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Today's News

  • Immigration divides Latina governor and governor-elect

    By MORGAN LEE, Associated Press

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's Democratic governor-elect signaled a new approach to border security and immigration that emphasizes humanitarian concerns and skepticism of the White House, as the reins of state government pass from one Latina governor to another.

    U.S. Congresswoman and Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday that she is worried about the well-being of women and children in migrant caravans approaching the U.S. from Mexico and may reconsider the state's decision to deploy local National Guard troops to the border.

    "I worry about the women and children in that caravan," said Lujan Grisham, who won Tuesday's election in a landslide against GOP U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce.

    Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in April deployed fewer than 200 troops to the state's border with Mexico at President Donald Trump's request. That was before concerns about the migrant caravan prompted a new federal deployment of more than 5,000 troops.

    The Trump administration is warning that the caravans will further overwhelm asylum systems. On Friday, the president ordered that anyone who enters the U.S. illegally from Mexico by going around official border crossings is ineligible for asylum.

  • Veterans Day honored with speeches, remembrances of sacrifice

    At Veterans Day ceremonies Sunday hosted by the Los Alamos American Legion Post 90, invocation speaker and Vietnam veteran Jim Ritchie talked about his brother who died during combat in Vietnam and what it means to be a veteran.

    “The bottom line is veterans are those who survived. Therefore, we who survived keep honor to others, and that is our fallen comrades,” Ritchie said at the event.

    Guest speaker was Vietnam veteran Dennis Hawley, who talked about “visible and invisible scars of war” and how honoring veterans is a “sacred responsibility we must all honor.”

    After the event, veterans and their guests, families and friends got out of the cold weather and inside the post to have a hot lunch of barbecue pulled pork, mashed potatoes and cupcakes.

    Look to this week’s Los Alamos Monitor for more details.

  • Candidate Herrell to challenge vote count in congressional race

    Republican Candidate Yvette Herrell announced Saturday she was moving forward to challenge the final vote count in the 2nd Congressional District. 

    Herrell has not yet conceded the race to challenger Xochitl Torres Small after Doña Ana County and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver discovered 8,000 ballots after she was declared the winner Tuesday night. 

    Herrell was notified one hour after her victory speech that 4,000 uncounted ballots had been discovered. An hour and a half after that, the secretary of state's office informed her an additional 4,000 uncounted ballots were discovered, she said.

    After the missing ballots were counted Wednesday, Small was declared the winner with 2,800 more votes.

    Herrell told Fox News Host Judge Jeanine Pirro Saturday she was looking to review what happened and other discrepancies in the race.

  • LANL groundwater discharge permit hearing underway

    In opening testimony at a groundwater discharge permit hearing Wednesday, attorneys for a Los Alamos National Laboratory contractor said spraying the ground with water with remediated levels of chromium and RDX is environmentally safe.

    Chromium and RDX are known carcinogens. The chemicals are from contamination plumes found on the grounds of the laboratory in the 2000s.

    N3B, the lab’s waste cleanup contractor, has a permit  from the New Mexico Environment Department to pull contaminated water from the regional aquifer through treatment wells. The company then treats the water and brings it up to a level that is meets environmental standards. The company then  sprays the water on lab property.

    The hearing was ordered by the New Mexico Court of Appeals to allow residents and environmental groups and others a venue to ask for stricter standards. The water is only being sprayed on LANL property.

    Attorneys for N3B at the hearing said the environmental safety requirements have already been met.   

    “What we’re talking about here is the application of water that meets applicable criteria at the time and place of discharge,” Montgomery and Andrews Attorney Louis Rose said at the hearing.

  • Lujan Grisham elected governor

    BY MORGAN LEE
    Associated Press

    Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham has won election as governor of New Mexico to succeed a two-term Republican amid simmering conflicts over struggling public schools and high poverty rates.

    The reins of state government will pass from one Latina to another as termed-out Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office.

    Lujan Grisham has been a leading critic in Congress of President Donald Trump’s policies on immigration. The 59-year-old former state health secretary defeated Republican Rep. Steve Pearce in a campaign focused on expanding preschool education, lowering crime rates and expanding an oil-dependent economy into new industries.

    Lujan Grisham’s victory opens the door for initiatives to authorize recreational marijuana, to institute gun safety measures such background checks on private sales and to overhaul funding for public education and preschool. New Mexico has a medical cannabis program but penalizes recreational use.

    Lujan Grisham vowed to push for new investments in solar and wind energy and has pledged to comply with a court order to help poor and minority students.

  • Granville credits ‘blue wave,’ offers olive branch for win

    Los Alamos County Sheriff Elect Joseph Granville said that when it came down to it that “blue wave” the Democrats talked about in the days and months leading up to the election had a lot to do with his becoming sheriff.

    “I’d like to think that mostly it was my message, but there were a lot of Democrats that were motivated to vote,” Granville said. “The feedback I got when I was talking to people was that they were looking for a more constructive, positive approach, but being real, there were a lot of Democrats voting yesterday (Tuesday).”
    When Granville starts in January, his responsibilities will include maintaining the county’s sex offender registry and serving civil processes.

    The office currently only consists of Los Alamos County Sheriff Marco Lucero.

    The office has an annual $15,000 budget. When Granville assumes office, he plans to have a staff member and an undersheriff at some point.

    “I understand that they (council) have a budget in place and I want to work within that. The most important thing is making sure that we’re executing our responsibilities with an attention to high quality, attention to customer service and doing it efficiently,” Granville said.

  • Chandler looks forward to tackling healthcare, education

    District 43’s new representative, Christine Chandler, said she would continue her winning streak by doing what she always did on the campaign trail, listen to people and study the issues.

    From now until January,  Chandler plans to keep talking with her fellow legislators about the issues, such as tax reform, education and more.

    “I’ll be talking to other, more experienced legislators to get there take on what they think is going to be happening in the January session, and discuss some of the things that will be coming up,” Chandler said. “I’ll be reading papers and things I anticipate will be coming up and I will also be talking to people that have the knowledge I think I can learn from.”

    Chandler ran on a platform that included healthcare and education.

    One of the issues that may be a priority in January is better funding for education, especially when it comes to preschool and kindergarten programs, she said.

    Governor-elect Michelle Luján Grisham made better funding for education a central part of her platform.

    “She’s indicated that she supports universal pre-K, and I know I’ve spoken to that point as well as number of other legislators have as well,” Chandler said.

  • Honeywell Aerospace to relocate Albuquerque operations

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Honeywell Aerospace is planning to move from Albuquerque, leaving potentially hundreds employees without jobs.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports the company told employees Thursday that its Albuquerque operations would be moved to Honeywell sites in Arizona, Florida and Puerto Rico over the next year.

    The global engineering firm's work in New Mexico is primarily focused on military and government contracts.

    The company says those operations can be more efficiently managed by integrating them into other facilities.

    The company says in a statement that employees are encouraged to apply for positions at other locations, and severance and outplacement assistance will be offered to eligible employees.

    Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says he has instructed the Economic Development Department to reach out to partners to see if workers can be connected with opportunities.
     

  • 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."