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Local News

  • Kids express hopes, dreams for new year

    As the first week of 2011 ends, most people are back to work. The Polar Bears have had their chill and have thawed out, and most are looking to the New Year with the hope of a better tomorrow.

    As the Optic found, Paul D. Henry and Union elementary students join the world in their hopes and dreams for a better future and a better world.    

    Paul D. Henry fifth-grader R.J. Ortiz thinks the world would be a better place if only the lunch menu would get better.

  • Schools group seeking inclusion

    With the West and East school board elections less than a month away — and early voting around the corner — members of the Community Committee for Better Schools met Monday to prepare for candidate forums in hopes of having a positive impact.

    But that’s not all the committee wants to do.

  • Frozen in Time

    When polar bears jump into freezing waters they’re wearing a thick, white fur coat. When humans do it, Why? is not an unreasonable question.

    Many skip the question and just call the extreme sport crazy and bizarre, especially in light of temperatures in the teens. But the “Bears” call it invigorating and a great way to begin the new year.

  • Mora woman wins $50,000 in lottery

    ALBUQUERQUE — Beatrice Vigil of Mora won $50,000 playing the New Mexico Lottery’s “Holiday Chile Tree” Scratcher.

    “I’m overwhelmed,” Vigil said. “I still can’t believe I won.”

    Vigil bought her lucky $5 ticket on Dec. 20 while waiting for her sister-in-law to buy milk. After finding the prize, the winner drove home to show the ticket to her husband, Sam Martinez, who was sick in bed.   

  • Police: Trespassers attack men on their property

    Two Las Vegas men allegedly used rocks and pieces of firewood to attack a couple of other men after trespassing onto their property on Dec. 20, police say.

    Martin Gutierrez, 46, of 907 Don Fidel, and Estevan Gutierrez, 23, of  1112 Montezuma Ave., each face charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated use of a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, criminal damage to property and criminal trespassing in connection to the Dec. 20 incident. The elder Gutierrez also faces one charge of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.

  • Republican governor takes oath

    By Barry Massey
    Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, making history as the nation’s first female Hispanic governor, called Saturday for New Mexicans to unite to solve economic, budget and educational problems confronting the state.

    Martinez sounded a bipartisan tone during her public inaugural ceremony on the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

  • Local GOP leader sees ‘opportunity’

    A local leader of the San Miguel County Republican Party says he and other members of his party see an opportunity in Susana Martinez’s election as governor.

    “(Party) members feel confident that it is a great opportunity for us to strengthen and rebuild our party,” Republican Mel Root said in a statement after returning from Saturday’s gubernatorial inauguration event in Santa Fe.

  • West grad dies in crash

    “Unbelievable” was the single word an 18-year-old man’s mother used to describe her feelings about the death of her son.

    Joseph “Joey” Portillo, 18, died on Wednesday evening as a result of an automobile accident on Interstate 25 south of Las Vegas.

  • New Year’s Baby

    Marcus Barela made his grand entrance at 12:42 a.m. to officially become Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s first baby of 2011. Barela is the son of Mark Barela and Adella Jaramillo of Las Vegas and the brother to 2-year-old Ariana Barela.

    “Pretty exciting,” Jaramillo said in describing the birth of her son on New Year’s Day. “I didn’t expect to have him on New Year’s.”

  • Taking The Plunge