Today's News

  • Ready for the links
  • Bulldogs maul competition
  • March Madness

    Optic staff and wire reports

    Saddled with the No. 14 seed in the East bracket — paired against powerful No. 3 seed Baylor — the New Mexico State University men’s basketball team wants nothing better than to play the Cinderella role when it opens the NCAA tournament on Friday.

    The Aggies and first-year head coach Paul Weir enter with a 28-5 record but will be a long shot to get past the Bears (25-7).

  • B.J. Gonzales hoops tourney this weekend

    As the B.J. Gonzales Memorial Basketball Tournament turns 15, the growth of the event still amazes its founder.

    “It’s mind-boggling,” said Benedict Gonzales, who launched the event as a way to honor his late son, killed in a vehicular accident years ago.

    The tournament tips off at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through the weekend with full days of basketball on Saturday and Sunday at Gillie Lopez Gym on the West Las Vegas campus.

    Admission to the tournament is $3, with proceeds going toward a benefit scholarship fund.

  • Looking Ahead - Sports - March 17, 2017

    • Luna Community College vs. Frank Phillips (DH), noon, TBA
    • NMHU vs. Colorado State-Pueblo, 2 p.m., Brandt Park
    • B.J. Gonzales Memorial Basketball Tournament, 6 p.m., Gillie Lopez Gym
    • Luna Community College at Howard (DH), noon, Big Springs, Texas
    • Robertson JV, West Las Vegas JV at Pecos tournament, TBA, Pecos
    • West Las Vegas Middle School at Eagle Ridge, 3 p.m., TBA
    • Robertson at Carlsbad Invite, TBA

  • Legislature races clock to fix budget

    By Morgan Lee
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — New Mexico lawmakers were racing against the clock Monday in efforts to raise new money to sustain public school budgets and state agency services in response to a sustained slump in the state’s oil and natural gas sectors and a lackluster state economy.

  • Pit stop - Young broadcaster gets a shot at spotlight

    “Radio Row” on the sidelines of WisePies Arena — The Pit — has hosted some of the most revered broadcasters in the state’s history.

    Guys like Henry Tafoya, Jim Lawwill, and Mike Roberts, the late, great voice of the Lobos.

    Add 13-year-old Jerry Baca of Las Vegas to that list.

    Baca, an eighth grader at Memorial Middle School, accompanied veteran local broadcaster Dale Turner for a trial run during KFUN’s live coverage of the state high school basketball tournaments this past week in Albuquerque.

  • Murder suspect arraigned

    Daniel M. Sullivan, the man accused of killing Steven Marquez in July 2016, has been arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder.

    Sullivan’s court date was March 9 in district court. No trial date has been set as of press time.

    The judge of record is now Emilio Chavez, who was assigned the case on March 3 after three local judges — Matthew Sandoval, Abigail Aragon and Gerald Baca — recused themselves for cause. Chavez is a judge in the Eighth Judicial District, serving Colfax, Union and Taos counties.

  • West school board gets new look

    Two new faces grace the board room of West Las Vegas Schools. On Thursday evening, board members Ambrosio Castellano and Linda Montoya took their oath of office to officially join board members Marvin Martinez, Patrick Marquez and Christine Ludi.

    Castellano unseated incumbent Robert Witters during the February election while Montoya takes over the seat held by former board member David Romero.

    Castellaño, 24, returns to his alma mater in an effort to bring new ideas to the board and increase technology in the district.

  • State’s unemployment worst in nation

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the nation, according to figures released Monday by state and federal labor officials.

    January’s jobless rate of 6.7 percent remained unchanged from the previous month, but that’s still higher than the 6.5 percent recorded a year ago.

    Nationally, the rate increased slightly to 4.8 percent despite an uptick in hiring in January as employers added 238,000 jobs.