Feb. 26 First News: Senator Udall Monitoring WIPP Following Radiation Release (Listen)

Feb 26, 2014

New Mexico Senator Tom Udall says he's in close touch with Department of Energy and Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials regarding the underground nuclear waste repository's first known release of radiation from one of the underground waste storage tunnels more than a week ago. Udall says the health and safety of the Carlsbad community and WIPP personnel are his top priority. *****022614-Udall-1 :24***** Udall says he's being told there's no imminent threat at WIPP, and that he plans to stay in close touch with WIPP and Department of Energy personnel to, in his words, “make sure they give us forthright answers and we get to the bottom of this.”


The Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a living wage within Santa Fe County. The Commission's action sets the minimum wage at ten-dollars, 66-cents an hour, up from the current seven-fifty.... and tipped workers will see their minimum increase from the current two-dollars, 13-cents an hour to six-forty an hour. The ordinance will take effect in 60 days.


The city of Santa Fe is set to put up a solar energy project at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center that’s also going to act as a carport shading most of the parking lot. If all goes as planned, the investment to install the photovoltaic cells will pay for itself by defraying the cost of electricity at the Center as well as move the City closer to its goal of deriving 25-percent of its electric needs from renewable energy sources. The Public Works Committee on Monday approved the plan – the city council is the next stop for the proposal.


New Mexico Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez has been named to the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association's executive committee. That panel helps elect GOP candidates to Lieutenant Governor's posts across the country. Sanchez, a former state legislator and candidate for Governor, has served as lieutenant governor since 2011.


Tickets are now available for upcoming tours of a closed New Mexico prison where one of the nation's deadliest riots took place. The New Mexico Department of Corrections said this week the state is selling tickets for "Old Main" prison tours that begin in May. Tours of the prison outside of Santa Fe are scheduled twice a month and will continue through October. Last year, corrections officials opened the historic site for limited public tours. In February 1980, inmates at the prison killed 33 fellow prisoners in a violent clash. More than 100 other inmates and guards were hurt in the 36-hour riot fueled by overcrowded conditions. Officials hope to eventually to turn the site into a museum.


Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today, with a high near 56. Partly cloudy tonight, with a low around 29.  Tomorrow: Partly sunny, with a high near 58.