Today's News

  • Smith honored by RMAC

    Highlands University’s China Smith was named the Rocky Mountain Atheltic Conference Player of the Week following her efforts in games Jan. 28-29.

    Smith led her team to a road sweep over the Thunderwolves of Colorado State-Pueblo (60-52) and the Mountain Lions of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (77-68). Those two wins gave the Cowgirls a four-game win streak, the longest under head coach Tiffany Darling. NMHU lost twice this past weekend.

  • Bustos scores 27 vs. Cowgirls; No. 4 FLC soars

    Her final appearance at the Wilson Complex was a coup de grace for Vera Jo Bustos.

    The onetime West Las Vegas star, now a senior at Adams State, torched the hometown Highlands Cowgirls for 27 points Friday evening, leding the Grizzlies to a 77-60 win.

  • Back on track

    Usually, the New Mexico Highlands men’s basketball team is known for its high-octane offense. But it was the Cowboys’ defensive effort that proved essential to its Saturday night upset of Fort Lewis College.

    Highlands (16-5, 12-5) held the Skyhawks — the top-ranked team in the NCAA Division II Central Region — to 43 percent shooting and outrebounded them 41-27 in an 82-64 romp at the Wilson Complex.

  • Cold weather blast hits hard

    A blast of winter weather that began Monday and continued into the week wreaked havoc over northern New Mexico in a number of ways.

    Schools closed, as did some businesses. Workers were able to remove most of the snow from the streets and roadways but the ice wouldn’t thaw. Trash collection schedules in Las Vegas were delayed because trucks wouldn’t start. And just as school officials figured they could resume classes on Thursday, with a two-hour delay, they couldn’t get school buses going in the subzero temperatures.

  • Above and Beyond: Fourth-grader thriving at Rio Gallinas

    Taran Franklyn-Atman says he likes Rio Gallinas Charter School, because they go about teaching a bit differently than a traditional public school.

    “Teachers are a lot calmer here. They only yell when they have to,” he said.

    The fourth-grader says he considers everyone in his class his friend. His teachers say the Rio Gallinas student is mild-mannered, kind and a critical thinker.

    Teacher Janice Ulibarri says he’s always prepared for class — and always thinking one step ahead of everyone else.

  • Drug plea nets 5-plus years for Benavidez

    An convicted drug dealer from Las Vegas has been sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison.

    Herminio “Ermie” Benavidez, 32, had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine. The plea agreement came Nov. 6, 2009.

    A federal judge in the Albuquerque-based U.S. District Court sentenced Benavidez on Jan. 25.

  • Que Pasa - Feb. 4, 2011


  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news


    • People were leaving their freezer doors open just to warm up.

    • We saw someone rubbing two icicles together, hoping for a spark.

    • That place where all the bad people go really did freeze over.

  • To the Point: Ahead of the ax

    Highlands University folks have been commenting on their institutional expectations under new Gov. Susana “La Tejana” Martinez. Their expression demonstrates some justifiable angst.

  • Nuestra Historia - Las Vegas is born

    By Jesus L. Lopez

    Special to the Optic

    Even before 1835, farmers and ranchers from San Miguel had raised crops and grazed livestock on the lush meadows along the Rio Gallinas.  And as related in our last column,  Luis María Cabeza de Baca and his family had settled las vegas as early as 1820.