Indigenous Leaders Seek Less Drilling Near Sacred Sites, More Migrants Dropped Off In Las Cruces

Apr 15, 2019

Indigenous Leaders Want Less Drilling Near Sacred Sites – By Morgan Lee, Associated Press

Leaders of the Navajo Nation and Pueblo tribes expressed frustration Monday with federal oversight of oil and gas leases on public holdings near ancient Native American cultural sites. They also endorsed legislation to restrict natural gas development around Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Acoma Pueblo tribal Gov. Brian Vallo told members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources at a hearing in New Mexico that not enough is being done to safeguard sacred sites scattered beyond the national park at Chaco Canyon.

The House committee was exploring the possible impacts of air pollution on sacred sites. They also quizzed Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on her administration's push to contain emissions of methane through stricter local regulation.

New Mexico's all-Democratic House delegation is seeking to halt new oil and natural gas lease sales on federal holdings within a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Oil industry representatives say robust protections already are in place within the national park at Chaco Canyon, and beyond the park, federal authorities including the Bureau of Land Management require detailed land surveys prior to drilling.

Congress Measures Conflict Over Drilling Near Sacred Sites - By Morgan Lee Associated Press

Advocates for greater restrictions on oil and natural gas drilling near untrammeled Native American cultural sites in the Southwest are urging Congress to establish better safeguards.

A research trip by a U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources culminates Monday in a public hearing at the New Mexico Capitol. The committee is exploring the effects of air pollution on ruins held sacred by indigenous communities.

New Mexico's delegation to Washington wants to halt new oil and natural gas lease sales on federal holdings within a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park and its ancient stone structures and avenues.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says many tribes want a greater area around Chaco protected from industrial incursions.

Oil developers say robust protections already are in place.


Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Tackles Visitors' Color BlindnessAssociated Press

The vibrant colors and hues in Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings soon will be on full display for color blind visitors.

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe announced Monday it's teaming up with California-based EnChroma to expand the gallery experience through special glasses.

Starting May 3, visitors with red-green color blindness can borrow glasses to see O'Keeffe's work in the way that she intended.

One of the museum's curators, Katrina Stacy, says O'Keeffe in her later years developed visual impairment from macular degeneration and turned her attention to sculpture.

Stacy says the project with EnChroma has ties to that part of the artist's story.

EnChroma co-founder Andrew Schmeder says O'Keeffe juxtaposed colors from nature in ways that evoked emotion and seeing that relationship between colors has been challenging for people with color blindness.

Report Finds New Mexico Led Pecan Production In 2018Carlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

New Mexico was the national leader in pecan production last year thanks to Hurricane Michael striking down large swaths of Georgia's pecan crop.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers show New Mexico produced around 90 million pounds of pecans in 2018.

Georgia, traditionally the United States' largest pecan-producing state, saw its crop crippled by the storm, cutting production by almost half from 107 million pounds to 56 million.

Records show Texas was ranked third at 28 million pounds and Arizona was fourth at 25 million pounds.

New Mexico reported a growth of almost 50 million pounds in the last decade from 2008's production of 43 million pounds.

230 Migrants Detained Near New Mexico's Mount Cristo ReyAssociated Press

Federal border authorities say more migrants have been arrested after illegally crossing into the United States through New Mexico.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 230 migrants were taken into custody late Friday at the base of Mount Cristo Rey in Sunland Park.

Officials say the majority of the migrants were from Central American countries.

Mount Cristo Rey is a Catholic shrine and is the site where a 29 foot-tall (8.8 meter-tall) limestone statue of Jesus sits on a hill.

New Mexico's isolated regions along the U.S.-Mexico border have seen more migrants claim asylum after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

Man Hurt In Sale Exchange Outside Albuquerque Police StationKOB-TV, Associated Press

Authorities say a man selling his camera was robbed by a potential buyer despite meeting near an Albuquerque police substation.

KOB-TV reported Sunday that the suspect dragged the victim more than 20 feet with his car.

According to the victim, he used the OfferUp app to arrange a meeting in front of the Nob Hill Triangle Substation.

The victim says the suspect lured him out of view of a surveillance camera and offered him counterfeit money. When the victim questioned the legitimacy of the bills, the suspect grabbed the camera gear and drove off.

Police say the seller let go of the camera and then walked into the substation to report the crime.

Investigators have the license plate of the suspect's car and are searching for him.

Border Patrol Drops More Migrants In Las Cruces - Associated Press

Las Cruces officials say more migrants seeking asylum in the US were dropped off Saturday in the southern New Mexico city by the Border Patrol and the city is appealing for donations of food and personal hygiene items.

City officials said in a statement that 83 migrants arrived Saturday, following approximately 95 who were dropped off by the Border Patrol on Friday at a Gospel Rescue Mission homeless shelter and a campus of social service facilities.

Those arriving Saturday were taken to the Community of Hope campus and to the city's Meerscheidt Recreation Center, which is now closed to the public because of its use as temporary housing for migrants.

The statement said needed items included utensils, napkins, paper plates, sanitary napkins, shampoo, clothing, towels, blankets, canned food, bottled water, foam padding for bedding and stuffed toys.

The Border Patrol announced Thursday it would release migrants in southern New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas, pending their future court hearings "due to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement and Removal Operations' capacity issues."


Report: Uranium Plumes From Bluewater Mill Site 'Stable' - Gallup Independent, Associated Press

U.S. officials say uranium plumes in a major aquifer in western New Mexico believed to be coming from a closed mine aren't growing.

The Gallup Independent reports a new report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded the plumes in the San Andres-Glorieta and Ancestral Rio San Jose alluvial aquifer appear to be "essentially stable." The plumes are believed to be emanating from the former Bluewater Mill site.

The report, completed in February, is based on 2017 information on groundwater data and contaminant plumes.

Department of Energy's Office of Legacy Management site manager Bernadette Tsosie says the path of the San Andres-Glorieta aquifer plume remains 2 miles north of the nearest drinking water supply well for the Village of Milan and Grants, New Mexico.

Skeletal Human Remains Found Near New Mexico's Baylor Canyon - Associated Press

Doña Ana County Sheriff's detectives say they're investigating the discovery of skeletal human remains near the Baylor Canyon area of the Organ Mountains.

They say a hiker made the discovery Friday evening.

Sheriff's detectives responded and began an initial investigation of the area, locating some personal effects and a backpack near the remains.

They say documents found inside the backpack might help identify the remains, which were transported Saturday to the New Mexico Office of the Medical Examiner.

Health Dept: Plague Case Reported In A Quay County Ranch Dog - Associated Press

The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting a case of plague in a ranch dog from Quay County.

It's the first case of plague in the state this year.

Authorities say the dog has recovered with treatment from his veterinarian.

Plague is an infectious disease of animals and humans caused by bacteria that's usually transmitted through the bite of an infected flea.

Pets can also be exposed after eating an infected animal after hunting or scavenging it.

Humans can contract plague by direct contact with the tissues of infected animals including rodents, wildlife and pets.

There were no cases of human plague in New Mexico last year and four cases in 2017.  All survived the illness.