Monday News Roundup: NM Transmission Project To Be Decided In September

Jul 29, 2013

NM Transmission Project To Be Decided In September - Associated Press and The Alomogordo Daily News

The developers of a $1.2 billion electric transmission system in New Mexico say they will end the project if their preferred route is rejected by the federal government.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the Department of Defense and others are concerned the route preferred by the company proposing the project and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management could threaten the training mission at White Sands Missile Range.

Federal authorities are to decide in September whether to approve the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project's application for right of way on federal lands and other amendments for property use.

Under the final environmental impact statement, SunZia's high-voltage transmission system would start in Lincoln County, N.M., traverse much of the state and end in Pinal County in southeastern Arizona.

PNM: Most Storm-Affected Customers Have Power BackĀ  - Associated Press

PNM says it is calling in additional crews to restore power to the last customers still without power after Friday night's damaging storm.

PNM says it had restored power to more than 90 percent of the affected customers as of late Sunday but that 2,700 customers still lacked power.

The utility says it is calling in crews from utilities in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and says this is the first time it's had to seek mutual assistance from other utilities.

The company says restoration efforts are focusing on repairs helping the largest number of customers but it says repairs are unusually difficult because many trees have to be removed.

PNM estimates that 95 percent of affected customers should be restored by the end of Monday.

Roswell Police Chief To Step Down - Associated Press and the Roswell Daily Record

The police chief of one of the state's most violent cities is retiring.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Roswell Police Chief Al Solis announced Friday that he was stepping down from his post for health reasons.

Solis, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, says his cancer is contained but it's not going away.

His retirement will take effect on August 31.

Solis came to Roswell as administrator to the Chaves County Detention Center and later became the department's chief.

His departure comes as state data shows that Roswell and Chaves County have the state's highest "firearm injury emergency department visit rate," largely due to gang violence. The county's rate was 44.8 per 100,000 residents from 2008 to 2010, the latest data showed, compared with the state average of 18.

Alamogordo Mulls Opening A Year-Round School - Associated Press and Alamogordo Daily News

Public school officials in Alamogordo are considering a year-round school in which students would attend classes 240 days each year.

Students currently attend 162 days of school.

Superintendent George Straface tells the Alamogordo Daily News that the advantages of a year-round school include the district's ability to measure student success, provide additional instruction and help educate students.

He also says establishing a year-round school will be costly.

Straface says the district would need to pass a bond election to finance air conditioners for each of the district's buildings that would be used as year-round schools.

The superintendent says he wants to collect more data about year-round schools and how it will help student achievement.