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Local News
8:16 am
Tue December 9, 2014

WIPP Incidents Result In $54M Proposed Fines

Credit energy.gov / public domain / via Wikimedia Commons

KUNM Call In Show 12/11 8a: The New Mexico Environment Department has fined the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory a total of $54 million related to two incidents at the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository earlier this year. An underground fire and a release of radiation in February contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the facility. 

What are the fines for? And what must WIPP and LANL do to come into compliance with hazardous waste permits? Are the fines enough?

Guests:

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Local News
5:34 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Feds Not Surprised By Nuclear Fines

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was fined $17.7 million for accepting mislabeled nuclear waste and not appropriately filing paperwork. LANL was fined another $36.6 million for mishandling their waste.
Credit energy.gov

The Department of Energy wasn’t surprised when they were hit with tens of millions of dollars in fines by the state environment department for mishandling of nuclear waste.

A spokesperson for the federal agency said they self-disclosed that both Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant were in violation of their hazardous waste permits.

Back in February a container of nuclear waste from LANL that was being stored at WIPP ruptured and at least 20 workers were exposed to radiation.

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Monday News Roundup
8:32 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Headlines: Senators Welcome NMED Fines, Bernco DA Investigated...

Credit US Department of Energy

Senators Welcome Fines For Nuke Repository MishapsThe Associated Press

New Mexico's two U.S. senators are welcoming more than $54 million in penalties being levied against the U.S. Department of Energy for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The state Environment Department on Saturday announced it was imposing the penalties for 30 state-permit violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico and at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Local News
4:01 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Environment Department Fines WIPP, LANL $54M

Credit By ENERGY.GOV [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico is fining the U.S. Department of Energy $54 million for incidents at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste storage facility.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant stores nuclear weapons waste deep in underground salt caverns. There was an underground fire in February, followed by a release of radioactivity that contaminated 22 workers and shuttered the facility.

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Local News
9:01 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Headlines: Alcohol Abuse In Gallup, Teens Wanted For Murder...

Credit Romana Klee via Flicker.com

Alcohol Abuse Focus Of Meeting In Troubled Gallup The Associated Press

State officials are looking into solutions at tackling alcohol abuse in one of the most violent cities in the state.

State Sen. George Munoz is set to hold a public meeting Monday in Gallup on alcoholism in the troubled city.

The Gallup Democrat says he's concern about the city's high crime rate and the high number of alcohol-related deaths.

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Public Health New Mexico
6:48 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

DOJ Investigating UNM Sexual Assault Policies

UNM central campus
Credit Arianna Sena

The US Department of Justice announced today Friday that it is opening an investigation into the University of New Mexico’s policies on dealing with sexual assaults on campus. It’s the latest in a number of DOJ investigations into university sexual assault policies nationwide.

The Justice Department review is a first for the university, and administrators say they still don’t know the details of the student accusations or the planned investigation.

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Entertainment
9:09 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Exploring Sacred Music With Schola Cantorum Of Santa Fe

Credit www.schola-sf.org

In 1990, during his tenure as Director of Music at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in Santa Fe, Dr.

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Friday News Roundup
8:41 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Headlines: King Owes $700K Campaign Debt, APD Briefing At Legislature...

Defeated NM Dem Governor Hopeful $690K In DebtThe Associated Press

New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial challenger Gary King not only lost by a historical margin against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. Records show he was left with a nearly $700,000 debt.

Campaign finance disclosures filed Thursday showed that King's unsuccessful big left him with $691,000 in unpaid bills and an ending balance of only $6,500.

Meanwhile, Martinez reported spending more than $574,000 from Nov. 1 to Thursday and had an ending balance of $246,000.

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Local News
12:16 am
Fri December 5, 2014

BLM Considering Oil Pipeline Proposal

Exploratory drilling for oil has been occurring over the past few months near Lybrook, New Mexico, along US Highway 550.
Credit Laura Paskus

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is considering a proposal to build a pipeline that would move oil to markets from northwestern New Mexico. The agency hosted a public meeting on the plan Thursday night in the town of Lybrook, south of Farmington.

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Local News
6:07 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Santolina Plan Advances Despite Opposition

Questions around how the Santolina project would be built out over the next 50 years are still up in the air.
Credit WALH Master Plan

The Bernalillo County Planning Commission has voted to move a plan for a massive development up the chain of command for consideration. 

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Public Health New Mexico
5:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

World AIDS Day And Free HIV Testing

Credit jacilluch via flickr

Monday was World AIDS Day and Planned Parenthood offered free and confidential HIV screenings at the Santa Fe Health Center.

In case you missed it, it’s important to know that free testing doesn’t only take place on World AIDS Day. There are organizations all across New Mexico that give tests throughout the year. Planned Parenthood gave over a thousand HIV tests here over the past year.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:31 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Vaccination Reminder After Measles Case

Credit lu_lu via flickr

New Mexico health officials are reporting the first confirmed case of measles in the state since 2012. The one-year-old victim was released from the hospital yesterday, but health officials are taking the opportunity to remind residents to get vaccinated.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:16 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Affordable Care Act Enrollment, Round Two

Credit @BeWellNM on Twitter

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 12/4 8a: 

The Affordable Care Act's second open enrollment period is underway, and officials are reporting positive developments in early enrollment numbers.

What has your experience with the health care law been? Do you have questions about coverage?  We'll be talking about the progress and process of the enrollment period in New Mexico with experts from the state insurance exchange and local outreach workers.

Guests:

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Thursday News Roundup
8:28 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Headlines: NAACP Leader Hired For Police Reform, Changes At LANL...

Albuquerque Hires NAACP Leader On Police ReformThe Associated Press

The city of Albuquerque has hired a local NAACP leader to help with upcoming changes into the city's troubled police.

But some advocates are criticizing the move.

The city announced this week NAACP Albuquerque president Harold Bailey will be paid $20,000 as a consultant for a team that will oversee changes. Bailey says he will help the team with community engagement.

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Local News
5:12 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

West Mesa Development Plan Sprawls Forward

Speaking to the Bernalillo County Planning Commission opponents of the Santolina development wore bright pink and yellow shirts that said WTF-What's The Future?
Credit Rita Daniels

On Wednesday the Bernalillo County Planning Commission voted to recommend a development plan for almost 40,000 new homes and commercial spaces on Albuquerque’s West Mesa. The vote occurred despite some 75 people who spoke out in opposition citing concerns over the economic and environmental impacts.

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KUNM News Update
11:26 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Headlines: NM Water At Risk, Ski Santa Fe To Open Saturday...

The Rio Grande.
Credit OpenThreads via Flickr

Task Force: New Mexico Water Supplies At Risk Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Researchers from universities around the state say New Mexico is undoubtedly dealing with a dire situation thanks to a persistent drought and there's no telling when conditions will improve.

The task force of experts on Tuesday delivered their preliminary findings to lawmakers on the vulnerability of the state's water supplies.

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Local News
5:34 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Bernalillo County To Consider Huge Development

Opponents of the Santolina development say it will become a "zombie development" and compare it to the failed Mesa del Sol project.
Credit Contra Santolina

 

The Bernalillo County Planning Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to approve a massive development on Albuquerque’s West Mesa.

The proposed Santolina development would spread out across 21 square miles of sand dunes just off Interstate-40, about 5 miles west of the Rio Grande.

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KUNM News Update
8:15 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Headlines: Fired Police Officer, Protected Forest Land...

Credit yooperann via Flickr

Project Protects NM Forested Land From Development – The Associated Press

More than 11,000 acres that adjoin the Carson National Forest have been permanently protected from development through a conservation easement.

A conservation effort on the Upper Rio Chama River property in northern New Mexico began in 2009. The final and largest piece of the nearly 12-thousand-acre property became part of the easement Monday.

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Local News
5:17 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Albuquerque Police Officer Involved In Shooting Fired

Attorney Thomas Grover, who represents Jeremy Dear, will appeal his termination.
Credit Rita Daniels

 

An Albuquerque officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman and did not record the encounter has been fired.

Today Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden released a statement that Officer Jeremy Dear was terminated after an internal investigation. 

He says the probe found that Dear violated department policies and wasn't truthful.

As KUNM's Rita Daniels reports, Attorney Thomas Grover told reporters the firing was unjust because the departments camera policy is erratic. Grover represents Dear.

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Monday News Roundup
8:36 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Headlines: State Senate Confirmations Backlog, Census Jobs...

New Mexico Senate Has Backlog Of ConfirmationsThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

The Democratic-led New Mexico Senate will convene in January with a backlog of pending confirmation decisions on dozens of appointees of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez's office says the 85 first-term appointees awaiting confirmation votes include numerous members of state boards and commissions as well as three Cabinet secretaries.

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Local News
9:46 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Albuquerque Officer Involved In Shooting May Be Fired

Credit davidsonscott via Flickr

An attorney for an Albuquerque police officer who fatally shot a 19-year-old Mary Hawkes and did not record the encounter says the officer will likely be fired.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a lawyer representing Officer Jeremy Dear, who has been on administrative leave, says police supervisors are recommending his termination.

Attorney Thomas Grover says their conclusion is because of an internal affairs investigation that looked into several issues, including a history of alleged lapel camera policy violations.

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Local News
8:59 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Headlines: Labs And Museum To Push STEM, Grand Canyon Mining Ban...

The Sandia Labs - New Mexico Science Museum partnership is focused on exposing young people to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Credit VEX Robotics via Flickr.com

Sandia Labs To Help Develop Museum Programs The Associated Press

Sandia National Laboratories is teaming up with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

The two have signed a memorandum of understanding in which the lab will help identify and develop programs and exhibits that focus on space exploration, renewable energy, water and nanotechnology.

The museum will evaluate initiatives of interest to Albuquerque and the region.

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Public Health New Mexico
1:49 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Obama Advisor Optimistic About Open Enrollment

Credit wikimedia commons

The Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment period is entering its third week, and so far over a million Americans have applied for health insurance on the federal exchange.

Officials in New Mexico are also reporting progress in enrollment, after a problematic rollout last year.

Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and one of President Obama’s senior advisors on health care, says the problems that besieged consumers in 2013 seem to have been resolved.

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Friday News Roundup
8:24 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Headlines: Loon Seen In ABQ, Murder Suspect Returns...

Credit Davelnman via Flickr

Rare Loon Takes Flight In Albuquerque - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A "common loon" has been making uncommon visits to an Albuquerque pond.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Bernalillo County bird watchers have been eyeing a bosque pond to glimpse the loon after it was spotted earlier this month.

Bird watcher Nancy Hetrick first spotted the bird Nov. 16 in the pond near Tingley Beach.

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Entertainment
8:15 am
Fri November 28, 2014

The Albuquerque Boy Choir Sings for the Holidays

The Choristers, the youngest of the Albuquerque Boy Choir's three ensembles.
Credit www.abqboychoir.org

Over the years, thousands of young men and boys in New Mexico, ages 6 to 18, have benefited from the musical training and comradeship offered by the Albuquerque Boy Choir.  Founded in 1937, the Choir is one of the state's longest-running arts organizations.  The current director of the Concert Choir, Kent Wall, talks about the 2014 winter concert, taking place on December 7 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque.  For information, visit, a

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Thursday News Roundup
8:55 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Headlines: Regulators Approve Solar Plan, Ferguson Decision Opens Wounds...

Credit jmoran24 via Flickr

Regulators Approve PNM Solar Plan - The Associated Press

PNM's plan to build four more solar-powered generating stations has been approved by state regulators.

The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the utility's renewable energy procurement plan for next year. The solar arrays will represent a more than $79 million-dollar investment.

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Wednesday News Roundup
8:42 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Headlines: ABQ Demo For Michael Brown, Hobbs Voter ID Election...

Credit Ed Williams

Albuquerque Activists Hold Ferguson ProtestThe Associated Press

Around 200 Albuquerque protesters joined demonstrators nationwide after a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in Missouri.

The demonstration last night forced Albuquerque police to momentarily close traffic in the city's International District but the protest remained peaceful.

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Local News
5:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Bosque As Wild Landscape Or Urban Park?

The City of Albuquerque proposed developing sections of the bosque but advocates are working to keep it wild.
Credit Adam Kludt

The City of Albuquerque released an environmental monitoring report for a section of the bosque they hope to develop between Central Avenue and Montaño, but advocates are focused on protecting the wildness in the area. 

The public has until November 30, 2014, to comment on the report that was supposed establish baseline data about the environmental health of the bosque that runs through the heart of Albuquerque and is important habitat for animals.

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Public Health New Mexico
5:50 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Navajo Nation To Tax Junk Food

Credit Jeff Adair via Flickr

Residents of the Navajo Nation will now be paying more for junk food. Last week Navajo President Ben Shelly signed the Healthy Dine' Nation Act into law, adding a tax on unhealthy food sold anywhere on Navajo land. Deswood Tome is Special Advisor to President Shelly. He spoke to KUNM about the law's implications. 

"The law imposes a tax on junk food as a deterrent, so when people go to the store they'll make a conscious decision to buy nutritious food," Tome said.

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Tuesday News Roundup
8:51 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Headlines: Prosecutor Eyes Charges In S.F. Police Shooting, Man Survives Fall And Elements...

Credit hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Prosecutor Weighs Santa Fe Police Shooting ChargesThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A southeastern New Mexico prosecutor is considering whether two Santa Fe police officers will face any charges in the nonfatal shooting of a motorist.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Roswell-based District Attorney Janetta B. Hicks says she expects to decide on possible charges by early next year.

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