Local News

  • Area artist wins $502,000

    A San Jose, N.M., man claimed a $502,000 prize from the New Mexico Lottery last week.

    Paul Mathews’ ticket for the April 16 Roadrunner Cash drawing matched the winning numbers of 12, 14, 24, 26 and 28.  

    After buying a used car, Mathews said he plans to give the rest of his prize to children and grandchildren.  

    “I’ll still be a starving artist,” he said, “but I’ll be a contented artist.”  

  • Layoffs likely at East schools

    The Las Vegas City Schools will likely lay off some employees for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

    That’s to help wipe out an expected shortfall of $1.1 million, which is more than 7 percent of the budget, an official said.

    The layoff may affect at least a half dozen first-year teachers and some principals, said Rick Romero, the school district’s superintendent.

    The school board may make decisions on the budget at a meeting late Thursday afternoon.

  • THURSDAY STORY: County to Kilmer: Show up

    The San Miguel County Commission wants actor Val Kilmer to explain himself — in person.

    The commission is considering a proposed lodging business on the “Batman” star’s ranch near Rowe.

    Kilmer’s neighbors have complained about his comments to national magazines, which they see as degrading toward northern New Mexico’s Hispanics and veterans.

  • Judge nixes plea deal for ex-deputy

    The former San Miguel County sheriff’s deputy accused of beating up a man while she was in uniform was expected to plead guilty in connection with the alleged attack on Monday.

    But state District Judge Eugenio Mathis rejected a plea deal between her and prosecutors.

    Inez Bolivar, 30, was set to go on trial on Tuesday for allegedly attacking her former boyfriend on Sept. 20. She was on duty and armed with a gun at the time.  

  • Theater director says HU shouldn't cut program

    Highlands University theater director Robert Woods says he would teach for free.

    His theater arts program has been on the chopping block, but lacked the kind of support that had just saved two sports programs last week.    

    After the Board of Regents voted to keep rodeo and wrestling, the room was filled with smiles and good cheer.

    So it was an odd juxtaposition when Andre Garcia Nuthmann and Robert Woods marched to the podium to argue that theater arts was important, too.  

  • New policy on naming of buildings

    You’re a politician? Still in office? Then don’t expect to see your name on Highlands University buildings.

    Last week, the Highlands University Board of Regents voted on a naming policy for its buildings. The regents added two guidelines to the four that came out of the Academic Affairs committee.

    However, nothing in the guidelines prevents the name of a sitting regent being honored. 

    In reviewing the guidelines, Regent Pete Aguilar said the proposed policy doesn’t address whether an honoree must be living or dead.

  • County official says she lives here

    San Miguel County Commissioner June Garcia says she doesn’t live in Sandoval County, as was indicated in an assessor’s document.

    Instead, she contends the document is a cut-and-paste job.

    Garcia, who is running for a second term, said her main home is on El Llano Road, which is north of Las Vegas and in her District 1 County Commission district.

  • No more anonymous comments

    I have pulled the plug on the online comments at the end of our Optic stories and commentary.

  • N.M. has 'tyrannical administration'

    Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., came  with his son Pete Jr. to Las Vegas on a recent day to promote the son’s gubernatorial campaign.

    However, neither the senator nor his son is a stranger in these parts. Sen. Domenici was considered the driving force in getting the millions of dollars to build the Ivan Hilton Science and Engineering Building at Highlands University. Pete Jr. is the attorney in a local land grant dispute.

  • Money sought for Valley

    The West Las Vegas school district is seeking big state grants for Valley Middle School, which is underperforming under state standards.

    If the district gets the grant, it will have to get a new principal for Valley.

    Last week, top West officials submitted an application for a state grant that would mean $500,000 annually for three years, which would pay for staff, professional development, equipment and supplies, Superintendent Jim Abreu said.