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Today's News

  • Sessions cracks down on cities over immigration enforcement

    ALBUQUERQUE — Attorney General Jeff Sessions took new steps Thursday to punish cities he believes are not cooperating with federal immigration agents in a move that was met with bewilderment by local officials who said they did not know why they were being singled out.

    The Justice Department sent letters to four cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they would not be eligible for a program that provides money to combat drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and notify agents before releasing inmates wanted on immigration violations.

    Baltimore, Albuquerque, and Stockton and San Bernardino in California all expressed interest in the Justice Department’s Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.

    “By taking simple, commonsense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement,” Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters. “That will ultimately make all of us safer — especially law enforcement on our streets.”

  • N.M. educational funding at stake as trial winds down

    SANTA FE (AP) — A legal battle focused on the plight of New Mexico’s most vulnerable public school students is heading to a state district court judge this week after two months of testimony in a case that may reshape the way public schools are funded and guided by the state.

    Parents, local school districts and advocacy groups sued the state of New Mexico for failing to meet constitutional obligations to provide essential educational opportunities to all students and for not following through with 2003 reforms designed to better engage Native American students.

    After two months of testimony, the judge may reshape the way public schools are funded and guided by the state.

    Testimony is scheduled to end Friday.

    The outcome could reshape funding and education policies for English-language learners, Native American youth and students from low-income families across a state with the second-highest poverty rate in the U.S.

    New Mexico’s classrooms serve the highest percentage of Hispanic students in the country and the second-highest percentage of Native American students after Alaska — providing a testing ground for cultural enrichment programs and bilingual instruction involving Spanish and several Native American languages.

  • ‘Carry the Light’ opens at golf course

    Color and light have always been the tools of the artist, and at least with some sciences, the scientist also.

    New Mexico sculptor and former geological scientist Doug Czor has taken those tools in a new direction. Using plexiglass and dichroic film, Czor has created a set of sculptures at the Community Golf Building on Diamond Drive that will catch the eye and stimulate the brain. When the sunlight hits the dichroic plexiglass panels, they reflect a dazzling display of light and color that splash over the walls and ceiling where they are installed. The sculpture is called “Carry the Light.”
    Czor wants everyone else to appreciate it too, and perhaps be inspired by the science and math behind what he does.

    “Physics can be beautiful, science can be beautiful, exciting,” he said.

    He hopes children that see the new sculptures see science and math in a different way too, or at least be interested enough to participate in a future where science is valued.

    “My goal in life is to create inspiration for young people that would inspire them to look again at becoming a scientist, a physicist, an engineer or a mathematician,” he said. “Our country needs more people who are interested in science…

  • Fallout over rec bond plows on

    A fake Twitter account and a cease-and-desist order are the latest chapters in the dispute between a former Los Alamos County resident and his mother, and some members of Los Alamos County Council.

    Patrick Brenner, of Sandoval County, and Lisa Brenner, of Los Alamos, have lodged legal complaints against Los Alamos County over emails regarding the May recreation bond.

    Most recently, Patrick Brenner filed an ethics complaint against County Councilor James Chrobocinski, which the county is investigating.

    This week, a fake Twitter account briefly surfaced under Chrobocinski’s name, before disappearing. The account featured a picture of Chrobocinski wearing a pink “pussy hat” recently associated with left-wing protesters. The page also made statements, saying he was a “Republican in Name Only,” and statements about his family.

    Chrobocinski said he thought Patrick Brenner and his mother, Lisa Brenner, were the ones behind the fake account.

  • A spot for tea

    Inauspiciously tucked between LA Travel and the Motor Vehicle Department sits Bliss Gift Emporium, an eclectic card and gift store. The store’s proprietor, David Tinkham is a chatty, friendly man who welcomes every customer into the shop with a smile on his face.

    The soothing classical music playing overhead creates the perfect peaceful atmosphere to browse his fascinating trinkets.

    Bliss does not carry the traditional New Mexico knickknacks and jewelry because Tinkham wanted something totally different.

    When Tinkham learned that his ancestry had strong English ties, it made sense to lean towards that culture, especially since he already had a love for tea.

    Tinkham excitedly pointed to a recently acquired tea set sitting inside a display case at the front of the shop. The set came with four cups, each of which, when held up to a light, came to life with a hologram of an Asian woman on the bottom.

    Such hidden gems are a perfectly metaphor for the shop Tinkham has created.

    A brief glance inside the store might reveal what appears to be a candle and card shop, but on closer inspection, delightful treasures can be found, like a Star Trek mug or a Tri-Wizard Tournament Cup replica from Harry Potter.

  • Today in history Aug. 3
  • 4 sanctuary cities facing loss of crime-fighting assistance

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved Thursday to again punish so-called sanctuary cities, this time threatening to deny federal crime-fighting resources to four cities beset by violence if they don't step up efforts to help detain and deport people living in the country illegally.

    The Justice Department sent letters to cities struggling with gun violence, telling them they will be ineligible for a new program that aims to root out drug trafficking and gang crime unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice before releasing someone in custody who is wanted on immigration violations. The cities — Baltimore, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Stockton and San Bernardino in California — all expressed interest in the Justice Department's new Public Safety Partnership, which enlists federal agents, analysts and technology to help communities find solutions to crime.

    "By taking simple, common-sense considerations into account, we are encouraging every jurisdiction in this country to cooperate with federal law enforcement," Sessions said in a statement that accompanied the letters. "That will ultimately make all of us safer — especially law enforcement on our streets."

  • LA playwright’s new play ‘Still in the Game’ to debut in SF

    Teatro Paraguas and SageRight Productions will present a new play this month by Robert F. Benjamin, of Los Alamos, entitled “Still in The Game” for 10 performances.
    The play will open Aug. 10 at Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe.

    “Still in the Game” is the third piece in a trilogy about “aging with grace, courage and humor.” Two previous “aging” plays were produced at Teatro Paraguas, “Not Quite Right” and “Salt and Pepper.”

    Directed by Sheryl Bailey, “Still In The Game” focuses on the journey of David (played by Jim McGiffin), a recently widowed retiree in his 70s, who is struggling with loneliness, moving forward and family acceptance.

    His daughter Dawn (Juliet Salazar) encourages David to be more social but becomes concerned when she discovers her father has made female companions.

    At an evening of speed dating, David meets Ruby (Marguerite Scott), where the attraction is palpable. Their subsequent mutual happiness is thrown off-balance by a major change in David’s health, which triggers a clash between the women in his life.

    As David and those around him struggle to change, his quirky humor and uncanny wisdom shine through in this fun, yet serious family drama.

  • Ex-husband arrested for battery

    Los Alamos resident Lloyd Trujillo was arrested July 21 for battery upon a peace officer, a fourth-degree felony, assault against a household member, two counts of resisting arrest and not pulling over on the approach of an emergency vehicle.

    Around 8:43 p.m., Los Alamos Police Department Officer Sgt. Hudspeth interviewed a woman identified as Rodin Quintana who was having a dispute with her ex-husband.

    Quintana stated she was at the Friday night Gordon’s concert at Ashley Pond dancing with a male friend of hers when she was approached by her ex-husband, Trujillo, who became angry that she was dancing with another man. Quintana and Trujillo have been divorced since Sept. 2016.

    According to the report, Trujillo and her friends became confrontational with each other, so Quintana decided to leave. Trujillo then reportedly walked over to his ex-wife’s car and got in with no apparent intent of leaving. In order to avoid a conflict, Quintana walked directly into the lobby of the Police Department, she said.

    As she was speaking with Hudspeth, a child of one of Quintana’s friends walked in and said, “He is standing outside your car waiting for you.” Hudspeth escorted Quintana to her car, but the car was empty, so Quintana left the scene.

  • US concealed-carry gun bills prompt warning in New Mexico

    SANTA FE — A national gun-safety group on Tuesday stepped up pressure in New Mexico against proposed U.S. firearms legislation that would make states recognize concealed handgun permits from other states.

    With members of Congress returning home for August recess, Americans for Responsible Solutions on warned that concealed carry “reciprocity” legislation would undermine New Mexico’s rigorous training and screening standards for people seeking to obtain licenses so they can carry concealed handguns.

    Robin Lloyd, director of government affairs for Americans for Responsible Solutions, warned that as many as 25 other states do not meet New Mexico’s requirements for background checks and firearms safety training for people authorized to carry concealed weapons.

    New Mexico could be forced to allow unverified people from other states to carry concealed guns in public places under the proposed legislation, according to a flier distributed by the group.

    The National Rifle Association has said momentum is building for House and Senate bills that enshrine rights to carry concealed weapons across state lines, though current bills have yet to reach initial committee assignments for discussion.