Local News

  • Marchi, Vigil named to regents

    By Margaret McKinney
    NMHU University Relations

    The New Mexico Senate on Friday confirmed Frank Marchi’s reappointment to the New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents, which also welcomes John Ramon Vigil as the new student regent.

    Marchi, a lifelong business leader in New Mexico, was first appointed a regent by Gov. Susana Martinez in 2011. His second term extends through Dec. 31, 2022. The governor originally nominated Vigil for a two-year term that ends Dec. 31, 2018.

  • Early warning for fire season
  • Weather - March 8, 2017


    HIGH 68° / LOW 37°
    Sunny, with a high near 68. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon.
    6:21 a.m. to 6:03 p.m.


    HIGH 71° / LOW 38°
    Sunny, with a high near 71. West wind around 10 mph. Thursday night — clear, with a low around 38.
    6:19 a.m. to 6:03 p.m.


  • Author Bruce Berlin talks about big money in politics

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    An expert and author on public-sector ethics will lead a symposium from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday on big money in American politics.

    Bruce Berlin, bestselling author of “Breaking Big Money’s Grip on America,” said his book and the symposium in Highlands University’s Donnelly Library Annex, Lecture Room G-35, 802 National Ave., is an urgent call to focus attention on the power of huge sums of money influencing U.S. elections and public policy.

  • Chamber shuts doors — for one day

    It came as a notice in social media Thursday morning: the Las Vegas San Miguel Chamber of Commerce is officially closed.

    But the closure lasted one day as officials from the chamber and the city of Las Vegas were finally able to agree to  allow the chamber to continue its operations.

    “I made the decisions yesterday (Thursday) to close the doors because of our budget,” chamber board chair Regina DeNardo-Sena said during a telephone interview Friday morning.

  • Fourteen DWI charges - Vegas man back in legal trouble

    James Romero, 57, of the 400 block of Tecolote Street, has landed his 14th DWI charge. He is also facing a handful of other charges including driving on a revoked license, unregistered vehicle, no proof of insurance, following too closely, and speeding.

    Romero was arrested at his home on Feb. 27 after failing DWI tests conducted by San Miguel County Deputy Eric Esquibel.

    Romero’s Breathalyzer tests calculated a .19 and a .18 — roughly double the presumed level of intoxication for adults in New Mexico (.08 percent).

  • Weather - March 5, 2017


    HIGH 65° / LOW 37°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 65. Windy, with a southwest wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon.
    6:25 a.m. to 6 p.m.


    HIGH 57° / LOW 26°
    Sunny, with a high near 57. Windy. Monday night — mostly clear, with a low around 26. Breezy.
    6:24 a.m. to 6:01 p.m.


  • Nigerian scholar to speak at women’s day event

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    Nigerian sociology scholar Chine Onuegbu will talk on Wednesday about the Nigerian girls from Chibok who were kidnapped in 2014 by the extremist group Boko Haram.

    Onuegbu, a Bartos Institute Fellow at the United World College – USA, will deliver the keynote address at Highlands University’s International Women’s Day Celebration. Her research focuses on social justice, information literacy, conflict studies, and environmental sustainability.

  • AVRH copes with resource issues

    Roughly a year ago, Alta Vista Regional Hospital closed its obstetrics program, citing market conditions including trouble recruiting and retaining physicians.

    The closure doesn’t seem like it will be reversed anytime soon despite concentrated efforts to recruit physicians and nurses.

  • Battling it out - Students ready for high altitude balloon launch

    Editor’s Note: Esperanza Kennedy, a tenth grade student at West Las Vegas High School, wrote this article. Mikah Paiz, a sophomore at West Las Vegas High School, is the lead photographer for this project.

    By Esperanza Kennedy
    For the Optic

    MESA students at West Las Vegas High School are facing a big challenge on Saturday. The students have been working to prepare for a high-altitude balloon launch since mid-February during their MESA class led by teacher Christina Lovato and former West Las Vegas board member Robert Witters.