Local News

  • Extreme heat wave grips Southwest

    The Associated Press

    PHOENIX — As the mercury soared, records were falling.

    A severe heat wave ushered in the first day of summer Monday in the broiling Southwest, where extreme temperatures were blamed for at least five deaths over the weekend.

    Towns along the Arizona-California border were getting the brunt of the extreme temperatures on Monday.

    In Palm Springs, the thermometer hit 121 degrees in the early afternoon. The temperature in Phoenix broke a record and hit 116 degrees.

    A cool off was expected in the coming days.

  • Manager’s partner lands sweet job

    The longtime girlfriend of San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya was transferred earlier this year to a newly created job making nearly $9,800 more than the job description calls for.

    The position Stephanie Leger was moved to in February was neither posted nor advertised, and Leger doesn’t meet the education or work experience requirements listed in the job description.

  • Signing Off

    By Gwen Albers
    For The Optic

    Cathy Kahn’s daily routine starts with making coffee and tuning into disc jockey Martha Johnsen’s 6 a.m. KFUN radio program.

    Kahn’s not sure what future mornings at her Romeroville home will hold now that Johnsen, who joined the Las Vegas station 41 years ago, is retiring.

    “This is kind of like a death in a way,” a choked-up Kahn said Thursday. “Suddenly someone you’re used to every day will be gone. It’ll be sad without her.”

  • Art auction to benefit Las Vegas Pet Center

    Submitted to the Optic

    Works by more than 30 Northern New Mexico artists will be available for auction Saturday, June 25, at the third annual ARTBark fundraiser, benefiting the Animal Welfare Coalition’s Las Vegas, New Mexico’s Pet Center.

    ARTBark will take place in New Mexico Highlands University’s Kennedy Alumni Hall at 905 University Ave. from 4 to 7 p.m. The free event includes light appetizers and live music by the Mild Rovers.

  • Showing Mercy: Who’s to blame for night club massacre?

    Early Sunday morning, I lost 49 brothers and sisters in a brutal attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
    Since then I have been awash in a sea of emotions, ranging from shock, despair and heart-break to fear, compassion and love.

    Among these many feelings I have also found comfort in the fact that members of the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual community — of which I am a part — are finally being viewed as human beings.

    Our lives matter.

    My life as a lesbian has been filled with judgment, rejection, hurt, pain and fear.

  • Some of the victims killed Sunday

    By Nomaan Merchant, Carla K. Johnson and Tammy Webber

    The Associated Press

    A gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside Pulse, a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, leaving at least 49 people dead in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Here are stories of some of the victims.


    Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24, was out for a night of dancing with her brother-in law and a friend, and posed for a photo before a gunman opened fire.

  • Just a Thought: Living life can be a messy business

    What is the biggest mess you have ever made? How did you feel after you made it? Did you clean it up or did others?

    What is the biggest mess that you have ever been involved in? Did you choose to get into the mess or did it choose you?

    How did it feel to be in the mess? Are you still in it?

    How do you handle the messes in your life? Are you the type of person who feels like you can clean up your messes all by yourself or do you reach out to others for help with your messes?

  • Looking Back - June 19, 2016

    Monday, June 13, 1966 — An interesting and informative brochure on points of historic or scenic interest in and near Las Vegas (Meadow City) has been prepared by Dr. Lynn I. Perrigo, professor of history at Highlands University. Perrigo, author of “Our Spanish Southwest,” details concisely the location, history and pertinent features of 25 points on a “circle tour” of Las Vegas. It features the Castaneda Hotel, Lincoln Park, the old Presbyterian church in West Las Vegas, Hermit’s Peak and the Gallinas skating pond.

  • Working the ponies

    Las Vegas Optic

    Watrous Valley Ranch on June 11 and June 12 hosted a horse performance cattle clinic with world premier trainer Les Vogt.
    Vogt, who won 15 World Champion Reining and Working Cow Horse titles and countless other championships, worked with participants from Portales, Cloudcroft and Tijeras, and Parker and Black Forest, Colo. Ranch manager and resident trainer Barret Yates and his wife, Michelle, the reproduction manager and clinic organizer, also joined the group.

  • County conned out of $38K

    Sophisticated email scammers managed to persuade San Miguel County’s finance supervisor to transfer $38,000 to an outside account last month.

    Now the county is out that money as New Mexico State Police try to figure out who the culprit is. County officials are still holding out hope that the money will be recovered.