Pilots In Helium-Filled Balloon Land Safely In Mexico - Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press
Two pilots in a helium-filled balloon landed safely off the coast of Mexico on Saturday after a nearly 7,000-mile long trip across the Pacific Ocean.
The pilots landed off Baja California about 300 miles north of Cabo San Lucas, greeted by a team of balloon enthusiasts who assisted with the landing. The pilots came in low and dropped thick trailing ropes into the ocean to help slow the balloon before setting down in a controlled water landing.
Difficult Conditions Reported On Some New Mexico Highways –Associated Press
Forecasters predict heavy snow in the mountains and a mix of rain and snow in lower elevations as a winter storm moves across northern and central New Mexico.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions Friday morning on some highways, including Interstate 25 between Rowe and Watrous. That stretch of I-25 is wet, snow-packed and icy in spots, and crews are out plowing, salting and cindering.
New Mexico Land Commissioner Puts The Brakes On SunZia –Associated Press
New Mexico Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has put the brakes on a $2 billion transmission project that would carry electricity generated by renewable resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West.
Dunn announced late Wednesday that he was issuing a 60-day suspension after meeting with the developers. He says that will give his office time to review the project before any further development affects state trust lands.
Lawmakers Concerned About New Mexico's Unbalanced Books – The Associated Press
New Mexico's top finance officials say the state's checkbook is out of balance to the tune of $100 million.
Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday. He says that amount is his agency's best guess at the discrepancy between the state's general cash ledger and what it actually has in the bank.
In December, KUNM reported that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was extending its public comment period for a proposed oil pipeline until January 30, 2015. The 130-mile long pipeline would run between Lybrook and Milan, N.M.
US Calls For Improved Ventilation At Troubled Nuclear Dump – The Associated Press
The U.S. Department of Energy says more needs to be done to improve ventilation for workers at the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southern New Mexico.
The contractor that operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has already acknowledged that air filters used to remove particles following a radiation leak in February have restricted the airflow in the underground working area.
Police: Albuquerque Cop Shot During Traffic Stop – The Associated Press
Albuquerque police say an officer was shot as he was attempting to conduct an overnight traffic stop, and a search is underway for the gunman.
Police spokesman Tanner Tixier says the driver of a car that was being pulled over at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday got out of the vehicle and began shooting at the officer. Tixier says the officer was shot twice but was able to return fire. He is expected to survive. It's not known if the gunman was struck.
Fort Union Monument To Get Resident Artist – The Associated Press
Officials at Fort Union National Monument have teamed up the National Parks Arts Foundation as the nonprofit group works to expand its artist-in-residence program to parks and monuments across the country.
The application process started Friday. It will be up to a group of curators and advisers to choose the artist for Fort Union.
Water Table Drops As Drought Forces More Pumping – The Associated Press
The Upper Rio Grande Basin has been struggling with drought for most of the past decade, forcing cities and farmers from southern Colorado to Texas' Hudspeth County to pump water from the ground to make up for the lack of snow and rain.
Experts tell the El Paso Times that has resulted in the groundwater levels dropping in the region as much as 200 feet in the past 10 years.
Project Protects NM Forested Land From Development – The Associated Press
More than 11,000 acres that adjoin the Carson National Forest have been permanently protected from development through a conservation easement.
A conservation effort on the Upper Rio Chama River property in northern New Mexico began in 2009. The final and largest piece of the nearly 12-thousand-acre property became part of the easement Monday.
LANL Cuts Corners On WIPP Waste - The Santa Fe New Mexican
Los Alamos National Laboratory officials took shortcuts when preparing nuclear waste for shipment to the nation’s only underground nuclear waste storage facility. That’s according to an investigation by The Santa Fe New Mexican.
The paper reported this weekend that changes in the treatment of waste went undocumented and resulted in an explosive combination of toxic materials.
Backlogged Immigration Courts Face New Deluge - Associated Press
The country's backlogged immigration courts are bracing for a deluge of cases after tens of thousands of Central American children began arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lauren Alder Reid, counsel for legislative and public affairs at the U.S. Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review, says the courts have temporarily reassigned judges to hear cases in southern Texas and at a New Mexico detention facility via teleconferencing since the influx.
NM Among Leading Oil Producing States – The Associated Press
Federal statistics are showing what many people in New Mexico already know: The state is in the midst of an oil boom.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released figures yesterday that show behind the Gulf of Mexico, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming were the largest crude oil producers on federal and tribal land during the 2013 fiscal year.
And despite steady decreases since 2003, New Mexico remained among the top producers of natural gas.
New Mexico Independent Challenges Ballot Access - The Associated Press
A Public Education Commission member has filed a lawsuit challenging New Mexico's requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot.
Tyson Parker of Corrales brought the lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending the state's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.