Navajo lawmakers have rejected a settlement that recognizes the tribe's rights to water from the Little Colorado River basin.
The Tribal Council voted 15-6 against the settlement Thursday during a special session in Window Rock.
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl had introduced legislation to approve the settlement, but it needed the blessing of the Navajo and Hopi tribes to move forward. Kyl has said the settlement would address water needs on the reservations and provide certainty of the water supply for off-reservation communities.
The water utility in Albuquerque inadvertently diverted farmers' irrigation water from the Rio Grande for more than a week in late June and used it for the city's drinking water supplies.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/MXVOs1) that John Stomp, chief operating officer of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility, acknowledged the improper diversions and agreed to pay back the farmers.
Wed. 7/4 2p: Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and multiple Grammy-Award winner Bonnie Raitt is profiled in this two hour music and commentary special featuring an exclusive interview with Bonnie as well as comments from Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Maia Sharp, Freebo, Bill Payne, Ann Powers and more. Hosted by Paul Ingles.
ByLaura Paskus and Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
On Monday, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez that an alternative to dealing with haze-causing pollution at a New Mexico power plant should be worked out among stakeholders.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a letter sent to the governor that such an alternative would be in the environmental and economic best interests of the state.
Jackson signed a 90-day stay so the parties can evaluate alternatives for the San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.
The majority of roads in the Santa Fe National Forest will now be closed to motorized travel, according to the Albuquerque Journal. But two environmental groups say the plan still leaves too much of the forest open to vehicle traffic.
The Record of Decision came after nearly six years of analysis and public comment. The Forest Service evaluated more than 7,000 miles of roads and trails and designated about 2,400 miles where motorized travel will be allowed. It also prohibited off-road motorized travel.
A New Mexico wildfire that destroyed 242 homes and businesses is now 95 percent contained as crews finish mopping up around the fire's perimeter.
Crews demobilized some equipment Friday as they restored containment lines around the 69-square-mile Little Bear fire to a more natural state. Firefighters were also able to take advantage of rain on the blaze's southern end.
The lightning-caused fire is burning near Ruidoso and started June 4.
Businesses in Ruidoso are open despite some road closures due to fire operations.
By John Miller and Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
From sites on the fringes of wildfires burning around the West, incident commanders spend nearly every waking hour huddled around maps, looking at computer screens or glued to the radio, trying to plot their next move.
Their decisions come after pouring over intelligence that's flooding in from crew leaders, weather forecasters and fuels analysts.
Elsewhere, teams of specialists smooth out the logistics of shuffling firefighters and equipment around the country.
Tom Harbour is the director of fire and aviation management for the U.S. Forest Service.
The New Mexico Supreme Court has significantly limited the ability of government officials to use executive privilege when denying access to records under the Inspection of Public Records Act.
The court's ruling comes in a case that stemmed from a request by the Republican Party for public records from former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration. The information was sought as part of an investigation into whether people were using New Mexico drivers' licenses to unlawfully register to vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal health care law leaves Gov. Susana Martinez and the Legislature with a critical policy decision of whether to proceed with an expansion of Medicaid to provide medical services to 170,000 uninsured people.
A spokesman for the governor said the Martinez administration needed to analyze Thursday's court's ruling and long-term costs to the state before deciding on the Medicaid expansion called for in federal law.
A former New Mexico warden accused in a lawsuit of thwarting an FBI inquiry into an alleged rape of an inmate by a guard is returning back to work.
New Mexico Corrections Department Secretary Gregg Marcantel announced Thursday that an internal investigation found that Anthony Romero acted appropriately as warden of the Central New Mexico Corrections Facility in Los Lunas during a federal investigation into the alleged rape.
Marcantel said Romero, who was temporarily reassigned, immediately will return to his position as adult prison's deputy director.
Federal officials say continued dry conditions and high fire danger have prompted them to toughen up fire restrictions for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in parts of central and western New Mexico.
The agency announced the new restrictions Thursday. They prohibit all off-road travel through BLM lands in Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval, Socorro and Valencia counties.
The restrictions will take effect Friday morning. Campfires, fireworks and smoking outdoors are already prohibited.
The University of New Mexico is seeking funding to expand its medical school to battle the university's well-documented lack of space.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that school officials are seeking a $30 million expansion and will ask lawmaker for more funding next year. The university also is hoping to procure a private donor and get voters to approve bonds.
Governor Susana Martinez is continuing her push to overhaul how New Mexico handles capital improvements and is ordering state agencies to develop five-year master plans for setting priorities for the financing of projects.
Martinez has issued an executive order requiring the new planning process for capital improvements by agencies under the governor's control.
City commissioners in the southern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences are proposing a moratorium on well drilling in the city.
Officials took the unusual step Tuesday night to enable a study of whether the number of wells tapping into the town's famed hot springs is harming the resource, considered by some to be sacred and medicinal. The thermal springs are the lifeblood of the town and its eclectic mix of inns and spas.
By The Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican
Governor Susana Martinez's administration and American Indian officials are at odds on a proposal to redesign Medicaid. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that both sides sparred Monday over how thoroughly the state consulted with New Mexico's 22 Indian tribes on possible changes.
One criticism of the proposal tribal officials raised is that the state would discontinue the payment of medical bills in the three months prior to an individual's enrollment in Medicaid, as is currently done.
The state Canvassing Board has ordered recounts in razor-close primary election races for two state Senate seats. The board on Tuesday certified election results for the June 5 primary election, except for the races requiring recounts.
State law requires automatic recounts when the difference between the top two candidates is less than one-half of 1 percent.
A former state senator from Albuquerque is trying for a political comeback as an independent candidate for the Legislature. Former Republican Sen. Joseph Carraro filed Tuesday to run against Republican Sen. John Ryan of Albuquerque in the November general election.
Carraro said he switched from being a Republican in 2008 after losing the party's nomination for the 1st Congressional District. Ryan drew no Democratic opponent this year and would have been unopposed in the general election if Carraro hadn't filed as a candidate.
A dispute over who should run Albuquerque's public access cable TV channels resulted in a lock out this week.
Members of Quote... Unquote, Inc., the company that has run two of the city's channels for decades, were locked out of the station's studios on Tuesday as they prepared to remove the company's equipment. The City recently awarded the contract to run the stations to a new company, but Quote... Unquote's contract wasn't set to expire until the end of the month.
ByMegan Kamerick and The Carlsbad Current-Argus and The Associated Press
The U.S. Department of Energy is eying two sites in Eddy County to store 10,000 metric tons of mercury (about 22 million pounds). A site in West Texas was DOE’s preferred storage spot, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus. But now the federal agency is exploring two locations near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad.
Jody Knox, president of the Carlsbad Department of Development, said her board supports the proposal.
On Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will be hosting a public meeting about a proposed uranium deconversion plant near Hobbs, N.M.
In 2009, International Isotopes submitted an application to the NRC, which oversees the nation’s nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities. At the proposed Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion Plant, depleted uranium hexafluoride will be “deconverted” into fluorine products for commercial sale.