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Local News
6:45 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Task Force Calls for Prevention, White Supremacist Gangs Grow

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.

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Ghost Town
6:24 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

The Mayor of Ghost Town

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.

 

The Conservation Beat
5:44 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Environmental Advocates Cry Foul Before Start of Pit Rule Hearings

photo: United States Department of Labor

Next week the state Oil Conservation Commission will take up consideration of New Mexico’s pit rule, a measure governing the disposal of waste from oil and gas drilling. 

When adopted in 2008, the pit rule was hailed by environmentalists as one of the strictest standards in the nation…and condemned by the oil and gas industry as unnecessarily burdensome. 

Starting Monday, the three-member OCC will begin a week-long set of hearings to consider the industry’s administrative appeals. 

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The Conservation Beat
5:32 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

State Offers Amnesty to Cesspool Owners

photo: New Mexico Environment Department

Despite the fact that cesspools have been illegal in New Mexico for almost 40 years, thousands of homeowners still use them to dispose of raw sewage…and the state wants that to stop.

For the next five months, the New Mexico Environment Department is providing amnesty to residents who contact the agency to have their cesspools eliminated and replaced with modern septic systems.

Dennis McQuillan with the state’s Liquid Waste Program says not only do cesspools pollute the groundwater…they’re dangerous.

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Local News
10:55 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Report: Federal Budget Cuts to Affect New Mexico Economic Outlook

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. 

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Local News
9:06 am
Thu May 10, 2012

NM Task Force Aims to Tackle Gang Problem

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.

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Local News
8:21 am
Thu May 10, 2012

NM Senators Say Postal Plan Could Keep Rural Offices Open

From the office of Senator Jeff Bingaman: 

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.

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Local News
7:13 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Grid Project to Locate Headquarters in New Mexico

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.

The Conservation Beat
4:49 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

New Grant Aims to Bring Local Produce to Low Income New Mexicans

photo: Dries Buytaert/Creative Commons

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. 

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The Conservation Beat
4:14 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

EPA Revisits Permit for What Could Be First in New Wave of Uranium Mines

In a move environmental groups call "unprecedented," the Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering a decades-old permit for a proposed uranium mine near Church Rock. 

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Local News
10:17 am
Tue May 8, 2012

San Miguel Infant Dies from Pertussis

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 Conservation Beat
4:33 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

100 Inspectors Responsible for 100,000 Oil and Gas Wells

photo: Antandrus/Creative Commons

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.

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The Conservation Beat
3:52 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

State Officials Launch New Wildfire Warning System

Governor Susana Martinez flanked by State Forester Tony Delfin and Forestry Public Information Officer Dan Ware
photo: Cecilia Nowell

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

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David Lescht Passes
6:55 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

KUNM DJ David Lescht Passes

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.

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The Conservation Beat
1:43 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Colorado River Recreation

Bureau of Reclamation

A new report estimates recreational activity along the Colorado River and its tributaries contributes about $17 billion in direct spending per year.  According to the report:

If recreation associated with the Colorado River and it tributaries was a company, the jobs it
supports would make it the 19th largest employer on the Fortune 500.

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Local News
12:02 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

NM park offers solar eclipse viewing program

wiennat

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state park in western New Mexico offers a program for viewing an annular eclipse of the sun later this month.

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The Conservation Beat
9:48 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

NM Seeks Federal Waiver on Renewable Energy Transmission Line

photo: doug_wertman/ creative commons

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.

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The Conservation Beat
9:35 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

State Engineer Tells Irrigators to Heed Groundwater Limits for 2012

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. 

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Local News
3:40 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Albuquerque Police to Tape All Citizen Interactions

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.

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The Conservation Beat
12:52 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Citizen Group Says Fuel Spill Efforts Too Little, Too Late

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.

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Local News
6:56 am
Wed May 2, 2012

State Reviews Agreements to Honor Out-of-State Concealed Handguns

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.

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Local News
6:37 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Officials to Consider Horse Racing Standards

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.

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Local News
5:37 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

NPR Live Coverage of President Obama's Address from Afghanistan

Did you miss any of the address that began at 5:30pm today?  Visit our two-week archive to hear it again.  

Local News
4:22 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Michelle Obama Wraps Up Southwestern Campaign Swing

 

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.

The Conservation Beat
10:04 am
Tue May 1, 2012

PNM Striving to Hit Future Targets for Renewables

Fernando Tomas

New Mexico’s largest electric utility says even though it has not yet met a two-year old renewable energy requirement…it is on track to meet future goals

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.

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The Conservation Beat
9:48 am
Mon April 30, 2012

House Passes Bill Adding to Cibola National Forest

 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.

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Local News
6:59 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Getting Educated About Education

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.

Local News
9:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Sheltering New Mexico's Horses

The Horse Shelter currently houses 62 rescued horses.
Photo: Rita Daniels

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.  

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Local News
8:54 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Death Penalty Trial Begins for Astorga

Opening arguments are slated to begin Friday in what could be the state's last death penalty trial.  A jury will hear arguments from lawyers in Santa Fe on whether Michael Astorga should face the death penalty or life in prison. Astorga was convicted of killing Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy James McGrane Jr. during a traffic stop in 2006.

Local News
2:51 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Judge Tosses Verdict in Favor of Police

A federal judge has reversed a jury verdict clearing four Albuquerque police officers of excessive force in the arrest of a drunken man who was subdued using stun guns, bean bag rounds, and a police dog.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bruce D. Black's ruling says upholding the October jury verdict in favor of the police and city would be a miscarriage of justice.

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