Monday News Roundup: Duncan To Tout New Preschool Plan During NM Visit

Sep 9, 2013

Duncan To Tout New Preschool Plan During NM Visit - Associated Press

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to tout the Obama administration's new preschool plan during his visit to New Mexico.

On Monday, Duncan is traveling to Santa Fe as part of his back-to-school bus tour. One of his topics will be the president's proposal to spend $75 billion over 10 years to provide preschool for all 4-year-olds in the U.S.

Duncan tells The New Mexican that he wants to stop playing catch up. He says kids need more educational opportunities.

The program would be funded from tax increases on tobacco products. Initially, the federal government would contribute more. Over time, individual states would take over more of the funding.

New Mexico could receive about $24.5 million in its first year of Preschool for All if it chooses to participate.

Poll: Berry Has Lead In Albuquerque Mayoral Race - Associated Press

There's a month remaining in the Albuquerque mayoral election, and incumbent Richard Berry appears to have a commanding lead.

A poll commissioned by the Albuquerque Journal shows Berry had support from 63 percent of likely voters in a telephone survey conducted during Sept. 3-5.

Democratic challenger Pete Dinelli had support from 18 percent and Republican Paul Heh had 2 percent. Seventeen percent of those surveyed were undecided.

The winning candidate in the Oct. 8 election must have at least 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election.

The survey done by Albuquerque-based Research and Polling Inc. shows Berry, a Republican, draws support across party lines. Among Democrats, he had support from 41 percent of those surveyed.

In 2009, Berry became the city's first Republican mayor in 24 years.

First Wind Energy Signs On With SunZia Developer - Associated Press

The developer of a planned $1.2 billion transmission project that will cross parts of Arizona and New Mexico has signed an anchor tenant.

SunZia Transmission says First Wind Energy has signed a letter of intent to reserve up to 1,500 megawatts of capacity on the transmission line. That will allow First Wind to move the electricity it plans to generate in central New Mexico to other markets.

SunZia project manager Tom Wray says interest for transmission service from renewable generators has exceeded the project's available capacity.

Permitting and siting of the 500-mile-long transmission line has been in the making for nearly five years. There has been some debate surrounding a section that would cross White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.

The Bureau of Land Management is expected to issue a final decision by October.

Durango Mail Center Moving Work To Albuquerque - Associated Press

The Durango mail center is moving sorting operations to Albuquerque to cut costs.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Brian Sperry said the changes are part of plans by the agency to cut costs by $20 billion by 2017.

According to the Durango Herald, delivery and other services will not be affected.