KUNM

Los Alamos Research Reveals More About T. Rex Relative, County GOP Chairman Quits After Post

Aug 15, 2017

Los Alamos Research Reveals More About T. Rex RelativeThe Associated Press

Researchers at a top U.S. laboratory have used neutron beams and high-energy X-rays to produce the highest resolution scan ever done of the inner workings of a fossilized tyrannosaur skull.

Los Alamos National Laboratory teamed up with paleontologists at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science to peer deeper into the skull of a tyrannosaur, a relative of the monstrous killer T. Rex that lived millions of years ago in what is now northwestern New Mexico.

The scientists on Tuesday unveiled the results of the scan.

They say the work is providing new information about how the predators evolved.

The images detail the dinosaur's brain and sinus cavity, the pathways of some nerves and blood vessels and teeth that formed but never emerged.

Dona Ana County GOP Chairman Quits After Controversial PostThe Associated Press

The Republican Party chairman of southern New Mexico's Dona Ana County has resigned after making comments on social media that referenced "violent, leftist protesters" following deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Roman Jimenez wrote in the Facebook post on the party's page Sunday that the protesters were responsible for creating a divide between races and genders and were "getting exactly what they asked for": a segregated society of groups.

Jimenez later told an Albuquerque TV station that the post was taken out of context and he regretted it was misconstrued.

The county's GOP Party said in a statement Tuesday that it had accepted Jimenez's resignation and Victor Contreras will serve as interim chairman until the country central committee convenes a meeting to elect a new chairperson.

Crews Removing Natural Gas Pipeline In Simon CanyonThe Associated Press & The Farmington Daily Times

For more than five decades, a pipeline has transported natural gas over Simon Canyon near Navajo Dam. In about a week, that pipeline will be gone.

The Farmington Daily Times reports Harpole Construction Inc. and Williams Companies Inc. are working to remove more than 2,000 feet (610 meters) of pipeline, which starts on the east side of the canyon.

The pipeline is suspended in the air for about 650 feet as it crosses Simon Canyon.

Williams Companies Inc. owns the pipeline, which has been transporting natural gas since 1959. Williams spokeswoman Sara Delgado says the work began Monday and is expected to take approximately one week.

Crews also will remove about 830 feet of 6-inch pipe that runs down the east hillside.

New Lawsuits Allege Mormon Church Failed To Protect ChildrenThe Associated Press

New lawsuits allege Mormon church leaders didn't do enough to protect children from sexual abuse in a now-defunct, church-run foster program.

The lawsuits were filed earlier this month on behalf of two Navajo women in tribal court and in Washington state on behalf of a Crow woman.

They are among a string of lawsuits in recent years that seek monetary damages, apologies and a guarantee that church leaders will report suspected abuse.

A spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints didn't immediately return a message Tuesday seeking comment. The church has said it works to prevent abuse.

Thousands of American Indian children participated in the program from the late 1940s until it ended around 2000.

The people being accused are associated with host families, not church leaders.

Rising Stock Prices Result In Record Assets For New MexicoAssociated Press

More money is expected to flow into New Mexico's coffers thanks to positive investment returns stemming from a bullish stock market and recovery in the oil and natural gas sector.

The State Investment Council says New Mexico's two sovereign wealth funds showed substantial growth during the last fiscal year, with the Land Grant Permanent Fund nearly doubling its annual target with a nearly 13 percent return.

Gov. Susana Martinez says that's welcome news for the state, which has struggled in recent years with declining revenues.

Officials say combined distribution from the Land Grant and Severance Tax funds will deliver a record $899.6 million to beneficiaries and the state's general fund this fiscal year.

Investments that fund pension benefits for the state's public education employees also posted returns of 12 percent.

Former Party Leader To Run For New Mexico Congressional SeatAssociated Press

A former leader of the state Republican Party is planning to run for the open congressional seat that covers much of southern New Mexico.

Monty Newman made the announcement Monday in a news release issued to media outlets across the state, settling rumors among party insiders that he was considering campaigning for the GOP nomination in the 2nd District.

The seat has been attracting attention since U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce announced his intention to run for governor in New Mexico.

Newman has operated a real estate company for over three decades and served as the mayor of Hobbs from 2004 to 2008. That's when he made his first bid for the congressional seat, losing out in the primary.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn also is running for the GOP nomination.

New Mexico Forecasts Say August Weather Off To Unusual StartAssociated Press

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say things are off to an unusual start this month in New Mexico.

There have been multiple rounds of severe weather in the eastern part of the state since the beginning of August. In fact, 61 severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued, which is more than were issued in the last five years combined for the same two-week period.

Forecasters say some parts of eastern New Mexico have experienced anywhere from three to five times the normal rainfall so far this month.

In southern New Mexico, the Las Cruces area is still mopping up after a wet weekend caused flooding, stranded drivers and kept emergency crews busy into Monday. Dona Ana County authorities say more than 400 sandbags were handed out.

New Mexico Forecasts Say August Weather Off To Unusual StartAssociated Press

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say things are off to an unusual start this month in New Mexico.

There have been multiple rounds of severe weather in the eastern part of the state since the beginning of August. In fact, 61 severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued, which is more than were issued in the last five years combined for the same two-week period.

Forecasters say some parts of eastern New Mexico have experienced anywhere from three to five times the normal rainfall so far this month.

In southern New Mexico, the Las Cruces area is still mopping up after a wet weekend caused flooding, stranded drivers and kept emergency crews busy into Monday. Doña Ana County authorities say more than 400 sandbags were handed out.

Ex-Manager Of Childcare Center Pleads Guilty To Theft ChargeAssociated Press

The former manager of a childcare center owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to a theft of government money charge.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Gina McPherson of Capitan entered her plea Monday in federal court in Las Cruces.

They say McPherson faces up to 10 years in federal prison when sentenced. Her sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

McPherson was arrested three months ago.

From March 2011 through December 2015, McPherson managed the Team Members Childcare Center, which was operated at the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Otero County on behalf of its employees who needed daycare for their children.

Prosecutors say McPherson admitted to stealing more than $400,000 in federal funds intended as reimbursement for meals consumed by children in the program.

Pressure Mounts On GOP Official To ResignSanta Few New Mexican, Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce joined a growing chorus of people Monday calling on the chairman of the Doña Ana County Republican Party to step down over a Facebook post that blasted protestors the day after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Pearce, a Republican who is also running for governor, joined other Republicans and Democrats calling upon Roman Jimenez to resign.

The party deleted a Facebook post that referenced "violent, leftist protesters" following deadly protests in Charlottesville. Jimenez wrote in the Sunday Facebook post on the party's page that the protesters were responsible for creating a divide and were "getting exactly what they asked for."

Jimenez told KOB-TV the post was in reference to other protests and violence that occurred before the Charlottesville events.

He says he was unaware of the events happening in Charlottesville until he read the comments on his post and regrets that the post was taken out of context.

Santa Fe Indian Market Fuses Tradition With Contemporary ArtAssociated Press

For nearly a century, American Indian jewelers, potters and other artists have been gathering in the heart of northern New Mexico to show off their creations as part of one of the nation's most prestigious art markets.

The annual Santa Fe Indian Market begins Saturday as organizers push ahead with raising the bar for showcasing what they say are some of the best examples of art that has evolved from centuries-old traditions.

Some artists and their families have participated for years, but this marks the first time organizers have shifted entirely to a juried application process that has resulted in fierce competition.

Events related to Native film, literature and fashion are scheduled throughout the week leading up to the market. The festivities typically draw about 100,000 people.

Judge Sets 2018 Trial For Mother Of Slain Albuquerque GirlAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A July 2018 trial is scheduled for an Albuquerque woman charged in the 2016 rape and murder in her 10-year-old daughter.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Michelle Martens' trial would be the first for the three defendants charged in the death of Victoria Martens.

Fabian Gonzales is now scheduled to go to trial October 2018, followed by Jessica Kelley in January 2019. Gonzales was Michelle Martens' boyfriend and Kelley is his cousin.

The scheduling Monday by District Judge Charles Brown follows his May ruling that the defendants get separate trials.

The first trial was originally scheduled for this October, but lawyers said the case's complexity warrants moving the trial dates back.

Brown says Chief Judge Nan Nash has agreed that exceptional circumstances require moving the trial dates back.

Flagship Foods To Expand Operations In New MexicoAssociated Press

A Colorado-based company has plans to expand its operations in New Mexico, a move that is expected to bring nearly 200 new jobs to the state.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday that Flagship Foods plans to invest nearly $3 million in its manufacturing and distribution facilities in the Albuquerque area.

The company first expanded to New Mexico in 2014. Its 505 Southwestern brand is now produced in the state, distributed globally and accounts for about $70 million in sales.

Officials say New Mexico will provide $550,000 for Flagship Food's expansion through a local economic development fund.

Santa Fe Rally Draws Hundreds Denouncing RacismSanta Fe New Mexican, Albuquerque Journal

Religious leaders, politicians and activists were among about 1,500 people who gathered on Santa Fe Plaza Monday night to speak out against the violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacists gathered to protest.

The Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal report the rally against racism was one of many across the country convened following the death of Heather Heyer Saturday. The 32-year-old woman died after a man with reported white supremacist sympathies used his car to ram a group of counter-protestors.

Rabbi Neil Amswych, president of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe, told attendees no one is born racist. It’s a learned behavior and it can be unlearned.

Some attendees also brought attention to local issues, calling the Entrada racist. That’s the annual celebration of the reoccupation of Santa Fe by Spanish colonists after the Pueblo Revolt.

Tribal Council, McCain Honor Memory Of Navajo Code TalkersAssociated Press

The Navajo Nation Council has honored the Navajo Code Talkers, who used the tribe's language to outsmart the Japanese in World War II.

Monday's event at Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock also commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Navajo Code Talkers Association.

The U.S. Marine Corps laid a wreath at the park and honored code talkers who have died with a 21-gun salute.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye gave the welcome address, which followed the annual Navajo Code Talkers Day parade.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona said "history will forever marvel at the Navajos who used their native language during their service in the U.S. Marine Corps to develop an unbreakable code that contributed significantly to Allied victories at Iwo Jima and across the Pacific."

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