Local News

  • 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.


    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.

  • Turks, Belgians foil plans for attacks

    By Suzan Fraser and John-Thor Dahlburg
    The Associated Press

    ANKARA, Turkey — With less than 48 hours left in 2015, Turkey on Wednesday became the latest country to announce the foiling of a holiday attack plot, detaining two suspected Islamic State militants believed to be planning suicide bombings during New Year celebrations in the capital city’s heart.

    “They were caught before they had the opportunity to take action,” said the office of the chief prosecutor of Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

  • In Brief Jan. 1, 2015

    The Associated Press

    Online voter registration close

    SANTA FE — New Mexico officials say the state’s voters will soon be able to register online.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Secretary of State’s Office says it is putting the final touches on new voter registration regulations. Interim Election director Kari Fresquez says county clerks will double-check electronic applications against the voter rolls to make sure there is no duplication and that the person is eligible to vote.

  • Jail Log Jan. 1, 2015

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between Dec. 22 and Dec. 28:

    Felicia St. Pierre, 24, breaking and entering, battery, criminal damage to property, bench warrant, Mora District
    Edward Cruz, 31, hold for court
    Gavino Vigal, 23, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, failure to appear, bench warrant SM Magistrate
    Charlene Smith, 57, aggravated DWI, stopping, standing or parking outside of a residence, no license, no evidence of financial responsibly