Local News

  • District inflated numbers, employees say

    SANTA FE — West Las Vegas school district employee Debbie Tripp says she suspected wrongdoing when she found that the district had listed nearly all students as having limited skills in English.

    Then she came upon her own son’s records in late 2004. He, too, didn’t know English well enough — or so the records stated.

    But like any mother, Tripp knows her own son. He speaks English as a first language.

    When the district reports more students with limited English skills, it gets more money from the federal government.

  • Witnesses: West misused funds

    SANTA FE — A state inspector general contends the West Las Vegas school district used its money for bilingual programs as a “slush fund.”

    In the state’s eyes, the district spent more than half of the hundreds of thousands of dollars of bilingual money for illegitimate purposes. Alleged inappropriate purchases included exercise equipment, a javelin and an electronic sign for the entrance to West Las Vegas High School.

    And even an R-rated movie called “In the Bedroom.”

  • Bridge Academy holds its last graduation ceremony

    By Don Pace

    Las Vegas Optic

    The last senior class of Bridge Academy’s five graduating classes have received their diplomas.

    The Las Vegas City Schools board voted earlier in the year against renewing the charter school’s contract. The school was founded in 2001 by Carol Winkel and her son, Eric Winkel, and opened in 2002 for students in the 10th and 11th grades 10 and 11 and the next year, ninth through 12th grades.

    The last graduation was held at Kennedy Hall on the Highlands University campus last week.

  • County looks at liens for unpaid trash bills

    The San Miguel County Commission is considering a proposal to start slapping liens on properties when owners don’t pay their county solid waste bills.

    The commission reviewed possible changes to its solid waste ordinance at its monthly meeting last week. The discussion comes a month after the commission voted to remove 221 delinquent accounts from its system. Officials said most of those accounts has inaccurate addresses or involved onetime customers.

    County Attorney Jesus Lopez told the commission that a different commission years ago decided against liens.

  • Pigeon fancier shares knowledge

    Pigeon fancier Fernando Montoya loves sharing his hobby with children and the kids love to see the birds take flight knowing they are headed home to a clean and safe loft.

    Montoya was showing his birds to children attending the 21st Century after-school program explaining both the joy of seeing his birds return home and the work it takes to maintain a healthy flock.

  • LV commuters want another bus

    A group of commuters is asking the state to provide another bus on the route between Las Vegas and Santa Fe.

    The state says it may be able to accommodate that request by as early as December. The state’s Park and Ride program provides low-cost bus service for a number of routes in New Mexico.

    Local commuters report that the buses are crowded, requiring people to stand at times.

  • County decides to ban wolves

    In the San Miguel County Commission’s mind, it’s the big, bad wolf. Others disagree.

    Last week, the commission voted unanimously to ban the wolf — domestic and wild — from the county.

    A month earlier, ranchers had asked the commission to pass such a change to its ordinances, saying that the animals would pose a threat to their livestock. It’s based on a fear that the federal government will launch a Mexican wolf reintroduction program in northern New Mexico, as it has done in the Gila National Forest in the southern part of the state.

  • Guardian angels

    It was quite a turn of events for me. But I saw the best side of human nature.

    Area elementary school students were having a grand time learning about nature and the environment. It was during the annual Earth Day festivities at the U.S. Forest Service back lot on Seventh Street on April 24.

    I was there covering the event for the Optic and climbed aboard a large National Guard troop carrier where kids were getting a chance to sit in the driver’s seat.

  • State rep's residency questioned

    Bengie Regensberg, a District 68 state representative candidate, says there’s no doubt where he lives — Cleveland, just north of Mora.

    But he said there’s a big question about where his rival, Thomas Garcia, resides.

    The men are running against each other in the June 3 Democratic primary.

  • Officials stay away from second meeting

    This week, two City Council members have stayed away from meetings, with one publicly criticizing the mayor. Amid the controversy, a radio DJ played a recording of a wailing baby to poke fun at the two councilmen.

    On Thursday, Mayor Tony Marquez presided over a meeting to create a draft strategic plan for the next two years. Councilman Morris Madrid was a no-show, while Councilman Cruz Roybal stayed for a half hour, saying he had another city meeting to attend.