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Local News

  • ‘Outsider’ picked for West board

    A man with no friends or relatives in the West Las Vegas School District has been appointed to the district’s board.

    Late last week, state Education Secretary Hanna Skandera appointed Robert “Bob” Witters to the board. He is filling the vacancy created by the resignation of board member Anthony “Leroy” Benavidez in April.

    “I was surprised,” Witters said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.
    Witters will take his oath of office during a special board meeting Thursday evening.

  • County fair to charge entrance fee

    By Gwen Albers
    Las Vegas Optic

    For the first time in the history of the San Miguel/Mora County Fair, an entrance fee will be charged, but only on the last day.

    Visitors to the 43rd annual fair will get in free on Aug. 10, 11 and 12, but will be asked to pay $5 per person on Aug. 13.

    “We’re a nonprofit,” said Ted Roybal, president of the fair’s board of directors. “We have a very limited budget where we get money from to continue to put on a good fair.”

  • Vaccines available at little to no cost

    The Associated Press

    New Mexico is partnering with healthcare providers to make vaccines available to children at little to no cost.

    Gov. Susana Martinez says the “Got Shots? Protect Tots!” program runs through Aug. 13 as the start of the school year approaches.

    It’ll make vaccines free at all state Public Health Clinics, and discount them at dozens of health providers across the state. In some cases, they’ll be open on Saturdays, during lunch hour and after 5 p.m.

  • In Brief - Aug. 3, 2016

    The Associated Press and Optic Staff


    Robbery suspect arrested

    Las Vegas police have arrested a man on suspicion of robbing the local McDonald’s on Monday night.

    Las Vegas Police Chief Juan Montaño said no one was hurt in the robbery, and Las Vegas police were able to apprehend the suspect quickly. Montaño said the suspect was in a stolen vehicle. He also had an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.

  • Report: State water project funds from 2014 remain unspent

    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Nearly 80 percent of New Mexico’s budget for water projects from 2014 remains unspent at a time of increasing need for updated systems across the state, according to a new report from a key state legislative committee.

    A staff report by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee it’s the highest percentage of idle money of its kind in the nation, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

    The report is triggering another call for reform in handling capital construction initiatives.

  • Looking bacK

    Looking Back
    In 1966
    Thursday, July 28, 1966 — Approximately 27 years ago, in about 1929 when automobiles were a rare sight on the old dirt roads led only to major cities, the Hangman’s Tree at Romeroville would have been removed to make room for the highway except for the work of a spirited citizen. Secundino Romero . . . protested the destruction of the tree, explaining that the tree had historical value because several men had been hung there. Because of the construction of the highway making Highway 85 four lanes, the tree may have to be removed.

  • College Bound

    Eager to get on with his life, Miguel Martinez was on the verge of dropping out of Robertson High School.

    When Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Kelt Cooper heard about the 17-year-old’s plans, he interceded, offering the high school junior a better alternative.

    Contrary to what one might think, Miguel was actually a good student with a respectable grade point average who was on track to earn his diploma in a year. But Miguel wanted to leave his high school years behind and start his life.

  • BREAKING: Robert Witters appointed to West board

    Editor's note: After our story on Roberta Vigil applying to be on the West Board went to press, the state Public Education Department selected Robert Witters for the position.

    Witters, in his resume, states that he has 42 years of experience in engineering, marketing, finance, accounting, procurement, operations and senior management with a blend of government and private sector experience in profit and non-profit organizations. He states that he and his wife moved to Las Vegas after he retired in 2010.

  • Lawmaker eyes ‘right to die’ bill amid court loss

    By Russell Contreras
    The Associated Press

    A New Mexico lawmaker is pushing for a law to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with help from doctors a month after advocates for the practice suffered a court defeat.

    Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, discussed his proposal earlier this month before a Legislative committee in Albuquerque and could launch the beginning of a heated debate going into the next legislative session.

    Five other states allow residents to end their lives legally with medication prescribed by a doctor.

  • Clinton to nation: It’s a ‘moment of reckoning’

    By Lisa Lerer
    The Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton capped a four-day convention celebration with a plea for national unity and tolerance. Now, one of the most divisive and distrusted figures in American politics must convince voters that she, rather than Republican rival Donald Trump, can bring deeply divided nation together.