Local News

  • Plea deal in sexual assaults

    The 76-year-old Las Vegas man accused of forcing three mentally ill women to have sex with him and then paying them with cigarettes and sodas, has taken a plea deal in the case.

    Benjamin Baca, of the 1000 block of Jackson Street, was accused of targeting residents of boarding homes on New Mexico Avenue and Ninth Street. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to three counts of third degree criminal sexual penetration. Each of those counts represents a different woman.

    Baca’s trial had been slated to start on March 14.

  • Fiery extravaganza - Iron Tribe performance pour Thursday

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    Molten metal flung against a wall will burst into a spectacular display like fireworks  during Highlands University’s Iron Tribe 2017 performance casting event from 6:30 to 8: 30 p.m.  Thursday.

    The iron pour performance is based upon Dashuhua, the ancient Chinese Festival of Lights tradition that is still popular during the Chinese new year. The performance will be in the parking lot at the northwest corner of Seventh Street and Douglas Avenue.

  • House Dems block ban

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A Democratic-control House committee blocked a proposal Thursday that would have banned alcohol for New Mexico’s repeat drunken drivers and created one of the most restrictive DWI laws in the country.

    By a 3-2 vote along party lines, The House Consumer and Public Affairs tabled a bill that would have mandated a lifetime alcohol ban for those convicted of a third drunken driving conviction.

  • House panel backs special chile pepper license plate

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — With red and green chile saturating nearly every facet of life in New Mexico, a legislative panel on Thursday put its support behind a measure that calls for the creation of a special license plate adorned with the hot peppers.

    The House Transportation and Public Works Committee gave a favorable recommendation to the legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Cathrynn Brown of Carlsbad.

  • Officials: Trump advisers asked FBI about reports

    By Julie Pace
    AP White House Correspondent
    WASHINGTON — White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked top FBI officials to dispute media reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, according to three White House officials who confirmed the unusual contact with law enforcement involved in a pending investigation.

  • Weather - Feb. 26, 2017


    HIGH 49° / LOW 26°
    Partly sunny, with a high near 49. West wind 15 to 20 mph. Sunday night — partly cloudy, with a low around 26.
    6:34 a.m. to 5:54 p.m.


    HIGH 53° / LOW 32°
    Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Breezy.
    Monday night — a 20 percent chance of snow showers.
    6:33 a.m. to 5:55 p.m.


  • Las Vegas Day
  • House approves budget bill

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico House of Representatives approved plans Wednesday to increase state revenues by $250 million, hold state spending steady and rebuild a financial cushion despite opposition from Republican lawmakers.

    House Democrats pushed through the budget and a companion revenue bill on 37-32, party-line votes. The financial plan maintains general fund spending at $6.1 billion for the fiscal year starting in July.

  • Salazar leaving Optic post

    Martin Salazar, who has been at the helm of the Las Vegas Optic for the last four years, has resigned his position as editor and publisher to accept a job at the Albuquerque Journal.

    Salazar’s resignation was effective today. Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., the Optic’s parent company, has announced that Optic sports editor Dave Kavanaugh will serve as interim editor until a permanent replacement for Salazar is selected.

    The newspaper’s staff was informed of Salazar’s impending departure in January.

  • Grad student helps implement NM cultural atlas mobile app

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    A Highlands University student helped implement an interactive mobile app that puts New Mexico’s cultural and historical sites at the finger tips of travelers and state residents though their smart phones.

    The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs created the Cultural Atlas of New Mexico app with technical support from Matthew Gallegos, a Highlands media arts graduate student.