Local News

  • Dunn seeks federal compensation for military ops around White Sands

    State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn announced Tuesday he is seeking federal compensation for lost money for use by military of state land next to White Sands Missile Range.

    State trust land beneficiaries have lost “big bucks” because of military restrictions on the use of the 300,000 acres of state land, Dunn said in a release. Dunn sent a letter to Armed Services Committee Chairman Congressman William M. “Mac” Thornberry,

    “These State Trust Lands have revenue generating potential from many uses including wind and solar energy development, telecommunications, rights-of-way, oil and gas development, and recreation,” Dunn said. “If the DoD is going to prevent the State Land Office from leasing these lands, the Trust beneficiaries should be compensated.”

    In 2004, a temporary withdrawal order restricting uses in the northern and western call up areas was implemented, however no compensation was received, according to Dunn. 

    Since its expiration there has been an ongoing effort to negotiate and execute a Land Use Restrictions or Conditions policy, which would restrict uses to those compatible with WSMR operations and mission.

  • AG Balderas alerts consumers about recent Equifax data breach

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Consumer Alert Tuesday targeting New Mexico consumers who were affected by the recent Equifax data breach.

    Balderas is asking New Mexicans to contact the Office of the Attorney General if they have been a victim of the Equifax breach, and also if they have received any correspondence from Equifax since the breach.

    “We are working on gathering more information about how Equifax is responding to New Mexicans who were victims of the data breach,” Balderas said. “The more documentation we have, the better we can protect our citizens by ensuring that they are being given consistent, legal, and helpful responses by Equifax.”

    Anyone with new complaints regarding the Equifax breach can contact the Consumer and Family Advocacy Services Division at (505) 717-3500 extension 5 in Albuquerque; (505) 490-4060, extension 5 in Santa Fe;  (575) 339-1120 extension 5 in Las Cruces or 1-844-255-9210 toll-free statewide.

    Anyone who has received correspondence related to a complaint they have already filed with the Office of the Attorney General, note that they are sending new information for a complaint already on file with the office.

  • Libertarians earn major party status in New Mexico

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico election regulators say the Libertarian Party has qualified as a major political party.
    Major-party status makes it easier for Libertarians candidates to get their name on the ballot. Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Joey Keefe said Monday that Libertarian candidates need just 230 petition signatures to run statewide. A Democrat will need 2,507 based on prior election turnout.

    Attorney A. Blair Dunn is running as a Libertarian for the Senate seat held by Democrat Martin Heinrich, and business consultant Lloyd Princeton is seeking the Albuquerque-based congressional seat under the Libertarian banner.

    State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn recently switched his party affiliation to Libertarian from Republican. Auber Dunn is Blair Dunn’s father.

    Libertarians got major party status with a strong showing in 2016 presidential elections and adequate registration numbers.

  • Grants spur growth, investments in Pueblo businesses


    A record nine northern New Mexico Native American – owned and – operated businesses have received a total of more than $50,000 in the 2018 grants from the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund.

    The fund was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory operator Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) to help the recipients create jobs, increase their revenue base and diversify the area economy.

    “These investments create jobs for pueblo-owned businesses and help strengthen the area’s economy,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Community Partnerships Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    To date, more than $330,000 has been invested in the regional economy through the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. The investment comes from LANS, and the fund is managed by the Regional Development Corporation, as part of its work assisting Northern New Mexico communities and small businesses with economic development activities, furthering job creation in the region.

    This year’s recipients are:

    • Cochiti Pueblo Development Corporation, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase a water metering and billing system for a water conservation program with tiered billing that will save water and increase revenues.

  • Experts warn of risk of sinkhole in popular New Mexico area

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    Experts are painting a dire picture about the impending collapse of a giant cavern under a highway interchange that serves as a gateway to two national parks and the heart of New Mexico's oil and gas country.

    They told lawmakers Tuesday during a legislative meeting that new cracks are developing at the site on the edge of the city of Carlsbad, indicating that things are beginning to move underground.

    "It is happening right now. It is happening in slow motion," said George Veni, executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and a member of a group that has been working on possible solutions.

    Lawmakers are seeking more than $40 million in state funding to prevent a massive sinkhole, which could take with it the busy intersection, including a highway that leads to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, just across the state line in Texas. Nearby, there's also a church, trailer park, businesses and an irrigation canal that provides water for more than 30 square miles of agricultural lands.

  • Can 3 business titans cure the US health care system?

    By MARLEY JAY, AP Markets Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) — Can a legendary investor, the king of on-line retail and a Wall Street financier find a cure for what ails America's health care system?

    The trio of Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jamie Dimon have had enough success in their respective industries that they are at least being given the benefit of the doubt.

    They have announced they're forming a new company to address health care costs for their U.S. employees, and possibly for many more Americans. The news was enough to rattle investors in established health insurers and trigger a sell-off in their stocks.

    Their announcement Tuesday didn't include many specifics, but based on their very different business backgrounds it's possible to see what each of the three business titans might contribute toward tackling the health care problem.

    For starters, they're heads of huge operations: Their three companies — Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Bezo's Amazon.com and Dimon's JPMorgan Chase — have a combined market worth of $1.62 trillion.

  • Train carrying GOP lawmakers hits truck, 1 on truck killed

    By ALAN FRAM and HEIDI BROWN, Associated Press

    CROZET, Va. (AP) — A train carrying dozens of Republican members of Congress to a policy retreat in the countryside slammed into a garbage truck in rural Virginia on Wednesday, killing one person in the truck and sending several lawmaker-doctors rushing to help the injured.

    No serious injuries were reported among those on the train, an Amtrak charter that set out from the nation's capital with lawmakers and staff for the luxury Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. At least two people in the truck were reported seriously hurt.

    The collision took place around 11:20 a.m. in Crozet, about 125 miles southwest of Washington, tearing the truck in two, crumpling the nose of the locomotive and scattering trash alongside the tracks.

    Authorities gave no details on the cause of the wreck, which took place at a crossing protected by gates, flashing lights, bells and warning signs. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.

    Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican from Oklahoma, said he felt "a tremendous jolt" nearly two hours into the trip, and the train stopped quickly.

  • Fed leaves key rate unchanged at Yellen's final meeting

    By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

    The Federal Reserve has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged but signaled that it expects to resume raising rates gradually to reflect a healthy job market and economy.

    At Janet Yellen's final meeting as chair Wednesday, the Fed kept its key short-term rate in a still-low range of 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. It said in a statement that it expects inflation to finally pick up this year and to stabilize around the Fed's target level of 2 percent. In its previous statement, the Fed had predicted that inflation would remain below its target rate.

    The Fed also indicated that it thinks the job market and the overall economy are continuing to improve.

    "Gains in employment, household spending and business fixed investment have been solid," its statement said.

    The central bank said it expects the steadily strengthening economy to warrant further gradual increases in its benchmark rate. Those additional rate hikes would likely lead, in time, to higher rates on some consumer and business loans.

    Yellen has led a cautious approach to rate increases in her four years as chair, and Jerome Powell, who will succeed her next week, has indicated he favors a similar approach.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Bipartisan plan would alter how univ. regents selected

    The New Mexican

    The governor of New Mexico gets to appoint members to all manner of government boards and committees but among her most influential picks are her nominees to lead the state’s public universities – major institutions that are big employers and big health care providers.

    A Senate committee on Monday approved a bipartisan proposal that would take away a bit of the governor’s power to pick university regents.

    Senate Joint Resolution 1 seeks to change the state constitution to create nominating committees to vet and recommend applicants for seats on university boards of regents.

    And the amendment would require the governor to nominate regents based on those recommendations.

    The sponsors, Sens. Mark Moores, a Republican from Albuquerque, and Jeff Steinborn, a Democrat from Las Cruces, argue the amendment would help depoliticize what can be hyper partisan process with a big impact for organizations that combined are responsible for billions of dollars.

    Leadership positions at the state’s universities should go to the most qualified candidates “instead of just being the political plums,” Moores told the Senate Rules Committee during the measure’s first hearing.

  • Record high temperatures for winter strike New Mexico

    CLAYTON (AP) — Record high temperatures for winter are making their way to New Mexico.

    The National Weather Service said Clayton, New Mexico, reached 78 degrees on Tuesday. That's a record high for the northeastern New Mexico community in winter.

    Much of New Mexico has seen temperatures above normal in recent days.

    Temperatures in Arizona also are heating up to near-record marks.

    National Weather Service meteorologists say Phoenix's high Monday was 83 degrees, tying the record for the date set in 1935.