Local News

  • Mayor: Tax hike unethical

    City of Las Vegas officials are urging San Miguel County to reconsider its plan to increase the gross receipts tax throughout the county by a quarter cent.

    The issue took center stage at a special City Council meeting on Wednesday where County Manager Les Montoya and county Finance Supervisor Melinda Gonzales discussed the planned increase with city leaders. San Miguel County commissioners had also been invited to attend the meeting but were unable to make it.

  • Senior profile - Ronald E. Maltais - A life steeped in music

    By Lupita P. Gonzales
    For the Optic

    Ron Maltais never thought of himself as an academic, although over the years he’s certainly become one.

    The New Hampshire native moved to the Las Vegas area in 2001 to teach at the United World College. Up until that point he had dedicated himself to cultivating a career in music.

    “The job here at UWC was a turning point,” he says. “There was so much here. I’ve been here 14 years — the longest I’ve ever been anywhere.”

  • County’s population shrinking

    If you feel as if there are fewer people in San Miguel County than in previous years, you’re not imagining things.

    New figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday confirm that the population in San Miguel County is shrinking.

    There were 384 fewer people living in the county in July 2014 than in July 2013, a population decrease of 1.3 percent. From April 2010 to July of 2014, San Miguel County has lost an estimated 1,154 residents.

  • Kendra’s Law fails in Senate

    By Russell Contreras
    Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE— Lost in the partisan bickering of the New Mexico Legislature’s final moments was a measure aimed at helping residents with severe mental illness who refuse needed treatment.

    Because lawmakers failed to pass the bill, New Mexico remains one of only a handful of states without a “Kendra’s Law.”

    That law would have allowed judges in some counties to order patients to take medication and undergo treatment if they are deemed a danger to themselves and their community.

  • Forum to study HU partnerships

    By Margaret McKinney
    Highlands University

    A public forum March 30 will explore more opportunities for Highlands University students to contribute to the Las Vegas community.

    The forum will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Charlie’s Bakery & Cafe. Light refreshments will be served.  

    The forum is part of Highlands Vision 2020 — the university’s five-year strategic planning initiative aimed at increasing enrollment and strengthening its partnership with Las Vegas and the surrounding communities.

  • Increase in grad rates touted

    The Associated Press

    New figures from the U.S. Education Department show New Mexico is among the states to see the most growth in high school graduation rates over a three-year period.

    The state’s graduation rate increased from 63 percent during the 2010-11 school year to 70 percent in 2013. Only Alabama and Nevada saw higher growth rates during the period.

    Nationally, the graduation rate reached a high of 81.4 percent in 2013.

  • Posthumous message backs aid-in-dying bill

    By Judy Lin
    The Associated Press

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In a video recorded 19 days before Brittany Maynard took life-ending drugs, she tells California lawmakers that no one should have to leave home to legally kill themselves under the care of a doctor.

  • Transparency bills a casualty in legislative session

    By Vik Jolly
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — A slew of measures that sought to shine more light on the inner workings of government in New Mexico ended up as casualties of the just-ended legislative session, leaving watchdog groups disappointed that the call for transparency was largely ignored.

  • In Brief - News - March 27, 2015

    The Associated Press

    Tuition program faces uncertainty

    SANTA FE — The New Mexico Legislature’s failure to bolster the state’s Legislative Lottery Scholarship program’s financial underpinnings has students and higher education institutions bracing for cutbacks.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the lack of action during the legislative session that ended Saturday spells trouble for the in-state tuition assistance for university and college students.

  • Jail Log - March 27, 2015

    The following individuals were booked into the San Miguel County Detention Center between March 16 and March 24:
    Albino Alcon, 33, six-day commitment
    Monica Valdez , 48, seven-day commitment
    Martin Flores, 30, DWI
    John Armijo, 24, traffic offense/suspended revoked license
    Craig Arguello, 22, three-day commitment
    Apolinario Gonzales, 44, bench warrant
    Roger Romero, 29, probation violation
    Dimitri Encinias-Gonzales, 18, suspended, revoked
    Veronica Romero, 41, shoplifting/larceny