Thursday News Roundup: Rep. Pearce Returns Pay For Shutdown

Oct 24, 2013

Rep. Pearce Returns Pay For Shutdown - Associated Press

New Mexico Republican Rep. Steve Pearce says he has returned the money he was paid while the federal government was shut down.

Pearce says he submitted a check for $6,283.99, to the U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday.

He says it is wrong for members of Congress to receive a paycheck while other government employees faced uncertainty. He says he announced when the shutdown began that he would return any pay received while the government wasn't fully functioning. And he is requesting the Treasury apply the full amount to the national debt.

Pearce calculated the amount as his salary for the 16 days the shutdown lasted not including taxes and withholding, which are paid to the government regardless.

Federal Agency Burning Undergrowth In NM Forests - Associated Press

Prescribed burns are being used in a national forest in northern New Mexico to try to reduce the risk of damaging wildfires.

The Santa Fe National Forest's Coyote Ranger District burned 100 acres northeast of Gallina on Wednesday to remove undergrowth and dead timber that could fuel larger fires in the future. The federal agency has a goal of burning about 200 acres in the area.

Smoke may be seen from the communities of Gallina, Coyote, Abiquiu as well as the Christ in the Desert Monastery.

The Santa Fe National Forest's Espanola Ranger District has burned 57 acres in the Borrego Mesa area east of Cordova, and hopes to continue to reach 110 acres. Smoke may be seen in Santa Fe and other communities such as Tesuque.

ENMU Offering To Vacate Multiple Victories - Associated Press

Eastern New Mexico University says it is offering to erase several seasons' worth of victories by nearly all of its sports programs because of violations involving athletes.

Athletic director Jeff Geiser said Wednesday that most of the violations are minor and stemmed from misinformed advisers.

The violations, which date back to the summer of 2012, include athletes failing to declare their amateur status.

According to the Clovis News Journal, the Division II school says it's volunteering to have eight teams' wins vacated over four seasons as well as all wins by four of those teams in a fifth season.

The Lone Star Conference school says it's doing that in hopes of avoiding even more severe punishment from the NCAA for more than 100 self-reported violations.