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Local News

  • Las Vegas community battles flu symptoms

    While the flu grips much of the nation in sickness, New Mexico and the Las Vegas community are also laboring under its impact.

    As reported in Wednesday’s Optic, some West Las Vegas elementary schools were closed this week for sanitization. They included Union Street, closed Tuesday and Wednesday; and Don Cecilio Martinez, with Tony Serna Jr., both scheduled for closure on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1 and 2.

  • Mayor, department heads host town hall meeting

    By Jason W. Brooks, Las Vegas Optic Editor

    A wide variety of topics, ranging from sidewalks along New Mexico Avenue to water storage plans, were covered when City of Las Vegas hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday at the Las Vegas Senior Center Sabino Street.

  • N.M. House passes $6.3B budget

    By Andrew Oxford, The Santa Fe New Mexican

    A budget that would raise salaries for public school teachers and state employees while expanding funding for early childhood education sailed through the state

    House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 65-3.

    The budget is a contrast to those in recent years, when financial shortfalls prompted spending cuts and partisan sparring.

  • House panel OKs bipartisan crime legislation

    By Andrew Oxford, The Santa Fe New Mexican

    SANTA FE — Democrats and Republicans rallied behind a package of crime and public safety legislation on Wednesday, lending a bipartisan stamp of approval to five very different bills that may not end long-running disputes over criminal sentencing or bail reform but which backers say represent a coordinated approach to one of the most pressing issues at the Roundhouse this year.

  • Spaceport secrecy bill clears Senate panel

    By Andrew Oxford, The Santa Fe New Mexican

    SANTA FE — A Senate committee voted Tuesday to advance a bill that would grant more secrecy to Spaceport America, the $220 million state facility near Truth or Consequences originally pitched as a hub for space tourism but which critics argue is a boondoggle.

    Spaceport America has pushed in recent years for a carve-out in the state’s open records law, arguing it is crucial to compete for business in a high-tech industry that prizes privacy.

  • Legislature In Brief, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018

    The Santa Fe New Mexica

    Permanent fund: The Senate Rules Committee voted 5-3 on Wednesday to advance a constitutional amendment by Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, that calls for using 1.5 percent of the state’s Land Grand Permanent Fund to expand early childhood education programs.

    That is a bigger share than proposed in a constitutional amendment expected to get a vote in the House of Representatives during the coming days. House Joint Resolution 1 would use 1 percent of the fund.

  • Truck crashes into building

    Two women were struck by a pickup truck and later hospitalized Thursday afternoon near a busy Las Vegas restaurant.

    At about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, a driver apparently lost control of a GMC pickup that leaped a curb along Douglas Avenue, in front of a building adjacent to Charlie’s Spic & Span restaurant. The truck struck two women pedestrians and then went through a plate-glass storefront and into the building.

    First responders were quickly on scene. The two women were taken to Alta Vista Regional Hospital.

  • City announces settlement terms with former chief

    The City of Las Vegas has made public the amount paid out to its former police chief, Juan F. Montaño, after a tort claim was settled out of court.

    The city paid out more than a combined $54,000 as a result of the tort claim made by Montaño, who recently resigned from the police department.  

    Las Vegas Public Information Officer Lee Einer said the city paid $33,500 to the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico and Montaño for the purchase of 10 months of "air time.”

  • State Legislature: Lobbyist spending on meals, receptions drives lawmakers

    By Steve Terrell, Santa Fe New Mexican

    SANTA FE — Energy companies, state-funded schools, car dealers, health care companies and others have kept New Mexico legislators well fed during the first half of the 2018 Legislature, while the state’s ski industry made its annual distribution of free ski passes to any lawmaker who’d take one.

  • Bipartisan plan would alter university regent selection

    By Andrew Oxford, The Santa Fe New Mexican

    SANTA FE — The governor of New Mexico gets to appoint members to all manner of government boards and committees but among her most influential picks are her nominees to lead the state’s public universities -- major institutions that are big employers and big health care providers.