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Chikungunya Virus Reaches United States

on July 27, 2014 - 12:37pm

Countries and territories where chikungunya cases have been reported. Courtesy/CDC

Chikungunya virus disease cases reported by state or territory – United States, 2014 (as of July 22, 2014). Courtesy/CDC

CDC News:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been closely following reports of the mosquito-borne chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) virus, which is transmitted to people by mosquitoes.

The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

In late 2013, the chikungunya

Udall, Heinrich, Pearce to Host DOE Secretary in Carlsbad Regarding Recovery at WIPP

on July 27, 2014 - 12:04pm
Courtesy/WIPP
 
NM DELEGATION News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.–U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce have announced that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Carlsbad Aug. 12 for a discussion about the ongoing recovery at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
 
Last month, the lawmakers invited Moniz to visit to get an update on cleanup efforts and to talk with workers and local officials about WIPP’s importance to the community and to our national defense, as the only deep geologic repository for Cold War transuranic waste.

Luján On Human Trafficking And Humanitarian Crisis At Border

on July 26, 2014 - 8:39am

U.S. Rep Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District spoke on the House floor Thursday evening during the debate on a number of bills aimed at combating human and sex trafficking.

Luján highlighted the importance of protecting children from violence and the need to do the same for children who are fleeing extreme violence in Central America.

Click here to watch his speech.

Luján Amendment to Examine New Broadcasting Markets Passes House

on July 24, 2014 - 8:33am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, highlighted the passage of legislation July 23 that included an amendment he offered as part of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) reauthorization. 

Luján's amendment explores how new broadcasting markets could be created if they are based upon the potential of current and future technologies instead of the limitations of aging broadcasting antennas.

Udall On Report That U.S. Military’s Burn Pits May Have Broken Federal Law

on July 23, 2014 - 10:27am

Open-Air Burn Pit, Feb. 14, 2014, at Shindand Airbase, with unused Afghan-operated incinerators in background. Courtesy/SIGAR

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall responded to a new report that the U.S. military’s use of open-air burn pits at Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan may have violated federal law.

According to the report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), made public today, most of the solid waste at Shindand Air Base was disposed of for years in open burn pits rather than incinerators.

Madelyn Creedon Confirmed as NNSA Principal Deputy Administrator

on July 23, 2014 - 10:07am

Madelyn Creedon

NNSA News:

WASHINGTON – Madelyn Creedon was confirmed by the Senate this morning as the Department of Energy’s (DOE) principal deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

“Madelyn Creedon’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

Voyager Spacecraft Might Not Have Reached Interstellar Space

on July 23, 2014 - 9:23am

The heliosphere, in which the Sun and planets reside, is a large bubble inflated from the inside by the high-speed solar wind blowing out from the Sun. Pressure from the solar wind, along with pressure from the surrounding interstellar medium, determines the size and shape of the heliosphere. The supersonic flow of solar wind abruptly slows at the termination shock, the innermost boundary of the solar system. The edge of the solar system is the heliopause. The bow shock pushes ahead through the interstellar medium as the heliosphere plows through the galaxy.

Udall, Heinrich: New Leadership Needed at N.M. VA Medical Center

on July 23, 2014 - 6:49am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 21, as the acting Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary visits New Mexico, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich urged the VA to move quickly to hire a qualified permanent director for New Mexico's VA hospital to help it immediately begin the work to regain the trust of veterans and address serious problems with scheduling, emergency response, care for rural veterans and other challenges.

Numerous vacancies at the VA, including the New Mexico VA Medical Center (VAMC) director, have made it extremely difficult to make

DOE: Up to $31 Million for Initial Phases of Enhanced Geothermal Systems Field Observatory

on July 23, 2014 - 6:39am

DOE News:

As part of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department announced up to $31 million to establish the initial phases of the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), a field laboratory dedicated to cutting-edge research on enhanced geothermal systems (EGS).  

EGS are engineered reservoirs, created beneath the surface of the Earth, where there is hot rock but limited pathways through which fluid can flow. During EGS development, underground fluid pathways are safely created and their size and connectivity increased.

Los Alamos Tops America's Best Small Towns List!

on July 22, 2014 - 8:14am

Ashley Pond Park in the heart of Los Alamos. Photo by TK Thompson 

LIVABILITY.COM News:

  • Annual list ranks America’s top small towns

Perhaps the best thing about a great small town is its ability to change your perspective. With this in mind, Livability.com has named the Top 10 Small Towns, 2014.

These cities provide beautiful locales that inspire both creativity and activity, and they offer unhurried atmospheres, authentic character and characters, cultural gems, fantastic outdoor settings and the uncommon ability to change lifestyles, shift points of view and nourish souls with simple

Concerns Grow About CDC’s Tracking, Securing Dangerous Pathogens Under Its Supervision

on July 21, 2014 - 12:57pm

Courtesy/CDC

HSNW News:

Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials reported that the same federal scientist who found vials of smallpox in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cold storage room at the National Institutes of Health facility in Bethesda, Md., also found a collection of 327 vials, which could contain pathogens like dengue, influenza and rickettsia.

The new revelation adds to growing concerns about the government’s ability to track and secure dangerous pathogens under its supervision.

The fact that these materials were not discovered until now is

SF National Cemetery Hosts Veterans Burial Benefits Workshops Wednesday

on July 21, 2014 - 11:05am

SFNC News:

SANTA FE – Santa Fe National Cemetery Director James P. Sanders will host Veterans Burial Benefits Workshops 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 23.

The hour-long workshops will provide an overview of the National Cemetery Administration, highlighting the Santa Fe National Cemetery, burial benefits provided by the National Cemetery Administration and how to make burial arrangements.

The Veteran Burial Benefit Workshops are at the Bataan Memorial Building, second floor, room 238 (the Old Senate Chambers).

The times are set-up on the hour/every hour as follows:

  • 8 a.m.
  • 9 a.m.
  • 10 a.m.
  • 11 a.m.

Noon

Los Alamos Precision Rifle Team Competes at National 3 Position Air Rifle Championships

on July 21, 2014 - 9:06am

Los Alamos Precision Rifle Team members from left, JoAnna O’Neill, David Murphy, Samuel Wolfe, Holly Hayes and Samantha Miller. Courtesy photo

SPORTS News:

It has been a busy summer for the Los Alamos Precision Rifle Team. After a long road to qualify including matches in Albuquerque, Piedra Vista and Salt Lake City (Regional), the team was invited to compete June 26-28 at the National 3 Position Air Rifle Championships at the CMP facility at Camp Perry Ohio.

The qualification process began in December with the firing a submission of postal targets.

Luján Introduces Legislation to Promote Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

on July 20, 2014 - 9:12am

U.S.Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District introduced legislation recently that will promote energy savings through increased efficiency standards and increased investments in renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass. 

The American Renewable Energy and Efficiency Act, introduced by Luján and Rep.

UPDATE: Michelle Lujan Grisham Will NOT Appear On Meet The Press Sunday

on July 19, 2014 - 9:49am

NOTE: U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham will no longer be a guest on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20 as originally announced.

U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham

STATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, N.M.-01 will appear on Meet the Press this Sunday, July 20.

Rep. Lujan Grisham and other guests will discuss numerous issues facing Congress and the country, including immigration reform, foreign affairs, and the upcoming elections.

Meet the Press airs at 9 a.m. on KOB-TV Ch. 4.

FEMA Awards $56,858 Grant For Firefighting Equipment For Questa Volunteer Fire Department

on July 19, 2014 - 7:40am

FEMA News:

A fire training academy and 10 fire departments in New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas have been awarded more than $1.54 million in preparedness grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The grant in New Mexico totals $56,858 and covers the cost of firefighting equipment for the Questa Volunteer Fire Department. The grants in Arkansas total $342,100 and pay for an all-terrain firefighting truck for the Etowah Fire Department and firefighting equipment for the Arkansas Fire Training Academy in Camden.

In Louisiana, the grants total $649,642 and cover

Heinrich Addresses Central American Refugee Crisis

on July 19, 2014 - 7:26am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., delivered a speech on the Senate floor July 16 on the current Central American refugee crisis. 

Last week, he joined U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on a tour of the temporary facility for undocumented parents and their children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center campus in Artesia.

 Heinrich has long been a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, and is a proponent of the president's emergency supplemental request to address the increase in child and adult

Udall Addresses Troubled N.M. VA Hospital

on July 18, 2014 - 11:28am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall meets with Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. Courtesy photo
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., met with the nominee to replace former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned in May in the wake of the veterans' scheduling scandal that has impacted the Albuquerque VA. Nominee Robert McDonald, a West Point graduate, is the former Procter & Gamble CEO.
 
Udall issued the following statement after their meeting:
 
"New Mexico's VA is experiencing a crisis of confidence.

Heinrich Video Addresses Wildfire Funding Reform

on July 18, 2014 - 10:14am

Sen. Martin Heinrich

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - During a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing July 15, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., continued to push to reform federal wildfire policy by funding major wildfires the same way as other natural disasters, while freeing up funding to prevent future fires.

The committee considered the Administration's wildfire preparedness and forest service 2015 fiscal year budget proposal, which includes a plan based on a bill Heinrich is co-sponsoring, which would treat the largest fires -- roughly 1 percent of annual

Luján Joins Effort to Limit Money in Politics

on July 17, 2014 - 8:57am

Rep. Ben Ray Luján

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District announced July 15 that he has joined in an effort to limit money in politics by introducing an amendment to the United States Constitution.

The constitutional amendment would overturn Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC in an effort to reduce the growing influence of money in the political system. The constitutional amendment is the companion to the amendment introduced in the Senate by Sen.

Heinrich on Confirmation of Norman Bay to FERC

on July 17, 2014 - 7:48am

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, released the following statement after voting to confirm Norman C. Bay to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Bay was confirmed by a vote of 52 to 45. The president is expected to designate him to be chairman of FERC next year.

Heinrich spoke on the Senate floor in support of Bay's nomination:

"Norman Bay is an outstanding public servant with extensive experience to address our energy challenges in New Mexico and around the nation.

Udall Expresses Disappointment in GOP Filibuster Over Hobby Lobby Decision

on July 17, 2014 - 7:42am

Sen. Tom Udall

U.S. SENATE News:

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., expressed disappointment Wednesday, after Republicans blocked debate on a bill to restore women's access to contraceptive health care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 split decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby.

The court ruled that closely held corporations may deny coverage for certain forms of birth control if members of the board object on religious grounds.

The filibuster of the Not My Boss's Business Act, which Udall cosponsored, prevented the Senate from considering a measure to restore the contraceptive

DOE: Largest Such Project in World Will Capture 1.4 Million Tons of CO2 Annually

on July 16, 2014 - 8:38am

DOE News:

The Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with NRG Energy Inc. and JX Nippon announced Tuesday that construction has begun on the first commercial-scale, post-combustion carbon-capture retrofit project in the U.S., the largest such project in the world.

The Petra Nova Project will use cutting edge technology to help decrease the power plant’s greenhouse gas emissions. Once completed, the energy technology project will capture about 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually from an existing coal-fired power plant in Texas. The captured CO2 will then be used to

VCAT Report Details Recommendations For NIST Cryptographic Standards

on July 16, 2014 - 8:32am

NIST News:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Visiting Committee for Advanced Technology (VCAT) finalized a report detailing recommendations for NIST's cryptographic standards program. 

The VCAT's recommendations are based on a review conducted by a group of invited experts known at the Committee of Visitors, which began last April.

The report is available on the VCAT website. In addition, NIST has posted the briefing documents that were provided to the VCAT and the Committee of Visitors.

State DOTs Honored for Innovation and Cost Savings

on July 15, 2014 - 7:01am

DOT News:

Department of Transportation (DOT) projects that are improving safety on all travel modes, expanding mobility for communities, reducing congestion on roadways and providing additional transportation options while saving taxpayer dollars, were named recipients of top honors in the Western Regional America's Transportation Awards competition at the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ 2014 conference.

"The America's Transportation Awards competition showcases the exceptional, innovative and diverse range of transportation projects by state

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