Thursday News Roundup: GAO To Issue Report On Navajo Uranium Cleanup

Aug 8, 2013

GAO To Issue Report On Navajo Uranium Cleanup - Associated Press 

The investigative arm of Congress is looking into how federal agencies carried out a plan to clean up uranium contamination on the Navajo Nation.

About 4 million tons of uranium ore were mined from the reservation from 1944 to 1986, leaving a legacy of death and disease.

Federal agencies in 2008 began implementing a 5-year plan to address the contamination.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office recently spent time on the Navajo Nation to find out whether the goals were accomplished, what work remains and the key challenges.

The GAO plans to issue a report on the site visits in February.

The Navajo Environmental Protection Agency says a second 5-year plan that will cover 2013 to 2017 is being developed.


Bond To Be Decided In Horse Slaughter Case - Associated Press

The animal rights groups that won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter expect to find out Thursday how much bond they must post to ensure their legal challenge can proceed.

The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others won a temporary restraining order last week that blocked plans by companies in Roswell, N.M., and Sigourney, Iowa, to start slaughtering horses.

The groups must post a bond to cover the companies' losses should they lose their lawsuit, which challenges the U.S. Department of Agriculture's June decision to open the plants.

The attorney representing Valley Meat Co. in Roswell says he will seek at least $10 million.

The bond hearing was initially scheduled for Monday, but federal Magistrate Robert Scott says he needed more time to hear arguments.

NM Governor Speaks At Koch Brothers Event - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez spoke at a weekend conference in New Mexico organized by a company owned by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who are longtime supporters of conservative causes.

Koch Industries spokesman Rob Tappan confirmed Wednesday that Koch held the meeting but he declined to release any details of the event.

Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey says Martinez delivered brief remarks at what he described as a "private political event" and the Republican governor also met with several national political leaders, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2012, and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The event was held near Albuquerque at a resort operated by Santa Ana Pueblo.

Koch Industries has interests that include oil refineries, fertilizer, chemicals and paper.


NM Issues Grants For Early College High Schools - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration has awarded grants for three New Mexico schools to establish programs allowing students to obtain a college associate degree while attending high schools.

The governor on Wednesday announced $100,000 for University High School in Roswell to operate an "early college high school" offering college credit in science and technology.

A grant of $137,000 was awarded for a program at Mesa Vista High School in the northern New Mexico community of Ojo Caliente, and $120,000 went for an early college program at San Andres High School in Las Cruces.

New Mexico has received $525,000 from the Denver-based philanthropic Daniels Foundation to supplement state money to expand the programs, which are partnerships with public schools, colleges and businesses to help students prepare for jobs and college.