Today's News

  • The Latest: New Mexico Catholic bishops defend advocate

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico's three Catholic bishops say the head of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops didn't accuse anyone of racism and only pointed out flaws in the state's educational system.

    The three leaders wrote in an open letter Tuesday that Allen Sanchez, executive director of the group, has a deep love "for the Gospel" and is an advocate for the state's poor.

    The letter comes after 33 GOP state lawmakers sent Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester on letter Monday and asked him if he agreed with remarks about racism made by Sanchez.

    Sanchez told The Associated Press last month that "an element of racism" helped kill a proposal to expand early childhood education in the state.

    The bishop says lawmakers focus should be on combatting child poverty in New Mexico.


    12:30 a.m.

    New Mexico Republican state lawmakers are demanding a response from the Santa Fe archbishop about comments made by a head of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The 33 lawmakers sent Archbishop John Wester on letter Monday asked him if he agreed with remarks about racism made by Allen Sanchez, executive director of the group.

  • La Cueva Street to close for emergency repairs

    Department of Public Utilities will close LA Cueva Street immediately for two days to allow crews to repair a sewer line, according to the county.

    Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities contracted with Paul Parker Construction to conduct emergency repairs to a sanitary sewer line that crosses La Cueva Street, just north of Barranca Road.

    Starting immediately, La Cueva will be closed for a period of two days at the section of road where excavation is underway. Local traffic will be rerouted on Cascabel Street to access La Cueva properties north of the closure.
    Officials with the DPU are asking for the patience and consideration of its customers as this emergency work proceeds. Questions or concerns are being directed to the DPU through the Customer Care Center at 662-8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.

  • LAPD officer put on administrative leave

    A Los Alamos police officer is on paid administrative leave after a shooting incident at the Pajarito Cliffs Site on Feb. 17 in Los Alamos.

    According to a press release from the New Mexico State Police, which investigates all officer-involved shootings in the state,

    LAPD Officer Jemuel Montoya discharged his weapon while trying to stop an attempted break-in at the facility.

    The LAPD is also conducting an internal investigation into the shooting.

    “Any officer involved in any kind of shooting incident is placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is done,” said LAPD Commander Preston Ballew. “That’s just standard department policy.”

    Montoya’s leave began the day of the incident, Ballew said.

    According to the release by the state police, the officer was called to the scene after undercover officers observed a gray Jeep Patriot enter the facility’s parking lot at 3:30 a.m.

    Montoya arrived in a marked unit and parked a short distance in front of the Jeep. After engaging his emergency equipment, he exited his patrol unit and gave commands for the suspect, Antonio Trujillo, to stop.

  • NM legislators demand response from Archbishop Wester for ‘racist’ accusation

    Thirty-three New Mexico legislators sent a letter Monday to Archbishop John C. Wester demanding his response to recent comments made by Allen Sanchez, executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    In his remarks, Sanchez claimed that a proposal to increase expenditures from New Mexico’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for early childhood programs failed to pass because of “an element of racism” among its opponents. Sanchez also said that “opposition came from people with power and wealth.”

    In the letter, legislators wrote, “we are deeply troubled by recent comments made by Allen Sanchez, the executive director of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since his comments were delivered as a representative and spokesperson of the Roman Catholic Church in New Mexico, we feel compelled to ask you to confirm that his statement reflects the views of you and your fellow bishops in New Mexico.”

    Legislators noted that opposition to the proposal, House Joint Resolution 1, crossed all political, ethnic, religious and demographic lines, and opponents hailed from every region of New Mexico. They also said that state leaders have worked to increase support for early childhood programs, and since 2012, funding for these programs has more than doubled to $270 million annually.

  • RCLC meeting sidelined by open meetings act violation allegation

    Regional Coalition of LANL Communities members unexpectedly halted discussion of the executive director’s contract at their meeting Monday when a Los Alamos County Councilor and coalition representative claimed the meeting did not meet a requirement of the Open Meetings Act.

    County Councilor Chris Chandler said she received a text message from the Los Alamos County Attorney Alvin Leapheart before the meeting started, questioning the validity of the meeting. “I received a text this morning from our county attorney, who asked me isn’t this meeting deemed a continuation of the previous meeting. I shared this text with the other members of the board,” Coalition member and Los Alamos County Councilor Chris Chandler told members of the coalition. “He says, if so, are they attempting to consider matters not appearing on the agenda of the original meeting. Apparently he views this in derogation of the open meetings act, because under the open meetings act you cannot add new items to a continuing meeting.”

  • High Court: Feds have role in Texas-New Mexico water fight

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A lawsuit pitting Texas against New Mexico and Colorado over access to water from the Rio Grande must be sent back to an arbitrator, also known as a special master, to resolve the dispute, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch noted the federal government has an interest in ensuring water commitments are kept involving one of North America's longest rivers, citing an international agreement with Mexico and the decades-old Rio Grande Compact. The federal government has said it may pursue claims for compact violations involving the dispute.

    "A breach of the compact could jeopardize the federal government's ability to satisfy its treaty obligations to Mexico," Gorsuch wrote.

    All sides say the stakes are high given uncertainty about the future sustainability of water supplies throughout the Rio Grande Valley. In dry years when there's not enough water in the river, chile and onion farmers and pecan growers in southern New Mexico are forced to rely on wells to keep their crops and trees alive.

  • Immigration audits at New Mexico businesses sow fear

    SANTA FE (AP) — Immigrant rights advocates and local officials in New Mexico's state capital city say that recent businesses inspections by federal immigration enforcement officials and additional detentions are sowing fear in the community.

    Marcela Diaz of the immigrant-advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido on Monday said that at least six businesses in Santa Fe were hit with employment audits over the past week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Agency officials for the region had no immediate comment.

    Diaz is not naming the businesses because audits are ongoing but described them as locally owned and not franchises. She also said four people were detained by immigration officials.

    Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales said the enforcement actions amount to bullying. Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Veronica Garcia says students are anxious.

  • Celebrating Wildlife Day in Los Alamos

    Special to the Monitor

    We here in Los Alamos are so lucky to live in a town that has such a close connection to the amazing abundance of wildlife New Mexico has to offer. One of the greatest opportunities I have had is to be a champion and advocate for the amazing wildlife rehabilitators here in New Mexico.

    I have done this as both a volunteer and chairman of Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation. These individuals, like Los Alamos’s own Dr. Kathleen Ramsay, have dedicated their lives to caring for the wildlife of New Mexico.

    There is one story that is special to my heart. Blue Beary was the first bear I accepted by myself, and she holds a special place in my heart! Blue Beary came into Ramsay’s care a mere 6 pounds, and with as badly broken arm.

    Partnering with Veterinary Care Hospital in Albuquerque and donations from all over the country (including many from Los Alamos), Ramsay was able to give Blue Beary what she needed to heal and to grow to over 65 pounds.

    Blue Beary was released back into wild late 2017, where we hope she found a cozy den for the winter. If successful, she will come out of the den around May and begin the journey all bears must make. The journey to become fat.

  • 100 Days of Winter winner announced

    The Los Alamos County Community Services Department wrapped up their collaborative 100 Days of Winter program on Feb. 26.

    Over 1,000 programming guides were distributed throughout Los Alamos County between November and February, encouraging residents and visitors to get out and active during the winter months.

    With just under 200 online participants, and over 260 entries for the grand prize, many shared photos of the wide variety of ways they were inspired to stay local and enjoy all the Los Alamos area has to offer.

    Congratulations to our grand prize winner Danna Pelland! Danna won a package of local goodies worth over $950.

  • Heritage Area lecture set for March 13 at Fuller Lodge

    Thomas Romero, executive director of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, will give a presentation on the work of the Heritage Area, which covers the area of Taos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties, at 7 p.m. March 13 at Fuller Lodge.

    Romero’s lecture, “Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area: Sustaining Culture and Traditions,” will focus on the work of the organization over the last four years in creating sustaining partnerships with other cultural organizations. 

    He will discuss the Heritage Area’s grants program and project efforts to support education, community development, tourism and economic development, and the preservation of northern New Mexico’s cultural heritage. 

    As a sustaining organization, the National Heritage Area brings federal funding into the state, but it is through its collaborative partnerships that the Heritage Area intends to influence the preservation of culture and traditions.

    Romero has been the executive director of the National Heritage Area Organization since August 2011.