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Local News

  • Open casting call for ‘Longmire’ Saturday in Española

    On Saturday, the New Mexico Federation of Labor and the New Mexico Film Workers Union will hold an open casting call for the Netflix series "Longmire." Professional headshots will be taken on the spot and local background casting director, Robert Baxter will be on hand. Champion for workers of Española Valley, State Sen. Richard C. Martinez will be a guest.

    Complimentary lunch and entertainment will be provided at this family-friendly event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Santa Claran Hotel Casino, 460 N Riverside Dr., Española.

    The 5th season of “Longmire” will begin filming on March 23 in various locations in northern New Mexico.

  • Today in history Jan. 28
  • Roswell Republican considering Secretary of State run

    SANTA FE (AP) — A Roswell Republican is thinking of throwing her hat into the Secretary of State race.

    Rep. Nora Espinoza told The Associated Press on Thursday that she is gathering signatures and will make a decision later on whether she'll seek the statewide office.

    So far, Espinoza is the only Republican to publicly say she wants to run for the seat to fulfill the remaining term after Dianna Duran resigned amid a fraud case.

    Bernalillo County clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she will seek the Democratic nomination for the office.

    The secretary of state is charged with administering and enforcing the state's election and campaign finance reporting laws.

    Espinoza, who has lived in Roswell for more than 40 years, says she supports new voter ID laws.

  • Warrants point to allegations of fraud at MLK Commission

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Search warrants targeting bank records, invoices, emails and other documents related to the financial activities of the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission are shining new light on accusations of possible fraud and embezzlement by the commission's executive director.

    The warrants were made public Wednesday, a day after special agents with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office seized documents and computers from the commission's office in Albuquerque. Also searched were executive director Kimberly Greene's home and the offices of the nonprofit Educational, Research, Evaluation and Design Inc., or eRead.

    State prosecutors have yet to file any charges related to the case, but investigators detailed checks issued to Greene and what they believe is a forged invoice for more than $51,000.

    "This is an active investigation, and we will update the public with a final determination as soon as possible," Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement.

    The New Mexico State Auditor's Office also is investigating the commission for possible fraud, waste and abuse, noting that the commission has been on the state's "at-risk" list for two years.

  • School bus route added

    Los Alamos Public Schools has added an afternoon high school bus route to North Mesa. Route 10, Bus 123 will begin serving the community starting today.

    Here are the initial routes:

    Route 10  Bus 123

    2:42 p.m.   Leaves High School

    2:49 p.m.    San Ildefonso Between Camino Redondo and Durasnilla

    2:52 p.m.    San Ildefonso S @ Broadview

    2:53 p.m.    La Mesa Trailer Ct/945 San Ildefonso S

    2:57 p.m.    San Ildefonso S @ Alamo

    2:59 p.m.    Stoneview

    3:02 p.m.    San Ildefonso Transit Stop by Tsikamu

    Contact the transportation department at 663-2255 if you have any questions about the route. Check the LAPS website to find out the latest times and changes here: laschools.net/busroutes

  • County seeks letters to fill probate judge vacancy

    Los Alamos County reminded residents this week that those interested in the upcoming probate judge vacancy should send in letters of interest by 5 p.m. Feb. 5.
    The county has not yet received letters to fill the vacancy left following the resignation of Probate Judge Christine Chandler. 

    The council is responsible for filling the vacancy. Chandler’s resignation takes effect Feb. 20, 2016. The successful applicant will fill the unexpired term, which began in 2014 and expires in 2018. Under state law, any qualified person over the age of 18 who is a resident of Los Alamos County may serve. Interested applicants should submit a one- or two-page letter indicating why they would be interested in serving.
    Letters of interest should be mailed or hand-delivered by the deadline to: County Manager Harry Burgess, Los Alamos County Municipal Building, 1000 Central Avenue, suite 350, Los Alamos, New Mexico, 87544.
    Candidates who submit a letter will be expected to attend the Feb. 16 council meeting to respond to questions from the council about their letter and qualifications. The council meeting begins at 6 p.m.
    For more information about the duties of the probate judge or responsibilities of court, visit losalamosnm.us/clerk/Pages/ProbateCourt.aspx.

  • Council updates strategic priorities

    The Los Alamos County Council held a work session Saturday to update its priorities for 2016. The end result – to be voted on at and upcoming session – was the adoption of three new goals, one new priority and two modifications.
    Councilor Steve Girrens suggested the three new goals.
    Two related to Department of Energy land transfers to the county.
    In the category of Economic Vitality, “Maximize utilization of county-owned land” was added as both a focus area and a strategic goal. Under Quality Governance/Intergovernmental Relations, “Actively pursue land transfers” was added as a strategic goal.
    According to Girrens, his third proposal addressed “the elephant in the room.”
    Under Quality governance/Operational Excellence, Girrens suggested adding “Establish and implement a mechanism for effective utility policy review and setting.”
    “We’ve got major utility policy things that need to be addressed, and I think we need to make that a priority,” Girrens said.

  • LAPS to revisit consolidation in White Rock

    The Los Alamos School Board recently came to the conclusion that if any decision is made about school consolidation in White Rock, it will have to include Mountain Elementary, in Los Alamos.
    Piñon Elementary School, Chamisa Elementary School and Mountain Elementary Schools are the last schools in need of renovation. Since the mid-2000s, the county has held bond elections to fund school renovations. Schools renovations so far have included Los Alamos High School, Aspen Elementary School and Los Alamos Middle School. All three are in Los Alamos.
    This fall during public input sessions, one option considered was to combine Piñon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary in White Rock.
    Though the school board eventually decided in favor of funding an “education specifications” study with an eye instead toward renovating Barranca Mesa Elementary in Los Alamos, the board publicly made a promise to White Rock residents that it would revisit the consolidation, since many White Rock residents were concerned and upset that the consolidation option was being considered.
    At the time, many White Rock residents spoke out against consolidating the two schools, fearing it would lead to overcrowded classrooms, limited education resources for their children and other problems.

  • Group seeks change in capital outlay funding

    In 1977, a group of New Mexico legislators had an idea. Rather than have each legislator’s infrastructure funding project wind its way through the legislature as a separate bill, why not put them all together into one bill?
    The logic behind grouping all those projects together (accomplished through the Senate Finance Committee) was that not only would each legislator actually get a “present” for their district, but theoretically, the state’s infrastructure would be maintained in a uniform, efficient manner.
    “The idea was, everybody gets a project, we’re going to put all of this into one big bill, everybody gets a present… and it passed unanimously,” said Kristina Fisher, associate director of Think New Mexico, a self-described nonpartisan think tank based in Santa Fe.
    What could possibly be wrong with that?
    Plenty, if you ask Fisher and her colleagues at Think New Mexico.
    Recently, Fisher spoke at a January legislative forum in Los Alamos about what it is they want to do about “The Christmas Tree Bill,” the nickname legislators now call the bill that funds and maintains the state’s infrastructure through grouping all those capital outlay projects together.

  • Today in history Jan. 27