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Today's News

  • Locals rally, protest Trump

    As Trump supporters filled the Santa Ana Star Center’s 7,500 seats and floor Monday to support President Trump, eager to take his messages on immigration, healthcare, gun control, the economy and other issues out across the state.

    Trump supporter David Colon said it was time for Democrats to stop telling Latinos what to do and who to vote for.

    “The truth is, we respect him a lot,” Colon said Latinos of Trump. (The Democrats) aren’t the only ones that can speak for us. That’s not good for our country.”

    Colon said he lost a lot of friends and family through his support of Trump, but be believes in Trump and what he’s doing for the country, especially when it comes to the economy.

    “Everybody tries sell you on the tariffs and all this other stuff, but it hasn’t affected me. If anything, I’ve seen all the business opportunities, all the blacks have jobs, Hispanics have jobs, my 401k is taking off, I get paid really good money.”

    Debbie Goldstein came all the way from Los Alamos to see Trump. Goldstein said Trump is one of those once-in-a-lifetime presidents.

  • Trump rallies backers in bid to turn New Mexico red

    BY KEVIN FREKING
    The Associated Press

    RIO RANCHO — President Donald Trump made a pocketbook appeal for reelection in the Democratic-leaning state of New Mexico on Monday, telling voters that his energy policies have made the state wealthier and warning that the gains could disappear if the proposal known as the Green New Deal takes effect.

    “The Democrats want to completely annihilate New Mexico’s economy,” claimed Trump, who boasted that an oil and gas boom during his administration has helped increase the state’s revenues. “The Democrats will never get the chance because New Mexico will never give them that chance.”

    Trump went to New Mexico, which has not backed a Republican for president since 2004, to try to turn the state red and expand his grip on the Electoral College in next year’s presidential election.

    “It’s been quite a while since a Republican won this state,” Trump told supporters, who greeted him with chants of “USA, USA.” ‘’I think we’re going to do great here. We’re here because we really think we’re going to turn this state and make it a Republican state.”

  • New Mexico state Sen. Carlos Cisneros dies at 71

    Associated Press and Staff Report

    SANTA FE — New Mexico state Sen. Carlos Cisneros, a Democrat from Questa who served in the Legislature for 35 years as a key negotiator on state spending, has died. He was 71.

    Cisneros' death Tuesday from a heart attack was confirmed by Legislative Council Service Director Raúl Burciaga.

    Cisneros first won election to the Senate in 1984 and went on to play a leading role in annual budget negotiations and legislation on tax policy.

    He represented a vast district that stretches from the state line with Colorado to the outskirts of Los Alamos, including Taos, Peñasco, Truchas and Pojoaque Pueblo.

    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she was saddened by Cisneros' death and that he played an important role for decades in designating infrastructure projects across the state.

    She credited him with drafting successful legislation this year that increases state investments in small businesses.

    "He began his professional career as a mine worker and became a union leader," Lujan Grisham noted in a statement. "He was a student of New Mexico all his life."

  • New Mexico weighs tuition-free college for local students

    By MORGAN LEE Associated Press

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico would eliminate tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate and community college students of all ages under a proposal Wednesday from Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that requires legislative approval.

    The "opportunity scholarship" would tap the state general fund to cover costs not already paid for by federal scholarships and local lottery proceeds, a so-called last dollar approach used by a handful of states including New York that offer more limited free tuition.

    The announcement at a community college in Albuquerque thrusts New Mexico to the forefront of a national political conversation about soaring student debt and tuition costs.

    "By making college significantly more accessible to New Mexicans of every income, of every background, of every age, we are putting students first," Lujan Grisham said in a statement. "We are creating meaningful opportunity for all."

    Free tuition would be available at continuing education programs for older students who return to school but not for graduate studies such as medical or law school.

    Approval by the Democrat-led Legislature is needed to tap general fund dollars to cover tuition.

  • Report: N.M. needs to boost mental health services

    ALBUQUERQUE — Independent federal investigators say there’s a need for mental health services in New Mexico, but many counties in the sparsely populated state lack licensed providers who can serve patients who rely on government assistance.

    A report released Monday by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department’s inspector general details the challenges for Medicaid patients when it comes to accessing behavioral health care.

    The report states that improving access is essential in New Mexico, where more than half of adults with mental illness do not receive treatment.

    The report notes that the state has among the highest rates in the nation for suicide and overdose deaths. It also ranks as one of the poorest states, with more than half of the population either uninsured or covered by public health insurance.

  • LALT’s new play may bring back the ‘90s for some

    To live out your dreams or be a slave to the 9-to-5 grind is Jon’s (Tim Orcutt) dilemma and the theme of “Tick, Tick… Boom,” the Los Alamos Little Theatre’s latest offering. 

    Audience members of a certain age may get a little nostalgic kick following these Gen Xers through 1990s New York, as they struggle with a common dilemma most everyone has or had to work out in their own lives.

    Jon takes his journey along with his roommate Michael (Patrick McDonald) and Jon’s girlfriend Susan (Christine Armenion). 

    Done without scenery and a live backing band, the three take the audience through the struggles of reaching a certain age and not achieving everything you want, and how one deals with that in his or her own way.

    Written by the late Jon Larson, who is best known for the musical “Rent,” Armenion, Orcutt and McDonald carry the heavy load very well on their six shoulders in this three-actor musical.

    The backing band members are Yelena Mealy on keyboard, Nick Denissen on guitar, David Rogers, and Wes Hicks alternating on electric bass and Omar Wooten on drums. 

  • Firewood permits stopped at Jemez Center

    The Santa Fe National Forest temporarily suspended selling fuelwood permits and other Forest Service products at its satellite office at the Pueblo of Jemez Welcome Center, also known as the Walatowa Visitor Center, because of a staffing shortage.

    The center is located at 7413 NM 4 on Jemez Pueblo. 

    Usually, the Pueblo of Jemez Welcome Center has a Forest Service employee onsite Friday, Saturday and Sunday seasonally to sell permits and provide visitors with information about the forest. 

    A staffing shortage has caused the Santa Fe National Forest to not be able to staff the center for about a month, according to the national forest officials.

    Permits and other products can be purchased at the Jemez Ranger Station at 051 Woodsy Lane in Jemez Springs off NM 4 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Credit cards are accepted only until 4 p.m.

    Customers may want to call the Jemez District Office at 575-289-3535 to check availability of the permits. 

  • Department to propose rate hikes

    Los Alamos County’s Department of Public Utilities is preparing to lay out its case for a series of rate hikes Wednesday at the County Municipal Building. 

    The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

    The department is looking to schedule a series of annual rate hikes over a three-year period for water and sewage.

    For water, the department is proposing 5%, 4.25%, 4% increases, respectively. For sewer, the department is proposing 6%, 3% and 2%, respectively. 

    According to Department of Utilities Manager Philo Shelton III, the hikes are already part of a department strategy that was implemented three years ago to help deal with aging infrastructure and to build up its cash reserves to be able to borrow funding for projects. The department is also working on replacing the White Rock Wastewater Treatment plant, which is more than 40 years old.  

    The department is in the design phase for the new plant, and according to Shelton, construction on the new plant should take place within a year to a year and a half.  The facility has an estimated $14 to $17 million price tag.

  • BMX track project stays alive

    The Los Alamos Parks and Recreation Board voted 4-1 Thursday to ask Los Alamos County Council to spend $50,000 to get a county-owned bike track in shape for BMX competition races. The project had been on hold since May when the county told a group of volunteers working with USA BMX to discontinue working on the project due to safety and liability issues. 

    The county started working with Dan Deschamp and the other volunteers after the shutdown, and the county eventually came up with a $90,000 proposal, the price county officials said would be the amount needed to improve the track. Conditions for consideration included having the Parks and Recreation Board give its official approval to the funding and the track project.  After discussing a variety of price ranges, the board voted on a $50,000 funding limit Thursday.

    The board voted Thursday to include the project in this funding cycle.

    “The other option would be to wait until it would be discussed in the budget hearings for 2021, which would mean no work would start for another two years if it gets voted on and approved,” said Parks and Recreation Vice Chair Dina Pesenson to the board.

  • LALT opens season with a ‘Boom’

    The countdown is underway for “tick, tick… BOOM!” — the opening production in Los Alamos Little Theatre’s 2019-20 season that started with an opening performance Friday.

    The show will run from tonight to Sept. 28, with performances at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, Sept. 22, at Los Alamos County’s Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St.

    Written by Jonathan Larson, the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning author of “Rent,” the small-cast musical “tick, tick… BOOM!” follows an aspiring composer trying to make it on Broadway but beginning to question his life choices. 

    “This play is a hidden gem of a rock musical that I wanted Los Alamos to discover,” said director Tim Orcutt. He added that the play has not previously been performed in New Mexico.