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Today's News

  • Mayor defends his record

    Mayoral candidates slugged it out during a political forum Monday, with Mayor Henry Sanchez defending his administration’s record and saying it’s easy to point fingers.

    Near the beginning of the forum at Memorial Middle School, Sanchez was asked why people weren’t informed about unusually high heating bills last winter until after it ended. Last March, the city informed residents that they had been paying off a deficit in the natural gas utility.

  • Audit to be released soon

    The state auditor’s office expects to release the results of its audit on the city’s natural gas rates early next month — the result of an investigation inspired by customer complaints.

    State Auditor Hector Balderas said last week that he didn’t want to reveal yet what the audit has found but that he plans to meet Friday with the private auditing firm, Accounting and Consulting Group, which has been handling the project.

  • Official will stay longer if asked

    Luna Community College’s interim president, Sigfredo Maestas, said Friday he would stay as the school’s leader for another five months if asked by the Board of Trustees.

    “I would quietly say ‘ouch’ to myself and then say yes to them,” he said.

    Earlier this month, the trustees selected Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Pete Campos as president. But Campos, who is also a state senator representing Las Vegas, has said he has never broken an employment contract and that his City Schools agreement lasts until June 30.

  • Silk-screening skills

    Eddie DeHerrera and Robert Arellano are just two of about 50 high school students at Springer High that are taking silk screen and marketing classes under the umbrella of Luna Community College.

    The Silk Screen and Marketing Certificate Program is believed to be the only one of its kind in the state at the high school level.

    The classes started as a pilot project in the fall of 2007, but even in the short time, the program has become one of the most popular.

  • Father's role a campaign issue

    Ben Ray Lujan, a Democratic candidate for northern New Mexico’s congressional seat, says he’s not shy about accepting the support of his father, state House Speaker Ben Lujan.

    But some question whether his father has helped him get top jobs in state government. The state Republican Party calls Lujan’s quick rise “business as usual” in New Mexico.

    In Las Vegas, Lujan, 35, has much support from the local leadership, including Mayor Henry Sanchez, in his bid to become congressman.

  • Candidate forums set for next week

    Two forums for candidates in the March 4 municipal election are set for next week.

    Candidates for mayor will take questions from the public at a forum from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday in Memorial Middle School’s auditorium.

    On Tuesday, candidates for the Ward 3 City Council seat will take part in a forum during the same hours at the same place.

  • Contact vists set to begin at jail

    The San Miguel County jail will soon begin allowing visits in which children will have direct contract with their jailed parents.

    But only some parents will benefit from this program, officials say.

    Patrick Snedeker, warden for the San Miguel County Detention Center, said this week that two counties — Bernalillo and San Miguel — were chosen for a pilot program exploring different ways to preserve the family structure when parents are in jail.

  • Better environment for artists expected

    SANTA FE — Some may consider it a lofty idea, to boost Las Vegas’ economy by facilitating a better environment for artists and bringing in more tourism dollars. But the state thinks it can become a reality and is now ready to invest some resources behind it.

    On Wednesday, New Mexico MainStreet awarded the city its new Arts and Culture District designation, which makes the Meadow City eligible for state assistance in building “an arts and culture environment” as part of an economic development strategy.

  • "The Ultimate Playground"

    Once they start classes in the technologies department, West Las Vegas High School students soak up knowledge in the latest innovations in high technology.

    “Talk about hands-on activities. That is the ultimate playground for these students surrounded by high-tech instruments,” Principal Gene Parson said.

    Teacher Etta Bustos said every class she teaches is different, beginning with the first-period yearbook class, where students are involved with every facet of the production, including the front-cover design.

  • Report: Little progress on water

    The Las Vegas Community Water Board offers a quick summary about the community’s progress on water issues in 2007: Talk and some action, but little progress.

    The board, a nonprofit group whose stated aim is to find solutions to the water problem, issued a progress report last week.

    The report notes that the city didn’t increase its water supplies last year. The city issued a request for proposals to acquire more groundwater but hasn’t acted on any of the proposals received, the board states.