Local News

  • Middle class shrinking

    By Hope Yen
    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — Squeezed by rising living costs, a record number of Americans — nearly 1 in 2 — have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income.

    The latest census data depict a middle class that’s shrinking as unemployment stays high and the government’s safety net frays. The new numbers follow years of stagnating wages for the middle class that have hurt millions of workers and families.

  • Theater group putting on first performance

    Submitted to the Optic

    “Reflections of Alice,” an original play created by Clearly Confused Productions, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in the band room at Robertson High School.

    The play is a different perspective of Alice, taking themes from the books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through The Looking Glass.”

  • Ojitos Frios still struggling

    Jack and Betty Thompson had planned to live out their golden years in the peaceful Ojitos Frios subdivision surrounded by good neighbors, beautiful views and tranquility.

    That was before their well ran dry.

    Before the value of their home plummeted to next to nothing.

    Before their neighbors started abandoning their homes.

  • Challenging cleanup

    City of Las Vegas crews spent Thursday and part of Friday cleaning out three properties on the 800 block of Pecos Street as part of the ongoing effort to tackle nuisance properties throughout the city.

    The adjoining properties — 803, 805 and 807 Pecos Street — were piled high with debris, and covered in animal feces and rodent droppings, said City Attorney Dave Romero.

  • Tempers flare over applications

    The impasse over whether the city should apply for $4.4 million in state funding to pay for two water projects was resolved Monday with Mayor Alfonso Ortiz casting tie-breaking votes to move forward with the application process.

    But the votes followed a contentious discussion in which the mayor and city councilors Andrew Feldman and Diane Moore expressed bewilderment over the opposition to applying for the funds, and Utilities Director Ken Garcia accused Councilwoman Tonita Gurule-Giron of trying to “undermine the application process.”

  • West board gets kudos for training

    The West Las Vegas School Board was recently recognized as the only board in the state with all five members receiving exemplary recognition.

    Board chairman Gary Gold, vice chair David Romero, secretary Christine Ludi and board members Henry Abeyta and Marvin Martinez accepted their awards during the New Mexico School Boards Association annual convention earlier this month.

  • Looking Back - Dec. 14, 2011

    In 1911

  • Weather - Dec. 14, 2011

    A slight chance of snow showers before 11am, then a slight chance of rain showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 43. West wind 15-20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10 percent. A 10 percent chance of snow showers at night. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16. Northwest wind 5-15 mph.

    Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. West wind 5-10 mph, becoming south. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 21.


  • Correction - News - Dec. 14, 2011

    Because of a production error, a small portion of the far left column of the Optic’s top stories ballot was cut off, making it difficult to read. The ballot is running again in this edition and will run in the upcoming weekend edition of the Optic.

  • Jail guard arrested after leaving kids alone

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A Rio Arriba County jail guard suspected of drinking and abandoning his children inside a hotel room spent a few hours locked up after one of his kids called 911 seeking help.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports 30-year-old Isaac J. Maestas of Tierra Amarilla was arrested early Sunday at the Okhay Casino Resort north of Española and charged with three counts of child abuse or endangerment of his 9-, 4- and 2-year-old children.