Local News

  • NM 49th for children for 3rd year

    By Mary Hudetz
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s high poverty rate and staggering education statistics kept the state from improving its second-to-last place standing in the country for children, a report released Tuesday said.

  • Meth dealer gets 9 years in prison

    Las  Vegas Optic

    A Pecos man has been sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking controlled substances and possession of a controlled substance.

    Shayne Schneider, 31, was sentenced by District Judge Matthew J. Sandoval in May. District Attorney Richard Flores announced the sentence in a news release Tuesday.

    In his release, Flores said his office will continue to seek stiff sentences for those who traffick methamphetamine “in an effort to rid the community of this dangerous and harmful drug.”

  • Some evacuees return as progress made on fire

    The Associated Press

    ESTANCIA — Firefighters took advantage of improving weather to partially corral a raging wildfire in central New Mexico and clear the way for some evacuees to return to their homes on Tuesday.

    Authorities in Bernalillo and Torrance counties lifted evacuation orders in some areas north and south of the fire that has destroyed at least two dozen homes and blackened some 28 square miles.

  • In Brief June 22, 2016

    The Associated Press

    Victims approve settlement

    Victims of clergy sexual abuse have approved of a plan for the Gallup Diocese to dole out millions of dollars in compensation.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that an attorney for 57 abuse survivors told a federal judge Tuesday that all had signed off on the plan.

    Under the agreement, each claimant will receive roughly $350,000.

    The Gallup Diocese is establishing a fund of between $21 million and $25 million for professional fees and settlements.

  • 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.