Today's News

  • WIPP sells tons of excavated salt to Texas

    ALBUQUEREQUE — Hundreds of tons of salt excavated from the Department of Energy’s underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico are destined for cattle feed in Texas.

    The DOE’s Carlsbad field office has reached an agreement with Magnum Minerals LLC of Hereford, Texas, which will buy up to 300,000 tons of salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, known as WIPP.

  • Wildlife corridor a great gift in any season

    Colorado Gov. Ritter and New Mexico Gov. Richardson delivered an early holiday present this year – the new wildlife corridor initiative between southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. In the beginning of December, these two governors agreed to work together to identify and protect key wildlife travel and migration corridors across their shared border. The agreement sets out a plan to use the best scientific geospatial mapping systems available to help conserve several key habitats and migration areas.

  • Environmentalists: Endangered species need protection

    ALBUQUERQUE — A group of environmentalists pledged Monday to file petitions and lawsuits over the next 36 days to persuade the Obama administration to make protection of endangered plants and animals a priority.

    Listings under the Endangered Species Act have reached an all-time low, while the number of plants and animals that need protection is growing, said Nicole Rosmarino, the wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians.

  • Richardson difficult to predict in 2009

    SANTA FE — It is fun at this time of year to make predictions for the coming year in New Mexico politics. Then a year later comes the accountability, the time to tally how well I have done.

    This year’s evaluation of my 2009 predictions is not pretty. I usually have quite a bit to crow about. But a year ago today was during that brief period when we thought Gov. Bill Richardson was headed for the big time.

  • Employment figures begin to turn around

    SANTA FE – New Mexico stopped the bleeding in its unemployment rate in November, according to the latest data from the state Economic Research and Analysis Bureau.

    But the agency stopped short of an optimistic forecast.

    According to the report released Wednesday, New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in November 2009, unchanged from October’s revised rate, but up from 4.6 percent a year ago.

    The national unemployment rate decreased to 10 percent.

  • 01-01-10 Briefs

    Drug sniffing dogs forced to live in prison

    LAS CRUCES — Two drug-sniffing dogs are no longer staying with their handlers and instead are taking up residence at the state penitentiary in Santa Fe.

    The dogs normally work at the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility west of Las Cruces.

    For years the dogs stayed overnight at kennels at their handlers’ homes.

    This year, the Corrections Department decided to enforce a 2005 policy requiring that all working dogs be housed at kennels on prison grounds.

  • Money links N.M.’s top 2009 stories

    ALBUQUERQUE — Much of what made news in New Mexico in 2009 came down to money.

    There was a pay-for-play investigation that cost Gov. Bill Richardson a federal cabinet post. A former secretary of state faces charges over federal funds for voter education. A longtime state Senate leader was sentenced in a kickback scheme. Former housing authority officials were accused of misusing bond proceeds.

    And the once-glowing revenue picture in New Mexico deteriorated into a scramble to find enough money to keep the state in the black.

  • A bold forecast of things to come

    SANTA FE — Happy New Year. Here’s a toast to it being a happier year than this past one. Actually the entire decade has been pretty grim in many ways. Let’s hope this decade is an improvement.

    In keeping with tradition, herewith are some predictions about what may be in store for our state in the coming year.

    This year will be another uncertain one as far as our leadership is concerned. It was during the opening week of January 2009 that Gov. Bill Richardson announced he wouldn’t be leaving for Washington.

  • Don’t count on ethics reform

    SANTA FE – For a moment, ethics reform has tiptoed into the spotlight.  But it won’t be for long and it won’t make much of an impression.

    Budget cutting is the major topic of the day, and for many days to come. It will be the excuse for nothing being accomplished on ethics reform in this coming legislative session.

  • Slow populations growth may reduce political clout in rural N.M.

    SANTA FE — Rural New Mexico risks losing clout in the Legislature in the coming decade because of the politics of population.

    The 2010 Census will be used to redraw boundaries of New Mexico’s legislative and congressional seats. However, the government’s most recent population estimates don’t look good for eastern New Mexico and other rural areas because slow-growing regions could end up losing seats in the Legislature.