Local News

  • Audit: Provider overbilled government

    By Barry Massey
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — An audit commissioned by the state estimated the government overpaid a mental health provider $655,800 because of improper billings, but the organization’s top executive said Friday the auditors were wrong.

    The Counseling Center was among 15 nonprofit providers of mental health services that had their Medicaid payments suspended last summer because of the audit that alleged fraud, mismanagement and billing problems over more than three years.

  • In Brief - New Mexico - Jan. 27, 2014

    The Associated Press

    Fugitive back in New Mexico

    CLOVIS — A convicted child killer who escaped from a New Mexico prison and was captured in Mexico more than a year ago has been extradited back to the state.
    The U.S. Marshals Service announced that Edward Salas was taken back Saturday to Curry County to serve his sentence for the murder of a 10-year-old Clovis boy.
    Salas, who was on the agency’s most wanted list, was arrested by Mexican authorities in October 2012.

  • Literacy Fair
  • East chief out on sick leave

    Las Vegas City Schools Superintendent Sheryl McNellis-Martinez’s chair was filled by another school district administrator during a special board meeting on Tuesday morning. Her absence has some people wondering whether a change in leadership may be on the horizon for the east-side school district.

  • Corrido of the Year - Area man wins music award

    John Fernandez’s weekend was filled with back-to- back wins.

    First on Saturday evening Fernandez took the Corrido of the Year award at the New Mexico Hispano Music Association awards show at the Ohkay Hotel Casino in Española for his song, “El Ojo de Vidrio.”

    Then on Sunday, his beloved Denver Broncos captured the AFC Championship by stomping on the New England Patriots, sending the orange and blue squad led by Peyton Manning to the Super Bowl next month. For Fernandez, it was a weekend of pure happiness, family, suspense and excitement.

  • Campaign launched for dam funds

    Back in November, the stars appeared to be aligning for the city to get the millions it is seeking for a major expansion of Bradner Reservoir.

    At the time, Gov. Martinez had just announced that she would ask state lawmakers to spend $112 million or about 60 percent of the capital outlay funds available for distribution this year on water infrastructure projects.

    In her announcement, Martinez specifically mentioned the city of Las Vegas and other communities that “are dangerously close to (water) shortages.”

  • Courthouse still Mora’s top project

    Submitted to the Optic

    The Mora County Commission recently voted unanimously to make the Mora County Complex its top priority in seeking additional funds from the state Legislature in the legislative session that began Tuesday.

    “Our Infrastructure Capital Improvement Plan put the County Complex at the top of our list,” said Mora County Manager Rebecca Montoya.

  • Looking Back - Jan. 24, 2014

    In 1964

    Thursday, Jan. 23 — “Bye Bye Birdie,” a musical comedy, will be presented by the Music Department of Robertson High School in February at Ilfeld Auditorium. Staff assisting in the production will be Patrick Carson, Dick Emmons and Mildred Smith. Danny Torres will play the lead as Conrad Birdie. Other parts are Paul Rawlins, Rose Alvarez, Mae Peterson, Donald Chandler, Howard Stansbury and Kathy Mason.

  • Looking Ahead - News - Jan. 24, 2014

    Literacy Fair is Saturday

    The Literacy Council of Northeastern New Mexico will be hosting its sixth annual Literacy Fair from 1 to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Abe Montoya Recreation Center gymnasium. There will be many activities available, including crafts. Free books for children and adults will be distributed. Admission is free.

  • Weather - Jan. 24, 2014

    Sunny, with a high near 49. West wind 5-10 mph. Partly cloudy at night, with a low around 24. West wind 5-10 mph, becoming northwest after midnight.

    Mostly sunny, with a high near 52. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 28.

    Sunny, with a high near 54. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 17.

    Sunny, with a high near 46. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 21.

    Sunrise ... Sunset
    7:06 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.