Local News

  • Looking Back - Dec. 5, 2011

    In 1911

    Monday, Dec. 4 — This afternoon at 2 o’clock, the canvassing board of the November election began the actual count and tabulation. All of last week and this forenoon, in the council chamber at the Capitol, were devoted to checking up missing returns. The missing ballot boxes from Quay county arrived last night but the keys to them were not enclosed. The last of the missing returns, those from several precincts in Taos and Rio Arriba Counties, are expected on Tonight’s train. 

  • Looking Ahead - Dec. 5, 2011

    SynergyFest planning meeting is Wednesday

    The first planning meeting for the ninth Annual SynergyFest will be at 5:15 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the New Mexico Highlands University Donnelly Library room 325. For more information, call Cheryl Zebrowski at 718-6932.

  • Weather - Dec. 5, 2011

    Snow; could be heavy at times. High near 17. East wind 10-15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New snow accumulation of 3-7 inches possible. A 50 percent chance of snow showers at night, with a low around 2. Wind chill values as low as -5. East wind 5-10 mph.

    A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 20. East wind around 5 mph becoming south. Mostly clear Tuesday night, with a low around 3.


  • Breaking: Benavidez convicted of murder

    A San Miguel County jury has convicted Louis "Louie" Benavidez of first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of Kevin Duran.

    The verdict was read by District Judge Eugenio Mathis at about 2 p.m. Friday, less than four hours after the jury began deliberating.

    Benavidez, 56, was also convicted of tampering with evidence in the case. His public defender, Stephen Mcilwain, said the verdict will be appealed.

    For more on this story, pick up a copy of Monday's Optic.

  • Court asked to toss sex case

    The former Robertson High School teacher who is facing charges for allegedly carrying on a yearslong sexual relationship with a student is asking that the charges be dismissed because the state violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

    Jay Quintana’s criminal defense attorney filed the motion in state district court on Nov. 16. The judge presiding over the case has yet to issue a ruling on the motion.

    Rob Perozynski, the assistant district attorney in Carlsbad prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the motion.

  • Details emerge in HU rape

    The New Mexico Highlands University student raped in her dorm room on Oct. 26 told police she went outside for a walk to get some air at around 4:30 that morning and that she was attacked as she was returning to her room in the new student residence hall.

    The woman told police that her assailant, who was tall, pulled her hair from behind as she opened her dorm room door, that he pulled her earphones from her ear and that he put a knife to her throat and told her that if she said anything he was going to cut her throat.

  • Let the holidays begin

    Las Vegas is kicking off the holiday season on Saturday with the 22nd annual Electric Light Parade and Luna Community College’s “Noche de Luminarias.”

    But if you plan to go, you’d  better bundle up because weather forecasters are predicting chilly temperatures on Saturday with a high near 31 and a low around 13.

    The parade and luminaria tour have long been favorites for locals and visitors alike.

  • City van crashed into rec center

    An unknown assailant broke into a white city van sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, tampered with it and caused it to crash into the city's Abe Montoya Recreation Center, authorities say.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said a city building inspector was estimating the structural damage to the building. He said the van didn't breach the building.

    Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to call Crimestoppers at 425-8884.

  • Heather Wilson Visit
  • In Brief - New Mexico News - Dec. 2, 2011

    Optic Staff and The Associated Press

    Alcohol not involved in Monday crash

    The Las Vegas Police Department has determined that the teen who crashed into the Las Vegas City Schools administration building on Monday was not intoxicated.

    “It appears from evidence at the scene that the steering mechanism broke and may have contributed to the crash,” Las Vegas Police Chief Christian Montaño said.