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LANL FY2017 Hazardous Waste Facility Noncompliance Numbers Decline

on December 4, 2017 - 3:39pm
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
 

Los Alamos National Laboratory had 25 noncompliance reports under its Hazardous Waste Facility Permit from the New Mexico Environment between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, according to a report filed Nov. 28 with state.

The number is down from 100 instances in 2016 and 400 in 2015. The report also states that there were no releases from a permitted unit that could have posed a threat to human health or the environment.

Noncompliance issues included containers not labeled “hazardous waste”, failure to protect two containers

Pearce Statement On Final Mexican Wolf Recovery Program Plan

on December 4, 2017 - 3:27pm
U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
 
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released their final Mexican Wolf Recovery Program’s plan:
 
“I appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service’s attempt at greater collaboration with local governments and communities as they finalized this plan, unfortunately the plan itself continues to fall short.

FBI: Eric Matthew Reddick Pleads Guilty To Federal Armed Robbery And Firearms Charges

on December 4, 2017 - 3:18pm
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Eric Matthew Reddick, 22, of Albuquerque, pled guilty Thursday in Federal Court to a two-count indictment charging him with violating the Hobbs Act and federal firearms laws. 
 
The charges against Reddick arise out of the armed robbery of a convenience store Oct. 6, 2017, during which Reddick shot and injured two individuals. Reddick entered the guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement. 
 
Acting U.S. Attorney James D.

Strong Support For Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery

on December 4, 2017 - 3:16pm
ESC News:
 
BOULDER, Colo.  Of the more than 100,000 comments submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the Mexican Wolf Draft Recovery Plan, more than 99 percent were in support of recovery, according to wildlife conservation organizations who reviewed the comments submitted this summer.
 
“We wanted to be able to definitively say that the recovery of the Mexican gray wolf is important to Americans, and we can,” Hailey Hawkins, Southern Rockies Field Representative for the Endangered Species Coalition said.

Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes Urges Legislature To Address Physical And Verbal Harassment

on December 4, 2017 - 10:47am
Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes
 
SENATE News:
 
SANTA FE — Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-Albuquerque) has sent a letter to New Mexico House and Senate Leaders urging them to include the topics of physical and verbal harassment in their announced mandatory training and “No Harassment” policy revisions. 
 
Maestas Barnes made her request after describing incidents of physical and verbal intimidation she experienced during previous legislative sessions.  
 
“I share my story now because I believe it raises important issues about how matters of harassment are handled in Legislature,” Maestas

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Shipments Resume

on December 4, 2017 - 10:46am

Shipments from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad resumed Nov. 8. In this photo, the initial shipment is loaded into a Trupact-II container at the Laboratory’s Technical Area 55 Nov. 7. The first shipment was successfully delivered to WIPP and contained sealed radioactive sources from the Off Site Source Recovery Program (OSRP). OSRP is a NNSA program managed by LANL. Since 1997, OSRP has been able to recover more than 39,400 sources from more than 1,390 sites, including all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and 25 foreign countries.

Governor Appoints Wayne Johnson NM State Auditor

on December 4, 2017 - 10:08am

Wayne Johnson

SANTA FE — Today, Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Bernalillo County Commissioner and business owner Wayne Johnson as New Mexico State Auditor.

Johnson is currently serving his second term as a Bernalillo County Commissioner where he was elected as Vice Chair in 2016. Johnson is also the owner and president of Vista Media Productions, Inc. and a member of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority.

“It is very clear from Wayne Johnson’s background that he will put the interests of New Mexicans first as State Auditor,” said Governor Susana Martinez.

Michelle Garcia Holmes Announces Candidacy For Lt. Governor Of New Mexico

on December 4, 2017 - 8:49am
Michelle Garcia Holmes
 
STATE News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  New Mexico native Michelle Garcia Holmes announced her candidacy Thursday for Lieutenant Governor.
 
With the experience of 30 years as a commissioned law enforcement officer, chief of staff for Attorney General Gary King, and advocate for children, Garcia Holmes will work hard to make New Mexico a better place to live and raise a family. 
 
“People need jobs and they need to feel safe in their homes and their communities,” Garcia Holmes said.

Luján Pushes Funding For Opioid Treatment

on December 4, 2017 - 8:09am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) Nov. 30 sent a letter to the leaders of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Committee urging continued investment to combat the opioid epidemic.
 
Earlier this year, Lujan introduced legislation that would provide $2.5 billion in additional funding for five years at the rate of $500 million a year.
 
More than 64,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses in 2016, the deadliest year on record.

Tim Keller Steps Down As State Auditor, Names Kevin Sourisseau As Acting Deputy State Auditor

on December 4, 2017 - 6:10am
Former State Auditor Tim Keller
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Tim Keller officially submitted his resignation Thursday to step down as New Mexico State Auditor in order to be sworn in as Mayor of Albuquerque.
 
Keller was elected to the position in 2014, becoming one of the youngest State Auditors in the country. He has focused on making government work better by providing transparency and accountability for public funds in New Mexico. Keller appointed the office’s Director of Special Investigations Kevin Sourisseau to serve as Acting Deputy State Auditor.
 
“Serving as New Mexico’s

Udall Presses DHS Nominee Nielsen On Sensitive Location Policy

on December 4, 2017 - 5:14am
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall 
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall pressed Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to commit to adhering to longstanding federal policies regarding immigration enforcement at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and religious institutions.
 
During a meeting with Nielsen ahead of her confirmation hearings, Udall expressed his serious concern about reports of ongoing violations of DHS’s existing policies prohibiting enforcement at sensitive locations, noting

Mayor-Elect Tim Keller: Executive Team Appointments

on December 3, 2017 - 6:36am
STATE News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Mayor-Elect Tim Keller has announced two appointments to executive positions at the Albuquerque Mayor’s office. Keller is committed to building a qualified and professional administration to address the challenges facing Albuquerque head on. 

“During this historically short transition period, we’re crafting a leadership team to take over operations on day one, while implementing our vision for a safe, innovative and inclusive city,” Keller said. “We're building a talented team to tackle Albuquerque’s challenges head on.

Luján: 2017 Nominees To U.S. Service Academies

on December 3, 2017 - 6:18am
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) Thursday announced that he has nominated 29 students from northern New Mexico to enter the United States Service Academies as part of the freshman class of 2018.
 
“Our state has a long tradition of serving our nation in all the branches of our military.  Having the chance to nominate some of New Mexico’s best and brightest young people to our United States Service Academies is a distinct honor for me each year,” Luján said.

NM Delegation Announces Senate Passage Of Bill To Promote Preservation Of Native American Languages

on December 3, 2017 - 6:09am
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thursday, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce, Ben Ray Luján, and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the full Senate passed the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act by unanimous consent late Wednesday.
 
The bill, S. 254, is backed by the full N.M. delegation and provides grants to Native American language educational organizations to maintain and revitalize endangered Native languages in Indian Country.

AG & NMSP Apprehend Firearms Instructor Wanted On Money Laundering, Medicaid Fraud And Other Charges

on December 2, 2017 - 4:16pm
Edward Boysel
 
AG News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Thursday, Attorney General Hector Balderas and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas announced that their agencies arrested Edward Boysel on a warrant for failure to appear in a case brought by the Office of the Attorney General.
 
After an investigation by New Mexico State Police Special Investigations Unit and the Office of the Attorney General Special Investigations Division, a Bernalillo County grand jury handed down an indictment against Mr.

State Gets $455M In Interior Energy Disbursements

on December 2, 2017 - 2:42pm
DOI News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Thursday that New Mexico’s energy production disbursements, through the Interior Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), totaled $455 million in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017).
 
This represents a significant increase of $86.5 from the previous year’s total. The funds are derived from energy and minerals produced on Federal and Indian lands, as well as U.S. offshore areas.
 
“Under President Trump’s American Energy Dominance agenda, we’ve increased energy funds by a billion dollars nationally, and by

State Auditor Reveals Nearly $145,000 Likely Stolen From Deming Public Schools

on December 2, 2017 - 7:54am
State Auditor Tim Keller
 
STATE News:
 
SANTA FE  Thursday, State Auditor Tim Keller released a special audit of Deming Public Schools.
 
The audit resulted in 19 findings and identified nearly $145,000 in public funds that were likely stolen from the District. State Auditor Keller designated Deming Public Schools for a special audit after receiving information from the school district about the potential mishandling of money by a former employee.
 
“We see our fair share of fraud, but it’s especially disappointing to see tens of thousands of dollars apparently being taken from

Young Explorers: Winter Camps For School Age Kids

on December 2, 2017 - 7:45am
Children explore and learn during the NMMNHS Winter Camp Programs. Photo by Caitlin Jenkins
 
Children participate in hands-on activities during the NMMNHS Winter Camp Programs. Photo by Caitlin Jenkins
 
Children investigate the diversity of garden habitat during the NMMNHS Winter Camps. Photo by Caitlin Jenkins
 
NMMNHS News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Keep your young explorers engaged and active this winter for one or all of the day-long Young Explorers Winter Camps at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. 
 
The camps start Dec. 18 and run through Jan.

Stick Structures Pose Hazards On Santa Fe National Forest ... So Who’s Building Them And Why?

on December 1, 2017 - 3:13pm

One of several stick structures found on the Santa Fe National Forest. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service

A SFNF recreation specialist inspects a stick structure near Aspen Vista. Courtesy/USDA Forest Service

SFNF News:

SANTA FE – The number of human-built conical stick structures – some as tall as two stories and 20 feet or more in diameter – popping up on the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) seems to be on the rise, and Forest Service officials are wondering why.

They also are concerned about the significant health and safety hazards posed by these structures.

This week, employees from the

Heinrich Statement On Air Force Domestic Violence Reporting Deficiencies

on November 30, 2017 - 12:37pm
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich 
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Following the release of the Air Force's preliminary findings of its domestic violence reporting deficiencies that allowed the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooter to purchase firearms, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is calling for the immediate consideration of the Domestic Violence Loophole Closure Act; bipartisan legislation he introduced with U.S. Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to close the background check loophole.
 
“The preliminary findings by the Air Force Inspector General solidify

UC Representatives Discuss LANL Bid With RCLC

on November 30, 2017 - 5:57am

University of California representatives listen to members of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities during a meeting Wednesday morning in Espanola. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

Former U.S. Rep. Ellen Tauscher, University of California Regent for National Laboratories and Gary Valle of the UC Federal Government Relations Office at a Wednesday breakfast meeting with the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com 

By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Regional Coalition of LANL Communities members met Wednesday

FBI: Former State Taxation And Revenue Department Employee Pleads Guilty To Federal Extortion Charges

on November 30, 2017 - 4:50am
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney and Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division announced that Larry Mendoza, a former Revenue Agent of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, has pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act extortion charges in Federal Court in Albuquerque.
 
Mendoza, 44, of Santa Fe, pled guilty to a three-count felony information charging him with Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right.

Experience Holiday Magic At Newly-Refurbished New Mexico Museum Of Art

on November 30, 2017 - 4:45am
Warts and Freckles Flying in the Air. Courtesy/NMMA
 
NMMA News:
 
SANTA FE  Make this holiday season one to remember by joining in the festivities at the newly refurbished New Mexico Museum of Art as it launches its second century. 
 
Special hours and activities at New Mexico’s oldest museum:
  • Friday, Dec. 1, the museum is open until 7 p.m.
  • Sunday Dec. 3, Museum admission is free for New Mexico residents with ID.
  • Saturday, Dec.

FBI: $1,000 Reward For White Rock Bank Robber

on November 29, 2017 - 9:01am
FBI News:
 
The FBI and Los Alamos Police Department are investigating an armed bank robbery that occurred Nov. 21 at Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock.
 
The suspect wore a dark hooded jacket, a dark baseball cap and his face was covered. He was described as male, approximately 5'10” to 6' tall, with a thin build.
 
At approximately 11:50 a.m., the suspect entered the bank located at 77 Rover Blvd. and displayed a handgun. He demanded money from a teller, who handed over an undisclosed amount of money to the suspect. The suspect left the bank.
 
The FBI may pay a reward of up

Lujan Grisham Urges FCC To Protect Net Neutrality

on November 29, 2017 - 8:58am
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
 
CONGRESSIONAL News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to protect Net Neutrality and reject efforts to roll back rules that ensure the internet remains a free and open marketplace.
 
“A free and open internet is particularly important for a rural state like New Mexico where we must be committed to leveling the playing field for all users, regardless of their ability to pay for Internet service,” Grisham said.

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