WIPP takes step towards reopening

Workers at WIPP on Thursday moved simulated nuclear waste to prepare for resumed emplacement operations.

The DOE watched as radiation control technicians and waste handlers did this as part of the Management Self Assessment process.

The Current-Argus reports this process should have taken three hours, but various delays pushed it back to five.

The Management Self Assessment team has issued a report to WIPP officials with recommendations on issues they have seen during simulations that need correcting.

The DOE’s operational readiness review determines whether or not the facility can reopen.

Event Wednesday in Roswell focuses on oil and gas industry

An event this coming Wednesday focuses on the benefits of oil and gas in the region.

The parking lot at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center welcomes people who want to stand with the industry.

“Support O&G in NM” begins Wednesday evening at 6:30.

Contestants wanted for ENMSF Queen contest

The Eastern New Mexico State Fair Queen Contest invites ladies between 16 and 24 to participate.

These young women can compete in personal interview, speech, modeling, impromptu questions, and horsemanship.

Contestants can win scholarships, gifts, and other prizes.

The winner receives a crown, a buckle, a saddle, and a $1,000 scholarship.

The contest takes place at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair in Roswell on Sun., Oct. 2.

You must enter by Wed., Sept. 28 and pay an entry fee of 150 dollars.

The fair’s website has more information.

Gutierrez could learn fate today

The New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine may decide today on Leandro Gutierrez, Jr.

The board suspend or revoke his veterinary license. Alternatvely, it could do absolutely nothing.

Gutierrez yesterday defended 44 complaints against him from animal rescue groups.

He worked for the Roswell Animal Shelter, but these groups and other people had issues with treatment of animals there.

The attorney general’s office yesterday rested its case against Gutierrez, calling the kennels dirty and animals neglected.

He worked for the city for a decade. That time ended last year when his contract expired.

Veterinarian’s hearing expected to last through tomorrow

The disciplinary hearing for the former veterinarian at Roswell’s animal shelter continues through tomorrow.

Witnesses yesterday testified that Leandro Gutierrez, Jr. provided inadequate care for animals, and that he failed to live up to his contractual obligations.

This hearing follows 40 complaints against him concerning his managing Roswell Animal Control Services.

The state board of veterinary medicine could decide to revoke or suspend Gutierrez’s license. It could also decide to take no action at all.

Artesia remembers councilman Aguilar

Longtime Artesia councilman Jose Luis Aguilar died last week in Lubbock at age 72.

He had served District 2 since 2010, as well as from 1986 to 1998.

Mayor Phillip Burch has described Aguilar to the Current-Argus as a strong supporter of his constituents and very active on the council.

Councilman Raul Rodriguez has called him someone who would not back down from what he believed.

Burch has promised to recommend a replacement, but he has not decided who to recommend.

The term ends in two years.

Xcel Energy spends $34M with area suppliers

Xcel Energy says it powers communities beyond electricity.

The company says that based on expenditures over the last year, it has spent nearly $34 million with New Mexico-based vendors as it keeps upgrading the region’s power grid.

These outlays range from fuel and food purchases from local retail outlets to buying building materials for new substations and power lines that deliver increased power supplies to the regional economy.

Xcel Energy also says it has paid nearly $6 million in state and local taxes in the last year, and returned nearly $4 million to communities in franchise fees,

Report shows NM would lose with ban on energy production on federal land

The first report from the Energy Institute shows that proposals to ban oil, gas, and coal production on federal lands and waters could cost New Mexico thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.

The Energy Accountability Series indicates that these policies could cost the state over 24,000 jobs, nearly half a billion dollars in annual royalties, and nearly $3 billion in GDP.

Retiring planes arrive at Roswell International Air Center

Roswell International Air Center now looks a little more crowded.

The airport has taken in 20 American Airlines jets on a temporary basis.

The company has retired these MD-80 jets from its fleet.

The planes remain in Roswell as American Airlines decided what to do with them.

Possibilities include removing parts to use on other planes, as well as refurbishing jets to sell to smaller airlines.

The lanes have arrived from places all across the country.

The oldest plane dates back 30 years, carrying 3.6 million passengers during that time.

As American Airlines retires this model, expect to find more MD-80s at the air center.

Governor activates NM Emergency Operations Center

Eddy County and other counties have already received heavy rain, and it may continue for the rest of the week.

The governor has activated the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center to prepare for flooding statewide.

She has directed the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation, and the New Mexico Department of Health to monitor and help the response.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park closed yesterday afternoon at 4 o’clock because of possible road flooding.