A Hazmat incident in downtown Santa Fe over the weekend was instigated when hydrogen peroxide began bubbling up through the street on Montezuma Avenue. It forced authorities to close down some streets and businesses in the vicinity of the district courthouse. Contractors have been using the hydrogen peroxide to clean up decades-old petroleum contamination found in soils throughout the area.
In today's features: Fred Nathan, founder of Think New Mexico weighs in on renewed talk of re-instituting a state tax on food in our state. And we hear from New Mexico's Secretary on Aging & Long-term Services about the problem of elder abuse. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
The state's Legislative Finance Committee has been given updates on two separate inquiries into fraud allegations against in-state providers of mental health and substance abuse services. The allegations caused the Human Services Department to cut off Medicaid payments to the providers back in June. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King told the LFC Thursday that his inquiry could possibly conclude by the end of the year.
Among today's feature items: A conversation with LANL scientist Herbert Funston on the establishment and evolution of space-based sensors to verify compliance with the 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. We also hear from State Senator Gerry Ortiz y Pino who wants to renew a legislative consideration of extending Medicaid benefits to newly-freed inmates of New Mexico correctional institutions. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
With Wednesday’s arguments both for and against marriage equality made before the state Supreme Court, the wait is on for the justice’s decision. The high court is not bound to a timetable and, thus, an announcement could come at any time. Meanwhile, Republican State Senator Bill Sharer, a leading voice against same-sex marriage, says New Mexico voters have the final say regardless of the legal decision.*****
In today's feature items: We hear from the crowd waiting in anticipation of today's hearing on marriage equality before the New Mexico Supreme Court; we also eavesdrop on a few exchanges within court chambers. Also, Progress Now New Mexico talks about the recent doing away with on on-campus polling site for UNM students. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss delivered his final “state of the city” address Tuesday evening at the convention center. Coss spoke of notable accomplishments during his eight-year tenure, highlighting our city’s minimum wage law and the push for marriage equality. He also spoke about immigration and recalled that when he first took office, federal agents were actively conducting raids in Santa Fe. The mayor spoke of the City’s intervention in curtailing such activity and the need for comprehensive, national immigration reform….****
In features after today's news headlines: A conversation with ACLU of NM Executive Director Peter Simonson ahead of tomorrow's state Supreme Court hearing on marriage equality. We also talk about sources of venture capital moving into New Mexico to assist up-and-running businesses. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Santa Fe's police chief, Ray Rael, says some officers could be using sick leave to oppose the force's move back to an 8 hour, 5 day work-shift. Until mid 2011, officers had worked 10 hour, 4 day shifts, a change credited with saving overtime costs and helping to blunt crime. The new schedule is not popular with the police union. At Monday's Santa Fe Finance Committee meeting, Chief Rael says a recent 30-percent uptick in sick leave is likely intentional and a form of protest.
In features after today's local news headlines: New Mexico Attorney General Gary King talks about his release of a redacted Human Services Department audit as his office continues investigation of fraud allegations against multiple mental health & substance abuse service providers. We also catch up with Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and his thoughts about his tenure as he prepares to deliver his 8th & final "state of the city" address. These items and more plus 60 seconds with Christopher Hagen.
New Mexico's Supreme Court takes up the marriage equality issue on Wednesday. The high court is being asked to provide a state-wide, binding resolution on the question of whether same-sex couples can legally wed. The ACLU of New Mexico says it hopes the justices will issue a writ to resolve all claims on constitutional grounds. A number of county clerks have issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying nothing in the state constitution prohibits them from doing so. All 33 county clerks in New Mexico have petitioned for a state Supreme Court ruling.
Among today's features after local news headlines: We hear about the UNM and NM Health Insurance Exchange campaign to make college students aware of affordable healthcare insurance options available to them. We also speak with the founder of a new initiative to ensure New mexico's public buildings are not "sick." Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are getting back to normal routine today in the wake of the re-opening of the federal government. However, LANL’s Fred de Sousa says resumption of all Lab operations will take several days to perform in a safe, deliberate and methodical manner. De Sousa expressed relief to KSFR that Lab employees will be spared the hardship of a closure, at least for the time being. De Sousa says while no regular Lab employees were furloughed during the government shutdown, nearly 300 environmental contractors were.
In features after our local news headlines: We catch up with Congressman Ben Ray Luján in Washington, DC for his thoughts post-shutdown. We also speak with Santa Fe Community College's Scott Whitaker about the worsening rate of student loan default. Those items and more plus 60 Seconds with Christopher Hagen.
Furlough plans at-the-ready for thousands of employees at our state’s Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories can now be set aside as the U-S government re-opens. That after both the Senate and House approved funding through January 15th and lifted the debt ceiling until February 7th. Thousands of federal civilian employees at our state’s military installations will now be among those returning to work. All four democrats from New Mexico’s congressional delegation voted to end the stalemate in Washington.