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Today's News

  • Poll finds gov’s approval is up

    The National Education Association of New Mexico hired the research arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to conduct a poll to gauge, among other things, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s approval rating.

    The results showed that a majority of respondents – 58% – approved of her performance and 42 percent disapproved.

    The new governor came out near the bottom in a Morning Consult national ranking poll in April with a 41% approval rating. About 33 percent of voters disapproved of her performance. The remaining did not have an opinion or were undecided.

    NEA-New Mexico paid for the poll to ask questions of state residents about what they see are problems in education in the state and what they see might be solutions, according to Charles Goodmacher, spokesman for the NEA-NM.

    The union added in the governor’s approval rating question with the other questions.

    “Since we were doing a statewide poll, we thought we would ask about the governor’s approval ratings,” Goodmacher said.

    Many of the other questions were asked a few years ago, using the same polling firm, Goodmacher said. This will give them a time series, he said.

    The online poll, conducted Aug. 21-28, reportedly asked 500 New Mexican adults questions about education and the governor.

  • Smashing the pumpkin carving record

    The Los Alamos Arts Council is hoping there will be enough residents this October that have five minutes to spare to help them break a world-record pumpkin-carving contest.
    Steve Bublitz, vice president of the Los Alamos Arts Council, is gathering enthusiasm and hoping to sign up local residents for the challenge of breaking the Guinness World Record category for “Most People Carving Pumpkins Simultaneously.” The contest will be held at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 26.
    At the start of an official mark, participants will have five minutes to carve a basic face into the pumpkin. When the time is up, Los Alamos may have one for the record books.
    After the event organizers confirm the new record, pumpkin carvers will then have a chance to embellish their creations, just in time for the Pumpkin Glow that night. The contest will take place in a roped off section of Central Avenue.
    “We can do this!” Bublitz exclaimed during an interview about the contest.
    The previous Guinness pumpkin carving record was set by the Galloping Grace Youth Ranch in Rio Rancho in 2013 for 1,060 pumpkins.

  • New Mexico issues medical pot cards to outsiders

    SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico has begun issuing medical marijuana registry cards to people who live outside the state.

    Two people in Texas and an Arizona resident have received cards to purchase medical marijuana in New Mexico after successfully suing to enroll.

    Marissa Novel of medical cannabis producer and dispenser Ultra Health said that a card was delivered Friday to her company’s Arizona-based CEO.

    Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez served as co-plaintiff in the legal challenge of residency requirements and qualified for enrollment based on his post-traumatic stress disorder.
    Reforms to New Mexico marijuana laws this year dropped the in-state residency requirement. The administration of Gov.

    Michelle Lujan Grisham says that change was inadvertent and it intends to appeal.

    Novel says it will be difficult to appeal the court order.

  • Police Beat 9-8-19

    Police Beat items are compiled from public information contained in Los Alamos Police Department records. Charges or citations listed in Police Beat do not imply innocence or guilt. The Los Alamos Police Department uses the term “arrest” to define anyone who has been physically arrested, served a court summons, or issued a citation.

    Aug. 28
    9:30 a.m. — Los Alamos police investigated suspicious behavior at Trinity Village in Los Alamos.

    Aug. 29
    2:41 p.m. — Los Alamos police inventoried lost property. The case is inactive.

    3:20 p.m. — Los Alamos police arrested a suspect for simple assault in Los Alamos

    5:28 p.m. — Los Alamos police responded to a fight at the Conoco Shell gas station on Arkansas Avenue. The case is still active.

    9:18 p.m. — Justin Dalton, 18, of Los Alamos was booked into the Los Alamos County Detention Center for driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and failing to yield at an intersection. The suspect was released.

    Aug. 30
    12 p.m. — Los Alamos police issued a warning to a suspect for abuse of a child in Los Alamos.

  • New owner to invest $2.4M into Holiday Inn Express

    The CEO of the company that purchased the Los Alamos Holiday Inn Express said his company is prepared to invest in the community in more ways than one.

    For starters, Brian Patrick Martin, of BPM and Company, said he plans to spend $2.4 million in renovations to the property, which is located at Entrada Business Park.

    “An important part of our plan is to invest $2.4 million into the asset.  It’s going to address all the high touch and feel areas of the hotel,” Martin said. “The lobby is going to be completely renovated the guest rooms are going to be completely renovated.”

    Martin’s company bought the hotel last week from Los Alamos Lodging for $8.8 million.

    Martin said that even the elevators, the corridors and its meeting space will be redone.

    “When you walk through the door of that asset, it’s going to look completely different,” Martin said, adding that the funding for the renovation is already in an escrow account.

    The renovations are scheduled to take nearly all of 2020 to complete.

    Martin also plans to bring in a new management company and offer benefits to the employees.

  • Judge to hear Patriot group’s case

    An attorney representing a group suing the New Mexico Secretary of States office and the attorney general’s office has responded to the defendant’s motion to dismiss order.

    The group, the New Mexico Patriot Advocacy Coalition, is suing the New Mexico Secretary of State and attorney general’s office.

    According to the group’s attorney, A. Blair Dunn, the group alleged Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and Attorney General Hector Balderas repeatedly ignored state constitutional law when it rejected multiple attempts by the group to petition against 10 bills the State Legislature passed in the January session.

    The bills include a bill to join other states to abolish the electoral college in favor of the popular vote for president,  a bill to raise the minimum wage, a bill to create and protect certain wildlife corridors on hunting grounds in New Mexico, a bill allowing for voter registration during early voting in statewide elections, a bill requiring union membership as a prerequisite for a job, a bill promoting renewable energy, a bill requiring reporting of independent expenditures, a bill abolishing coyote killing contests and others, including two bills related to gun control.

  • Explore the geology of the Valles Caldera with PEEC

    Join local geology experts Fraser and Cathy Goff on a PEEC field trip driving through Valles Caldera National Preserve on Sept. 14.

    Participants will examine the volcanology and geothermal springs of the 1.25-million-year-old Valles Caldera — the world’s type example of a resurgent caldera. The trip will consist of six stops and take most of the day. Participants will meet at the Valles Caldera Visitor Center at 9 a.m.

    The group will board two large vans at the Visitor Center to travel through the Valle for the tour. The tour will complete a big circle starting at the Valle Grande Visitor’s enter, driving through the northeastern valley (Valle San Antonio), crossing into the Sulphur Creek drainage, visiting part of the geothermal system and returning to the visitor center along N.M. 4.

    Attendees should bring a hat, sunglasses, rain jacket, light boots or sturdy shoes, lunch, water and a camera. Rock collecting is not permitted in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Several of the stops will involve hiking up steep slopes, across bunch grass and other obstacles.

    Registration is required to save a spot on this trip and only five spaces are left on this tour. Admission is $48 for PEEC members and $60 for non-members. Sign up at peecnature.org. The group will meet promptly at 9 a.m. and return by 5 p.m.

  • Lujan, Udall discuss tech transfer, legal pot

    In the last week of Congress’ August break, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) stopped in Los Alamos to touch base with the local business community.

    Udall spent part of Wednesday touring scientific optics company UbiQD and biotech company Pebble Labs.

    The two companies are noted examples of where technology and invention that started out at Los Alamos National Laboratory made it out into the private sector through the lab’s technology transfer program.

    Udall wants to find ways of streamlining that process.

    “It’s a question of all of us working more effectively to make it happen,” Udall said.

    Udall was there in part to see what he could do as a senator to help the county build supportive communities around the tech transfer companies that chose to headquarter in Los Alamos.

    “There are so many creative things happening, so many jobs that are being grown in New Mexico from ideas that come from the labs,” Udall said. “We need to do everything we can to make sure that this is happening when there is technology that will survive in the private sector and bring with it the jobs and economic development.”

  • County settles IPRA lawsuit

    The insurance company for Los Alamos County, New Mexico Self Insurer’s Fund, settled a three-year lawsuit with former resident Patrick Brenner on Aug. 1, according to court documents.

    In 2017, Brenner sued the Los Alamos County Council and the county public records custodian, Barb Ricci, for allegedly denying Brenner access to emails written by former county councilors.

    One councilor, Susan O’Leary, said she would not hand over the emails because they were on a private email account.

    The emails Brenner asked for were all written on May 15, 2017, by county council members. They were in response to an email Brenner wrote to the council on that day that criticized O’Leary and another county councilor, James Chrobocinski, and their involvement on a political action committee in favor of a $20 million bond package that council wanted to use to fund several recreation projects for the community.

    The case was settled through New Mexico Self Insurer’s Fund for $45,000. Brenner. When reached for comment, Brenner felt satisfied with the verdict.

  • Davie won’t travel to South Bend with Lobos

    BY DAVID VASQUEZ
    lasports@lamonitor.com