Local News

  • New chief named at Highlands

    A former head of the Las Vegas Police Department has been named chief of Highlands University’s police and security department.

    Donato Sena, 61, brings 40 years of law enforcement experience to his new position.

    Sena, a Las Vegas native, started his career with Las Vegas as a
    patrol officer in 1971, rising through the ranks to commander of
    criminal investigations before being appointed police chief in 1983.

    He served as chief until his retirement from the PD in 1991.

  • City’s museum sports rich, varied history

    Las Vegas has lost some of its historic landmarks — the Duncan Opera House, Springer Hall, Castle Junior High and others — but the story of the original Las Vegas is intact in all its glory in photographs and artifacts at the Rough Rider Museum.  

    Those who want to see who passed through town in 1857, get to know a cowboy ghost, find out the real story behind Storrie lake, or learn what happened when the railroad arrived, have a remarkable museum staff available to assist visitors and researchers in accessing resource materials.

  • Proposal could cut employees’ take-home pay

    By Barry Massey
    Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Educators and state workers would see a drop in take-home pay next year under a budget-balancing proposal by a legislative committee that would require public employees to contribute more to their pensions while the state cuts its share by $50 million.

  • Police seek to understand gunman’s motivation

    TUCSON, Ariz. — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remained heavily sedated and in critical condition Sunday as investigators sought to understand what motivated a gunman to carry out an assassination attempt on the Democratic lawmaker in a rampage that killed six people.

    University Medical Center spokeswoman Darci Slaten told The Associated Press that Giffords underwent a two-hour surgery Saturday and has not been conscious since the shooting. She said more information will be released at a news conference in which one of the doctors who operated on Giffords plans to speak.

  • City annexes transfer station

    Despite a pair of complaints about its condition and a no-support statement from the state Department of Transportation, the Las Vegas City Council voted Wednesday to annex the city’s solid waste transfer station and adjoining rights-of-way.

  • Above and Beyond: A top-notch student-athlete

    Megan Martinez was awarded the Christopher Montalvo Sportsmanship Trophy at a recent basketball tournament in Pojoaque Valley’s Ben Lujan Gymnasium after the Lady Dons beat Taos 61-46 in the championship game.

    The parents of Christopher, who loved and excelled in the game of basketball, sat in the stands each year watching every game of the tournament. They are looking for that special person that best represents their son’s passion and love for the game.

  • Kids express hopes, dreams for new year

    As the first week of 2011 ends, most people are back to work. The Polar Bears have had their chill and have thawed out, and most are looking to the New Year with the hope of a better tomorrow.

    As the Optic found, Paul D. Henry and Union elementary students join the world in their hopes and dreams for a better future and a better world.    

    Paul D. Henry fifth-grader R.J. Ortiz thinks the world would be a better place if only the lunch menu would get better.

  • Schools group seeking inclusion

    With the West and East school board elections less than a month away — and early voting around the corner — members of the Community Committee for Better Schools met Monday to prepare for candidate forums in hopes of having a positive impact.

    But that’s not all the committee wants to do.

  • Frozen in Time

    When polar bears jump into freezing waters they’re wearing a thick, white fur coat. When humans do it, Why? is not an unreasonable question.

    Many skip the question and just call the extreme sport crazy and bizarre, especially in light of temperatures in the teens. But the “Bears” call it invigorating and a great way to begin the new year.

  • Mora woman wins $50,000 in lottery

    ALBUQUERQUE — Beatrice Vigil of Mora won $50,000 playing the New Mexico Lottery’s “Holiday Chile Tree” Scratcher.

    “I’m overwhelmed,” Vigil said. “I still can’t believe I won.”

    Vigil bought her lucky $5 ticket on Dec. 20 while waiting for her sister-in-law to buy milk. After finding the prize, the winner drove home to show the ticket to her husband, Sam Martinez, who was sick in bed.