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Local News

  • Proposals take aim at chronic drunken driving

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Republican state lawmakers on Monday outlined a series of proposed criminal penalties for repeat drunken driving offenses ahead of the upcoming legislative session.

    Among three bills are provisions that would increase minimum jail sentences for repeat DWI violations and trigger other felony sanctions against drunken drivers under existing New Mexico laws for habitual criminal offenders.

  • In Brief Jan. 6, 2016

    The Associated Press

    Sanchez presses gov on letter

    New Mexico Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is pressing Gov. Susana Martinez about a REAL ID letter amid a pending deadline.

    Sanchez wrote Martinez and GOP House Speaker Don Tripp on Monday that all sides should come to a “fair agreement” on writing a letter to Department of Homeland Security seeking an extension on federal REAL ID requirements.

  • AG wants names of marijuana producers released

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says health officials would be running afoul of open record laws by withholding the names of those who apply to be licensed medical marijuana producers in the state.

    Balderas’ office on Monday made public a letter he sent to the state Department of Health in response to proposed confidentiality changes.

    \The changes will be the subject of a public hearing scheduled Wednesday in Santa Fe.

  • A look back at last year’s top stories

    From a disgraced superintendent whose career went up in flames after he was outed for falsifying his credentials — to a dog named Hubble whose horrifying plight forced our community to examine the animal abuse and neglect that has become so common in our town — Las Vegas and Mora had their share of scandal in 2015.  

  • NM finishes year with record dose of wet weather

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico finished off the year without a single square mile mired by drought.

    The last bit of short-term drought was erased from the state in November thanks to near- and above-normal precipitation, and National Weather Service forecasters say record snowfall in recent days has only helped to push New Mexico further in the right direction.

    In fact, things haven’t looked this good since the fall of 2010.

  • Duran scandal, shooting of officers top NM news

    The Associated Press

    New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran began 2015 tasked with enforcing the state’s campaign finance laws. She ended the year sitting in a Santa Fe County jail for violating them.

    Duran resigned in disgrace and pleaded guilty to charges that involved siphoning thousands of dollars from her election account to fuel a gambling addiction. A judge handed down an elaborate sentenced in December.

  • Remembering those who left us in 2015

    The obituary pages of the Optic for 2015 contained the names of hundreds of Las Vegas area folks who have left us. As we prepare these pages honoring the departed, we do so convinced every life is valuable and every death diminishes us.
    And we thank all for having come our way. For many reasons — including lack of space — we are unable to include every name.

    JANUARY

    Manuel P. Baca, Las Vegas, U.S. Army 1955-57.

  • Alleged drive-by shooter caught

    Las Vegas Optic

    A Las Vegas man wanted in connection with a Dec. 1 drive-by shooting was arrested and booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center on Christmas Day.

    Michael W. Blanchard, 35, whose address in court documents is listed as being on Falls Creek Road in Las Vegas, is facing three fourth-degree felonies.

    Las Vegas police have charged him with shooting at an inhabited dwelling and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

  • Senior Profile - Couple enjoys teaching, reading

    By Art Trujillo
    Las Vegas Optic

    Having traveled and lived in many places in the United States and Europe, they chose Las Vegas. After stints in Germany, Estonia, Switzerland and several American states, Carol and Bernt Winkel settled on a 250-acre piece of land just south of Las Vegas, in the Mineral Hill area. They arrived here in 1991.

  • Gov, lawmakers haven’t sent REAL ID letter

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and state lawmakers have not sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeking an extension on REAL ID requirements.

    Nearly two weeks after federal officials said New Mexico could get an extension if Martinez and lawmakers sent a letter, no agreement has been drafted amid a looming Jan. 10 deadline.

    Federal officials want Martinez and lawmakers to say they will pass a REAL ID-compliant law during the next session, which begins Jan. 19.