Fri October 4, 2013
Oct. 4 First News:PNM at the PRC today to talk about power replacement plans. (listen)
Electric utility PNM appears at the Public Regulation Commission this morning to present a summary of its power planning supply. PNM is preparing ecision to de-commission two of its four coal-fired units at the San Juan Generating Station by 2018, representing 340 megawatts of power. PNM’s current analysis has them proposing a mix of energy sources; 40 megawatts derived from solar, 177 megawatts from gas and 134 megawatts of nuclear power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Facility in Arizona.
Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta takes flight tomorrow morning. Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity says the nine-day event will be highlighted with five balloon glows and the special shapes balloon events. **** Garrity says some 554 balloons are registered for the 42nd annual event.
UNM Hospital has instituted a new policy requiring all employees to get a flu shot. Workers have received a memo making reference to mandatory immunization by December 1st, after which, failure to have done so will result in disciplinary action including possible firing. KOB-TV’s website reports that union members employed by the hospital say the issue was never negotiated and they may now consider taking legal action.
Three republican state legislators serving Rio Rancho want a new process for evaluating the worthiness of state capital outlay funding for public projects there. State Senator Craig Brandt and Representatives Tim Lewis and Jason Harper say all proposed projects must demonstrate an ability to create jobs for Rio Rancho. The criterion is intended for projects that would be funded by severance tax bonding capacity, which, in 2014, is expected to be some $40 million less than this year. A public forum for proposals is scheduled for December.
Canceled due to the federal government shutdown is the only public hearing in the country on controversial changes to the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction program. It was to have taken place today at Albuquerque's Embassy Suites but the hotel says no such event is on their schedule. Some 75 Mexican gray wolves still survive in Arizona and New Mexico. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal was to have been discussed that would allow release of captive-bred wolves into the Gila National Forest in New Mexico.
Immigrant rights advocates Somos Un Pueblo Unido is leading a statewide caravan to Hobbs, New Mexico this Sunday. That's the hometown of Republican Congressman Steve Pearce, who does not support a path to citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform. Pearce instead favors a temporary guest worker program. The march is part of the National Day of Action for Immigration Reform. Immigrants make up at least 12-percent of the state's workforce and Hispanic-owned business in New Mexico generate over six-point-five billion dollars in revenue each year.
Santa Fe Police, acting on a confidential tip about heroin being dealt at a Rufina Street residence, discovered a non-operational methamphetamine lab. Police say 42-year old Jonathan Kimbrough (kim-bro) is behind bars with charges pending in the case. The discovery led to the deployment of the fire department's hazmat team and evacuation of six nearby residences in the 32-hundred block of Rufina. The team eventually deemed the residence non-hazardous and the ten people evacuated were allowed to return to their homes. Police also recovered drug paraphernalia associated with heroin and meth use at the scene.
New Mexico State Parks is making an outreach to the public to assure them that parks under state control are unaffected by the closures now gripping our national parks and monuments due to the federal government shutdown. They’re touting the fact that we’re nearing peak fall foliage season and due to recent heavy rains, many park lakes and rivers are in better condition than they have been in more than 5 years.
Weather for Santa Fe – Much cooler both today and Saturday with highs only near 55 under sunny skies. A dry cold front will bring gusty conditions later today. Winds out of the northwest to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30. A Freeze Warning in effect for Santa Fe in the overnight hours with lows near 25 degrees, says meteorologist Brian Guyer with the National Weather Service****