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Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Aug. 2, 2013

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! PLACES WITH A PAST TOUR
Las Vegas has lots of beautiful old historic homes and other buildings, and this weekend offers each one of us the opportunity to get a glimpse inside a few of those landmarks. Each year the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation puts on its Places with a Past Historic Tour. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the history of these buildings that give our city so much of its character. Among the buildings included in this year’s tour are the Maloof House at 825 Seventh Street, the Judge Leahy house at 1028 Seventh Street, and of course the Montezuma Castle. The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Las Vegas Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation at 116 Bridge Street.

THUMBS UP! OVER THE EDGE
With all the drama that plays out in Las Vegas every day, it’s great to know that every once in a while we can put it all aside and take a moment to laugh at ourselves. The annual Over the Edge play put on by Nat Gold Players and Clearly Confused Productions gives us that opportunity. The play pokes fun at everything from the recall effort and the funding challenges at Las Vegas City Schools to the national controversy over genetically modified Monsanto Corn. The show takes place at 7:30 p.m. today, and Saturday, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday at Sala de Madrid on the campus of New Mexico Highlands University. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 general admission, $8 for seniors and $5 for students.

THUMBS DOWN! ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT
News that a former employee at Rogers Mortuary has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000 from the funeral home saddened many in this community. The investigator assigned to the case suggests in court documents that Molly Martinez, 62, may have had a gambling problem. It’s worth noting that the charges that have been filed are merely accusations at this point; Martinez is innocent until proven guilty. Still, if the version of events relayed in court documents is accurate, there are important lessons for each one of us to learn about gambling and about the trust we place in others.

AND WE QUOTE
“Where we are right now is not a good spot to be in. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
— New Mexico Higher Education Secretary José Garcia, speaking about the challenges that the state’s higher education system is facing and the need for New Mexico colleges and universities to do a better job.