KUNM

Update

Crews Find Suspected Area Of Radiation Leak - The Associated Press

More than two months after radiation leaked from the federal government's half-mile deep nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico, crews think they have identified the area where the release occurred.

The DOE's deputy recovery manager, Tammy Reynolds, told a community meeting in Carlsbad Thursday night that more trips need to made into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to further investigate the accident. Officials say they hope to have a lot more information next week.

Recordings Surface In New Mexico Governor Race - The Associated Press

Democrats are calling on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to apologize after a liberal publication released recordings in which she and aides used profanity and offensive names to describe political opponents.

Albuquerque Police Oversight Members Resign -  The Associated Press

Half of the members of Albuquerque's Police Oversight Commission have resigned, citing a lack of independence and inability to provide any real citizen oversight of the troubled department.

Researchers Find No Signs Of Radiation In Water Near WIPP - The Associated Press

Water samples from three reservoirs near the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico show no signs of contamination after a radiation leak at the plant.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials said Saturday that independent researchers found the samples had no trace amounts of radioactive particles.

Mayor: Wrong To Say Albuquerque Shooting Justified The Associated Press

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says it was wrong for Police Chief Gorden Eden to say officers were justified in killing a homeless camper in the Sandia foothills. And Berry said Monday he wants to bring in outsiders to help investigate.

In a rare show of public displeasure with the city's troubled police department, Berry criticized Albuquerque's new police chief for making a "premature" judgment about the fatal shooting that left 38-year-old James Boyd dead.

New Mexico Sued Over Public School Financing The Associated Press

Parents of public school students have sued the state to increase funding for education and target more assistance to disadvantaged students who are living in poverty or learning English.

The lawsuit was announced Thursday by the Center on Law and Poverty, which filed the case on Wednesday in Gallup on behalf of parents of students in the Albuquerque and Gallup-McKinley school districts.

Another Radiation Release At New Mexico Nuclear Waste Dump - The Associated Press 

New air sampling data from southeastern New Mexico's troubled nuclear waste dump indicates there has been another small radiation release.

Department of Energy officials say a monitoring station picked up elevated radiation readings around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad on March 11. That's nearly a month after a Valentine's Day leak contaminated 17 workers and shut the only repository for toxic waste from the nation's nuclear bomb-building program.

Utilities Sue Bernalillo County Over Fees The Albuquerque Journal and The Associated Press

Three utilities are asking a federal court to prohibit Bernalillo County from enforcing a new ordinance that imposes fees for using roads and other public rights of way for lines.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that New Mexico Gas Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico and CenturyLink contend that the county is improperly imposing franchise fees to get more revenue to pad its budget.

Albuquerque Police Fatally Shoot Man In Foothills - The Associated Press

Police say a man shot by an Albuquerque officer during a confrontation in the foothills has died.

Albuquerque police spokeswoman Tasia Martinez said the man died Monday morning.

Police Chief Gordon Eden told reporters the man was shot Sunday night and was rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Report: Nuclear Waste Dump Truck Fire Was Preventable - The Associated Press

The truck that caught fire a half mile underground at a southeastern New Mexico nuclear waste dump was 29 years old, improperly maintained and operating without an automatic fire-suppression system.

Those are some of the conclusions of a report to be released Friday into the accident last month at the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP) near Carlsbad.

Governor Signs College Scholarship Program Fix - The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed a measure into law to shore up the finances of a college scholarship program that relies on lottery revenue.

The governor signed the bill Wednesday, which was the deadline for acting on measures passed by the Legislature.

The scholarship program will receive liquor tax money for two years starting in 2015. Until that happens, a newly enacted state budget provides extra money to keep the program solvent.

BLM Grants Peabody Lease To Expand NM Coal Mine The Associated Press

The Bureau of Land Management has issued a lease allowing for more than 9 million tons of coal to be mined in western New Mexico.

The federal agency said Tuesday it issued the 640-acre lease to Peabody Natural Resources Co. after considering an appeal that stemmed from a lease sale in August 2013.

The BLM says it weighed potential environmental effects and determined there would be no significant impacts.

Los Alamos Studying Alternatives For Toxic Waste -The Associated Press

With the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump shuttered by a mysterious leak, Los Alamos National Laboratory has begun looking at alternatives for getting toxic waste off its campus.

Lab spokesman Matthew Nerzig confirmed Tuesday that officials have begun looking at options if the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in Carlsbad remains closed indefinitely.

Albuquerque Man Facing Federal Hate Crime Charge  The Associated Press

A 58-year-old Albuquerque man is facing a federal hate crime charge after authorities said he posted threatening anti-Semitic notes outside a Jewish deli.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that John W. Ng (ING) made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque related to notes found at the Nosh Jewish Delicatessen & Bakery.

Woman Suing Former New Mexico Parole Officer - The Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against the state Corrections Department and a former probation officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Gordon Chavez was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty last September to a civil rights violation.

The ACLU's suit filed on behalf of a parolee who alleges that Chavez violated her constitutional rights.

Santa Fe Elects Javier Gonzales As New Mayor - The Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe voters have elected Javier Gonzales as the city’s new mayor.

Union Awaits Info On Leak At New Mexico Nuke Dump - The Associated Press

A union representing some 200 workers at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump says its wants to be sure employees are safe when the repository opens after a radiation leak that exposed at least 13 people.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad has been off-limits to most workers for nearly three weeks.

NM Sets Deadlines For Handling Waste At Nuke Dump  The Associated Press

The New Mexico Environment Department is giving the federal government a deadline for dealing with radioactive waste that's sitting above ground at a nuclear dump near Carlsbad.

Dozens of drums and other special containers of waste are being stored in a parking area at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and inside the facility's waste handling building.

New Mexico Senate Approves $6B Budget - The Associated Press

The Senate has unanimously approved a proposed $6.2 billion budget that would provide 3 percent pay raises next year for government workers and educators.

The budget is the main assignment for lawmakers in the 30-day session, which ends on Thursday.

The bill cleared the Senate on Tuesday and heads to the House.

The measure provides for a $293 million or 5 percent increase in spending on education and government programs next year.

  Agriculture Secretary Announces Focus On Climate Change - The Associated Press

Some federal research centers around the country will be focusing on helping farmers and foresters deal with climate change.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is to announce Wednesday designation of seven regional climate hubs.

5 Democrats In Race To Unseat Martinez  - The Associated Press

Five Democrats have officially entered the race to unseat Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, Santa Fe businessman Alan Weber, longtime government worker Lawrence Rael of Albuquerque and state Sens. Howie Morales of Silver City and Linda Lopez of Albuquerque Tuesday turned in the petitions and paperwork required to qualify for the Democratic Party's June primary ballot.

No one has filed to run against Martinez in the GOP primary.

New Lawsuit Alleges Unreasonable Search In NM The Associated Press

Another lawsuit has been filed over an unreasonable search by a New Mexico law enforcement agency along the border.

In the latest filing, a New Mexico woman says in a federal lawsuit that police illegally took her car in the town of Lordsburg, in Hidalgo County. She says when she tried to retrieve the vehicle four days later, she was forced to strip naked and a female officer visually inspected her body cavities.

Seismologists To Study Earthquakes - KRDO and The Associated Press

NM Rally Planned For Gun-Buyer Background Checks - The Associated Press

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and gun safety advocates plan to rally at the Capitol in support of a proposal to require criminal background checks of more people who buy firearms at gun shows.

The rally is scheduled Wednesday at the Capitol and supporters hope to increase pressure on Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to add the gun proposal to the Legislature's agenda.

National Teachers Union President Visits NM The Associated Press

The head of the American Federation of Teachers is visiting New Mexico to push the importance of early childhood education.

Union officials say president Randi Weingarten met with local AFT leaders, teachers, parents and community members Monday morning at the Parkside Child Development Center in Albuquerque.

Health Care Website Frustrates Spanish Speakers - The Associated Press

Mirroring problems with the federal health care website, users attempting to navigate the Spanish version have discovered their own set of difficulties.

The site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, launched more than two months late. It had busted links. And the translations are so clunky that critics say they must have been computer-generated.

Dad Of Man Shot By Albuquerque Police Sues - KOB-TV

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A father of a man shot by Albuquerque police has filed a lawsuit against the department seeking the release of public records tied to the shooting.

KOB-TV reports that David Sherrill and the attorneys are seeking lapel camera video, dashcam video, and witness statements related to the December shooting of Shaine Sherrill.

Taos Lawmaker Proposes Funds To Upgrade Tracks, Protect Amtrak Route- Santa Fe New Mexican

  Lost Family Found In Santa Fe National Forest - The Albuquerque Journal

A Santa Fe-area woman and her three young children were found in good condition after they got lost in the Santa Fe National Forest.

According to The Albuquerque Journal, Denise Lee and her children ended up several miles off course after they got turned around during their outing Wednesday afternoon on the Bear Wallow Trail.

Court Asked To Mull NM's Teacher Evaluation Plan - Associated Press

Teachers unions and some state lawmakers who are opposed to the New Mexico Public Education Department's teacher evaluation system are asking the state Court of Appeals to reconsider its contention that the program is invalid because it violates state laws.

The reconsideration request comes after a state District Court judge last month refused to block Gov. Susana Martinez's administration from continuing to implement a new system for evaluating teachers.

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