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Local News
6:47 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Officials to close bosque in three counties

Rooth Dragon via Flickr

High fire danger has prompted officials to close the wooded area along the Rio Grande in Sandoval, Valencia and Socorro counties.

The closure will take effect Friday morning. The area will remain closed until further notice.

With a full closure, all paths and ditch roads near the bosque will be off limits.

Officials with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District say law enforcement and fire agencies in the three counties will be working to enforce the closure order.

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Local News
1:10 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

DOE proposes storing tons of mercury near WIPP site

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.

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Local News
12:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Industry plans for uranium deconversion plant near Hobbs

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.

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Local News
6:34 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Governor Martinez says she never supported Arizona-style law in New Mexico

Governor Susana Martinez says she never supported an Arizona-style crackdown on undocumented immigrants in New Mexico but understands the "frustration felt by Arizonans" due to the lack of federal action on immigration reform. Martinez issued the statement Monday in response to the Supreme Court decision throwing out provisions of the Arizona law.

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Local News
6:32 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Governor: Anti-prostitution laws need updating

Governor Susana Martinez says state laws aimed at fighting prostitution are outdated and need to be fixed to help authorities go after online sites that promote prostitution. Martinez told The Associated Press on Monday that she will ask state lawmakers to pass new legislation making online sites linked to prostitution illegal.

Her comments come just days after a state judge ruled that a website linked to a former University of New Mexico president accused of helping run an online prostitution ring was legal.

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Local News
8:56 am
Mon June 25, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Most Provisions in Arizona's Immigration Law

If you missed live analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona's SB1070 immigration law on Monday, check out our two-week archive to stream the program again.  The special was produced by the Fronteras Changing America Desk public media collaborative and included reactions from Arizona officials and a look at national impacts. 

The US Supreme Court issued its decision Monday, striking down most of its provisions but upholding immigration status checks. 

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Local News
7:57 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Santa Fe renews deal with costlier security firm

Santa Fe has extended an agreement with a security company for its city buildings despite the firm's higher cost. The Albuquerque Journal reports the Santa Fe City Council recently voted 5-1 to renew a contract with Chavez Security for a second year even though the deal will cost half a million dollars more than bids from other companies.

Chavez Security is charging the city about $517,000 per year, a rate of $136,000 more than another competitor offered. That amounts to at least $540,000 over the course of the four-year contract.

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Local News
7:27 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Plutonium Shipping to New Mexico

Plutonium from a former nuclear weapons complex in South Carolina is leaving for a federal storage site in New Mexico. The Augusta Chronicle reports that a shipment of plutonium from old nuclear weapons is leaving the Savannah River Site this week for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad.

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Local News
7:23 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Bingaman introduces post-fire flood legislation

New Mexico's two U.S. senators are pushing legislation that would make it easier for residents affected by wildfires on federal lands to take advantage of flood insurance administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Senator Jeff Bingaman introduced the measure last week. Senator Tom Udall is a co-sponsor.

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Local News
7:18 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Martinez urges administrators to fix colleges

UPDATE:

Gov. Susan Martinez has challenged leaders of the state's colleges and universities to develop a plan to fix schools' remedial programs.

Martinez made the challenge Monday to university leaders at the Central New Mexico Community College-Workforce Training Center just days after a new report said New Mexico colleges were some of the most underperforming nationwide.

Martinez said she wanted administrators to develop a new plan by the end of the year aimed at creating stronger remedial programs to prevent students from dropping out of college.

***

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Local News
7:14 am
Mon June 25, 2012

'Partying teens' eyed as source of Bosque fire

Corrales Mayor Pro Tem Mick Harper says partying teens may have been behind last week's Bosque fire that charred about 360 acres. KOAT-TV reports Harper says the village's fire department closed the Bosque entrance near where the fire began two weeks ago, partly because of the partiers.

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Public Affairs
12:56 pm
Sat June 23, 2012

Women's Headline News - June 23, 2012

Sudan releases woman slated for stoning, Hillary Clinton pushes for reproductive rights at UN conference, study finds links between IVF and cancer, Michigan female lawmakers protest with Vagina Monologues

Local News
8:34 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Delay expected for courthouse move

A state board led by Governor Susana Martinez has approved money for security equipment for a new district courthouse in Santa Fe but not for other furnishings needed for the building to be occupied in January.

The Board of Finance agreed Thursday to an $87,000 loan to the First Judicial District Court for security equipment but the court had asked for an additional $740,000 for furniture and computers.

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Local News
8:29 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Racing Commission approves new drug policies

The New Mexico Racing Commission is adopting new regulations for drug-testing horses. The commission on Thursday unanimously approved standards modeled after the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The new rules will go into effect July 31.

Commission officials say the new regulations will call for heavier penalties than what the state has enforced when it comes to drug cases and that they were already considering changes in drug policies before the New York Times published a story describing New Mexico as having the worst horse safety record in the United States.

Local News
8:27 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Books for 1st-graders to improve reading

Governor Susana Martinez says New Mexico's first-graders will have a gift waiting for them when they report to school at the end of the summer. It's a reading book.

Martinez announced Thursday the state has ordered more than 30,000 books that will be given to first-grade students to help improve their reading.

The governor said "by providing our students with a book of their own, we are encouraging learning at home" and getting parents involved in their children's education.

Local News
8:25 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Multi-agency fire center planned

One year after the massive Los Conchas fire scorched more than 240 square miles in northern New Mexico, threatening the town of Los Alamos and its premier nuclear facility, federal officials have announced plans to build a permanent Interagency Fire Center in the heart of the area's fire country.

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Local News
6:22 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Los Alamos Lab to let go of 80 contract workers

Los Alamos National Laboratory is letting go of some of its workers. The Los Alamos Monitor reports lab director Charlie McMillan said 80 contractor positions would be eliminated. McMillan made the announcement Wednesday in a memo sent to all employees.

The lab terminated 60 employees in April and 557 others left the lab in March as part of a voluntary separation program. McMillan has scheduled a meeting on June 27 to discuss the lab's workforce with all employees.

Local News
7:37 am
Thu June 21, 2012

New Mexico AG Joins McKinley County Probe

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King's office has joined a probe into McKinley County.

The Gallup Independent reports (http://bit.ly/Axbadj) that the attorney general's Government Accountability Division requested last week county documents dating back to Jan. 2007 in connection with the county's business dealings with Board of Commissioners Chairman David Dallago's company, the Dallago Corporation.

The office of New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas is looking into possible conflicts of interest and the high dollar amount billed to the county by the Dallago Corp.

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Local News
7:31 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Judge Stops Copters in Horse Roundups

A federal judge in Nevada has temporarily banned the Bureau of Land Management from using helicopters to gather many of the hundreds of mustangs targeted in a roundup that's already under way about 150 miles northeast of Reno.

U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben granted part of a temporary restraining order late Wednesday. Horse protection advocates who sought the order say the BLM's own rules prohibit helicopter roundups during foaling season.

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Local News
7:28 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Feds Link Immigrant License Fraud Ring to New Mexico

Five Albuquerque-area residents are named in a federal indictment alleging a multistate scam abusing New Mexico's law that allows illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

Federal investigators say 30 people from five states were involved in a scheme using false documents to fraudulently obtain New Mexico driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in other states.

New Mexico and Washington are the only states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain the same driver's license as a U.S. citizen, but proof of a local address is required.

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Local News
7:23 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Abandoned Campfire Blamed for Wildfire Wear Blanco

Investigators say an illegal abandoned campfire caused a wildfire this week in northwestern New Mexico that charred more than 350 acres and destroyed five homes and 12 outbuildings.

Officials with the New Mexico State Forestry and San Juan County say the CR 4901 fire near the community of Blanco burned 352 acres of land operated by the state Game and Fish Department.

Investigators found evidence of the abandoned campfire along the San Juan River bosque near tall, dry vegetation.

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Local News
7:19 am
Thu June 21, 2012

New Mexico State Park Hosts Butterfly Festival

A state park in northeastern New Mexico is hosting a butterfly festival that was canceled last year because of a wildfire. Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is holding its Bodacious Butterfly Festival on Friday through Sunday.

Visitors can take walks with local experts to identify butterflies, which should include silver-spotted Skippers, Clouded Suphurs and a local specialty called the Raton Mesa fritillary.

The park is about five miles northeast of Raton.

Local News
5:55 am
Thu June 21, 2012

New Mexico to get flood warning system

Emergency managers will have more time to warn residents living near the burn scar of a massive wildfire in southwestern New Mexico about flooding during the monsoon season. 

The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be purchasing eight early warning systems that will be placed within the perimeter of the Whitewater-Baldy fire. The blaze, the largest in New Mexico's recorded history, has charred more than 464 square miles. It's 87 percent contained.

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Local News
11:06 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Former UNM President's 'prostitution' site ruled legal

 

A state judge has ruled that the website of a former University of New Mexico president accused of helping run an online prostitution ring was legal. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports District Judge Stan Whitaker ruled the website, an online message board and a computer account of former University of New Mexico President F. Chris Garcia did not constitute a "house of prostitution." He also said the website wasn't "a place where prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed."

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Local News
7:14 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Group concerned about NM bear management

Conservationists are accusing state wildlife managers of trying to eliminate the black bear population in the mountains that border Albuquerque.

Sandia Mountain BearWatch contends state Game and Fish Department logs show the agency has trapped and either removed or killed 49 bears between 2010 and 2011.

The group accuses the agency of trying to remove the animals to reduce the number of nuisance calls.

The agency disputes the accusations, saying the number of bears removed or killed by vehicles stands at less than 20 for the two years.

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Local News
6:58 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Feds: 5 New Mexico residents part of license ring

Homeland Security Investigations agents have raided the homes of a Rio Rancho man and four Albuquerque residents in connection with a South Carolina-based scheme aimed at illegally obtaining New Mexico driver's licenses.

The five New Mexico residents were among 30 individuals named in federal indictments unsealed Tuesday.

According to the indictments, defendants used fake utility bills to get New Mexico driver's licenses. The state is one of two that allows illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license.

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Local News
6:29 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Historic Santa Fe church robbed twice

 

Thieves have hit a historic Santa Fe church twice, and its pastor says the shrine is in dire need of a security upgrade. KRQE-TV reports that the Santuario de Guadalupe was robbed last week after a thief pried open a little wooden box that holds donations from the faithful and swiped the money inside. Someone also busted through rod iron bars in the back of the church, broke a window and stole two wooden crosses.

Local News
6:25 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Governor orders end to use of private email

Governor Susana Martinez has directed workers in her administration to use only the state's email system when conducting government business.

The Republican governor's directive on Monday came a week after it was disclosed that the governor and administration officials had discussed state issues using email accounts connected to her political action committee. Critics said the practice was unacceptable, particularly for a governor who touted the need for more governmental transparency.

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Local News
3:48 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Sentencing reset for men in Arizona wildfire case

The sentencing hearing for two cousins charged with accidentally causing the largest wildfire in Arizona history has been reset.

Caleb Malboeuf and David Malboeuf were scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Flagstaff.

Defense attorneys say they need more time to prepare arguments in support of probation with substantial community service.

The Malboeufs each face up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. The new sentencing date is Aug. 22.

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Local News
1:11 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Feds say search shows NM scientist paid by China

Investigators say they have evidence groups in China were paying a former Sandia National Labs scientist to travel to their country to share stolen research. KRQE-TV reports federal agents say they found proof that Jianyu Huang was getting reimbursed for hotels, airfare and other expenses for trips to China, according to a released search warrant.

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