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Today's News

  • Text of declassified GOP memo targeting FBI's Russia probe

    House Republicans on Friday released a formerly classified memo regarding the early stages of the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia. The four-page document, dated Jan. 18, 2018, was written by Republican members of the House intelligence committee under the subject line "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

    The White House declassified the memo over the objections of the Justice Department and sent it to the intelligence committee chairman, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, for immediate release.

    Here is the text of the memo:

    Purpose

    This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the Committee's ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Our findings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process.

    Investigation Update

  • 2018 State Legislature: Measure that would hike pet food fees advances

    A bill to increase fees for pet food distributors to help control dog and cat populations cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday when members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee unanimously voted to support it.

    House Bill 64, sponsored by Reps. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, and Debbie Rodella, D-Española, would impose an increase on commercial pet food registration fees to $100 per food label each year from $2. Turkey-based dog food, for example, amounts to one label, while turkey-based cat food sold by the same company is considered another label.

    With some 8,300 such food labels, the increase would raise more than $800,000 a year to help impoverished citizens pay to have some 11,000-plus more dogs and cats get spayed and neutered, Trujillo said.

    Otherwise, he said, “dogs and cats will continue to multiply, and we will be putting more and more of them to death at an increased cost to counties.” County shelters around the state spend a collective $38 million to euthanize animals per year, he said.

  • Insights into the body’s 24-hour clock developing

    Using a simple analytical framework for random events within a predictable system, computational biologists have found a new way to accurately model certain forms of gene expression, including the body’s 24-hour internal clock. This new approach of applying a piecewise deterministic Markov process (PDMP) to gene expression could inform possible design principles for synthetic biologists.

    “In this study, we develop a simplifying method to reduce a class of commonly adopted gene expression models to a mathematical model, the PDMP, because it is easier to analyze and simulate than previous models,” said Yen Ting Lin, corresponding author of the study and an applied mathematician in the Theoretical Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    Nicolas E. Buchler of Duke University and Center for Genomic & Computational Biology, coauthored the study, which appears today in the journal Royal Society Interface.

  • Sheriff warns public about sex offenders

    The Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero would like to advise the community of two sex offenders who reside or work in Los Alamos, who are wanted.

    Thomas James Kluegel and Larry Luke Manzanares are currently noncompliant with the New Mexico Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), and have failed to register with the Los Alamos County Sheriff. 

    There are two active arrest warrants for these offenders.
    If they are seen, persons are encouraged to call dispatch at (505)662-8222.
     

  • Accountant opens doors with ribbon cutting

    Accountant Anthony Belletete officially opened his doors Thursday with an official ribbon cutting and a public tour of his offices at  3250 Trinity Drive.

    Belletete moved from New England  to New Mexico, as he always wanted to live in a desert climate. He’s practiced in Rio Rancho and Santa Fe before bringing his practice to Los Alamos County this year.

    Services Anthony W. Belletete CPA LLC will offer  include tax services, Quickbooks help, help in starting a business, selling a business, estate planning and other services.

    One service Belletete is excited about offering is New Mexico tax credit mining, where Bellete will learn about his client’s business and find tax credits the business can take advantage of.

    “There are credits out there that businesses are eligible for, they just don’t know about them,” he said.

    Many CEOs and county officials stopped by to support Belletete’s opening, including Hunter McDaniel from UBiqD, Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan and Los Alamos County Council Chairman David Izraelevitz.

    “It’s always good to see local businesses growing and having a presence,”  Izraelevitz said.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Legislator says he was shut out during budget process

    By Andrew Oxford
    The New Mexican

    A member of the state House of Representatives is asking for an investigation of a legislative committee, charging that several of its members met privately without him to craft part of the annual state budget and omitted his proposal to restore about $41 million cut from the reserves of school districts last year.

    Rep. James Townsend, R-Artesia, said the meeting left legislators like him out of part of the process of preparing the spending plan.

    In an unusual move, Townsend asked the Legislative Council Service to investigate why the meeting did not include him and many other members of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

    "I don't believe it's in any of our interest, whether it be a Democratic majority or a Republican majority, to have a process that prevents your constituents or my constituents from being represented," he said on the House floor Thursday before heading to the council's offices on the fourth floor to file what the representative described as a verbal complaint.

    Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, the Gallup Democrat who chairs the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, said the panel did nothing improper or out of the ordinary.

    The meeting was part of a working group and it did not act on Townsend's proposal, she said. Moreover, he was free to attend, she added.

  • 2018 State Legislature: House bill requiring post-graduation plan for diploma advances

    Students attending New Mexico’s public schools may have to add one more graduation requirement to their check-off list if a bipartisan bill heading toward the House Education Committee continues to pick up steam.

    On Thursday, the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee unanimously agreed to move forward House Bill 23 – sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque – requiring high school students to declare what they plan to do after graduation before they obtain a diploma.

    The committee voted to pass the bill along without recommendation, with some members saying the House Education Committee would be better poised to analyze or approve the bill.

    The bill gives students an array of post-graduate choices to commit to, even if they don’t end up pursuing them – including applying to college, entering the military, going to work or taking part in an internship program.
    This “next-step plan,” as Gentry called it, is based on a similar program the school district in San Marcos, Texas, initiated a few years ago.

    As a result, Gentry told the committee, college attendance rose among graduates of that district.

  • GRT bill passes finance committee

    Senate Bill 17, otherwise known as the GRT tax bill cleared its last New Mexico Senate committee hearing Thursday evening. The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved the bill, clearing the way for a debate on the senate floor Saturday. If it passes that it enters the House.

    The bill, sponsored by State. Sen. Carlos Cisneros (D-6) and State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43) preserves the gross receipts tax payments the state and Los Alamos County receive every year from the state’s two national laboratories.

    The bill, if passed by the state house and senate, and signed by the governor would protect Los Alamos County and northern New Mexico from losing the millions of dollars of proceeds from the tax the region and the county receives every year should a non-profit group take over management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2018. Currently, the state of New Mexico exempts non profit organizations from taxing non-profit entities.

    “We’re pleased that the Senate Finance Committee unanimously recommended ‘do pass’ for the bill,” Los Alamos County Councilor and state representative candidate Pete Sheehey said.

  • Road striping project on State Road 4 today

    Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division crew will be striping both lanes on State Road 4 from 1-3:30 p.m. today, approaching the Truck Route Intersection where utility work was done in 2017.

    There will be a flagging operation starting at 1 p.m. and ending at approximately 3:30 p.m.

    Drivers are advised to use caution while traveling through this area and be mindful of the crew on site.

    For questions, contact Daniel Erickson at 663-1777.

  • Lobos extend winning streak to three games

    The University of New Mexico men’s basketball team forced 23 turnovers and racked up 13 3-pointers en route to its third-straight victory on Saturday night at Dreamstyle Arena - The Pit. The Lobos dominated the visiting Colorado State Rams by a score of 80-65 to claim a solo third place in the Mountain West.

    Four Lobos led the squad scoring in double figures including senior Joe Furstinger (13), junior Anthony Mathis (13) and senior Antino Jackson (12). Junior Troy Simons was the fourth double-digit scorer on the night, also posting a team-best 13 points in his return back to the court.

    Simons has not played in the last five games for UNM.

    Jackson added a season-high 11 assists to his 13 points for UNM’s second point-assist double-double of the season.

    Junior Chris McNeal tallied one in the first game of the season against Northern New Mexico, which marked the first for a Lobo since March 2, 2014.