Today's News

  • Competition opens for New Mexico House, utility elections

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Major-party candidates seeking election or re-election to the New Mexico House of Representatives, the state's utility-oversight commission and local judicial seats registered to run for office on Tuesday with state and county election regulators.

    The one-day window for filing signature petitions with the Secretary of State's Office and county clerks marked the start of earnest competition in June primary and fall general elections. Election officials have a week to confirm that candidates meet requirements.

    Seventy House seats are up for election in November. Democrats currently have a 38-seat majority, and are aiming for trifecta control of the governor's office and both legislative chambers as Republican Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office after two consecutive terms. Elections for the Democrat-controlled Senate take place next in 2020.

    Republicans last won a House majority in 2014 elections, interrupting six decades of Democratic control.

    Republican Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes announced Tuesday that she would not seek re-election to an Albuquerque-based seat that she wrested from Democratic control in 2014. She endorsed as a successor Republican candidate Brad Winter, an Albuquerque city councilor.

  • Embattled New Mexico Democratic Party chairman resigns

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The embattled chairman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico has resigned.
    Richard Ellenberg announced his resignation in a letter Tuesday following a state party convention where he was accused of questioning the credibility of sexual misconduct allegations against a union leader.

    Ellenberg also had faced criticism for his response to a Democratic Party of New Mexico vice chair's claim that she was a target of unwanted sexual advances by a party official.

    Ellenberg says he regretted the way he managed complaints of women who have come forward about sexual harassment.

    Other say Ellenberg oversaw a "slanted" process over delegates that favored certain candidates this weekend.
    The resignation comes before midterm elections where New Mexico Democrats are hopeful at winning back the governor's seat and capturing more Legislative seats.

    The Democratic Party issued a statement following Ellenberg's resignation.

  • Similar road rage arrest is ‘separate’ from NM 502 incident

    Even though an incident of road rage in the region Wednesday bore similarities to a Feb. 2 incident in Pojoaque, authorities don’t believe the investigations will reveal a common shooter.

    “It sounds like a separate incident to me,” said Santa Fe County Sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios. “As of (Friday afternoon) we’ve not made any arrests in our investigation and we continue to search for this person.”

    Santa Fe police continue to investigate circumstances around their arrest of clinical psychologist William K. Hunt, 65, of Albuquerque on Wednesday after he pointed a gun at another man’s head following a road rage incident.

    Hunt, who was driving a black Jeep, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment after nearly crashing into that driver’s vehicle and then pulling a gun on that vehicle’s driver.

    As the other driver was attempting to call 911, Hunt got out of the Jeep carrying a handgun and pointed it at the other driver. He continued to hold the man at gunpoint until a responding officer yelled at him to drop the gun, which he did, according to the police report.

  • US may want to keep Idaho nuclear waste plant running longer

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials are considering extending the use of an eastern Idaho nuclear waste treatment facility beyond its scheduled closure this year so it can repackage radioactive waste brought in from other states before it's sent to a permanent disposal site in New Mexico.

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Plant at its 890-square-mile (2,300-square-kilometer) site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory was originally set to stop operating after it finished treating waste from Idaho this year.

    But the Energy Department said last week it may want the $500 million plant that employs about 600 workers to keep running to treat transuranic waste from other federal sites.

    Transuranic waste includes items like protective gear and tools that have been contaminated with plutonium, americium or other radioactive elements.

  • New Mexico state auditor looking into pro-Los Alamos agency

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The state auditor's office says it will look into the spending habits of an agency of New Mexico municipalities surrounding Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    New Mexico State Auditor Wayne Johnson said Monday he has designated the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities for a special audit following reports that its executive director spent public money on baseball tickets and fancy dinners in Washington.

    Johnson says there are enough concerns to warrant a close look to make sure all state laws were followed.
    Executive director Andrea Romero is facing criticism for the recent spending that included expensive gatherings where alcohol was purchased. She has apologized.

    The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities is an agency made of nine northern New Mexico cities, counties and pueblos surrounding the Department of Energy's Los Alamos Lab.

  • Española man gets court date for attempting to run over LAPD officer

    An Española man accused of trying to run a Los Alamos police officer over with his car has had his original trial date postponed until next month.

    Luis Martinez, 18, was schedule to appear in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Friday morning. But since his public defender was just assigned to the case his hearing date has been pushed back to April 27.

    Martinez is charged with aggravated assault upon a peace officer and aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer as well as two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count each of conspiracy, driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license.

  • Nominations needed for nuclear worker advisory board

    SANTA FE (AP) — The terms have expired for nearly all members of a federal advisory panel charged with making recommendations and providing guidance for a program designed to compensate workers who were exposed to toxic chemicals at U.S. nuclear weapons labs.

    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Trump administration has not nominated any new members to the board.

    "For two years our board put a lot of brain power and cutting edge expertise into developing recommendations," said Ken Silver, an occupational health professor at Eastern Tennessee State University, who until last month was a board member. "Without appointing another board, those recommendations may disappear into the ether."

    Silver was one of 14 members of the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health whose terms expired in February. The remaining member's term expires this month.

    The U.S. Labor Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment but indicated in a recent letter to a workers' advocacy group that nominations were still being reviewed.

    In response to intense lobbying and long-standing concerns that workers were not receiving proper compensation, the advisory board was created in the waning years of the Obama administration.

  • Mountaineers to host talk March 27

    The Los Alamos Mountaineers will host a talk by local adventurer Ron Morgan at their next meeting at 7:15 p.m. March 27 at the Nature Center.

    In 2017, Morgan set out with his climbing partners to climb mountains around the world. He began in June with Mount Rainier in Washington state and Tocllaraju in Peru and ended his journey in Mexico in December by climbing Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccíhuatl.

    “My climbing partners and I summited a number of the world’s most beautiful mountains and were turned back only once. ... Lady Luck smiled from high places, and it was an awesome year,” Morgan said.

    Morgan has been a member of the Los Alamos Mountaineers since 2005 and his lifelong addiction to adventure and the outdoors has been enhanced by the “LAM Characters Club.” He took the Climbing School in 2009 with Bill Geist.

    This event will be at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road. It is free. For more information about this event, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Pilot for 90s TV show reboot to be filmed in Albuquerque

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A pilot for a reboot of a late-1990s TV series will be filmed in Albuquerque.

    The "Untitled Roswell Project" TV show aired for three seasons and 61 episodes and was based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz.

    The upcoming pilot will tell the story of a daughter of immigrants who returns to her hometown of Roswell and learns that her teenage crush is an alien who has kept his identity hidden his entire life.

    Together, the two will attempt uncover his origins.

    The pilot will star Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, Michael Vlamis, Lily Cowles, Michael Trevino, Tyler Blackburn and Heather Hemmens.

    Warner Bros. Television/Palladin Productions will begin principal photography this month.

    According to the state Film Office, the pilot will employ 90 crew members and approximately 800 background talent from the state.

  • Softball continues hot streak on the mound

    Sometimes, good pitching seems to be contagious. That is the case right now for the Los Alamos High School softball team, as Katie Wimer put together the third great outing in a row for the Hilltoppers in a 12-1 victory over Pojoaque Valley High School Tuesday night.

    The streak of great pitching began in last Saturday’s doubleheader against St. Pius X High School, when Reyna Lucero pitched a no-hitter and Savana Luster gave up only one hit and 1 run.

    Wimer picked up right where her teammates left off, dominating and overwhelming the Elkettes from beginning to end, giving up 1 run in five innings of work, and only allowing two base hits.

    In the first inning, Wimer picked up her first strikeout of the game, and worked around a walk to get out of the inning without any damage being done.

    The LAHS offense got right to work in the bottom of the first inning, as Alicia Gonzales reached first base after being hit by a pitch and Lauren Harris drew a walk. Both came around to score, as Terri Jaramillo lined a single into the outfield to score Gonzales, and Harris scored on a wild pitch to put LAHS up 2-0 after the first inning.

    The Hilltoppers took complete control of the game in the second inning, sending 12 girls to the plate, and scoring 8 runs.