Local news
Courtesy photoMarcos A. Gonzales, son of Sen. Roberto 'Bobby' Gonzales, D-Ranchos de Taos, is running for a commission seat in Bernalillo County.

Taos High grad runs for Bernalillo office

Marcos Alejandro Gonzales, Taos High 2003 graduate and son of Sen. Roberto "Bobby" and Charlene Gonzales, is running for Bernalillo County District 3 commissioner.
A map detailing the avalanche warning area Friday (Jan 17).

Avalanche warning issued for Taos mountains

The Taos Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche warning Friday (Jan. 17) for backcountry area terrain in the wake of a storm Thursday night that brought several inches of snow to the area.
Taos woke up to several inches of snow Friday (Jan. 17) causing a number of closures and delays around town.

Taos weather closures

As snow fell Thursday evening (Jan. 16), Taos Municipal Schools  announced Friday's classes will be delayed two hours. Taos Charter School will be closed Friday. Taos County, town of Taos, Taos Magistrate and Eighth Judicial District Court all announced a two hour delay for Friday.
Crime
Jesse Moya/Taos NewsGregg Steele and his attorneys are discussing a potential deal with the 8th Judicial District Attorney's Office in a case filed for the murder of Patrick Larkin. The state may drop two charges in a separate case if Steele agrees to reveal evidence he concealed following the fatal shooting.

Larkin murder weapon still missing

A local tree trimmer accused of shooting and killing World Cup Café owner Patrick Larkin in Llano Quemado last summer may see some of his charges dropped in exchange for revealing evidence he may have concealed following the alleged crime.

Police blotter, Jan. 8 -13

The following is a condensed version of Taos Police reports from Jan. 8-13.
Damian Herrera has been cleared by the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute to stand trial in two murder cases filed for a 2017 shooting spree that killed five.

Northern New Mexico suspect in 2017 killing spree found competent

State mental health experts have found an Ojo Caliente man charged with killing three of his family members and two strangers in 2017 competent, according to the district attorney in Taos.
Politics
Six people have applied for a governor's appointment to succeed Jeff Shannon as Taos Magistrate Court Judge. Shannon was appointed to the bench in district court at the end of 2019.

Six apply for Taos magistrate judge seat

Following Jeff Shannon's appointment in December to the bench in the 8th Judicial District Court, six people have since applied to fill his vacant seat in Taos Magistrate Court.
Lyla Johnston

Egolf challenger: State must shift from oil and gas money

Climate activist, musician, spoken word artist and community organizer Lyla June Johnston, 30, delivered an impassioned speech Thursday at the Capitol about what she said is a dire need to shift the state away from its economic reliance on the oil and gas industry.
Incumbent town council members Nathaniel Evans and Darien Fernandez will face two other contenders for the council seats in the March election.

Four compete for two Taos council seats

Two candidates will challenge council incumbents Darien Fernandez and Nathaniel Evans for their town of Taos Council seats. Billy Romero and Roger Martinez have filed with the town clerk’s office for the March 3 municipal election to give the sitting councilors a race for reelection. Both Fernandez and Evans are currently serving their first term on the council.
Environment
New Mexican file photoA plutonium chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1995 shows a 'puck' of plutonium refined from a nuclear weapon pit. The National Nuclear Security Administration announced plans to move ahead recently with production of 30 plutonium pits a year, used in weapons, without a complete environmental analysis. Critics say that violates a 1998 court order.

Feds plan to forgo full environmental study on plutonium pits

The National Nuclear Security Administration's plans to forge ahead with producing plutonium cores for weapons without first conducting a comprehensive environmental review is drawing fire from watchdogs who say the agency is violating a 1998 court ruling.
Courtesy photoAn aerial photograph of Area G taken in 2004 by the Los Alamos Study Group shows the expanse of a waste pit dug at the site. Drums of nuclear waste are stored inside the white tents at the edge of the frame. The state is looking to modify a waste cleanup agreement inked with the federal government in 2016 under Gov. Susana Martinez's administration. The lab's waste sites sit above aquifers and in canyons that feed into the Río Grande.

LANL waste cleanup agreement criticized

LOS ALAMOS - While some people coolly suggested a list of procedural changes, others vented Thursday (Jan. 9) about a waste cleanup agreement they say cuts out the public and gives the U.S. Energy Department too much power to call the shots.
A 2003 aerial view of the Chevron molybdenum mine near Questa. The mine is one of thousands of mining sites throughout the state with large-scale environmental cleanup needs, and one of only a handful that hasn’t been abandoned by its operators before any cleanup occurred. New Mexican file photo

Chevron transfers water rights from mine

Chevron Mining Inc. will be transferring water rights from a 1,433 acre plot of land near Questa, which formerly acted as the tailings facility of the molybdenum mine. These water rights will be transferred to various mutual domestic associations across Taos County for their continued use.
Business
Courtesy pPC solarRoughly 550 rooftop solar owners within the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative service area currently deliver about 3 megawatts of surplus power into the grid during peak sunshine hours, which makes up about 9 percent of the utility's capacity.

Kit Carson Electric CEO: Rooftop solar not paying its fair share

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO Luis Reyes explained at a two-hour public briefing Friday (Dec. 10) why the utility's net-metering policy for rooftop solar array owners - "rooftoppers" - no longer works.

Learn search engine optimization tips to help Google find your business online

The Taos Chamber of Commerce and Taos Entrepreneurial Network will present a free lunch 'n' learn lecture, “SEO tips to help Google find your business online," from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Chamber of Commerce conference room, 1139 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur. Lunch will be provided.
Courtesy photoChris Barone (top) and Mark Carroll have recently joined Berkshire Hathaway's Taos team of professional real estate brokers.

Business in Brief

Area happenings in the world of business:

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