Local News

  • 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.

  • Rec center patrons upset about closure

    Patrons of the Abelino Montoya Recreation Center packed into the City Council chambers on Wednesday to plead for an alternate workout site while the rec center is closed for repairs.

    City officials have announced that the rec center would be closing on July 1 so that crews can move forward with extensive repairs to the building’s swimming pool area. The rehab of the rec center could take eight months, although city officials have stressed that the entire rec center won’t be closed for that entire period.

  • Take a dip to beat the heat

    Temperatures could stay in the 90s over the next few days, but there’s a way to beat the heat. The swimming pool at Highlands University offers two sessions for open swimming during the weekend.

    On both Saturday and Sunday the pool is available for a dip from noon to 1:45 p.m. for open swim and from 2 to 3:45 p.m. for family swim.

    “We are open year-round for people to come and swim,” Phil Marquez, the director of the HU pool, said. “Come out and enjoy some fun.”

  • Fire reaches Chilili, burns structures

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — A blaze burning in central New Mexico outpaced firefighters Thursday as it marched across miles of tinder-dry forest, forcing evacuations and destroying structures in the small community of Chilili.

    The blaze made a big push overnight, but fire information officers could not immediately say how many structures were burned or whether any were homes since crews have not been able to access and survey the area.