Local News

  • Court awards nearly $3M in redistricting fees

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Taxpayers must pick up the tab for nearly $3 million in fees for attorneys who represented Democratic, Republican, Native American and Hispanic voter interests in redistricting trials, a New Mexico judge decided Monday.

    District Judge James Hall’s order covers lawyer fees for six groups that brought lawsuits over revamping political district boundaries for the Legislature, Congress and Public Regulation Commission.

  • In Brief - Local News - August 1, 2012

    Colorado man killed in crash

    A 53-year-old Colorado Springs man died Sunday after his Harley Davidson motorcycle crashed into a Jeep on NM 434  in Mora County.
    Coy Lee Miller was pronounced dead at the scene, state police Lt. Craig Martin said. Martin said Miller, who was driving the motorcycle, was traveling east and crossed the double yellow line, colliding into the passenger side of the Jeep.

    Shots fired at home on Sunday

  • Open government advocates welcome ruling

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Citizens have a right to access public records kept by an independent contractor on behalf of state or local governments in New Mexico, the state Court of Appeals ruled in a decision welcomed by open government advocates.

    The court’s ruling is important for preserving government transparency, particularly in an era when governments are privatizing many public services, Dolph Barnhouse, a lawyer for the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government said Monday.

  • Relay for Life fundraiser set for West’s track field

    Submitted to the Optic

    Because cancer never sleeps, this Friday and Saturday, Las Vegas residents will come together to walk around the clock in the battle against cancer at Relay For Life of Las Vega s– a unique fundraising event held at West Las Vegas High School football and track field.

    This celebration of life will bring numerous groups and individuals concerned about cancer together for a unified effort to fight back against the disease.

  • Fired contractor wants $3.2M

    The construction company that had been overseeing the building of the New Mexico Highlands University student center until regents fired it in February is demanding payment of $3.2 million from the university.

    Makwa Builders LLC submitted its payment request on April 30, according to documents released to the Optic in response to a request under the state’s open records law.

    One of the key issues is the fact that the university fired Makwa by exercising the “termination for convenience” clause in the contract.

  • Rough Rider Rally 2012
  • Well giving less water than hoped

    A new well a city contractor has spent the better part of a year drilling will come online in August, but the amount of water city officials were hoping it would produce didn’t materialize.

    The well was drilled at the city’s Taylor Field as a replacement for Taylor Well No. 2. City Utilities Director Ken Garcia told the governor last week that the city was hoping it would produce 300 gallons per minute, roughly the same amount of water that is being produced by Taylor Well No. 4, the only other operable well it has that is producing drinkable water.

  • Colo. victims mourned at funerals in 3 states

    By Amanda Lee Myers
    The Associated Press

    SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — A man who saved his girlfriend’s life at the Colorado movie shooting was remembered for his selfless sacrifice Saturday, while an aspiring sportscaster was praised for her boundless energy and an Air Force reservist as a good friend.

    The girlfriend who Matt McQuinn saved by taking three bullets aimed at her wept as pastors spoke of the senselessness of the shooting spree at the suburban Denver theater where 12 people were killed just more than a week ago.

  • Authority planning to scale back loans

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Cities, counties and other local governments could find it harder to get low-cost loans from the New Mexico Finance Authority during the next several months because of fallout from a scandal over a fake audit of the agency’s finances.

    The authority’s governing board reviewed a proposal Thursday for limiting a loan program that finances projects such as sewers, roads and other infrastructure in communities.

  • Looking Back - July 30, 2012

    In 1962

    Tuesday, July 31 — Two of four men who escaped from the State Mental Hospital at Las Vegas were captured Monday night. Bobby Millins, 21, and Robert Garrett, 30, were arrested in a downtown cafe after Millins telephoned his mother that he had escaped from the hospital and was in Albuquerque. Millins’ mother called police, and officers were sent to the cafe.