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Local News

  • Teachers challenge ban on test criticism

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging a regulation that prohibits New Mexico teachers and other public school employees from disparaging standardized tests.

    The lawsuit against the New Mexico Public Education Department was filed in Santa Fe District Court on behalf of five public school teachers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, along with a parent of an Albuquerque student.

  • Southwest Capital Bank promotes Garcia to executive vice president post

    Submitted to the Optic

    Southwest Capital Bank has promoted Sharon Garcia to the position of executive vice president.

    Garcia recently completed her 20th anniversary at Southwest Capital Bank.  She began her career with the bank in 1995 when it was known as The Bank of Las Vegas. Garcia continued to climb up the banking ladder, receiving promotions along the way. 

  • Jail Log April 1, 2016

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between March 23  and March 29:
    Diego Romero, 26, breaking and entering, bench warrant, SM Magistrate
    Gerald Nailor, 27, failure to pay child support, failure to pay, failure to pay fines and fees, bench warrant, SM District/SM Magistrate/ Santa Fe
    Michael Garcia, 36, drinking in public
    William Higgins, 52, trafficking a controlled substance, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia

  • 2 businesses robbed last week

    Las Vegas police arrested a man moments after Little Caesars Pizza on Friday was robbed, but authorities are still looking for the man who robbed the Giant gas station in Romeroville on Saturday.

    State police have released a surveillance photo of the suspect in the robbery of the Giant station and are asking anyone who recognizes him to call the Las Vegas state police office at 425-6771. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, about 6 feet tall, weighing about 200 pounds. Authorities believe that he is between 25 and 35 years old.

  • Celebrating diversity
  • East to hold forum on Friday

    By Mercy López
    Las Vegas Optic

    The public will get a chance to hear from the finalists for the Las Vegas City Schools superintendent position Friday evening at Robertson High School.

    The public forum will include a meet and greet with the candidates and a question and answer session. The forum will start at 6 p.m. in the Robertson High School band room at 1236 Fifth St.

  • Market turbulence hits state investments

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Managers of New Mexico retirement and permanent investment funds say balances are recovering somewhat this month after a punishing start of the year.

    Balances at funds overseen by the Public Employees Retirement Association and Educational Retirement Board fell by roughly $750 million in January, making it increasingly unlikely the funds will meet annual growth targets of more than 7 percent.

  • Colorado man dies in car crash

    The Associated Press

    Authorities say a Colorado man has died after his car went off an interstate in northern New Mexico.

    The New Mexico State Police identified 69-year-old Fidel Puentes-Duenas, of Denver, on Sunday as the lone victim in the single-vehicle crash.

    According to state police, Puentes-Duenas’ Ford pickup was traveling southbound Saturday morning on Interstate 25 in Mora County near Las Vegas.

    Investigators say the pickup started to skid on a patch of ice.

    The car then struck a guardrail and rolled.

  • Wildfire closes schools in Ruidoso

    The Associated Press

    RUIDOSO — Public schools in the village of Ruidoso remained closed on Tuesday after firefighters stopped the advance of a wildfire in the southern New Mexico mountains.

    Ruidoso’s high school and nearby middle school were evacuated Monday due to the approaching fire. Fire crews used the high school parking lot as a staging area, village spokeswoman Kerry Gladden said. The two schools, each with about 600 students, were closed on Tuesday along with two elementary schools also served by a road being used by firefighting equipment.

  • In Brief Mar. 30, 2016

    The Associated Press

    OptumHealth named in suits

    SANTA FE — A health care company that tried to root out fraud in New Mexico’s Medicaid program now faces three lawsuits claiming that it was committing Medicaid fraud itself.

    The New Mexican reports that the lawsuits filed against OptumHealth Inc. say the company mishandled Medicaid payments to mental health providers.

    In one lawsuit, a former OptumHealth employee claims she was fired for reporting concerns about possible Medicaid fraud.