March 10, 2014 First News: DOE Says WIPP Air Shows No Contamination (Listen)

Mar 10, 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy says new air testing in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico shows no detectable radioactive contamination from a leak last month. However, federal officials say four more employees have tested positive for low levels of contamination, adding to the 13 tested immediately after the leak. Authorities say none should suffer health effects. WIPP officials say they may send personnel into the mine this week for the first time since the February 14th radiation leak.


Schools in New Mexico will now be able to stock emergency medication to treat students who suffer asthma attacks or allergic reactions. Governor Susana Martinez signed Senate Bill 75 into law Sunday at the American Lung Association's Albuquerque office. The legislation will allow school nurses to administer the medication even to students who don't have a prescription. Martinez says the law can and will save the lives of children. Supporters say the new law will help quickly treat children who haven't been diagnosed with a respiratory problem but suffer an asthma attack at school.


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Governor Susana Martinez has signed legislation creating a state certification program for all community health workers in New Mexico. The measure creates voluntary community health worker training that would be the standard statewide. Supporters say better trained community health workers could help with the state's shortage of health care providers, particularly in rural parts of the state. The certification would make community health workers eligible to be reimbursed by insurance plans and even Medicaid for certain services.


At State Democrats' pre-primary convention Saturday, State Senator Howie Morales of Silver City finished first among five Democrats seeking to run against New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber and public administrator Lawrence Rael also garnered the required 20-percent of the vote to get an automatic spot on the June Democratic Primary ballot. Not making the cut were Attorney General Gary King and State Senator Linda Lopez. Lopez and King can still get on the ballot by submitting enough petition signature.


Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today, with a high near 64. Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 34. Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, with a high near 55.