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Today's News

  • Republican Herrell not conceding US House race in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Republican Yvette Herrell has not conceded in a U.S. House race in southern New Mexico despite unofficial results that showed Democrat Xochitl Torres Small winning the contest.

    Herrell campaign senior adviser Rob Burgess said in a statement late Wednesday that Herrell is waiting for all provisional ballots to be counted.

    Torres Small won the open U.S. House seat representing southern New Mexico's 2nd District after absentee ballots counted Wednesday put her over the top.

    New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Alex Curtas says around 1,000 or so provision ballots remained to be counted.

    However, Curtas says even if Herrell won all those votes it still wouldn't be enough for her to win the race or trigger an automatic recount.

    Herrell's campaign has not said if it would request a recount.
     

  • Democrat Torres Small wins US House seat in New Mexico

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Democrat Xochitl Torres Small has won an open U.S. House seat representing southern New Mexico's 2nd District in a closely watched race, completing a statewide sweep for Democrats and giving the diverse southwestern state its first U.S. House three-member delegation made up of all people of color.

    The 33-year-old water rights attorney defeated Republican state lawmaker Yvette Herrell for a seat that has been held by the GOP for years, after officials in Dona Ana County tallied up absentee ballots late Wednesday.

    The seat was open because the incumbent Republican, Rep. Steve Pearce, ran for New Mexico governor, a race he lost.

    The victory comes as Democrats captured control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Torres Small ran as a moderate Democrat who promised to help the district's lucrative oil and gas industry and push for immigration reform.

    Reached by phone late Wednesday, an emotional Torres Small struggled to fight back tears and was plagued by a cough. "This is my home," Torres Small said. "I am so honored to represent this district. It has been ignored by Washington for far too long."

  • Letters to the Editor 11-7-18

    White Rock needs Jemez House Thrift Store

    Dear Editor,
    The closing of Jemez House Thrift Shop was a blow to the entire community. The shop performs good deeds at every turn using only volunteer workers.
    The main goal is to provide college scholarships to New Mexico students who had at one time resided in a group home. But it does untold good along the way: keeping tons of used clothing, furniture, housewares, books and electronics out of the landfill, at the same time providing a low cost source for these items.
    Now Jemez House needs our help. It will continue to exist until all of its scholarship money has been distributed so there is still time to resurrect the thrift store. They need a space at reasonable rent and adequate parking in order to resume business.
    The community needs to step up and help this worthy organization to continue their good work.
    Kathy Taylor
    Los Alamos

  • Lights, camera profit: NM businesses needed to support growing film industry

    BY JASON GIBBS
    Finance New Mexico

    With New Mexico gaining a reputation among film production companies, local businesses are needed to help fill a growing demand for services as more television shows and movies shoot in the Land of Enchantment.

    The New Mexico Film Office reports nearly $506 million in direct spending in the state during 2017, and productions including “Godless” and “Waco” are racking up Emmy nominations by the fistful. This has put the state in the spotlight and local businesses are increasingly needed to provide an array of goods and services in addition to locations and crews.

    “The film industry isn’t just for businesses you would typically associate with making movies – like studios, camera equipment or lighting – they literally need anything you can think of,” said Barbara Kerford, the state outreach coordinator for the New Mexico Film Office. “For the cast and crew, they are all living in New Mexico while a production is happening, if they aren’t already living here. And they need all of the services that they would need at home – like gyms, groceries, gas, salons, medical care, etc.”

    “And they will spend that money with local businesses in New Mexico,” she said.

  • State population growth dismal, but seven counties gain

    In a previous column, I discussed those leaving New Mexico, namely the 25- to- 44-year olds who should provide the core of a productive society. This time the topic is the number staying. The numbers, for July 1, 2017, come from the Census Bureau. New numbers are due next month.

    The state’s overall population situation remains dismal; we added only 28,891 people from the April 2010 census to 2017. That’s a 1.4 percent increase. Contrast that with Arizona, up by 624,253 (yes, from a larger base), a 9.8 percent increase.  Booming Colorado’s population grew 11.5 percent during the period. Those two neighbors can’t match New Mexico’s “accomplishment” of declining population in 2014 and 2015. It has been a lost decade.

    Ten New Mexico counties gained population during the period. Only Sandoval and Santa Fe counties gained every year.

    Bernalillo and Los Alamos counties lost population during one year by amounts so tiny as to not really count. These four are the north central urban area. Doña Ana is also urban with the second largest county population in 2017 (215,579), with Las Cruces and part of the larger Júarez-El Paso combo.

    Urban wins. The message isn’t good for the rest of the state.

    Amid the gloom a few glimmers appear.

  • Key New Mexico county absentee votes stalls US House race

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Absentee votes in a key New Mexico county are stalling a closely watched U.S. House race in southern New Mexico.

    Dona Ana County Clerk Amanda Lopez Askin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that officials are working to count around 8,000 absentee ballots and an untold number of other ballots dropped off or delivered by mail on Tuesday.

    Republican Yvette Herrell and Democrat Xochitl Torres Small are in a tight race for U.S. House seat in southern New Mexico that is still too close to call.

    Askin says she did not know if the county would be able to submit final vote numbers by Wednesday or Thursday.

    Askin says she has deputized five Democrats and five Republicans to help with the count.
     

  • Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over program's name change

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Girl Scouts of the United States of America filed a trademark infringement lawsuit Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America for dropping the word "boy" from its flagship program in an effort to attract girls.

    In the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the Girls Scouts claim the program "does not have a right under either federal or New York law to use terms like scouts or scouting by themselves in connection with services offered to girls, or to rebrand itself as 'the Scouts.'"

    "Such misconduct will not only cause confusion among the public, damage the goodwill of GSUSA's Girl Scouts trademarks, and erode its core brand identity, but it will also marginalize the Girl Scouts Movement by causing the public to believe that GSUSA's extraordinarily successful services are not true or official 'Scouting' programs, but niche services with limited utility and appeal," the complaint said.

    The Girl Scouts is among a number of major youth organizations in the nation seeing declines in membership in recent years due to competition from sports leagues and busy family schedules. The organization argued that only it has "the right to use the Girl Scouts and Scouts trademark with leadership development services for girls."

  • New Mexico re-elects Democratic US Sen. Martin Heinrich

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich won re-election to a second term Tuesday in a three-way race against a Republican political newcomer and a Libertarian former governor.

    The 47-year-old engineer and former congressman finished ahead of construction contractor Mick Rich and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

    Heinrich’s victory further solidified Democratic control over the state’s Senate delegation. Democrats have won every Senate election in New Mexico since the final re-election in 2002 of Sen. Pete Domenici.

    Heinrich cast himself as a vigorous adversary of President Donald Trump’s policies and campaigned on promises to defend federal health care and retirement programs.

    Acknowledging victory Tuesday evening, Heinrich said voters “responded to a vision that was actually positive and was about unifying our state.”

    He said the top priority for his second term will be initiatives that can improve the state economy.

    “I’m still going to be working for our (federal) laboratories and military bases, for our outdoor recreation economy,” Heinrich said. “I’m going to be working to protect Social Security and Medicare.”

  • Garcia Richard elected to State Land Office

    Democratic state lawmaker Stephanie Garcia Richard has been elected as New Mexico’s next state land commissioner, making her the first woman to hold the office in the state’s history.

    Garcia Richard finished ahead of Republican Patrick Lyons and Libertarian Michael Lucero to fill the open seat. Current Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn did not seek re-election, setting up the three-way contest.

    Garcia Richard is three-term state lawmaker from the Los Alamos area. She’s the chair of the House Education Committee and works as an administrator with the Pojoaque Valley School District.

    Some have criticized her for a lack of experience when it comes to land issues. She argues that her knowledge about the classroom would provide an important perspective for the State Land Office because its top priority is raising money for education.

  • MainStreet expands to White Rock

    Los Alamos MainStreet will expand its program into White Rock.

    The program has now been re-classified as Los Alamos MainStreet program serving downtown Los Alamos as a county-wide program.

    “New Mexico MainStreet will begin working with LACDC to identify Economic Transformation Strategies and a plan of work with the Los Alamos MainStreet director and the delegated County representative,” wrote Rich Williams, Co-Director of NMMS, in a letter.

    Since its inception in 1993, Los Alamos MainStreet has been committed to supporting local downtown businesses as an important component to economic development. The program’s current key strategies are focused on transforming downtown into a place where people want to gather and do business, as well as promoting and encouraging niche tourism by capitalizing on the community’s historic and scientific significance.

    “We look forward to extending our support to White Rock businesses, now officially part of Los Alamos County MainStreet, and working closely with the County, developers and others to make White Rock more business-friendly to both existing and new businesses,” said Lauren McDaniel, Director of Los Alamos MainStreet.