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Study Shows Film Industry Tax Incentives Reap Big Pay-Off For New Mexico’s Economy

on July 26, 2014 - 9:15am

STATE News:

The New Mexico Film Office reports that a recent state-commissioned study shows that film production spending in New Mexico has created nearly 15,900 well-paying jobs and generated more than $1 billion in economic impact, thus resulting in a positive outcome of film production tax credits.

In 2011 Senate Majority Whip, Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo successfully sponsored Senate Bill 44 (SB44), as part of a ‘cap and study’ compromise to avoid the administration’s proposed cuts to the film incentive program and allowed for the continuation of tax credit rates to the film industry.

New Mexico History Museum Named Best in the West

on July 26, 2014 - 8:45am

A young buckaroo outside the Cowboys Real and Imagined exhibit. Courtesy/Cheron Bayna Ryan

STATE News:

Now landing in subscribers’ mailboxes, the September 2014 issue of True West magazine names the New Mexico History Museum as the nation’s best Western museum, “in recognition of their superior exhibitions and ability to reach all generations through their creativity in interpreting the West while fulfilling their institution’s mission.”

The honor follows the announcement that the museum won a national Award of Merit for Leadership in History from the American Association of State and

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Luján On Human Trafficking And Humanitarian Crisis At Border

on July 26, 2014 - 8:39am

U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District spoke on the House floor Thursday evening during the debate on a number of bills aimed at combating human and sex trafficking.

Luján highlighted the importance of protecting children from violence and the need to do the same for children who are fleeing extreme violence in Central America.

Click here to watch his speech.

Los Alamos Schools Earn High Marks From State

on July 24, 2014 - 1:11pm

LAPS News:

Los Alamos Public Schools received high marks from the New Mexico Public Education Department. Three schools were awarded “A” grades and four schools earned “B” grades for 2014. 

Just released report cards by the NMPED reflected the high quality of instruction by Los Alamos schools. Schools receiving “A” grades included Los Alamos High School, Barranca Mesa Elementary and Mountain Elementary. Aspen, Chamisa, Pinon and Los Alamos Middle School received “B” grades.

All seven school principals were pleased with their school grades.

Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard Chairs Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee Meeting In Los Alamos

on July 24, 2014 - 11:46am

Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard chairs Wednesday's Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee at UNM-LA. Courtesy photo

Committee Chair Sen. Peter Wirth, second from left, and Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard at Wednesday's Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee meeting at UNM-LA. Courtesy photo

STATE News:

New Mexico senators and representatives traveled to Los Alamos Wednesday to hold a public hearing on the Radioactive & Hazardous Materials Committee.

Los Alamos' Rep.

O’Neill Reintroducing Bill Protecting Homeless From Hate Crimes

on July 24, 2014 - 9:21am

Sen. Bill O’Neill

STATE News:

Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Bernalillo, is planning to once again introduce a bill that was unanimously endorsed by the bi-partisan Courts Corrections and Justice Committee in the 2013 regular legislative session that protects homeless individuals from being targeted for harm.

Senate Bill 124 from our 2013 session enjoyed strong bi-partisan support, and made it to the Senate Floor. But time ran out before it could be moved into the House for further consideration,” O’Neill said.

Luján Amendment to Examine New Broadcasting Markets Passes House

on July 24, 2014 - 8:33am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, highlighted the passage of legislation July 23 that included an amendment he offered as part of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) reauthorization. 

Luján's amendment explores how new broadcasting markets could be created if they are based upon the potential of current and future technologies instead of the limitations of aging broadcasting antennas.

Taos Fall Arts Festival Celebrates 40 Years

on July 24, 2014 - 8:13am
Projection installation of featured artist Markus Dorninger Courtesy/http://www.paseotaos.org

TAOS ARTS News:

The oldest art festival in Taos, Taos Fall Arts Festival, is celebrating its 40th year by expanding and enhancing the festival, adding new features such as The Paseo on opening night. The 2014 festival is scheduled for Sept. 26-Oct. 5 with an opening reception 4-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26.

“We chose to create a community focus group and listen to local artists to find out how we could better serve the arts community going forward and local businesses," spokesman Paul Figueroa said.

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NMpreps.com's Elite Combine Showcases State's Top High School Football Players

on July 24, 2014 - 8:00am

SPORTS News:

The seventh annual NMpreps.com's Elite Combine powered by Defined Fitness is 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 26, and will showcase more than 200 of New Mexico's best high school athletes.

The event is at the Cleveland High School Football Stadium, 4800 Laban Road, NE in Rio Rancho. Admission is free.

Each high school athlete will be tested in five core events:

  • Bench Press;
  • 40-Time;
  • Vertical Jump;
  • Standing Broad Jump; and
  • Shuttle Run.

The 2014 premier event will showcase the athletic talent of top New Mexico high school football players.

Udall, Heinrich: New Leadership Needed at N.M. VA Medical Center

on July 23, 2014 - 6:49am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 21, as the acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary visits New Mexico, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged the VA to move quickly to hire a qualified permanent director for New Mexico's VA hospital to help it immediately begin the work to regain the trust of veterans and address serious problems with scheduling, emergency response, care for rural veterans and other challenges.

Numerous vacancies at the VA, including the New Mexico VA Medical Center (VAMC) director, have made it extremely difficult to make

WIPP to Reduce Transportation Contract Drivers

on July 23, 2014 - 6:44am

WIPP News:

Visionary Solutions, a carrier contracted to transport waste to WIPP, will reduce its driver teams as a result of the February events that suspended waste disposal operations at the facility.

In anticipation of the decline in shipments, the Carlsbad Field Office asked Visionary Solutions to propose cost estimates that reflect the reduced need for transportation services. Visionary Solutions has now reduced its qualified two-person driving teams from 11 to three. The number of dedicated tractors or trucks also will be reduced to three.

WIPP will maintain its transportation

Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee Meets at UNM-LA July 23

on July 22, 2014 - 7:00am

STATE News:

The New Mexico Legislature’s Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee meets 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 23 at the UNM-LA Student Center Lecture Hall (Room 230), 4000 University Dr.

Committee members will discuss Los Alamos National Laboratory's Waste Drum Characterization Process and LANL's Legacy Waste Cleanup Status.

They also will speak with Ryan C. Flynn, N.M. Secretary of Environment and receive the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Report from Joe Franco, manager of the DOE Carlsbad Field Office. Chromium Contamination Mitigation also is on the agenda.

Committee Chair Sen.

New Mexico Moves From 50 to 49 in Child Well-being

on July 22, 2014 - 6:50am

Courtesy/ACF

STATE News:

New Mexico moved up from the bottom ranking of 50 in the 2013 national KIDS COUNT rankings to 49 in child well-being this year in the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

While improvement was made from the 2013 to 2014 editions of the report in some child well-being indicators—such as child poverty (dropped from 31 percent to 29 percent), high school graduation rates (rose from 67 percent in 2010 to 74 percent in 2012) and our teen birth rate (dropped from 53 births per 1,000 female teens to 47 per 1,000)—others declined.

Key child well-being indicators that declined from

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AWF Conducts Ecological Restoration at Valles Caldera July 25-27

on July 21, 2014 - 11:52am

AWF News:

Albuquerque Wildlife Federation (AWF) and Amigos de Valles Caldera are hosting a weekend-long volunteer project and group campout in the National Preserve.

Volunteers from both groups will be coordinating with ecological restoration specialists to improve integrity of streams and wetlands in the preserve via rock structures, fencing, and planting of native species.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the project or Albuquerque Wildlife Federation’s activities and mission, contact Phil Carter at 505.463.0125 or philcrater@gmail.com, or visit

SF National Cemetery Hosts Veterans Burial Benefits Workshops Wednesday

on July 21, 2014 - 11:05am

SFNC News:

SANTA FE – Santa Fe National Cemetery Director James P. Sanders will host Veterans Burial Benefits Workshops 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 23.

The hour-long workshops will provide an overview of the National Cemetery Administration, highlighting the Santa Fe National Cemetery, burial benefits provided by the National Cemetery Administration and how to make burial arrangements.

The Veteran Burial Benefit Workshops are at the Bataan Memorial Building, second floor, room 238 (the Old Senate Chambers).

The times are set-up on the hour/every hour as follows:

  • 8 a.m.
  • 9 a.m.
  • 10 a.m.
  • 11 a.m.

Luján Introduces Legislation to Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

on July 20, 2014 - 9:12am

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 introduced legislation recently that will promote energy savings through increased efficiency standards and increased investments in renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. 

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act, introduced by Luján and Rep.

UPDATE: Michelle Lujan Grisham Will NOT Appear On Meet The Press Sunday

on July 19, 2014 - 9:49am

NOTE: U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will no longer be a guest on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20 as originally announced.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

STATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01 will appear on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20.

Rep. Lujan Grisham and other guests will discuss numerous issues facing Congress and the country, including immigration reform, foreign affairs, and the upcoming elections.

Meet the Press airs at 9 a.m. on KOB-TV Ch. 4.

ESGR Honors Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez

on July 19, 2014 - 7:45am

Sen. Michael Sanchez

ESGR News:

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez received the Seven Seals Award by the New Mexico Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) July 11.

New Mexico ESGR Chair Ray Battaglini said Sanchez was presented with the award for his continuing support of members of the National Guard and Reserve as well as his support of their employers.

Sanchez was given the award and honored at a luncheon held at the Belen National Guard Armory, which was sponsored by ESGR.

Heinrich Addresses Central American Refugee Crisis

on July 19, 2014 - 7:26am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., delivered a speech on the Senate floor July 16 on the current Central American refugee crisis. 

Last week, he joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on a tour of the temporary facility for undocumented parents and their children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center campus in Artesia.

 Heinrich has long been a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, and is a proponent of the president's emergency supplemental request to address the increase in child and adult

Udall Addresses Troubled N.M. VA Hospital

on July 18, 2014 - 11:28am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall meets with Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. Courtesy photo
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., met with the nominee to replace former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned in May in the wake of the veterans' scheduling scandal that has impacted the Albuquerque VA. Nominee Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate, is the former Procter & Gamble CEO.
 
Udall issued the following statement after their meeting:
 
"New Mexico's VA is experiencing a crisis of confidence.

Heinrich Video Addresses Wildfire Funding Reform

on July 18, 2014 - 10:14am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing July 15, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., continued to push to reform federal wildfire policy by funding major wildfires the same way as other natural disasters, while freeing up funding to prevent future fires.

The committee considered the Administration's wildfire preparedness and forest service 2015 fiscal year budget proposal, which includes a plan based on a bill Heinrich is co-sponsoring, which would treat the largest fires -- roughly 1 percent of annual

Storytelling Highlights Valles Caldera Birthday

on July 18, 2014 - 8:24am

Courtesy/VCNP

VCNP News:

The Valles Caldera National Preserve will host the Jemez Mountains Storytelling Jamboree 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., July 26 at the Valle Grande staging area located just inside the Preserve’s main entrance.

There is no admission charge to attend the jamboree, so bring your family and friends for a day of fun and entertainment by some of the area’s most talented storytellers.

The jamboree is the highlight of the 2014 Birthday Celebration that commemorates the creation of the Preserve.

FBI: Former MDC Corrections Officer Faces Federal Drug Trafficking Charge

on July 18, 2014 - 7:56am

Lucas Segura

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Lucas Segura, 22, of Los Lunas made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque Thursday morning on an indictment charging him with a heroin trafficking offense. Segura remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for today.

The indictment alleges that Segura unlawfully possessed heroin with intent to distribute in Bernalillo County April 1. At the time of the offense charged, Segura was a corrections officer at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC).

According to state court filings, Segura was arrested April 1, on

Luján Joins Effort to Limit Money in Politics

on July 17, 2014 - 8:57am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District announced July 15 that he has joined in an effort to limit money in politics by introducing an amendment to the United States Constitution.

The constitutional amendment would overturn Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC in an effort to reduce the growing influence of money in the political system. The constitutional amendment is the companion to the amendment introduced in the Senate by Sen.

Heinrich on Confirmation of Norman Bay to FERC

on July 17, 2014 - 7:48am

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement after voting to confirm Norman C. Bay to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Bay was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 45. The president is expected to designate him to be chairman of FERC next year.

Heinrich spoke on the Senate floor in support of Bay's nomination:

"Norman Bay is an outstanding public servant with extensive experience to address our energy challenges in New Mexico and around the nation.

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