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Local News

  • Polar Bear plungers show bravery

    Longtime Polar Bears Philip Romero and Tito Chavez have spearheaded the annual New Year’s Day plunge into the icy waters at Storrie Lake for years and in recent times it has become an event that brings huge crowds from all over New Mexico.

    Chavez was among a group of seven brave souls, who, on New Year’s Day in 1994, chopped away at the ice and became one of the founding members of the Las Vegas Polar Bears Club. The small but determined group consisted of six men and one woman and has grown in size each year.

  • Local leaders take oaths of office

    The New Year will see changes in local leadership.

    On Tuesday, swearing-in ceremonies were held for a number of local offices.

    Local attorney Matt Sandoval took the oath as the new district judge in the ballroom at Highlands University. Nearly 500 people attended the event.

    Sandoval defeated Gerald Baca in the Democratic primary in June for a judgeship that covers San Miguel, Guadalupe and Mora counties. No Republicans ran for the office.

  • DeHerrera a ‘public servant’

    MORA — He was remembered as “a man for all seasons” and someone who has performed many tasks in life, including 26 years of military service to his country.

    More than that, he was remembered as a “public servant” in his lifelong home of Mora Valley, where he remained active in community affairs, primarily through the schools, sports and, for 37 years, as a correspondent for the Las Vegas Optic.

  • The year in quotes

    A miscellaneous collection of comments taken by Optic reporters over the course of 2008:

    January

    “It was shocking. ... I just didn’t think about it before I jumped in, and it was ‘whoa.’”

    — Rosie Lanphere, who jumped into Storrie Lake on New Year’s Day 2008 with her friends, and quickly emerged to talk about it.

    “We don’t waste any water at all. ... We have multiple kids sharing the same bathtub, and we’re constantly reusing water.”

  • New Year’s event to be in remodeled ballroom

    Attendees at tonight’s New Year’s Eve Black Tie and Blue Jeans Charity Ball will be among the first to enjoy the newly remodeled Ilfeld Ballroom of the Historic Plaza Hotel.

    In addition, the event will benefit El Centro Family Health and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern New Mexico.

    The event will feature two bands, dancing, psychics, both live and silent auctions, excellent dining, and a midnight buffet with a champagne toast.

  • Robertson assaults lead the list

    Few things in Las Vegas in 2008 have been discussed more than the turmoil surrounding Robertson High School in the aftermath of sexual assaults at a football camp that has led to expulsions, charges, hard feelings and lawsuits.

    The repercussions of the assaults, in which a half dozen perpetrators allegedly used broomsticks with which to sodomize younger fellow members of the Robertson Cardinals football team, are likely to redound for years.

    Rounding out the top ten news stories, as selected by a sampling of members of the Optic’s staff and editorial board, are:

  • City manager search ‘wide open’

    Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez said Tuesday that he remains in contact with people who may be interested in becoming city manager.

    He said he has also included City Council members in the process. On average, he said, members have each provided two names of possible candidates.

    “The great majority of candidates are local,” the mayor said. “It’s still wide open.”

    He said the city plans to advertise the position in the Optic and on national Internet sites.

  • Victims warn they may sue

    The attorneys for the six victims in the alleged sexual assaults at a football camp have put the Las Vegas City Schools district on notice that they may sue.

    The attorneys from the Rothstein and Will Ferguson law firms filed a notice with the district on Nov. 7.

    They said their claims are based on the physical injuries and emotional distress the six victims have suffered as a result of being assaulted in mid-August at the camp, which took place in Gallinas Canyon. State police have said the six suspects in the case sodomized the victims with broomsticks.

  • HU to continue negotiations

    Highlands University will continue negotiations in its bid to take over the College of Santa Fe, a small private institution that is having financial difficulties.

    Even though Highlands’ Board of Regents ended a special three-hour closed meeting by tabling action on acquisition of the Santa Fe school, President Jim Fries told the media it was an important session.

  • Contract gives pay hike to teachers

    The Las Vegas City Schools district and its teachers have reached an agreement that includes pay raises.

    The teachers call the contract a major step forward in the history of its attempts to reach agreement on a contract.

    Theresa Chavez, president of the National Education Association local, is a second-grade teacher and 17-year veteran of the district.