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Today's News

  • Ortiz: City may run Fiestas

    Mayor Alfonso Ortiz said last week it’s possible that the city could take over the operations of Fiestas de Las Vegas. He called it a “viable option.”

    For years, a nonprofit group known as the Fiesta Council has run the annual event, which is during the Fourth of July weekend.

    Still, the city is heavily involved with the festivities. It sets up the dance floor and bleachers, readies the park and provides help with public works, solid waste, fire protection and law enforcement.

  • As It Is: The decline in smoking

    I was thinking about my co-workers the other day, and I realized something about them: None of them smoke.

    At least that I know of.

    After asking around, I found out that one of my co-workers smokes. But she apparently keeps the habit pretty hidden.

    Even three years ago, I remember that a number of my co-workers used to puff their cigarettes out the back door. But they have either quit their habit or left the Optic.

  • Roybal is 'character' winner

    Former New Mexico Highlands University coach Cindy Roybal is the recipient of this year’s Ralph Bowyer Coaching for Character Award presented by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association.

  • Editorial: Bad budget realities

    The Las Vegas City Schools board met last week to face a budget reality: The state plans to further cut spending for schools and other agencies.

    Now, East officials are mulling over how to deal with the drop in state revenue. They’re even mentioning the possibilities of closing a school and cutting some athletic trips.

    In the coming days and weeks, other area school districts and colleges and the state hospital will have to grapple with these cuts. The Albuquerque school district is contemplating more staff reductions.  

  • Letter: Consequences don't fit the crime

    I am a Las Vegas native, born and raised until about six years ago, when I moved to attend college. I am expecting my first child and have recently returned to Las Vegas to live for the summer and spend time with my family.

    I had always felt that Las Vegas was a good place to raise children in the sense of community and family that surrounds day-to-day life here.

  • Relying on rain

    Four years ago, Ojitos Frios subdivision resident Jack Thompson saw his well level dropping. And so did his neighbors.

    These days, Thompson and many of them have seen their wells go dry. As of last count, 62 households southwest of Las Vegas are without well water.

    Many of them now get their water trucked in. A few others, including Thompson, have resorted to rain catchment systems.

    But catchment systems are expensive. Thompson, whose well went dry over a year ago, paid more than $20,000 for his — a cost he readily admits most people can’t afford.

  • Vegas' North-South fest draws praise from coaches' group

    Staging a full week of North-South all-star activities every summer is no picnic.

    From coordinating participants’ insurance waivers and other paperwork to recruiting and maintaining a team of volunteers to ensuring practices, meals, functions and the games themselves go off without a hitch, it’s a task requiring ample patience as well as resolve.

    As leader of Las Vegas’ Class 3A North-South All-Star committee, local businessman Connie Paul Trujillo has had those traits put to the test each of the last four years.

  • Sentencing for hazing suspect delayed; attorney is sick

    SANTA FE — Final resolution in the Michael Gallegos case will have to wait a while longer.

    Gallegos, 19, had been scheduled for sentencing Friday morning in a Santa Fe district courtroom for his role in the August 2008 Robertson High football hazing scandal. But a reported bout with kidney stones prevented Gallegos’ lead attorney, Billy Blackburn, from attending the hearing, and a postponement was ordered by Judge Mark Macaron.

    Both sides acknowledged that the delay was necessary, albeit an inconvenience to participants.

  • HU president's contract extended

    Highlands University regents last week extended the contract of President Jim Fries by three years.

    The president’s pay will stay at $232,000 a year. Fries, 67, started in early 2007.

    Regent Chairman Leveo Sanchez said after the board discussed the president’s performance over the last three and a half years, it voted unanimously to extend the president’s contract.

  • Former HU hoops star Caton dead at 93

    Oran Caton, 93, a Highlands University hoopster of the 1930s and the last living member of the 1933 state champion Forrest High basketball team, died Friday, July 23, at his home in Albuquerque.