Thurs. 12/27 10a: Former Santa Fe Desert Chorale Music Director Linda Mack Berven returns to lead eight members of the Desert Chorale in the post-Christmas Day program, "A Toast to the New Year." Concerts take place in both the Loretto Chapel and the Church of the Holy Faith, December 28, 29, 30 and 31. Linda Mack Berven joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview of the program.
Wed. 12/26 10a: Albuquerque impresario Neal Copperman founded the non-profit presenting organization AMP Concerts in 2004. Spencer Beckwith talks with Neal about his organization and about some of the musical events he has planned for 2013.
Plans to shore up New Mexico's struggling public employees retirement fund could include cuts to benefits.
The Albuquerque Journal reports some legal analysts say the state constitution would prevent things like cuts to annual cost of living increases, but other legal experts say the funds can be changed in order to maintain solvency.
Water managers are scrambling to find a way to maintain wild populations of the Rio Grande silvery minnow after the annual fall census failed to locate any of the small fish for the first time in 20 years.
Maintaining enough flow in the Rio Grande to support the fish during drought years while still providing water to cities and farmers is a big problem. A third year of drought-level flows on the river next year could send the population of the endangered species even lower.
State officials have awarded a contract to begin safeguarding more than two dozen abandoned mines near Deming.
The Mining and Minerals Division says the $475,000 contract with Duran Bokich Enterprises represents the first of a multiple-phase project involving old mines in the Florida and Little Florida Mountains. The mines are on private property and land managed by the federal government.
Before 1918, the ores recovered from mines in the area were mostly lead, zinc, silver, copper and some gold. After that, manganese and fluorite were produced in large quantities.
Gun dealers near Farmington are reporting a sharp rise in sales.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that the most popular weapons being sold are military-style rifles similar to the AR-15 variant used by a gunman who killed 26 people, including 20 children, at a Connecticut elementary school on Dec. 14.
The shooting has brought calls from some people for tighter restrictions on guns.
Mon. 12/24 7p: Gabrielle Marie Uballez, Michael Lopez, Hakim Bellamy and Candelario Vazquez discuss The Cuento Project, a collaboration between Dolores Gonzales 5th grade students, Vecinos Artist Collective, and the Barelas Community Coalition, where students created a cuento around the theme of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in Barelas, and short dedications/stories about people who are important to them.
Sat. 12/22 2p: Celebrate a Tamale Christmas, Tejano style! Join Adam Aguirre with his special guest, the legendary and definitive co-founder/documentarian/authority/guardian of "Tejano" music, Johnny Hernandez, as we look at and listen to the classic and varied, 50-year career of a timeless, ageless veterano of the Tejano music scene.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former South Carolina sheriff's lieutenant is suspected of robbing a Santa Fe, N.M., pharmacy at gunpoint and trying to rob a second pharmacy of the potent narcotic Oxycodone.
Police in Santa Fe say 43-year-old George William Smith is married to a Santa Fe prosecutor. They say Assistant District Attorney Dorie Biagianti-Smith called authorities and confronted her husband after recognizing him on a television news broadcast about the Monday and Tuesday robberies.
Fri. 12/21 10a: Children 12 and under throughout the state are being invited to submit their original melodies to the 6th edition of the child composer project, Hey Mozart! New Mexico. Spencer Beckwith talks about the project with a Hey Mozart! board member, Jim Wright, and a young participant in the 2011 Hey Mozart! project and concert, 13-year-old Justine Flores of Albuquerque.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered flags around the state to fly at half-staff in honor of former House Speaker Ben Lujan.
Lujan died late Tuesday at age 77 after a long battle with lung cancer. He was one of the most powerful and longest serving state legislators in New Mexico history and the father of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan.
Under Martinez's order, flags will be lowered from sunrise on Saturday through sundown on Dec. 29.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former Santa Fe hospital executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges but will avoid jail time as part of a plea agreement with the state Attorney General's office.
Richard Crabtree also agreed to repay St. Vincent Hospital, now known as Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, for losses it suffered in a scheme he allegedly ran with a former girlfriend to receive kickbacks from her brothers in a computer upgrade contract.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Detectives are investigating allegations of steroid use among Albuquerque police officers.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz confirmed the probe at a news conference Wednesday but said he did not know how many officers may be involved. Schultz also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is "monitoring" the department's investigation amid the FBI's own probe into Albuquerque police over excessive force claims.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A health clinic in Las Cruces is getting a half-million-dollar grant to expand into the border community of Santa Teresa.
U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced Wednesday that La Clinica de Familia will receive a two-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build a new health center next to Santa Teresa High School and strengthen its existing school-based health services. The funding comes from capital project outlays under the Affordable Care Act.
Thurs. 12/20 10a: Festival Ballet Albuquerque transports Marius Petipa's classical ballet to Territorial New Mexico, in "The Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment," December 21, 22 and 23 in the Journal Theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Live accompaniment of Tchaikovsky's score is provided by Guillermo Figueroa and the Figueroa Music and Arts Project Orchestra. Spencer Beckwith talks with the choreographer of the production, the head of Festival Ballet Albuquerque, Patricia Dickinson Wells.
Wed. 12/19 10a: The Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble is joined by guest vocalists for the annual "Baroque Christmas Concerts," twice nightly from December 20 through Christmas Eve in the Loretto Chapel, and the Santa Fe Pro Musica Orchestra welcomes guest soloists for an all-Mozart program, "A Mozart Holiday," in the St. Francis Auditorium, December 29 and 30. Spencer Beckwith talks with the Santa Fe Pro Musica's Founder and Director, conductor and oboist Tom O'Connor.
K-12 education reform is direly needed in New Mexico. The latest evidence for that is a report from the US Department of Education which studied and ranked 47 of the 50 states’ education systems and found that just 63 percent of New Mexico students in the 2010-2011 school year finished secondary school and the percentages for Hispanic students and Native Americans were 59 and 56 percent respectively.
Those rates earned the Land of Enchantment a ranking of 46th out of 47.
University of New Mexico is putting up banners inside The Pit. But they are being installed to show more than support for the Lobo basketball team. Officials say the banners were designed to protect fans from falling tiles.
In the two years since the basketball arena's $60 million renovation was completed, more than two dozen tiles in The Pit's indoor and outdoor stone facades have fallen off.
University Architect Robert Doran says they banners will add safety, along with a touch of cherry and silver in support of the Lobo basketball team.
The Navajo Nation Band has accepted an invitation to march in next month's presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee started sending out invitations Tuesday to groups nationwide. They will march behind President Barack Obama from his swearing in at the Capitol to the White House on Jan. 21.
Ben Lujan, the speaker of New Mexico's House of Representative and the father of U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, has died.
A spokesman for the congressman, Andrew Stoddard, confirmed in a statement early Wednesday that the elder Lujan had succumbed to lung cancer late Tuesday night. The Santa Fe Democrat spent nearly 40 years in the chamber before he announced on the first day of the session this year that he would not seek re-election. He shocked fellow lawmakers and others then as he disclosed his lung cancer diagnosis.