Local News

  • WLV makes little progress on valedictorian dilemma

    West Las Vegas’ Board of Education and its administration found themselves in a quandary last week, due to the revelation that the high school’s student handbooks and the policy manual are at odds on how to choose the valedictorian.

    After a special board meeting Tuesday, the board voted 3-1 to utilize the student handbooks offered to high school students, and any changes to the policy manual would apply to next school year’s incoming freshman clas — a suggestion put forth by Superintendent Chris Guttierez.

  • City postpones action on two zoning proposals

    Eighteen people signed up for the public comment period during Wednesday night’s regular monthly Las Vegas City Council meeting — but nearly all of them spoke about two proposed zoning changes that were taken off the agenda at the start of the meeting.

    Changes from residential to commercial zoning was recently approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission to the parcels of land used the past two summers by the Tierra Encantada Market.

  • Hot blaze on Hot Springs

    Crews were dispatched to a house fire in the 2200 block of Hot Springs Boulevard at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

    The structure was unoccupied at the time and was in the process of a remodel. A live power line, draped over a section of the house, slowing extinguishment of that portion.

    New Mexico State Fire investigators have not yet determined a cause. There were no injuries. Off-duty personnel, as well as Sheridan and Gallinas volunteers, assisted Las Vegas Fire in containing the fire to the one house.

  • Jury finds ex-priest guilty of sex abuse

    By Morgan Lee and Mary Hudetz, Associated Press



    SANTA FE — A jury found a former Roman Catholic priest who was captured in Morocco guilty last week of sexually abusing an altar boy at a veterans' cemetery and Air Force base in New Mexico in the early 1990s.

  • Dental asst. students showcase their work

    By Dave Kavanaugh, Luna Community College

    As part of Dental Assistants Recognition Week, four Luna Community College students in the dental assistant program demonstrated clinical techniques and procedures they’ve learned during a special event on Friday, March 8, on campus.

    Three of the students ­— Mariano Gallegos, Destiny Lujan and Terrilee Vasquez — showed guests video presentations of their work. A fourth, Destiny DeHerrera, made her presentation live.

  • Speaker at immigration forum: 'Asylum seekers are not criminals'

    Monday night, a forum on immigration was held at Charlie’s Event Center with the intent of informing local residents on what’s really going on in the border.

    The event, titled “A Look at Asylum-Seeking and Detention,” drew in more than 60 people and was the result of a group called the Understanding Immigration Taskforce, which was described as an ad-hoc group by one of its members, Karyl Lyne.

    The presentation was led by immigration lawyer Allegra Love, the executive director of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project.

  • Falling down

    This wall, which is attached to a building at 137 Bridge Street in Las Vegas and is now falling into the structure at 139 Bridge.

    This is one of many examples of an abandoned and/or dilapitaed building in one of the city's historic districts. 

  • Public Amtrak meeting set for Friday

    A Friday-afternoon event at the Plaza Hotel will focus on Amtrak service in New Mexico. 

    From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and many other officials are set to speak on various aspects of keeping Amtrak passenger rail service alive. The "Southwest Chief" route has long been the main Amtrak route between Chicago and Los Angeles, running through many rural western communities that still gain tourism and other travel from the route, including Las Vegas.

    Adrian Gurule is the president of the New Mexico Rail Passengers Coalition.

  • Rael: So many realms yet unexplored by Luna

    The path for Dr. Rolando Rael, Ph.D., to becoming Luna Community College's president was marked largely by questions about his tenure at Highlands University and the methods and steps the Luna Trustees took in the hiring process.

    Rael took over in mid-March and has many expanding ideas about where Luna can go in the future.

    The longtime educator, whose first official day on the job was March 11, sat down with the Optic to discuss his background, Luna's attempt to hang on to its national accreditation and the future of the school.

  • Accused killer of Las Vegas native to stand trial

     RIO RANCHO — A man ccused of killing his ex-wife is headed for trial.

    Michael Encinias, 44, is accused of second-degree murder and and tampering with evidence in the spring 2018 death of his ex-wife, Dawn R. Sandoval, 46. Both are from Las Vegas, but were living in the Rio Rancho area.

    A motion hearing was held April 11 in 13th Judicial District Court in Rio Rancho. A trial date is set to begin Aug. 6, with a docket call on July 18.