New Mexico News Plus
New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is late paying out millions in federal disaster relief money it owes local governments and contractors.
That money came to the state through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and is meant to help communities clean up after natural disasters such as wildfires and floods.
Now, State Auditor Tim Keller is asking Governor Susana Martinez to help, immediately. In a letter this week, Keller says there are steps the governor’s office could take to help the troubled department. -- 9/16/2016
Health officials investigating cases of crypto in NM– Las Cruces Sun News
Officials with the New Mexico Department of Health are investigating cases of cryptosporidiosis among state residents. They say there have been six confirmed cases of "crypto" since Aug. 31. Each reported consuming raw milk products. The affected individuals are from Bernalillo County. Epidemiologists, laboratory staff and inspectors are working to confirm the source of the outbreak. - - 9/15/2016
Obama: Oceans Key to Protecting Planet From Climate Change -- ABC News/Associated Press
President Barack Obama said Thursday that he created the Atlantic Ocean's first national monument because the planet cannot be protected without trying to safeguard its oceans.
Obama announced the new Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument at a State Department conference.
The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument consists of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the New England coast. It's the 27th time that Obama has created or enlarged a national monument. -- 9/15/2016
Facebook has announced that their new data center will be built in Los Lunas.
Facebook officials made the announcement Wednesday saying the facility will be one of the most advanced data centers and that it will be powered by 100 percent clean and renewable energy.
In a news release Governor Martinez said, “Facebook is a stellar, cutting-edge, high-tech company, and it’s an honor to welcome them to New Mexico. Making our state more competitive for jobs and new investment is critical to growing our private sector and diversifying our economy. With the improvements we’ve made over the past several years, New Mexico is finally competing again, and in this case, it’s a big win for the people of our state and our economic future.” -- 9/14/2016
Bringing Calm to Chaos: A critical incident review of the San Bernardino public safety response to the December 2, 2015, terrorist shooting incident at the Inland Regional Center -- Homeland Security Digital Library
From the report's executive summary:
The purpose of this Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) Critical Incident Review is to critically, objectively, and thoroughly examine the public safety response—including preparation and aftermath—to the December 2, 2015, terrorist shooting in San Bernardino. This review provides a detailed overview of the incident response; lessons learned to improve responding agencies' policies, procedures, tactics, systems, culture, and relationships; and guidance to other agencies and first responders as they prepare for responses to terrorist, active shooter or other hostile events, or mass casualty incidents.
It is important that the lessons identified in this report be studied and applied by public safety agencies as they work to enhance the safety of their community and first responders and possibly prevent future attacks. -- 9/14/2016
Martinez appoints new environment secretary – Las Cruces Sun News
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed a longtime employee of the state Environment Department to serve as the agency’s new leader. Butch Tongate’s appointment was announced Monday. He replaces Ryan Flynn, who resigned earlier this summer to take a job with an oil and gas industry group. -- 9/13/2016
NM Dept. of Health: 3 things to do to avoid the flu – Las Cruces Sun News
Believe the New Mexico Department of Health when it tells you: Flu is serious business. It is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. In New Mexico alone last flu season, there were 219 pneumonia and flu-related deaths.
NMDoH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge everyone to take flu seriously. Here are three things to do to save you and your family from the hassle — or far worse. -- 9/7/2016
Bernalillo County man is state's 3rd case of human plague– Las Cruces Sun News
The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting the third human plague case in the state this year. They say a 67-year-old Bernalillo County man was hospitalized but now is recovering at home. The illness likely was caused by a bite the man sustained from a wild prairie dog from Santa Fe County. -- 9/2/2016
Cities across America will need to decide how they want to manage widespread commercial drone use, how they want to adopt drone technology for themselves, and how best they can encourage innovation in this exciting and growing field while still ensuring public safety.
To read more about this issue, check out the National League of Cities' full report, Cities and Drones: What Cities Need to Know About Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or the shorter issue brief. -- August 2016
U.S. takes key step to implement sage grouse conservation plan -- Santa Fe New Mexican/Associated Press
Federal land managers issued guidelines Thursday for restricting energy development, livestock grazing and other activities on public land in the West to protect the greater sage grouse, part of a broad effort to save the bird without resorting to listing it as an endangered species.
The Bureau of Land Management guidelines tell field employees when and how to apply new rules under a sweeping conservation plan announced last year. -- 9/2/2016
State cash reserves hit zero as budget troubles mount -- Santa Fe New Mexican
Falling tax revenues have left a $654 million hole in the state budget, and New Mexico lawmakers learned Wednesday that the reserve fund for day-to-day government operations is completely drained.
The Legislature is expected to convene next month in a special session in Santa Fe to transfer money to the operating budget from an account containing cash tobacco companies paid to settle a lawsuit. -- 8/25/2016
New Mexico schools post improved grades, ABQ falls behind -- Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico schools earned just slightly more A’s and B’s than D’s and F’s in the latest round of school grades, but Albuquerque fell behind.
Statewide 38 percent of schools, a total of 325, reached the top two grade levels compared with 37 percent, or 315, at the bottom, according to data the New Mexico Public Education Department released Wednesday. -- 8/24/2016
NM Supreme Court clarifies state whistleblower law– Las Cruces Sun News
The New Mexico Supreme Court has issued a ruling in a case involving former Secretary of State Mary Herrera that narrows the grounds for whistleblowers to bring legal action by shielding officeholders from personal liability. The justices have overturned an earlier appellate court ruling that the Whistleblower Protection Act allowed state officials to be sued as individuals. - - 8/24/16