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Regional Coalition Urges GRT Change

on November 22, 2017 - 7:44am

Los Alamos County Councilors Chris Chandler and Pete Sheehey at Tuesday’s meeting on the LANL GRT issue in the State Capitol. Courtesy photo

North Central Regional Transit District Executive Director Anthony J. Mortillaro chats with Los Alamos County Councilor Chris Chandler at Tuesday’s meeting on the LANL GRT issue in the State Capitol. Courtesy photo
 
By MAIRE O'NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Board is concerned that if a not-for-profit such as the University of California or the University of Texas is selected by to

AG: New Mexicans Can Seek Compensation From $586 Million Western Union Settlement

on November 21, 2017 - 7:44am
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Nov. 14, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that New Mexicans who were deceived into sending payments to scammers using Western Union's wire transfer service may now apply for compensation from a $586 million fund administered by the Department of Justice's Victim Asset Recovery Program.
 
This fund is related to a multi-state settlement with New Mexico and 49 other states, the District of Columbia and Western Union that was first announced in January.
 
New Mexicans may be eligible to receive compensation if they

Governor Susana Martinez Announces First-Year Results From DWI Court Monitoring Initiative

on November 21, 2017 - 7:31am
STATE News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday that more than one-third of DWI cases monitored by the state during the first year of the DWI court monitoring initiative – aimed to shed light on how DWI cases are handled – were dismissed.
 
Martinez also announced ways the state plans to help with the adjudication of DWI cases.
 
“It is unacceptable to continue to let people off the hook for drunk driving,” Martinez said. “We must send the message to all New Mexicans that if you get behind the wheel intoxicated you will face the consequences in court for your actions.

Governor Unveils TV Ad Warning Consequences Of Drunk Driving

on November 21, 2017 - 7:29am
NMDOT News:
 
SANTA FE  Nov. 17, Gov. Susana Martinez unveiled a new TV ad to fight DWI in New Mexico warning drivers of what could happen if they drive drunk.
 
Martinez also announced an increase in law enforcement presence on New Mexico’s roads and highways to crackdown on DWI and other dangerous driving habits throughout the holiday season.
 
“I will not stop fighting to end DWI in our state. It’s been a problem for too long and it is 100 percent preventable,” Martinez said. “It’s easy – make the decision not to drink and drive, every time.”
 
The new ad is available online here

Pearce: House Reforms Flood Insurance Program

on November 21, 2017 - 7:03am
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
 
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act, to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP):
 
“The National Flood Insurance Program was created to better protect homeowners and businesses in high-risk flood zones because the private market simply wasn’t able to do it. Unfortunately, after 50 years, this program has become financially unstable and is in desperate need of reform.

Governor Announces 2017 New Mexico True Heroes

on November 21, 2017 - 6:53am

Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday the 2017 New Mexico True Heroes at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce. From left, Jamar Cotton, Debbie Torres, Mike Torres, Donovan Smith, Winnie Keller, Gov. Susana Martinez, Sec. Rebecca Latham and Jeff Siembieda. Courtesy photo

SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday the 2017 New Mexico True Heroes, five New Mexicans devoted to making New Mexico a better place to live, work and raise a family.

“Our 2017 New Mexico True Heroes are leaders in their communities and work hard day in and day out to make our state a wonderful place to call

Atomic City Spy Tour Wins Best New Experience Award

on November 20, 2017 - 6:17pm

From left, Los Alamos MainStreet Executive Director Suzette Fox, Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Communications Director Ryn Herrmann and Los Alamos County Marketing Specialist Kelly Stewart hold the ‘Atomic City Spy Tour’ Best New Experience Award. The trio attended the New Mexico Hospitality Association annual Top Hat Awards Nov. 14 in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos MainStreet News:

The New Mexico Hospitality Association annual Top Hat Awards were presented Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Hotel Albuquerque and the New Mexico True Atomic City Spy Tour was a big winner.

Udall Welcomes Los Lunas Facebook Data Center Expansion Announcement

on November 20, 2017 - 11:20am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomed Facebook’s announcement Nov. 14 that it will triple the size of its Los Lunas data center, with plans to construct a total of six buildings and invest more than $1 billion in the project: 
 
“Facebook’s announcement is a testament to what New Mexico can accomplish when we work together to harness the unique strengths of our state and our workforce.

New Mexico House Republicans Push For DA And Law Enforcement Funding

on November 20, 2017 - 11:04am

GOP News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Today, House Republican Representatives Gentry, Adkins, Maestas Barnes, Smith, Hall and Rehm sent a letter to the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) urging them to increase funding for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s office and state law enforcement agencies.

In his testimony before the LFC in September 2017, 2nd Judicial District Attorney Raul Torrez informed the committee that though nearly 48 percent of that state’s violent crimes and 70 percent of auto thefts occur in the 2nd Judicial District, his office receives only 27 percent of the funds allotted to New

Governor Martinez Announces Seventh Straight Record-Breaking Year For Economic Impact Of Tourism

on November 20, 2017 - 10:18am
Gov. Susana Martinez
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Nov. 16, Gov. Susana Martinez announced that in 2016 the tourism industry generated the largest economic impact in state history for the seventh consecutive year, injecting $6.4 billion into New Mexico’s economy.
 
This represents a 2.1 percent increase over 2015, or $133 million more, and equates to nearly $730,600 spent by visitors to New Mexico every hour last year.

“Tourism plays a vital role in diversifying our state’s economy,” Martinez said.

NCRTD Honored By GFOA With Award For Distinguished Budget Presentation

on November 20, 2017 - 8:58am
NCRTD News:
 
For the second consecutive year, the North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its Fiscal Year 2018 budget from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.
 
According to a statement by the GFOA, “The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.

RCLC To Address Revenue Stabilization And Tax Policy Committee On Lab Prime Contractor GRT Issue

on November 19, 2017 - 3:50pm

RCLC News:

The Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee of the New Mexco Legislature is meeting Monday and Tuesday in room 322 at the State Capitol.

An important item for Los Alamos County, on the agenda at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, is related to excluding prime contractors that operate national laboratories in New Mexico from paying Gross Receipts Tax (GRT).

Regional Coalition of LANL Communities (RCLC) Chair and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales and RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero are scheduled to present information on a proposal to exclude prime contractors that operate national

Shin: If Sanctuary School, Then Kiss $8M Goodbye!

on November 19, 2017 - 2:44pm
By LISA SHIN
Los Alamos

On Aug. 29, 2017, our County Council unanimously passed a proclamation honoring the contributions of immigrants. Compared to the earlier version in April, specific language was removed, its tone was softened, and a more strident “resolution” was changed to a “proclamation,” which did not require a vote.

Although Counci Vice Chair Susan O'Leary called it a “milquetoast,” “weak half measure of timid support,” Councilor Antonio Maggiore recognized “that the original was a little inflammatory, a little reactionary to what just transpired on the national scene.” ...

Udall: Passage Of Major National Defense Bill Will Strengthen New Mexico and Nation

on November 19, 2017 - 6:20am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
 
U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON — Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall joined the Senate in voting for final passage of a major national defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), to support troops and military families, and to strengthen national defense programs in New Mexico and across the country.
 
The bill, which will now be sent to the president, includes several measures that Udall has championed to benefit the national security mission being carried out at New Mexico’s national laboratories, military bases and installations, to strengthen the

New Mexico Delegation Calls On New Army Secretary To Bring Active Duty Mission To WSMR

on November 19, 2017 - 6:17am
CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  In a letter to incoming Secretary of the Army Mark Esper, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) urged him to consider White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) as a garrison host for a Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), which could bring close to 500 Army officers to WSMR.
 
Secretary Esper was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday afternoon.

Birth Defects Provoke Challenges For NM Families

on November 18, 2017 - 9:38pm

NMDH News:

Being a parent is a challenge under any circumstance, but for 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States this year, there are challenges above and beyond the day-to-day raising of the child.

One in 33 is the rate of babies born nationally with birth defects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that means about one child in every school classroom in the country might be affected.

Birth defects come in many forms. Here in New Mexico, the Department of Health (NMDOH) tracks the rate of 12 major birth defects.

Heinrich Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation To Improve Background Check System For Firearms Purchases

on November 18, 2017 - 9:11am

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) has cosponsored the bipartisan Fix NICS Act led by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) to ensure federal and state authorities comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The bill penalizes federal agencies who fail to properly report relevant records and incentivizes states to improve their overall reporting.

Fire Crews Monitor Prescribed Burn Unit In Santa Fe Municipal Watershed

on November 18, 2017 - 8:02am

Ignitions underway Thursday in Santa Fe Watershed. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service

Picture-perfect outcome of prescribed burn in Santa Fe Watershed. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
Needle cast and duff adjacent to the prescribed burn unit. This is the type of fuel the prescribed burn is designed to eliminate. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire crews conducted both aerial and on-the-ground surveys Friday of the 248-acre unit within the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed that was treated with prescribed fire yesterday.

Balderas Announces Sen. Phil Griego Convicted On Five Counts In Corruption Trial

on November 18, 2017 - 7:44am
Attorney General Hector Balderas
 
AG News:
 
SANTA FE  Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Thursday that a Santa Fe jury found former Sen. Phil Griego guilty on five counts in the corruption trial prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General.
 
After a two and half week trial, the jury found Griego guilty of Violation of Ethical Principles of Public Service, Violation of Ethical Principles of Public Service (Requesting or Receiving Thing of Value), Bribery, Fraud (Over $20,000), and Unlawful Interest in a Public Contract (Over $50).
 
The case involves the 2014 sale of

Heinrich Statement On DHS Decision To Accept DACA Applications Delayed By Postal Service

on November 17, 2017 - 8:49am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement regarding the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision to allow those rejected because of mail delays to resubmit their renewals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Senator Heinrich led a group of Democratic Senators in sending a letter to DHS calling on the department to take immediate action. 
 
“I’m pleased that Dreamers whose applications were rejected due to Postal Service delays will be able to resubmit their renewals for

Attorney General Issues Gift Card Advisory

on November 17, 2017 - 8:31am
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued tips Thursday for both givers and receivers of gift cards this holiday season, noting that the use and abuse of gift cards has continued to increase with the increase of online shopping.
 
“Scammers are out to steal from you, especially during the holiday shopping season. They are ready to prey on your love and generosity for family and friends, so be diligent and protect your money from these thieves,” Balderas said.

Balderas Urges Congress To Repeal Law That Supports Opioid Oversupply & Handcuffs The DEA

on November 17, 2017 - 7:58am
Attorney General Hector Balderas 
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas sent a letter late Monday to congressional leaders, urging them to repeal a 2016 federal law so registered drug manufacturers and distributors who have willfully contributed to the nation’s oversupply of pain killers (opioids), can be held accountable.
 
The “Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016” (P.L. 114-145) has severely limited the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) response to the opioid crisis.

La Fonda Del Bosque Restaurant Now Open At National Hispanic Cultural Center In Albuquerque

on November 17, 2017 - 7:52am
La Fonda del Bosque serves a menu featuring New Mexican comfort foods. Courtesy photo
 
NHCC News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) has announced that La Fonda del Bosque restaurant is now open 9-11:30 a.m. for pastries and coffee and 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday in the NHCC History and Literary Arts Building at 1701 4th Street SW in Albuquerque.
 
The restaurant is owned and operated by Stefani Mangrum, chef and owner of City Treats Catering & Parties.
 
La Fonda del Bosque serves a menu featuring New Mexican comfort foods with a

New Mexico Makes Substantial Strides In Engaging Parents About Their Child’s Early Reading

on November 16, 2017 - 7:38am
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  More parents and families than ever before are being notified of their students’ early reading progress. Two years ago, only 8 percent of families were notified mid-year when their child was reading below grade level. This past year, that number jumped to 57 percent.
 
Although more families were informed, only a fraction of them were given the option at the end of the year to provide their children with an additional year of instruction.

Heinrich, Flake, Shaheen Press DOD For Unpublished Domestic Violence Reporting Data

on November 16, 2017 - 7:29am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today sent a letter to the Defense Department (DOD) raising serious questions about how and where the agency is reporting domestic violence related convictions adjudicated in military court, and the recent FBI’s assertion that it cannot determine how many, if any, of these convictions have been reported to one of three databases used to prevent the sale of firearms to statutorily-barred individuals.
 
As the letter notes, currently available data shows only one

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