Monday News Roundup: NM Expects Record-Breaking Exports This Year

Aug 19, 2013

Salmonella Outbreak Linked To NM Poultry Hatchery- Associated Press

State health officials say a national outbreak of salmonella has been linked to an eastern New Mexico hatchery that sells live baby poultry by mail and supplies them to feed stores.

The Department of Health said Monday a strain of salmonella that's infected more than 300 people in 37 states was found in a duck pen at Privett Hatchery in Portales.

State Public Health Veterinarian Paul Ettestad says the hatchery is most likely the source of the outbreak. But he says questions remain because federal officials have found that the people sickened with salmonella bought baby poultry at 113 feed store locations that were supplied by 18 mail order hatcheries in several states.

People buy baby poultry such as chicks and ducks to keep as pets and to raise for eggs or meat.

Privett Hatchery said in a statement on its website that it's cooperating with health officials.

Homeland Security Assumes Control Of Radar Blimps- Yuma Sun and The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has assumed control of radar blimps used to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border.

Spokesman Bill Brooks of the Customs and Border Protection told the Yuma Sun that the department accepted the Aerostat system from the Air Force earlier this summer and will manage and maintain it for the foreseeable future.

The Aerostat system has been in use since the 1980s.

It uses giant tethered balloons at locations in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to scan the border area with radar to detect low-flowing aircraft carrying drugs or other contraband into the United States.

Aerostats also deployed in Florida and Puerto Rico.


NM Expects Record-Breaking Exports This Year - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico is expected to have its second record-breaking year in its exports to Mexico.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the state's exports jumped 20 percent in the first six months of 2013, from $310 million in 2012 to $372 million.

That follows a 33 percent jump in exports for all of 2012, when shipments to Mexico reached a record $617 million.

If trends hold through December, state exports will surpass $700 million.

The numbers reflect strong activity in Mexico's maquila industry.

Companies at Santa Teresa's two industrial parks ship a wide variety of supplies to Mexico's assembly factories, such as manufactured metal parts, plastic injectors, packaging and resins.

Gov. Susana Martinez also signed an agreement last year with the state of Chihuahua to strengthen trade relations.

Las Vegas Drinking Water In Violation Of Standards - Associated Press and the Las Vegas Optic

Officials in Las Vegas say the city is in violation of drinking water standards, but that the water remains safe to drink.

The Las Vegas Optic reports that three of 10 samples taken during a recent test showed the presence of coliform bacteria.

Officials say coliform bacteria are generally not harmful and are naturally present in the environment.

Still, the city in northern New Mexico is advising people with compromised immune systems, infants and the elderly that they could be at increased risk.

The city says coliform presence is a sign there could be a problem with the treatment or distribution system.

When coliform is found, the city does follow-up testing to determine if fecal coliform or E. coli are present.

Officials say none of those bacteria were found.

Albuquerque Sees Drop In Number Of Police Officers - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

The city of Albuquerque has seen its number of police officers drop by 15 percent over the last three years

Albuquerque's number of sworn officers climbed to 1,099 in June 2010 but has fallen to 939 officers this month.

The city's need for more officers has factored into the Oct. 8 mayoral election.

Mayor Richard Berry and his challengers, former Deputy City Attorney Pete Dinelli and retired police Sgt. Paul Heh, agree the decline in officers is at least partly due to changes in benefits from the Public Employee Retirement Association.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Berry outlined a plan to bolster the Police Department, building on a proposal from three city councilors last week.

Dinelli and Heh say Berry's proposal is too little too late.