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Today's News

  • College coach convicted of DWI

    Peter Ortiz, coach of the Luna Community College baseball team, has been convicted of drunken driving.

    A jury in Magistrate Court on Monday found Ortiz, 45, guilty of DWI and not guilty of reckless driving, the court has confirmed.

    He was also the city’s parks supervisor when he was arrested in March, but he is no longer employed with the city.

    Ortiz and his attorney, Anna Aragon, didn’t return calls for comment left on Wednesday.

  • Adding the finial touches

    ‘Thank God they’re over!” the librarian said.

    “No, not finals, finials,” pronounced FIN-ee-els.” I corrected her.

    “What?”

    “Finials are little decorative do-dads on the top of buildings.”

    “Oh, like Gargoyles?”

    “Yeah, kind of like gargoyles, only they don’t spit water; I’m researching finials.”

  • No one in Vegas running unopposed

    A couple of years ago, two of the three Las Vegas City Schools incumbents coasted to victory without any opposition.

    Not so this year for the East incumbents.

    Tuesday was filing day for school board candidates in the Feb. 3 election.

    Board members Philip Leger, who started 12 years ago, and Elaine Luna, who has served for a little more than five years, are facing two competitors each.

  • EDITORIAL: Thumbs

    PROACTIVELY SEEKING EFFICIENCIES. It seems a wise move to name Morris Madrid, finance director at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute, director of operational efficiencies; he has the expertise and the experience to help the state hospital tighten its belt — hopefully without having to lay anyone off. And it’s big of Madrid to accept the job without a raise in pay; that’s something not too many people would do.

  • LETTER: Mentally ill aren’t such a burden

    As a lifelong resident of Las Vegas and reader of the Optic I have never felt so compelled to write a letter to the editor as I did after reading Mr. Dale Harapat’s letter in the Dec. 2 issue of the Optic. As a retired social worker and nationally registered Guardian, I felt it necessary to address his misguided concern.

  • WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Cardinal grapplers win Jag Invite; Rangerettes take NRG

    Daniel Martinez took home an Outstanding Wrestler honor for the second time in as many tournaments this wrestling season, helping his Robertson Cardinals to a team championship in the Jaguar Invitational over the weekend in Santa Fe.

    Martinez, who wrestled at 152, and David Rael (119) won their weight classes to lead RHS. Miguel Garcia (130), Joseph Dominguez (135) and Wally Diaz (140) made it to their respective championship matches before falling. And Johnathan Lucero and Dmitri Almanzar finished third at 125 and 160, respectively.

  • No-bullying zone

    The message at Don Cecilio Elementary School is simple: Bullies, stay away.

    Students at Don Cecilio have been getting eye-opening instruction about bullying and ways that children can deal with it in real life.

    School counselor Kathy Perea said the four- to six-week curriculum includes informational posters, videos, card games and a variety of activities that help kids learn about bullying and how to deal with it in a positive and healthy way.

  • Vegas board member gets top post in association

    Ramon “Swoops” Montaño, a member of the Las Vegas City Schools board, has been named to a top leadership position in the New Mexico School Boards Association.

    He became president-elect of the group during its Dec. 5 conference in Albuquerque. He is now on track to becoming the president next year.

    Montaño said among his goals will be to help in the effort to improve the state’s funding formula for schools. He noted that more school districts have been asking for emergency funding than ever before.

  • COLUMN: '12 days' — Las Vegas style

    How would you like to receive 364 gifts, during a span of less than two weeks?

    If we believe the popular, tuneful Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” we ought to be gifted many times over.

    Let me explain:

    “My true love” doesn’t simply send a single partridge in a pear tree, but 12 of them. Remember, on the second day of Christmas, the true love sends two turtle doves plus a partridge in a pear tree, to keep company with the partridge the Postal Service dropped off the day before.

  • LETTER: An open letter to the community

    The Executive Board of District 1199 New Mexico (Hospital and Health Care Employees) wishes to vocalize its continued support and encouragement to the workers at Alta Vista Regional Hospital in fighting for their federal rights to establish their union at the hospital.

    Under federal law. it is the right of every employee to organize and form a union for the purpose of collectively bargaining with their employer. In July 2007, the workers at Alta Vista voted to form a union representing all employees except management and security employees.