November 5, 2015

New Mexico Museum to Unveil Rare Fossil Find -- ABC News/Associated Press

Paleontologists with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Thursday planned to unveil the first baby Pentaceratops skull ever discovered.

Scientists already have cut open a giant plaster jacket that protected the skull as it was airlifted out of the desert badlands of northwestern New Mexico and trucked to the museum.

Now, technicians will begin the painstaking work of digging out the fossil from the rock in which it has been encased for some 70 million years.

The process will take many months, but the public will be able to watch from windows that offer a view into the museum's preparation room.

A free public viewing is scheduled Thursday evening November 5, 2015. -- 11/5/2015


Probe: 1,800 wild horses sent to slaughterhouse instead of pasture -- Santa Fe New Mexican/Washington Post

The government’s largest sale of wild horses was to a rancher who sent almost 1,800 mustangs to slaughterhouses across the Mexican border and lied to federal officials, a new report concludes, finding lapses with a federal program that’s supposed to find the animals safe homes.

The Colorado rancher and livestock hauler admitted to investigators from the Interior Department’s Inspector General’s Office that “probably close to all” of the horses were resold for slaughter and that he assumed they would be killed. -- 11/4/2015


State study: We’re stuck with Rail Runner -- Albuquerque Journal

A study unveiled Wednesday by the state Department of Transportation says selling the commuter train isn’t feasible and switching to a commuter bus service running between Belen and Santa Fe would not be a huge budget-saver.

“We’re finding out that despite all the difficulties we’ve had, we’re probably going to have to love each other,” Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, told a legislative hearing Wednesday at the state Capitol. “We have too much invested in it now that we can’t divorce.”

The DOT study was requested earlier this year by the Legislature. It focused on the feasibility of selling the 97-mile Rail Runner line, the cost of maintaining train service over the next 20 years and the possibility of replacing the commuter train with bus service. -- 11/4/2015


New Mexico recovers $1 million from Google -- Albuquerque Journal

Google Inc. deposited nearly $1 million in a state account this week to repay New Mexico for an economic development grant the government made for infrastructure upgrades at the Moriarty Municipal Airport.

The upgrades helped pave the way for Google to build a 60,000-square-foot facility at the airport to house Titan Aerospace, a Google subsidiary that was developing a solar-powered drone there.

But Google moved Titan’s operations to California this summer, prompting New Mexico to impose clawback provisions to recover the state’s money, Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela said. -- 11/4/2015