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Public Safety

Los Alamos Stands With Jewish Communities Across America With Candlelight Vigil Monday Evening

on March 5, 2017 - 9:34am


Just since the beginning of this year, 77 Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) — nearly half of all JCCs in the United States — have received bomb threats, as have eight Jewish schools. Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Rochester, New York have been vandalized. And a bullet was fired into the window of a (thankfully, empty) synagogue classroom in Evansville, Ind.

This surge of anti-semitic acts has left many American Jews, including members of the Los Alamos Jewish community, feeling new anxieties about their own safety and the safety of their communal institutions.


Coyote Killing Contests Bill Passes Key Committee

on March 5, 2017 - 9:19am


SANTA FE -- Sen. Jeff Steinborn passed bipartisan legislation through the Senate Judiciary Committee Saturday to end the practice of coyote killing contests in New Mexico.

“Today New Mexico is one step closer to banning inhumane coyote killing contests. This blood sport serves no purpose in the management of coyotes other than killing for the sake of killing. It’s time to make these contests a thing of the past,” Sen. Steinborn said.

This bill now goes to the senate floor for final passage and then, if passed, to the House for consideration in that body.

Letter To The Editor: About That Support For Background Checks...

on March 4, 2017 - 9:32pm
Los Alamos
I'm sure Devon Lymon would have respected a background check law despite all the other laws he had broken up to that point. Yup, one more law would have made all the difference to poor Daniel Webster.

I can imagine Devon having a little mental conversation with himself when he obtained that gun, "Oh! wait a minute, I can't posses guns, I'm a felon!", and poof, another possible criminal activity is thwarted by yet another rock solid gun law. 
Yup, we ought to throw up five or six more unenforceable gun laws, they're working great.

Doctors are a lot more

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charge

on March 4, 2017 - 7:26am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Byron Harold Peshlakai, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock pled guilty March 2 in federal court in Albuquerque to an involuntary manslaughter charge.
Peshlakai was arrested in October 2016, on an indictment charging him with involuntary manslaughter. According to the indictment, Peshlakai killed the victim with his vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol Oct. 25 on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
During today’s proceedings, Peshlakai pled guilty to the indictment without the benefit of a plea agreement.

AG Balderas Issues Statement About Jeff Sessions

on March 4, 2017 - 7:15am
Attorney General Hector Balderas. Courtesy photo
AG News:
SANTA FE New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas released the following statement Thursday regarding Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
“As a chief law enforcement officer, I take testimony extremely seriously, whether it be in the courtroom or before the United States Senate. There were questions asked about conversations with Russia and that information was omitted by Attorney General Sessions during his testimony.
“Attorney General Sessions needs to promptly address the omission, and he needs to immediately

House Agrees Dads Can Change Diapers, Too

on March 4, 2017 - 7:12am


SANTA FE – House Bill 106, Baby Changing Facilities in Men’s Rooms, passed on a 44-22 vote Friday evening. Sponsored by Rep. Andrés Romero (D-Albuquerque), the bill would require that all new construction or major renovations of restrooms in public places include baby changing stations in both the women’s and men’s bathrooms.

“It’s about time we recognize the role that both parents play in raising children,” Romero said. “I’m glad we are one step closer for mothers and fathers to both have a safe, designated space to change their babies.”

House Bill 106 does not apply to

Isolated Confinement Bill Moves To House Floor

on March 4, 2017 - 6:55am


SANTA FE Today in the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas’ (D-Albuquerque) House Bill 175 passed by a 7-6 vote. HB 175 bans the use of isolated confinement for pregnant women and minors in New Mexico prisons and jails. It also sets a 48-hour maximum for solitary confinement of inmates with severe mentally illness.

“Isolated confinement is overused and misused in our great state,” Rep. Maestas said. “It is detrimental to public safety. If you put a human being in prolonged isolated confinement, that human will never, ever be the same.

Burn Planned On Jemez Ranger District Sunday

on March 3, 2017 - 7:31pm

SFNF News:

SANTA FE  If conditions, including air quality and weather forecasts, remain favorable, fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to conduct the previously announced prescribed burn Sunday, March 5 on the Joaquin fuelwood unit on the Jemez Ranger District.

Members of the public have helped clean up the 80-acre unit to prepare it for treatment. The Joaquin fuelwood unit is at the intersection of Forest Roads (FRs) 376 and 488 for approximately 1 mile to the north.

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring

State Auditor Launches Probe At City Of Jal

on March 3, 2017 - 2:32pm
State Auditor Tim Keller
SANTA FE State Auditor Tim Keller confirmed that auditors from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) are in the City of Jal conducting field work for a special audit.
The special audit was initiated to review Jal’s compliance with laws, regulations and policies after concerns related to favoritism and accuracy of water billing came to light. State law calls for auditors to have unrestricted access to relevant documents and City staff.
“Our office has boots on the ground looking into water billing procedures in Jal,” Keller said.

Letter To The Editor: If You Are Going To Quote Numbers, You Need To Provide Credible References

on March 3, 2017 - 9:54am
Los Alamos

There were near mirror-image letters in the Los Alamos Daily Post (link) and Santa Fe New Mexican Thursday claiming that state level background checks are credited with reductions of 46 or 47 percent fewer women shot to death by their partners and 48 or 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed by handguns. The problem is, nowhere do the authors of these letters provide sources for this information.

I put the quotes from the letters into a web search and came up with an Everytown For Gun Safety source (there may be others), almost verbatim, with links to

Letter To The Editor: Background Checks For Gun Sales

on March 3, 2017 - 8:56am


We have a gun violence problem in New Mexico - the number of deaths and injuries at the hands of people who shouldn’t have their hands on a gun is very distressing. With lives at stake, a background check to buy a gun is not too much to ask! House Bill 50 and Senate Bill 48 would require such checks for ALL gun sales in New Mexico, and as a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I strongly support this bill.


I grew up in England and was actually a good shot with a .22 rifle.

House Passes Felon In Possession Of Firearm Bill

on March 2, 2017 - 8:44pm
Rep. Nate Gentry
SANTA FE  This evening the House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to strengthen consequences for felons in possession of a firearm or other destructive device. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Bernalillo).
House Bill 52 would make the crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm a third degree felony instead of the fourth degree felony it is now. Enhancing the penalty would increase the length of the sentence from 18 months in prison plus a $5,000 fine to a three year sentence with a $,5000 fine.

Tourniquets For Law Enforcement Passes House

on March 2, 2017 - 4:11pm
Rep. Patricio Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque). Courtesy photo


SANTA FE  Feb. 28, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill 9, a bill that provides law enforcement with the appropriate tools and training to apply tourniquets – a proven life saving measure.
Sponsored by Representative Patricio Ruiloba (D-Albuquerque), HB 9 gives first responders arriving to an emergency the knowledge necessary to properly use a tourniquet to prevent excessive blood loss, saving lives and reducing the damage that can be done by the improper use of tourniquets.
“As a law

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Joins Facebook To Release New Life Saving Tools

on March 2, 2017 - 10:25am
NEW YORK, N.Y.  At the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we are proud of our ongoing relationship with Facebook and our long collaboration to provide innovative suicide prevention resources and support to their digital community.
Today’s announcement of Facebook’s latest efforts to expand their tools to help individuals in crisis and their loved ones is the next step in this dedicated work, and the Lifeline, and the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC), which administers the Lifeline, are excited to embark on this step with them.

Letter To The Editor: In Support Of Background Checks

on March 2, 2017 - 10:22am
Los Alamos
New Mexico has incredibly high rates of gun violence, including the highest rate of law enforcement shot and killed in the line of duty.
Not coincidentally, we have some of the country’s laxest gun laws—it’s easy for felons and domestic abusers to avoid background checks by buying guns on websites like or at gun shows. States that close the background-check loophole see 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed and 47 percent fewer women shot and killed by intimate partners.
Our legislator, Representative Stephanie

Rep. Moe Maestas Loses His Cool Again, Insults Fellow Representative During House Committee

on March 2, 2017 - 9:53am

Democratic Rep. Antonio ‘Moe’ Maestas


ALBUQUERQUE – Wednesday afternoon during debate in the House Appropriations Committee, Democratic Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas made a series of unprompted insults directed toward Republican Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes.

Republican Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes

Complaining that he'd received bad press for voting to kill a popular proposal to expand Baby Brianna’s law, Rep. Maestas attacked its sponsor, Rep. Maestas Barnes, for “snivelling to KRQE” about the Democrats killing the bill.

He went on to complain about how KRQE

FBI: Sunland Park Heroin Trafficking Ring Leader Pleads Guilty To Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charges

on March 2, 2017 - 8:58am

FBI News:
  • Case Prosecuted as Part of HOPE Initiative, Which Seeks to Reduce the Number of Opioid-Related Deaths in New Mexico


ALBUQUERQUE – Raymundo Munoz, 69, of Sunland Park pled guilty Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces to heroin trafficking charges resulting from a DEA-led investigation targeting a heroin trafficking ring operating out of Sunland Park.


Under the terms of his plea agreement, Munoz will be sentenced to 72 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.


The investigation targeted a heroin trafficking organization led by Munoz

NNMC And State Auditor Reveal High-Level Theft

on March 1, 2017 - 7:34pm

Northern New Mexico College President Richard Bailey

Staff Report

SANTA FE – The New Mexico State Auditor’s Office and Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) issued separate press releases this afternoon  announcing that an investigation has discovered an estimated $200,000 of the college’s money is missing and is suspected stolen by a senior administrative employee.

State Auditor Tim Keller said of the findings, “These were hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have been serving students and faculty, not the personal benefit of an employee.”

NNMC President Richard Bailey confirmed to

Republicans Walk Out Of Meeting To Protest Inappropriate Treatment Of Colleague

on March 1, 2017 - 7:20pm


SANTA FE – The Republican members of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee walked out of this afternoon’s committee meeting to protest a breakdown of decorum following the tabling of a previously non-controversial bill to protect New Mexico’s children from receiving pornography.

On a party-line vote, the Democrats voted to table House Bill 71, a bill sponsored Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Valencia) to clarify and strengthen New Mexico’s criminal sexual communications laws.

NNMC Addresses Financial Issues In Audit

on March 1, 2017 - 4:33pm

NNMC News:

Española – Northern New Mexico College has just been made aware of some past financial irregularities.

The College reported the issue immediately to the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor and local authorities.

The College cannot comment further at this time, but we will fully cooperate with the investigation, and will answer all questions as the ongoing investigation allows.

State Auditor Reveals High-Level Theft At NNMC

on March 1, 2017 - 4:20pm

New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller


  • Estimated $200,000 in funds missing in ongoing investigation of senior executive

SANTA FE – Today, State Auditor Tim Keller confirmed the theft of an estimated $200,000 in funds at Northern New Mexico College. Auditors began looking into the matter after financial discrepancies were found. A high-level employee in the business office resigned in connection to the missing money. Along with stolen cash, checks were not deposited that deprived the college of additional funds. 

“These were hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have been

Santa Fe Cardiologist Pleads Guilty To Federal Health Care Fraud Charge

on March 1, 2017 - 2:37pm
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE  Roy G. Heilbron, 53, a cardiologist practicing in Santa Fe, pleaded guilty Feb. 17 in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a health care fraud charge, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Heilbron will be sentenced to two years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Heilbron was charged with health care fraud and wire fraud charges in a 24-count indictment that was filed in June 2015. The

Heinrich, Heller Introduce Legislation To Safeguard Jewish And Other Faith-Based Community Centers

on March 1, 2017 - 8:41am
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Dean Heller (R-N.V.) introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure that the Department of Homeland Security provides state and local law enforcement with adequate resources to protect faith-based community centers across the United States.
The Senators have been deeply concerned with the significant number of bomb threats facing Jewish Community Centers (JCC). In three weeks alone, JCC's saw 63 bomb threats, forcing the evacuations of hundreds across the country and twice in Albuquerque. 
Last week, Sen.

House Committee Approves 'Right To Try' Legislation

on March 1, 2017 - 8:23am
SANTA FE The House Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved House Bill 228, known as the “Right to Try Act.” 
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Grant, Hidalgo and Sierra). It had been amended by a previous committee to include aspects of House Bill 263, a similar Right to Try bill sponsored by Rep. Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Sandoval).
The Right to Try Act would establish a process through which terminally ill patients could access new medications that have not yet been fully approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). The bill sets eligibility

Committee Passes Increased Transparency Resolution

on March 1, 2017 - 8:15am
SANTA FE The House Rules and Order of Business Committee unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that would make committee amendments to bills available online and incorporated into the original bill text.
House Resolution 3, sponsored by Representative Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), states that upon adoption of a committee report recommending an amendment to a bill, memorial, or resolution, the chief clerk will post on the legislative website a document with the amendment incorporated into the text.