Today's News

  • Workshop trains citizens to lobby at Legislature

    The Santa Fe Public Library and community groups are co-hosting a lobbying workshop from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday to help New Mexico citizens feel comfortable advocating at the state Legislature.

    State Sen. Liz Stefanics will join trainers from the Rio Grande Sierra Club to offer tips on how citizens can make their voice heard at the Legislature. They will also provide a preview of some of the legislation likely to be considered in the 30-day short session starting next week.

    The workshop is free and open to the public.

    Those who want to attend should RSVP to Diane at DianeAbqNM@gmail.com or at riograndesierraclub.org/sflobby

    Write to DianeAbqNM@gmail.com for more information.

    The Southside Branch Library is located at 6599 Jaguar Drive in Santa Fe.

  • Roundhouse prepares for session

    It’s about 1 p.m. on Friday at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe and Assistant Sergeant at Arms Richard Sena was quiety placing books behind nametags inside the Senate Chamber.

    Food Service Manager Terry Bell was doing paperwork inside her office.

    It was the calm before the storm. Tuesday, thousands of people will start flowing in and out of the Capitol for the next 30 days as the session gets underway.

    Legislators will start the fight to get their bills through committees, special interests, activisits and lobbyists will be looking to help or hinder. Hundreds if not thousands of tourists, students and media will come to watch the show.

    If those people are lucky, they will stop to eat Bell’s famous chile, which has been a well-kept, delicious secret at the Roundhouse for 30 years. It’s rumored her green chile cheeseburgers are apparently amazing.

    Before each session, at least six members of Bell’s crew come in a week before to get everything up and running. Unlike a typical restaurant that opens everyday, people come to the Roundhouse from all over the state, and from different jobs, to fire up the kitchens and get the food ready. 

    “We pull out all of our equipment out of the walk-in freezer, get everything washed and divided between the two kitchens,” she said.

  • UC grilled over LANL safety issues

    Three university systems went before the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities Friday to tell the coalition once again why they would be the best candidate to take on the job of operating and managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The University of California, Texas A&M  made full presentations while the University of Texas System gave a short statement at the end of the meeting during the public comment portion.

    All three systems submitted bids to the National Nuclear Security Administration before the administration’s deadline.
    UC Vice President for National Laboratories Kim Budil faced some tough questions before the coalition from Coalition Chairman and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales.

    The University of California has been a partner in the lab’s operation since it’s inception in 1943.

    “Clearly there were a lot of mistakes made of the last couple of years in Los Alamos that led to the shut down of WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) and the threat that ultimately posed to the community for those mistakes,” Gonzales said. “I’m interested in how the University of California during that time and what levels of assurance as communities we would get, if you were selected, that it wouldn’t happen again.”

  • White House doctor: Trump in 'excellent health'

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's White House physician declared him in "excellent health" after the president received his first medical checkup at Walter Reed military hospital on Friday, undergoing a physical examination amid suggestions in a recent book and by his detractors that he's mentally unfit.

    Dr. Ronny Jackson, in a statement released by the White House, said the examination "went exceptionally well. The President is in excellent health and I look forward to briefing some of the details on Tuesday." Trump spent about three hours at the medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, for the Friday afternoon checkup, his first as president, before departing for Florida for the weekend.

    The fairly routine exam for previous presidents has taken on outsized importance in the age of Trump, given the tone of some of his tweets, comments attributed to some of his close advisers and Trump's recent slurring of words on national TV.

    Some of the comments were published in a new book about Trump's first year, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by Michael Wolff, which White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has denounced as "complete fantasy" for portraying her 71-year-old boss as undisciplined and in over his head as president.

  • Stocks keep pushing higher in 2018, led by retailers

    By STAN CHOE, AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rising retailers pushed U.S. stock indexes further into record territory on Friday, as the market's fabulous start to 2018 carried through its second week.

    Interest rates also climbed after a report showed that a key component of inflation accelerated last month. But stocks absorbed the gains without a hiccup, unlike earlier in the week when rate worries helped send the Standard & Poor's 500 lower for its lone blemish this year.

    The S&P 500 rose 18.68 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,786.24 on Friday to close out its seventh week of gains in the last eight. The index is already up more than 4 percent for 2018.

    The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 228.46, or 0.9 percent, to 25,803.19, the Nasdaq composite rose 49.28, or 0.7 percent, to 7,261.06 and the Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks gained 5.18, or 0.3 percent, to 1,591.97.

    Retailers led the way after a government report confirmed that the holiday shopping season was a strong one, with retail sales rising 0.4 percent last month following a 0.9 percent surge in November. The numbers fit with what individual retailers have said recently, and several have raised their profit forecasts as a result.

  • Grand jury indicts former head of New Mexico MLK commission

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The former director of New Mexico's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission has been indicted on more than a dozen charges stemming from allegations of financial impropriety.

    A grand jury has indicted Kimberly Greene on charges of fraud, embezzlement, larceny, conspiracy and other counts. It wasn't immediately clear if Greene, who was removed by the commission in 2016, had an attorney.

    Indictments also were filed this week against a former commission employee and the director of the nonprofit Educational, Research, Evaluation and Design Inc., or eREAD. A phone message left at the eREAD office in Albuquerque wasn't returned.

    The indictments follow a lengthy investigation that first became public two years ago when agents with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office seized bank records, invoices, emails and other documents related to the commission's financial activities.

  • Science Fair at Barranca Mesa
  • Gov. seeks more police immunity

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez’s proposal to grant broader immunity to police in use-of-force lawsuits is being met with criticism from attorneys and others on both sides of the debate.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez plans to push for a measure during the upcoming legislative session that would provide somewhat of a legal shield for law enforcement officers sued for actions in the line of duty when they had followed their training.

    She said she doesn’t think officers should be under a “constant threat of lawsuits.” Martinez, a Republican, is a former prosecutor.

    Albuquerque has reached settlements in a string of wrongful death and excessive force lawsuits filed in recent years.

    The city also is under federal court order to reform its police department after a U.S. Justice Department investigation four years ago found a “culture of aggression” among officers.

    Randi McGinn, who has litigated lawsuits brought against police, was the special prosecutor who tried two Albuquerque officers in the 2014 shooting death of homeless camper James Boyd. The officers’ 2016 trial ended in a hung jury, and the second-degree charges against them were later cleared by a new prosecutor who decided not to retry them.

  • State hosts AMC’s ‘Better Call Saul’ for another season

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico is hosting another season of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

    Production work on the television series is underway in Albuquerque.

    The network had initially announced last year that the “Breaking Bad” spinoff would return in 2018 for a 10-episode fourth season.

    Starring Bob Odenkirk, the series follows Jimmy McGill, who eventually becomes Walter White’s lawyer Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad.”

    Officials with the state film office say about 150 crew members and several dozen principal actors from New Mexico are a part of the production.

    “Better Call Saul” season three was among the more than 60 film and television productions shot in New Mexico during the past fiscal year. Others included “The Night Shift,” ‘’Longmire,” and Netflix’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

  • State of County speech previews future

    Los Alamos County Manager Harry Burgess’ State of the County speech Thursday morning gave listeners a view of how the county was preparing for the future.

    All the efforts the county put toward tourism, housing, code enforcement and amenities this year is laying the groundwork for better things to come for residents, businesspeople and residents, Burgess said.

    Burgess spoke Thursday to the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.  Many members of County Council, Chamber of Commerce and the public attended.

    Burgess talked first about tourism, and how the county had capitalized on the National Park Service’s recent addition of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The Los Alamos section is one of the park’s three sections, the other parts being in Hanford Washington and Oak Ridge Tennessee. The Los Alamos section in downtown Los Alamos.

    He said that the 20-member Tourism Work Group formed last year will soon release a plan on how Los Alamos County will better be able to capitalize on the thousands of visitors and tourists that come to Los Alamos every year, whether that be for lab business or to visit Bandelier, the Valles Caldera or the  Manhattan Project Historical Park.