Local News

  • New culture, customs, land, language - Refugees share stories

    MONTEZUMA — Just how bad are conditions in places like central Africa, Chad, Syria and Afghanistan?

    Bad enough that some refugees wait, their lives in limbo, for anywhere from 18 months to seven years to reach the U.S. or Canada.

    Fleeing seemingly endless war and strife, threats of violence and political, religious or economic persecution, refugees  often leave their home countries with little more than the clothes on their backs, trading the familiar for a fighting chance in a strange new land with different culture, language and customs.

  • Weather - March 1, 2017


    HIGH 48° / LOW 18°
    Sunny, with a high near 48. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon.
    6:30 a.m. to 5:56 p.m.


    HIGH 55° / LOW 24°
    Sunny, with a high near 55. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.
    6:29 a.m. to 5:57 p.m.


  • Forest use plan in focus Wednesday

    Public input is being sought for the development of a wide-ranging plan to guide land use and protection in the Santa Fe National Forest over the next 10-15 years.

    The first of a series of public meetings is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Highlands’ Victoria D. de Sanchez Teacher Education Center, room 203.

    This round of public meetings will give members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the plan, including the criteria used to define an eligible wild and scenic river, and provide input to the process.

  • Cultural show Saturday at UWC

    Submitted to the Optic

    United World College-USA students from the Middle East and India will present a cultural show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at Kluge Auditorium on the UWC campus in Montezuma.

    Through songs, dances and skits, the students will share aspects of their region’s cultures and heritage.

    The show is free and open to the public. For more information, call 426-3373.

  • Plea deal in sexual assaults

    The 76-year-old Las Vegas man accused of forcing three mentally ill women to have sex with him and then paying them with cigarettes and sodas, has taken a plea deal in the case.

    Benjamin Baca, of the 1000 block of Jackson Street, was accused of targeting residents of boarding homes on New Mexico Avenue and Ninth Street. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to three counts of third degree criminal sexual penetration. Each of those counts represents a different woman.

    Baca’s trial had been slated to start on March 14.

  • Fiery extravaganza - Iron Tribe performance pour Thursday

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    Molten metal flung against a wall will burst into a spectacular display like fireworks  during Highlands University’s Iron Tribe 2017 performance casting event from 6:30 to 8: 30 p.m.  Thursday.

    The iron pour performance is based upon Dashuhua, the ancient Chinese Festival of Lights tradition that is still popular during the Chinese new year. The performance will be in the parking lot at the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Douglas Avenue.

  • House Dems block ban

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A Democratic-control House committee blocked a proposal Thursday that would have banned alcohol for New Mexico’s repeat drunken drivers and created one of the most restrictive DWI laws in the country.

    By a 3-2 vote along party lines, The House Consumer and Public Affairs tabled a bill that would have mandated a lifetime alcohol ban for those convicted of a third drunken driving conviction.

  • House panel backs special chile pepper license plate

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — With red and green chile saturating nearly every facet of life in New Mexico, a legislative panel on Thursday put its support behind a measure that calls for the creation of a special license plate adorned with the hot peppers.

    The House Transportation and Public Works Committee gave a favorable recommendation to the legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad.

  • Officials: Trump advisers asked FBI about reports

    By Julie Pace
    AP White House Correspondent
    WASHINGTON — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials who confirmed the unusual contact with law enforcement involved in a pending investigation.

  • Weather - Feb. 26, 2017


    HIGH 49° / LOW 26°
    Partly sunny, with a high near 49. West wind 15 to 20 mph. Sunday night — partly cloudy, with a low around 26.
    6:34 a.m. to 5:54 p.m.


    HIGH 53° / LOW 32°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Breezy.
    Monday night — a 20 percent chance of snow showers.
    6:33 a.m. to 5:55 p.m.