Local News

  • Manager may get severance income

    The Las Vegas City Council is expected to consider giving outgoing City Manager John Avila more than $12,000 in severance pay, but it’s still unclear whether Avila is leaving voluntarily or involuntarily.

    Councilman Morris Madrid, a former city manager himself, is asking that the council consider giving Avila two months of pay after he leaves Friday, but other council members question the proposal.

  • West recognized for program

    A West Las Vegas school district conservation program drew an environmental stewardship award last week.

    During last weeks school board meeting, Daylene Buhl, representing Dallas-based Energy Education Inc., said the district has saved enough electricity in two years to effectively plant more than 18,604 trees.

  • Ex-coach says Luna wanted him to lie

    The former coach of the Luna Community College Rough Riders baseball team has sued the school, alleging that he refused an order to take part in an effort to falsely inflate enrollment.

    Coach Sam Soto was hired in August 2005 and fired in December 2006.

    Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Luna’s Board of Trustees, Human Resources Director Lawrence Quintana and former interim President Gilbert Sena.

  • Vegas came out for Richardson

    Las Vegas area residents contributed more than $50,000 to Gov. Bill Richardson’s unsuccessful presidential campaign last year, much of which was raised during a local event last year. The donors included an attorney who later became a district judge.

    Many of the 40 local donors are government employees, elected officials or business people who have contracts with government agencies, according to Federal Election Commission records. The total was $52,163, a small chunk of the $22 million from 68,000 donors to the Richardson campaign.

  • Woman settles with city

    A Las Vegas woman who claimed a police officer dragged her after informing her that she was violating a restraining order has settled a lawsuit with the city.Panchita Maes Alirez’s attorney, Stephen Peterson of Taos, said his client has received $8,500 in return for dropping her lawsuit against the city. “My client was satisfied with the result. It was a long, difficult ordeal,” he said. City Attorney Matt Sandoval didn’t have any comment in the matter.

  • County to seek bids for road projects

    San Miguel County plans to issue bid specifications for a number of state-funded road projects within the next few weeks, an official said.Harold Garcia, the county’s public works supervisor, told the County Commission this week that he is trying to quicken the state’s process for environmental reviews of the projects. He said the state is strict with such clearances, even for roads that have been around for a long time. Still, he expected to get bid specifications out for some of the projects in three weeks.

  • Providers tout preventive medicine

    Health providers from around Las Vegas and the state gathered at the Healthy Heart Fair, sponsored by Victory Home Health Center, on Valentine’s Day to promote ways people can live a longer and healthier life.Ramona Ulibarri, clinical director of Victory Home Health, said, “What we are focusing on is disease prevention because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death and Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to deal with matters of the heart. So, we’re talking about ways to recognize early signs of heart disease and ways to prevent it.

  • Firm advertises discount plan

    Rita Torres of Health Care Partners says her uninsured program isn’t a medical discount plan. As she describes it, it definitely isn’t like most. Medical discount plans — also known as health discount plans — are programs that offer their members a discount on certain medical services. They typically do so by buying into preferred provider organizations networks established by conventional insurance companies. Thus, the member gets the same discount on their claims that a participating insurance company would get.

  • City backs for-profit health firm

    The Las Vegas City Council and mayor recently endorsed a medical discount plan called Health Care Partners. It is not insurance, but some local officials appear to believe it is. One councilman has since withdrawn his endorsement. The Health Care Partners plan is a for-profit plan which, for a monthly fee, gives enrollees a discount on medical services from participating healthcare providers. Such plans are not insurance; they simply offer discounts on some medical bills.

  • Students exchange Valentine's cards

    The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that about 1 billion Valentines are sent each year worldwide, but students at Tony Serna Elementary are doing it the old-fashioned way, making their own Valentine’s Day cards to give to classmates and family members.Adriana Herrera was busy in Fred Silva’s art class but was happy to enlighten a reporter on exactly what second-graders think about the day dedicated to love.“You give out cards and you have parties at your house sometimes and you get to eat candy and stuff.