ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Work on a new security system at a nuclear weapons manufacturing site at Los Alamos National Laboratory is being delayed after cost overruns and construction problems.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Rntens ) a preliminary lab estimate contained in a National Nuclear Security Administration issue summary puts cost overruns at up to $25 million. The lab has spent seven years and $213 million on the project.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New voter registration figures show the number of New Mexicans eligible to vote has increased about 5 percent since the last presidential election and independent voters grew the fastest.
The secretary of state's office reported Monday that nearly 1.3 million people are registered to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
The numbers of voters who are unaffiliated with a political party — so-called independents — increased by 22 percent since Oct. 31, 2008.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's highest court has reinstated the convictions of religious group leader Wayne Bent for sexual misconduct with teenage followers. The state Supreme Court today reversed the Court of Appeals, which had tossed out Bent's convictions because the term of a grand jury had expired before it indicted Bent. The case goes back to the appeals court to deal with other pending legal questions in the 71-year-old Bent's case.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An environmental group is pressing federal officials to set aside millions of acres in Arizona and New Mexico for jaguars.
Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity recently told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that jaguars need more than the 1,300 square miles the agency proposed in August. Robinson says a jaguar reintroduction program, similar to the one for Mexican gray wolves, also is needed.
A Clovis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to "enhancing the lives of people with disabilities" is facing a lawsuit from clients for neglect and exploitation.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Rfhrrq) that a recently filed lawsuit alleges that the organization Eastern New Mexico Rehabilitative Services for the Handicapped unfairly forced five clients with developmentally disabilities to fend for their medical themselves while the agency amassed more than $13 million in assets in recent years.
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — City commissioners in the southeastern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences have approved a year-long moratorium on well drilling while experts study whether an increase in wells is causing the town's famed hot springs to dry up.
Drought and climate change are causing extensive forest dieback in the U.S. West as well as worldwide. This photo shows dead ponderosa pines in the Jemez Mountains killed by a combination of drought stress and attacks by bark beetles on weakened trees.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added a New Mexico county to its list of primary natural disaster areas due to drought and excessive heat.
Cibola County joins 39 counties in eight states in the latest designation Wednesday.
In all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared nearly 1,300 counties in 29 states as disaster areas during the current crop year. Much of New Mexico and the Southwest is already on the list.
More than 150 Chiricahua leopard frogs have been released into the Galiuros Mountains by Arizona officials.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department recently announced that the threatened adult and juvenile frogs were released at the new location where they haven't been seen since the 1990s.
Until the 1970s, Chiricahua leopard frogs lived in ponds and creeks across central and southeastern Arizona, but populations have declined significantly due to drought, disease, habitat loss and threats from other species.
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.
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.
City commissioners in the southern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences are proposing a moratorium on well drilling in the city.
Officials took the unusual step Tuesday night to enable a study of whether the number of wells tapping into the town's famed hot springs is harming the resource, considered by some to be sacred and medicinal. The thermal springs are the lifeblood of the town and its eclectic mix of inns and spas.
Biologists are trying to save a threatened trout species in southwestern New Mexico, even as crews around the West struggle to contain blazes that have charred hundreds of square miles of forested countryside.
The concern is that after the fires, summer rains could choke waterways with ash, soil and charred debris. A team is using electroshocking devices to temporarily stun the Gila (HEE'-luh) trout. The fish are then scooped up and ferried to a hatchery in northern New Mexico for safe keeping.