KUNM News

Jared via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Spring Rains Could Cause Later Fire SeasonThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Forecasters say more wet weather is making its way to New Mexico, which could result in a second fire season from August to October.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports fire management officer for the Santa Fe and Carson national forests, Bill King, says grass growth and wet snows from the rainy spring can dry out quickly.

JerryFriedman

Feds Say Southwest, Northwest Could See Catastrophic Fires - The Associated Press

Despite a wet spring over much of the nation, the Obama administration is warning of potentially catastrophic wildfires this summer, especially in the Southwest and Northwest.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell discussed wildfire threats and fire outlook Tuesday in Denver.

Jewell says drought and climate change are increasing wildfire danger.

Arianna Sena

Gov. Martinez Begins Review Of Capital Spending BillThe Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is beginning her review of a $295 million capital spending bill passed by lawmakers in special session.

Martinez said Monday she would take her time to examine the projects in the measure and may veto some if she feels the community doesn't want or need them.

She said any line-item veto won't be based on a lawmaker's vote but on if she deemed the project worthy.

Jena g. . Einar E. Kvaran aka 98.20.23.52 23:59, 1 June 2009, via Wikimedia Commons

The Latest: New Mexico Legislature OKs Bills, Adjourns - The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she was pleased that state lawmakers came together for a special session and passed measures on capital funding and tax incentives.

But the Republican stopped short Monday of saying she wouldn't veto specific line items for projects.

Arianna Sena

New Mexico Gov. Martinez Calls Special Session - The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has called a special session on a $295 million public works package and other proposals that died on the Legislature's last day.

Martinez sent out a proclamation late Friday that calls for lawmakers to report to Santa Fe on Monday at noon in an attempt to pass a capital outlay bill.

Also expected to be discussed are tax breaks and short-term funding to address shortfalls in the state court system and the Health Department.

bill-on-the-hill via wikivoyage / Creative Commons License

Community Honors Fallen Rio Rancho Police Officer - The Associated Press

Officers from throughout New Mexico and beyond gathered with community and family members to pay their last respects to a Rio Rancho police officer shot and killed during a May 25 traffic stop.

Police escorted Officer Gregg Benner's body to the Santa Ana Star Center on Thursday morning as people lined the streets to watch the procession.

Arianna Sena

Gov. Martinez To Call Special Session In Coming DaysThe Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez says she has reached an agreement with House and Senate leaders and will call a special session in the coming days.

The governor's office says the agreement includes a $295 million public works project that will increase funding for senior centers and higher education institutions around the state.

The deal also calls for highway projects to be paid for through a combination of state general funds and severance tax bonds.

Max Klingensmith

Officials: 16 Schools In New Mexico Need To Be Torn DownThe Associated Press

State officials say 16 schools across New Mexico are in such bad shape they need to be torn down.

Public School Capital Outlay Council Chair David Abbey told lawmakers on Tuesday that schools are being phased out or being combined with other schools to save cost.

Abbey unveiled to members of the Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force a list of the top 50 schools with construction needs.

Rio Rancho Police Department / Rio Rancho Police Department

DA Takes Blame In Release Of Man Accused Of Killing OfficerThe Associated Press

Bernalillo District Attorney Kari Brandenburg says she is partly to blame for the release of a man accused of killing a Rio Rancho police officer.

Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Romero is now facing multiple charges, including murder, in the May death of officer Gregg Benner.

In January, Romero had been in jail on charges including armed robbery, aggravated assault, drug trafficking and car theft.

Wayan Vota via Flickr / Creative Commons License

High-Speed Internet Has Yet To Reach Rural New Mexicans - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

High-speed Internet has become essential to the everyday lives of most Americans, but it has yet to reach many rural communities in New Mexico.

The New Mexican reports that some residents there say they feel taken advantage of. They are stuck with snail-paced service while being charged prices that exceed faster plans in urban areas.

orangesparrow via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Search, Seizure Laws Don't Apply At Border - The Associated Press

The New Mexico Supreme Court says the state's protections against search and seizure do not apply at international border checkpoints.

The court made the distinction Thursday in overturning a previous ruling made by an appeals court in a 2012 drug smuggling case.

According to court documents, Aide Sanchez was entering the Santa Teresa Port of Entry from Mexico in January 2012.

Elvert Barnes / Compfight

June 4 Funeral Set For Fallen Rio Rancho Police Officer - The Associated Press

A funeral is scheduled next week for a Rio Rancho police officer who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

Officer Gregg Benner was gunned down Monday evening after stopping a vehicle in the Albuquerque suburb and later died at a hospital.

The man suspected of shooting Benner was arrested Tuesday.

Authorities say visitation will be held on June 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Daniels Family Sara Road Chapel in Rio Rancho.

Rio Rancho Police Department

DA To Move Quickly Against Suspects In Officer's KillingThe Associated Press

District Attorney Lemuel Martinez says he plans to seek the maximum punishment against a known gang member suspected of shooting and killing a Rio Rancho police officer during a traffic stop.

Martinez acknowledged Thursday that the criminal proceedings against Andrew Romero have just begun, but he says he plans to move as expeditiously as possible and avoid any delays in the case.

Kevin Dooley via Flickr

More Moisture In New Mexico A Boon For Farmers, Fish - The Associated Press

Some parts of New Mexico are still drying out from last weekend's rain, but residents of the drought-stricken state have little to complain about since conditions haven't looked this good in years.

Extreme drought is gone from New Mexico and nearly one-third of the state is drought-free.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque said Tuesday it's been nearly five years since conditions were this favorable.

Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Rio Rancho Police Officer Shot, Killed, Suspect In CustodyThe Associated Press and KOB-TV

A suspect has been arrested in the shooting of a Rio Rancho police officer on Southern Boulevard near the public library.

KOB-TV reports the 49-year-old, 4-year veteran was shot Monday night and died at the University of New Mexico hospital.

Police say the officer pulled over a man and woman at an Arby's. The suspect fled.

Courtney "Coco" Mault / Creative Commons License

  Man, Boy Dead In Cherry Picker Accident –KOB-TV, The Associated Press

Albuquerque police say a man and a 12-year-old boy are dead and three other boys are injured after the cherry picker they were in was thrown by a gust of wind.

Police were called around 1:45 p.m. Sunday about a report of an equipment failure and several children injured, according to a report by KOB-TV.

Phil Darnell via Flickr / Creative Commons License

May Showers Do Little For Severe Drought In Four Corners - The Daily Times, The Associated Press

Forecasters and officials say recent storms have made little dent in the drought affecting the Four Corners region.

The Daily Times in Farmington reported Friday that a series of storms earlier this month brought about an inch of rain to San Juan County in a 10-day period that ended last week.

Courtesy San Juan's Citizen Alliance

Business Leaders Throw Support Behind Coal Plant Proposal - The Associated Press

Business leaders are throwing their support behind a utility's plan for dealing with a decades-old coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that provides power to more than 2 million customers in the Southwest.

The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Four Corners Economic Development and other groups gathered Thursday in Albuquerque. They warned of economic turmoil if a settlement regarding the plant's future falls through.

Jared via Flickr

May Storms Helping To Fight Wildfire Season - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

May has been an unusual month for drought-stricken New Mexico, with cool and wet storms throughout the state keeping wildfire season in check.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a combination of factors are contributing to the latest weather trend. Experts say the arrival of El Nino and the early winter melting of snowpacks have brought some relief and increased hopes for a wet summer.

Cm0rris0n

Ted Turner Ranch In New Mexico Caught In Wolf Debate - The Associated Press, The Santa Fe New Mexican

A sprawling ranch in southern New Mexico owned by media mogul Ted Turner is caught in the middle of a dispute between the state and federal wildlife officials over management of the Mexican gray wolf.

A bid by the Ladder Ranch to renew its permit for holding wolves in captivity on the private property was recently denied by the state Game Commission.

Paige Murphy

Albuquerque City Council President To Retire At End Of Term - The Associated Press

The Albuquerque City Council's president plans to step down at the end of his current term.

Council President Rey Garduno was elected to the council in 2007.

The Democrat represents a district that includes much of the Southeast Heights, including the University of New Mexico campus, Nob Hill and the International District.

Nightscream / Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico Campuses Seeing Drop In Student Enrollment - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

College campuses across New Mexico have had the sharpest decline in enrollment compared to other states in the past year, according to a new study.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a nonprofit focused on research and education policy, has ranked New Mexico with the largest enrollment drop nationwide.

USGS

Feds To Help Farmers, Ranchers In Ogallala Aquifer Region The Associated Press

Federal officials say farmers and ranchers who depend on the Ogallala Aquifer will benefit from $6.5 million in funding.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it would be investing in projects in a handful of states with the goal of conserving billions of gallons of water to extend the life of the aquifer.

Rita Daniels

AG: Insufficient Evidence To Charge Bernalillo County DA - The Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says there's insufficient evidence to prosecute the district attorney of the most populous county in the state for bribery or intimidation of witnesses.

But Balderas is criticizing Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg and the Albuquerque Police Department for their actions in connection with two pending investigations of Brandenburg's son.

NMFO

Health Department Facing Projected Deficit Of $6 Million - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

The state health department is facing a project deficit of nearly $6 million.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the department had a $27 million surplus only two years ago and its practice of contracting with private nursing services may have contributed to budget problems.

pascalk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Attorney General To Review Police Training Goals - The Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has announced he will review the much-debated curriculum of the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy.

Balderas said Tuesday as chair of the board that oversees the academy he also will examine if the academy is following state transparency laws and wants to make sure officer discipline is handled appropriately.

Creative Commons

Report Details Problems Impacting Teacher Retention Santa Fe New Mexican, Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico is struggling to retain teachers and one reason is low pay.

steev hise via Flickr

Hatch Valley Farmers Strive To Protect Chile Brand - The Las Cruces Sun-News, The Associated Press

Hatch Valley farmers are banding together to protect their brand, which to them represents a long heritage of local, home-grown food.

Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Officials Buzzed Over Proposed Marijuana Farm Near Roswell The Associated Press

A proposal to turn a former dairy processing plant near Roswell into a place to grow plants, specifically marijuana, isn't getting high praise from local officials.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that a joint city-county commission will meet next week to consider Pecos Valley Pharmaceuticals' request to rezone the facility as a "pharmaceutical manufacturing site."

Kevin Dooley via Flickr

UNM Researchers Challenge Gila River Studies - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Two University of New Mexico researchers say state water managers based their decision to pursue a multimillion-dollar diversion and storage project along the Gila River based on studies that lacked credibility.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the researchers outlined their concerns in a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation.

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