Local News

  • Police probing suicide at jail

    A man being held at the San Miguel County Detention Center was found dead in his cell late Monday night, the apparent victim of a suicide.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Juan Montaño identified the deceased inmate as Bryan Martinez, 29. Online court records indicate that Martinez was being held on a charge of abuse of a child.

    “There’s no indication this was anything other than a suicide,” Montaño said. He said the death remains under investigation.

    Montaño said the inmate hanged himself.

  • 3 West board members to seek re-election

    Three seats on the West Las Vegas School Board will be up for grabs in February. Voters in the West district will also be asked to approve a $9.5 million general obligation bond during the Feb. 7 election.

    Current board secretary Christine Ludi will seek her fourth term on the board, while chairman David Romero also plans to run again. Both positions are for four-year terms, starting on March 1.

  • Overhaul provides two new options

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — New Mexico driver’s licenses are getting an overhaul to comply with tougher federal identification requirements and so the state can continue granting driving privileges to people who are in the country illegally.

    The state’s Motor Vehicle Division on Monday began issuing two kinds of identification for drivers and other residents.

  • Looking Back - Nov. 16, 2016

    Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1966 —  The Duncan Opera House property today is the prospective site for a new business and banking building for Las Vegas. The city council accepted the bid of $18,550 submitted by Ivan Hilton of First National Bank for the property. Hilton offered the city two proposals: a new business with a mezzanine bank and possible other commercial rooms on additional floors; or a motor bank.

  • Weather - Nov. 16, 2016


    HIGH 69° / LOW 40°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 69. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
    6:38 a.m. to 4:53 p.m.


    HIGH 56° / LOW 24°
    Sunny, with a high near 56. Windy, with a southwest wind 20 to 30 mph increasing to 30 to 40 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph.
    6:39 a.m. to 4:52 p.m.


  • Senior Lunch Menu — Nov. 16, 2016

    The lunch menu for the Las Vegas/Pecos Senior Centers, with 2 percent milk served with all meals.

    Green chile pork stew, tossed salad, tortilla and peach cobbler

    Turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with topping

    Tuna salad sandwich, broccoli, chips and mixed fruit

  • No charges in singer’s death

    The state Office of the Medical Investigator has ruled the death of award-winning musician Preston Garza a homicide.

    “This 44-year-old man, Preston Garza, died of chokehold strangulation,” OMI states in an autopsy report recently released to the Optic.

    But District Attorney Richard Flores said Friday that he has decided not to file charges in the case, saying that based on what he has reviewed, Garza’s son Austin did not intend to harm his father. Flores said Austin Garza has a viable case for self-defense.

  • Questions raised about Hispano Chamber

    The Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce is warning area business owners to beware of another organization soliciting membership fees in the area.

    Travis Regensberg, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors, said his organization has fielded multiple calls from area business owners who believed they had already paid their membership dues to the Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, when they had actually paid the money to another group that calls itself the Las Vegas Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

  • Yjastros Flamenco dance company to perform at Highlands

    Correction — A front page story in Sunday’s Optic contained incorrect information on ticket prices for Friday’s Yjastros Vivo Flamenco Concert. Children 12 and younger will be charged $8 for admission.

    By Margaret McKinney
    New Mexico Highlands University

    Highlands University presents Yjastros: The American Flamenco Repertory Company in concert at 7 p.m., Friday in Ilfeld Auditorium.

    Yjastros, now in its 31st season, is an internationally acclaimed flamenco company based in Albuquerque.

  • 2 Navajo women may have been first GI Janes

    By Charles Brunt
    The Albuquerque Journal

    While compiling a lengthy list of Sandoval County veterans — from the Civil War through Vietnam — retired Army colonel and amateur historian David C’de Baca made an intriguing find: Two Navajo women who served as scouts with the Army’s 20th Infantry Regiment in the summer of 1886 could be the first women to have officially been enlisted in the U.S. Army.