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Major, Record-Breaking Snow Event For Area

on February 28, 2015 - 8:18am

Courtesy/NWS

NWS News:

  • Prolonged Winter Weather Pattern Continues

Record-breaking snow impacting portions of central and northern New Mexico will continue to ease in intensity through the remainder of the morning, with warmer air making a solid push from southwest to northeast as the day progresses.

This will force snow levels higher, with significant additional snow during the afternoon and evening focused over the northern mountains and lower elevations near the New Mexico Colorado state line. 

Meanwhile, very cold air firmly entrenched across the eastern plains will also moderate and

Luján Statement On Funding DHS For Seven Days

on February 27, 2015 - 10:24pm

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement tonight after voting for a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security for seven days.

“By passing a seven-day funding bill tonight, we are laying the foundation to bring up a full-year funding bill next week rather than prolonging it for three weeks. Tonight’s vote assures us that we will vote for full funding next week and put House Republicans’ irresponsible manufactured political crisis to an end.”

Heinrich Welcomes $6.4 Million For Operationally Responsive Space Program At Kirtland Air Force Base

on February 27, 2015 - 1:12pm

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced $6.4 million for the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program in the Air Force's fiscal year 2016 budget request, which still must be approved by Congress. 

For the past three years, the Air Force has attempted to terminate ORS, and this budget request marks the first time it has reinvested in the program.

Last October, Heinrich wrote a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James requesting ORS funding in the budget so

Electronic Payments Allowed For Court Fines, Fees

on February 27, 2015 - 12:04pm

COURT News:

SANTA FE – State courts have launched a new system allowing online payments of traffic tickets as well as fines and fees owed in criminal cases in magistrate courts and the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

Payments can be made from the following court website using a credit card or debit card: https://publicaccess.nmcourts.gov/.

“Our courts are providing a secure, convenient method for paying fines and fees,” said Artie Pepin, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. “The electronic payment system saves time and money for the public.

IRS Issues Nearly 40 Million Tax Refunds

on February 27, 2015 - 9:43am

IRS News:

PHOENIX—Almost 40 million tax refunds worth nearly $125 billion have been issued as of Feb. 20, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics released Thursday.

The average refund is $3,120.

The IRS has processed nearly 50 million returns, about one-third of the total individual federal income tax returns the agency expects to receive this year, with almost 83 percent of those returns resulting in refunds. More than 92 percent of refunds have been directly deposited into taxpayer accounts.

Will Governor & Education Secretary Take PARCC Test?

on February 27, 2015 - 9:06am

Gov. Susana Martinez

 

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Responding to parent and student concerns about the over-use of standardized tests, Senate Majority Leader Michael S. Sanchez, D-Valencia, Bernalillo, Thursday challenged Gov. Susana Martinez and Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera to take the PARCC exam to find out if they can pass it. 

PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

Secretary of Education Hanna Skandera

 

All public school students in New Mexico grades 3-11 are required to complete the new computerized test beginning next Monday and

Parade Of Storms To Continue Through Sunday

on February 27, 2015 - 7:52am

Snow covers the area overnight including this Pinon Trails neighborhood in White Rock. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

NWS News:

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a winter storm warning expected to continue until 4 p.m., Sunday.

Winter Storm Warning:

.AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO IMPACT AREAS EAST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE WITH ACCUMULATING SNOW THROUGH THIS MORNING.

A NEW BATCH OF HEAVY SNOW WILL BEGIN TO DEVELOP ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTHWEST AREAS THIS AFTERNOON AS A STRONG UPPER LEVEL LOW  PRESSURE SYSTEM DROPS SOUTHWARD INTO THE WESTERN UNITED

Garcia Richard's DWI Bill Passes House 61-0

on February 26, 2015 - 10:16pm

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

SANTA FE – Efforts to stop drunk driving and close loopholes in the current DWI laws secured a major victory this evening.

The New Mexico House voted unanimously (61-0) to pass Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard's, D-Los Alamos, DWI Interlock Removal Requirements legislation, House Bill 86.

"For three sessions, I have fought alongside of DWI prevention advocates to continue to raise awareness and pass legislation to address shortcomings and loopholes hindering our state from fully eradicating its drunk driving problem," Garcia Richard said.

WIPP Hosts All-Hazards Planning Meeting

on February 26, 2015 - 3:07pm
WIPP News:
 
WIPP hosted the first annual All-Hazards, Offsite Interface Briefing and Regional Radiological Response Planning Meeting Feb. 20 to provide information on changes and enhancements to WIPP’s Emergency Management Program and how these changes would be coordinated with WIPP’s offsite partners.
 
The meeting was attended by local, state and federal agencies with emergency response roles related to incidents or accidents at the WIPP facility.

Udall Applauds FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules

on February 26, 2015 - 11:41am

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall welcomed a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve updated open Internet rules.

The new rules prevent broadband providers from blocking or throttling lawful online content and ban agreements between broadband providers and online companies that create Internet “toll lanes.” 

Udall has been outspoken in his support for a free and open Internet for all Americans.

Rep. Lujan Grisham Calls On DOE To Suspend APD Access To National Training Center Coyote Canyon

on February 26, 2015 - 10:12am

Members of the Wackenhut Services Inc. Oak Ridge team sprint for the next station in the Super Team competition in 2008 at the National Training Center known as Coyote Canyon. The last team member is carrying a 40-lb simulated special nuclear material canister. Courtesy/DOE

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., has asked the U.S.

Right-To-Work Compromise Passes House Floor

on February 26, 2015 - 7:34am

STATE News:

Bill Also Raises Minimum Wage To $8

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday night that will raise the minimum wage to $8 per hour and give workers the right to choose whether they financially contribute to a union.

The legislation – which passed by a bipartisan vote of 37-30 and will now head to the Senate – is the result of hours of debate and a compromise that not only creates a right-to-work law, but also raises the minimum wage to the third highest in the region.

“A vast majority of New Mexicans agree that our workers should never

Attorney General To Support Campaign Finance Disclosure Bill In House Committee Today

on February 26, 2015 - 7:33am

NM Attorney General Hector Balderas

STATE News:

Senate Bill 278, sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith, will be heard this afternoon, by the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee.

The bill, which requires disclosure of donors to independent political action committees, picked up a new supporter this week – the Attorney General. SB 384, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, mirrors SB 278 in the Senate.

In a letter to the bill’s sponsors, AG Hector Balderas said, “We believe your bills will allow New Mexico laws to conform to U.S.

Udall Leads Push To Ensure Homeland Security Employees Are Paid Despite Potential GOP Shutdown

on February 25, 2015 - 12:06pm

U.S. SENATE News:
  • More than 2,300 DHS employees in New Mexico could be hurt by shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced that he has joined several of his Democratic colleagues in introducing legislation that would ensure Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are paid if congressional Republicans refuse to fund DHS by the end of this week.

Out of anger at President Obama's immigration policies, Republicans have proposed legislation with harsh anti-immigrant penalties and threatened to block DHS funding — including programs that are critical for New Mexico

New Mexico House Passes FY-2016 Budget

on February 25, 2015 - 7:39am

House Appropriations Committee Chair Larry Larrañaga

STATE News:

  • Budget Invests In Education, Economic Development & Protecting Children

SANTA FE – The New Mexico House of Representatives passed its FY-2016 budget Tuesday, which maintains fiscal responsibility while funding some of the state’s most important priorities at the highest levels. It passed by a bipartisan vote of 42-25 and will now head to the Senate.

Among other things, the budget calls for more spending on education than ever before to improve New Mexico’s schools; increased funding into programs and initiatives to protect

Governor Appoints LAHS Graduate Jennifer Attrep To First Judicial District Court

on February 24, 2015 - 7:55pm

Jennifer Attrep. Courtesy photo

COURT News:

SANTA FE—Gov. Susana Martinez today announced the appointment of Los Alamos High School graduate Jennifer Attrep to the First Judicial District Court.

Attrep’s appointment fills the vacancy created by the non-retention of Judge Sheri Raphaelson. Attrep has previously served as a judge with the First Judicial District Court. She has a diverse background of legal experience, including criminal law, civil rights, contracts, securities and other areas.

Attrep holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a

Snow Falls On Los Alamos And White Rock

on February 24, 2015 - 2:54pm

Snow falls today in Los Alamos and the National Weather Service reports additional snowfall is expected through tonight with a possible accumulation of 1-3 inches. Photo by Chris Clark/ladailypost.com

Snow falls today in White Rock. Courtesy photo

Letter To The Editor: Parents Have Right To Opt Their Children Out Of Standardized Testing

on February 24, 2015 - 1:49pm
By SEN. HOWIE MORALES
D-Catron, Grant and Socorro

There is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the upcoming Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test (PARCC) that will be administered to students from grades 3-11 this spring.

I want to clarify the options parents have in deciding to opt their children out of taking this test.

Many of you have expressed concern and, indeed, dissatisfaction with the intensity of the current amount of standardized testing taking place in our schools.

CIR Presents: Great Decisions

on February 24, 2015 - 11:32am
 CIR News:
 
The Santa Fe Council on International Relations (CIR) presents Great Decisions, a program of eight discussion topics focusing on current world affairs. 
 
Each meeting includes a half hour video, facilitator presentation (by CIR board member Rob Reider), Q&A participant discussion.
 
BYO lunch, light snacks and beverages are provided. This program begins 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 and continues for eight sessions the third Tuesday of each month through October. The meetings are at the SFCIR Conference Room, 413 Grant Ave., Suite D, in Santa Fe.  

The cost for the eight

Beauties For Big Brothers Big Sisters

on February 24, 2015 - 10:22am

Miss Northern New Mexico Rose Lea of Los Alamos. Photo by Try'N'Fly Photography of Los Alamos

BBBS News:

Los Alamos’ own Miss Northern New Mexico 2015 will be bringing “Beauties for Big Brothers Big Sisters” to this year’s Fire and Ice Festival in Jemez Springs.

Come out to Fitzgerald Park 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and purchase your chance to toss a pie at Miss Northern New Mexico, as well as other delegates of the Miss United States Organization. If you’re really feeling ferocious, you can even get the opportunity to plant a pie right in a beauty queen’s face.

Speaker Tripp Releases Statement On Passing Of Former House Sergeant-At-Arms Gilbert Lopez

on February 24, 2015 - 8:28am

STATE News:

SANTA FE – House Speaker Don Tripp released the following statement on the passing of former Sergeant-At-Arms Gilbert Lopez:

“Gilbert Lopez dedicated his life to serving the people of New Mexico. Including his tenure as the sergeant-at-arms, Lopez served in the State Capitol for 23 years before retiring in 2014. He is a man of great honor. Our prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Memorial honoring House Sergeant-At-Arms Gilbert Lopez at his retirement following the 2014 legislative session:

WHEREAS, after twenty-three years of working at the state capitol, Gilbert Lopez,

Prescribed Burns Planned On Santa Fe National Forest's Cuba Ranger District

on February 24, 2015 - 7:41am

SFNF News:

SANTA FE  Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest plan to continue the La Jara prescribed pile burns on the Cuba Ranger District this week.

The La Jara prescribed pile burns, a remaining total of 56 acres, may continue through March 30, only if conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality and weather forecasts, are favorable. Small blocks may be treated each day to decrease the daily smoke volume. 

Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-dependent ecosystems.

Legislation To Expand State’s Voyeurism Law Passes House Floor With Unanimous Vote

on February 24, 2015 - 7:33am

Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Legislation that would crack down on sexual predators attempting to secretly view or record a person’s intimate areas has passed the House floor by a bipartisan vote of 59-5.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage, R-San Juan County, will now go the State Senate. 

“We have the right to our privacy and must make sure these rights are protected,” said Clahchischilliage, of Kirtland, the bill’s sponsor. “This legislation will help protect New Mexico’s families from predators. I look forward to a vote by the Senate.”

New Mexico Senate Unanimously Confirms Higher Education Department Secretary Barbara Damron

on February 23, 2015 - 9:09pm

Barbara Damron

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico State Senate unanimously confirmed Higher Education Department (HED) Cabinet Secretary Barbara Damron.

Damron received numerous praises from both sides of the aisle throughout the proceedings.

“I am both honored and privileged to be given this tremendous responsibility by Gov. Susana Martinez and the New Mexico State Senate” Damron said. “All education stakeholders must work together to guide students down a successful academic path.”

Damron has more than 30 years of experience as an executive, health care provider, scientist,

Think New Mexico Again Recognized Among Top Think Tanks

on February 23, 2015 - 7:07pm
TNM News:
 
For the third year in a row, Think New Mexico has been recognized as one of the top think tanks in the world by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania’s International Relations Program.
 
The recognition came in TTCSP’s eighth annual “Global Go To Think Tank Index Report,” which TTCSP describes as “the gold standard for think tanks around the world.”
 
Think New Mexico increased its ranking to 56th in the world (up from 57th in 2013 and 70th in 2012) in the Special Achievement category of “Best Advocacy Campaign.” It was the

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