Feds Propose Protections For 2 rare Snakes - Associated Press
Federal wildlife officials are proposing to add a pair of rare snakes found in the American Southwest to the list of threatened species.
The northern Mexican gartersnake and the narrow-headed gartersnake are found in Arizona and New Mexico. Their populations have declined thanks to predators such as nonnative bullfrogs as well as threats to their streamside habitat.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will accept comments on the proposal through Sept. 9.
Crews Contain Blaze In Valles Caldera Preserve - Associated Press
It has taken firefighters a month to corral a wildfire that has burned through the heart of northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains.
Fire managers declared the Thompson Ridge Fire 100 percent contained on Monday.
The blaze burned more than 37 square miles in the Valles Caldera National Preserve after being sparked May 31 by a downed power line. At one point, it threatened historic cabins and barns at the preserve but crews were able to save the structures.
NM 11th Graders Improve In Reading Proficiency-The Associated Press
Gov. Susana Martinez's administration says New Mexico high school students made significant improvements in their reading proficiency on standardized tests this year but there were declines for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students.
The governor on Friday announced the results of math and reading tests taken by 195,000 students in grades 3-8 and 10-11.
NM Mental Health System Audit, Fix Could Hit $21M - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal
State officials say the potential price tag for fixing problems within New Mexico's behavioral health system could reach nearly $21 million.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that an audit of 15 providers cost around $3 million to produce. That audit alleged potential fraud and resulted this week in the halting of Medicaid payments and other funding to the 15 nonprofits.
Obama Announces New Council For Native Americans - The Associated Press
Citing a history of mistreatment that has hurt Indians, President Barack Obama has established a White House Council on Native American Affairs to promote a healthier relationship among the United States and tribal governments.
The leaders of 30 federal departments and agencies will serve on the council, which is charged with aiding tribes with economic development, transportation, housing and health care.
Residents: Action Needed On NM Mine Due To Cancer - The Albuquerque Journal (AP)
Western New Mexico residents say federal officials need to either move the tailings from an abandoned uranium mill near Milan or relocate the owners of about 75 nearby homes.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that residents told a top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official Tuesday that a cluster of cancer cases in subdivisions near the Homestake Mining Co. uranium mill show a need for immediate action by the agency.
Gonzales Confirmed As Federal Judge- The Associated Press
The Senate has confirmed New Mexico U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales to be the state's next federal judge.
Senators voted unanimously in favor of Gonzales Monday evening, and the state's two senators immediately recommended that President Barack Obama appoint one of his assistants, Damon Martinez, to replace him.
Martinez has served as an assistant U.S. attorney since 2001 and currently supervises the Organized Crime and Gang Section in Albuquerque.
NM Investment Funds Up Nearly $2B In Quarter - The Associated Press
A legislative report shows New Mexico's endowment and pension funds grew by nearly $1.9 billion during the first quarter of the year.
The Legislative Finance Committee reports that the Public Employees Retirement Association had investment returns of 5.4 percent during the first three months of the year, with pension fund assets of $13 billion.
Lawmakers Told That NM Drought Likely To Persist - The Associated Press
State water officials say the prospects are bleak that seasonal rains will provide much relief from the drought gripping New Mexico.
Legislators were told Monday by the State Engineers Office that the precipitation outlook for June to August is likely below normal for the eastern two-thirds of New Mexico and the odds favor above normal temperatures for most of New Mexico.