Local News

  • Weather - Nov. 27, 2016


    HIGH 48° / LOW 23°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 48. Sunday night — partly cloudy, with a low around 23.
    6:49 a.m. to 4:48 p.m.


    HIGH 43° / LOW 20°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Monday night — partly cloudy, with a low around 20.
    6:50 a.m. to 4:48 p.m.


  • NMHU professor leads geoscience funding panel

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    A Highlands University geology professor will help lead a nationwide National Science Foundation panel to determine grant funding for geoscience research.

    Michael Petronis will serve at NSF’s Earth Sciences: Instrumentation and Facilities funding meeting earlier this month in Berkeley, Calif.

  • Man gets 20 years in slayings

    The Mora County man who pleaded guilty to killing two people was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this week.

    Donald Valdez, 46, was sentenced on Monday to the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement he entered into with prosecutors on Sept. 12. District Judge Matthew Sandoval also ordered that Valdez serve 85 percent of his sentence, meaning that he must serve a minimum of 16 ½ years in prison before being eligible for release.

    Valdez will be given credit for the 13 months he has been locked up at the San Miguel County Detention Center.

  • Two seats on East board up for grabs

    The Las Vegas City Schools Board will be asking voters to approve an $11 million general obligation bond and a $2 million mill levy during the upcoming Feb. 7 school board elections. Voters will also be electing two school board members.

    The board seats on the ballot are currently held by board chairman Leroy Lujan and by two-term board member Gabriel Lucero. Both seats are for four-year terms that begin on March 1.

    Lujan, who has served on the board since August 2014, is seeking re-election.

  • Bring on the Christmas season - City ready for holidays

    Christmas is several weeks away, but the city is already bustling with holiday cheer. For several weeks the city of Las Vegas has been putting up holiday decorations throughout town, including banners on Mills Avenue and two large Christmas trees, one near Plaza Park and the other on Douglas Avenue and Seventh Street.

    City crews have also strung lights along trees in Plaza Park and Carnegie Library Park. Plaza and Bridge Street business have decorated their windows.

  • Victory Ranch celebrates 25 years

    Submitted to the Optic

    Twenty five years ago, Ken and Carol Weisner came from Chicago to realize their dream of owning a ranch in northern New Mexico.  

    They bought a 1,000-acre ranch in the Mora Valley and after some trials started an alpaca ranch and store. The ranch became the largest alpaca ranch in the Southwest. Indeed, Victory Ranch alpacas have won numerous ribbons in nation-wide events.  

  • 14 freight cars carrying grain derail near Santa Rosa

    SANTA ROSA — Authorities say there were no injuries or spills of hazardous materials when 15 railroad cars carrying grain and one locomotive derailed in eastern New Mexico.

    The New Mexico State Police said the derailment occurred Tuesday about 10 miles east of Santa Rosa near Interstate 40.

    The train belongs to Union Pacific Railroad.

    Sgt. Chad Pierce said Tuesday that while I-40 was open in both directions, westbound exit 284 was closed due to cleanup work.

  • In Brief - News - Nov. 25, 2016

    Optic staff and wire
    City Hall not taking payments
    The city of Las Vegas announced this week that it will no longer be accepting utility payments at City Hall at 1700 North Grand until further notice.

  • Officers aim to crack down on DWI over holiday season

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez says law enforcement across the state is stepping up patrols over the holiday season to crack down on drunken driving.

    She says state police officers will be placed every 20 miles along Interstate-40 over the Thanksgiving weekend to patrol for drunken drivers, and to catch other traffic violations.

    The boost in officers on the highway is part of a nationwide project that other state highway patrols and police in the U.S. are participating in.

  • Jail Log - Nov. 25, 2016

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between Nov. 14 and Nov. 21:
    Diego Romero, 38, bench warrant: failure to pay fines, Las Vegas Municipal Court
    Joseph Lussow, 29, sentenced to Department of Corrections, District Court
    Anastasia Armijo, 18, seven-day commitment, Las Vegas Municipal Court
    Marcus Washington, 26, bench warrant: aggravated burglary, San Miguel Magistrate Court
    Damian Wagner, 22, probation violation: positive urinalysis, Adult Probation Office