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DEA: Counterfeit Pills Fueling Fentanyl; Opioid Crisis

on July 26, 2016 - 8:56pm
DEA News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills, many containing deadly amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds, have made their way into the U.S. drug market, according to a DEA intelligence report released Friday.
 
Law enforcement nationwide report higher fentanyl availability, seizures, and known overdose deaths than at any other time since the drug’s creation in 1959. 
 
Fentanyl is a synthetically produced opioid that, when produced and administered legitimately, is used to treat severe pain.

WIPP Update: Backup Power Installed For WIPP EOC

on July 26, 2016 - 8:52pm
WIPP News:
 
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will soon have guaranteed operation in the event of a power outage.
 
A 1,250-kilowatt diesel generator is being installed at the Skeen-Whitlock Building, the location of the EOC. The generator is designed to automatically start when a disruption in power is detected. While the primary purpose of the generator is to ensure emergency response capabilities for the EOC in the event of a power loss, the generator will also power the entire building.

NAU Researchers Find Endangered Mouse On SFNF

on July 26, 2016 - 8:46pm
A New Mexico meadow jumping mouse captured and released this month on the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/Northern Arizona University

 

Fire staff help erect fence to protect New Mexico meadow jumping mouse habitat. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service

 

SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  While Forest Service crews were constructing a fence to protect critical habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse, a 10-person team of researchers from Northern Arizona University (NAU) confirmed that the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) is home to the species.
 
Wildlife ecologist and NAU School of

State Police Announce Checkpoints, Saturation Patrols

on July 26, 2016 - 9:45am

STATE POLICE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico State Police will be conducting Sobriety Checkpoints, Saturation Patrols and Registration, Insurance and Drivers’ License Checkpoints in all New Mexico counties during August 2016.

State Police are bringing awareness to this endeavor, in an effort to reduce alcohol related fatalities, through continued media attention and intensive advertising. These checkpoints are helping to change society’s attitude about drinking and driving.

People are choosing to not drink and drive.

Santa Fe National Forest Plans Prescribed Burns

on July 26, 2016 - 9:28am

Fire managers are planning to conduct two prescribed burns this fall on the Coyote Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are planning to conduct two prescribed burns on the Coyote Ranger District this fall.

The 5,041-acre French Mesa treatment area is approximately 10 miles north of Gallina and the 470-acre Mesa Potrero pile burn located approximately seven miles northwest of the community of Coyote.

The window for hand ignitions may open as early as Aug. 1, 2016, and run through Sept.

NMED Issues 'Boil Water Advisory' For Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System

on July 26, 2016 - 7:45am
NMED News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau issued a “boil water advisory” for the Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System.
 
NMED issued the advisory after bacteriological contamination (E. coli) was detected in repeat drinking water samples from the water system’s distribution system. NMED required Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System to notify water system consumers of this finding. 
 
Yah-Ta-Hey Water & Sanitation District Water System is a community public water system that serves approximately 438 people and is

NNMRAC Extends Deadline For SRS Funding Proposals

on July 26, 2016 - 6:48am
USDA News:
 
SANTA FE  The Northern New Mexico Resource Advisory Committee (NNMRAC) has extended the deadline for proposals for projects under Title II of the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and Community Self-Determination Act until Aug. 15, 2016.
 
Eligible projects must enhance forest ecosystems and restore and improve land health and water quality on the Cibola, Santa Fe, and Carson National Forests and adjacent lands in Taos, Sandoval, Mora, San Miguel, Rio Arriba, Torrance, McKinley and Cibola Counties. 
 
The NNMRAC has up to $473,000 to allocate to projects through the congressional

Udall’s Measure To Solidify Drone Testing Hub At NMSU Signed Into Law

on July 25, 2016 - 10:44pm
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Sen. Tom Udall’s measure to solidify Southern New Mexico’s position as a leading testing center for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, commonly referred to as “drones”) was signed into law as part of the bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.
 
New Mexico State University’s UAS Flight Test Center was the FAA’s original UAS test center; it served as a model for six sites across the country that were authorized by Congress in 2012. Udall’s language adds NMSU, creating a group of test ranges that can equally compete for federal projects —

State Crisis And Access Line Helping More New Mexicans Connect With Needed Services And Support

on July 25, 2016 - 9:33am

HSD News:
SANTA FE — New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) Secretary Brent Earnest announced that the New Mexico Crisis and Access Line (NMCAL) is helping more New Mexicans find the help, services, and support they need for mental health crises such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and others.
 
NMACL fielded 2,952 calls last month alone, 16,000 in the first six months of this year, and more than 21,000 calls in 2015.
 
“The hotline helps connect our most vulnerable family members, friends, and neighbors with the help they need,” Governor Susana Martinez said.

Final Scenes From GOP National Convention

on July 25, 2016 - 8:54am
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez surrounded by delegates during the state roll call at the GOP National Presidential Convention in Cleveland. See convention balloon drop here. Courtesy photo
 
New Mexico Delegate Lisa Shin of Los Alamos delivers a speech July 14 at the 2016 Republican Presidential Convention in Cleveland on behalf of Asians For Trump. Watch full speech here. Photo by Kelly Benner
 
New Mexico Delegate Lisa Shin of Los Alamos during a television interview with NBC News at the GOP convention. Photo by Kelly Benner
 
The New Mexico Delegation gathers for a photo at the GOP

Los Alamos Hosts Knights Of Columbus State Meeting

on July 24, 2016 - 1:35pm

Los Alamos hosts the statewide organizational meeting of members of the Knights of Columbus July 8-10 at IHM and the K of C Hall on DP Road. Photo by Bob Brewer

Knights of Columbus members from across the state register in the IHM Hall July 8 for their organizational meeting. Photo by Bob Brewer

Knights of Columbus members gather in the IHM Hall July 8 including Los Alamos officers: Grand Knight David Jolley, Deputy Grand Knight Martin Aguilera, Chancellor Chad Meyer, Recorder Joshua Sauppe, Financial Secretary Esteban Rougier, Advocate Bill Mairson, Treasurer Joe Gutierrez, Warden Paul

Computer Issues Intermittently Close Los Alamos MVD

on July 24, 2016 - 9:43am

The Motor Vehicle Department office at 997 Central Ave., in Los Alamos has intermittently closed during business hours over the last couple of weeks with a sign on the locked door stating 'Closed until further notice'. A call to the local office Friday resulted in an answering machine saying there would be an 18 minute wait on the line. The Los Alamos Daily Post placed a call for comment Friday afternoon to the MVD in Santa Fe in which an employee explained that the Los Alamos office has been experiencing computer problems but is now back in business. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Attorney General Balderas Participates In U. S. Army War College Commandant's National Security Program

on July 24, 2016 - 7:52am
Attorney General Balderas, left, and Lt. Col. Thomas Gonzales at the Carlisle Barracks. Courtesy photo
 
From the Office of Attorney General Hector Balderas:
 
CARLISLE BARRACKS, PA  This week, Attorney General Hector Balderas and Lt. Col. Thomas Gonzales, the joint counter drug coordinator of the New Mexico National Guard, participated in the United States Army War College's 11th Annual Commandant's National Security program: "Strategic Leadership for Global Challenges to National Security." 
 
This intensive program ran from July 18-21 and brought together a wide variety of

Commission Accepts Taos Regional Water Plan

on July 24, 2016 - 7:51am
ISC News:
 
SANTA FE The Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) on Thursday accepted the Taos Regional Water Plan.
 
The presentation of the plan to the commission by regional Steering Committee representatives Taos County Commissioner Tom Blakenhorn and Taos County Chief Planner Nathan Sanchez, focused on the key water issues, key collaborative strategies and regional recommendations for consideration in the state water plan update.
 
Members of the regional Steering Committees worked together to identify projects, programs and policies of greatest interest and paths to implementation

Video Of New Mexico Roll Call At GOP Convention

on July 24, 2016 - 7:51am
By KELLY BENNER
Los Alamos
 
Ever since I was little kid, I have dreamt of going to a convention and being on the floor as a delegate.
 
As an alternate delegate, Lisa Shin has been very generous in sharing her delegate badge with me so I can be on the floor. I have been able to spend a huge amount of time on the floor and yet, have no responsibility for voting. For me, it's a dream come true. 
 
Regardless who the candidate is, to enjoy the convention process, and spend time with members of the New Mexico Delegation has been an experience come true.

Nuclear Watch New Mexico Seeks To Invalidate New Cleanup Order For LANL

on July 24, 2016 - 7:09am

DOE News:

Nuclear Watch New Mexico amended its complaint against the U.S. Department of Energy and Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which alleges 12 cleanup violations of the 2005 Consent Order issued by the New Mexico Environment Department for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The amendment is asking the federal court to invalidate the recently issued Consent Order because the Department did not hold a formal public hearing as required by federal and state hazardous waste laws and regulations.

The U.S.

NMDOT Announces I-25 Lane Closures July 24-Aug. 1

on July 23, 2016 - 10:20pm

NMDOT News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) continues construction on the  I-25/NM14 (Cerrillos Road) Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) south of Santa Fe.

Motorists can expect various lane closures and delays on I-25 from mile marker 276.00 to mile marker 278.00.

Sunday July 24-28, starting at 7 a.m. the I-25 northbound lanes will be reduced to one lane. The I-25 northbound off ramp (Exit 278) to NM 14 (Cerrillos Road) will be CLOSED. Traffic will be detoured to Exit 276 (NM 599) Interchange to access NM14. Exit 278 will be REOPENED at 6 a.m.

Trash Piles Up On Santa Fe National Forest

on July 23, 2016 - 7:52am
Trash left at dispersed camping site in Dalton Canyon last weekend. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service
 
SFNF News:
 
SANTA FE  Trash is an all-too-common sight on the Santa Fe National Forest. It’s everywhere – at developed recreation sites, at dispersed camping sites, in Wilderness, on trails and even in streams. 
 
It seems clear that the “Pack It In, Pack It Out” mantra isn’t getting the job done. The Santa Fe National Forest is asking visitors to take one more step and “Pack It Home” to throw away with the household trash. 
 
Estimates by Forest recreation staff indicate that the

SCAM ALERT: Phishing Scam Targeting New Mexico Businesses; Scammers Claim To Be With AG's Office

on July 23, 2016 - 7:44am
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert to warn New Mexico businesses and the public about a new phishing scheme.
 
The scammers are sending emails to businesses claiming to be with the Office of the Attorney General and claiming that there has been a complaint filed against the business. The business owners are then asked to click a link to see the “complaint” and that they have ten days to respond. The Office of Attorney General will not, and does not, send emails like the ones being used in this scam which hit New Mexico this week.
 
“We are

Heinrich, Udall Introduce Buffalo Tract Protection Act

on July 23, 2016 - 7:44am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act in response to deep concerns from local communities in southern Sandoval County about the negative impacts of a proposed gravel mine in the area.
 
The bill will withdraw four parcels of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands, including the Buffalo Tract and the Crest of Montezuma, from any mineral development, including gravel mining.
 
In 2012, the BLM released a draft of the new resource management plan for BLM lands in central New

DWI Awareness & Prevention In Los Alamos County

on July 23, 2016 - 7:08am

COUNTY News:

The Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council is seeking the public's input related to DWI in the community.

Residents may have seen banners, posters and coasters from the DWI Planning Council as it steps up to take a more active role in the community. Given that, the DWI Planning Council wants to hear from residents about it should spend State of New Mexico grant funds in Los Alamos.

Would residents participate of the DWI Planning Council offered a designated driver type of incentive (wear a bracelet, get free non-alcoholic drinks at a local bar that evening)? What about a taxi

Udall, Heinrich On Bill Passage To Provide Cost Of Living Increases To Veterans' Disability Compensation

on July 22, 2016 - 5:47pm
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich welcomed Senate passage of a bill to implement an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for veterans' disability compensation.
 
As of Dec. 1, 2016, all veterans and their family members who receive service-related disability compensation through Wartime Disability Compensation, Compensation for Dependents, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation for surviving spouses and children, and clothing allowances will receive annual increases in their compensation. The bill passed the U.S.

Gov. Susana Martinez Announces New Initiative To Improve Services To NM Women Veterans

on July 21, 2016 - 4:02pm
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez announced a new targeted initiative today to improve access to services and benefits for women veterans in New Mexico.
 
Martinez also announced that Melanie Suazo, a retired New Mexico Army National Guard non-commissioned officer, will lead the effort.
 
“New Mexicans have always stood ready to answer the call to serve our state and nation in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Martinez said. “Ms.

Los Alamos Alternate Delegate Kelly Benner Shares Scenes From GOP Convention In Cleveland

on July 19, 2016 - 8:37pm

Los Alamos resident Kelly Benner is an alternate delegate from New Mexico to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Courtesy/Kelly Benner

Los Alamos Alternate delegate Kelly Benner with CBS Washington Bureau News Chief / Face The Nation Anchor Bob Schieffer at the GOP Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Courtesy/Kelly Benner

Donald Trump introduces his wife Melania at Monday night's GOP Convention in Cleveland. Trump officially became the Republican Party's presidential nominee today after a roll call vote.

Jessica Erkkila Of Los Alamos Selected To Compete In 2016 Albuquerque Miss Jr. Teen Pageant Competition

on July 19, 2016 - 5:14pm

Jessica Erkkila of Los Alamos will compete July 24 in the 2016 Albuquerque Miss Jr. Teen Pageant Competition. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

Jessica Erkkila of Los Alamos was recently selected to participate in the 2016 Albuquerque Miss Jr. Teen Pageant Competition set for Sunday, July 24.

She learned of her acceptance into this year's competition when the pageant announced their selections following interviewing in the Albuquerque area. Erkkila submitted an application and took part in an interview session conducted by this year's Albuquerque Pageant Coordinator.

She is competing in the

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