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Today's News

  • GOP moderate: Tentative immigration deal with conservatives

     WASHINGTON (AP) — A leader of House Republican moderates said Thursday that a tentative deal with conservatives is being discussed to help young “Dreamer” immigrants stay in the U.S. legally. It was unclear if the plan was a potential breakthrough in the GOP’s long-running schism over immigration or would devolve into another failed bid to bridge that gap.

    The proposal emerged the same day that House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said leaders will craft an attempt at compromise on the issue that Republicans could embrace. Ryan is hoping an accord will derail threats by GOP centrists to force a series of House votes on immigration soon that leaders say would be divisive and damage the party’s electoral prospects in November.

    The flurry underscored the escalating pressure Republicans face to address immigration, an issue pitting centrists representing Hispanic and moderate voters against conservatives with deep-red constituents sympathetic to President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant outbursts. Painfully aware of those divisions, leaders had seemed happy to sidestep the issue until the moderates’ rebellion forced their hand.

  • N.M. voter participation increases

    SANTA FE (AP) — Voter participation in the New Mexico’s primary election this week was 29 percent greater than four years ago.

    New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Thursday an uncertified election tally of 261,615 in the primary election that narrowed competition for two open congressional seats, the governor’s office, several statewide offices and the state House of Representatives. In 2014, voters cast 202,327 primary ballots.

    More than twice as many Democrats voted as Republicans in the closed primary. 

    Many Republicans including gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Steve Pearce ran unopposed, while Democratic candidates crowded into primary contests for governor, congress and public land commissioner. Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham advanced in the governor’s race.

    Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, will face Libertarian Sandra Jeff and Republican Johanna Cox in the general election.

  • N.M. public pension foresee headwinds

    SANTA FE (AP) — Administrators of New Mexico’s main public pension fund for state and municipal workers say the $15.5 billion trust is struggling to catch up with unfunded obligations and to ensure long-term solvency.

    Chief Investment Officer Dominic Garcia of the Public Employees Retirement Association said Thursday odds are against the pension fund catching up soon with its financial obligations to current and future retirees.

    He told a panel of lawmakers that combined retirement plans are 75 percent funded, and that there is an 11 percent chance that assets will catch up with liabilities over the next decade.

  • Operations resume at WIPP

    CARLSBAD (AP) — Routine operations have resumed at the U.S. government’s only underground nuclear waste repository following an evacuation in late May that was prompted by the discovery of a misaligned drum of waste.

    Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico confirmed this week that processing and handling resumed June 2.

    In disposing the waste, seven 55-gallon drums are wrapped together in a tight formation to go deep inside the ancient salt formation where the repository is located. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the waste.

    Work was halted when employees found one drum wasn’t aligned with the others that made up the waste package. The package was eventually repacked and disposed of underground.

    Officials say no radiation was released and no injuries were reported.

  • Gun shop owner pleads guilty in firearms case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The owner of New Mexico gun shop has pleaded guilty to selling firearms to minors and convicted felons.

    Prosecutors say 56-year-old Robert Real had a change of plea hearing Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque.

    Real is a licensed firearms dealer and the owner of Shooter’s Outpost in Española.

    He pleaded guilty to seven of eight counts of an October 2017 indictment.

    Prosecutors say Real attended gun shows around New Mexico between March 2016 and February 2017 and admitted to falsifying sales records and selling firearms other than shotguns or rifles to persons under age 21. Real faces up to five years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.

    Real’s wife and stepdaughter also were indicted in the case, but both have pleaded not guilty.

  • New Mars discoveries advance case for possible life

    By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present.

    Scientists reported Thursday that NASA's Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed. Hints have been found before, but this is the best evidence yet.

    The organic molecules preserved in 3.5 billion-year-old bedrock in Gale Crater — believed to once contain a shallow lake the size of Florida's Lake Okeechobee — suggest conditions back then may have been conducive to life. That leaves open the possibility that microorganisms once populated our planetary neighbor and might still exist there.

    "The chances of being able to find signs of ancient life with future missions, if life ever was present, just went up," said Curiosity's project scientist, Ashwin Vasavada of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

    Curiosity also has confirmed sharp seasonal increases of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Researchers said they can't rule out a biological source. Most of Earth's atmospheric methane comes from animal and plant life, and the environment itself.

  • Stephanie Garcia Richard wins public land commissioner seat in primary

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP)

    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard has won the Democratic nomination in the race for New Mexico public land commissioner.

    Garcia Richard beat state Sen. George Munoz of Gallup and activist Garrett VeneKlasen of Santa Fe in Tuesday's primary for land boss, a position that oversees oil and mineral development on state trust land.

    Garcia Richard of White Rock will face Republican Patrick Lyons of Cuervo in November's general election.

    Lyons is a member of the Public Regulation Commission who previously served two terms as land commissioner. Libertarian candidate and rancher Michael Lucero also will be on the ballot.

    Current Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is running for U.S. Senate as a Libertarian.

    The State Land Office is on track to collect record revenue from oil and gas lease sales this fiscal year as production in New Mexico rebounds.

    ___

  • New Mexico voter participation increases by 29 percent

    SANTA FE (AP) — Voter participation in the New Mexico's primary election this week was 29 percent greater than four years ago.

    New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Thursday an uncertified election tally of 261,615 in the primary election that narrowed competition for two open congressional seats, the governor's office, several statewide offices and the state House of Representatives. In 2014, voters cast 202,327 primary ballots.

    More than twice as many Democrats voted as Republicans in the closed primary. Many Republicans including gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Steve Pearce ran unopposed, while Democratic candidates crowded into primary contests for governor, congress and public land commissioner. Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham advanced in the governor's race.

    Toulouse Oliver, a Democrat, will face Libertarian Sandra Jeff and Republican Johanna Cox in the general election.

  • New Mexico gun shop owner pleads guilty in firearms case

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The owner of New Mexico gun shop has pleaded guilty to selling firearms to minors and convicted felons.

    Prosecutors say 56-year-old Robert Real had a change of plea hearing Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque.

    Real is a licensed firearms dealer and the owner of Shooter's Outpost in Espanola.

    He pleaded guilty to seven of eight counts of an October 2017 indictment.

    Prosecutors say Real attended gun shows around New Mexico between March 2016 and February 2017 and admitted to falsifying sales records and selling firearms other than shotguns or rifles to persons under age 21.

    Real faces up to five years in federal prison. His sentencing hearing hasn't been scheduled yet.

    Real's wife and stepdaughter also were indicted in the case, but both have pleaded not guilty.

  • Operations resume at underground US nuclear waste repository

    CARLSBAD (AP) — Routine operations have resumed at the U.S. government's only underground nuclear waste repository following an evacuation in May that was prompted by the discovery of a misaligned drum of waste.

    Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico confirmed this week that processing and handling resumed June 2.

    In disposing the waste, seven 55-gallon (208-liter) drums are wrapped together in a tight formation to go deep inside the ancient salt formation where the repository is located. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the waste.

    Work was halted when employees found one drum wasn't aligned with the others that made up the waste package. The package was eventually repacked and disposed of underground.

    Officials say no radiation was released and no injuries were reported.