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Local News

  • Area residents step up to help Japanese people

    The devastation in Japan caused by last month’s earthquake and tsunami and the ongoing radiation threat have opened the eyes and hearts of people from around the world.

    Locally, Ellen Swain, pastor of United Methodist Church, decided to help those in need in Japan.

    On Saturday, she along with several of her church members and students from the United World College are hosting a Jamboree for Japan. Money raised from the event will go to the United Methodist Committee of Relief to help with food, shelter, medicine and clothing for the people of Japan.

  • Governor signs corporal punishment ban in schools

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press


    SANTA FE — Public schools can no longer spank or paddle students to discipline them under legislation signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Susana Martinez.

    New Mexico joins 30 other states and the District of Columbia in banning corporal punishment in schools, according to the Center for Effective Discipline, a Columbus, Ohio-based group against corporal punishment.

  • Immigration reform
  • Martinez signs expanded DNA testing of suspects

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Adults arrested for any felony in New Mexico must submit to DNA testing under a new state law taking effect in July.

    Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation on Wednesday to expand the DNA tests required under what’s known as “Katie’s Law.” It was named in memory of Kathryn Sepich, a New Mexico State University student murdered in 2003 and whose killer was identified with DNA evidence after he was convicted of another crime.

  • In Brief

    From The Associated Press

    Petition seeks judge’s suspension

    LAS CRUCES — The New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission is asking the state Supreme Court to suspend a Las Cruces judge while he’s being investigated on allegations of bribery.

    Commission executive director Randall Roybal says the petition to temporarily suspend state District Judge Mike Murphy was filed Tuesday.

    Roybal declined to comment further because of confidentiality rules.

  • Firefighters making progress

    By Sue Major Holmes
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — Despite strong winds, firefighters are making progress in battling a wildfire that has charred thousands of acres and forced evacuations.

    “It’s still an active fire, it’s still moving along, but it’s not getting outside containment lines,” state Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said.

    The 10,341-acre fire that broke out Sunday was 50 percent contained by Wednesday night even though winds had been gusting to 40 mph during the day.

  • Clinic for veterans now open

    Submitted to the Optic

    Health Net, Inc. and the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System opened the Las Vegas VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic located at 624 University Ave., in Las Vegas, on April 1.

  • Two homicides, two days

    Two Las Vegas men have each been charged with an open count of murder in the beating death of another man on Sunday.

    Richard Vigil, 47, who lives on the 600 block of Jackson, and John Brito, 44, whose address is listed as Dee Bibb Industrial Park,  are also charged with aggravated battery, tampering with evidence and three counts of conspiracy.

    The victim was Joseph H. Hernandez, 45, who lived in an apartment at 614 East Jackson.

  • Prominent resident beaten to death

    A prominent Las Vegas woman who previously ran New Mexico Highlands University’s public relations office was found dead in her home Monday.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said Sherry Anne Clancy appears to have been killed with a blunt object. A dead dog was also found at the Sperry Drive home where Clancy lived with a housemate.

    That housemate, Tamara Smith, 52, has been arrested in the slaying. She is charged with an open count of murder and extreme cruelty to animals.

  • Circus Act