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Today's News

  • State report blasts West

    The West Las Vegas school district is top-heavy and needs to shift more money to the classroom, according to a state report released this week.

    The Legislative Finance Committee unveiled an analysis of five small school districts — West Las Vegas, Las Vegas City Schools, Bernalillo, Bloomfield and Aztec. It was most critical of the West district.

    The staff report was presented to the committee Thursday morning in Santa Fe.

  • So we meet again

    Socorro’s football field has been the site of some memorable victories in the recent history of Robertson football. The Cardinals and coach Richard Martinez hope that trend continues Saturday.

    Socorro, 7-3 and the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A state playoffs, host No. 6 seed RHS (8-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday, with the winner moving to a semifinal meeting with either No. 2 Raton or No. 7 St. Michael’s the following weekend at the campus of the higher seed.

  • Editorial: Prepare for cuts

    Last week, fears surfaced that more than $1.5 million in state funding may be lost to the city of Las Vegas because of budget cuts, but there’s good reason to think that’s only the beginning. The state is facing more than a half-billion dollar shortfall and the legislature is going to have to deal with it by cutting expenses, raising taxes or doing both.

  • Fire destroys northside home

    A fire destroyed a mobile home north of Las Vegas on Sunday night.

    It started while its renter, Andrea Torres, an inserter for the Optic, had left for awhile. She is now staying at her cousin’s house.

    Torres said her bedroom set was saved, but nearly everything else was lost.

    “My clothes were smoke-damaged. My couches were water-damaged,” Torres said.

    She said she had been gone for an hour and a half when her brother called to tell her that fire trucks were at her house.

    Torres had lived there for the last three years.

  • Editorial: Guns escalate confrontations

    Las Vegas lost a beloved member of the community last week in an act of violence that didn’t have to happen. And it wouldn’t have happened if a gun hadn’t been readily available.

    Now, a young and promising life is lost and another young man — Richard Baca, 21, of Los Lunas, who had been serving his country — is facing the possibility of years in jail.

  • Property values drop near Las Vegas

    A dropping water table southwest of Las Vegas is apparently taking a big toll on some home values.

    Last month, a San Miguel County panel decided to lower valuations for four properties in the Ojitos Frios subdivision, where some residents have been without water. This will likely mean reduced property taxes.

    A recent market estimate for Jack and Betty Thompson’s property came in at $275,000. But the county has since reappraised the property at $22,000 — a loss of more than 90 percent.

  • Work of Art: Happy over haplology

    There’s little more flattering than receiving a letter, call or e-mail from a reader in a “gotcha” moment. “I caught a typo in your last column. You were supposed to have spelled it ‘proofreader,’ not ‘poofreader.’”

    Well, yes, the first spelling is what you’ll find in the dictionary. The second — done for effect, honest — usually appears in this column.

  • Cowgirls lasso Zias for key early win

    Ashley Logan made 10 of 11 free throws en route to a career-high 24 points Monday night, leading New Mexico Highlands to an 89-85 win over Eastern New Mexico at Greyhound Arena in Portales.

    The non-conference women’s basketball game was the season debut for both teams. Counting a recent preseason upset of NCAA Division I Northern Arizona and a rout of Northern New Mexico College as well as Monday’s game, NMHU and coach Tiffany Darling are off to a strong start and looking for a turnaround of their own this year.

  • School gets new playground

    During the renovation of Don Cecilio Martinez Elementary School, kids were left without a playground, having to use the gym for recess.

    But Principal Martha Johnsen last week announced a new playground area was  open. 

    “We’ve been without a playground since December of last year when they separated us and filtered us into other schools. Even the remaining students couldn’t go outside, but I’ll tell you what, it was worth waiting for,” Johnsen said.

    Physical education teacher Michael Nava agreed.

  • Lead witness testifies in murder case

    SANTA ROSA — "I didn't think he was going to do it."

    That's how prosecution witness Chris Romero explained why he drove accused killer David Levi Chavez and his shotgun to the trailer where Chavez allegedly shot through the wall of the trailer, killing 6-year-old Jasmine Garcia as she lay in bed in June 2008 in the 300 block of Union Street.