Endangered Wolves Blamed In More Livestock Deaths, US Census Director To Visit New Mexico

May 27, 2019

Endangered Mexican Wolves Blamed For More Livestock KillsAssociated Press

Mexican gray wolves have been blamed for killing nearly as many cows and calves in the first four months of 2019 as they did all of last year.

Federal wildlife managers have documented 88 livestock kills from January through April in New Mexico and Arizona. Nearly 100 were reported for all of 2018.

The Associated Press has found that this year is on pace to become the deadliest for livestock since the endangered predators were first reintroduced in 1998.

The decades-long effort to return the wolves to their historic range has been complicated by poaching and continued conflicts with livestock.

Ranchers and some rural residents see the reintroduction program as a threat to their way of life, but environmentalists contend more can be done to discourage wolves from targeting livestock.

Group Vowing To Build Border Wall Puts Up New Mexico SegmentAssociated Press

A leader with the group that's been raising funds to build a southern border wall on its own says they erected less than a mile of wall on private land in New Mexico over Memorial Day weekend.

Dustin Stockton, co-founder of the nonprofit WeBuildtheWall Inc., told The Associated Press Monday that they spent about 10 days moving dirt before starting construction Friday. He says the wall segment in Sunland Park is "mostly up" and should be completed by the end of the week.

Stockton, whose group has raised about $22 million , says they don't have a final tally yet on the cost, but he expects it'll be somewhere between $6 million and $10 million. He says the site's steep incline added to the cost.

The government's cost for the new walls its building is about $22 million a mile.

Coming Home: Navajo To Get Treaty That Ended ImprisonmentAssociated Press

A 150-year-old document that allowed Navajos to return to their homeland in the Four Corners region where Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado meet is destined for a permanent home at the tribe's museum.

Navajos had been imprisoned at a desolate tract of land in eastern New Mexico before signing a treaty with the U.S. government in 1868.

There are three known copies of the treaty, one of which had been in a Massachusetts home but was considered lost.

Clare "Kitty" Weaver is the great-grandniece of one of the negotiators who took a copy home. She says it had been mixed in with Samuel F. Tappan's papers and she only recently discovered its importance.

She reached an agreement last week to donate the treaty to the Navajo Nation. A tribal legislative committee is expected to vote Tuesday on accepting it.

Navajo School Voucher Fix Goes To Governor Associated Press

Legislation giving a handful of Navajo children another year to use their vouchers for tuition at a private New Mexico school is headed to Gov. Doug Ducey.

The House and Senate approved the legislation without opposition on Friday.

The proposal sidesteps a law requiring vouchers to be used at Arizona schools after the Department of Education discovered seven children were using vouchers out of state. Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman says the legislation will give the families another year to figure out their next steps without expanding the voucher program.

Lawmakers crafted legislation to help the children after a school-choice advocacy group released a video last weekend. It showed parents blasting the Education Department for letters demanding they repay the money illegally spent out of state.

US Census Bureau Director To Visit New Mexico - Associated Press

The head of the U.S. Census Bureau will be in New Mexico this week.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say Steven Dillingham will be in the state for a series of meetings and visits centered on the importance of ensuring an accurate count for the upcoming 2020 Census.

The senators earlier this year extended an invitation to Dillingham. They wanted to highlight the state's unique data collection challenges and discuss ways to count underrepresented communities.

They say when communities are undercounted, they receive fewer federal resources.

Dillingham is scheduled Tuesday to tour the border communities of Sunland Park and Chaparral before heading to Valencia County.

The senators also will convene a number of round-table meetings Wednesday at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

New Mexico City Eyes Banning Miniature Liquor Bottles - Farmington Daily Times, Associated Press

A northwestern New Mexico city is examining if it can ban the sale of miniature liquor bottles littering the grounds across town.

The Farmington Daily Times reports Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett recently asked City Attorney Jennifer Breakell to investigate if the city could pass an ordinance banning the small liquor bottles.

Duckett made the request during the May 14 City Council meeting.

That request came after a Farmington resident showed up at a City Council meeting with a bag full of miniature liquor bottles he had picked up while walking near Ladera Elementary School.

New Mexico Petroleum Marketers Association state executive Ruben Baca says banning miniature liquor bottles from being sold would likely be a hard battle for the city to win.

Nobel-Winning Physicist Murray Gell-Mann Dies At 89 - Associated Press

Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist who brought order to the universe by helping discover and classify subatomic particles, has died at the age of 89.

Gell-Mann died Friday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His death was confirmed by the Santa Fe Institute, where he held the title of distinguished fellow, and the California Institute of Technology, where he taught for decades. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Gell-Mann transformed physics by devising a method for sorting subatomic particles into simple groups of eight — based on electric charge, spin and other characteristics.

He also developed the theory of "quarks," indivisible components of matter that make up protons, neutrons and other particles.

Cal Tech professor Fiona Harrison called Gell-Mann one of the great theoretical physicists of his time.

Colorado Man Files Negligence Suit In New Mexico Bus Crash - Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A Colorado man who survived a bus crash in New Mexico that killed three people including his wife last July has filed a lawsuit.

Ramon Grajeda-Beltran and Olga Hernandez-Beltran of Rocky Ford were passengers on a commercial bus traveling from Denver to El Paso, Texas that overturned after colliding with a car and then was struck by a tractor-trailer.

Hernandez-Beltran was one of three women killed in the crash on Interstate 25 north of Bernalillo. Grajeda-Beltran was among 22 injured passengers.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Grajeda-Beltran's lawsuit filed this week in state District Court in Santa Fe accuses the drivers of negligence.

It also alleges a lack of seat belts in the bus was a contributing factor in the death of his wife of more than 38 years.

Toxic Plants Suspected Of Killing Cows In Four Corners - Gallup Independent, Associated Press

Ranchers in northwestern New Mexico suspect toxic plants are responsible for the recent deaths of more than a dozen cows.

The Gallup Independent reports at least 15 cows from different herds in the Shiprock area have died of a mysterious illness in the past three weeks. And ranchers say the purple plant known as the tall mountain larkspur is the likely cause.

The plant is growing in abundance on the range thanks to unusually wet weather. It is used in Navajo and Hopi religious ceremonies and as after-birth wash.

Navajo botanist and geologist Arnold Clifford says the plant is toxic to cows because of its high concentrations of alkaloid.

He says because the Shiprock range is nearly devoid of forage, cattle tend to supplement their diet with any plant species just to fill their stomachs.