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Today's News

  • Love Shouldn’t Hurt
  • Police can't locate man seen waving gun on New Mexico campus

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — University of New Mexico police say people reported that a man brandished a gun and waved it around at several locations on the university's campus in Albuquerque but that officers searched for him without success.

    There was no report of gunfire or injury in the incident Thursday, and Lt. Trace Peck said there was no indication the man was trying to rob anyone.

    A campus-wide emergency alert described the man as 5-foot-8 and wearing a green rain poncho and dirty tan pants.
    The alert also said one location where the man was seen was a pond on the interior of the campus and that he was last seen walking south toward Central Avenue. That street borders the campus.
     

  • Storm bringing rain, snow and strong winds to New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A Pacific storm system is expected to drop rain and snow on parts of New Mexico while producing strong to severe winds Wednesday and Thursday.

    The National Weather Service says strong winds will impact areas along and east of the Sangre de Cristo range Wednesday afternoon before turning stronger Wednesday night over the Sacramento Mountains.

    The forecasters say rain and high-elevation snow will spread over the western and central parts of the state late Wednesday and into Thursday.

    Expected snowfall includes 3 inches in Chama and 2 inches at Red River.
     

  • Facebook joins effort to fight opioid crisis in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Facebook is launching an effort to help fight the opioid crisis in New Mexico — a state that has battled heroin addiction for decades, the social media giant announced Tuesday.

    The tech company said it will work with New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas to show Facebook users how they can use its digital tools to combat addiction.

    Ana Martinez, head of Facebook’s community engagement for the U.S. Southwest, said the social media company’s online groups offer families support and information to fight addiction.

    “A great example of this is actually ‘Facing Addiction’, which is a Facebook page started by a nonprofit,” Martinez said before Facebook brought together health experts and advocates in Albuquerque for training Tuesday. “They currently have 60,000 followers on their Facebook page.”

    The members of the page started a more intimate forum where those impacted by addiction to find comfort and support, Martinez said.

    For years, New Mexico has battled heroin addiction that has claimed generations of families in places like Española, New Mexico. That history of an epidemic made the state a natural place for Facebook to experiment with an anti-opioid addiction campaign.

  • Florida high school shooter at large; injuries reported

    PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) — A shooting at a Florida high school Wednesday sent students rushing out into the streets as SWAT team members swarmed in and locked down the building, and police warned that the shooter was still at large. School officials said they had received reports of multiple injuries.

    Coral Springs Police said on their Twitter account Wednesday that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was locked down and that students and teachers inside should remain barricaded until police reach them.

    Len Murray's 17-year-old son, a junior at the school, sent his parents a chilling text around 2:30pm: "Mom and Dad, there have been shots fired on campus at school. There are police sirens outside. I'm in the auditorium and the doors are locked."

    A few minutes later, he texted again: "I'm fine."

    Ambulances converged in front of the school, and TV news broadcasts showed at least one person being wheeled to an ambulance on a gurney. Live footage also showed emergency workers appearing to treat possibly wounded people on the sidewalks. It wasn't immediately clear how many were wounded. The Broward County Sheriff's Office tweeted that the shooter was still at large even as the evacuation was underway.

  • APNewsBreak: New Mexico Dem Party hit by misconduct claims

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Democratic Party of New Mexico vice chairwoman says she has been the target of unwanted sexual advances by an elected Democratic official who also is active in the party in southern New Mexico.

    In a letter dated Monday, Neomi Martinez-Parra wrote that she's been a victim of inappropriate sexual misconduct by Dona Ana County Commissioner and Dona Ana County Central Committee member John Vasquez.

    "As you are well aware, Mr. Vasquez has been accused of various inappropriate behavior(s) (toward) females," Martinez-Parra wrote in a letter to New Mexico Democratic Party chairman Richard Ellenberg. "I too have been a victim of Mr. Vasquez's inappropriate sexual misconduct, which I will address separately through my legal counsel."
    Vasquez drew condemnation last month for Facebook posts directed at a female community activist where he attacked her mother and suggested the activist had asked him for "favors."

    "They say you can take a girl out of the ghetto..." Vasquez wrote in a dig at New Mexico Comunidades en Accion y de Fe organizer Johana Bencomo.

    Vasquez didn't respond to emails from The Associated Press and his voicemail was full.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Early education proposal dies without hearing

    The proposal to expand early childhood education across New Mexico died quietly Tuesday at the state Capitol, scotched because a vote on the initiative will not be taken in the state Senate Finance Committee.

    Sen. John Arthur Smith, the Democrat from Deming who chairs the committee, said in an interview that he had decided not to give a hearing to the proposed constitutional amendment before the legislative session ends at noon Thursday.

    “It doesn’t have the votes,” Smith said of the measure, House Joint Resolution 1.

    Asked if he had polled his 12-member committee, Smith said he expected that at least he and the five Republican members probably would vote down the initiative.

    That would leave the measure no better than a 6-6 tie, meaning it could not advance to the full 42-member Senate.

    “It may not even be that close,” Smith said.

    The proposal, which cleared the House of Representatives last week by a razor-thin margin, called for spending 1 percent from the $16 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund for a range of programs for children from infancy to age 5.

    Advocates for the early childhood proposal criticized Smith for bottling up the proposal without giving it a vote.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Legislative roundup Feb. 13

    The New Mexican

    Days remaining in the session: 2

    Out front: Call that first vote a false start. A state House of Representatives vote Tuesday to require front-end license plates on vehicles registered in New Mexico came a just few days after the chamber rejected the very same bill.

    Rep. Patricio Ruiloba, a Democrat and former Albuquerque Police Department officer, had presented House Bill 158 as a public safety measure. He said requiring two license plates on each vehicle would help law enforcement identify vehicles involved in crimes.

    But the issue -- which would raise the annual vehicle registration fee by $2 -- proved to be a lightning rod, with some House members reporting that they had received more emails from constituents on this bill than on any other.

    The House voted down the bill on Saturday, and when members moved to bring it back up again, the House also voted down changes presented as something of a compromise.

    The ensuing debate again proved to be one of the most impassioned of the session, with some arguing the measure is effectively a tax increase or at the very least an afront to the car culture of a state that is one of just 19 not to require front-end license plates.

  • 2018 State Legislature: House passes bill to ease coal plant closing impact

    By Steve Terrell
    The New Mexican

    In a case of strange political bedfellows, a conservative lawmaker from San Juan County and the leader of a Santa Fe environmental group not known for compromising came together Tuesday to back a bill aimed at easing the economic woes of New Mexico communities hit by the closing of large coal-burning power plants.

    The House of Representives voted 44-25 to pass Rep. Rod Montoya's House Bill 325, designed to help a large school district keep most of its tax base if Public Service Company of New Mexico closes the San Juan Generating Station by 2022.

    To become a reality, the measure would also have to clear the Senate before the Legislature adjourns at noon Thursday.

    "Are you going to refer to me as an environmentalist activist," Montoya joked with a reporter Tuesday.

    Endorsing the bill was Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy, a Santa Fe-based non-profit that has fought many PNM rate increases and other proposals before the state Public Regulation Commission.

    That support was the result of hours of negotiating between Montoya, Nanasi and representatives of other environmentalist groups over the past several days.

  • Lab cleanup company looks to hire local workers

    N3B Los Alamos, the winning bidder for the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s $1.39 billion legacy cleanup contract, met with the community Monday during an informal meeting, as a way to provide information on what to expect in the coming days.

    The meeting was held at the Cottonwood on the Green Restaurant at the Los Alamos Golf Course.

    NB3, a subsidiary company of Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls, started its 90-day transition period Jan. 24.

    Regulatory and Stakeholder Interface Manager Frazer Lockhart said it’s N3B’s intention to hire many of those workers back.

    “It’s our desire to get as many of the existing staff that have been working on the existing environmental management program to come over and join our N3B team,” Lockhart said.

    The other priority during the transition period will be to get caught up on what has already been accomplished.

    “The transition is the time period when we learn about the current status of the project, the background and records,” Lockhart said. “We also go through the hiring process and get our workforce.”

    N3B will hold a series of community meetings throughout the transition period to hire the employees.