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Local News

  • A year for the books

    Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe the year that was.

    It was a year in which Mike Melton kissed a pig, literally, and in public no less.

    A year that Vegas residents awoke one August morning to the sounds of helicopters hovering above as agents in dark SUVs executed raids on houses throughout the city.  
    The year that Highlands University threw a $50,000 extravaganza for President Jim Fries, complete with a sultry Marilyn Monroe lookalike singing “Happy Anniversary, Mr. President” to Fries as he sat on a throne.

  • Remembering those who left us in 2012

    A look back at 2012 would be incomplete without pausing for a moment to reflect on those who left us during the year. Below is a list of some of the area residents and those with local ties who died this year.

    Lena T. Salazar, 90, who served in the Women’s Army Auxilary during World War II, died Jan. 13. Salazar was an Army corporal and later worked for many years for Las Vegas City Schools as a nutrition specialist.

  • The year in quotes

    JANUARY

    “It’s a great way to start the year. You see so many people you know out here. ... It’s a great part of being in Las Vegas.”
    — Las Vegas resident Peter Linder, at the annual Polar Bear Plunge into Storrie Lake on New Year’s Day.

    “The long-term picture is the growth in the Hispanic population and graying population and urban growth.”
    — Jack Baker, a senior research scientist at the Census Bureau, in predicting New Mexico’s population growth.

  • Major water leak finally fixed

    The large leak discovered in late November in a water line at the city’s water treatment plant was finally stopped this past weekend.

    City Utilities Director Ken Garcia said Saturday that the bypass is in place and the leak has been stopped. The line had at one point been losing about 110 gallons of water a minute.

    Many of the city’s water customers, including those in Los Vigiles, Country Acres Estates, Jonestown and around the United World College, were forced to deal with intermittent low pressure since the leak was discovered.

  • Senior profile - C. Leo Martinez

    By Lupita P. Gonzales
    Special to the Optic

    During the Christmas season, mild-mannered Highlands University Emeritus Professor C. Leo Martinez morphs into Santa’s Helper.

    For the past 40 or so years, Leo has taken on the role of Santa to bring the season’s cheer to children all the way from Portales to the Pecos Corridor, which includes as many as 16 relatively small communities, mostly villages between Las Vegas and Santa Rosa to the south and recently adding Rainsville and Watrous to the north and east.

  • Sobriety Ball set for this weekend

    By Lupita P. Gonzales
    Special to the Optic

    The Alejandro Rivera Substance Abuse Program, in conjunction with at least 30 Las Vegas partners — merchants to churches and other organizations throughout the community — have united to sponsor its first Sobriety Ball from 7 to midnight on Saturday, Dec. 29, at the United World College.

    The program organizers are inviting individuals who want to celebrate soberly with their families for the New Year and join others with the same aim.

  • New faces coming with 2013 session

    The Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE —  A lot of fresh faces will appear at the New Mexico Legislature next year as nearly a third of the state’s legislative seats will be turned over to someone new.
    The Albuquerque Journal reported that 35 of the Legislature’s 112 lawmakers are new to the Legislature, have changed chambers or returned after having served in the past.
    That’s the biggest turnover since 1985, when there were also 35 fresh faces, according to the Legislative Council Service.

  • H.W. Bush in intensive care

    The Associated Press
    HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush is being treated in the intensive care unit at a Houston hospital after suffering “a series of setbacks,” including a stubborn fever, his spokesman said.
    In a brief email Wednesday, Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman in Houston, said the 88-year-old former leader had been admitted Sunday to the ICU at Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush, the oldest living former U.S. president, was alert and talking to medical staff.

  • Jail Log - Dec. 28, 2012

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between Dec. 19 and Dec. 21.

    Jessica C De Baca, 33, Magistrate Court, intimidation bribery or intimidation of a witness
    Bobby Lucero, age unavailable, District Court warrant, failure to comply with conditions of the court
    Anton Martinez, 35, District Court warrant, child support
    Andy Lovato, 20, Magistrate Court, dwelling burglary, possession of burglary tools
    Carlos Vigil, 24, District Court warrant, DOC Hobbs

  • In Brief - News - Dec. 28, 2012

    From The Associated Press

    DOJ probe supported

    ALBUQUERQUE — A police union survey found more than 40 percent of Albuquerque officers supported a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the department.
    The survey came a month before the Justice Department formally announced on Nov. 27 they would investigate the department’s use of force policies and training.