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.
New Mexico Breaks Temperature Records – The Associated Press
The blast of wintry weather moving across New Mexico has resulted in several broken records.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say Eagle Nest led the pack yesterday with a low temperature of minus 17. The mountain community hadn't been that cold this early in a season since Nov. 10, 1950, when the temperature dropped to 20 below zero.
Taos, Moriarty, Raton, Las Vegas and Roswell also set records.
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.
Albuquerque City Council Oks Police Agreement – The Associated Press
The Albuquerque City Council has endorsed an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department aimed at overhauling the troubled police department of New Mexico's most populous city amid accusations of excessive force.
The council approved the plan on an 8-0 vote during a special meeting Thursday evening. City officials are to sign it next week.
Judge Orders Fast Track For NM Water Panel Dispute - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican
A judge yesterday ordered a fast-track process for determining whether a New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission subcommittee violated the state Open Meetings Act regarding the future of the Gila River.
A week ago, state District Judge Raymond Ortiz issued a temporary restraining order preventing the commission from taking any action on the Gila River projects.
Deputy Accused In Fatal Shooting Expected In Court – The Associated Press
Court documents say a New Mexico sheriff's deputy accused of killing a fellow deputy told police, "I shot the guy" after officers arrived to a chaotic scene at a hotel.
Records and 911 recordings released yesterday revealed new details about the shooting. Authorities allege Santa Fe County Deputy Tai Chan fatally shot fellow Deputy Jeremy Martin after a night of drinking and arguing.
Navajo High Court Orders Election Postponed – The Associated Press
The Navajo Supreme Court has ordered the postponement of the tribe's presidential election and an immediate reprint of ballots without the name of a candidate who was disqualified in a language fluency case.
The decision Thursday came as a result of a petition to enforce a disqualification order against Chris Deschene.