Local News

  • Schools in a quandary - East district mulls school closures

    The declining enrollment at Las Vegas City Schools is prompting district officials to consider consolidating school sites within the district. The enrollment decline has hit the district’s financials as it receives most of its funding from the state, based on the number of students the district serves.

    “Our enrollment has been going down and down,” Superintendent Kelt Cooper said.

  • Cuts to public education likely

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — State funding for public education in New Mexico is almost certain to be reduced further next year to offset plunging state revenues, the chairman of an influential state budget committee announced Thursday.

    Democratic Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee that drafts the state budget, said lawmakers will be hard-pressed to leave out cuts to public schools as they work to reduce deficits linked to a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors.

  • Deadline nearing for health insurance coverage

    Submitted to the Optic

    BeWellnm, New Mexico’s Health Insurance Exchange, is encouraging New Mexicans who want their health coverage to begin on Jan. 1 to start the enrollment process now.

    The 2016 open enrollment period is now in full swing, and although New Mexicans have until Jan. 31 to enroll in coverage for 2017, those who want coverage beginning Jan. 1 must complete the enrollment process by Dec. 15.

  • In Brief - News - Dec. 11, 2016

    The Associated Press
    PNM seeks 14 percent hike
    New Mexico’s largest electric provider has asked state regulators for an average system rate increase of 14 percent.
    Public Service Company of New Mexico’s application with the state Public Regulation Commission seeks an increase of $99.2 million and a return on equity of 10.125 percent.
    The overall 14.3 percent rate increase would be spread out over two years to soften the impact for customers.

  • Ruling ends county’s effort to combat fire danger

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    A court ruling has dashed any hopes one southern New Mexico county had to address fire danger on national forest lands due to the inaction of the federal government.

    The federal appeals court in Denver found that Otero County’s resolution to treat overgrown areas of the Lincoln National Forest along with a state statute enabling counties to take action under certain circumstances conflicted with federal law.

  • Looking Back - Dec. 11, 2016

    Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1966 — Las Vegas Jaycees are conducting their annual Operation Christmas nightly through Friday of this week. Jaycees will be making house-to-house calls to gather items for delivery to needy families over the Christmas holidays. The project assisted 60 families last year. The drive is being led by co-chairmen Carlos Gallegos and Hector Kavanaugh.

  • Innovative Experiment - West plans high-tech launch

    Editor’s note: Maribella Duran, a junior at West Las Vegas High School, wrote this article. She is part of the school’s MESA club and serves on the public information team for the high altitude balloon project. Christiana Garcia, who is the lead photographer for this project, is a sophomore at the school.

    By Maribella Duran
    For the Optic

  • Mora man picks up 7th DWI

    A Mora man has picked up his seventh DWI. On Sunday, state police on NM 161 near Watrous arrested Lawrence Fernandez after an officer found him hunched over his Chevy Blazer’s steering wheel.

    Fernandez, 55, is now facing a third-degree felony charge for driving under the influence, and misdemeanors — driving with a revoked license, unregistered vehicle and no insurance.

  • ‘Angels’ left outside home where kids were killed

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    Two days after police say a man who shot and killed three children and critically wounded their mother, neighbors placed angel figurines and stuffed animals outside the Albuquerque home.

    But few talked to reporters, and relatives of the children remain reluctant to disclose any information about the family as investigators work to piece together what happen on that chaotic Monday evening.

  • Audit points to causes of rape kit backlog

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Millions of dollars are being poured into addressing New Mexico’s backlog of more than 5,000 untested evidence kits from rapes and other sexual assaults. But state auditors and victim advocates warned Tuesday that nothing will change unless new policies and training initiatives are adopted.