State Rep Enters Not Guilty Plea In Drunken Driving Case– Associated Press
A New Mexico lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to a drunken driving charge.
A court filing shows Republican Rep. Monica Youngblood, of Albuquerque, entered the plea ahead of a scheduled arraignment hearing, which has now been waived. Her next court hearing is scheduled for July 11.
Youngblood was arrested in May on suspicion of aggravated DWI at an Albuquerque checkpoint where she complied with a field sobriety test but refused a blood-alcohol test.
Video shows an officer telling her he can smell alcohol. She responds saying she hadn't consumed any since the day before.
She also mentions she is a state lawmaker who advocates for police.
Youngblood said in a statement that she regretted the situation, particularly her decision not to take the blood-alcohol test.
Lawmakers Emphasize Jobs For Nuke Laboratory Case– Associated Press
Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation say their first concern for the management and operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory is assuring the stability of the workforce and the safety of employees and the public while the lab meets its national security mission.
U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan weighed in Friday as the federal government announced a $2.5 billion-a-year management contract for the lab.
The winning team is made up of the University of California, Texas A&M and Ohio-based research firm Battelle.
The three Democrats say they're hopeful about the prospect of the lab contracting with more local small businesses.
Lab Director Terry Wallace said Friday that despite the change in management, the lab's mission will remain the same and it will work with the new team to ensure a smooth transition.
Utility Shuts Down Power Lines For Several Towns Case– Associated Press
A New Mexico utility says firefighting efforts in southern New Mexico prompted it to shut down power lines for several communities.
PNM says it planned to shut down the lines early in the afternoon Friday to allow for air tankers to drop retardant on the wildfire on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.
The lines provide power to the Village of Ruidoso, and the villages of Mescalero and Tularosa. The utility planned to restore power as quickly as possible after clearing the retardant from the lines.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs says the fire has burned nearly 4 square miles since Thursday afternoon and that it's about a half-mile (.8 kilometer) north of the town of Mescalero.
It has forced the evacuation of 100 homes.
A top-tier incident management team and additional crews of firefighters are being deployed.
Northern New Mexico Wildfire Now Two-Thirds Contained Case– Associated Press
A northern New Mexico wildfire that has threatened two communities and a Boy Scouts camp is now contained around two-thirds of its perimeter.
The incident management team assigned to the fire between Ute Park and Cimarron reported Thursday night that it was 66 percent contained and has burned 57.4 square miles.
No homes have been destroyed since its start May 31 but the fire burned 14 outbuildings on the Philmont Scout Ranch.
Over 600 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire, which at times forced evacuation of Cimarron. Ute Park remains evacuated.
The fire's cause is under investigation.
New Mexico County To Impose Fireworks Restriction– Associated Press
A county in northwestern New Mexico is imposing restrictions on fireworks as much of the state heads into what is expected to be a hot and dry summer before monsoon season kicks in.
The San Juan County Commission voted last month to restrict the use of fireworks for at least the next 30 days due to extreme drought conditions.
The restrictions take effect Friday and will include the Fourth of July holiday.
The restrictions prohibit the sale and use of all missile-type rockets, helicopters, aerial spinners and ground audible devices within drought-affected areas in the county's unincorporated portions.
Other fireworks are limited to paved or barren areas where water is readily accessible.
The latest drought map shows much of New Mexico is dealing with the most serious levels of drought.