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5:18 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Air Force Grounds C-130 Fire Fighting Fleet After Fatal Crash

A MAFFS C-130 drops its payload over the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr - Creative Commons

AP UPDATE 7/3/12, 11:46 AM:

The military says six Air Force tankers are resuming firefighting flights after a deadly crash of one tanker over the weekend.

U.S. Northern Command says the flights will resume Tuesday.

The entire fleet of eight planes was grounded after a C-130 crashed Sunday while fighting a wildfire in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

The C-130 was from an Air National Guard wing based in Charlotte, N.C., and was carrying a crew of six. The crash killed at least two crew members and injured others.

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Local News
1:35 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Environmental groups oppose SF Forest road plan

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.

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Local News
9:15 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Wildfire near Carlsbad Caverns up to 5,000 acres

A wildfire burning on the western border of Carlsbad Caverns National Park has grown to 5,000 acres.

Fire officials said Sunday that the blaze was sparked Friday by lightning in the Lincoln National Forest around the New Mexico-Texas state line.

A helicopter battling the declining Little Bear Fire was diverted Saturday to the new fire, which is at 15 percent containment.

The Horse Canyon Fire is near the area burned in the Last Chance Fire in spring in 2011.

Local News
12:39 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Little Bear Fire 95 Percent Contained

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.

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Local News
6:36 am
Thu June 28, 2012

NM board to consider emergency wildfire aid

A state board led by Gov. Susana Martinez is being asked for emergency funding to help in wildfire recovery in southern New Mexico and prepare for expected flooding in fire-scarred areas.

The Board of Finance is scheduled Thursday to consider loan requests from the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the village of Ruidoso and Lincoln County.

The department wants $452,000 for a flood warning network, machines for filling sandbags and equipment for rescuing people caught in flood waters.

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Local News
1:45 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

TorC moves to halt well drilling

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.

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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
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
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
7:59 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Gila fire prompts rescue of threatened fish

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.

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Conservation Beat
7:47 am
Mon June 18, 2012

EPA sets tighter standards for soot pollution

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot allowed from diesel trucks, buses, power plants and other sources.

The long-delayed rule responds to a court order that required the Obama administration to update air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.

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Local News
10:22 am
Mon May 21, 2012

NMSU Researcher Wins Grant to Map Chile Genetics

photo: Dries Buytaert

LAS CRUCES, N.M.— A graduate student researcher at New Mexico State University has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to help unravel the genetic mysteries of chile. 

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The Conservation Beat
5:55 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Nearly 60 NM Firefighters to Battle Gila Blaze

Whitewater fire in the Gila National Forest
photo: US Forest Service

Firefighters from around New Mexico continue to battle a 410 acre blaze caused by lightning in the Gila National Forest.

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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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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
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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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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The Conservation Beat
7:46 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Representatives Call for Uranium Clean Up on Navajo Nation

New Mexico Congressmen Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich are calling on the federal government to take urgent action to clean up hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

In letters to the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and Indian Health Services, Lujan, Heinrich, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva and four other House members say they are they deeply troubled by the federal government's failure to address the ongoing problem. They say the federal neglect is leaving future generations exposed to life-threatening radiation.

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The Conservation Beat
7:19 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Bandelier Seeking Input on Plan for Tsankawi Sites

Officials at Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico are asking for the public's help in developing a management plan for dozens of archaeological sites that are separate from the main portion of the park.

The plan will focus on the Tsankawi unit, which is home to more than 150 sites that range from petroglyphs to stone pueblo structures. The plan is aimed at improving protection of the archaeological resources as well as visitor understanding of the area.

A 30-day scoping period began Monday. The public has until May 15 to submit comments.

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Economy
4:09 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

GM Puts Volt Into 'Neutral' To Let Sales Catch Up

Workers assemble a Chevrolet Volt at GM's Detroit Hamtramck Assembly Plant in October. The auto maker says it will idle the plant for five weeks, to allow demand to catch up with inventory.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors will suspend production of its Chevrolet Volt electric car for five weeks amid disappointing sales.

A GM spokesman said Friday that the company will shut down production of the Volt from March 19 until April 23, idling 1,300 workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

"We're taking a temporary shutdown," said GM spokesman Chris Lee. "We're doing it to maintain our proper inventory levels as we align production with demand."

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U.S.
3:38 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Air Force Mortuary Official Resigns Amid Scandal

The remains of a U.S. Army private arrive at Dover Air Force Base for a transfer ceremony last November. The mortuary at Dover Air Force Base has come under accusations that body parts of the nation's war dead were cremated and the ashes dumped in a Virginia landfill.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 3:46 pm

One of three officials accused of mismanaging the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and of retaliating against three whistle-blowers, has resigned.

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, said Friday that Quinton Keel had resigned and that it is in touch with Air Force officials about their final decisions on disciplinary action against the two other accused officials.

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