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Today's News

  • Latest wilderness plans draw fire from N.M. ranchers

    BY SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
    Associated Press

  • New Mexico governor plans meeting with US Health Secretary

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez plans to meet with Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price during her visit to Washington, D.C.
    A spokesman for the second-term GOP governor says she traveled Thursday to the nation's capital to participate in meetings with other governors, including a group meeting at the White House with Donald Trump.
    Spokesman Michael Lonergan offered few details about the engagement with Price. New Mexico residents and state government have a lot at stake in the pending health care overhaul by Republicans in Washington.
    Nearly 15 percent of New Mexico's 2.1 million residents have enrolled in Medicaid since coverage was expanded in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.
    About 45,000 New Mexico residents participate in the state's health insurance exchange.
     

  • Nuclear reactors to power space exploration

    BY DASARI V. RAO, PATRICK MCCLURE AND DAVID I. POSTON
    Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • Bureau awards contract for work on regional water system

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A federal agency has awarded a nearly $92 million contract for design and construction of portions of a regional water system in north-central New Mexico.

    The Bureau of Reclamation says the four-year contract with Boston-headquartered CDM Smith is for parts of the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System.

    The bureau says the system was authorized under a 2011 federal law and will provide reliable, safe drinking water from the Rio Grande to several pueblos and Santa Fe County residents.

    According to the bureau, the project includes diversion works, storage, a treatment plant, pipelines, pumping plants and other facilities.

    The bureau says local and Native American-owned small businesses are expected to receive at least 30 percent of the work under the contract.

    CDM Smith has an office in Albuquerque.

  • 'Extremely critical' wildfire alert issued for 3 states

    AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Firefighters in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are bracing for a busy day as unseasonably warm temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity are expected to create dangerous wildfire conditions.
    The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says "extremely critical" fire conditions are expected Thursday in eastern New Mexico, western Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The risk area covers 117,000 square miles and includes the cities of Roswell, New Mexico, and Lubbock and Amarillo in Texas.
    Forecasters say some areas could see temperatures in the 70s and 80s and wind gusts up to 65 mph.
    Critical fire conditions are also expected throughout Oklahoma, western Kansas and southeastern Colorado, and forecasters have issued red flag warnings discouraging any outdoor burning.
     

  • Actor Shia LaBeouf ends streaming of anti-Trump installation

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Actor Shia LaBeouf is citing safety concerns in cutting the livestream from the political performance art piece that was installed in downtown Albuquerque just days ago.
    The actor informed his followers via social media Thursday that the stream was taken down after gunshots were reported in the area.
    He says the safety of participants was paramount.
    LaBeouf and two other artists on Saturday mounted a camera to a wall with the message "He will not divide us," referring to President Donald Trump. The artists encouraged people to go to the camera and repeat the phrase.
    LaBeouf was arrested in New York City last month after getting into an altercation with a man during the performance.
    He faces a misdemeanor assault charge has an April 4 court date.
     

  • DPU eyes utility rate hikes

    The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities plans to ask the Board of Public Utilities for an 8 percent increase in the water rate and an 8 percent increase in the sewer rate at the March 15 meeting.
    If the board approves the request, then the request will go to the county council to be introduced, and then a public hearing on the issue will be scheduled for a future meeting, according to Julie Williams-Hill, DPU spokeswoman.  
    The funds raised by the increase would help pay for the rebuild of the White Rock Water Resource Recovery Facility, Williams-Hill said.
    The BPU meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 15.
    The DPU supplies drinking water to more than 7,000 customers in White Rock, Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Regional Coalition in DC to meet with officials

    By the time the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities returns from its Washington, D.C. fact-finding trip Friday, members hope to have some answers from New Mexico’s Congressional representatives about the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Tops on its list will be to find out how much progress has been made in LANL’s transition to a new management and operations contract.
    The coalition will also seek clarity on a variety of other issues, such as Los Alamos County’s portion of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
    Congress approved the creation of the park last year. RCLC Executive Director Andrea Romero is hoping Congress approves funding to help strengthen communication and collaboration with the national park’s three separate parts. The park also includes sites in Hanford, Washington and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
    “We are looking at appropriated funds for the development process and the collaboration process,” Romero said. “Cohesion between the three sites is what we’re looking for.”  
    The coalition would also like to find out more information about how the park will be ultimately funded.

  • Trump administration to lift transgender bathroom guidance

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will revoke federal guidelines that tell public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity, the White House said Wednesday.

    The decision would be a reversal of an Obama-era directive advising public schools to grant bathroom access to students in line with their expressed gender identity and not necessarily the gender on their birth certificate.

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the previous administration's guidelines were confusing and hard to implement and that new directives would be issued later in the day. A government official with direct knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press that the Obama-era guidance would be rescinded, though anti-bullying safeguards would not be affected. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the plans and did so on condition of anonymity.

    Although the Obama guidance carried no force of law, transgender rights advocates say it was necessary to protect students from discrimination. Opponents argued it was overreach and said it violated the safety and privacy of all other students.

    Spicer said that the Departments of Justice and Education were working together on the new document.

  • Chandler joins LANL coalition

    Los Alamos County Council member Chris Chandler will be the county’s representative on the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities.
    Chandler replaces former Council representative Kristin Henderson, who served on the board for about a year.
    The coalition is currently in Washington D.C. with several other commission members attending the Energy Communities Alliance meeting to discuss issues concerning the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Those issues include the upcoming management and operations contract switch for LANL and ongoing environmental cleanup efforts of certain LANL sites.
    “I think it’s a very important thing to work with our fellow communities who have a relationship with the lab,” Chandler said. “Obviously, Rio Arriba County, Española, Santa Fe, all have issues associated with the lab, as does Los Alamos. When we can find common ground, I think we are a stronger force when we’re dealing with the Department of Energy and the laboratory.”