KUNM

Study Finds Uranium In Navajo Women And Babies, Pilot And Passenger Injured At Balloon Fiesta

Oct 7, 2019

US Official Says Research Finds Uranium In Navajo Women, Babies - By Mary Hudetz Associated Press

Officials say federal research shows that about a quarter of Navajo women who participated in a study of uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems.

Dr. Loretta Christensen, the chief medical officer for Indian Health Service facilities that serve the Navajo Nation, cited the research at a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque.

The Monday hearing centered on the atomic age's legacy on Native American communities. Cleanup of abandoned uranium mines continues decades after they closed.

Christensen says the research also shows some babies born in recent years had high concentrations of uranium. She says research is ongoing.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, says Native Americans were disproportionately affected by uranium mining and nuclear testing for Cold War weaponry.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot, Passenger Injured Amid Hard LandingsAssociated Press

Several hot air balloon travelers received medical treatment after two hard landings at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity said that a hard landing northwest of Albuquerque on Monday morning resulted in a fire and that the pilot and a passenger were hospitalized with injuries.

He says several public safety agencies are investigating. Local and state law enforcement officials had no further information.

Separately, a balloon passenger with a pre-existing medical condition was treated by medical personnel at the balloon launch site after a hard landing on the field.

Another balloon landed with its fabric draped over a utility line in Albuquerque's North Valley without injuries or damage.

The annual balloon fiesta draws pilots from around the world and from more than 40 U.S. states.

Renewable Energy Firm Doubles Down On Western Wind Projects - By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press

A California-based renewable energy developer plans to increase by seven-fold its investments as it prepares to build more wind farms in New Mexico over the next several years.

An analysis commissioned by Pattern Development shows a $1.2 billion economic impact from its wind farms in eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Company officials say this is hundreds of millions of dollars more than what was initially projected in 2015.

Broadview Wind Energy consists of 141 turbines that span the New Mexico-Texas border. The facility has been producing electricity for customers of Southern California Edison since 2017.

The nearby Grady Wind project recently came online, and company officials say work to erect turbines capable of generating another 800 to 900 megawatts is scheduled to start in 2020.

Age, Health Spur New Mexico Lawmaker To Pass On Re-ElectionSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

New Mexico Rep. Jim Trujillo will not be seeking re-election next year.

The Santa Fe Democrat told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday that it's time for him to cede to a younger candidate.

Trujillo said he will be 81 years old by next year's primary election.

Health issues also contributed to his decision. He suffered a stroke in 2017.

Trujillo first became a lawmaker when he was appointed to the seat in 2003 after Rep. Patsy Trujillo, who is no relation, went to work for Gov. Bill Richardson.

He was elected to the position in 2004. Since then, Trujillo has easily won every election with no opposition.

El Paso Judge On Leave After DWI Arrest In Santa FeKRQE-TV, Associated Press

An El Paso judge has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Santa Fe.

KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported Sunday that El Paso Magistrate Judge Ray Gutierrez was detained last month at the Sant Fe Opera after his car hit another vehicle.

According to a criminal complaint, Gutierrez failed a sobriety test with Santa Fe County sheriff's deputies.

His blood alcohol level was above the legal limit.

Gutierrez admitted to deputies that he had had five wine samples at the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta.

Deputies also arrested him for carrying a gun inside a licensed liquor establishment.

He has since been released from the Santa Fe County Detention Center.

A spokesperson with the Council of Judges in El Paso says he is on leave pending an investigation.

Balloons Fill Albuquerque Sky In 2nd Day Of Annual Fiesta - Associated Press

Hundreds of balloons have filled the sky over Albuquerque in the city's annual International Balloon Fiesta.

Event officials sent up the green flag just before 6:30 a.m. Sunday, giving the all clear for the mass ascension.

Balloons were mostly tethered to the ground Saturday because of fog and that mass ascension was canceled.

But the weather was ideal Sunday and balloons of all types took off from Balloon Fiesta Park.

The fiesta draws pilots from around the world and from 41 U.S. states.

Organizers expect tens of thousands of spectators for opening weekend and exponentially more over the course of the nine-day event.

The spectacle has grown over nearly five decades and infuses millions of dollars into the economy each year.

Vacant Country Club In Rio Rancho Gutted By Fire; Not Arson - Associated Press

A vacant country club in Rio Rancho has been gutted by a fire.

Authorities say they don't suspect arson in the fire that broke out Friday night at the Chamisa Hills Country Club.

Rio Rancho Fire officials say the clubhouse's roof collapsed so they had to put the flames out from the outside of the building.

Deputy Chief Richard Doty told Albuquerque TV station KOB that his team and other agencies spent more than 15 hours getting the fire under control.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Rio Rancho Mayor Greg Hull says the country club was one of the original cornerstones that identified the community.

However, the country club has been vacant for years.

Lovington High's Blue Turf Now Called Brian Urlacher Field - Hobbs News-Sun, Associated Press

The blue turf of Wildcat Stadium at New Mexico's Lovington High School has been named Brian Urlacher Field in honor of the pro football Hall of Famer.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports the naming ceremony was held Friday night at halftime of Lovington's home game against Goddard High.

Urlacher attended a pep rally at Wildcat Gym with the student body and faculty.

He was reunited with members of Lovington's 1994-95 coaching staff after being presented a framed photo of the field now named after him.

Urlacher graduated from Lovington High in 1996 and was a star linebacker for 13 seasons with the NFL's Chicago Bears after his college career at the University of New Mexico.

In his halftime speech, Urlacher thanked his coaches, family and the Lovington community for his success.

Unruly Fans Threaten New Mexico High School Soccer Games - Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A New Mexico high school sports governing board says unruly fans creating problems in football, cheerleading and basketball are threatening the future of soccer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports New Mexico Activities Association recently announced that soccer games are being canceled and the sport is losing officials due to parental behavior.

New Mexico Activities Association Executive Director Sally Marquez described the situation as a "crisis" in a letter to coaches and athletic directors.

She says the cussing, screaming and threats have to stop.

The governing board said in April it was considering canceling next year's cheerleading State Spirit Competition following death threats and inflammatory social media posts.

Earlier this year, the association warned Estancia High School over rowdy basketball fans. Carlsbad High imposed crowd restrictions after improper behavior from student fans.

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