News

Pages

Local News
5:28 am
Tue September 18, 2012

State improves access to Los Alamos data

State environmental officials say they have finished their upgrade to a database that gives the public access to information on clean-up efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

New Mexico Environment Department Secretary David Martin says the new centralized, cloud-based database application called Intellus New Mexico provides the public with greater transparency and more timely access to the environmental data for tracking efforts to clean up toxic waste around the laboratory where the nuclear bomb was developed.

Local News
5:27 am
Tue September 18, 2012

New Mexico proposes concealed handguns in state parks

A state agency is proposing to allow people licensed to carry a concealed handgun to bring their loaded weapons into a New Mexico state park.

That's among several administrative rule changes proposed by the State Parks Division. Other proposals require life jackets for those using paddleboards.

A public hearing on the proposals is scheduled Oct. 17 in Santa Fe at the Wendell Chino Building.

Read more
Local News
9:04 am
Mon September 17, 2012

DOT to sell surplus equipment

The state Department of Transportation plans to sell surplus equipment ranging from bulldozers and snowplows to cars, mini-vans and four-wheel drive sport utility vehicles.

An auction is scheduled September 29th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the department's District 5 office, which is on the south side of Santa Fe.

The agency says more than 1,000 items will be sold, including dump trucks, pickup trucks, road graders, trailers, mowers as well as office furniture and electronics.

Money from the auction will go into a state fund that pays for the department's operations.

Local News
9:01 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Forest Service to do controlled burns

Controlled burns planned in two areas of the Santa Fe National Forest could send smoke into canyons and make it hard for those with health issues to breath.

The burning operations are planned starting Monday in the forest's Jemez and Coyote ranger districts.

The Jemez operations include burning near Ponderosa Camp and near the Valles Caldera's northwest corner.

The burning planned on the Coyote district will likely be seen from the communities of Espanola and Abiquiu.

The fires are being set to reduce hazardous fuels and restore forest health.

Local News
8:58 am
Mon September 17, 2012

2 West Nile cases reported in San Juan County

Alvesgaspar

Two West Nile virus cases were reported last week in San Juan County.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that the county now has had three West Nile cases so far this year.

A 32-year-old woman and a 70-year-old woman from San Juan County were reported to have the virus last week.

Both women have developed encephalitis and meningitis.

Health officials say there have been 26 cases statewide, including one resulting in a death.

Authorities said last week that a 76-year-old man from Bernalillo County died from the virus.

Local News
10:39 am
Sun September 16, 2012

US Justice Department in early probe of Albuquerque police

Seal of the US Department of Justic.
methodshop.com via Flickr

The U.S. Department of Justice has confirmed it is conducting a preliminary inquiry of the Albuquerque Police Department to see if a full-blown "pattern and practices" investigation is merited.

Friday's brief statement from the Justice Department comes after months of criticism from advocates because of 25 officer-involved shootings since 2010. Seventeen were fatal.

KRQE-TV reports the agency is conducting an inquiry. The Justice Department statement was provided to the Albuquerque Journal Friday after the report aired.

Read more
Local News
10:36 am
Sun September 16, 2012

New Mexico not likely to collect sales taxes from Amazon

New Mexico has little chance of cashing in on a windfall of tax revenue from internet sales giant Amazon despite other states' success in getting the company to collect sales taxes.

The Santa Fe New Mexican report says unless Congress acts to change federal laws, none of the factors allowing other states to collect taxes affect New Mexico.

Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Kansas, New York and North Dakota are collecting sales taxes on their residents' Amazon purchases. California will begin receiving money from sales beginning Saturday.

Read more
Local News
8:45 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Poll: Many voters back Medicaid expansion

A new statewide poll commissioned by The Albuquerque Journal shows more than half of the state's voters back expanding the state's Medicaid rolls to cover 170,000 low-income residents.

The Journal poll found that 53 percent of likely voters surveyed back boosting eligibility to allow low-income children, seniors, pregnant women and the disabled sign up for the federal-state health insurance program.

Read more
Local News
7:16 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Local Architect to Speak on Designing for Climate Change

We're used to putting the blame for climate change on industrial plants and gas-guzzling cars and trucks. But Santa Fe architect Edward Mazria says it's actually the buildings we live in that are the worst offenders.  

Mazria is the author of the Passive Solar Energy Book used by builders worldwide.  He'll  be speaking tonight in Albuquerque.  KUNM's Conservation Beat reporter Megan Kamerick caught up with Mazria for a sneak preview of his talk.

Local News
5:00 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Tamarisk-munching beetles travel the Rio Grande

Diorhabda elongata adult on saltcedar, or tamarisk, foliage.
USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Head north of Albuquerque and look over toward the Rio Grande and its forest, or bosque. Within that green ribbon of trees, you’ll also spot leaves that are reddish brown. Even from the Interstate, the dying trees are obvious.

Those leaves belong to tamarisk, or salt cedar. More than a century ago, the trees were introduced to control erosion and act as windbreaks. But they have overtaken riverbanks across the southwestern United States, sucking up water and choking out native species like cottonwoods and willows.

Read more
Local News
9:25 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Feds take search for refuge name online

Last September, Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar and Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz toured Price's Dairy.
Tami A. Heilemann-DOI Office of Communications

Federal wildlife managers are stepping into uncharted territory and are asking social media users for help in naming what will be one of the nation's newest urban wildlife refuges.

The refuge in New Mexico has yet to be formally established, but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southwest Region is getting a jump on things by asking people to suggest names on its Facebook page.

Voting started Friday and the list of suggestions has grown.

The favorites include Valle de Oro — Spanish for Valley of Gold — National Wildlife Refuge.

Read more
Local News
9:12 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Government proposes prescribed burn near Santa Fe

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a prescribed burn in the Pecos Wilderness near Santa Fe to reduce the possibility that a wildfire could severely damage the city's watershed.

The Espanola Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest has scheduled a meeting Sept. 20 to gather public comments and provide more information about the proposal to burn 2,900 acres in the wilderness area upstream from McClure Reservoir, which is east of Santa Fe and stores water for the city.

Local News
10:04 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Group seeks protection for relocated prairie dogs

Gunnison prairie dogs
Flikr/Andrew Holander

Animal conservationists are worried that hundreds of Gunnison's prairie dogs relocated from the city of Santa Fe to the El Malpais National Conservation Area in west-central New Mexico could become targets for shooters.

The nonprofit environmental group WildEarth Guardians is asking the Bureau of Land Management to consider restrictions on recreational shooting in the prairie dog relocation spot.

Read more
Local News
9:54 am
Mon September 10, 2012

UNM gets grant for middle school science program

University of New Mexico professors and researchers have been awarded funding from the National Institutes of Health to implement a science enrichment program for several middle schools in rural New Mexico.

The funding will be doled out over five years and will target both tribal and predominantly Hispanic schools.

The university says there's a steady decline in the number of American Indian and Hispanic students graduating with science and engineering degrees.

Read more
Local News
10:03 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Groups ask NM regulators for clean energy standard

New Mexico regulators are set to consider a petition filed by a coalition that is pushing for a voluntary program aimed at curbing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

The Public Regulation Commission is meeting Thursday in Santa Fe.

Western Resource Advocates filed the petition on behalf of 33 environmental groups.

WRA chief counsel Steve Michel says the proposal would allow utilities to voluntarily opt to reduce carbon emissions from their generating stations by 3 percent a year starting in 2014.

Read more
Local News
4:53 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Low Flows on the Rio Grande

Looking upstream on the Rio Grande at the Alameda Bridge in Albuquerque.
KUNM/Laura Paskus

Here, where the Alameda Bridge crosses the Rio Grande on the north side of Albuquerque, you can see what New Mexico’s weak monsoon season looks like on the ground.

The water is braided around sandbars and islands. It’s so shallow that even where the river is flowing, sand is visible just a few inches below the surface. Two Canada Geese honk beneath the bridge, then take off. When they land again, their feet are barely covered by the water.

Read more
Local News
8:11 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Former hospital executive lawsuit to continue

A federal judge has denied a motion by a former St. Vincent Hospital executive facing fraud charges to dismiss a civil suit against him.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that U.S. District Court Judge James Browning recently denied that a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Richard Crabtree on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired.

A jury trial in the civil case is scheduled to take place in May 2013.

Local News
8:09 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Photo of man shot by state police draws fire

Authorities say a New Mexico state police officer is under investigation for taking a cell phone photo of a man shot and killed by state police.

KOB-TV reports that New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Shilling apologized Tuesday for the actions of the unnamed officer.

A picture depicting the body of Sam Pauly who was fatally shot by state police in October his Glorieta home was recently sent to KOB-TV. State police shot Pauly after reports of a road rage complaint earlier in the evening.

Read more
Local News
8:07 am
Wed September 5, 2012

NM to host summit on state's black population

The New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs is convening a summit on black residents living in the state.

The office announced Tuesday that the summit will be held in Albuquerque on Sept. 21.

Yvette Kaufman-Bell, the office's executive director, said the event will be used to develop solutions of poverty and unemployment in the state's black community.

Blacks make up less than 3 percent of the state's population.

Local News
7:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Prosecutors accused of bad faith in Ponzi plea

An Albuquerque real estate executive is set to be sentenced after admitting to a Ponzi scheme that bilked 600 investors of $75 million.

A federal judge is expected to sentence Doug Vaughan on Wednesday to no more than 12 years under a plea agreement reached in December. The sentencing would wrap up a criminal case that ruined lives across eight states.

It is unclear whether the 65-year-old would be sent to a minimum-security federal prison camp for white-collar criminals or a traditional lockup with more hardened convicts.

Read more
Local News
7:45 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Lawyer: Governor's Chief of Staff recorded on state email use

An Albuquerque attorney says he has a recording of Governor Susana Martinez's chief of staff, Keith Gardner, telling one of his clients that he never uses state email to conduct business because he didn’t want to "go to court (or) jail."

Defense attorney Sam Bregman released the audio Tuesday. He represents fired Department of Corrections worker Larry Flynn in a wrongful termination case.  It was in that case that the Martinez administration's use of private email accounts was first revealed. 

Read more
Local News
7:22 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Forest Service approves Taos Ski Valley expansion

Taos Ski Area
Wikipedia

The U. S. Forest Service has approved Taos Ski Valley's request to expand its expert terrain by 60 percent with two new lifts that will take skiers to popular high alpine areas currently accessible only to hikers.

The plan also calls for upgrades to three other lifts, thinning of trees to expand two new glade areas for advanced intermediate to expert skiers, construction of a permanent tubing facility, a snowshoe trail system and a lift-served mountain bike trail for summer visitors.

Local News
7:19 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Black bear captured blocks from Santa Fe Plaza

Conservation officers with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish have captured a black bear that wandered into the center of Santa Fe.

Albuquerque television station KOB-TV reports the bear was first spotted at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

The Santa Fe New Mexican posted this video.  

A few hours later, the bear was found along the Santa Fe River, two blocks from the city's historic plaza.

Local News
9:41 am
Fri August 31, 2012

NM Quickly Reverses Decision to Drop Trail Funding

New Mexico has reversed its decision to pull out of a program that provides money to build, improve and maintain recreational trails.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation had informed the Federal Highway Administration on Wednesday that it was opting out of the Recreational Trails Program.

A day later, Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez wrote to the FHA saying he had reconsidered and would accept grant funds this year.

Read more
Local News
9:36 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Construction of Casino at NM Fairgrounds Delayed

Soil issues have caused a delay in construction of a new 65,000-square-foot casino for the Downs of Albuquerque.

General manager Darren White says the building now will open about a month later than planned, early in the second quarter next year. He says engineers had found some areas where soil was not compacted deeply enough to meet specifications.

The construction also is expected to impact parking at the upcoming New Mexico State Fair.

Local News
9:33 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Fewer weeks of jobless benefits to be offered

Fewer weeks of unemployment benefits will soon be available to jobless New Mexicans and the Department of Workforce Solutions says it's because of a change in federal law.

A maximum of 54 weeks of unemployment compensation will be offered with claims effective Sept. 2. That's down from 60 weeks currently.

The department says New Mexicans eligible for 60 weeks of benefits before Sept. 2 can continue to receive payments for up to that amount of time during a phase-out period.

Read more
Local News
9:22 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Independent tests confirms drug use in horses

Three trainers whose horses tested positive for an exotic painkilling drug could face suspensions, fines and criminal charges.

New Mexico Racing Commission executive director Vince Mares says independent lab tests have confirmed that nine horses had been drugged with dermorphin.

He tells the Albuquerque Journal that the cases are being forwarded to the state Attorney General's Office for possible criminal prosecution.

Read more
Local News
8:11 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Wolf Reintroduction Program Officials Work to Develop New Coexistence Plan

Cm0rris0n

After more than two weeks, the Fox Mountain Pack alpha female wolf is still on the loose, foiling The Fish and Wildlife Service’s best efforts to trap and move her to an Arizona Sanctuary. For wolf advocates this is good news, because it's another day she can spend raising her pups. But for ranchers, it means a habitual livestock killer is still an active threat to their cattle. The Mexican Gray Wolf reintroduction program has been controversial since its inception, but a new coexistence plan seeks to fix that...through compromise.

Read more
Local News
6:58 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Hopes for a Medicaid expansion grow

It sort of felt like a party at a recent health fair at the Rio Arriba County Health Commons in Española.  And perhaps it is something to celebrate when you can get lunch, hear some traditional mariachi music by El Trio de los Gallos, and get immunized against pneumonia and whooping cough for free, all at the same time.

Read more
Local News
6:46 am
Thu August 30, 2012

GOP speech puts NM governor in national spotlight

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez used her debut on the national political stage to offer a message of hope and opportunity.  

You can hear her full address online.

Martinez described how she rose from modest roots in a border community to become the nation's first female Hispanic governor.

The governor made a prime-time appearance Wednesday night with a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Read more

Pages