July 8 First News: Feds To Foot Bill For Additional Security For Latin American Refugees (Listen)
Federal authorities are promising a southeastern New Mexico county that immigration officials will pay for any additional security connected to a temporary detention center. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that Eddy County Manager Rick Rudometkin said last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked the county to provide backup security. But Rudometkin says the county will have to go through a contractor to hire close 90 security personnel. He says ICE will foot the bill. Federal officials are using Artesia's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center as a detention center for 700 Central American women and children. The three barracks at the Artesia site will hold people as they await deportation or seek asylum amid an influx of women and children fleeing gang violence and poverty in Central America.
A Public Education Commission member has filed a lawsuit challenging New Mexico's requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot. Tyson Parker of Corrales brought the lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending the state's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions. The lawsuit contends that the signature requirement is about three times greater for minor party candidates, according to the lawsuit. Parker was appointed to the commission last year by Governor Susana Martinez.
Full containment is expected sometime today for a wildfire that charred more than five-and-a-half square miles in the Jemez Mountains. Firefighters say rain has fallen on the Diego Fire south of Coyote in recent days and that humidity levels have been high, giving firefighters the upper hand as they work to bolster containment lines and mop up along the fire's perimeter.
Governor Susana Martinez says tourism spending is on the rise in New Mexico. Martinez released the latest numbers that show the number of visitors grew by less than one-percent in 2013, but overall spending was up seven-percent. With the growth, she says the industry created 17-hundred new jobs. Additionally, she says, another 700 tourism jobs have been created through May of this year. Altogether, Martinez and Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson say the increases represent the third consecutive year of tourism growth in New Mexico, and the second consecutive year of record-breaking tourism growth. Overall visitor spending has grown more than 24 percent since 2010. Over that time period, officials say, an additional two-point-four million visitors came to New Mexico, with a record 32-point-two million people traveling to New Mexico last year alone.
Solid Waste is a hot topic on Torrance County. KSFR's Shannon Latham sorts it out. ***** :52*****
Authorities say a ranger with the Santa Fe National Forest is in stable condition after being injured by an explosion. The Sandoval County Sheriff's Department says the ranger either kicked or stepped on something that exploded. A spokeswoman with the Santa Fe forest could only confirm that an employee was injured and that law enforcement was investigating. She says the employee was taken to an Albuquerque hospital. The incident happened Monday in the Jemez Mountains where Highway 126 and forest road 376 meet.
In Santa Rosa, the girls sent a message, they cared about winning and losing, but it's more important to get to play the game. KSFR's Dave Marash has more.
**** RUNS: 00:52*****
Santa Fe Weather: Partly sunny today, with a high near 80 and a 60-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a continued 60-percen chance for showers and thunderstorms with a low of 61. Tomorrow: Partly sunny with a high near 80 and a 50-percent chance for shower and thunderstorms.