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Local News

  • Police: 5 killed, 1 injured in New Mexico helicopter crash

    RATON (AP) — A helicopter crashed in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico, killing five people and seriously injuring the sixth person aboard, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said Thursday.
    Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed the five deaths and one injury about 14 hours after the helicopter went down about 6 p.m. Wednesday about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the small city of Raton near the Colorado state line.
    Armijo said no additional information was immediately available about the victims or circumstances of the crash.
    The police agency posted Wednesday night on Twitter that "response and rescue attempts" were ongoing but slow.
    Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the helicopter was a Huey UH-1. Information on its registration was not available, Lunsford said.
    Huey helicopters are flown for individuals, businesses and government agencies.
    The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, and agency spokesman Eric Weiss an NTSB investigator was expected to arrive at the crash site late Thursday.
    Raton is 175 miles (282 kilometers) northeast of Albuquerque.

  • Police seek help identifying suspects in burglary of county building

    Los Alamos Police Department is offering a $400 reward for information leading to the arrest of two men caught on surveillance cameras burglarizing a county maintenance facility on Entrada Drive.

    The burglary occurred at 12:38 a.m. Jan. 8 The police had no leads as of 10 a.m. Thursday.

    A surveillance video showed the suspects loading several chainsaws into a wheelbarrow and leaving the building. Anyone with information is encouraged to call L.A. Crime Stoppers at 662-8282. People reporting tips can remain anonymous.

  • Dementia caregiving course offered in Pojoaque set to start Feb. 6

     MONITOR STAFF REPORT

     Families facing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease will have access to a free education course in Pojoaque, offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter.

    “Skills for Dementia Caregiving 101” (The Savvy Caregiver Program) is a free seven-session program designed for family and friends caring for a loved one with dementia, and presented by the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter.

    The course will be held once a week, Tuesdays, from Feb. 6 through March 20, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  

    The course is being hosted at the Nuestra Señora De Guadalupe Church Parish Hall, 9 Grazing Elk Drive, Pojoaque. The instructors are Gary and Paula Sánchez.

    To register or for more information contact 1-800-272-3900 or kmgandara@alz.org.

  • WIPP closed temporarily

     CARLSBAD (AP) — The nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository is undergoing its first maintenance outage since it resumed operations a year ago.

    Before then, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant had been shut down for three years because radiation contaminated part of the facility.

    The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that maintenance crews will be updating power supplies, relocating fiber-optic cables and replacing other parts in the underground mine.

    The work is expecting to last until Jan. 26. Waste shipments will be on hold until the following week.

  • Lawsuits filed to block net-neutrality repeal

    A group of attorneys general for 21 states and the District of Columbia sued Tuesday to block the rules. So did Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, public-interest group Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute. Others may file suit as well, and a major tech-industry lobbying group has said it will support litigation.

    The rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s push to undo them inspired both street and online protests in defense of the Obama-era rules.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said Tuesday that the end of the net neutrality rules would hurt consumers and businesses.

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined in the lawsuit.

  • Hawaii’s missile-alert error reveals uncertainty about how to react

    What do we do?” he wondered. “Where do we go?”

    People should immediately seek shelter in a building “or other substantial structure,” once an attack-warning siren sounds, according to guidance the state distributed previously. The state recommends having 14-day survival kit of food and water.

    Residents and tourists alike remained rattled after the mistaken alert was blasted out to cellphones across the islands with a warning to seek immediate shelter and the ominous statement: “This is not a drill.”

    “Clearly there is a massive gap between letting people know something’s coming and having something for them to do,” Scheuer said Sunday. “Nobody knew what to do.”

    Lisa Foxen, a social worker and mother of two young children in east Honolulu, said the best thing to come out of the scare was that it pushed her family to come up with a plan if there is a real threat.

    “I kind of was just almost like a deer in headlights,” she said. “I knew what to do in a hurricane. I knew what to do in an earthquake. But the missile thing is new to me.”

  • NMED extends deadline to apply for food handler cards

    MONITOR STAFF REPORT

    NMED will continue to work with the regulated community, according to officials at NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau. Through NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau, New Mexico’s food program regulates all food establishments in the state outside of the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which operate their own food safety programs.

    NMED will continue dialogue with food establishments and industry to address questions regarding the Food Handler Card and Certified Manager requirements and to draft modifications to the regulatory provisions as needed.

    Any necessary regulatory changes will need to be approved and adopted by the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) through a public proceeding

    The effective date for implementing the food safety enhancements has been extended until further notice. 

    “We want to assist permitted food establishments across the state with compliance,” said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Butch Tongate. 

    For more information, contact the Food Program Manager Johnathan Gerhardt at food.program@state.nm.us or 505-222-9515.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Senate Dems: ‘A new day on the horizon for New Mexico’

    BY DANIEL J. CHACON
    The New Mexican

    Senate Democrats said Tuesday that New Mexico’s future looks bright – partly because it doesn’t include outgoing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who also struck a combative tone at the start of the 30-day legislative session.

    “There’s a new day on the horizon for the state of New Mexico,” said Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, who delivered the response from his caucus to Martinez’s final State of the State address.

    “Soon, we will have a new leadership team that will guide the state in providing more jobs, better classrooms, protection for our environment (and) safer places for our communities to raise our families and lead prosperous lives,” he said.

    “New Mexico has been on too many of the lists, at the bottom, for far too long.”

    In her speech, Martinez, who leaves office at the end of this year, focused on issues she has been working on since she was first elected governor in 2010. These included longer criminal sentences and mandatory retention of hundreds or even thousands of third-graders who are not proficient on standardized reading tests.

    But Democrats indicated they were ready to move on.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Clock ticking on nursing compact

    BY ANDREW OXFORD
    The New Mexican

    Lawmakers face a hard deadline this week to make sure that dozens or even hundreds of nurses can continue working in New Mexico.

    Legislators have until midnight Friday to approve a new nurse licensing compact, an update to an agreement that allows nurses licensed in other states to practice in New Mexico without getting a separate certificate.

    Hospitals say the compact is key to recruiting in a state facing a shortage of medical professionals. Missing the deadline to join the new system would leave New Mexico with fewer nurses to care for patients, they say.

    Though not much usually happens during the first days of a legislative session, the high stakes amid a particularly rough flu season have forged what appears to be a bipartisan consensus that lawmakers must approve the compact and fast during their 30-day gathering that begins at noon Tuesday.

    “We’ll get it done by Thursday or maybe even Wednesday,” said Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. With Sens. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, and Howie Morales, D-Silver City, he is sponsoring a bill to join the new compact.

  • SF Women’s March to feature Rep. Luján, Valerie Plame

    The Santa Fe Women’s March 2018 is scheduled to begin at the Roundhouse at noon on Sunday. Marchers will walk to the Santa Fe Plaza where a variety of speakers will talk on this year’s theme of “Resistance, Perseverance, Revolution and Solidarity.”

    “People have asked why are we marching. We are marching for women, our bodies, our rights, we’re marching for men, children, immigrants the poor, the Dreamers, the disenfranchised, the environment, Mother Earth, human, nonhuman animals. We’re marching for you, for me and for all of us,” event organizer Karen Kane said.

    Speakers include Congressman Ben Ray Luján, Madeleine Carey of Wild Earth Guardians and ex-CIA Agent Valerie Plame.

    The march has a Facebook page at facebook.com/Santa-Fe-Womens-March-2018.

    The event also has a gofundme page at gofundme.com/womensmarch2018santafe.

    There will be a poster party Saturday at the Santa Fe Democratic Party headquarters, 1420 Cerrillos Road from 2- 4 p.m. Shirts and other apparel are available at Roadrunner Screen Printers, 1235 Siler Road.