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Public Safety

Glorieta Camps Prescribed Burn Planned For March

on March 9, 2019 - 7:59am
SANTA FE Glorieta Camps, The Nature Conservancy’s Rio Grande Water Fund and the Forest Stewards Guild plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including moisture levels, air quality, wind direction, and weather forecasts, and initiate a prescribed burn at Glorieta Camps, west of Pecos, as early as Monday March 11.
Exact dates will be dependent on environmental conditions.

Ethics Commission Subpoena Power Is Sticking Point

on March 9, 2019 - 7:53am
Sen. Linda Lopez, sponsor of SB 619
In politics, misdeeds do not often play out in words or sweeping actions but are instead buried in papers and spreadsheets.
So, a constitutional amendment that New Mexico voters overwhelmingly approved last year to set up a statewide ethics commission allowed the proposed panel to collect documents, gather testimony and get other evidence during investigations by issuing subpoenas.
But as lawmakers debate how exactly this commission should operate, many disagree over whether the panel should have the

House Republicans Aims To Override Gun Bill By Taking It To Voters

on March 8, 2019 - 8:53am
Stung by the recent passage of legislation that would expand requirements for instant federal background checks on New Mexico firearms purchasers, House Republicans are looking for a way to override the bill.
Their solution: Employ an arcane provision in the state constitution that would send the question directly to voters in the next statewide general election, scheduled for 2020.
The House of Representatives earlier this week voted almost totally along party lines to approve Senate Bill 8, moving the legislation to the desk of Gov.

RSF: On International Women’s Day 27 Female Journalists Are Victims Of Persecution In Iran, China...

on March 8, 2019 - 8:34am
Photos of several of the 27 women journalists imprisoned, some being tortured in jails around the world. Iran and China are the two largest jailers of women journalists. Courtesy/RSF
Women journalists held in prisons around the world. Courtesy/RSF
RSF News:
As the world marks International Women’s Day today, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) points out that 27 women journalists are detained around the world.
Some are being held in inhuman conditions. Some have been the victims of torture and sexual harassment. RSF calls for their immediate and unconditional release.

As more and more women

DOE Releases Final Request For Proposal For Savannah River Site (SRS) Paramilitary Security Services

on March 7, 2019 - 7:16am
DOE News:
CINCINNATI, Ohio The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Tuesday issued a Final Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Savannah River Site (SRS) Paramilitary Security Services.
This contract will provide security functions in the areas of Program Management, Protective Force, Physical Protection, Information Security, Personnel Security, Law Enforcement, Aviation Operations and Material Transportation Security and Coordination. The total estimated value of the contract is approximately $600M-$1 billion over a 10-year period.

NMDOH: Flu Activity In New Mexico Higher Than National Average

on March 6, 2019 - 4:16pm

Rates of children hospitalized high; still not too late for flu vaccination

SANTA FE -- The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) reports that flu activity remains high across the state with the rate of flu-related hospitalizations in New Mexico being the second highest among states that participate in CDC’s influenza hospitalization tracking.



The rate of hospital admissions among children aged four and younger is particularly high.

Santa Fe Watershed Prescribed Burn Planned For Mid-March To Restore Forest Health, Reduce Wildfire Risk

on March 6, 2019 - 2:56pm
SFNF News:
SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) plan to take advantage of favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, wind direction and weather forecasts, to initiate a prescribed burn in the Santa Fe Municipal Watershed on the Española Ranger District as early as Monday, March 18.  
Exact dates will be dependent on fuel conditions on site.
Up to 500 acres near Nichols Reservoir in the lower Watershed, including 50 acres of piles, will be treated with hand and aerial ignitions.

State Auditor Issues Risk Advisory On Payroll Scam

on March 6, 2019 - 7:11am
SANTA FE The Office of the State Auditor released a Risk Advisory warning of prevalent phishing and spoofing attempts Tuesday to defraud government agencies through employee payroll services.
“Don’t be fooled, fraudsters and thieves are constantly coming up with new scams and they hope by appearing to be official, using a well-known person’s name, they can get you to let your guard down,” State Auditor Brian Colón said. “Be diligent and never give out work or personal financial information when solicited.”
The phishing scam seeks to change direct deposit information

Residents, Commuters, Urged To Sign Up For Cone Zone Alerts Prior To Road Construction

on March 5, 2019 - 4:43pm


Road construction will soon begin on several key projects within the County. One State of New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) project of particular interest to many motorists will begin March 18 when Star Paving Company starts work on the N.M. 502 Reconstruction Project that includes installation of a roundabout at Trinity and Central near the former Hilltop House.

The NMDOT project includes utility installation and roadways reconstruction from Tewa Loop to DP Road, and pavement preservation from DP Road to Knecht Street.

New Mexico State Police Investigates Suspected Home Intruders Shot By Homeowner In Valencia County

on March 5, 2019 - 2:57pm

Home intruder Stephen Benevides. Courtesy/NMSO

NMSP News:

LOS LUNAS – At around 7:41 p.m., Saturday, Valencia County Sheriff’s Department officers were dispatched to a residence on Valencia Drive in Los Lunas for a call of a shooting.

The New Mexico State Police Investigations Bureau was called in to investigate this shooting.

State Police agents learned that Stephen Benevides, 43, and Brittany Torres, 34, were both armed with weapons when they knocked on the front door of a residence on Valencia Drive.

When the homeowner opened the door, Benevides and Torres forced their way into the

Rep. Debbie Armstrong Bill To Keep Guns From Domestic Violence Offenders Passes Senate Committee

on March 5, 2019 - 2:25pm
Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence offenders, HB 87, is headed to its second Senate committee hearing after it passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee Saturday by a vote of 4-2
“When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it is five times more likely that a woman will be killed,” Armstrong said. “HB 87 is a common-sense way to reduce gun violence in New Mexico.”
Armstrong’s bill, cosponsored and carried in the Senate by Sen.

LANL: New Reactor-Liner Alloy Material Offers Strength, Resilience

on March 5, 2019 - 2:20pm

Osman El Atwani, left, and Enrique Martinez at the transmission electron microscope. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Tungsten blend resists fractures, could be valuable for magnetic fusion facilities

A new tungsten-based alloy developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory can withstand unprecedented amounts of radiation without damage.

Essential for extreme irradiation environments such as the interiors of magnetic fusion reactors, previously explored materials have thus far been hobbled by weakness against fracture, but this new alloy seems to defeat that problem. 

“This material showed

Bill To Prevent Predatory Towing Advances

on March 5, 2019 - 8:12am
SANTA FE Monday, a bill to prevent predatory towing passed the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 491, sponsored by Rep. Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque) and Rep. Christine Trujillo (D-Albuquerque) would add a new section to the Unfair Practices Act to make it an unfair or deceptive practice to tow or immobilize a vehicle from an apartment complex without giving 10 days’ written notice.
“This bill was inspired by the story of a Purple Heart veteran whose special license plate was stolen from his vehicle, and then his vehicle was towed away in the middle

SFCIR: Former LANL Director, Sig Hecker, To Discuss 'What's Next For North Korea?' March 21

on March 5, 2019 - 7:41am
Dr. Sig Hecker
Dr. Sig Hecker, former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory will present a discussion entitled "What’s Next for North Korea?" at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda and Spa, 1501 Paseo de Peralta.
The presentation will be introduced and moderated by Valerie Plame, former covert CIA operations officer.
2017 was a very dangerous year on the Korean Peninsula, with regular nuclear tests and a war of words with President Trump – from “dotard” to “Little Rocket Man”. However, rapid North/South rapprochement and the Singapore

Gun Buyer Background Check Bill Clears Legislature

on March 4, 2019 - 10:57pm

The New Mexico House of Representatives voted 42-27 late Monday to approve a bill that would expand requirements for instant federal background checks on buyers of firearms in the state.
Exceptions would include sales of antique firearms or any sale involving immediate family members. It would not affect transactions involving guns that are loaned, gifted or inherited either.
The Senate already had narrowly approved Senate Bill 8, on a vote of 22-20 on Feb. 14, the one-year anniversary of a mass shooting in a high school in Parkland, Fla.

Governor Cheers House Passage Of Legislation Expanding Background Checks, Boosting Public Safety

on March 4, 2019 - 10:43pm

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

From the Office of the Governor:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement late today after the New Mexico House approved Senate Bill 8, a common-sense public safety measure that will expand background checks on firearm sales, closing loopholes used by individuals with dangerous histories.
The Senate approved the legislation on Feb. 14.
One of several important gun safety measures introduced during this legislative session, Senate Bill 8 is a step toward ensuring safe and proper firearm ownership in the state.

NM 502 Los Alamos Roadway Reconstruction & Roundabout Project Begins March 18

on March 4, 2019 - 7:00pm



SANTA FE – New Mexico Department of Transportation and Star Paving Company will begin roadway reconstruction on N.M. 502 from mile post 1.257 to mile post 2.053 in Los Alamos. 

The contractor will begin construction and preparation for detour paving March 18.

Starting March 18, N.M. 502 will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Motorists can expect minor delays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

NMDOT: Public Meeting On Roundabout March 13

on March 4, 2019 - 6:53pm



A public information meeting on the Los Alamos N.M. 502 – Roadway Reconstruction project is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday. March 13 with an Open House in the Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge, 2132 Central Ave, in downtown Los Alamos.

Public Meeting Purpose: The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is sponsoring this meeting to discuss the roadway reconstruction improvements to CN 5100650R3 on NM 502 (MP 1.257 to MP 2.053) in Los Alamos County.

Meeting Overview: NMDOT representatives, Souder, Miller & Assoc.

Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján Statement On House Vote To Close Charleston Loophole

on March 4, 2019 - 9:18am
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) issued the following statement on the House vote Thursday to close the “Charleston Loophole:”
“For an entire generation, Congress has responded to the murder of children, churchgoers, and individuals within our communities due to gun violence with a hollow call for thoughts and prayers. But while we prayed, Americans were murdered by the thousands.
“Today, we took another action to end senseless violence.

Bill Would Prevent Lobbyist Spending During Session

on March 4, 2019 - 8:28am
It is hard to find even a bottle of water in the state Capitol that hasn't been paid for by some special interest group.
But that could change. At the very least, New Mexicans could get a much better idea of what all those groups are lobbying for at the state Capitol.
The state House of Representatives voted 62-0 Sunday night to pass a bill that would ban lobbyists from making any expenditures on legislators while they are in session.
House Bill 131, which now goes to the state Senate, was originally written to require lobbyists to report which pieces

House OKs Ethics Bill With Election ‘Blackout’

on March 4, 2019 - 7:17am
The Roundhouse in Santa Fe. Courtesy/SFNM
Election season might seem like the perfect time for a government ethics watchdog to be on high alert.
But in setting up a new statewide ethics commission, lawmakers are proposing to curtail its work during the height of election years -- or even for the entirety of the campaign season.
Some legislators contend the commission needs a sort of blackout period to avoid political adversaries from filing complaints solely for the purpose of derailing a candidate's campaign.
Advocates have been

House Passes Safety Measure For Hotel Employees

on March 3, 2019 - 7:50am
SANTA FE Thursday, the House of Representatives passed House Bill 139/a sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque) to protect hotel employees from violence, sexual harassment, or other emergencies by providing a panic button for employees who work alone.
“This is a common-sense measure that is an industry best practice. A panic button is a tool for hotel employees that work alone to keep themselves safe while doing their job.

Bill To Prevent Auto Theft Statewide Advances

on March 3, 2019 - 6:15am


SANTA FE – A bill to help prevent auto theft around the state has passed the House Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 529, sponsored by Rep. Raymundo Lara (D-Chamberino), would create an automobile theft prevention fund to help provide resources to prevent vehicle theft.

“This bill is about prevention,” Rep. Raymundo Lara said. “In order to lower our rates of auto theft, we have to create a comprehensive, statewide framework in connection with multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

New Mexico Senate Passes SB 131: Interagency Pharmacies Purchasing Council

on March 2, 2019 - 1:12pm
SANTA FE New Mexico has an opportunity to save millions of dollars a year in prescription drug costs for state agencies and its employees and retirees.  
Senate Bill 131, which passed Friday on the Senate floor, would create an interagency pharmaceutical council to coordinate prescription drug and pharmacy services for state agencies who purchase pharmaceutical drugs. The council would also look for cost savings opportunities for all New Mexicans who purchase prescription drugs.
“Using state buying power and bulk purchasing to negotiate for cheaper prescription

Balderas Calls On New Mexico Legislature To Protect Victims Of Horrific Child Abuse, Pass HB 488

on March 2, 2019 - 8:40am
Attorney General Hector Balderas
AG News:
SANTA FE Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas called on the New Mexico Legislature to pass House Bill 488, which would require all New Mexicans to report suspicion of child abuse to the proper authorities for prevention and intervention.
“New Mexicans have made it clear that the status quo isn’t good enough for our kids. They’re tired of the horrific crimes against children that run rampant across our state,” Attorney General Hector Balderas said.