Oct. 18 First News: Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are getting back to normal (Listen)

  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. 

New Mexico environmental groups rally against “fracking” this weekend in an event called the “Global Frackdown.”  “Fracking” is the term used for the blasting of chemically-treated water underground to mine oil and gas. Eleanor Bravo, the Albuquerque-based coordinator for Food and Water Watch, says Las Vegas hosts today’s first event called: “The 11th Hour Rally Against Fracking.” *****Bravo 1  :10***** Bravo says Albuquerque and Taos host the weekend’s other events.

Despite the bankruptcy closure of the nation's largest organic peanut butter processor -- Portales' Sunland Inc. -- the effect on the Portales economy is expected to be minor.  Today's Albuquerque Journal says the city manager there expects the annual gross receipts tax loss will be in the neighborhood of $46,000. An outbreak of salmonella in nut butter products last year caused illness in 20 states.  It was traced back to Sunland, which was forced to shutdown for an extended period. Unable to regain financial traction, the company closed last week, laying off some 100 employees.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall will today deliver the keynote address for a naturalization ceremony in Albuquerque.  68 New Mexico residents from 29 countries will become U.S. citizens. Later in the day, the Senator will attend the investiture of Kenneth J. Gonzales as U.S. District Judge for New Mexico. Gonzales was confirmed by the Senate in June. He served previously as the U.S. Attorney for the state.

Santa Fe Police two men are behind bars after causing criminal damage to some downtown businesses in the overnight hours Thursday. Kenneth Brooks, 45, and Rustin Radcliffe, 34, face felony criminal damage charges after they were caught throwing rocks through windows. Police say it’s unclear if the men were intoxicated at the time.  They note both men have lengthy criminal histories with scores of arrests for disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing and aggravated battery among others.

Fans of Breaking Bad mourning the end of the TV series have a chance tomorrow to say farewell to show hero Walter White. A real “funeral” for White is set for 4:30 at Sunset Memorial Park on Menaul Avenue in Albuquerque. The event will feature a procession to the cemetery escorted by the Bernalillo County Sherriff’s office, which is being paid privately for its overtime efforts. Tickets are being sold for 20-dollars, with proceeds going to Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. Some 11-thousand dollars has already been raised.

Winter in New Mexico is likely to bring warmer-than-normal temperatures and less-than-average precipitation totals.  That's the latest outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  NOAA says that neither El Niño nor La Niña is in play and that gives more influence to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. That modality is in a negative phase which likely means warmer, drier weather for the Southwest.

Weather for Santa Fe –Sunny, dry weather in store today and through the weekend. Highs today in the mid 50s will warm to the lower 60s by Sunday.  Lows tonight near 25 degrees and low 30s later in the period.  Current Santa Fe temperature is ___.