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Local News

  • 'Meaningless bills' may force New Mexico special session

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS
    Associated Press
    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico state lawmakers' focus on "meaningless bills" such as establishing the official state dance may force Gov. Susana Martinez to call a special session, the Republican governor's office told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
    The governor's office says Martinez may have no choice but to call a special session to address pressing issues because the Democratic-controlled Legislature is debating measures such as a holiday song about empanadas and posole.
    During the current 60-day session, state lawmakers have debated measures such as naming an official holiday winter song, establishing a state official dance and declaring the green chile cheeseburger New Mexico's official burger. Meanwhile, the full Legislature has yet to pass a budget that would address a significant shortfall in funding for public education, Medicaid and other government programs.
    Similar criticisms were leveled at Martinez from Democrats last year pushing crime bills during a 30-day budget Legislative session.
    But in the current session, the Democratic-controlled Senate has refused to hold confirmation hearings on some of the governor's appointments and both chambers have stalled items like payday loan and ethics reforms.

  • Forecasters warn of windy conditions in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning of windy conditions across New Mexico.

    The combination of strong to potentially damaging winds and extremely dry conditions have resulted in critical to extreme fire danger along the Rio Grande from Albuquerque to Socorro and across the eastern plains.

    Blowing dust is reducing visibility in some parts of the state.

    Forecasters on Monday reported gusts of nearly 80 mph near Red River and over 70 mph east of Los Alamos. Several other communities around the state reported gusts over 50 mph.

  • Farmers Market Report 3-8-17

    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will be 8 a.m. to noon Thursday at Fuller Lodge.
    This week’s market will have plenty of fresh, frozen pastured fed pork from Frances Deters of Pancha Patch Farm.  She also brings pecans from her trees along with some eggs from her free-range chickens.
    Another meat vendor is Gayle and Conlan Jones from the Tierra Armailla area where they raise yak and beef. Beside offering fresh frozen meats, they also farm so
    Gayle usually has garlic ristra, new potatoes and other farm items for sale in her booth.
    Eremita Campos Nativo de las Campos offer a number of canned jams and peaches from last season fruit crops. There will be weaving, as well.
    Ricardo from RZ’s Bees with all his local honey in all different sizes. His grandsons honey sticks are also offered. This helps him support his 4-H projects.
    Mary Campbell of Dixon usually has red chile pods, a few starts, certified organic seed packets and more.
    Pat Montoya of Montoya’s Family Orchard will be at market will his Apple/ Apple cider, jams, tea breads, tortillas, knittings, snowcones or iced drinks.
    Market baskets and aprons are also offered through the markets information booth.
    All proceeds from this booth are reinvested back into the market.

  • House revisits crackdown on false water quality data

    By Andrew Oxford
    The New Mexican

    It was not necessarily a crime under New Mexico law for a utility in the Four Corners area to tell regulators its water was fine even as turbid, odorous liquid flowed to customers' taps.
    But a measure to make lying to state regulators about water quality a fourth-degree felony is a step closer to becoming law. A committee in the state House of Representatives revived the issue under a new bill with a new sponsor and narrower scope, ending an impasse that had prompted finger pointing over the influence of special interest groups and had upended the usual tough-on-crime dynamics at the Capitol.
    On Saturday, the new House Bill 511 won bipartisan support in the House Judiciary Committee, which elected 10-2 to advance it to a vote by the full House.
    Republicans blocked a similar bill last month, even though it was sponsored by a GOP colleague and had the backing of the state Environment Department. GOP members of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee said the bill was far too broad.

  • Proposal to bring death penalty back to New Mexico stalls

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A proposal to bring back the death penalty in New Mexico for those convicted of certain violent crimes has stalled.
    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the legislation by Republican Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque was tabled Sunday on a party-line 3-2 vote in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
    Lawmakers abolished the death penalty in 2009 and replaced with life in prison without the possibility of parole.
    Similar legislation to reinstate the death penalty was approved five months by the state House, but that proposal was never acted on by the Senate.
    There appeared to be little appetite for bringing back the death penalty after Democrats reclaimed a majority in the House in November's general election.
     

  • RTD to run on weekend schedule

    In recognition of Spring Break, the North Central Regional Transit District RTD 255 Mountain Trail bus to Ski Santa Fe will be operating on its weekend/holiday schedule each day throughout the Spring Break period from Monday through March 17.
    The weekend/holiday schedule provides seven roundtrips per day to Ski Santa Fe, rather than the normal weekday schedule that provides three roundtrips per day.
    The fare is $5 each way, exact change required.

  • Amazon to collect sales tax in New Mexico starting in April

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Online retail giant Amazon will soon begin collecting taxes on purchases being sent to New Mexico addresses.
    Officials with the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department confirmed Monday that the new sales tax will begin in April.
    The tax will combine state and local rates to total about 7 percent.
    Department spokesman Ben Cloutier says the revenues generated by Amazon's collections will be significant, likely in the tens of millions of dollars.
    Some of the revenue will go into the state's general fund and the rest will be allocated to the cities where the item was purchased.
    As New Mexico looks to fill a budget gap, lawmakers are considering measures to force internet vendors without a physical presence in the state to collect gross receipts taxes.
     

  • GOP’s Senate leader expects deal on revenue, budget

    BY BRUCE KRASNOW
    The New Mexican

  • Senate confirms Carson, Perry for housing, energy

    WASHINGTON — Two of President Donald Trump’s former rivals for the GOP White House nomination won Senate confirmation Thursday to join his administration.
    Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was confirmed as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development on a vote of 58-41. A few hours later, the Senate backed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be energy secretary, 62-37.
    Carson and Perry are the 17th and 18th of Trump’s 22 Cabinet and Cabinet-level nominations to win Senate approval.
    Carson has never held public office and has no housing policy experience. Republicans have praised the life story of a man who grew up in inner-city Detroit with a single mother who had a third-grade education.
    Perry, who once pledged to eliminate the department, has repeatedly promised to be an advocate for the agency and to protect the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Perry also pledged to rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.
    Perry, who served 14 years as Texas governor, has said he will seek to develop American energy in all forms, from oil, gas and nuclear power to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

  • Candyman expanding hours at LA Music Academy site

    BY WREN PROPP
    Special to the Monitor