract with a company to collect past-due utility accounts.

    The contract would be with Advantage Group, which would provide the city with the lowest rate, according to documents.

    For years, members of the City Council have called for more action on past-due accounts.

    The council will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

    Hires

    • Dennis Maestas and Jose Jesus Montao as police officers.

    • Tony Martinez as purchasing officer, Anna Ortega as customer service clerk and Valerie Urioste as control clerk.

  • Change and stability

    Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez has changed most of the cast of characters at City Hall since taking office nearly four months ago. He immediately hired a new interim city manager and disbanded all city committees. Last month, he brought in a new permanent city manager and dismissed six of the city’s 10 department directors. Citizens voted him in on a change platform, and change they have received.

  • Murder trial delayed

    A district judge is delaying the trial for a woman accused in the killing of an 83-year-old man. The ruling is in response to concerns over pretrial publicity.

    Jessica Livingston, 24, is accused of an open count of murder in the June 2007 death of Jose Apodaca. She and Dolores Salazar, 19, were accused of robbing Apodaca and then killing him with their car.

    Salazar has already pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in the case.