This category will feature news releases from out-of-area government agencies and representatives, as well as events that are not taking place in the four-county area of Grant, Catron, Hidalgo or Luna. For those events please visit Local News Releases.
(Sending this to New Mexico media list on behalf of U.S. Marshals Service. Questions should be referred to Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force at (770) 508-2500).
ATLANTA - The U.S. Marshals-led Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is currently searching for a man wanted for the murder of his mother in DeKalb County, Georgia, after removing an ankle monitor and failing to appear and surrender himself to authorities for a previous conviction in Cobb County.
Richard V. Merritt, a disbarred attorney, was being monitored by law enforcement via an ankle monitor and was scheduled to surrender Feb. 1 after being sentenced to 30 years in jail in Cobb County, where he had been convicted of stealing money from clients and elder abuse.
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Environment Department issued a Notice of Violation today to Holloman Air Force Base in response to detected toxic pollutants in groundwater. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found in groundwater on base at levels nearly twice the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water health advisory in monitoring wells covered by Holloman’s groundwater discharge permit.
Violations of the discharge permit trigger corrective action requirements for the Air Force.
While the state is seeking cooperative action as a remedy, cooperative action is dependent now upon the Air Force, Secretary-designate Jim Kenney said.
The Air Force reported concentrations of PFAS at 137 parts per trillion at monitoring wells. The EPA’s drinking water health advisory for PFAS is 70 parts per trillion. The Air Force also reported identifying sampling results at other locations on base not covered by the groundwater discharge permit exceeding 1.2 million parts per trillion: over 18,000 times the EPA’s drinking water health advisory.
PFAS were present in an aqueous film-forming foam once used by the Air Force in firefighting. The chemicals are known to be environmentally persistent, mobile in groundwater, and bioaccumulate in the food web.
“We are dismayed by the Air Force’s lack of prompt response to the contamination found at Holloman and will use all avenues available to us to hold the military accountable and make affected New Mexicans whole again,” said Kenney. “This Notice of Violation is a step toward ensuring that happens.”
“Time is of the essence,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “I demand an action-oriented, productive environment where these longstanding issues are being substantively addressed by the Air Force. New Mexico stakeholders are asking me to weigh in directly because the Air Force has not been responsive to them. This is unacceptable.”
Santa Fe – The 13th Annual Behavioral Health Day at the Legislature was held today, Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in the Capitol Rotunda.
The day is sponsored by Senator Mary Kay Papen, through Senate Memorial 16 as well as the Behavioral Health Planning Council, to recognize the many people who devote themselves to public policymaking on behalf of the thousands of New Mexicans who live with behavioral health disorders.
Each year Behavioral Health “Stars” are also recognized for their valuable contribution to the behavioral health field. The 2019 Behavioral Health “Stars” come from all over New Mexico.
Socorro County, NM - On February 4, 2019 at about 8:53 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a single vehicle fatal rollover on Interstate 25 around mile post 141, near San Antonio, NM.
The initial investigation indicated a 2008 Chevy Suburban, driven by a twenty-four-year-old female of Henderson, Colorado, was traveling south on Interstate 25 attempting to pass a Commercial Motor Vehicle in the passing lane. For unknown reasons the Chevy Suburban left the roadway, entered the median and rolled.
Victoria Robles (60) of Henderson, Colorado, a passenger was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. She was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. The driver and the four other passengers sustained unknown injuries and were all transported to a local hospital.
Alcohol does not appear to have been a contributing factor in the crash. Seatbelts do not appear to have been used properly. No other additional information is currently available.
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday ordered all state flags lowered to half-staff to honor and recognize the memory of Rep. Henry “Kiki” Saavedra, who died Sunday, Jan. 27.
State flags will be lowered from sundown Wednesday through sundown Friday, Feb. 8, as part of a public day of mourning across the state.
(SANTA FE, NM) -- Retired New Mexico Air National Guard Brigadier General Judy M. Griego was unanimously confirmed by the New Mexico Senate today as Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS).
The native of Carnuel in eastern Bernalillo County had been appointed to the position by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on December 27. Today’s confirmation makes the appointment permanent.
“I am thrilled that the Senate agreed with me that General Griego has the management experience and leadership skills necessary to lead the Department of Veterans Services,” said Governor Lujan Grisham after being informed of the Secretary Griego’s confirmation. “She has a passion for helping the men and women who have served our country. She has a way of connecting with them. I am confident she will do an excellent job leading DVS.”
Secretary Griego had a distinguished and decorated 36-year military career, retiring in August of 2016 at the rank of Brigadier General—the first woman to be promoted to the rank of General in the history of the New Mexico National Guard.
She began her military service in 1979 by enlisting in the New Mexico Air National Guard. She worked her way through the enlisted ranks—attaining the rank of Master Sergeant. In 1991, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation from the Academy of Military Science at McGhee-Tyson Air Force Base in Knoxville, TN.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2019 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched a new toolkit to help support the deployment of high-speed broadband e-Connectivity in rural communities.
“High-speed broadband e-Connectivity is becoming more and more essential to doing business, delivering health care, and, for schoolchildren, doing homework in rural communities,” Hazlett said. “This user-friendly tool will help rural customers find the many resources USDA has available to support the expansion and use of e-Connectivity in rural America.”
The e-Connectivity Toolkit (PDF, 4.3 MB) features 27 USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The easy-to-use resource is a simple guide that allows customers to identify their type of e-Connectivity project and locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, research and other e-Connectivity projects. Resources such as grants, loans and technical assistance are available from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Forest Service.
The toolkit highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities. It is free and available to the public online, and can be easily printed for offline use.
USDA’s launch of the e-Connectivity Toolkit closely follows Secretary Sonny Perdue’s unveiling of the ReConnect Program, a pilot program authorized by the Consolidated Budget Act of 2018, to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas that lack sufficient access to broadband.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
“President Trump’s message to the country was a positive message, declaring he will not let the nation become a socialist country, instead ensuring that the country’s booming economy will continue, that he will fight to secure our country both at the border and around the world. He strongly reaffirmed a core Republican value of the unborn while recognizing the important advances made by women.”
“New Mexico’s interests are being well served by the president’s work to make our border more secure, to continue the energy boom that is driving record surpluses for our state government, making trade fairer with other countries, and projecting strength to our global adversaries. His administration is creating a growing and sustainable economy that brings prosperity to every person in the country, that decreases costs of healthcare and provides a safety net for people with preexisting conditions that affect their health.”
“It is my sincere hope that both parties can work together, reject the politics of revenge, put the interests of Americans first to create a sustained and growing economy. It was a bold speech, a positive speech, one of the best presidential address ever. ”
New classified for Silver City church seeking office manager.
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