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Today's News

  • Police: 5 killed, 1 injured in New Mexico helicopter crash

    RATON (AP) — A helicopter crashed in a mountainous rural area of northern New Mexico, killing five people and seriously injuring the sixth person aboard, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said Thursday.
    Lt. Elizabeth Armijo confirmed the five deaths and one injury about 14 hours after the helicopter went down about 6 p.m. Wednesday about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the small city of Raton near the Colorado state line.
    Armijo said no additional information was immediately available about the victims or circumstances of the crash.
    The police agency posted Wednesday night on Twitter that "response and rescue attempts" were ongoing but slow.
    Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the helicopter was a Huey UH-1. Information on its registration was not available, Lunsford said.
    Huey helicopters are flown for individuals, businesses and government agencies.
    The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, and agency spokesman Eric Weiss an NTSB investigator was expected to arrive at the crash site late Thursday.
    Raton is 175 miles (282 kilometers) northeast of Albuquerque.

  • Travel Channel to feature Los Alamos tonight

    The Travel Channel will feature Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project in a new episode to be aired tonight.

    The episode, "Manhattan Project: Mysteries at the Museum," was filmed in October at Fuller Lodge, according to Los Alamos County spokeswoman Julie Habiger.

    The show will feature Don Wildman who investigates the story and decisions that brought scientists together for the creation of the first atomic bomb.

    Check the Travel Channel's website for local times and more information.

  • House Republicans introduce crime bill to increase sentences for crimes committed while awaiting trial

    State Representatives Greg Nibert (R-Roswell), Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque) and Rod Montoya (R-Farmington) introduced legislation to enhance sentences for offenders who commit a crime while awaiting trial, serving parole or probation.

    House Bill 91 would increase sentences up to an additional five years for defendants convicted of a felony if the person committed the felony while awaiting trial or while serving probation or parole.

    The bill would also increase sentences up to an additional six months for those who drive under the influence, as well as those who commit battery or aggravated battery against a household member while pending trial and free from jail or serving probation or parole.

    “New Mexicans are fed up with our state’s ‘catch and release’ criminal justice system,” said Nibert, one of the bill’s sponsors. “HB 91 ensures that if a criminal chooses to commit additional crimes while they are free from jail, they will pay a heavier price for their actions.”

  • 2018 State Legislature: Legislative roundup, Jan. 18, 2018

    The New Mexican

    Days remaining in session: 28

    A raise for politicians? The state's top elected officials are past due for a raise, according to some members of a legislative committee.

    But Gov. Susana Martinez might not agree to a pay raise for her successor and other politicians.

    The Legislative Finance Committee has backed a bill to increase the governor's salary by 10 percent effective Jan. 1, 2019 -- right after Martinez leaves office. The secretary of state, state auditor, attorney general and several other elected officials would get a raise, too.

    They have not had one since 2002.

    Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Democrat from Deming who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, has said salaries must keep up with the private sector.

    The attorney general, for example, is paid $95,000 a year. A 2012 survey by the New Mexico Bar Association found the average salary for lawyers in this state was more than 10 percent higher. And that was six years ago.

    The governor is paid $110,000 a year. The secretary of state gets $85,000.

    Of course, New Mexico also has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country, making the issue a little uncomfortable for some lawmakers.

  • 2018 State Legislature: Senate passes nurse licensing compact

    By Andrew Oxford The New Mexican The New Mexico Senate, moving to meet a tight deadline, on Wednesday approved a new nurse licensing compact to avoid what one lawmaker described as a health care crisis.

    But several senators raised concerns as the bill sped through the Legislature that the compact might diminish nurses' rights by ceding too much power to an out-of-state board about licensing in the profession. The measure would allow nurses licensed in certain other states to practice in New Mexico without getting a separate certificate. It cleared the Senate 39-0 and then received approval from a committee of the House of Representatives.

    That sets up a vote Thursday by the full, 70-member House of Representatives. Even so, an unexpectedly contentious debate revealed concerns about the licensing compact and how quickly lawmakers must approve it.

    Some legislators described themselves as feeling backed into a corner – fearful of what missing the looming deadline might mean for patients and hospitals but unsure of whether the state is well-served by the compact in the first place. New Mexico has been part of a compact since 2004 with two dozen other states, including many of its neighbors.

  • Frosty Morning on the Mountain
  • Hawaii’s missile-alert error reveals uncertainty about how to react

    What do we do?” he wondered. “Where do we go?”

    People should immediately seek shelter in a building “or other substantial structure,” once an attack-warning siren sounds, according to guidance the state distributed previously. The state recommends having 14-day survival kit of food and water.

    Residents and tourists alike remained rattled after the mistaken alert was blasted out to cellphones across the islands with a warning to seek immediate shelter and the ominous statement: “This is not a drill.”

    “Clearly there is a massive gap between letting people know something’s coming and having something for them to do,” Scheuer said Sunday. “Nobody knew what to do.”

    Lisa Foxen, a social worker and mother of two young children in east Honolulu, said the best thing to come out of the scare was that it pushed her family to come up with a plan if there is a real threat.

    “I kind of was just almost like a deer in headlights,” she said. “I knew what to do in a hurricane. I knew what to do in an earthquake. But the missile thing is new to me.”

  • Lawsuits filed to block net-neutrality repeal

    A group of attorneys general for 21 states and the District of Columbia sued Tuesday to block the rules. So did Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox browser, public-interest group Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute. Others may file suit as well, and a major tech-industry lobbying group has said it will support litigation.

    The rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s push to undo them inspired both street and online protests in defense of the Obama-era rules.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit, said Tuesday that the end of the net neutrality rules would hurt consumers and businesses.

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined in the lawsuit.

  • WIPP closed temporarily

     CARLSBAD (AP) — The nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository is undergoing its first maintenance outage since it resumed operations a year ago.

    Before then, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant had been shut down for three years because radiation contaminated part of the facility.

    The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that maintenance crews will be updating power supplies, relocating fiber-optic cables and replacing other parts in the underground mine.

    The work is expecting to last until Jan. 26. Waste shipments will be on hold until the following week.

  • NMED extends deadline to apply for food handler cards

    MONITOR STAFF REPORT

    NMED will continue to work with the regulated community, according to officials at NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau. Through NMED’s Environmental Health Bureau, New Mexico’s food program regulates all food establishments in the state outside of the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, which operate their own food safety programs.

    NMED will continue dialogue with food establishments and industry to address questions regarding the Food Handler Card and Certified Manager requirements and to draft modifications to the regulatory provisions as needed.

    Any necessary regulatory changes will need to be approved and adopted by the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) through a public proceeding

    The effective date for implementing the food safety enhancements has been extended until further notice. 

    “We want to assist permitted food establishments across the state with compliance,” said New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Butch Tongate. 

    For more information, contact the Food Program Manager Johnathan Gerhardt at food.program@state.nm.us or 505-222-9515.