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Today's News

  • School lessons for adults who want to help

    When I started as a volunteer tutor four years ago, I wondered if I had the know-how to help a first grader catch up with his peers in reading. When school ended this year, I wondered if I’d need to throw myself on top of my student in the event of an active shooter.

    The answers are yes and not yet. The program prepared us for one but not the other.  

    When I started, I, like all the other school volunteers, simply wanted to help. But I also wanted to learn because schools are much in the news, and I write about them. It’s been a fine adventure.

    I learned that one little guy who doesn’t like reading but does like sports overcame his reluctance to read when offered books about sports at his reading level. Books like these are somewhat scarce, and for Hispanic athletes, they’re nonexistent, so at times I just wrote my own stories from web information about the lives of athletes. I leave in the hard stuff like divorce and poverty because my students experience both.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • New pro soccer team coming to N.M.

     ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — The United Soccer League, the second-highest professional soccer level in America behind Major League Soccer, announced it will bring a team to Albuquerque.

    USL Commissioner Jake Edwards and USL New Mexico President and Owner Peter Trevisani said Wednesday that the team will begin play in March.

    Public input will establish the formal club name.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ski area offers open trails, SummerFest for community

    Forest and trail closures due to Stage III fire restrictions have citizens scrambling to find alternative means of enjoying the great outdoors of Los Alamos County.

    Enter the Pajarito Ski Area.

    Because the ski hill is located on private property it doesn’t have to close down its trails like Los Alamos County and the Santa Fe National Forest do on their lands.

    But that doesn’t mean the skill hill staff isn’t mindful of the restrictions and the ever-present threat of a wildfire.

    “We felt with all of the closures around here, if we had the ability to offer at least a place to hike or to mountain bike that we’d do it,” said Tom Long, the general manager of the ski area. “We can fairly well manage this. I’m not saying that someone’s out there right now building a campfire, but if they did we’d get on it pretty quickly.”

    Long and his staff is gearing up for Saturday’s SummerFest celebration, one of the many big events the ski area host’s each year. He said steps are being taken to remind those coming to SummerFest to be mindful of the situation.

  • Sanchez-Gagne, Lidyard win judicial races

    Maria Sanchez-Gagne overcame the appointment of current judge Gregory Shaffer to win Tuesday’s election for 1st Judicial District Court Judge Division 2.

    Sanchez-Gagne tallied 10,888 votes (33.87 percent) to win the four-person race while Shaffer, who is currently serving as the judge for that division after being appointed through an independent, bipartisan judicial nominating commission, got 9,683 votes (30.12 votes).

    Finishing third was Jerry Archuleta with 6,103 votes (18.98 percent) and Donna Bevacqua-Young came in fourth with 5,476 votes (17.03 percent).

    Sanchez-Gagne is an attorney from Santa Fe who began her career as an assistant district attorney in the First Judicial District Attorney’s office from 1996 to 2000.

    She has been in public service for more than two decades, including a post as an assistant attorney general as a prosecutor of felony child abuse and sexual assault cases.

    Jason Lidyard gained almost 60 percent of the votes in the 1st Judicial District’s race for judge in Division 5.

    He garnered 17,014 votes (59.99 percent) against Matthew Jackson, who received 11,246 votes (40.01 percent).

  • Chandler takes break after primary election win

    The state Democratic candidate for the 43rd District is going to take a small break.

    The newly-minted state Democratic candidate for the 43rd District, Christine Chandler, plans to take a few days off to visit family before diving back into the race against her Republican opponent, Lisa Shin. 

    “I’m going to take a few days then put a team together and plan our campaign strategy,” Chandler said. 

    She also had some kind words to say about her Democratic primary opponent, Pete Sheehey, saying he ran a good race. 

    “I appreciate his willingness to endorse me, and he’s also correct that our positions on most issue were really very much in line with each other,” Chandler said. “Pete is a great campaigner and a real hard worker and I commend him for how well he did in the election.”

    The final, but still unofficial numbers from the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office, show Chandler received 1,944 votes to Sheehey’s 1,604.

    During the primary election season, Chandler had been keeping an eye on Shin through the newspapers, reading her op-ed pieces on various subjects.