Archives for April 2015

050115-Waste Isolation Pilot Plant settlement announced

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and the Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced the terms of a $73 million settlement involving the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

The Current Argus is reporting the settlement comes after the state of New Mexico’s fined the Department of Energy and WIPP for the February 2014 incidents that shut down WIPP. The state also targeted Los Alamos National Laboratory for associated activities with the WIPP incidents.

Instead of paying fines, the DOE will provide financial support for a variety of projects that will protect local communities and improve transportation routes in New Mexico and around DOE sites, such as WIPP.

Former Carlsbad superintendent Patterson named ENMU regent

A former Carlsbad school superintendent has received a gubernatorial appointment.

Dan Patterson now holds a seat on the Board of Regents for Eastern New Mexico University.

The governor has named him to replace the late Brett Leach.

Patterson has over four decades of experience in education and administration.

In addition to Carlsbad, he has served as superintendent and deputy superintendent in Las Cruces and Moriarty.

Patterson currently serves on the New Mexico Public School Insurance Authority.

Hot air balloons in Roswell this weekend

You may not find spaceships in the sky in Roswell this weekend, but the clouds can expect some company.

The 28th annual Old Timers Balloon Rally takes place Saturday and Sunday.

Seventy balloons, pilots, and crews plan on coming to town from the southwest and the midwest.

The balloons inflate at the Cielo Grande Recreation Area on West College on the northwest side of the soccer fields. This happens at 6:30 in the morning both days.

Some children don’t have to wait until then. Balloons inflate and take off from some local schools tomorrow morning at 7 o’clock.

Proceeds from the rally benefit charities in Roswell.

Authenticity of panhandler video questioned

You may have seen a video on the Internet about a man using a credit card reader and a smartphone to panhandle in Roswell.

Some people have called it a hoax.

KOAT-TV has spoken to the person who says he filmed it. He calls it the real deal.

Michael Trujillo says he and his friends gave this man five dollars, and that this man gave them a receipt.

However, Trujillo says he does not have the receipt. The station has emailed his cousin, and he says he doesn’t have it.

As for the man in the video, the station has found him in a tent city behind the mall. He has called all this a hoax, and the people shooting the video gave him the card reader prior to filming.

The police have called it a hoax, too.

Train crew supposedly jumped before crash near Roswell

State police have identified the man who died in yesterday’s fatal train wreck southeast of Roswell.

They say 48-year-old Jesse Coburn III of Texico died in the collision.

A state police official says Coburn and a second worker apparently jumped before their freight train hit a parked train.

Meanwhile, a Southwestern Railroad official claims the crew hit the brakes to try to stop all of this.

Coburn and his co-worker supposedly jumped to save themselves. That co-worker has injuries.

Drug take back sets record for Roswell

Officials say Saturday’s drug take back set a new record for Roswell.

The police department and the neighborhood watch program say people surrendered 392 pounds of prescription medications.

The next drug take back event rolls around late September or early October.

Summer of cleaning in Roswell starts Friday

Roswell’s police and code enforcement departments have come together with the Chaves County Republican Women, among other groups.

Everyone involved has organized a city cleanup starting next month.

Roswell Reaches Out begins on Friday, targeting different parts of the city every two weeks.

This project continues until the end of August.

Roswell central control employee among those arrested in investigation

A Roswell central control employee stands among the 12 people arrested in an investigation.

The probe centers on marijuana trafficking and money laundering in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.

The DOJ says law enforcement took 46-year-old Arthur Luna into custody yesterday morning, charging him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting.

Law enforcement from all levels have contributed to this roundup, carrying out search warants at one residence in New Mexico and six in Texas.

Other arrests have taken place in El Paso and Lubbock.

The DOJ says it all began in October. Police identified an El Paso man as the ring leader of a drug transportation operation. This apparently brought marijuana from southwest Texas to Chaves County and Lubbock.

This investigation led police to two other operations that allegedly took pot from El Paso through Chaves and Eddy counties and to Lubbock.

The DOJ says the initial investigation led to 75 pounds of marijuana and $22,166 in cash.

During yesterday’s activity, law enforcement seized 40 pounds of marijuana and $70,000 in cash.

Additionally yesterday, authorities found 14 vehicles, including a motorcycle and an ATV. They also took 16 firearms, including one reported stolen.

Investigation into drug trafficking produces 12 arrests

A total of 12 people face charges following an investigation into marijuana trafficking and money laundering in southeastern New Mexico and west Texas.

Law enforcement from all levels have contributed to this roundup. Officers have carried out federal search warants at one residence in New Mexico and six in Texas.

Arrests have taken place in Roswell, El Paso, and Lubbock.

During yesterday’s activity, law enforcement seized 40 pounds of marijuana and $70,000 in cash.

Additionally, authorities found 14 vehicles, including a motorcycle and an ATV. They also took 16 firearms, including one reported stolen.

Train wreck near Roswell kills one

One person died in this morning’s freight train wreck south of Roswell.

It happened near Old Dexter Highway and Vista Largo. The highway remains blocked.

State police call it a hazmat situation because of the diesel fuel from the two trains. However, no one has evacuated at this point.

The trains carried at least 10 cars between them.

The state police continue investigating, and the NTSB may join that investigation.