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Intel To Trim Workforce At Plant In Rio Rancho - The Albuquerque Journal 

Intel Corporation says it is reducing the workforce at its chip-making plant in Rio Rancho, a suburb of Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Intel plans to "redeploy" 400 of the Rio Rancho plant's 3,300 workers due to a changing market.

Board Adopts Changes For NM Police Academy - Associated Press

The board that oversees the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy has adopted a new curriculum that will mean trimming the academy to 16 weeks for basic police officer training.

It was a unanimous decision by the boarding during a meeting Wednesday in Santa Fe to approve the new curriculum and trim six weeks from the current program.

NM Regulators Approve Water Protection Rules - Associated Press

New Mexico regulators have approved a proposed set of rules aimed at protecting groundwater at copper mines despite claims by the attorney general's office that the proposal contradicts existing state law.

Tuesday's hearing before the state Water Quality Control Commission marked the culmination of months of wrangling over how best to deal with potential contamination at mining sites.

PRC Considers Renewable Energy Proposal - Associated Press

New Mexico regulators are considering changes to a rule that governs how much utilities must invest in renewable energy.

The Public Regulation Commission is holding a public hearing Tuesday to gather comment on the proposal backed by the commission's staff and the attorney general's office.

Duncan To Tout New Preschool Plan During NM Visit - Associated Press

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is expected to tout the Obama administration's new preschool plan during his visit to New Mexico.

On Monday, Duncan is traveling to Santa Fe as part of his back-to-school bus tour. One of his topics will be the president's proposal to spend $75 billion over 10 years to provide preschool for all 4-year-olds in the U.S.

Fed Judge To Sentence Zetas Members In Horse Deals - Associated Press

A federal judge is set to sentence five members of the Zetas cartel for laundering drug money through horse racing.

Among the five men appearing in court on Thursday is Jose Trevino Morales, a brother to two of the Mexican gang's top leaders.

A jury found the men guilty of intent or conspiracy to commit money laundering. They face 20 years in prison.

NM Hospital Implements Water Protection Plan - Associated Press

The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Albuquerque has implemented a water protection plan in response to a jet fuel spill at Kirtland Air Force Base.

State environment officials say the hospital's well is less than 1,000 feet from a plume of contaminated groundwater.

The plan announced Tuesday includes contingencies for supplying the hospital with safe water.

Grant County To Allow Gay Marriage Next Week-Assocaited Press

A southwestern New Mexico county plans next week to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Grant County Clerk Robert Zamarripa said his office will begin next Monday to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

He said his office will comply with a district judge's ruling on Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple.

Lawsuit: NM Attorney Fired After Audit Complaint - Associated Press and the Santa Fe New Mexican

A lawyer fired by the state Human Services Department says she was let go because of her criticism of an audit of government-funded mental health care.

Court Upholds PRC's Energy Efficiency Decision - Associated Press

The New Mexico Supreme Court is upholding a decision by state regulators to allow Public Service Company of New Mexico to earn a profit on operating expenses related to the utility's energy conservation programs.

The court issued its ruling Thursday, saying the decision by the Public Regulation Commission was consistent with state law.

King: 2004 Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Remain Legal - Associated Press

Attorney General Gary King says marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in 2004 in Sandoval County remain valid.

King said Wednesday that licenses issued by a county clerk are "presumptively valid" unless voided by a court.

King delivered the non-binding advice in a letter to the current Sandoval County clerk, who found that some of the 2004 licenses recorded in the clerk's office were labeled as void or invalid.

3 More NM Counties To Issue Same-Sex Licenses  - Associated Press

Three more New Mexico counties say they plan to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The clerks in San Miguel, Valencia and Taos counties said Tuesday they would begin issuing the licenses, joining Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Dona Ana counties.

NM County Prepares For Same-sex Marriages Hearing - The Associated Press

The clerk for New Mexico's most populous county has a supply of new forms ready in case a court orders her to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

A judge in Albuquerque has scheduled a hearing Monday afternoon on a request by a couple from Pojoaque  to have their marriage recognized. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she's had 1,000 licenses printed.

AG Won't Challenge Same-sex Marriage Licenses - The Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says he will not challenge a move by the Dona Ana County clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

King told reporters Wednesday that he didn't believe state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage were constitutional.

He also said he would not challenge any other county clerk who issued licenses.

NM Court Asked To Expedite Gay Marriage Ruling - Associated Press

A same-sex couple from Santa Fe wants the New Mexico Supreme Court to streamline the handling of lawsuits seeking to legalize gay marriage in the state.

The couple's lawyer, Rep. Brian Egolf, said Tuesday the justices are being asked to consolidate all cases involving the gay marriage issue and assign them to a district court judge in Santa Fe.

The goal is to get a quick lower court decision and clear the way for an expedited ruling by the state's highest court.

Deadline Past For Oct. 8 Vote On Abortion Measure - Associated Press

The passing of a deadline means a proposal to implement new abortion restrictions in Albuquerque won't be placed on the city's Oct. 8 election ballot.

State law requires that election measures be published at least 50 days before an election and the deadline for the measure to get on the Oct. 8 election passed Monday.

Salmonella Outbreak Linked To NM Poultry Hatchery- Associated Press

State health officials say a national outbreak of salmonella has been linked to an eastern New Mexico hatchery that sells live baby poultry by mail and supplies them to feed stores.

The Department of Health said Monday a strain of salmonella that's infected more than 300 people in 37 states was found in a duck pen at Privett Hatchery in Portales.

Feds To Fund 12 Energy Efficiency Projects In NM - Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will be funding a dozen projects in New Mexico that are geared toward improving energy efficiency on farms and at rural businesses.

The projects were announced Thursday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The New Mexico projects are among more than 630 across the nation that are being funded by the agency.

Gov. Martinez Unveils River Protection Plan-Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has unveiled a plan aimed at protecting the state's rivers and watersheds amid drought and wildfires.

Martinez and other state officials gathered along the Rio Grande in Bernalillo on Thursday to talk about the New Mexico River Stewardship Program.

The governor says she will pursue $1.5 million in state capital outlay funds for projects that will include clearing vegetation, replanting native species and installing erosion control.

Albuquerque Mayor Announces Run For Re-Election - Associated Press

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says he has a passion for the city and he's going to run for re-election.

Berry and challengers Pete Dinelli and Paul Heh filed their paperwork with the city clerk on Tuesday, officially kicking off the mayoral race.

Later this week, their names will be drawn to determine the order in which they will appear on the ballot.

Election Day is Oct. 8. If no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held Nov. 19.

NMSU-Led Biofuel Research Gets Federal Funding - Associated Press

Research into the potential of algae-based fuel is getting a $5 million boost from the U.S. Department of Energy.

New Mexico State University recently announced the funding, saying it will go to a research effort aimed at improving fuel that's compatible with existing refineries.

NMSU is working on the project along with Los Alamos, Argonne and Pacific Northwest national laboratories, Washington State and Michigan State universities and four companies.

US Attorney Gonzales Resigns, To Take Judge Oath - Associated Press

U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales of New Mexico has resigned and is scheduled to take the oath as a federal judge.

Gonzales stepped down Thursday as the 44th U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico. He is slated to take the oath Friday.

Gonzales was appointed to replace retiring U.S. District Judge Bruce Black of Santa Fe. But the seat will be moved to Las Cruces because of high caseloads in southern New Mexico.

GAO To Issue Report On Navajo Uranium Cleanup - Associated Press 

The investigative arm of Congress is looking into how federal agencies carried out a plan to clean up uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation.

About 4 million tons of uranium ore were mined from the reservation from 1944 to 1986, leaving a legacy of death and disease.

Federal agencies in 2008 began implementing a 5-year plan to address the contamination.

Nearly 300 NM Towns Face Water CrisisAssociated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

A state review says around 300 New Mexico community water systems are vulnerable to drought, dropping water tables and aging infrastructure.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a state task force review to be made public Wednesday says towns or villages often depends on a single water source making them unguarded to drought and contamination.

Raton Declares Disaster Due To Rain, Flooding- Associated Press

Raton city commissioners have declared a disaster because of recent heavy rains and flooding.

Mayor Bobby Ledoux describes pot holes around the northeastern New Mexico community as immense and says some streets have been destroyed.

Ledoux estimates it would take close to $5 million to repair the city's streets. He says that's money Raton doesn't have.

Albuquerque Police Get Interim Chief - Associated Press

The state's largest city has a new police chief — at least for now.

Former Albuquerque Deputy Chief Allen Banks is now leading the department as interim chief. The department's eight-year long chief Ray Schultz retired last week.

Banks will lead the department until after Mayor Richard Berry chooses a new leader following a national search. Berry says he will make a decision after the mayoral election later this year.

Weekend News Roundup

Aug 5, 2013

Cleanup Continues Following Severe Weather - The Associated Press

It's been a week since communities around New Mexico were slammed with strong winds, heavy rain and flooding, and the cleanup continues.

The American Red Cross has been working in Columbus in southern New Mexico to provide drinking water, tarps and air mattresses, while the Roadrunner Food Bank has been bringing in fresh produce and ready to eat meals.

Judge To Decide Whether To Block Horse Slaughter - Associated Press

A federal judge in Albuquerque is expected to decide Friday whether companies in New Mexico and Iowa can begin slaughtering horses next week.

The Humane Society of the United States and others are requesting a restraining order to block Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, from opening their slaughterhouses as planned on Monday.

Groups Launch Campaign To Defeat Abortion Measure - Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and several other groups are launching a campaign to defeat a proposed late-term abortion ban in Albuquerque.

The alliance of community organizations and women's advocacy groups is holding a press conference Thursday to announce the launch of "Respect ABQ Women."

NM Governor Issues Emergency Assistance Order - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez is making emergency assistance available in areas of New Mexico damaged by recent storms and flooding.

The governor issued an executive order on Tuesday that provides $500,000 to the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for a wide range of aid, including for emergency shelter, food and health care.

Martinez also directed the New Mexico National Guard to provide any needed assistance to local authorities.

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