Today's News

  • Hilltoppers upended by Del Norte

    In recent years, the Los Alamos High School varsity football team has had trouble containing the offensive attack of Del Norte High School, going winless against the Knights since moving into the same district in 2014.

    That trend continued Friday night at Sullivan Field, as the Hilltoppers fell 51-25.

    Del Norte jumped out to a lead early, as they moved down the field with ease on their first drive thanks to the running ability of quarterback Christian Mejia and running back Aaris Curtis, who put the Knights on top 7-0 with a 2-yard touchdown run.

    The Hilltoppers answered back immediately, as quarterback Kayden Rivera connected with Walker Eaton on a long pass play to set up first-and-goal. Running back Preston Brown, who stepped in for the injured Ryan McNeil, scored the first touchdown of his career on the next play, knotting the score 7-7.

    Momentum appeared to shift firmly in the direction of the Knights following the score, as Mejia scored on a quarterback keeper to put Del Norte back on top 14-7, and then Del Norte forced a quick punt by the Hilltoppers on their next possession.

    Things changed following the Knights’ next possession, however, as LAHS forced Del Norte into a punting situation near their own goal line.

  • Eddy County magistrate judge removal sought over emails

    CARLSBAD (AP) — A New Mexico agency charged with investigating judicial misconduct is seeking the removal of an Eddy County magistrate judge over racist and sexist emails.

    The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission petitioned this week for a permanent removal from office of Eddy County Magistrate Court Judge Henry Castaneda.

    According to the petition, Castaneda allegedly used state-owned equipment to accept and forward emails through his court account that contained "offensive, degrading, pornographic, racist and sexist" content.

    The agency says the behavior violates the judiciary's code of conduct.

    Castaneda served as a magistrate judge from 2003 through 2010, and took the bench again in 2013.

    Castenada, a Democrat, defeated Republican Fred Joe Hill by garnering 58 percent of the vote in 2014 in Eddy County to regain the bench.

    He did not immediately return a phone message.

    Monitor staff contributed to this report.

  • New Mexico seeks comments on statewide bicycle network

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico transportation officials want to establish a statewide bicycle network and they're asking for the public's help.

    The Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it has set up a website where cyclists and others can share information as part of the planning process for prioritizing routes that are safe and offer the most connectivity.

    The agency has contracted with Bohannan Huston, Inc. and Alta Planning + Design to develop the NM Bike Plan. It's scheduled to be done by summer 2018.

    Officials say the plan will help guide roadway improvements and incorporate bicycle infrastructure such as wide shoulders or separate trails as part of regularly-scheduled maintenance or major construction.

    Bicycle planning is also being done on the regional level in the Albuquerque area, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington.

  • New Mexico AG: Transgender people deserve equal protections

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says gender identity discrimination threatens millions of people living and working in the United States and that they deserve every protection under the law.

    Balderas, a Democrat, made the comment in a letter sent Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a memo issued last week that said federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work.

    Sessions called the interpretation a "conclusion of law, not policy," and said the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people.

    Balderas argued that interpreting the Civil Rights Act to the harmful exclusion of Americans who deserve equal protection is a policy decision that contradicts the spirit of a law that was created to prevent discrimination.

  • New Mexico First, conference are in need of a review

    Probably the least known fact about the long career of Sen. Pete Domenici has to be that he did not hire me to be his press aide in 1989.

    Instead of the knowledgeable New Mexican — me — Domenici hired Ari Fleischer, who knew Washington, D. C. A sound choice, I think. Fleischer went on to be press secretary for President George W. Bush.

    Equally obscure is the story I wrote for the Albuquerque News in 1968 about the first city budget he presented as chairman of the Albuquerque City Commission.

    Much later my kids played Little League baseball with a Domenici grandchild. Domenici attended the occasional game.

    Domenici’s leadership of the Senate Budget Committee brought access to the committee’s economics staff, a smart, collegial group that provided insight on the national economy and New Mexico’s fit into the big picture.

    In the 1980s Domenici and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, together with Gov. Bruce King, created the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI). (Get it?) Santa Teresa with its border crossing was one focus.

    As a matter of good management, two of Domenici’s policy legacies deserve a closer look.

    First is New Mexico First. During the mid-1980s several groups were having conversations about the murky future facing New Mexico.

  • New Mexico regulators move ahead with clean energy proposal

    ALBUQUQUERQUE (AP) — A New Mexico regulatory panel on Wednesday narrowly cleared the way for more discussion on a proposed clean energy standard that supporters say would protect utility customers and shareholders from the costs and risks associated with future environmental regulations.

    The Public Regulation Commission voted 3-2 to host workshops in Santa Fe next week despite the concerns of two commissioners.

    Commissioner Patrick Lyons argued that the meetings should be held in northwestern New Mexico, where electric utilities are looking to retire their coal assets. He said the resulting loss of jobs and tax revenue should be part of the discussion.

    "It's time to start looking at the economic impact," Lyons said, echoing concerns voiced by some Democratic and Republican state lawmakers.

    The New Mexico Attorney General's Office and consumer advocates are petitioning the commission to consider the proposed standard, which calls for utilities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants that serve customers in the state by 4 percent a year through 2040. Supporters say that could amount to a reduction of several million tons of carbon dioxide, considered a prime contributor to global warming.

  • Trump expected to nominate Kelly deputy as next DHS head

    By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is expected to nominate his chief of staff's deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, as his next secretary of Homeland Security.

    That's according to four people familiar with the decision, including two administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about a personnel decision before it was officially announced. While two of those people cautioned that the president could always change his mind before a formal announcement, the others said the decision was slated to be announced formally Thursday.

    Nielsen was John Kelly's deputy when he served as Trump's first DHS secretary and moved with Kelly to the White House when he was tapped to be Trump's chief of staff. She is an expert in homeland and national security policy and previously served as a special assistant to former President George W. Bush and worked for the Transportation Security Administration.

    Elaine Duke has been filling in as acting secretary of the department. But she raised eyebrows when she described the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as a "good news story."

    Neither the White House nor Nielsen responded to requests for comment on the plans, which were first reported by Politico.

  • Supreme Court denies petition for help from public defenders

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court won't intervene on behalf of public defenders who say they are overwhelmed by cases from poor defendants facing jail time, court officials said Wednesday.

    A state agency overseeing public defenders has insisted that its attorneys in various parts of the state are wrongfully being forced to take on more cases than they can handle without neglecting indigent defendants who cannot otherwise afford an attorney.

    On Tuesday, justices of the Supreme Court unanimously denied a petition from the state's chief public defender that sought to limit or reduce caseloads for public defenders.

    During oral arguments before the court in July, state and local prosecutors said the concerns from public defenders were overblown and that heavy workloads might be addressed by shifting resources to busy courts and identifying more defendants who can afford an attorney. Defense attorneys described those remedies as impractical or ineffective.

    Attempts by defense attorneys to refuse new cases in southeastern New Mexico have been rejected by a district judge. More recently, public defenders sought to withdraw from cases in Lincoln County, citing overwhelming caseloads — with final decisions put on hold as the Supreme Court considered underlying issues.

  • Northern N.M’s contributions to Manhattan Project highlight of weekend conference

    A conference on the contributions and experience of northern New Mexico residents during the Manhattan Project starts Thursday.

    The conference, entitled “Querencia Interrupted: Hispano and Native American Experiences of the Manhattan Project,” kicks off with a reception at the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Center, located in Alcalde, at 6 p.m. Thursday.

    “Querencia Interrupted” will continue through Saturday.

    “Querencia” is a Spanish word that roughly translates to mean a place or feeling of safety and security.

    Much of the locations in northern New Mexico, of course, were interrupted by World War II and the establishment of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where the atomic bomb, which would eventually help to end the war in 1945.
    Patricia Trujillo, the Director of Equality and Diversity at Northern New Mexico College and one of the event organizers, said it’s important for residents of the area to learn more about these workers who often are overlooked in the history books.

  • It’s Pumpkin Patch Time