In 2005 Gayle Lemmon headed to Afghanistan for three weeks on a writing assignment for the Financial Times. She hoped to find a meaningful story about entrepreneurs who were really making a difference. Contacts of contacts put her in touch with a very young woman who had started a dressmaking business that supported her entire community under the rule of the Taliban. Lemmon was struck most with the realization of just how much work woman were actually doing inside their homes during the years when they could not go outside.
Audubon New Mexico released a report on the heels of a visit here by Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. The study argues that restoring natural streamflows will bring environmental and economic benefits.
Dams, reservoirs, and levees are all tools used to alter the natural flow of a river for crop irrigation, drinking water and industrial use. The benefits are substantial. But they also create major changes to the natural flow pattern of New Mexico’s rivers and streams.
As the natural gas boom has spread to the eastern United States, the term “fracking” has become common in news reports coming out of Pennsylvania and New York. But fracking has been a part of New Mexico’s history for decades.
After all, fracking is not a new technology. Halliburton pioneered hydraulic fracturing, as it’s officially known, in the 1940s. And it has been used around New Mexico for decades.
New Mexico's largest electricity provider has agreed to issue credits to more than 200 customers who were affected by a series of what state regulators call bad meter readings.
The Public Regulation Commission says its consumer relations and utilities divisions worked for the past two months to help recover more than $18,000 in overcharges.
The agency says recently filed complaints indicated a series of incorrect estimated meter readings were taken. That resulted in higher than average utility bills for some customers living on Santa Fe's west side.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he's definitely a candidate for the state's top office.
The paperwork has been filed for his gubernatorial campaign committee and he says he's starting to organize even though the race for the Democratic nomination is more than two years away. King says the magnitude of the race demands an early start.
Pointing to jobs, poverty and rural issues, he says there's plenty to be done in New Mexico.
New technology will soon be used in New Mexico to verify information documents presented by people seeking driver's licenses.
The state is grappling with recurring incidents of fraud, as critics claim New Mexico has become a go-to place nationally for illegal immigrants — or preying criminals representing them — wanting to obtain real driver's licenses.
Critics attribute most of the problem to the 2003 state law that allows foreign nationals to obtain New Mexico licenses, regardless of whether they are in the country legally.
A new state rating system gives most of New Mexico's schools passing grades, although the bulk of those are Cs and Ds.
Governor Susana Martinez on Monday unveiled the first report card under a new grading system that allows officials to consider more than just annual student test scores. The grades were developed after the state won a waiver from the federal government to include others factors, like past test scores, academic growth, attendance and college preparedness.
Immigrant activists and San Juan County residents say they are filing racial-profiling complaints against San Juan County and the Farmington Police Department.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a Santa Fe-based immigrant advocacy group, is set to announce Wednesday the detailed of six bias complaints against Farmington police and the San Juan County Sheriff's Department. According to the group, the law enforcement agencies in New Mexico's Four Corners are misusing federal agents at the San Juan County Adult Detention Facility and allege civil rights abuses at checkpoints.
The recent rains brought some relief to New Mexico’s parched forests, but they also brought a rash of lightning-caused fires.
Firefighters are responding to several smoke reports in the Questa Ranger District, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. They expect no problems. However, more smoke reports are anticipated as temperatures increase and humidity decreases.
Corrales officials say a fire that burned more than 350 acres of the wooded area along the Rio Grande last month was most likely sparked by an electronic cigarette.
Village Administrator John Avila says an employee apparently dropped the device while patrolling on June 20. The employee realized the device was gone after ducking under a tree limb. The fire started soon after.
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.