Friday News Roundup
Banks Named Albuquerque's Interim Police Chief - Associated Press
Deputy Chief Allen Banks has been named the interim police chief in Albuquerque beginning early next month.
Banks will take over on an interim basis for Ray Schultz, who is retiring Aug. 3 after 31 years with the Albuquerque Police Department and eight years as chief.
To ensure a smooth transition for the largest police department in New Mexico, Schultz will continue until Sept. 6 in an advisory role.
Schultz says the department is "well-funded and well-equipped and positioned perfectly to continue to move forward."
Banks is an Albuquerque native who has been with the city's police department since 1992.
He was promoted to sergeant in 2001 and deputy chief in 2009.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says the city will conduct a national search for a permanent police chief.
BLM Brings In $22M In Latest Oil, Gas Lease Sale - Associated Press
The Bureau of Land Management's oil and natural gas lease sale for dozens of parcels in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas has netted more than $22 million.
A total of 64 federal leases in the four states were up for grabs during this week's sale in Santa Fe.
The federal leases are awarded for 10 years and for as long thereafter as there is production in paying quantities. The revenues and royalties collected from the leases are shared between the federal government and the states.
BLM officials say that over the last decade, New Mexico has received more than $4 billion from energy production on BLM-managed federal leases. That money has gone to public education.
The next lease sale is scheduled for October.
Officials Remind Against Rescuing Young Wildlife - Associated Press
New Mexico Game and Fish officials are reminding New Mexicans that wild babies don't need to be rescued, even in the wake of drought and wildfires.
Officials say that while deer fawns, elk calves, bear cubs, baby birds or others may appear to be lost, injured or abandoned, their mothers are usually close, having just hidden the youngsters while they forage or drink.
Game and fish officials say the department receives calls from people who find young wild animals and take them home or to an animal clinic believing they are helping. But they say that is actually the worst thing they can do as young wildlife rarely survives when removed from its natural habitat, and close encounters with humans and their pets can be fatal.
If animals appear to be injured or a safety threat, people should call the Department of Game and Fish.
NM State Police Offering Emergency Alert Service - Associated Press
The State Police is offering an emergency messaging service for New Mexicans to receive alerts and advisories through a cell phone and computer.
State Police Chief Robert Shilling says the service will send a text message and email to alert New Mexicans of local issues such as severe weather and road closures.
The system also will provide Amber Alert warnings about abducted children and Silver Alert notices about missing people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.
People can enroll in the community messaging service through the State Police website by providing a cell phone number, email address and zip code.