Local News

  • BREAKING NEWS: School officials may be charged

    A prosecutor is considering filing charges against school officials in connection with alleged assaults of players during a Robertson High School football camp in August.

    Santa Fe District Attorney Henry Valdez, who is handling the assault cases, said this morning that he may file charges within the next couple of weeks. He said his office is looking at the actions of school officials, including the coaches.

    He said they had a duty under state law to report child abuse if they knew about it.

  • Women's groups meet in Vegas

    The community has one womens club, but it had many others in town recently.

    The Las Vegas Womens Club, a member of the General Federation of Womens Clubs, hosted the groups District II Convention last month at the Plaza Hotel.

    The members were taken on a historic tour of the Plaza area led by Elmo Baca of the Citizens Committee for Historic Preservation.

    Mayor Tony Marquez gave the welcome to Las Vegas at the opening ceremony, and the Rev. George Salazar of Immaculate Conception Church gave the invocation.

  • Chamber pushing positive message

    The Las Vegas-San Miguel Chamber of Commerce says it is trying to spread the positive word about Las Vegas to the wider world. And the group is apparently trying to counteract statewide publicity surrounding the recent alleged hazing at Robertson High School.

    In a report last week, the chamber says its priorities are brochure distribution, web site development, a visitors guide, a guide for conferences and conventions, and evaluations of different approaches to billboard placement.

  • Officials recount response to fire

    When the Las Vegas Fire Department asked for help during a recent fire, the community responded, a top fire official says.

    On Nov. 1, a fire destroyed one house in the 1100 block of Douglas Avenue and severely damaged another. A woman, Connie “Cuca” Vigil, perished in the fire, and Maria “Esther” Bartee-Ortega, has been charged with murder for allegedly starting the blaze.

    It was the first major fire in town for more than a year.

  • Gun range closed for now

    For the time being, the city has closed its shooting range to everyone but law enforcement agencies.

    That’s because of vandalism, debris and litter, officials said. Also, some people are shooting at things such as a shack that they’re not supposed to use as targets.

  • Many benefit from Viles scholarships

    Emiteria “Matie” Martinez Robinson Viles died 47 years ago, but the foundation she created to help orphaned children from Las Vegas, Mora, Wagon Mound and Pecos go to college celebrated its 50th anniversary in October.

    Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 800 students from West Las Vegas, Robertson, Mora, Pecos and Wagon Mound high schools.

  • City says it is addressing issue of loud boom boxes

    Las Vegan Lalo Sanchez has some concerns about the city’s handling of certain issues, including boom boxes, speeding on North Gonzales Street and parking on sidewalks.

    Last week, the city gave him a response.

    Sanchez has spoken at many council meetings in recent months about boom boxes in cars. At last week’s council meeting, he suggested the council ban such stereos from cars.

    “I doesn’t matter what the city ordinance is. There’s no way to control it but ban them,” he told the council.

  • City says it wants policy on shutoffs

    Mayor Tony Marquez has directed city staff to draft a moratorium on winter shutoffs of natural gas to help the needy and the elderly.

    Such a moratorium would target customers who are eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, a federally funded program that is administered by the state.

    A few years ago, the state passed a law calling for a moratorium of winter shutoffs of natural gas to LIHEAP-eligible customers.

  • City yet to fill director posts

    In June, the City Council voted to dismiss six city directors. More than four months later, none of the positions have been filled.

    City Manager Sharon Caballero said the city is purposely “dragging our feet” because the open positions have created vacancy savings in a tight budget year.

    She said that hasn’t affected morale because “most of the people like the interim directors we have. They have worked with them for a long time.”

  • Owner of house offended by cutout

    Greg Olyphant is a registered Democrat and says he proudly supported Barack Obama for president.

    So he wasn’t happy to find out that someone hung a cutout of the president-elect with a noose around the neck on the front porch of a house at 909 Fourth St., which he purchased earlier this year.

    Olyphant, a professor of geology at Indiana University, plans to move into the house. Meanwhile, a contractor is doing improvements.

    Last week, the Optic ran a photo of the cutout, which seemed to harken back to the times when blacks were lynched in the United States.