Today's News

  • Students raise money for Ike victims

    Students at Mike “Mateo” Sena Elementary School in Sapello say helping others is what makes them happy.

    The kids collected money for victims of Hurricane Ike and presented $188 to the Red Cross on Tuesday.

    Principal Laureen Romero said this isn’t the first time her students lent a helping hand to victims of a disaster.

  • Motorcycle rider accused of DWI crash

    A motorcycle rider was arrested for drunken driving after he crashed into another rider recently.

    Andrew Baca, 29, 636 El Creston Circle, was charged with aggravated DWI, reckless driving and racing on highways, among other offenses, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court.

    A couple of weekends ago, police responded to the crash in the 500 block of Grand Avenue. They found the two riders laying on the street.

  • Woman assaulted near HU campus

    Local authorities are investigating an attempted sexual assault of a woman near the Highlands University campus.

    A woman was walking from Highlands to her car in the area of Washington and Columbia around 8:30 p.m. last Monday when a man attempted to sexually assault her.

    The man pinned her against a car and tried to remove her clothing, but she kicked him and used her pepper spray, said Las Vegas Deputy Chief Christian Montao. The suspect then ran away.

    Montao said it’s rare for such an assault to occur in Las Vegas.

  • GOP opens Las Vegas office

    A small but enthusiastic group of Republicans gathered to open their local headquarters Saturday at 520 Sixth St.

    San Miguel County GOP party chairman Walt Marshall said, “We’re pleased that we will have all our local candidates here. We also have representatives here from the John McCain, Steve Pearce and Dan East campaigns here with us today.”

  • City says budget OK'd

    The city of Las Vegas appears to have found its way out of a budget predicament that could have meant big cuts for its general fund.

    City Manager Sharon Caballero said the city received a letter from the state last week indicating that it had approved a revised city budget.

    The state Department of Finance and Administration had been concerned with a longstanding $740,000 deficit in the solid waste department as well as a $260,000 shortfall as a result of miscalculations in the last fiscal year’s expenditures and revenues.

  • AG: Block investigation a top issue

    SANTA FE — Attorney General Gary King said investigating a Public Regulation Commission candidate who has acknowledged lying about an expenditure he made with public funds is a “top-burner” issue for his office.

    But King said he’s not sure when a decision will be made about whether to pursue charges against Jerome Block Jr., the Democratic nominee for a PRC seat in northern New Mexico’s District 3.

  • HU officers can carry guns

    Certified officers at Highlands University can now carry guns.

    Discussions about arming the Highlands police force have been going on for more than a year in committee meetings and student and faculty senate meetings. The Board of Regents on Friday unanimously voted to arm the certified officers.

    President Jim Fries said Highlands is its own police jurisdiction and is required to be the first on the scene.

  • Fries receives big raise

    The Highlands University Board of Regents voted unanimously last week to hike President Jim Fries’ pay from $175,874 to $232,000 a year.

    For his part, Fries seemed almost taken aback by the amount of the increase.

    “I’m both humbled and extremely appreciative of the vote of confidence from the board that this represents. I plan to do everything I possibly can to make us a better university at which students create their own futures,” Fries told the Optic.

  • Grand project to start in 2009

    The state hopes to start the Grand Avenue improvement project in 2009 and get it done a year later.

    Paul Gray, district engineer for the state Transportation Department, said the project already has $4.7 million, including $1.2 million in federal economic development funds, enough to make the project a go.

    Transportation officials recently promoted the project shortly before a session of the state Transportation Commission, which met for a couple of days in Las Vegas.

  • Suspect fought with girl's uncle

    David Levi Chavez, who is accused of killing a 6-year-old girl, apparently had something against her uncle.

    In early May, a little more than a month before the girl’s death, Chavez, 20, allegedly got into a fight with the uncle, Jeffrey Sanchez, in the Gallinas Canyon. It resulted in Chavez’s arrest.

    In the early morning hours on June 15, Chavez asked for a ride to the 300 block of Union Street, where Sanchez lived. And then he fired his shotgun, according to a criminal complaint filed in Magistrate Court this week.