Democrat state Sen. Timothy Keller has been elected New Mexico state auditor.
Keller defeated Republican lawyer Robert Aragon on Tuesday in a race that centered on how the auditor's office should monitor government waste.
The Harvard Business School-educated Keller, currently the Senate majority whip, said he would work to uncover an estimated $900 million of unspent public money and redirect it to state programs. The 36-year-old also vowed to "shine the light" on billions of dollars lost in various tax breaks.
State auditor Hector Balderas, considered a rising star in the state Democratic Party, rolled to a win over Republican Susan Riedel in the contest for attorney general Tuesday after a race in which he touted his rise from poverty to the top levels of government and built a huge advantage in campaign cash.
Balderas had stockpiled more money than any other statewide office candidate — except Gov. Susana Martinez — early on and had a more than 8-to-1 cash advantage with three weeks to go.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has won a fourth term with a victory over Republican Jeff Byrd.
Lujan, vice chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has said making New Mexico more competitive will be at the top of his list when he returns to Washington.
The congressman has also called for the National Nuclear Security Administration to be restructured to better balance defense programs with other research. His district includes Los Alamos National Laboratory.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new legislative report says New Mexico's state-run prison system has a $277 million backlog of needed infrastructure repairs.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Legislative Finance Committee report released Thursday says prisons have holes in cell walls and floors, and flawed electrical, plumbing and sewer systems. The report says some of the problems could pose security threats to both inmates and correctional officers.
Limited state dollars and aging facilities are to blame.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico environmental regulators are criticizing Kirtland Air Force Base's proposal for cleaning up a massive underground fuel leak, saying it would threaten Albuquerque's water supply.
Kirtland's plan centers on using a Kirtland water well to remove fuel-contaminated groundwater to keep it away from a neighborhood where municipal drinking wells are located. The contaminated water then would be treated to meet drinking water standards.
New Mexico's two U.S. senators want President Obama to change his proposed budget to ensure that there's money for work needed at the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in Carlsbad.
The repository has been closed since February because of a radiation release.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Wednesday that they're urging Obama to present Congress with an amendment to his proposed budget.
The two New Mexico Democrats said Obama needs to ensure that there'll be funding to implement recommendations of investigative panels.
Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation have lots of questions for officials with the New Mexico Veterans Affairs health care system, but the answers have been few.
And more concerns are being raised by U.S. Rep. Michele Lujan Grisham following revelations that thousands of veterans were left in limbo by being assigned to a doctor who didn't actually see patients.
The New Mexico Democrat has asked for the results of an internal review of the New Mexico VA, but local officials have yet to comply.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a commercial photography business in New Mexico that objects to taking pictures of same-sex wedding ceremonies.
The justices on Monday left in place a state Supreme Court ruling that said Elane Photography violated a state anti-discrimination law when it refused to work for a same-sex couple who wanted pictures of their commitment ceremony.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A specialized Albuquerque police unit trained to defuse dangerous encounters with suspects battling mental illness was not used in the March 16 police shooting of a homeless man.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Barri Roberts, executive director of the Bernalillo County Forensic Intervention Consortium, said the police's Crisis Intervention Team played no role during the long standoff with 38-year-old James Boyd.
On Tuesday a civil rights group filed what is the second lawsuit against the state of New Mexico, alleging that the public education system violates the constitutional rights of low-income children and those for whom English is a second language.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said last night a 10-hour protest over recent police shootings has turned from peaceful into "mayhem," as officers in riot gear clashed with protesters.
The demonstrators blocked traffic, tried to get on freeways and shouted anti-police slogans. The Albuquerque Journal reports Berry said one officer was injured, rocks were thrown and at one point protesters trapped police in a vehicle and tried to break the windows.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Just hours after hundreds took to the streets to protest the Albuquerque police killing of a homeless man, officials say a man was shot dead by officers after he opened fire on police.
Albuquerque Chief Gorden Eden said the suspect was shot late Tuesday. He said police had received a call to an apartment complex about a man holding a child at gunpoint.
Albuquerque police spokesman Tasia Martinez says the suspect, whose has not been named, died this morning at a nearby hospital.
The Department of Energy says preliminary tests indicate 13 workers were exposed to radiation during a recent leak at the nation's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.
The DOE said in a news release Wednesday that it has notified the workers of the positive results and will do further testing. They declined to comment further on the extent of the possible exposure until a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:45 pm
The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.
"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.
The interim Chief of Albuquerque's embattled police department has announced he is stepping down and heading to Texas.
Allen Banks was named interim chief last summer when his predecessor was told by the City Council that it was time for new leadership. The president of the police officers' union said she believes Banks is leaving because Mayor Berry took too long deciding whether to keep him permanently.
Banks announced his impending departure to his department in a video message.
An effort to establish a high-tech research and development center in downtown Albuquerque could get an infusion of some serious cash depending on what the University of New Mexico's Board of Regents decides.
The regents will review proposals to invest $13 million in the Innovate Albuquerque initiative during a special meeting Friday. This will be their first opportunity to fully vet the project.
Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to provide $600,000 next year for telemedicine services to help provide access to medical specialists for patients and primary care providers in rural areas.
The governor proposed Monday that the money be used for buying and installing equipment and computer technology, such as teleconferencing video systems.
If the money is approved by lawmakers, Martinez said, health care provider organizations could apply for grants.