Local News

  • BREAKING: Skandera puts brakes on Mora superintendent's paid leave

    By Martín Salazar and Mercy López

    Las Vegas Optic

    The Mora Independent School District’s plan to continue paying Superintendent Charles Trujillo pending the outcome of a state Public Education Department investigation has run into a major snag.

  • Two killed in Mora shooting

    State police still aren’t revealing much about the motive in a Friday evening shooting in Mora County that left two dead, another wounded and a fourth individual behind bars.

    Police arrested Donald Valdez, 45, who resides on Country Road A030 for the shootings. He was booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center in lieu of a $600,000 cash-only bond.

    He is accused of fatally shooting  Fred Montoya and Bernadette Garcia and of shooting Amanda Miera  in the left shoulder. Miera survived the shooting.

  • $15M secured for upgrades to train route

    The federal government has awarded more than $15 million for essential upgrades for Amtrak’s Southwest Chief line in New Mexico and southeast Colorado, a move that all but guarantees that the train will continue through Las Vegas, Raton and other communities that were in jeopardy of losing the route.

  • PED now planning independent probe

    UPDATE: The Mora Independent School board of education is scheduled to meet on Friday to "accept resignation of superintendent of the Mora Schools." Also, on the agenda is the hiring of an interim superintendent.

    The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the administration office board room.

    By Martín Salazar and Mercy López
    Las Vegas Optic

  • Halloween fun
  • Justices grill attorneys in NM assisted-suicide case

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Justices with New Mexico’s highest court aggressively questioned attorneys Monday in a landmark lawsuit that could decide if the state will join a handful of others in allowing terminally ill patients to end their lives with drugs prescribed by a doctor.

    The legal challenge, sparked in 2012 by a Santa Fe woman with advanced cancer, seeks to clarify New Mexico’s laws barring physician-assisted suicide.

  • Visitation for girl killed in road rage shooting

    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Community members paid their respects Monday evening at a public visitation for a 4-year-old girl who was killed last week in a road rage shooting on an Albuquerque freeway.

    The wake for Lilly Garcia was held at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church after hundreds of people gathered Saturday at a candlelight vigil.

  • Halloween fire safety tips

    Submitted to the Optic

    Costumed children excitedly running door to door to trick-or-treat, festive decorations like glowing jack-o-lanterns, paper ghosts and dried cornstalks adorning front porches ­­­­— these are some of the classic hallmarks of Halloween that make the holiday special for kids and adults alike.

  • Suspect in Mora homicides identified

    A 45-year-old Mora County man is facing two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

    Donald Valdez, who resides on County Road A030, turned himself into state police after the shootings and admitted to the crimes after being read his Miranda Warnings, according to a probable cause statement filed in Mora County Magistrate Court this morning.

  • Duran pleads guilty, resigns

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran pleaded guilty to embezzlement and other charges Friday after abruptly resigning amid a fraud investigation that alleges she siphoned off thousands of dollars from her election account and withdrew the money at casinos around the state.