Local News

  • Materials moved from Center Block

    Want bricks? The owner of the collapsed Center Block building has many for sale.

    It’s been 16 months since the building fell down and much of the rubble remains, but since November, people have been slowly moving bricks and other debris from the property.

    The owner, Bob Dalton, said he has agreed to sell bricks and give wood to dozens of people. Residents have been loading up their trucks with the materials, and they appear to be making a dent.

  • No change to teen's murder sentence

    Because of a procedural problem, the defense attorney for a teenager convicted of killing another won the right for his client to have another sentencing hearing.

    As it turned out, Eloy Trujillo, 18, last week got the same sentence as he did the first time — 7-1/2 years in state prison for the April 2006 killing of 18-year-old Anthony Maes during an alleyway fight near Robertson High School, prosecutors said.

  • College making progress with state

    Luna Community College is making much progress in getting money from the state government for general operations and capital improvements, officials said this week.

  • Veterans building to be named after Las Vegan

    The planned veterans service building will be named in honor of a lieutenant colonel who flew 246 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

    Miguel Encinias, a Las Vegan who now lives in Albuquerque, was shot down, wounded and taken prisoner in World War II. He also was shot down in Korea, rescued by a helicopter and returned to duty.

    Gary Ludi, a member of the committee planning the building, recommended the City Council last week name the building in honor of Encinias.

  • State may add days to school year

    During its 30-day session, the state Legislature will be looking at adding a few days to the school year partly because in-service days for teachers take away from actual days students spend in the classroom.

    Las Vegas City Schools board member Patrick Romero asked Superintendent Pete Campos, who is also a state senator, if lawmakers are considering adding more days.

  • Lopez says he was referring to Campos

    Las Vegas attorney Jesus Lopez left as Luna Community College’s presidential search committee chairman last summer, alleging that three members of the Board of Trustees had already settled on a candidate.

    But until last week, he never publicly identified the candidate in question to the Optic. He said he had been referring to Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Pete Campos, who is also a state senator representing Las Vegas.

  • Trees on decline in Las Vegas city parks

    The number and overall health of trees in city parks is declining, and something must be done about it, a tree advocate told the City Council last week.

    The Las Vegas Tree Board has rated 36 percent of trees in all city parks but South Pacific as poor. Eight percent of trees at South Pacific were rated poor.

    Additionally, the board has found that anywhere from 10 to 45 percent of trees in any individual park would benefit from pruning.

  • Fries points to Highlands stability

    Highlands University President Jim Fries celebrates his first anniversary at the helm Tuesday.

    The president took the post after the tumultuous tenure of former President Manny Aragon, who left Highlands with a big settlement and a threatened indictment in connection with the building of the federal courthouse in Albuquerque.

    Fries (pronounced “freeze”) was interim president from 2001 to 2002 and is credited with rescuing Highlands from bankruptcy by merging academic departments, eliminating some majors and cutting some positions.

  • Democratic Party to hold caucuses

    The March 4 municipal election is grabbing most of the local political attention.

    But there’s a contest before that — the Democratic presidential caucus on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

    This is a chance for Democrats to decide on the four main candidates — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards or Dennis Kucinich. Even dropped-out candidates’ names will still be on the ballot such as Gov. Bill Richardson and Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden

  • Las Vegas man dies in accident

    A Las Vegas man was killed early this morning after he lost control of his car at Eighth Street and Lincoln Avenue, Las Vegas police said.

    The driver, Darren M. Benavidez, 23, 1506 Salazar St., was pronounced dead, Assistant Police Chief Christian Montao said.

    His passenger, Lawrence F. Chavez, 22, 1512 Montezuma St., fled the scene of the accident but went to the police station a short while later, Montao said.