Local News

  • 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.

  • High court rejects redistricting plan

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico Supreme Court on Friday overturned a plan for new districts for the state House of Representatives and ordered a judge to draw a new map.

    The court issued a 4-1 split decision that was a victory for Democrats and the Legislature, which had challenged a redistricting plan ordered last month by retired District Court Judge James Hall.

  • Looking Back - News - Feb. 13, 2012

    In 1935

    Tuesday, Feb. 12 — Final reports from the San Miguel County cattle loan office released today show a total expenditure of $314,273 by the federal government in this county under the AAA for the purchase of drought-stricken cattle. Eight hundred and nineteen producers sold 24,375 head of cattle to the government, 9,264 of which were killed on the ranches and 15,111 were shipped, either to packing houses or to pasture. These purchases extended from June 25, 1934 to January 15, 1935.