Update

KUNM News Update
6:15 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Marijuana Changes Pushed In Santa Fe, Albuquerque

Marijuana Changes Pushed In Santa Fe, Albuquerque The Associated Press

Two groups have started petition drives aimed at putting measures that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in New Mexico's two largest cities before voters.

The Drug Policy Alliance and Progress Now New Mexico say they have filed petitions with the city clerks in Albuquerque and Santa Fe and plan to collect the required signatures to have the measures considered.

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KUNM News Update
6:17 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: New Mexico Biofuel Plant Fire Prompts Evacuations

New Mexico Biofuel Plant Fire Prompts Evacuations - The Associated Press

UPDATE: An evacuation order has been lifted and residents of about 350 homes in Anthony are being escorted back to their homes after a biofuel facility caught fire.

A series of small explosions was reported Tuesday at the Rio Valley Biofuels plant near the town of Anthony, but authorities say there are no reports of any injuries.

Operations manager Jed Smith says he believes all five employees who work at the plant were OK.

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KUNM News Update
6:44 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Weekend News Roundup: Albuquerque Police Release More Shooting Details

Albuquerque Police Release More Shooting Details  The Associated Press, Russell Contreras

Albuquerque police say a knife-wielding man yelled at officers to shoot him after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and then slashed the throat of a man who tried to help her.

Deputy Chief William Roseman played audio recordings from the officers in which they yelled at him to drop the knife and he yelled back for them to shoot him.

The officers pleaded with the man, but Roseman says the man continued to aggressively approach them.

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KUNM News Update
9:47 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: No Video From Policeman's Lapel Camera

No Video From Policeman's Lapel Camera – The Associated Press

The manufacturer of the lapel camera that an Albuquerque police officer was wearing when he was involved in a fatal shooting can't get any video from it.

Officer Jeremy Dear was involved in an April 21 chase with 19-year-old Mary Hawkes, who was suspected of stealing a truck.

Police say Hawkes pulled a weapon on Dear, prompting the officer to fire his gun.

A toxicology report later showed that Hawkes had a high concentration of methamphetamine in her system when she died.

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KUNM News Update
6:17 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Albuquerque Teachers To Get Pay Raises Under Pact

Albuquerque Teachers To Get Pay Raises Under PactThe Associated Press

A tentative agreement between Albuquerque's public school system and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation calls for teachers and other educators to get pay raises.

An announcement by the district and the union says teachers and other educators will get a raise of the greater of $2,000 or 3 percent.

The state budget for the upcoming fiscal year provides funding for minimum raises for all teachers but only required raises for entry-level ones.

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Local News
9:23 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Medical Marijuana OK'd For Injured Worker

Medical Marijuana OK'd For Injured Worker  The Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has ruled that a worker's employer and its insurer must pay for medical marijuana for treating the employee's chronic pain from a job-related back injury.

The court upheld a decision by a workers' compensation judge that medical marijuana was "reasonable and necessary medical care" from a health care provider under terms of workers' compensation law.

The worker had a 99 percent permanent partial disability.

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KUNM News Update
8:40 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Monday News Roundup: New Mexico Says 57 Nuke Containers Could Be Threat

New Mexico Says 57 Nuke Containers Could Be Threat  -  The Associated Press

The New Mexico Environment Department says Los Alamos National Laboratory packed 57 containers of nuclear waste with a type of kitty litter thought to have caused a radiation leak at the federal government's troubled repository.

Department Secretary Ryan Flynn on Monday gave the lab two days to submit a plan for fixing the problem, saying the barrels may "present an imminent and substantial threat" to public health and the environment.

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KUNM News Update
8:53 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Weekend News Roundup: Wildfire Near Silver City At 60 Percent Containment

Wildfire Near Silver City At 60 Percent Containment - The Associated Press

Crews have containment lines around 60 percent of a southwestern New Mexico wildfire as they go up against dry and windy conditions.

Fire managers said Sunday an "initial attack crew" is on standby in case hot spots flare up inside the 9-square-mile Signal Fire burning in the Gila National Forest.

They say high winds and dryness make the scenario extremely likely.

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KUNM News Update
6:27 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Los Alamos Container Linked To Nuke Dump Leak

Los Alamos Container Linked To Nuke Dump Leak The Associated Press

Federal officials say a radiation leak at the government's troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico has been linked to waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Officials Friday said pictures from the latest entry into the half-mile deep Waste Isolation Pilot Project confirm that a container from Los Alamos has a cracked lid and evidence of heat damage.

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KUNM News Update
9:17 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Police Promote Commander In 'Excessive Force' Case

Police Promote Commander In 'Excessive Force' Case   -  The Associated Press

Albuquerque police have promoted a commander who was accused in a lawsuit of burning off part a homeless man's ear with a stun gun.

Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden announced Thursday he was promoting two Albuquerque commanders to the newly created rank of major in response to a harsh U.S. Justice Department report critical of Albuquerque police's use of force.

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KUNM News Update
6:58 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Panel Finds APD Officer Improperly Used Force

Panel: Albuquerque Officer Improperly Used Force The Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

A police oversight panel says an Albuquerque officer improperly used force when he fired at a driver who had escaped a SWAT lockdown.

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KUNM News Update
7:02 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Kitty Litter Explored In Radiation Leak

WIPP Investigators Find Melted Plastic, Rubber – The Associated Press, Carlsbad Current Argus

UPDATE: A mysterious radiation release that has indefinitely shuttered the federal government's only permanent nuclear waste dump may have been caused by a switch in the type of kitty litter that is mixed with the toxic waste.

That's one of the theories that officials are exploring.

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KUNM News Update
6:27 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Court Overturns Mentally Disabled Man's Conviction

Court Overturns Mentally Disabled Man's Conviction The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has overturned a Navajo Nation resident's conviction in a sex-crime case, ruling that his confession to law enforcement agents was involuntary and shouldn't have been used during his trial.

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KUNM News Update
8:51 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Weekend News Roundup: Winds Fan 500 Acre Wildfire In Gila National Forest

Winds Fan 500 Acre Wildfire In Gila National Forest - KOAT-TV

Gusty winds are fanning the flames of a wildfire in the Gila National Forest north of Silver City near Signal Peak. 

KOAT-TV reports 100 firefighters are working to control the blaze that has grown to 500 acres.

A voluntary evacuation order has been issued for Pino Altos residents. 

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KUNM News Update
5:22 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Court Sides With NM Regulators Over Copper Rule

Court Sides With NM Regulators Over Copper Rule   The Associated Press

The New Mexico Court of Appeals has rejected efforts by the state attorney general, environmentalists and a ranch owned by billionaire mogul Ted Turner to put on hold regulations that govern groundwater pollution by copper mines.

Attorney General Gary King and the others filed an appeal last fall to challenge the new regulations and sought to put them on hold pending the appeal.

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KUNM News Update
6:31 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Protesters Vow More Pressure Over Police Shootings

Protesters Vow More Pressure Over Police Shootings  The Associated Press, Russell Contreras

Critics of the Police Department are promising to crowd another Albuquerque City Council meeting to protest recent police shootings just days after rowdy demonstrators forced city leaders to call off their discussions.

Nora Tachias-Anaya says protesters are planning to attend a rescheduled council meeting Thursday and will continue to criticize the Albuquerque Police Department.

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KUNM News Update
5:42 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New Mexico

No Fraud Charges Against Provider By New MexicoThe Associated Press

 Attorney General Gary King's office says investigators found about $34,000 in overbillings by a Santa Fe-based mental health provider but nothing to justify bringing fraud charges.

King said in a statement Tuesday there was "no actionable evidence of fraud" by Easter Seals El Mirador.

CEO Mark Johnson said he was not surprised, but he was "absolutely delighted that we've been exonerated."

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KUNM News Update
6:38 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Abq City Council Eyes Ways To Select New Police Chief

City Council Eyes Ways To Select New Police Chief The Associated Press

The Albuquerque City Council is meeting to discuss whether the police chief should be chosen by the council or by voters.

Monday night's meeting comes just two days after a fatal police shooting and weeks after a U.S. Justice Department report faulted the Police Department over excessive use of force.

Albuquerque police have shot nearly 40 people since 2010.

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KUNM News Update
9:18 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Saturday News Roundup: Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted

Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted - The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy says the shipment of certain kinds of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a storage facility in west Texas has been halted.

The agency made the announcement Friday, as investigators continue searching for the cause of a Feb. 14 radiation leak at the federal government's underground repository in southeastern New Mexico.

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KUNM News Update
6:32 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted

Certain Shipments From Los Alamos Lab Halted The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Energy says the shipment of certain kinds of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to a storage facility in west Texas has been halted.

The agency made the announcement Friday, as investigators continue searching for the cause of a Feb. 14 radiation leak at the federal government's underground repository in southeastern New Mexico.

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KUNM News Update
5:26 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Crews Find Damaged Material In Nuke Dump

Crews Find Damaged Material In Nuke Dump The Associated Press

Crews searching for the source of a radiation release from the government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have found damaged bags of minerals in the mine, but officials say they have yet to identify what caused the radiation leak.

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KUNM News Update
4:30 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: EPA Moves Forward With Plan For NM Power Plant

EPA Moves Forward With Plan For NM Power Plant – The Associated Press

Federal regulators are moving forward with a proposal they say would target some of the oldest pollution in the country by closing part of a New Mexico coal-fired power plant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed approving a plan they’ve negotiated along with Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and the state's largest electric provider, PNM.

A 30-day public comment period kicks off today.

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KUNM News Update
3:09 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: State Warns Air Force On Cleanup Of Kirtland Spill

State warns Air Force on cleanup of Kirtland spill - The Albuquerque Journal, The Associated Press

New Mexico environmental regulators say the Air Force could face $10,000-per-dayy state fines if the service misses a June 30 deadline to start cleaning groundwater contaminated by a decades-old fuel spill.

A state Environment Department letter says the Air Force's current plan to use bacteria to break down the fuel could miss the June 30 date by up to a year.

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KUNM News Update
6:38 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Judge Denies Defense Request In Email Scandal Case

Judge Denies Defense Request In Email Scandal Case - The Associated Press

A federal judge has dealt a potential setback to the defense strategy of Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager who is charged with hijacking the campaign's email system after Martinez took office.

District Judge William Johnson on Thursday denied requests by Jamie Estrada's attorneys to force the prosecution to provide information regarding the Martinez administration's awarding of a lease that allowed a larger casino at the state fairgrounds.

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KUNM News Update
6:17 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP

Management, Safety Cited For Radiation Release At WIPP The Associated Press

Department of Energy investigators are blaming poor management, ineffective safety and maintenance programs, and a lack of proper oversight for a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the government's nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico two months ago.

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KUNM News Update
8:32 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Report Expected On Nuke Dump Doesn't Look Good

Critical Report Expected On Nuke DumpThe Associated Press

The operators of the federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump are bracing for a scathing report on their response to a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the southeastern New Mexico facility two months ago.

The head of the Department of Energy's Accident Investigation Board is scheduled to present findings on the leak from the Waste Isolation Pilot Project during a weekly community meeting in Carlsbad Thursday evening. And no one expects it to be good.

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KUNM News Update
5:43 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Tuesday News Roundup: Proposed Navajo Junk-Food Tax Fails At Council

Proposed Navajo Junk-Food Tax Fails At Council The Associated Press

An effort to resurrect a junk-food tax on the country's largest American Indian reservation has failed.

The Navajo Nation Council earlier this year approved an additional 2 percent sales tax on snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. Tribal President Ben Shelly vetoed the measure, saying it was unclear how the tax would be enacted and enforced.

A bill to override that veto came before tribal lawmakers Tuesday but fell three votes short.

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KUNM News Update
6:29 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Monday News Roundup: Democratic Incumbent Legislator Bumped From Ballot

Democratic Incumbent Legislator Bumped From Ballot  The Associated Press

A judge in Gallup has removed Democratic Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint from the June 3 primary election ballot.

District Judge Louis DePauli determined Monday that Jeff didn't have enough valid signatures on her nominating petitions to qualify as a candidate.

Jeff has broken Democratic ranks in the House and sided with Republicans and Gov. Susana Martinez on several high-profile legislative votes.

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KUNM News Update
6:41 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Friday News Roundup: Legislative Report Touts Prekindergarten Benefits

Legislative Report Touts Prekindergarten Benefits The Associated Press

A legislative committee report concludes that prekindergarten delivers a greater return on investment for New Mexico than taxpayer subsidized child care.

The Legislative Finance Committee staff report says prekindergarten's benefits outweigh the costs, although that's not the case for child care provided through registered homes and some state licensed programs.

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KUNM News Update
7:26 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Thursday News Roundup: Crews Find Suspected Area Of Radiation Leak

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.

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