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April 25, 2014

Chaco Canyon’s International Dark Sky Park Celebration April 24-26, 2014

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is celebrating its official designation an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association this weekend. Chaco is one of only four official “dark sky” U.S. national parks. The others are Big Bend National Park (Texas), Death Valley National Park (California), and Natural Bridges National Monument (Utah). Chaco was recognized as a “dark sky” park in 2013, but the celebration had to be postponed because of the government shutdown in fall 2013. The Chaco Culture National Historical Park International Dark Sky Park Application has a wealth of information about the requirements to be recognized as a “dark sky” site, and includes information about the ancient practices and traditions of astronomy at Chaco.


Radioactive Leak At WIPP Was Preventable, Report Says“ – NPR

The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management Accident Investigation Report says the release of radioactive material into the environment from the Feb. 14 accident at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, N.M., could have been prevented. The accident at the nuclear waste dump that resulted in the contamination of 21 workers resulted in part from "poor management, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper training and oversight," the report concludes. – 4/24/14

April 24, 2014

State Fights for Uranium Mine Contamination Clean-Up“ – Grant County Beat

New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Secretary Ryan Flynn and Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Secretary David Martin have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offering assistance to help the EPA and the Navajo Nation determine the full extent of environmental contamination at uranium mine sites and the best use of funds that resulted from a major settlement between the federal government and a former major uranium mine company that operated in New Mexico.  – 4/23/2014

More information:

Addressing Uranium Contamination on the Navajo Nation – Environmental Protection Agency

"New Mexico offers help with uranium mine cleanup“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 4/24/2014


Comment Period Opens for Proposed Rule on the Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ Under the Clean Water Act

On April 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States’’ Under the Clean Water Act; Proposed Rule. Publication in the Federal Register marks the beginning of a 90-day comment period that ends July 21, 2014. The proposed rule is generating discussion in the environmental and business communities, and may have implications for the Gila River

More information:

Lawmakers push EPA for more time on water rule“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 4/4/14

Feds release proposed changes to Clean Water Act“ – Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/29/14

EPA Proposes Biggest Step for Clean Water in a Decade“ – Environment New Mexico, 3/25/14


April 22, 2014

Court urges rewrite of child porn law” – Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico's Supreme Court on Monday overturned more than two dozen convictions in separate child pornography cases in a ruling that drew sharp criticism from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, a former prosecutor.  The court said state law is unclear about the circumstances under which prosecutors can bring more than one charge against someone for possessing multiple pornographic images of children. – 4-22-14


"U.S. justices deliver blow to 'Rails-to-Trails' policy" – Reuters

Although the case involved a situation along a hike and bike trail in Wyoming, the case has implications even in the cities and rural areas of New Mexico.  Santa Fe has several former railroad right-of-ways that have been converted to hike and bike trails.  One need only take a look at the Santa Fe Bikeways & Trails Map and the names of the trails. – 3-10-14

More information:

Rails to Trails Conservancy Website

Full text of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in the case

April 14, 2014

Supreme Court orders Fort Sill Apaches recognized as N.M. tribe” – Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Supreme Court, following a hearing, unanimously ordered Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration to invite the tribe to the annual tribal summit, include it on the US Department Of The Interior Indian Affairs Tribal Directory, and consult with its leaders as required by the State-Tribal Collaboration Act. – 4/14/14


400 cows were removed from federal land in this decades-long dispute” – Las Cruces Sun News

Federal land managers say "escalating tensions" led them to release all 400 or so head of cattle rounded up on public land in southern Nevada from a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority.  Bureau of Land Management Chief Neil Kornze announced an abrupt halt to the weeklong roundup just hours before the release.  "Based on information about conditions on the ground and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concerns about the safety of employees and members of the public." – 4/14/14

April 3, 2014

Mexican gray wolf pairs being released in Arizona” – Las Cruces Sun News

Two Mexican gray wolves have been released in southeastern Arizona, but another pair has been removed in New Mexico after roaming too far north, sparking more criticism from environmentalists about the way the wild population is being managed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed expanding the area where the predators are allowed to roam, but it could be months before a final decision is reached. – 4/3/14

FDA approves easy-to-use heroin overdose antidote” – El Paso Times

Friends and family will be able to take the first step to save a lived one from an overdose of heroin or powerful painkillers called opioids. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved and easy-to-use device that automatically injects the right dose of an overdose antidote named naloxone before an ambulance arrives. – 4/3/14

March 31, 2014

Long Waits as Health Deadline Nears” – Wall Street Journal

Americans face a Monday deadline for enrolling in health insurance after last-minute efforts over the weekend produced long lines, extra security and hours of waiting across the country., the federal web portal for purchasing coverage, was up and running after sunrise on the East Coast, but early visitors saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. Obama administration spokesman Aaron Albright said the site's "regular nightly maintenance" was extended for what the Department of Health and Human Services called a "software bug" unrelated to application volume. – 3/31/14

About New Mexico News Plus

New Mexico News Plus connects people to the government sources involved with current news stories and headlines.  Federal and State government information is the main focus of the page.  It is updated by New Mexico library staff in response to the news of the day. The site highlights issues of specific interest to our state and local communities, as well as items of broader interest for the Southwest region.  


New Mexico News Plus is regularly updated, as time and staffing allows. 


The news sources reviewed include:

  • Santa Fe New Mexican
  • Albuquerque Journal
  • Albuquerque Journal North
  • Las Cruces Sun-News
  • El Paso Times
  • KUNM News Roundup

In an attempt to reflect both national as well as specific local interest stories, focus is given to local media, but national news sources are occasionally included in the daily posting.  Links are made primarily to Federal agency documents and Web sites and New Mexico state and local government sites. The page also occasionally provides links to the web pages of other pertinent associations and non-profit organizations mentioned in the news.

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