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.

Retired NM National Guard Col. Donnie Quintana Unanimously Confirmed as DVS Cabinet Secretary

(Santa Fe) – Retired New Mexico National Guard Colonel Donnie J. Quintana was unanimously confirmed by the New Mexico Senate as the new cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services.

He had been serving on an interim basis since Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham named him to fill the vacant DVS cabinet secretary position last November.

Secretary Quintana has already served more than 20 years in state government. Most recently, he was a local government division director at the New Mexico Department of Finance, where he oversaw coordination of state, federal, and local programs helping with the development and growth of communities throughout the state. The Pecos native previously served 35-years in several executive leadership positions with the National Guard, including as a brigade commander, and the adjutant general’s chief of staff. He was also activated and deployed for a  year to Afghanistan, where he served as executive officer and corps commander/senior mentor to the Afghan National Army as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

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Supreme Court to resume civics education program by hearing a case in Española

SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court will hear legal arguments in a criminal case appeal next month in Española as part of a civics education program for students.

This marks the third year for the Court’s Rule of Law Program. The justices traveled to Las Cruces last year for an oral argument.

The program allows students to attend in person or virtually watch as attorneys explain their positions on the legal issues in a case and justices question the attorneys to clarify matters. While the Court deliberates in private after the hearing, attorneys for the defense and the prosecution will remain to answer questions from students.

“Watching a court proceeding helps students understand the role and purpose of the judiciary and the rule of law — the principle that no person or institution is above the law and they are treated equally and fairly under those laws,” said Justice David K. Thomson, who helped organize the educational program.

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PRC Hearing Examiner Violating the Law

Protests Expected at Open Meetings this Wednesday and Friday 

Public hearings on PNM’s application for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), commonly known as smart meters, will begin Friday, March 17, 2023. Hundreds of opponents, both individuals and organizations, including intervenors in the case, have testified before both the PRC and recently the Legislature, that RF radiation emitted by smart meters is harmful and even deadly. 

The Public Utilities Act states one of its purposes is the “preservation of the public health, safety and welfare.” Yet, the hearing examiner for the case, Christopher Ryan, has prohibited any discussion of health or environment, stricken such testimonies, and excluded all persons concerned with such issues from participating in the proceedings.   

“The assertion that implementation of AMI is unconstitutional as AMI will kill or otherwise harm New Mexicans is not one this Commission can adjudicate,” he wrote.

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NMSU researcher studies effectiveness of essential oils as mosquito repellent

If you want to keep mosquitoes away, certain essential oils might just do the trick – for a while anyway. New Mexico State University graduate student Hailey Luker’s research demonstrating the effectiveness of various essential oils as mosquito repellents was published recently in the journal “Nature.”

Luker’s paper titled “Repellent efficacy of 20 essential oils on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and Ixodes scapularis ticks in contact-repellency assays” was published in the Scientific Reports section of the journal.

“There's an increasing consumer interest in more naturally derived repellants that repel mosquitoes and ticks,” Luker said. “That's mostly due to the negative connotation of synthetically derived chemicals. People feel that it’s less healthy for their bodies than natural essential oils. That brought in my interest in seeing if these essential oils work and how long they can repel for and avoid the annoying mosquito bites and reaction that you have to them, but you also want to protect yourself from diseases that mosquitoes and ticks transmit.”

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Wind-Tower Manufacturer Picks New Mexico for Expansion

Arcosa, Inc. expands to Belen with plans to hire 250 employees

BELEN, N.M. - New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Dallas-based Arcosa, Inc., a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and solutions, announced today that Arcosa Wind Towers, an Arcosa subsidiary, will open a wind-tower production facility in Belen and anticipates hiring 250 New Mexico employees.

New Mexico was chosen over other locations due to its supportive partnerships and competitive incentives, the company said.

“We look forward to expanding our manufacturing capacity to New Mexico, where market demand for new wind projects is robust,” Antonio Carrillo, President and CEO of Arcosa, Inc., said. “Our new facility will strengthen our position in the wind-tower market and enable Arcosa to benefit from growing wind investment in the Southwest. We are pleased to create new jobs in the State of New Mexico, which has been a supportive partner and a strong proponent of wind-energy development.”

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NM FAST at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center to host entrepreneurial proposal lab

The New Mexico Federal and State Technology program, at New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center will host a National Science Foundation proposal lab March 23 to April 20. The proposal lab will be entirely virtual, and sessions will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. every Thursday. Applications are due Thursday, March 16.

Working with other FAST programs, NM FAST will collaborate with the Montana State University TechLink Center and Wyoming Small Business Development Center. This proposal lab will work with several NSF programs, and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This five-week training program will prepare small businesses and entrepreneurs to submit either a SBIR or STTR proposal. Applicants are required to provide an NSF-accepted project pitch to be eligible for the proposal submission.

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ORD Announces Five New Outdoor Recreation Trails+ Grant Projects

The Outdoor Recreation Division has now funded 90 Trails+ projects across the state

SANTA FE, N.M. - Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today that five communities across New Mexico will receive new outdoor recreation grants through the Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant program.

The Outdoor Recreation Trails+ grant is a program of New Mexico’s Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD), a division of the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD). ORD works to ensure that all New Mexicans gain from the public health, environmental, and economic benefits of sustainable outdoor recreation. The division was created in 2019 when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham identified the outdoor recreation industry as a key target sector to diversify the state’s economy. Since then, a total of 90 projects and over $7 million have been awarded under the program.

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The March 2023 edition of the NM DVS newsletter introduces new VSO officers, including in Silver City

Attached is the March/latest edition of The Guardian—the monthly newsletter of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services.

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