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Today's News

  • Governor rejects Republican request to redeploy National Guard to border

    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham rejected a request by House Republicans Tuesday asking her to redeploy the New Mexico National Guard troops to the southern border, calling a military response a “misguided use of state resources” and a “cynical ploy.”

    The Democratic governor said daily costs of deployment could reach $20,000 for 100 troops.

    “Costs aside, a military response to a humanitarian matter would be a misguided use of state resources at best and a cynical ploy to paper over a genuine and entrenched humanitarian and logistical issues at worst,” Lujan Grisham said in a letter to Republican House Leader James Townsend (R-Artesia). “State National Guard troops, while diligent and flexible, are not equipped or authorized to manage or assist with immigration enforcement efforts.”

    The governor also turned down the request by the Republicans to appoint a response team, led by the state Secretary of Homeland Security, to coordinate the immigration response efforts throughout the state.

  • States sue over rule allowing clinicians to refuse abortions

    NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly two dozen states and municipalities sued the federal government Tuesday to stop a new rule that lets health care clinicians decline to provide abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.

    The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to declare the rule unconstitutional and say it was passed in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The rule was issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and is scheduled to take effect in July. San Francisco had previously filed a similar action.

    The department has said the rule requires hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive federal funding to certify compliance with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.
    Most laws pertain to medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

    The department has previously said that past administrations haven't done enough to protect such rights in the medical field.

    The suit is being brought by Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; the District of Columbia; Hawaii; Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York City and state; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; and Wisconsin.

  • House GOP requests redeployment of National Guard troops to border

    House Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Monday requesting that she redeploy New Mexico National Guard troops back to the state’s border with Mexico.

    Lujan Grisham withdrew a majority of the National Guard troops deployed to the border Feb. 5, saying there was not a national security crisis.

    She still has yet to publicly acknowledge a crisis at the border. Otero County and the City of Deming recently have declared a state of emergency for their communities after becoming overwhelmed with the recent influx of immigrants dropped off by the Border Patrol.

    The National Guard troops were sent to the border by Gov. Susana Martinez.

    “Because New Mexico’s taxpayers and communities are providing resources and making sacrifices to support thousands of immigrants seeking refuge in our state, we urge you to send the National Guard back to the border to provide badly needed assistance and support to both federal and local entities,” the lawmakers wrote. 

    In Monday’s letter, the House Republicans also asked Lujan Grisham to appoint a crisis response team, led by New Mexico’s Secretary of Homeland Security, to coordinate immigration response efforts throughout the state.  

  • Sierra County says no to migrant relocation

    SANTA FE (AP) — A New Mexico county has approved a resolution opposing the relocation of migrants within its boundaries as federal authorities grapple with the influx of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Sierra County Commission approved the resolution during a meeting Tuesday, saying there's a crisis in southern New Mexico and that the thousands of migrants already released in Las Cruces, Deming and Lordsburg have strained local resources in those areas.

    The resolution asks President Donald Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border to immigration.

    County officials say their position shouldn't be viewed as political or racist. They described their community as impoverished with virtually no resources and said the resolution is about good governance.

    They warned that if federal authorities release migrants in Sierra County, there are no buses, rail stops or commercial flights to transport them to sponsors elsewhere.

    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is traveling to Washington, D.C., to press for more federal resources to cope with an influx of asylum seekers at the U.S. border with Mexico.

    Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said the governor was departing Tuesday for a scheduled face-to-face meeting this week with acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.

  • School board OKs 6% raises

    The Los Alamos School Board approved a $40.6 million budget for fiscal school year 2019-2020 Tuesday, which included a 6% increase for teachers and staff mandated by the state.

    In order to cover the cost of the raises without making cuts to programs or laying off staff, the administration took $6 million out of an annual $8 million allocation the Department of Energy gives the school district every year.

    It’s customary for the district to use part of the DOE allocation every year for teacher salaries.

    This year, state funding for the schools totaled $30.5 million. Other revenue for the $40 million budget also included a $1.1 carryover from last year, $264,181 in property taxes, $13,000 in fees, $50,000 in investments on short term CDs, $25,000 in rental income, another $508,000 in DOE funding, a $53,220 “E-Rate Program” rebate and $60,000 in miscellaneous funding.

    Montoya said much of the money to balance the budget came from a line-by-line examination of what they could expense forward or take out altogether.

    “We reduced overages where we could afford it,” Montoya said.

    Though every year the school district has to make financial projections based on what happens during the January legislative sessions, this year was even more of a guessing game.

  • Hollon selected as new YAC director

    Crystal Hollon has been selected as the new director of the Los Alamos Youth Activity Centers.
    Hollon, who started on May 1, was raised in Los Alamos and graduated from Los Alamos High School, in 1995. She is a

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LICW), and graduated Summa Cum Laude from New Mexico Highland’s University. She went on to earn her master’s degree in social work.

    “I am excited to have Crystal joining our team,” said Jordan Redmond, Los Alamos Family Council executive director. “Her experience, skills, and attitude are valuable additions for the Los Alamos Family Council and the youth at the Youth Activity Centers.”

    Hollon, brings more than 15 years of experience working with families and children specializing in providing services and programs to trauma survivors.  She has worked with youth at various non-profit and government agencies throughout New Mexico. She has extensive experience in program development/management, community outreach and education, crisis intervention and counseling. 

  • Risks, rewards accompany speedier cleanup of closed nukes

    PLYMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Companies specializing in the handling of radioactive material are buying retired U.S. nuclear reactors from utilities and promising to clean them up and demolish them in dramatically less time than usual — eight years instead of 60, in some cases.

    Turning nuclear plants over to outside companies and decommissioning them on such a fast track represents a completely new approach in the United States, never before carried to completion in this country, and involves new technology as well.

    Supporters say the accelerated method can get rid of a hazard more quickly and return the land to productive use sooner. But regulators, activists and others question whether the rapid timetables are safe and whether the companies have the expertise and the financial means to do the job.

    "We were up in arms that it was 60 years," Janet Tauro, head of the environmental group New Jersey Clean Water Action, said of the initial plans for decommissioning the Oyster Creek plant. "And then we hear it's going to be expedited to eight years. It's great to get it over with, but are there corners that are going be cut?"

  • LANL to open Manhattan Project National Historical Park Tours in July

    Los Alamos National Laboratory will offer public tours of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park July 11 and 12.

    Registration for the event is on a first-come, first-serve basis and will open June 24 at 10 a.m.

    The tours are in collaboration with the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Los Alamos Field Office and the National Park Service.

    The tour day will consist of four tours of 25 people each, with each tour lasting three hours. 

    The LANL event complements the Los Alamos Science Fest, which runs from July 9 to 14.

    Future tour opportunities will be announced throughout the year.

    Participants will see the Pond Cabin, which served as an office for Emilio Segrè’s Radioactivity Group studying plutonium, a battleship bunker used to protect equipment and staff during implosion design explosives testing, and the Slotin Building, site of Louis Slotin’s criticality accident.

    Members of the public will be invited to register for the tours when registration opens in late June.

    LANL tour participants must be 18 years old or older, U.S. citizens, and provide proof of citizenship at the tour check in.

  • Redondo appointed probate judge

    The Los Alamos County Council appointed May 7 a well-known figure in the community to be the next probate judge.

    Michael Redondo, who previously served six years on Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission, including a stint as its chair, got the job.

    Other candidates the board considered were Adelaide B. Jacobson, a retired school teacher and Lynn Finnegan, a retired attorney and seminary student.

    Redondo also told the board that he worked through several elections as an election clerk.

    “I have worked alongside the wonderful staff at the county clerk’s office,” Redondo said. “I know and respect many of these people and I feel I have a good working relationship with them,”

    Redondo moved to Los Alamos with his parents when he was just 3 years old. Through the years he involved himself in Los Alamos High School’s Key Club, volunteered with PEEC, served in the Peace Corps and spent six years on the Los Alamos Historical Society’s board of directors.

    Redondo also talked about the probate judgeship, and how his flexible work schedule as a professional caregiver would fit perfectly with the demands of the job.

  • State awards funds to schools to extend learning time

    BY MORGAN LEE
    The Associated Press

    SANTA FE — More than 101,000 public school students will gain access to a variety of extended learning opportunities beyond the traditional school year starting this summer, Public Education Secretary Karen Trujillo announced Friday.

    Reforms approved and signed in March by first-year Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham provided up to $181 million in annual spending for two programs — money that won’t be nearly exhausted during the coming school year. About $76 million has been awarded to schools.

    One program is a flexible 10-day addition of learning time to the school year at any grade level, likely to reach some 101,000 students.

    A second program, a proven model for lengthening the elementary school year by five weeks, is expected include about 24,000 students for the coming school year, up from 18,000.

    State legislators set aside enough money for 90,000 students to participate in that “K-5 Plus” program if school districts, teachers and parents are willing.

    By the summer of 2020, Trujillo expects student participation in K-5 Plus to ramp up to 70,000.

    Trujillo said there were nearly 60 schools in Albuquerque alone that are adopting K-5 Plus.