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September 8, 2014

"New Mexico nuclear waste site may be hobbled for years" -- The Washington Post

The Washington Post reports that it may be years before an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico shuttered by a radiation leak is fully operational, and costs for decontamination and other activities to restore the facility are not yet clear, Energy Department officials said. -- 9/7/2014

The U.S. Department of Energy and the New Mexico Environment Department are posting updates on the situation and efforts to remedy the situation.

 

"Interior Offers Nearly $100 Million to More Than 4,000 Landowners with Interests at Gila River and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations to Reduce Fractionation of Tribal Lands" -- Department of Interior

The Department of the Interior announced that purchase offers have been sent to more than 4,000 individual landowners with fractional interests at the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Montana. These offers, totaling nearly $100 million, will give eligible landowners with interests in tribal priority tracts the opportunity to voluntarily sell their land to be held in trust for each tribe.

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. Individuals who choose to sell their interests will receive payments directly into their IIM accounts. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.

 

September 5, 2014

"Clinics to help parents with child safety seats"– Las Cruces Sun News

A state agency is sponsoring free clinics in five communities to educate parents about the proper use of child safety seats in vehicles. The NM Department of Transportation and the nonprofit group Safer New Mexico Now will conduct the clinics Sept. 20 in Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Las Cruces, Las Vegas and Santa Fe. -- 9/3/2014

 

"Kirtland Wants To Yank Reports On Fuel Spill" - KUNM News Roundup

Kirtland Air Force Base's commander says reports on contamination of the aquifer in Albuquerque are flawed and incomplete and that more time is needed to come up with a final plan to clean up a long-ago spill of jet fuel.

Col. Tom Miller told state environmental regulators in an Aug. 27 letter that the Air Force wants to formally withdraw thousands of pages of reports submitted in March. He cites data gaps, clerical errors and other circumstances.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the depth and spread of the fuel contamination has yet to be determined.-- 9/3/2014

August 27, 2014

"Protect Your Groundwater Day– NGWA

The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) encourages every person to protect public health and the health of the environment by protecting groundwater beginning on Protect Your Groundwater Day, September 9.

 

"Tech resources pledged to support Climate Data Initiative" – GCN

In support of the White House’s updated Climate Data Initiative, IBM announced it will give scientists free access to dedicated virtual supercomputing via the company’s World Community Grid platform.  Similarly, Microsoft Azure for Research program will grant 12 months of free cloud computing, and AWS will award grants of free access to supercomputing resources through Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.  These vendors, along with other public and private sector participants, hope to leverage open government data and build tools that will make the United States and global food systems more resilient against the impacts of climate change.

August 28, 2014

"4 new confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in El Paso" – Las Cruces Sun-News

According to the El Paso Public Health Department, four new cases of the West Nile virus have been confirmed, bringing this year's total to six cases.  Earlier this month, the health department reported that two other men had contracted the disease, which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. – 8/28/2014

August 25, 2014

"Ten Commandments part of history, N.M. city leaders to say in appeal of court order" – Fox News

The small, northwestern New Mexico city of Bloomfield is choosing orders handed down to Moses over one issued by a judge, but they say it is a matter of history, and not religion.  Leaders in the community of about 8,000, already under fire for refusing to remove a monument in front of City Hall, voted unanimously to appeal a federal court's order.  The 4-0 vote, said city attorney Ryan Lane, stays the judge's order to remove the monument by the Sept. 10 deadline.  Rather than fight the decision from the angle of freedom of speech and religion, Lane is going to present the monument as an historical document just like other monuments in the town depicting the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and Gettysburg Address.

 

"Ft. Bayard celebrates 148 years" – Las Cruces Sun-News

"It's older than Silver City, older than Hurley, older than Bayard."  That's how Cecelia Bell described Fort Bayard, on the 148th birthday celebration for old United States Army post Saturday morning.  Founded in 1866 during the Apache wars, it played a leading role in the long conflict to defend local miners.  When Geronimo was captured in 1886 and the Apache raids were quelled, the future of the Fort came in doubt.  The fort went back into military service for two years during World War II, housing German prisoners, then reverted to a treatment facility under the New Mexico Department of Health.

 

"Mojave snake sightings rise in southern New Mexico" – Las Cruces Sun-News

Officials in southeastern New Mexico say sightings of one of the most lethal rattlesnakes appear to be on the rise.  The Eddy County Sheriff's Department says more snakes have been spotted in yards this year, including the Mojave rattler.  According to the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, the snake is a type of pit viper that has fangs infused with a neurotoxin that is more potent than some other rattlesnakes. – 8/25/2014