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Today's News

  • A bold forecast of things to come

    SANTA FE — Happy New Year. Here’s a toast to it being a happier year than this past one. Actually the entire decade has been pretty grim in many ways. Let’s hope this decade is an improvement.

    In keeping with tradition, herewith are some predictions about what may be in store for our state in the coming year.

    This year will be another uncertain one as far as our leadership is concerned. It was during the opening week of January 2009 that Gov. Bill Richardson announced he wouldn’t be leaving for Washington.

  • Don’t count on ethics reform

    SANTA FE – For a moment, ethics reform has tiptoed into the spotlight.  But it won’t be for long and it won’t make much of an impression.

    Budget cutting is the major topic of the day, and for many days to come. It will be the excuse for nothing being accomplished on ethics reform in this coming legislative session.

  • Slow populations growth may reduce political clout in rural N.M.

    SANTA FE — Rural New Mexico risks losing clout in the Legislature in the coming decade because of the politics of population.

    The 2010 Census will be used to redraw boundaries of New Mexico’s legislative and congressional seats. However, the government’s most recent population estimates don’t look good for eastern New Mexico and other rural areas because slow-growing regions could end up losing seats in the Legislature.

  • Treasury winds down bank bailouts with $29 millon outlay

    WASHINGTON — " The Treasury Department said Thursday it has pumped $29.3 million into 10 banks, which will be the last to receive investments as part of the taxpayer-funded program to shore up the financial system.

    The aid comes from a $700 billion financial bailout program created last year during the height of the financial crisis.

  • Travelers’ choice: Shed shyness for security?

    SAN FRANCISCO — As Ronak Ray hunted for his flight gate, he prepared for the prospect of a security guard peering through his clothes with a full body scanner. But Ray doesn’t mind: what he gives up in privacy he gets back in security.

    “I think it’s necessary,” said Ray, a 23-year-old graduate student who was at San Francisco International Airport to fly to India. “Our lives are far more important than how we’re being searched.”

  • Sportsmen ask Rep. Teague to safeguard wilderness

    LAKE VALLEY — On a map of New Mexico, about 7 inches by 7 inches, there are just a few splashes of color, just big enough to put your fingertip on.

    “You see all those red things here?” asked wildlife biologist Randy Gray, gesturing to the colored specks peppering the map. “Those are the only places where they’ve measured (that) are two miles or more from a road. We don’t need more roads.”

  • Panel proposes salary cuts

    SANTA FE — Salaries of state workers and educators would be reduced by 2 percent next year under a budget proposal that also could require $200 million in tax increases or further spending cuts.

    The Legislative Finance Committee recommended Monday the state spend about $5.4 billion next year on public schools, higher education and government programs ranging from prisons to health care for the needy.

    Those expenditures would be covered by state revenue and $118 million in federal economic stimulus aid.

  • Bingaman: Cap and trade bill unlikely this year

    ALBUQUERQUE — Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday that it’s unclear whether Congress will be able to pass cap and trade legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions this year.

    Bingaman, D-N.M., said there’s no consensus on what form a cap-and-trade system would take, but strong desire exists in both the Senate and House to pass other energy-related bills that would curb pollution blamed for global warming.

  • Climbing the political ladder can be risky

    SANTA FE — It appears only two state senators will be trying to climb the political ladder this year. Senators have four-year terms, as do statewide elected officials.

    Those offices – governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor, treasurer and land commissioner – all are elected in even-numbered years with no presidential election.

    State Senate elections are held at the same time as presidential elections. That means state senators are in the middle of their four-year terms when statewide officials are elected.

  • Family sues funeral home over brain in bag

    ALBUQUERQUE — A New Mexico family is suing two funeral homes over a gruesome incident in which members unwittingly accepted a bag containing a relative’s brain and only became aware of it by the odor a day later.

    Funeral homes in New Mexico and Utah, where the woman died, are blaming each other for the mistake. Both have been named in the lawsuit.

    “This is just a sad tragedy,” plaintiffs attorney Richard Valle said Wednesday. “This almost feels like something you’d read about in a Stephen King book.”