Today's News

  • ONLINE-ONLY STORY: Trial of ex-West officials begins

    SANTA FE -- Attorney Sam Bregman fired off the first volley of protest before District Judge Stephen Pfeffer as the trial for former West Las Vegas officials Roberta Vigil and Ralph Garcia got under way Thursday in Santa Fe. The trial stems from charges filed in connection with parties thrown by the West Las Vegas bilingual department in 2005 and 2006. In June 2006, the Optic revealed that nearly $10,000 was spent for an April 2006 adults-only, invitation-only party put on by West's bilingual department, then led by Vigil. That led to a sta

  • LATEST ONLINE UPDATE: Teachers say they went to party, not workshop

    SANTA FE — In 2005 and 2006, the West Las Vegas school district held events that were billed as training workshops.

    But a number of teachers testified Friday that each function was nothing more than a dinner and a dance. And attendees could buy alcohol if they wanted.

    Did the teachers learn anything? They said they didn't.

  • Teacher investigation continues

    The Las Vegas police have turned over preliminary reports to the district attorney’s office on the Robertson High School teacher who allegedly sexually abused a student for years.

    But the DA’s office has yet to get the final results of the investigation.

    Police Chief Gary Gold was under the impression earlier this week that his department had turned in the full packet to the DA’s office. But he said his agency had actually turned in only the preliminary reports.

    “We have a lot of leads to follow up on,” the chief said.

  • COLUMN: An aggressive press

    For about four years now, Optic readers have been exposed to aggressive and fearless news reporting, and incisive, no-holds-barred editorials. Optic readers were not accustomed to a forceful press, and this has caused a not-so-quiet dialogue on the question of whether the Optic is too negative.

  • Graduations set for this weekend

    Both Highlands University and Luna Community College will hold graduations Saturday.

    Luna’s commencement is set for 10 a.m. in a large tent on campus, while Highlands’ will be at 2 p.m. at Wilson Complex.

    The commencement speaker at Luna will be Ana Pacheco, a Santa Fe native and publisher of La Herencia Magazine.

  • THUMBS: Our high country lowdown on the news

    GRADUATING TO THE NEXT LEVEL. This weekend will be the Highlands University and Luna Community College graduations. Then, on May 22 and 23, East and West will hold commencements. Congratulations to all who will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and degrees.

    It’s a time of transition for a lot of our young people — and their parents, who must let them go on to the next stage of life. The economic times may be tough, but there’s still a lot to look forward to, and our best wishes go out to all.

  • Officials: Drunks kept off streets

    Since last July, San Miguel County’s Safe Ride program has taken 784 people home from bars and parties.

    The program is paid for through a state fund coming from fees assessed to DWI offenders, so to most taxpayers, it’s free.

    The county started the program to provide rides home for intoxicated people, so they could stay off the road. The service is available Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

  • LETTER: Taking issue with ‘social solutions’

    In your article written by David Giuliani, Miguel Angel is quoted as stating; “It doesn’t matter how many laws you make. If you don’t have a social solution to a social problem, you are only marginalizing the people in question.”

    We don’t have solutions for people who are incarcerated in prison and we know for a fact that prisons do not reform people, so should we do away with prisons and let everyone go until we decide what works? One can theorize and philosophize all day, but at whose expense?

    Ray Martinez

  • Proposed wind rules called ‘one-sided’

    San Miguel County officials are proposing stricter rules for wind farms, but some say the county’s effort is “one-sided.”

    Last year, the county set up a task force to recommend changes for the county’s 6-year-old ordinance regulating wind farms. This was in response to a Chicago-based company’s interest in setting up wind turbines on the peak in Bernal, which has caused a controversy in that area.

  • LETTER: Served proudly, now struggling


     I grew up in Mora, my family is from Buena Vista. The men on both sides of my familia were honored, almost obligated, to join the military, like my Uncle Moises Solano, Ernesto and Louie Garcia, my tio David Ulibarri Sr.., to include my niece Ethni Valdez from Las Aguitas whom just got extended again after six years as a Marine. All of these U.S. soldiers placed our lives for our little parts of Heaven here in Northern New Mexico.