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Udall Hosts Deputy Interior Secretary At Chaco Site

on June 29, 2015 - 5:14pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall hosts U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor on a tour today of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Courtesy/Udall

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, standing on rock, and Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor, in front, break out the binoculars during a tour today of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Courtesy/Udall


  • Connor's visit is in response to Udall's request that an Interior official visit Chaco site

ALBUQUERQUE – Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall thanked U.S.

WIPP: Bryson Named Acting Manager For CBFO

on June 29, 2015 - 5:10pm
New Acting Manager of DOE Carlsbad Field Office Dana Bryson
WIPP News:

Mark Whitney, Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM), today named Dana Bryson the Acting Manager for the DOE Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO).

He is replacing Joe Franco, who recently returned to a position in DOE’s Richland Operations Office in Washington. Bryson has more than 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry and served as the CBFO Deputy Manager since December 2013. 

Previously, Bryson was the Director of the River Corridor Division for DOE’s

Udall Discusses Critical Need To Address Youth Suicide In Native Communities

on June 29, 2015 - 4:08pm
WASHINGTON  Wednesday June 24, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Sen. Tom Udalldiscussed the critical need to address the high rate of suicide among Native American youth.
He questioned the acting director of the Indian Health Service, Tribal leaders and a Psychological and Developmental Sciences expert about improving desperately needed mental health services.
Udall highlighted some of the challenges facing New Mexico's Tribal communities and cited recent research by the University of New Mexico (UNM) on risk factors that may place Native youth at

What’s Eating The Aspens?

on June 29, 2015 - 3:59pm

Aspens at Big Tesuque Campground defoliated by western tent caterpillars. Courtesy/SFNF

Western tent caterpillars on the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/SFNF

SFNF News:

Visitors to the Santa Fe National Forest’s popular aspen groves along N.M. 475 (the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) are wondering what’s happening to the trees.

Although the aspens may appear to be dying, the bare branches can be blamed on hungry western tent caterpillars that are stuffing themselves on one of their favorite foods.

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Rolls Out Phase 1 Of Tapestry Project

on June 29, 2015 - 12:37pm
MVD News:
SANTA FE  The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has rolled out the first phase of a new database for drivers services as a part of the division’s Tapestry Project. It will improve efficiency in customer transactions to better serve New Mexicans.
“The Tapestry project is a model for the Governor’s initiatives to make state government more efficient,” said Demesia Padilla, Secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. “The Governor’s support of this project has been critical.”
The Tapestry project began in 2014 to replace MVD’s outdated driver and vehicle IT

Legal Agreement Reached To Reduce Power Plant Pollution Damaging Southwest’s National Parks

on June 29, 2015 - 12:35pm
NPCA News:
WASHINGTON  The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and other clean air advocates, represented by Earthjustice, reached an agreement today with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the owners of New Mexico’s Four Corners Power Plant to reduce the plant’s pollution and improve the health of surrounding communities and national parks.
“For far too long, the irresponsible management of Four Corners has denied the Navajo people the basic human right to clean, healthy air in our communities,” said Lori Goodman, board member of Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our

Kids Count Conference Welcomes Sen. Heinrich

on June 29, 2015 - 12:29pm
NMVC News:
ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, who will unveil new legislation that he is sponsoring in Congress, will be among the speakers at today's 3rd Annual KIDS COUNT Conference presented by New Mexico Voices for Children.
The theme of this year’s conference is Child Well-Being: A 2-Generation Approach.
There is a full slate of speakers for the day-long event, which includes the presentation of the 21st annual Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Awards, a special screening of the documentary on child abuse, Everyone’s Business: Protecting our Children, and a panel on child abuse, which

Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider Awarded Firefighter Commendation From American Legion

on June 29, 2015 - 12:22pm
On behalf of the American Legion, Department of New Mexico, Cmdr. Paul Espinoza honored Los Alamos Deputy Fire Chief Justin Grider with a Certificate of Commendation Satuurday at the local Legion for his 18 years of service to the community and leadership. The award signifies honor and service, and is given to a firefighter who exemplifies these characteristics in a special way. Photo by Leland Lehman/
LAFD Deputy Chief Justin Grider with his Certificate of Commendation awarded to him by American Legion Cmdr. Paul Espinosa. Photo by Leland Lehman/

Latest Commissary Fire Update

on June 29, 2015 - 10:11am
SFNF News:
Fire crews on the lightning-caused Commissary Fire on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District successfully completed firing operations with hang ignitions on 200 acres as part of a strategy to manage the fire for resource objectives.
Resource objectives on the Commissary Fire include improving wildlife and range habitat, encouraging regeneration of aspen and improving watershed and overall forest health. Firing operations will continue with a goal of accomplishing approximately 200 acres more, including firing along Forest Road 66G and the southeastern boundary of the planned area.

NMDOH: Tularemia Kills Cat In Los Alamos

on June 28, 2015 - 8:11am

American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). Courtesy/CDC


Los Alamos Daily Post

The New Mexico Department of Health reports there have been 20 cases of the severe infectious bacterial disease tularemia in animals since Jan. 1 in New Mexico.

Cases include two cats from Los Alamos County as well as dogs, cats and or rabbits in Taos County, Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County.

Confirmatory testing was conducted at the Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division, NMDOH officials said.

A White Rock resident residing near Pinon Elementary School reported finding two dead

Udall, Nelson Urge FTC To Investigate Concussion Prevention Claims Used To Sell Soccer Headgear

on June 28, 2015 - 7:36am

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M. and Bill Nelson, D-Fla. called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate potentially misleading safety claims used to sell soccer headgear.

The FTC enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson

The senators asked that the FTC take action if the investigation findings reveal that makers of soccer headgear or other children's sports safety equipment are engaged in false or deceptive advertising practices.

In a

NMED Announces Opportunity To Comment Or Request Public Hearing

on June 28, 2015 - 7:35am

NMED News:

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) announces an opportunity to comment on and/or request a public hearing on a proposed certification that New Mexico has an adequate, federally-approved State Implementation Plan (SIP) that addresses all elements of a Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 110(a)(2) infrastructure plan, as applicable to the 2012 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) revised NAAQS.

The purpose of the proposed certification is to confirm to the U.S.

FBI: Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Wire Fraud Charges In New Mexico

on June 28, 2015 - 7:34am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Joseph Lawler, 54, of Peoria, Ariz., entered a guilty plea in federal court in Albuquerque to a 12-count superseding indictment charging him with wire fraud offenses.

The guilty plea, which was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement, was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

Lawler pled guilty to all 12 counts of a superseding indictment that was filed on June 9, 2015, and alleged that between Aug.

AFTNM On Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

on June 27, 2015 - 11:59am

AFTNM President Stephanie Ly


Ruling Breaks Down Barriers For Committed Couples

ALBUQUERQUE – American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage:

“By writing four words, ‘It is so ordered,’ Justice Anthony Kennedy, on behalf of the majority of the Supreme Court of the United States, ushered in marriage equality for all Americans.

 “Today’s ruling sends a strong message to students in New Mexico who have same-sex parents and for educators who are in same-sex relationships – in the

NMED Issues 'Boil Water Advisory' For Sugarite Canyon State Park, Lake Alice Campground

on June 27, 2015 - 9:30am

NMED News:
  • Customers are urged to Boil Water Prior to Drinking

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Environment Department’s Drinking Water Bureau has issued a “boil water advisory” for the Sugarite Canyon State Park, Lake Alice Campground.

NMED issued the advisory Friday after bacteriological contamination (E. coli) was detected in routine and repeat drinking water samples from the water system’s source. NMED requires Sugarite Canyon State Park, Lake Alice Campground to notify water system consumers of this finding.

Los Alamos Gets $78,643 In PILT Funding

on June 26, 2015 - 4:07pm

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall


  • NM Counties to Receive $34.5 Million in PILT Funding for Schools, Roads, Local Police

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced that counties across New Mexico will be receiving more than $34.5 million through the 2015 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich

Los Alamos County will receive $78,643.

PILT provides federal payments to local governments to help offset losses in property taxes because of nontaxable federal land within their boundaries, such as Bureau of Land Management land,

Felon From Pojoaque Sentenced To Federal Prison For Unlawfully Possessing Ammunition

on June 26, 2015 - 11:42am

FBI News:

ALBUQUERQUE—Nicholas Mondragon, 32, of Pojoaque was sentenced late Thursday afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque to a year and a day in prison for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Mondragon will be on supervised release for three years after completing his prison sentence.

Mondragon pled guilty July 17, 2014, to a felony information charging him with being a felon in possession of ammunition. In entering the guilty plea, Mondragon admitted that Feb. 25, 2014, he purchased a box of ammunition in Las Vegas, N.M.

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján Applauds Supreme Court Decision In Support Of Marriage Equality

on June 26, 2015 - 10:04am

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today on the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality.

“With this decision, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that equality is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution by stating very clearly that everyone deserves equal protection under the law. 

Marriage equality is matter of civil rights and treating all people who are in a loving and committed relationship fairly. 

Today is a momentous day for the millions

NHCC Foundation Selects New Director

on June 26, 2015 - 9:56am

Anna Villareal Sanchez


The National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation (NHCCF) and the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) are excited to announce the selection of Anna Villareal Sanchez to serve as the new NHCC Foundation Director.

Sanchez will begin in her new post on June 29, and will succeed Interim Foundation Director Edward Lujan.

Sanchez has over a dozen years of experience in fundraising, marketing and community engagement, previously serving as the Senior Development Director of Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) Foundation, a marketing manager for the


Los Alamos Marketing Efforts On Target

on June 26, 2015 - 9:39am

Rebecca Latham


Following a recent New Mexico True Tour visit by the New Mexico Tourism Department in Los Alamos, Los Alamos County is pleased to announce that current marketing efforts and targeted demographics are consistent with recommendations made by the department.

“We are pleased that the Tourism Department’s recent New Mexico True Tour in Los Alamos was a success, but even more excited to find out that our current marketing efforts are aligned with the Tourism Department’s efforts for the state,” said Kelly Stewart, economic development marketing coordinator for Los

Albuquerque Woman Sentenced For Participating In Scheme To Smuggle Drugs Into Otero County Prison

on June 26, 2015 - 6:40am
FBI News:
ALBUQUERQUE — Ana Lopez, 25, of Albuquerque was sentenced in federal court Wednesday, June 24, in Las Cruces to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for her conviction on conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and heroin.
Lopez was one of six individuals charged in April 2014, in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to violate the federal narcotics laws by smuggling controlled substances into the Otero County Prison Facility (OCPF) in Chaparral.
The other defendants charged with participating in the conspiracy were Luis Delgadillo, 38, of El Paso,

NM Communities Awarded Millions For Projects

on June 25, 2015 - 11:19am
SANTA FE  More than $11 million in Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grants were recently awarded to 27 multi-modal projects across New Mexico.
Multi-modal projects include sidewalks, bicycle paths, and transit stops, which provide benefits such as reduced congestion and improved air quality.
TAP and RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are administered by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT). The TAP provides funding for community-based projects that expand travel choices and improve the

Congressional Committee Members Call On DEA To Detail Methods Behind 'Cold Consent' Searches

on June 25, 2015 - 11:09am
WASHINGTON, D.C. House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr., D-Mich., House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee, D-TX, and Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM. issued a letter Tuesday June 23 to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenburg requesting details concerning the use of “cold consent” searches, particularly at transportation facilities.  

The letter cites a report released by the Justice Department Inspector General earlier this year in January

Firing Operations Completed On Commissary Fire

on June 25, 2015 - 10:01am
SFNF News:
Commissary Fire Update:
Start Date: June 5, 2015
Percent Contained: 0
Size: 500 acres
Growth Potential: Moderate
Vegetation: Ponderosa pine, aspen, mixed conifer, grass and brush
Summary: Fire crews on the lightning-caused Commissary Fire on the Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District successfully completed firing operations with hand ignitions on 150 acres yesterday as part of a strategy to manage the fire for resource objectives. 
Resource objectives on the Commissary Fire include improving wildlife and range habitat, encouraging regeneration of aspen, and improving watershed and overall

IRS Reminder To File On Foreign Bank Accounts

on June 25, 2015 - 9:05am
IRS News:
PHOENIX The Internal Revenue Service reminds everyone who has one or more bank or financial accounts located outside the United States, or signature authority over such accounts that they may need to file an FBAR by Tuesday, June 30.
FBAR refers to Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, which must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the Treasury Department. It is not a tax form and cannot be filed with the IRS. The form must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-Filing(