Local News

  • Still no answers regarding fatal fire

    Four months after a fire that took the life of Laurencio Via, the state fire marshal has yet to release a report, but his grandson and some of his neighbors believe they know what caused it.

    Via, 82, died from smoke inhalation in a blaze that started around 9 p.m. on Feb. 8 in his mobile home in Watrous. Power had been out the better part of that day, and when it came back on at roughly 8:45 p.m., it did so with a power surge that neighbors say destroyed some electrical appliances and caused others to catch fire and even explode.

  • City water restrictions imposed

    With a divided vote Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council placed Stage 1 use restrictions on the city’s water customers.

    The action means the city’s water users must curtail their water use in several ways, including outside watering, swimming pool upkeep and ornamental fountain use, car washing, restaurants serving water to customers, and fire hydrants. (See info box, Page A2)

  • Youth program teaches hard work

    The Luna Community College Leadership Camp is a weeklong endurance test for high school juniors and seniors filled with physical fitness, instruction and lectures. In the end students see rewards in increased self-confidence, new friendships — and a brand new laptop computer.

    “We have a full week of instruction on leadership,” said Art Abreu, camp director. “We have talks, classes and actually live and breathe leadership, with a special emphasis on respect.”

  • Board passes 'healthy' budget

    Las Vegas City School’s Finance director Myrna Garcia says the estimated $17 million operating budget for the 2008-09 school year keeps all jobs safe and increases teacher pay by a small percentage point or two above the state recommendation.

    “We are able to sustain our programs without having to cut back on our staff. The only federal program we’re not getting is the Reading First. Other than that we’re able to keep all jobs and programs intact, including funding for athletics. We’re doing good,” Garcia said.

  • 'Deadbeats' in 'Nowheresville'

    They call themselves “deadbeats” and their convention theme is “from here to eternity.” It could only be the International Association of Obituarists, meeting in Las Vegas, N.M. for their 10th annual Great Obituary Writers’ International Conference.

    You might be tempted to stereotype obituary writers. It is easy, given their chosen careers, to imagine them as a somber, even funereal bunch, but nothing could be further from the truth.

  • '100th film' hits snag in Las Vegas

    Gov. Bill Richardson’ office boosted on last week that the movie “Run For Her Life” will be the 100th major film production shot in New Mexico during Richardson’s time in office.

    What his office may not be aware of, however, is that the production hit a snag recently in its plans to shoot some scenes in Las Vegas.

  • District offers two-year contract

    New Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Richard Romero will get $105,000, but board president Patrick Romero says he will earn it.

    “I don’t envy the incoming superintendent because he’s going to have his job cut out for him,” Romero said.

    Plans are for Richard Romero to begin work July 1, with the contract running through June 30, 2010.

  • Scouts lead Flag Day ceremony

    Girl Scout Troop 288 acted as flag bearers during the annual Elks Lodge Flag Day ceremony at the Las Vegas recreation center Friday.

    Barbara Venturi, Exalted Ruler Elks Lodge 408, said members are very patriotic and have been observing the day since its inception.

    “The flag is first in our hearts as loyal Americans and close to our alter as loyal Elks. So many things we do revolve around our flag and our country. Charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity are out guiding principals of our order,” Venturi said.

  • Pipe bomb found at home

    A pipe bomb discovered inside a mobile home Thursday kept police occupied for hours until a state bomb squad could safely get rid of it.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Gary Gold said officers found the bomb while assisting the Children Youth & Families Department in a child welfare visit to the trailer park in the 1200 block of North Commerce Street. Two children were in the home at the time, Gold said.

  • County looks at transit needs

    San Miguel County commissioners’ interest in a feasibility study on mass transit during Tuesday’s meeting seemed to be higher, especially in light of the skyrocketing price of gasoline.

    Mariana Padilla, a planner with Parametric, the Albuquerque-based firm hired to do the study, told the board that County Manager Les Montoya wanted to look closer at the issue before investing money in an expensive new transit program.