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Features

  • People stood shoulder to shoulder at times to see the third annual Dia de los Muertos Art Exhibit at Burris Hall and the Ray Drew Gallery on the Highlands University campus last week.

    Casa de Cultura Executive Director Miguel Angel said many schools and clubs participated in the exhibit that commemorates the celebration of life.

    As people learn more about Dia de los Muertos, they are less likely to connect it with the American holiday Halloween, which is celebrated with a lot of ghoulish good cheer, organizers said.

  • Martha Johnsen says she’s a “hometown girl,” and with the exception of working for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for about year and a half, she has always lived in Las Vegas.

    “This town has everything. We have history, we have the really fun notoriety, we have the architecture, many natural resources that are accessible and close by, and I just love the people. I love going out and running into somebody I know — I love that feeling and I don’t think it can be equaled,” Johnsen said.

  • Sage Harrington is living her dream as she performs her songs at venues around town.

    The singer-songwriter has a contagious laugh and a quirky sense of humor that she often uses when writing her brand of lyrics.

    In the sitcom, “Friends,” one of the unforgettable characters was Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow. Some of Phoebe’s song titles were “Smelly Cat,” “Crazy Underwear” and “Cremated Mother.”

  • Highlands University’s refurbished engineering building on 11th Street will go a long way in helping students who often struggle with math and science, officials say.

    “This is going to be a building that’s really going to help our students learn to some basic math and science skills, and go on to better their lives.,” said Bill Taylor, the university’s vice president for finance and administration.

  • Whether he’s walking down the street or sitting at his favorite eatery, Arthur LaCombe Vargas might not strike one as the typical lawyer. Depending on our own experiences with legal situations, each of us probably has a preferred generalization.

  • Ten local dancers got to show off their moves far away from the Meadow City.

    In August, the dancers between the ages of 12 and 15 attended a weeklong global dance conference in Kingston, Jamaica. Sponsored by Dance and the Child International and hosted jointly by the University of the West Indies and Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the conference was open to dancers and dance companies.

    The dancers are members of the Las Vegas Children’s Dance Theater under the direction of Kathleen Kingsley.

  • Handmade masks by Paul D. Henry Elementary students hang on the walls outside Patricia Mendoza’s classroom after being displayed at the New Mexico State Fair. Ribbons from contest sponsor KRQE television station are alongside each mask.

    “Last year, my third-graders prepared papier-mache masks as part of a special project. They worked with local artist Faith Gelvin on the history of masks in world cultures, as part of their bilingual education and social studies lessons,” Mendoza said.

  • Registering for classes at Luna Community College has become easier, and online classes aren’t what they used to be either, officials say.

    Students will now be able to register for classes at the college using the Internet now that Luna has begun its online registration.

    A student answering a survey wrote, “I really like the new updated registration process, it’s self explanatory.” Another said, “It’s better than having to come to campus.”

  • Gardeners and even farmers often approach their planting from an egocentric rather than a land-based view. That is to say, they often plant what they like and try to find a way to make their chosen plants thrive. That's challenging, and all too often unsuccessful.

    There are others who simply grow the traditional crops that have grown here forever. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is a third way, which opens up the possibility of cultivating non-traditional crops predisposed to do well on your land.

  • Las Vegan Savannah Lujan has won many music awards and has taken part in pageants. But her parents say school comes first.

    The West Las Vegas Middle School seventh-grader won the Youth Artist of the Year and Youth Song of the Year at the 2008 New Mexico Hispanic Music Awards.

    Her parents, John and Paula, said she remains grounded.

    “During the school year, her mommy and I want Savannah to concentrate on her school work and school activities. We just want her to be a little girl — the music will always be there,” John said.

  • It’s time to kick up your heels at the annual Ride to Pride barn dance set for Friday Oct. 16, at the Night Owl.

    Organizers are pumped up about the benefit dinner, dance and auction, which will feature a Western theme that includes a chuck-wagon dinner catered by Lee Daniels, a theater performance, a barn dance with live music by The Bill Hearne Trio, and a silent and live auction with many items.  

  • A labyrinth is being created in the yard of St. Paul’s Peace Church in Las Vegas. The labyrinth was commissioned by St. Paul’s Peace Church pastor John Ridder as a memorial for his late wife, Jane A. Ridder.

    It is being constructed by his son, John E. Ridder, in conjunction with  Gaye Goodman of Faux Real, a company specializing in the acid staining of concrete, and Sean Medrano of Northeastern Construction, who did the actual concrete work.

  • If you’re the one whose life or property is saved, it is a big deal. But there are those who work in jobs where saving life, limb and an occasional cat stranded in a tree is pretty much normal and routine duty.    

    Since it’s their job to look out for the welfare and well-being of their community, Las Vegas firefighters were wondering what all the fuss was about after administering life- saving CPR to a heart attack victim.  

  • Robertson High School homecoming features a blast from the past, with the 2009 theme, “Breaking the Laws of Time.” Students are spending the week dressing in any costume that has to do with time travel.

    Student council President Cody Ross Romero said, “Individual classrooms decorated their hallways in a timeline, from prehistoric all the way to futuristic. So it’s pretty cool.”

    Romero said there will also be a bonfire.

  • She says, with deep conviction, “I had a blessed childhood.” Standing in the mid-morning breeze awaiting the opening of the Patriot Day 9-11 event at Carnegie Park, Gladys Dolores Hightower could be mistaken as “just another spectator,” but as she begins to sing the National Anthem, it becomes obvious to all that she is special. Nevertheless, she is somewhat self-effacing, saying, “I’m just ol’ Gladys.”

  • Local artist and musician David Escudero said volunteer groups in Las Vegas’ storied history have always been an important part of the social fabric of this community.

    “Volunteer organizations are what make a civilization great, the best things we gain as individuals is through voluntarism. That’s the important thing to remember, you have to give a little bit back to your community,” Escudero said.

  • “You can’t sit still for the blues.” Mary Oishi, KUNM disc jockey, chided those sitting in the crowd for not getting to their feet and dancing to the live music at Casa de Cultura’s first “Ain’t Got no Frijoles Blues Festival.”

    Sunday’s event, which drew roughly 200 people, was conceived by Casa de Cultura’s director, Miguel Angel, both as a way to bring people together through culture and introduce them to the wonders of King Stadium.

    It succeeded.

  • All day Thursday the skies over Las Vegas were moody, with a threatening rumble here and there. Organizers for the 2009 “Student Fiesta” at Plaza Park said they were crossing their fingers, and hoping the expected downpour would wait until after the big gathering.

  • The Robertson High School class of 1959 celebrated its 50th anniversary with a class reunion July 30-31.

    The get-together started with dinner at the Sandia Resort and Casino in Albuquerque. There were some 38 classmates in attendance, which included their spouses. They had a good time, going so far as revealing who had a crush on whom back in the 10th grade.

  • Well, it’s that time of year again, and the city has once again decreed that I can only water my garden on Tuesdays.

    It’s uncanny, really.

    There is nothing in nature to suggest that the plants in my garden now need only half the watering they needed just two weeks ago.

    So the city has placed me in the same dilemma as many Las Vegans who are looking to grow food in their backyards — shall I obey authority and let my tomatoes and squash shrivel and die or must I become a scofflaw in the name of food security?