Local News

  • State eyes permanent fund for early education dollars

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — Democratic New Mexico lawmakers on Thursday proposed a constitutional amendment to provide new funding for early childhood education programs from the state’s largest permanent fund.

    Reps. Antonio Maestas and Javier Martinez, both of Albuquerque, pre-filed the initiative for consideration when the legislature convenes in mid-January. The amendment would increase annual distributions from the state’s $15 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund from 5 percent to 6 percent of its value by 2022.

  • Weather - Dec. 21, 2016


    HIGH 53° / LOW 20°
    Partly sunny, with a high near 53. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon.
    7:05 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.


    HIGH 40° / LOW 29°
    A chance of snow showers before 11am, then a chance of rain showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. South wind 10 to 15 mph.
    7:06 a.m. to 4:51 p.m.


  • Local Presbyterian church to celebrate Advent journey

    By Sharon Vander Meer
    For the Optic

    The First United Presbyterian Church invites the community to join in the continuing celebration of Advent as a journey to joy. The church’s sanctuary is decorated in bright blue and silver with stars cascading down banners and across the worship space. The number and size of stars grows each week to symbolize growing joy, according to Rev. Katie Palmer, pastor at FUPC.

    “The stars symbolically remind us of the Bethlehem star that leads us through the Christmas season to Epiphany,” Palmer said.

  • Banker ‘with heart of gold’ dies

    Ray Litherland, the former president of Community 1st Bank, who volunteered his time to local organizations and who, along with his wife, donated generously to local causes, has died. He was 85.

    Litherland, who had been in declining health following a fall in September, died Thursday afternoon at Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque with his family at his side. He had been on life support.

    “He loved this community and became very much a part of it. It was his home,” said his wife, Joyce.

  • Fostering generosity - Family gives to 100 foster kids

    Keith Griego and his family don’t hold anything back in this season of giving.   

    Griego, 31, grew up with parents, Mike and Iris Griego, who, besides raising their three children, also served as foster parents. The Griego family also adopted two children from the state Children, Youth and Families Department.

    “You see some of these kids coming into your home with nothing,” Keith said. “My parents would have to go out and purchase things for them. But before that they would come into our home basically with nothing.”

  • Vegas man facing 12th DWI

    State police arrested a Las Vegas man earlier this month on his 12th DWI, and state police are using him as the poster child for irresponsible behavior.

    “The tragedy of drunk driving continues to plague our communities because of the repeatedly irresponsible behavior of some,” State Police Chief Pete Kassetas said in a news release issued late Thursday.

  • West board chair won’t seek re-election

    The chairman of the West Las Vegas school board has decided against seeking re-election.

    David Romero announced his decision on Friday.

    “After much prayer and reflection, I have decided that I will not seek a third term on the West Las Vegas School Board,” Romero said in a written statement. “At this time, I feel that it is most important to focus on personal family matters that have presented themselves.

  • State’s top tax official resigns amid misconduct allegations

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — The head of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department resigned Thursday after prosecutors raided her agency’s offices and seized her personal tax filings amid allegations she gave preferential treatment to a former business client.

    Gov. Susana Martinez accepted the resignation of Secretary Demesia Padilla and ordered the department to cooperate with an investigation by the attorney general.

  • Jail Log - Dec. 18, 2016

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between Dec. 7 and Dec. 15:

    Danielle Abeyta, 29, three-day sanction, Adult Probation Office
    Marchelle Johnson, 22, probation violation: failure to report, Mora/Adult Probation Office
    Kyle Minard, 22, driving under the influence, driving while licensed revoked, speeding, no insurance, no registration, open container, possession of drug paraphernalia, Mora County

  • Weather - Dec. 18, 2016


    HIGH 37° / LOW 7°
    Sunny, with a high near 37. Southwest wind around 10 mph. Sunday night — Mostly clear, with a low around 7.
    7:05 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.


    HIGH 43° / LOW 16°
    Sunny, with a high near 43. Monday night — mostly clear, with a low around 16.
    7:06 a.m. to 4:51 p.m.