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Today's News

  • District reinstates athletic director

    The Las Vegas City Schools has reinstated its athletic director, Mike Yara, who had been placed on paid administrative leave in connection with an investigation into hazing at a football camp.

    “Mike Yara handled this matter very appropriately given the information he had,” Rick Romero, the district’s superintendent, said today.

    Romero had also placed head Robertson High School football coach Ray Woods and his staff on leave because of the alleged hazing. At least one allegation involves a player being sodomized with a broomstick.

  • School district wants to remove tank

    Las Vegas City Schools officials say they’re not going to take any chances when it comes to students’ safety.

    They announced last week that they will be removing a 7,500-gallon fuel oil tank near the maintenance building at Robertson High School. The tank is also close to the school’s gym.

    Officials said they feared having such a large tank with fuel near students.

  • Lowest bidder doesn't get job

    Las Vegas-based Rudolph Construction was the low bidder for a roofing project for the city’s housing authority, and the City Council even approved the company for the job.

    But the contractor lost the project because he hadn’t met the 10-day requirement for a payment and performance bond. So the council this week decided to go with Goodrich Roofing Co., which bid the project at $246,000 to Rudolph’s $215,000, officials said.

    The authority seeks to replace the roofs of 21 buildings.

  • Luna seeks agreement with Guard for ball fields

    Luna Community College is working on an agreement with the New Mexico National Guard to lease land for softball and baseball fields, an official said last week.

    Luna President Pete Campos said the National Guard has land near the campus that the school wants to use for its baseball and softball teams. Now, the college is playing on fields at the city’s Rodriguez Park.

    He said he hopes to have a draft agreement before the Board of Trustees by as early as September.

  • Millfest completes 20th year

    CLEVELAND — It may not be the biggest summer festival in northern New Mexico, but it holds its own — with its own unique feature.

    The Cleveland Millfest celebrated its 20th year this Labor Day weekend, with plenty of music and dance, food, arts and crafts, and a turnout estimated in the thousands.

    The mill itself — which is put into operation once a year for the Cleveland Millfest — gives this particular festival its own unique identity.

  • Youthful Exuberance

    A tall man in a pink Nehru shirt and wrinkled linen slacks stood at the edge of Ilfeld Auditorium’s stage, his head and shoulders cocked at an awkward angle, no other musicians at his side. He held a violin, a instrument that seemed tiny, insignificant, compared to his large frame. The audience shuffled program and purse as he lifted the wooden body to his chin in a gentle arc.

  • List of outstanding warrants

    The Las Vegas Municipal Court is publicizing the names of those who are wanted on outstanding warrants. The Optic started publishing the list of names in Thursday’s edition. The second installment in the alphabet appears today. The following are the last listed addresses.

  • Play tells the story of New Mexico's crypto-Jews

    ‘The reason I agreed to do this interview is because I exist. I am not a myth,” says 78-year-old Emilio Coca, a once crypto- and now practicing Jew who traces his fractured family history back to the Diaspora ignited by the Spanish Inquisition.

    Coca’s life story is one of many woven into A Light In My Soul/Una Luz En Mi Alma, a new drama created collaboratively in an unlikely partnership between a the New York-based Tectonic Theater Project, choreographer and director Krista DeNio and the Working Classroom ensemble, a theater company based in Albuquerque.

  • A river falls through it

    Until the mid-1800s, gristmills in New Mexico were small, primitive, difficult to use, containing two rotating grinding stones powered by water.

    Called “molinos” in Spanish, early gristmills were most often used to grind the hearty corn grown to make tortillas and tamales. By 1850, wheat flour crept into the local consciousness, and as the population of Mora County grew, farmers added wheat to their crops. The founding of Fort Union increased demand for wheat even more. New Mexico was hooked. Flour became local king.

  • District responds to bomb threat

    The state police received a bomb threat targeted toward Memorial Middle School around 8 p.m. Wednesday, an official said this morning.

    Rick Romero, superintendent of the Las Vegas City Schools, said the state police told him about the call. He said he understood that the voice sounded like it was that of a “young adult.” Romero met with state and local police officials soon afterward.

    Romero said he called a staff member to be stationed at the middle school throughout the night and do hourly walk-throughs.