Today's News

  • Two win at local pageant

    Stacy Romero and Bianca Matamoros-Koonce were crowned Miss Las Vegas and Miss San Miguel County respectively at Ilfeld Auditorium on Saturday.

    Both Romero and Matamoros-Koonce will compete for the title of Miss New Mexico in June in Alamogordo. Romero was crowned by Candace Gonzales, Miss Las Vegas 2007. Matamoros-Koonce was crowned by Miss San Miguel County 2007 Adrianna Valdez.

  • Loyalty owed

    SANTA FE — If Gov. Bill Richardson had received as much media coverage for his presidential bid as he has for his Obama endorsement, he would have been in the top tier of candidates.It has been fascinating to see how an endorsement that was judged not to mean anything has meant so much to so many people. Bill Richardson has received much more than his predicted one day of publicity for endorsing Barack Obama.Not all that notice has been good, but if any publicity is good publicity, Richardson is doing very well indeed.

  • City garbage service makes changes

    The city is trying to improve its trash pickup service for residents with special needs, an official said last week.

    Special-needs customers don’t have to put their rollout containers on the street; they can keep them next to their houses and trash collectors will pick them up there, as has been the policy for a long time.

    On Jan. 28, the solid waste department distributed a letter to special-needs customers asking them to send current statements from doctors indicating they still need assistance.

  • Elections make a difference

    It’s a wonderful thing about democracy: During an election, voters can elect someone who will more closely represent their concerns. Last month, that’s exactly what happened in the municipal election. Despite widespread concerns about high natural gas rates and cutoff of services to hundreds of residents, former Mayor Henry Sanchez’s response was consistent: We’re doing everything right.

  • Give names of applicants

    Last week, we agreed with Las Vegas City Schools board member Patrick Romero. This week, we’ll do just the opposite. At a recent meeting, Romero proposed the district hold forums for each superintendent finalist, so the public can ask questions. Romero’s colleagues, who insisted that only the board should have the right to ask questions, voted to shut the public out of the process.

  • Leaving the loop

    After the first meeting of the new City Council last week, a guy in the audience told me that he decided to attend because it would be the best show in town. He wasn’t to be disappointed. The meeting proved two pieces of conventional wisdom about the new four-member council:•Mayor Tony Marquez and Councilman Cruz Roybal probably won’t be exchanging gifts at Christmas. • Council members Diane Moore and Andrew Feldman are the new insiders in the operations of city government.

  • The American dream

    In a restaurant just around the corner from the Optic hangs a picture of John and Jacqueline Kennedy sitting on a boat of some sort, laughing and looking so happy, so carefree, that it’s hard to believe they really existed. Eating lunch at a table across from this picture, I began to think about the American dream.

  • Pecos Park's civil war weekend

    The Sangre de Cristo mountains loom between high desert and open plains, protecting a circular valley that once housed quiet ranchlands, an important stage stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Today the land is marked with blood, the site of the Civil War’s “Gettysburg of the West,” the Battle of Glorieta Pass.

    Traveler’s driving down Interstate 25 might notice a dirt drive housing a hand-painted red, white, and blue memorial, covered in eclectic messages.

  • High-profile officer leaves department

    Shawn Montoya, who had become increasingly high profile in the Las Vegas Police Department over the last couple of years, resigned this week, Police Chief Gary Gold said.

    Gold wouldn’t provide any other information on Officer Montoya’s departure.

    After Gold became chief last year, he named Montoya as the department’s grant writer, a new position intended to draw more state and federal money for the police. Montoya spent part of his time as a patrol officer and the other part as a grant writer.

  • Mora Co. mom says she wasn't informed

    A hearing for a man accused of sex crimes against underage victims was delayed because a victim’s family apparently wasn’t given enough notice.

    Clifford Gutierrez, 34, of Cleveland, N.M., is facing sex crimes charges in three cases, according to state documents.

    District Attorney Richard Flores said he decided to seek a delay in the arraignment in one of the cases on Wednesday afternoon after speaking with attorney Melissa Stephenson of the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Victims’ Rights Project. The judge granted the delay.