Friday Morning Roundup

Jul 12, 2013

UNM Archiving Ex-Sen. Jeff Bingaman Papers - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

The University of New Mexico is archiving more than 1,000 boxes worth of documents from Jeff Bingaman's time in the U.S. Senate.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the university held a ceremony Thursday at the Zimmerman Library to mark the archival project for the former Democratic senator.

Documents include about 1,100 boxes of papers and many other digital files, which will be made available online. UNM hopes the papers will help visitors understand the country's political history.

Some of Bingaman's personal memorabilia will be on display at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, where the senator grew up.

Bingaman served in the U.S. Senate for 30 years.

Funeral To Be Held For Former NM Gov. David Cargo - Associated Press

New Mexicans can pay their final respects to former Gov. David Cargo at funeral services in Santa Fe.

A funeral Mass for Cargo will be held Friday at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in downtown Santa Fe. He will be buried afterward at the national cemetery in the city.

Cargo died last week at the age of 84. He was a Republican with a progressive agenda and served as governor from 1967 through 1970.

Cargo was known as "Lonesome Dave," a nickname he earned by traveling alone while campaigning in small towns and rural areas during his first bid for governor in 1966.

Cargo lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. Friends and colleagues remembered him as a tireless advocate for minorities and working people.

Report: National Forest Trails Poorly Maintained - Associated Press

A government report finds that hiking trails on national forests suffer from a $314 million backlog in maintenance.

The Government Accountability Office report found only a quarter of the national forest system's 158,000 miles of trails meets quality standards, neglect that can lead to erosion and silt deposited in streams.

It adds that the U.S. Forest Service relies heavily on volunteers to maintain trails but does not train its staff to work effectively with them.

Jim Furnish is a retired Forest Service deputy chief for the forest system. He says the problem goes back decades, and results from the Forest Service and Congress making recreation a low priority.

Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers says the agency agrees with the findings and will look for ways to close the funding gap.

NM State Forestry To Lift Fire Restrictions - Associated Press

Thanks to recent rains, the State Forestry Division will be lifting fire restrictions across all New Mexico counties on Friday.

The restrictions prohibiting campfires, smoking and other open fires on non-municipal and non-federal lands were first imposed in May due to extreme fire danger.

State Forester Tony Delfin says the return of seasonal moisture across much of the state has lessened the fire danger to the point that officials feel the restrictions can be lifted.

The Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico also plans to scale back its restrictions on Friday, and the Santa Fe forest is planning to lift its closure order for most areas.

Santa Fe forest spokeswoman Denise Ottaviano says outdoor enthusiasts are anxious to be able to return to the trails and campgrounds.

More Than A Third Of NM Schools Graded A Or B - Associated Press

State officials say about 70 percent of New Mexico's public schools improved or maintained their letter grade this year, and that more than a third of schools received an A or B.

Gov. Susana Martinez and Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera released the grades Thursday for 839 elementary, middle and high schools.

The grades depend heavily on student performance on tests but also reflect other factors, such as graduation rates for high schools.

Statewide, 82 schools earned an A, up from 40 last year. There were 224 B schools, compared with 203 last year. Schools with a C dropped to 230 from 274 last year. The number of D schools declined to 218 from 250 last year, and schools getting an F increased to 85 from 64 last year.