Martinez To Start 2nd Term As New Mexico Governor – The Associated Press
A public inauguration ceremony for Gov. Susan Martinez is planned New Year's Day at the State Capitol.
This time, she's taking the show inside.
The Republican is scheduled to take the oath of office for her second term inside the House chamber while Santa Fe battles freezing temperatures. Martinez held her first inauguration ceremony four years ago outside in frigid weather.
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.
Winter Weather Advisory For Snow – National Weather Service
A winter weather advisory for snow remains in effect until 6 pm MST. 1 to 2 inches of additional snow over the Santa Fe Metro Area and surrounding high country and over the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. Up to an inch of additional snow over the western and southwestern high country.
Areas of snow, heavy at times, will continue through the morning before tapering off around noon. Snow impacts this afternoon will be primarily limited to higher
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.
Police Shootings, Politics Top NM Headlines – The Associated Press
Officers surrounded James Boyd as they tried to talk him into surrendering from his campsite in the Sandia foothills. He told officers he didn't want to come down because he feared police would shoot him.
The standoff dragged on for hours, with Boyd threatening to kill officers at one point. Video from a helmet camera shows him gathering his belongings in an apparent agreement to surrender. Officers then opened fire.
Man Killed In Las Cruces Police Shooting – The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News
Authorities say police shot and killed a man after an hourslong manhunt and standoff in Las Cruces.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that police spokesman Sgt. Roberto Gutierrez says officers were called to a fight around noon Monday on La Fonda Street. A man fled in a stolen Ford pickup. Police say they believe he was armed.
New Mexico Lawmakers Propose Minimum Wage Hike – The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico legislators are again proposing increases in the state's minimum wage.
Democratic Sen. Clemente Sanchez has introduced a bill to raise the current hourly minimum wage of $7.50 to $8.30. Democratic Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela of Santa Fe has one to raise the minimum to $10.10.
Another NM Immigrant Licenses Repeal Effort Begins – The Associated Press
Two New Mexico lawmakers have launched a new effort to repeal a state law that allows immigrants suspected of being in the country illegally to obtain driver's licenses.
Rep. Paul Pacheco, of Albuquerque, and Rep.-elect Andy Nunez, of Hatch, pre-filed a proposal yesterday just as Republicans were preparing to take control of the House. Pacheco and Nunez are both Republicans.
14 Cities Get Bloomberg 'Innovation Team' Grants - The Associated Press
Fourteen cities ranging from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Jerusalem are getting money from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation to create "innovation teams" to jump-start new approaches to poverty, public safety, job growth and other issues.
New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies announced the winners Monday. They'll receive from $400,000 to $1 million annually for three years.
Albuquerque Police, DOJ Hold 'Frank' Meetings - The Associated Press
Albuquerque police and U.S. Justice Department officials have held a series of private but contentious briefings following a signed agreement on reforms.
Officials say officers and federal authorities gathered Tuesday for the last of five meetings on how reforms will be adopted. But some officers expressed anger on how the Justice Department investigated Albuquerque police and pressed federal officials on why they only focused on certain excessive force cases.
Senators Welcome Fines For Nuke Repository Mishaps – The Associated Press
New Mexico's two U.S. senators are welcoming more than $54 million in penalties being levied against the U.S. Department of Energy for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.
The state Environment Department on Saturday announced it was imposing the penalties for 30 state-permit violations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico and at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Albuquerque Hires NAACP Leader On Police Reform – The Associated Press
The city of Albuquerque has hired a local NAACP leader to help with upcoming changes into the city's troubled police.
But some advocates are criticizing the move.
The city announced this week NAACP Albuquerque president Harold Bailey will be paid $20,000 as a consultant for a team that will oversee changes. Bailey says he will help the team with community engagement.
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.
New Mexico Senate Has Backlog Of Confirmations – The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
The Democratic-led New Mexico Senate will convene in January with a backlog of pending confirmation decisions on dozens of appointees of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez's office says the 85 first-term appointees awaiting confirmation votes include numerous members of state boards and commissions as well as three Cabinet secretaries.
Regulators Approve PNM Solar Plan - The Associated Press
PNM's plan to build four more solar-powered generating stations has been approved by state regulators.
The Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve the utility's renewable energy procurement plan for next year. The solar arrays will represent a more than $79 million-dollar investment.