Local News

  • Dad says he saw coach hit son

    A parent of a Robertson High School sophomore said he was reluctantly coming before the Las Vegas City Schools board because he had received no answers or satisfaction concerning incidents of violence directed at his son.

    Michael Gallegos, a city councilman, told the board that over a month’s time, a group of students were playing pranks by coming to his home, banging on his front door and then speeding away. He said at one point he followed the youths and took down their license plate number and was able to identify them.

  • Assessor invites state to attend forum, then changes mind

    Mora County Assessor Angela Romero earlier this week invited state property tax officials to a public forum about the state’s enforcement of tax rates.

    On Wednesday, she pulled the invitation.

    “Your presence at this forum is no longer necessary. Thank you for your consideration in attending this forum,” she wrote in a letter to Rick Silva, the director of the state Property Tax Division.

  • Audit: City violated ordinance

    A special audit released Thursday found that the city violated its ordinance for setting natural gas rates, overcharging customers by more than $10 million.

    However, the independent auditor said the rate-setting decisions were “economically prudent” because of an average deficit of more than $1 million in the natural gas utility for the last seven years.

  • Outgoing council members honored

    With political season at high tide, Mayor Henry Sanchez and others on Wednesday honored the five departing City Council members, Macario Gonzalez, Eugene Romero, Michael Gallegos, Louie Trujillo and Tony Marquez.

    The mayor gave albums to each departing member, with pictures of them in action through the years.

    “You took a lot of abuse. People don’t understand all that you do,” Sanchez said. “Why you do it, who knows?”

  • Manager gets severance pay

    With the mayor’s tie-breaking vote, City Manager John Avila will get two months of severance pay when he leaves his job Friday.

    The City Council on Wednesday debated whether Avila should get more than $12,000, which amounts to two months of his $75,000 annual salary.

  • Official's absences attract attention

    Councilman Eugene Romero, who missed nearly a third of council meetings over a more than two-year period, was the subject of a TV news report Wednesday night.

    An Optic investigation last year found that Romero had missed 31 percent of meetings but still collected his salary of $19,854 a year. No other councilman missed that many meetings.

    In the KOAT report, Romero said he wasn’t overpaid, even though he was often a no-show. When KOAT asked about his absences, Romero explained that he is a businessman.

  • Optic criticized during meeting

    The Las Vegas City Council received much praise at its meeting Wednesday. The Las Vegas Optic, meanwhile, took some criticism — to the delight of a crowd filled with council supporters.

    Las Vegas resident Patricia Navarro singled out the mayor and every council member for praise and then turned to an Optic reporter sitting across the room. She told the Optic to stop spreading untruths, which she didn’t specify.

    “Lay off the mayor,” she said to loud applause from the audience. Councilman Eugene Romero clapped loudly, smiling broadly at the reporter.

  • Police issuing warnings

    As of last week, the city police have issued 12 warning citations to motorists violating the city’s new ban on talking on cell phones while driving.

    The police haven’t issued a ticket involving fines.

    “The officers have been authorized for full enforcement; however, in instances such as this with a new ordinance, a gradual approach is often best to gain cooperation and compliance,” Deputy Police Chief Christian Montao said.

  • Manager says he's resigning from job

    At first, City Manager John Avila said his pending departure was not a resignation. Now, he says it is.

    Some City Council members have been wanting a clarification, wondering whether he is being fired or resigning.

    Two weeks ago, Mayor Henry Sanchez told the City Council about Avila’s departure, but council members questioned whether it was a resignation or firing. The mayor didn’t directly answer.

    Shortly after the council meeting, Avila said his departure wasn’t a resignation, but he wouldn’t elaborate.

  • Firm says it's picking up materials

    Recycling is alive and well in Las Vegas, and since 2000, A/C Recycling has been picking up reusable materials that would otherwise go to a landfill, its owner says.

    “We started recycling about eight years ago picking up recyclables on a daily basis using one trailer. Currently, we have 42 customers that we service daily — picking up cardboard, shredded paper, newspaper, plastics, steel, and aluminum and tin cans,” said A/C owner and manager Charlene Jiron.