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Utility Examiners Recommend Closing Plant, Film Office Gets New Director

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Utility examiners recommend closing energy plant Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Utility examiners in New Mexico have backed a plan to close a coal-fired power station.

The Albuquerque Journal reported examiners recommend the state Public Regulation Commission should approve the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s request to abandon the San Juan Generating Station. Regulation commission examiners say hearings have showed abandonment will cost ratepayers less over the next 20 years than continuing to operate the plant. The examiners say most of the savings will come from replacing San Juan electricity with cheaper solar, wind, battery storage, and natural gas generation. The closure is expected to cost up to $361 million.

The New Mexico Film Office gets new director Associated Press

State officials announced today that the city of Albuquerque's film liaison will take over the post in early March. Amber Dodson will replace Todd Christensen, a long-time locations manager who will be returning to the private sector. Under Dodson's leadership, Albuquerque issued a record 448 film permits in 2019. The growth came as Netflix and NBCUniversal ramped up production at their studios in Albuquerque. Prior to being the city's film liaison, she worked in Hollywood in film production, business development and marketing and advertising.

Congresswoman: Science should guide nuclear storage decision Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

A member of New Mexico's congressional delegation says science - not economics, fear or political bias - should guide any decisions about whether to allow a multibillion-dollar temporary storage facility for spent nuclear fuel to be built in the state. U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small acknowledged that the growing stockpile of spent fuel at commercial reactors around the U.S. is a national problem and elected leaders need to ensure New Mexico does not pay an unfair price as part of the solution. New Mexico already is home to the U.S. government's only underground repository for Cold War-era waste generated over decades by nuclear research and bomb-making. The governor and other support her position.

2020 Forecast Rosy For Border Trade Las Cruses Sun News, Associated Press

Border trade leaders are expressing optimism for the 2020 trade forecast with Mexico especially at the busy Santa Teresa Port of Entry in New Mexico. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that's because port officials, which have long lacked the ability to process hazardous materials, expect that to change by the end of 2020. Adding a hazmat containment site could increase the port’s volume of traffic by 20 percent - from 600 trucks per day to 720. Senator Martin Heinrich says governing the specifics of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement have been ironed out and the parties can move forward with a degree of certainty on border trade.

FBI Seeking Help With Red Rock Killing - Asscociated Press

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible for the death of a Red Rock man last year. They say 48-year-old James Naswood was found dead in the front passenger seat of a car on the Navajo Nation on Nov. 8. Naswood was last seen alive the previous day. FBI officials say the cause of death isn’t being released at this time. The federal agency is investigating the case along with the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Body Found In Arizona Identified As Missing New Mexico WomanAssociated Press

Authorities have identified a woman's body found off a forest road in northern Arizona as a New Mexico resident reported missing over a month ago. Sasha Krause was last seen more than a month ago picking up items from the Farmington Mennonite Church. A camper found her body late last week north of Flagstaff, Arizona. Authorities matched fingerprints collected at the scene with Krause's driver's license record in Texas. The investigation into how she died is ongoing. The medical examiner's office says results of an autopsy will take a few weeks.