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Today's News

  • Adios to Muchas Cosas

    As most readers probably already know, the Optic is downsizing, going from five to three editions per week.

    The end to the Optic’s long tradition as a daily paper is slated for early March.

    The Muchas Cosas is  also being discontinued. This edition is the last.

  • LETTER: Mil Gracias

    On behalf of the Mora Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank the many volunteers who assisted on April 25 for the Mora County Clean-up Day.

    The success would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work of those involved. Thank you to the 120-plus individuals who cleaned up the roadways, ditches, yards and arroyos. Special thanks to Russell’s, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Community First Bank, Bank of Mora, Mora County, Daniels Ranch, Herzog Environmental, Allsups and the Buena Vista Volunteer Fire Department.

    Orta Vez, Mil Gracias!

  • Man gets 18 years for sex crimes

    A local man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting a girl at his home.

    Bobby McKenna, 54, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 13, a first-degree felony, District Attorney Richard Flores said.

    The charge stems from incidents dating back to January 2007. The victim and two younger girls would spend weeks at McKenna’s home, and that’s when McKenna, by his own admission, would have the victim perform oral sex on him, according to the district attorney’s office.

  • Leap to the Literacy Fair

    If you can read this, be thankful. Many in San Miguel County and across the nation can’t read, and many more still cannot read at an adult level.

    Nearly half of New Mexico’s population reads at or below a benchmark standard called Literacy Level 2. Level 2 literacy is that level of reading and comprehension skills expected from children in the fifth through seventh grades. Nearly two-thirds of all jobs require literacy skills above this level, but in San Miguel County, 59 percent of our residents fall at or below Level 2.

  • LETTER: We could be the smart state

    In response to “Proposed wind rules called ‘one sided’”: It is important to note the amendments to the San Miguel Ordinance is designed to protect all citizens of San Miguel County per the San Miguel Comprehensive Plan that states “rural lifestyle, small farms and large ranches, traditional historic villages, cultural heritage and extraordinarily scenic setting of San Miguel County should be celebrated, honored and preserved.”

  • Cop faces drug charges

    A former Las Vegas police officer and his wife were arrested early Thursday afternoon on charges of distributing prescription drugs.

    Robert Ortega and his wife, Judith Ortega, were taken into custody after a lengthy investigation. He faces three counts of trafficking prescription medications, while she faces two counts, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

  • Hail hits Vegas

    Shoveling your walk in late May?

    That’s what happened for many in Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon after a hailstorm hit town around 1:30. It lasted more than an hour, and some areas of town were harder hit than others.

    The marble-sized hail took down with it many leaves on local trees, and it’s likely that many gardens suffered severe damage.

    Particularly hard hit were the the downtown areas of Old Town and New Town. Meanwhile, much of north Las Vegas was largely unaffected.

  • Sheriff criticizes county official

    San Miguel County Sheriff Benjie Vigil contends the county government isn’t giving his department the resources it needs. And he said that’s largely because the county manager controls the County Commission.

    The sheriff went public with his criticism of County Manager Les Montoya after the commission decided last week against Vigil’s request for high-voltage stun guns for his deputies.

  • LV athletes win four state track titles on day one

     

     

     

    Las Vegas athletes won four state championships in individual events Friday, day one of the two-day Class 3A state track and field championships hosted by the University of New Mexico.

    West Las Vegas' Chris Ellis-Phillips regained the state title in the high jump with a leap of 6-2, two inches better than Lovington's Saul Guevara, the runner-up.

  • State loosens scrutiny at West

    Nearly three years ago, the state put the West Las Vegas school district on a tight leash financially. But in recent times, the scrutiny has been loosened.

    The state Public Education Department placed the district under heightened financial scrutiny in August 2006 in response to information that West’s bilingual department held an invitation-only, adults-only nearly $10,000 party. And it was discovered that the program spent money on top-of-the-line furniture and a large refrigerator, among other items.