Today's News

  • Police ID victims found near roadside as missing roommates

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say the two people whose bodies were found near a rural New Mexico roadside have been identified as a 70-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman who had been renting a room from him in Albuquerque.
    Both Eugene Carrell Ray and Zakaria Fry were reported missing last month.

    Officer Simon Drobik confirmed Tuesday that the roommates were the two victims who authorities say were found last week in Stanton, a small town in southern Santa Fe County and more than 40 miles east of Albuquerque.

    Fry, a transgender woman, previously was known as Zackary Fry.

    Albuquerque police have taken over as the lead agency on the case, which is being investigated as a homicide.

  • Interim university president to return to provost job

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The acting and then interim president of the University of New Mexico will return to his former post as the new president enters the office.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports Chaouki Abdallah will return to his job as university provost when Garnett Stokes assumes the presidency Thursday.

    The university honored Abdallah for his contributions in the top role with a reception Monday. The regents also recognized his work by officially naming him the 22nd university president earlier this month.

    The board of regents selected Abdallah to take over the presidency after former university President Bob Frank left the position in December 2016.

    Abdallah says he is happy to return to "the heart of the university," a role that he considers to be possibly the most vital.

  • BPU has doubts about nuclear power project

    Some members of the Board of Public Utilities voiced doubt about a possible investment in a small-scale nuclear power project Wednesday during a meeting with the Department of Public Utilities.

    The meeting was a preview of a joint public meeting the board will have about the project with the County Council at 6 p.m. March 6 at the county Municipal Building. 

    The board was expecting answers about what the risk would be to the county if the project went sour.

    The project is proposed and designed by Nuscale and consists of 12 50-megawatt light water, nuclear reactor modules. The units would be installed in Idaho.

    The Board of Public Utilities is expected make a decision about whether to invest $500,000 in the project in late March.
    BPU member Stephen McLin wanted to know why they haven’t given them more definite answers, since the initial Jan. 25 meeting explaining the project.

  • N.M. threatens funding over 4-day school schedules

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico is threatening to cut off funding at public schools that try to switch to a four-day week as the practice has spread to more than four in 10 school districts across the state.

    State lawmakers this month placed a moratorium on additional four-day school scheduling within a general fund spending bill that has yet to be signed by the governor.

    Education officials and legislators say it’s not clear that student academics and working families are helped by fewer, longer school days, even as teachers and administrators embrace compressed schedules.

    School administrators in far-flung districts have pushed back, noting that four-day weeks have become a tool for attracting teachers who can improve academic results at schools with limited financial resources.

    “They shouldn’t be telling us how to structure our day,” said Ron Hendrix, superintendent of Socorro Consolidated Schools, a cluster of six public schools with 1,500 students in central New Mexico. Socorro school board members are scheduled to vote Monday on switching to a four-day week.

    “I know how to get student achievement, just let me loose,” said Hendrix, who said he previously improved student test scores while moving to a four-day week at another New Mexico school district.

  • LAPS board briefed about Chamisa

    The Los Alamos School Board paid a visit to Chamisa Elementary School in White Rock Thursday, with policy updates and a report from the school’s principal among the items on the agenda of the work session.

    Chamisa Principal Suzanne Lynne briefed the board on some of the many things going on at the school, including updates on reading program milestones, the third-graders’ pen pal program and the school garden.

    Lynne was also pleased to announce that 70 percent of the Chamisa students will be proficient in math for the state-mandated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers test and that 70 percent will also be proficient on the PARCC English Language Arts test.

    Later in the meeting Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Accountability Kelly Taylor presented the latest policy changes ,as part of the ongoing process of keeping the district’s policies current.

    “We have a three-year review cycle of all board policies,” Taylor explained after the meeting. “I go through and make initial changes and recommendations based on input from anyone else whose job is directly guided by that policy. Then I present both the policy and the regulations to the board for a first reading.”

  • Picture Perfect
  • Whitehead aims to bring respect to sheriff’s office

    If he’s elected to become the next sheriff of Los Alamos County, James Whitehead, a Republican, plans to restore dignity and respect to the office that he says it deserves.

    Whitehead has declared his intention to run for the office of sheriff of Los Alamos County. Independent Greg White and Libertarian Chris Luchini. Sheriff Marco Lucero is unable to run for a third term.

    Whitehead discussed his priorities for the office with the Los Alamos Monitor this week. He said other issues, including the sheriff’s office’ entire staff and most of its services the county and the council took away from the office in its efforts to reduce costs, he’s confident the courts will eventually restore. Whitehead said he expects a lengthy appeals process from the county though.

    “Unfortunately, the county has inexhaustible resources and they’re using funds generated from the taxpayers of this county to fight the will the citizens of this county,” he said.

  • Judge swears in new top federal prosecutor for New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The state's chief federal judge has sworn in a new U.S. Attorney for New Mexico.

    A spokeswoman for the federal prosecutors' office in New Mexico said in a statement Friday that U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson was sworn in earlier that day during a private ceremony at the federal courthouse in Santa Fe.

    President Donald Trump nominated Anderson in November to fill the post, and the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination earlier this month.

    Anderson will oversee federal prosecutions and federal interests in civil cases in the state.

    He is a former federal prosecutor who primarily focused on white-collar crimes before leaving for private practice in 2013. He most recently was an attorney with the law firm Holland & Hart in Santa Fe.

  • Report cites Los Alamos lapses in handling of toxic metal

    SANTA FE (AP) — A new federal report says Los Alamos National Laboratory violated regulations to protect workers from exposure to a metal that can cause lung disease and cancer.

    The Energy Department inspector general's report says the nuclear weapons lab didn't properly track beryllium and didn't assure that contaminated areas were safe before work continued.

    Lab spokesman Matt Nerzig says Los Alamos hasn't scaled back measures to protect workers but is "addressing the recommendations" in the inspector general's report.

    The National Nuclear Security Administration says its oversight was insufficient due to staffing issues but that it doesn't know that shortcoming caused exposures at Los Alamos.

    Terrie Barie of the Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups says the problems at Los Alamos are disappointing, and Sen. Tom Udall says he's concerned by the report.

  • Supreme Court declines to decide fate of 'Dreamers' just yet

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Trump administration's highly unusual bid to bypass a federals appeals court and get the justices to intervene in the fate of a program that protects hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

    The decision affecting "Dreamers" means the case will almost certainly have to work its way through the lower courts before any Supreme Court ruling is possible. And because that could take weeks or months, Monday's decision also is likely to further reduce pressure on Congress to act quickly on the matter.

    The ruling on the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, wasn't unexpected.
    Justice Department spokesman Devin O'Malley acknowledged that the court "very rarely" hears a case before a lower appeals court has considered it, though he said the administration's view was "it was warranted" in this case.

    O'Malley said the administration would continue to defend the Homeland Security Department's "lawful authority to wind down DACA in an orderly manner."

    DACA has provided protection from deportation and work permits for about 700,000 young people who came to the U.S. as children and stayed illegally.