KUNM

Update

Albuquerque Police Get Interim Chief - Associated Press

The state's largest city has a new police chief — at least for now.

Former Albuquerque Deputy Chief Allen Banks is now leading the department as interim chief. The department's eight-year long chief Ray Schultz retired last week.

Banks will lead the department until after Mayor Richard Berry chooses a new leader following a national search. Berry says he will make a decision after the mayoral election later this year.

Weekend News Roundup

Aug 5, 2013

Cleanup Continues Following Severe Weather - The Associated Press

It's been a week since communities around New Mexico were slammed with strong winds, heavy rain and flooding, and the cleanup continues.

The American Red Cross has been working in Columbus in southern New Mexico to provide drinking water, tarps and air mattresses, while the Roadrunner Food Bank has been bringing in fresh produce and ready to eat meals.

Judge To Decide Whether To Block Horse Slaughter - Associated Press

A federal judge in Albuquerque is expected to decide Friday whether companies in New Mexico and Iowa can begin slaughtering horses next week.

The Humane Society of the United States and others are requesting a restraining order to block Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, from opening their slaughterhouses as planned on Monday.

Groups Launch Campaign To Defeat Abortion Measure - Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and several other groups are launching a campaign to defeat a proposed late-term abortion ban in Albuquerque.

The alliance of community organizations and women's advocacy groups is holding a press conference Thursday to announce the launch of "Respect ABQ Women."

NM Governor Issues Emergency Assistance Order - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez is making emergency assistance available in areas of New Mexico damaged by recent storms and flooding.

The governor issued an executive order on Tuesday that provides $500,000 to the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for a wide range of aid, including for emergency shelter, food and health care.

Martinez also directed the New Mexico National Guard to provide any needed assistance to local authorities.

Straw Mulch Dropped On Tres Lagunas Fire Area - Associated Press

A helicopter firm hired by the Forest Service is dropping large amounts of straw mulch in the area of the Tres Lagunas Fire north of Pecos to help with rehabilitation.

The Forest Service says the mulch will help hold moisture in place, which slows water flow and helps seeds sprout.

The drops began Monday and are expected to run through this week.

The operation involves approximately 10 tractor-trailer loads of straw daily.

NM Transmission Project To Be Decided In September - Associated Press and The Alomogordo Daily News

The developers of a $1.2 billion electric transmission system in New Mexico say they will end the project if their preferred route is rejected by the federal government.

Court Asked To Safeguard NM Mental Health Audit - Associated Press

The attorney general's office says an agreement has been reached for State Auditor Hector Balderas to have access to an audit that identified potential overbillings and fraud by behavioral health providers.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Al Lama said Thursday a state district judge in Santa Fe has been asked to issue an order making clear the audit report will be protected from public disclosure once it's provided to Balderas.

Ex-Astronaut Reappointed To NM Spaceport Authority - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has reappointed two members of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, including a former astronaut who's the veteran of two space flights.

Former astronaut Sid Gutierrez of Albuquerque and Truth or Consequences banker Jerry Stagner will serve four year terms expiring in 2017.

The nine-member authority is responsible for the state's commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico.

New Mexico Gets $12M Federal Education Grant- Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico will receive an additional $12.5 million in federal money over four years to improve early childhood education. The money is on top of $25 million the U.S. Department of Education awarded the state last year through the national "Race to the Top" competitive grant program. Martinez said the money will be used to help improve early reading skills of students and ensure children are ready to learn when they enter elementary school.

NM Attorney General Not Defending Gay Marriage BanThe Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King says a state prohibition on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

King told the state Supreme Court on Monday in written arguments that it should invalidate the gay marriage ban if the justices agree to consider a lawsuit filed by two Santa Fe men who were denied a marriage license.

Santa Fe National Forest Lifts Fire RestrictionsThe Associated Press

A northern New Mexico national forest that experienced several major wildfires in June is lifting fire restrictions that have been in effect for much this summer.

The Santa Fe National Forest's announcement of its lifting of the restrictions effective Friday morning says increased moisture from monsoon rain in the past several weeks has dramatically the danger of wildfires.

Thursday Evening Roundup

Jul 18, 2013

NM To Auction Unclaimed PropertyThe Associated Press

A gold bar and coins are among the valuables and other objects that the state of New Mexico plans to auction.

Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday announced that the state Taxation and Revenue Department will hold an unclaimed property auction July 27 in Albuquerque.

That auction will feature nearly 800 lots of items, including a 7-pound gold bar, more than 220 U.S. and foreign gold coins, nearly 1,900 U.S. silver dollars and a number of pieces of American Indian art.

Tuesday Evening News Roundup

Jul 16, 2013

Cibola Lifts Fire Restrictions In Sandia DistrictThe Associated Press

Thanks to much-needed rain over the past few weeks, forest officials are reopening popular hiking areas in the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque. And the city is reopening most of the Rio Grande bosque.

Forest Supervisor Elaine Kohrman says moisture levels in vegetation have increased to the point to be able to limit the spread of wildfires.

Kohrman also says the long-range weather forecast predicts cooler weather and more rain for the area.

Tuesday Morning Roundup

Jul 16, 2013

Cibola Lifts Fire Restrictions In Sandia District - Associated Press

Fire restrictions in the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands near Albuquerque have been lifted.

Forest Supervisor Elaine Kohrman says recent rain has increased moisture levels in vegetation to the point where it should limit the spread of wildfires.

Kohrman also says the long-range weather forecast predicts cooler weather and more rain for the area.

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