Local News

  • Weather - Feb. 15, 2012

    Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. West wind 10-15 mph.  Partly cloudy at night, with a low around 20. Southwest wind 5-10 mph.

    Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Southwest wind 5-10 mph. Partly cloudy at night, with a low around 23.

    Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Mostly cloudy at night, with a low around 24.

    Partly sunny, with a high near 46.

  • Senate OKs license bill

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The Senate has approved a proposal to impose new restrictions on granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

    Democrats pushed the measure as an alternative to a proposal by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to stop New Mexico from granting licenses to illegal immigrants.

    The Senate approved the bill late Monday night on a 27-15 vote. One Democrat, Sen. John Arthur Smith of Deming, joined Republicans in opposing the measure.

  • Senate OKs state budget

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The Senate has approved a budget proposal for a 4 percent increase in state spending next year and the financial blueprint leaves room for possible tax cuts.

    The measure allocates $5.6 billion for public education and general government programs, in the fiscal year that starts July 1. That represents a $220 million increase over the current state budget.

    The budget doesn’t spend all of next year’s expected revenues, leaving about $36 million available for possible tax cuts.

  • NM ranchers showing clout

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Once shunned and largely ignored, Hispanic ranchers and other descendants of people who received Spanish land grants are flexing their political muscles in New Mexico.

    In recent years, the activists have persuaded state lawmakers to approve the creation of new towns based on the boundaries of the 200-year-old grants. They have held forums around the state and raised money for a major lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service over long-standing land-use disputes.

  • In Brief - New Mexico News - Feb. 15, 2012

    From The Associated Press

    Officials eye gay marriage attempts
    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico officials say they are preparing for gay couples across the state who may try to obtain marriage licenses on Valentine's Day.

    Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says her office has been notified by advocates of gay marriage that demonstrations are planned for Valentine’s Day wedding ceremonies.

  • King play part of Black History events

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    New Mexico Highlands University presents “The Meeting,” a play about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 at Ilfeld Auditorium in celebration of Black History Month.

    The play by Jeff Stetson is free to the public.

    Set in February, 1965, The Meeting portrays a fictional meeting between the two legendary leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement.

  • West regains fiscal authority

    Nearly six years after the state Public Education Department yanked fiscal authority from the West Las Vegas School District because of questionable spending,  the department is returning it.

    Paul Aguilar, the education department’s deputy secretary of finance and operations delivered the news during Thursday evening’s school board meeting.

    “This is an important milestone the district has taken,” Aguilar said.

  • Back in Time
  • City election forums to begin tonight

    Voters will get a chance to hear from candidates running for city office during two upcoming Optic forums.

    The first forum — featuring City Council candidates — will be held tonight, Feb. 13. The Optic’s mayoral forum will be held next Monday.

    Both forums will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Memorial Middle School auditorium. They will be moderated by Tom McDonald, the Optic’s editor and publisher.

  • Veterans center extends hours

    Submitted to the Optic

    The Las Vegas office of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services will now be open every Tuesday and Wednesday beginning this week.

    The office is located at 917 Douglas Avenue. Office hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.

    Veterans or their dependents are encouraged to call ahead and make an appointment. The phone number during office hours is 454-0068. On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays the number to call is 505-265-1711, Ext. 4626.