Today's News

  • Española police chief to retire following indictment

    ESPANOLA (AP) — Española Police Chief Matthew Vigil will be retiring next month following his recent indictment on charges from domestic incidents.

    City of Española Human Resource Director Sally Baxter tells The Santa Fe New Mexican that Vigil's retirement is effective Sept. 1. She did not say why the 41-year-old was leaving the police force. Vigil did not respond to phone calls from the newspaper seeking comment.

    Mayor Alice Lucero placed Vigil on administrative leave after he was indicted by a Taos grand jury last week. Vigil is accused of touching his wife in an "angry manner" and throwing a pair of shoes at his 13-year-old daughter. Attorney Alan Maestas, who is listed as Vigil's lawyer on court documents, was out of office Monday and could not be reached for questions.

  • $1M lottery ticket sold in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico lottery officials say an Albuquerque man has claimed a $1 million Mega Million prize.

    The lottery announced Tuesday that Leonard Bulmer had initially purchased two wagers for the Aug. 11 drawing. When he didn't win, he returned to the grocery store and purchased a couple more tickets for the Aug. 18 drawing.

    He learned Friday night that he had a winning ticket with the numbers 1, 31, 34, 40, 75 and Mega Ball 6. He had to wait until Monday to claim the prize since lottery headquarters was closed over the weekend.

    Lottery officials also noted that the jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing has reached $700 million, the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history.

  • Youth resiliency committee discusses ideas, strategies

    The Youth Resiliency Committee met Monday to review this month’s newsletter and talk about strategies for creating resilient youth in the Los Alamos community. The Youth Resiliency Committee is a subcommittee of the Los Alamos community health council whose motto is “well being through awareness.”

    Their mission is to promote wellbeing for youth and their families by bringing awareness to issues, highlighting activities and promoting resources in and around this community.

    Kristine Coblentz, the Healthy Schools Initiative Program Director, lead the committee meeting, and after introductions from the various community organization representatives, they reviewed the August newsletter.

    Coblentz told the group that she took suggestions from last month and incorporated them into this month’s newsletter, like focusing on one theme of resources. “It can’t be an exhaustive list,” Coblentz said.

    The newsletter included information like back to school transition tips, LAPS open house dates, and resources for families, kids and teens.

    In addition to the newsletter, Coblentz also included a handout with “The Seven C’s: The Essential Building Blocks of Resilience,” which are competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control.

  • Green Chile Time at the Farmer’s Market
  • Learn more about Wicca; classes start Wednesday

    Community members who are interested in learning more about Wiccan beliefs, practices and its history have the opportunity to do just that at the Wicca 101 workshop series beginning this week.

    The Coven of Our Lady of the Woods will be teaching a six-week series on Wiccan beliefs and practices on Wednesdays, starting Aug. 23 through Sept. 27.

    The classes are free of charge and open to everyone.

    “Our intention is to provide information to the public about the religion and spiritual practice of Wicca,” said Laura Liles, a member of the group, “because there is a lot of incorrect information out there.”

    During these classes, curious individuals will get the chance to learn the difference between a “Wiccan” and a witch, whether Wiccans believe in a god or gods, if some form of magic is real and much more.

    “There are a good many misconceptions about Wicca, and we offer this series periodically so that the public has access to correct information.”

    “Proselytizing is not part of Wiccan practice,” she continued. “Practitioners of Wicca, which is also called the Craft, believe that there are many paths to the center and that each soul finds its own way.”

  • NASA, PBS mark 40 years since Voyager spacecraft launches

    AP Aerospace Writer

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Forty years after blasting off, Earth’s most distant ambassadors – the twin Voyager spacecraft – are carrying sounds and music of our planet ever deeper into the cosmos.

    Think of them as messages in bottles meant for anyone – or anything – out there.

    This Sunday marks the 40th anniversary of NASA’s launch of Voyager 2, now almost 11 billion miles distant. It departed from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 20, 1977 to explore Jupiter and Saturn.

    Voyager 1 followed a few weeks later and is ahead of Voyager 2. It’s humanity’s farthest spacecraft at 13 billion miles away and is the world’s only craft to reach interstellar space, the vast mostly emptiness between star systems. Voyager 2 is expected to cross that boundary during the next few years.

    Each carries a 12-inch, gold-plated copper phonograph record (there were no CDs or MP3s back then) containing messages from Earth: Beethoven’s Fifth, chirping crickets, a baby’s cry, a kiss, wind and rain, a thunderous moon rocket launch, African pygmy songs, Solomon Island panpipes, a Peruvian wedding song and greetings in dozens of languages.

  • Moon blots the sun out of the sky in historic US eclipse

    Millions of Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and disposable protective glasses Monday as the moon blotted out the sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

    "It's really, really, really, really awesome," said 9-year-old Cami Smith as she watched the fully eclipsed sun from a gravel lane near her grandfather's home at Beverly Beach, Oregon.

    The temperature dropped, birds quieted down, crickets chirped and the stars came out in the middle of the day as the line of darkness raced 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) across the continent in about 90 minutes, bringing forth oohs, aahs, shouts and screams.

    In Boise, Idaho, where the sun was more than 99 percent blocked, people clapped and whooped, and the street lights came on briefly, while in Nashville, Tennessee, people craned their necks at the sky and knocked back longneck beers at Nudie's Honky Tonk bar.

    It was the most-observed and most-photographed eclipse in history, with many Americans staking out prime viewing spots and settling onto blankets and lawn chairs to watch, especially along the path of totality — the line of deep shadow created when the sun is completely obscured except for the delicate ring of light known as the corona.

  • The Latest: 1st US coast-to-coast total eclipse begins

    1:50 p.m.

    Northwest cities not quite in the path of totality also enjoyed the solar eclipse.

    Boise is not in totality. But birds quieted down briefly when 99.5 percent of sun was blocked. And some neighborhoods erupted into applause and hooting as residents cheered the show from their yards.

    In Portland, hundreds gathered at Tom McCall Waterfront Park to see the rare celestial event. Some office workers stood on rooftops, and small crowds gathered on the sidewalks, looking skyward. Some expressed surprise that even a sliver of sun can prevent a city from falling into darkness.

    Within minutes, traffic resumed on what had been eerily quiet downtown streets.

    — AP writers Rebecca Boone and Steven DuBois


  • A new beginning

    Students of all ages walked, biked, bussed or drove to their respective school Thursday morning for the first day back to school.

    While some may have dragged their feet a bit as they approached the building, others practically skipped inside.
    Regardless of the enthusiasm level, the beginning of a new school year is always full of promise: new classes, new teachers and maybe even new friends.

    Another school year means another chance to excel as a student and grow as a person.

    Some students look forward to diving into a challenging new course, while for others the excitement comes from diving into a swimming pool. The possibilities are endless.

    The first day back is not only exciting for the students, but also for the teachers and staff. When asked what she likes about the first day of school, Mountain Elementary School Principal Jennifer Guy said, “The kids’ excitement and enthusiasm, the teachers are excited, and just the energy in the air. It’s really great.”

    Guy also commented on the state of the returning kids, saying, “Some are nervous, some are excited…but I think the parents are more nervous than the kids.”

  • Senate candidate makes stop in LA

    In his bid to unseat Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in the 2018 senatorial race, businessman Mick Rich is taking his fight straight to the middle class.

    When he talks healthcare, border security, the economy or any other topic, Rich tends to keep his focus on the New Mexicans in the middle. 

    Nowhere is this more clear than when he talks about utility rates.

    “Right now, here’s where we are at on this. They’re looking at subsidizing large customers to move here and subsidize their electrical rates. And the people at the bottom, they’re getting their rates subsidized by different programs to help the disadvantaged. So, who pays full freight? The average, hard working New Mexican.” Rich said. “Right now, we have a system that’s unfair. What we need to do is consider that we have fair utility rates for everybody, not just for the people at the top and the bottom.”

    He does admit, however, that he’s facing an uphill battle when it comes to helping the middle class. Part of the problem, Rich says, is that Heinrich and other members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation haven’t done enough to defend New Mexico’s economic interests, especially when it comes to military project.