State officials from a variety of agencies gathered this morning to talk about New Mexico’s drought and its effect on recreation this summer. State Engineer Scott Verhines took a moment after the conference to talk about the bigger picture with KUNM’s Sidsel Overgaard .
By The Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican
Governor Susana Martinez has asked a former Bush administration official to help plan a state-run health insurance plan for New Mexico. The New Mexico Human Services Department announced Thursday a contract with a consulting firm founded by Michael Leavitt, former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary under President George W. Bush.
New Mexico Gang Task Force official Tamera Marcantel says a meeting of community activists, social workers, tribal officials and police officers at Isleta Pueblo represents a gradual shift in the state's approach to combating gangs. Thursday's meeting, which was organized by the task force and a coalition of advocates, was designed to foster new ideas on gang prevention and ways to reform gang members.
This past Tuesday, governor Susana Martinez announced that the city of Hobbs, NM was the choosen location for a $1 billion scientific ghost town, that's going to be built by a private group called Pegasus Global Holdings. It's being called the Center for Innovation, Testing and Technology or CITE. KUNM's Rita Daniels had the chance to speak with the mayor of Hobbs, Sam Cobb, to try and shed some light on what this all means.
A report by legislative agencies says future federal spending cuts could hamper New Mexico's economic recovery. The latest economic summary by the Legislative Finance Committee and Legislative Council Service says 2013 federal budget proposals call for substantial spending reductions or slowing the budget's growth rate.
ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. — Hundreds of community activists, social workers, tribal officials and police officers are slated to develop a plan aimed at attacking New Mexico's growing gang problem.
New Mexico Gang Task Force officials hope the meeting Thursday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on the Isleta Pueblo will foster new ideas on gang prevention and eventually help gang members leave violent gangs.
U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman today said he is glad that the U.S. Postal Service put forward a plan to keep open rural New Mexico post offices that were once identified for possible closure.
In a letter today to Bingaman, the Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said rather than closing down thousands of rural post offices, it is taking a new approach. Instead, it will consider reducing the number of hours rural post offices are open.
Developers of a $1.5 billion effort to link the United States' three major electricity grids have decided to locate their headquarters and an associated electricity trading floor in New Mexico. The Tres Amigas Superstation hub will be built across 22 square miles in eastern New Mexico. Company officials had been considering locations in Texas and New Mexico for the project's headquarters and trading operations.
As part of a new $4 million US Department of Agriculture initiative, New Mexico will get about $35-thousand dollars to help make farmers market produce available to food stamp recipients.
About half of New Mexico’s 60-plus farmers markets already accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits. But Denise Miller with the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association says the new grant will hopefully bring needed wireless technology to all the rest.
The New Mexico Department of Health reports that a two-month old infant living in San Miguel County died late last week from whooping cough, also known as pertussis. It’s the first pertussis-related infant death in New Mexico since 2005.
State health officials reported an especially high number of pertussis cases in Bernalillo County this past fall. Department of Health Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres is encouraging all New Mexicans to make sure their vaccinations are up to date, especially those who may come in contact with a newborn.
The number of oil and gas wells in New Mexico is on the rise due to higher demand for domestic production, but the number of federal inspectors qualified to watch over them remains at less than 100.
According to a report in the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division oversee about 100,000 wells, each of which is inspected an average of once every three years.
New Mexicans are already able to get information about wildfires on the web or via Twitter. But State Forestry officials say they're hoping to reach a wider audience with a new email alert system. Forestry spokesman Dan Ware says the emails will contain a host of information that can't be crammed into a 140 character tweet, including when the fire started, the cause, and a description o
David Lescht, the man responsible for bringing hours upon hours of free live music to New Mexico each summer during the Santa Fe Bandstand project, died unexpectedly early Friday morning.
Lescht was also responsible for starting the Outside In program which brought music to prisoners, hospitals and shut-ins. He believed that music helped people deal with boredom, isolation and despair and told the Santa Fe New Mexican that "I just try to bring a little light from the outside into dark place."
Lescht was also a beloved afternoon freeform host here at KUNM and will be greatly missed.
New Mexico's largest electric utility, the state's transmission authority and Power Network New Mexico have filed a request with federal regulators that would clear the way for a new transmission line to funnel solar- and wind-generated power to western markets.
The Renewable Energy Transmission Authority and Power Network New Mexico are developing the $350 million project.
In a statement released Thursday, the Office of the State Engineer says it will begin sending letters to irrigators in southern New Mexico who are already in danger of using more than their share of groundwater for the year.
Albuquerque police are going to require officers to record with cameras all officer encounters with residents.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the department is slated Sunday to begin the new requirement, which is an expansion of a current policy.
Presently, officers are required to use small, digital lapel-mounted cameras to record searches and disorderly conduct arrests. But under the new requirement, the small cameras will be on every time an officer interacts with a citizen.
Thursday morning on the KUNM Call-In Show we'll be talking about what's being done to clean up the estimated eight million gallons of fuel that leaked from an underground pipe at Kirtland Air Force Base over the course of decades. Officials tracking the flow of the fuel and dissolved pollutants say no contamination has reached Albuquerque's drinking water wells. And they say they are working as fast as possible to clean the spill before that happens.
Governor Susana Martinez's administration is reviewing New Mexico's agreements to honor concealed handgun permits issued by other states. Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden said Tuesday that New Mexico has agreements with 19 states to recognize their licenses for people to carry a concealed handgun.
UPDATE (3:00 PM) The horse racing industry Wednesday lined up behind a proposal to adopt tougher oversight and penalties at the state's tracks, which were recently identified as having the worst safety record in the nation.
Horse and track owners and a jockey's union were among those who spoke in support of a New Mexico Racing Commission proposal to adopt model regulations developed by the Association of Racing Commissioners International. No one spoke against the proposal.
First Lady Michelle Obama is in Albuquerque this afternoon wrapping up a four-state campaign swing. The first lady landed at Kirtland Air Force Base just before 2 p.m. and was greeted by about three dozen airmen and women and their families.
Mrs. Obama spent about 20 minutes with them, thanking them for their service and telling them how great it was to be in New Mexico. She was then whisked off to speak at a private fundraiser for the president's re-election bid.
Under the state’s renewable portfolio standard, investor-owned utilities were supposed to get ten percent of their electricity from clean energy sources by 2010. Of the state’s three such utilities, PNM is the only one not currently meeting that mandate. The target jumps to 15 percent in 2015.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill, HR 491, that would add about 900 acres to the northern end of the Cibola National Forest. The Crest of Montezuma, which forms the backdrop to the village of Placitas, is currently controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. The bill was sponsored by Representative Martin Heinrich, who says, aside from being visually stunning, the parcel is also an important wildlife corridor.
With summer break just around the corner, it's tempting to forget all about the hot issues currently going on in New Mexico on the subject of education. So before that final recess bell rings, KUNM's Rita Daniels takes a visit to some classrooms, and brings us this audio postcard.
Horses have been in the news in New Mexico in recent weeks. The owner of a slaughterhouse applied for a permit to produce horse meat for human consumption and Governor Susana Martinez responded by asking the USDA to reject the application. The New York Times did an expose on the horse racing industry, citing New Mexico for some of the most grievous cases of drugging and abuse. And a horse auction company in Los Lunas found itself under fire after an animal rights group released a video of abused horses.