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New Mexico House Speaker Names Panel To Investigate DuranThe Associated Press

New Mexico House Speaker Don Tripp has announced creation of a 10-member bipartisan committee to investigate charges against Secretary of State Dianna Duran and consider whether to recommend impeachment.

Democrat Gail Chasey of Albuquerque and Republican Zach Cook of Ruidoso will serve as co-chairs of the special committee announced Wednesday.

Duran faces a 64-count criminal indictment accusing her of funneling campaign contributions to personal bank accounts.

Wikimedia Commons / Office of Sen. Daniel Akaka

Committee To Start Work On Impeachment Proceedings Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A New Mexico legislative committee plans to start work next week on impeachment proceedings against embattled Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who is accused of funneling campaign contributions to personal bank accounts.

Ebwyse_via_Compfight / Creative Commons

Police: Man Dies In Police Custody At Walmart Parking Lot Associated Press

Authorities say one person has died in the custody of Bernalillo police at a Walmart parking lot after an apparent domestic dispute.


  New Mexico To Get Federal Funds To Combat Drug Overdoses - The Associated Press 

New Mexico health officials say the state will get federal funding for the next four years to stop prescription drug overdoses.

The New Mexico Department of Health announced Friday that the state will be part of the new program that will issue an annual grant of $850,000.

New Mexico is one of 16 states that successfully competed for the grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

James Gathany, Judy Schmidt / U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New Mexico Vaccination Rates Reach Record High Associated Press

New Mexico health officials say vaccination rates among toddlers reached an all-time high last year.

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NM Regulators Accused Of 'Chummy' Relations With UtilityAssociated Press

An environmental group says members of a powerful New Mexico regulatory body are too "chummy" with utility executives and should not be making any decisions about the fate of a coal-fired power plant that serves customers around the Southwest.


Charges Against Official Fuel NM's Reputation For CorruptionAssociated Press, Santa Fe New Mexican

Dianna Duran won two terms as secretary of state on the promise she would clean up the office after her predecessors were accused of wrongdoing.

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Albuquerque Starts New Superintendent Search Amid Turmoil - 
Russell Contreras, Associated Press

Albuquerque Public Schools must enter another superintendent search after its new school chief resigned following the hiring of an administrator facing child sex abuse charges.

Albuquerque Public Schools

UPDATED: Board Accepts Albuquerque School Chief's Resignation - Russell Contreras, The Associated Press

The board that oversees New Mexico's largest school district has unanimously voted to accept the resignation of its embattled superintendent, who hired an administrator charged with child sex abuse.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Secretary Of State Accused Of Embezzlement, Money Laundering - The Associated Press

New Mexico's Democratic attorney general has filed a complaint in state district court, accusing Republican Secretary of State Dianna Duran of embezzlement, money laundering and other campaign-finance violations.

Attorney General Hector Balderas' office filed the 64-count complaint in Santa Fe late Friday afternoon.


New Mexico Utility Tries Again With New Rate RequestAssociated Press

New Mexico's largest electric utility is renewing its request to raise rates, this time by more than 14 percent.


PRC Approves Utility's Deal With Environmental Groups Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

The Public Regulation Commission has accepted an agreement between Public Service Company of New Mexico and three environmental groups about the utility's proposal for a coal plant.


New Mexico Rolls Out Work Rules For Food StampsAssociated Press

New Mexico is pushing back the timeline for certain low-income adults who will have to meet work and job-training requirements to remain eligible for food stamps.

Denver Prosecutors Seek Arrest Of Former Deputy Superintendent - Albuquerque Journal

Prosecutors in Denver are seeking an arrest warrant for the former deputy superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools.

Wikimedia Commons

Lab Manager Settles Lobbying Claims With $4.8M PaymentThe Associated Press 

The managers of one of the nation's premiere federal laboratories in New Mexico have agreed to pay nearly $4.8 million to settle allegations of improperly using taxpayer funds to influence members of Congress and others to extend the lab's $2.4 billion management contract.

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Knew Of 'Blow Out' Risk For Tainted Water At Gold Mine -
Michael Biesecker, The Associated Press

Internal documents show managers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were aware of the potential for a catastrophic "blowout" at an abandoned mine that could release "large volumes" of wastewater laced with toxic heavy metals.

Drawing by A.L. Tarter via Wikimedia Commons / CREATIVE COMMONS

Two Doña Ana County Women, Valencia County Man Have West Nile – Associated Press

Health officials say two women from Doña Ana County and a Valencia County man have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus.

San Juan Citizens Alliance/EcoFlight via Creative Commons

PRC Chief Of Staff Resigns Amid Records Lawsuit Controversy Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

Days after the Public Regulation Commission was criticized for a public records lawsuit they quickly withdrew, the commission's chief of staff will resign.

SkyTruth; Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Creative Commons

Proposed Methane Rules Could Have Big Impact On State – Santa Fe New Mexican

Northwestern New Mexico’s San Juan Basin could see big impacts from a proposed federal regulation aimed at dramatically cutting methane gas emissions.


New Mexico Police Officers To Stand Trial For MurderThe Associated Press

A New Mexico judge has ruled that two Albuquerque police officers must stand trial on murder charges in the fatal, on-duty shooting of a homeless man that sparked angry protest in Albuquerque and helped lead to reforms.


Testimony Resumes In Albuquerque Police Shooting CaseAssociated Press

A judge could decide this week if a former and current Albuquerque officer should stand trial for the shooting death of a homeless man.

Critics Of Carbon Regulations Using Mine Spill To Skewer EPA - The Associated Press

Authorities say rivers tainted by last week's massive spill from an abandoned Colorado gold mine are starting to recover, but for the Environmental Protection Agency the political fallout from the disaster could linger.

The agency's critics are seeking to use its much-maligned handling of the spill to undercut the Obama administration's rollout of major regulations aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions at the nation's power plants.


EPA Says Lead And Arsenic Levels Soared In Hours After SpillAlbuquerque Journal

River-water testing released Thursday showed soaring levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals when waste from the Gold King Mine flowed through Colorado and into New Mexico and Utah last week.

Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico Green Chile Growers Pushing Guest Workers Program -
By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

Chile growers in New Mexico say they need a guest worker program to survive and reverse the decline of the famed crop.

Creative Commons

Halt Mine Cleanup Field Work, EPA Chief SaysThe Associated Press

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered agency offices nationwide to stop field investigation work for mine cleanups while they reassess the work to ensure there's no potential for spills similar to the one in Colorado.

Creative Commons

Google To Repay New Mexico $1M For Subsidiary ClosureAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Officials say Google Inc., will repay New Mexico nearly $1 million in economic assistance funds after announcing it was pulling a subsidiary out of the state.

Johnathan Thompson / High Country News

Navajo Nation President Plans To Sue EPA Over River Spill – Albuquerque Journal

The president of the Navajo Nation said Sunday that he intends to sue over a mining spill that dumped three million gallons of wastewater into the Animas River. 

Photo via www.treehugger.com


French Pair Who Died In US Desert Likely Saved Son - The Associated Press

A sheriff says a French couple who perished during an afternoon hike across the searing New Mexico desert likely saved their 9-year-old son by giving him two sips for each one they took from their water bottles before the supply was exhausted.

Wikimedia Commons

EPA Confirms Colorado Mine Spill Contains Heavy MetalsThe Associated Press

Federal environmental officials have confirmed the mustard-colored muck that surged into a river from a Colorado mine contained heavy metals including lead and arsenic, but they didn't immediately discuss amounts or health risks.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that the spill also contained cadmium, aluminum, copper and calcium. EPA Regional Director Shaun McGrath did not mention whether the elements posed a health hazard but said local authorities were right to close the Animas River to human activities.

An EPA crew accidentally unleashed 1 million gallons of wastewater from the mine Wednesday. It flowed into the river through a tributary.

The Animas River is popular with boaters and anglers and runs into New Mexico. The EPA says tests also were being done there, but no information has been released.

French Couple Dead After Hike At White Sands; Child RescuedAssociated Press

Authorities say a man and woman from France have been found dead after hiking in White Sands National Monument.

Wikimedia Commons

West Nile Virus Detected In Bernalillo County MosquitoesAssociated Press

Health officials in Albuquerque say the West Nile virus has been detected in some mosquitoes in Bernalillo County.