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Local News

  • Safety hearing held for Arizona's nuke plant

    PHOENIX (AP) — Operators of the nation's largest nuclear power plant told Arizona utility regulators Tuesday the triple-reactor plant near Phoenix is safe and chances are remote that it could undergo a nuclear catastrophe such as the one in Japan.

    The Arizona Corporation Commission requested a special open hearing with officials from Arizona Public Service, the state's largest utility company, which runs the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station for a consortium of power companies.

  • US offers $5 million bounty for ICE agent killers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Wednesday offered an up to $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of the suspected drug traffickers who shot and killed a U.S. immigration agent and wounded another in Mexico last month.

    The State Department said its Narcotics Rewards Program would pay the amount to anyone coming forward with information that results in the arrest of those responsible for the February 15 attack that killed Jaime Zapata and wounded Victor Avila. Both men were agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  • FDA examines link between food dyes, hyperactivity

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The FDA is examining the link between dyes found in everyday foods and hyperactivity in children.

    At a two-day meeting starting Wednesday, an FDA advisory committee will decide whether available data links the dyes and the disorder. The panel will recommend Thursday whether the agency should further regulate dyes, do more studies on the issue or require better labeling of the additives. They could also recommend that the FDA do nothing at all.

  • House, Senate No. 2s battle over federal budget

    WASHINGTON (AP) — They're a pair of flamboyant lawyers who are fond of cameras and adept at messaging, two deputies with ambitions to land, someday, on top.

    So the emerging political warfare led by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, now playing out in multimedia form over the budget impasse, can resemble a Spy vs. Spy contest over some of the most serious issues facing Congress and the nation.

  • Syrian president blames protests on 'conspirators'

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed "conspirators" Wednesday for an extraordinary wave of dissent against his authoritarian rule, but he failed to lift the country's despised emergency law or offer any concessions in his first speech since the protests began nearly two weeks ago.

    Assad said Syria is facing "a major conspiracy" that aims to weaken this country of 23 million. The Assad family has ruled Syria for nearly 40 years, using the feared security services to monitor and control even the smallest rumblings of opposition. Draconian laws have all but eradicated civil liberties and political freedoms.

  • Setbacks mount in Japan at leaking nuclear plant; radiation detected in Alabama--video extra

    TOKYO (AP) — Setbacks mounted Wednesday in the crisis over Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear facility, with nearby seawater testing at its highest radiation levels yet and the president of the plant operator checking into a hospital with hypertension.

    Nearly three weeks after a March 11 earthquake and tsunami slammed and engulfed the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, knocking out power to the cooling system that keeps nuclear fuel rods from overheating, Tokyo Electric Power Co. is still struggling to bring the facility in northeastern Japan under control.

  • NM delegation pushes for new conservation area

    TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are continuing to push for the designation of conservation and wilderness areas in Taos and Rio Arriba counties.

    U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would preserve about 236,000 acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management by designating a combination of conservation and wilderness areas.

    Much of the land — 214,600 acres — would be managed as a conservation area. Two other parcels would be managed as wilderness.

    Fellow New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall is cosponsoring the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area Establishment Act.

  • TEPCO president hospitalized in Tokyo; radiation levels continue to climb

    TOKYO (AP) — The president of the utility that owns Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear complex was hospitalized with hypertension as setbacks mounted at the plant, where experts Wednesday logged the highest radiation yet in nearby seawater.

    Masataka Shimizu, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., has not been seen for nearly two weeks after appearing at a Tokyo news conference two days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that hobbled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant's cooling systems and set off radiation leaks.

    Shimizu, 66, was taken Tuesday to a Tokyo hospital after suffering dizziness and high blood pressure, TEPCO spokesman Naoki Tsunoda said.

  • NMED: No threat of radiation to state

    The New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Radiation Control Bureau (RCB) is working with federal agencies to provide information and assistance to New Mexican’s regarding radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.
    The federal government has now created a single webpage at www.usa.gov/Japan2011, providing information on air quality, food safety, potassium iodide, shipments from Japan, passengers from Japan, and additional information. The NMED is directing New Mexicans to this website for the most current and accurate information. The US Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for monitoring radionuclides in New Mexico. Current information can be found at www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-data-map.html.

  • Arrest made in rest stop killings in Rio Arriba County

     SANTA FE  — State police arrested an Ojo Caliente man for the killings of a man and woman found in a burned out car in February north of Espanola.
    Twenty-eight-year-old Donald Ferran was arrested Monday for the deaths of 25-year-old Joey Maestas of Hernandez and 27-year-old Sarah Salazar of Espanola.
    Investigators believe Ferran killed the pair and put their bodies inside a 2000 Honda Accord parked at the rest stop and then set the car on fire.
    The Santa Fe New Mexican reports information from a warrant said a witness told police that just before the killing Maestas was flashing a $1,000 inside a turquoise money clip to Ferran and was bragging about it.