Monday Evening Roundup

Jul 1, 2013

Gov. Martinez Orders NM Flags Flown At Half-Staff-The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered that New Mexico state flags be flown at half-staff until sunset Friday in honor of the firefighters killed while fighting an Arizona wildfire.

The 19 fallen firefighters were members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew, which is part of the Prescott Fire Department in northern Arizona.

They were killed Sunday while battling a wildfire in the small town of Yarnell.

Martinez says members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were in New Mexico a few weeks ago to battle the Thompson Ridge fire in Jemez.

The governor says the firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend families against the threat of wildfires.

Martinez signed an executive order Monday for the state flags to be flown at half-staff beginning at dawn Tuesday.


PNM Plans To Add More Solar, Wind To Portfolio-The Associated Press

New Mexico's largest electricity provider says it has a plan for adding more solar and wind power to its portfolio.

Public Service Company of New Mexico unveiled its proposal Monday. It must be approved by state regulators.

The plan calls for building three solar generating stations in the Albuquerque area and purchasing more electricity from a wind farm in Cibola County.

PNM says its renewable energy resources will provide enough electricity to power about 132,000 homes by 2015. The utility also expects a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of about 915,000 metric tons.

With the proposal, 83 cents would be added to the average residential monthly bill starting in 2014.

Under the state's renewable portfolio standard, utilities are obligated to generate 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. PNM says it would meet the requirement.


Los Alamos 'Pauses' Some Plutonium Work-The Associated Press

Los Alamos National Laboratory is halting some operations at its main plutonium facility while safety is reviewed.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan last week called for what the lab describes as a "pause" in certain operations on the heels of a report from the Department of Energy's Inspector General raising some questions about procedures at the aging where work with dangerous plutonium and nuclear warheads is done.

In a statement, lab officials say they expect some areas to return to operational status sooner than others, but we they don't expect any significant impact in their mission.

The report last week is just one of several recently raising concerns about safety at the plutonium lab. Officials are also concerned about the structural integrity of the plutonium facility, which sits atop a fault line.


NM Governor Promotes New Silver Alert System​-The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez says a new law creating a statewide Silver Alert warning system will help in finding missing people with Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Similar to the Amber Alert program for abducted children, the Silver Alert system provides for emergency distribution of notices when someone 50 years or older is missing and the individual has a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease.

The city of Albuquerque started a Silver Alert program last year.

The new state law is among about 60 that took effect on Monday, including broader protections for the New Mexico chile industry from misleading advertising of products using out-of-state peppers.

About 130 laws went into effect last month, including expansion of the Amber Alert system to include children abducted by a parent or other family member.