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Today's News

  • The American dream

    In a restaurant just around the corner from the Optic hangs a picture of John and Jacqueline Kennedy sitting on a boat of some sort, laughing and looking so happy, so carefree, that it’s hard to believe they really existed. Eating lunch at a table across from this picture, I began to think about the American dream.

  • Pecos Park's civil war weekend

    The Sangre de Cristo mountains loom between high desert and open plains, protecting a circular valley that once housed quiet ranchlands, an important stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Today the land is marked with blood, the site of the Civil War’s “Gettysburg of the West,” the Battle of Glorieta Pass.

    Traveler’s driving down Interstate 25 might notice a dirt drive housing a hand-painted red, white, and blue memorial, covered in eclectic messages.

  • High-profile officer leaves department

    Shawn Montoya, who had become increasingly high profile in the Las Vegas Police Department over the last couple of years, resigned this week, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    Gold wouldn’t provide any other information on Officer Montoya’s departure.

    After Gold became chief last year, he named Montoya as the department’s grant writer, a new position intended to draw more state and federal money for the police. Montoya spent part of his time as a patrol officer and the other part as a grant writer.

  • Mora Co. mom says she wasn't informed

    A hearing for a man accused of sex crimes against underage victims was delayed because a victim’s family apparently wasn’t given enough notice.

    Clifford Gutierrez, 34, of Cleveland, N.M., is facing sex crimes charges in three cases, according to state documents.

    District Attorney Richard Flores said he decided to seek a delay in the arraignment in one of the cases on Wednesday afternoon after speaking with attorney Melissa Stephenson of the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Victims’ Rights Project. The judge granted the delay.

  • City not told about WIPP incident

    When a truck carrying defense-related radioactive waste veered off the road and struck a fence, state police didn’t inform the Las Vegas fire and police departments, officials said this week.

    Mayor Tony Marquez asked for reports from police and fire officials at Wednesday’s City Council meeting about the incident involving the semi-truck headed to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. The incident was just a few miles north of town near the Airport Road exit on Interstate 25.

  • Under New Mexican Skies

    The sound of the shutter surprises a nesting sparrow. Elena Gallegos points her camera at what seems to be nothing — a wisp of dried sweetgrass, a dusty stone, the crack between two slabs of concrete. She tries to steady her hands. Click. Click. The sparrow flits from one branch to another, curious, aware.

  • Eighth-grader wins West bee

    Jeraldin Hernandez, an eighth-grader at West Las Vegas Middle School, is the district Spanish Spelling Bee champion and will compete in the state competition in Albuquerque.

    The Concurso de Deletreo de Nuevo Mexico is sponsored by the state’s Association for Bilingual Education and will be held April 12 in Albuquerque at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

    Hernandez, a native of Mexico, and Valley Elementary student Maricela Lopez were the only spellers standing after the first round of competition, but Hernandez finally won after spelling the word b-u-e-y, which means ox.

  • Students learn about Newton

    Los Nios kindergartners had no problem figuring out and answering questions about Isaac Newton’s scientific theories as the Bradbury Museum’s Science on Wheels program spent the day at the school demonstrating the scientist’s laws on inertia, acceleration and motion.

    The kids observed demonstrations by science teachers from the Los Alamos museum and gave surprisingly accurate answers behind the theory.

  • Policy to undergo legal review

    City officials said Wednesday they would determine whether the city’s ordinance for shutting off nonpaying customers’ natural gas complies with state laws.

    Finance and utility officials explained to the City Council their processes for turning off natural gas services — a report requested by Mayor Tony Marquez.

  • Public describes desired leader

    Las Vegas City Schools board members gave the public a chance to tell them what they expected and wanted in a new superintendent, but only a handful showed up to Tuesday’s forum.

    However, Herman Gallegos, who said he was a former employee with City Schools, saw the small turnout as a vote of confidence for the board. He said his four sons are graduates of Robertson and his daughter is now a freshman at the school.