New Mexico lottery officials are forecasting stronger than expected ticket sales this year, which will generate more revenue for a college scholarship program. The New Mexican reports that lottery officials said this week that ticket sales in the current budget year are expected to be about four-million higher than initial projections. The scholarship program faces financial problems because lottery revenue isn’t keeping pace with rising tuition. State lawmakers approved a bill to shore-up the program with liquor tax money to keep the program afloat.
Governor Susana Martinez this week signed Senate Bill 130, which according to bill sponsor, Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto was proposed to assure that deployed service members have peace of mind about their children while serving their country. The Service Member Child Custody Act protects the parental rights of deployed armed service members by ensuring that child custody arrangements cannot be changed while a parent is deployed. Ivey-Soto—an attorney who practices family law—says he's seen situations in court where service-members are deployed for longer than six-months, and that under the laws of most states ,six-months is as long as a custody case remains in that state. *****030614-Ivey-Soto-3 :20***** Ivey-Soto says he's pleased with the Governor's signing the measure into law.
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant officials have released more information about the amount of radiation released after a leak at the site near Carlsbad. Reports indicate that the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring Research Center says the nuclear repository released about a month's worth of radiation over a four-and-a-half day period. Thirteen WIPP workers were exposed to radiation, and the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the Center's officials say that the amount of airborne radiation detected at WIPP was still below the Environmental Protection Agency's acceptable level. No word yet on the cause of the radiation leak.
Albuquerque's Central New Mexico Community College is hopeful that if Tesla Motors chooses to build its new gigafactory in New Mexico, it would take on the task of training its workers. The Albuquerque Business Journal reports that while the city and state are competing to lure the company here, it can boast of CNM's previous efforts that includes the training of specialized workers at Intel, Eclipse Aviation and numerous other firms. CNM President Katherine Winograd says she wants firms such as Tesla to know CNM has people ready to begin training efforts. Wherever Tesla moves, it will have training needs. The company plans to produce electrical luxury cars.
The Albuquerque Public School District is likely to see 80 new teachers next year, the first time in several years the state's largest school district plans to expand its teaching force. The Albuquerque Journal reports that APS spokeswoman Johanna King says the new hires are projected to cost between four and four-and-a-half million dollars. APS currently employs more than 63-hundred teachers. King says the number of positions could possibly change in the coming months as the school district plans its 2014-15 budget.
Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today with a high near 62. Tonight: mostly cloudy with a low of 32. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 60 with a 10-percent chance of rain or snow.