Archives for June 2015

NM sets record for tourism

The governor has announced nearly 33 million people visited the state last year.

That makes it a record-breaking year for tourism.

She says a half-million more people visited New Mexico than the previous year, crediting the New Mexico True campaign.

This campaign features the state’s famous outdoor locations and New Mexico celebrities.

DOE names acting field office manager at WIPP

The DOE has named one of its longtime employees the acting director of the field office that oversees WIPP.

The department says Dana Bryson has over three decades of experience in the nuclear industry.

Bryson has served as deputy manager of the Carlsbad field office since 2013.

He replaces Joe Francon, who now has another job with the agency.

Bryson once supervised the cleanup and restoration of 220 square miles of the Columbia River corridor in Washington.

WIPP remains closed following last year’s radiation leak.

Roswell shooting ruled accidental, man in jail

Police have ruled Sunday’s shooting of a young lady in Roswell an accident.

It happened that afternoon at Saddle Creek Apartments on South Sunset Street.

Police say 18-year-old Javier Salinas and the woman did something with the gun as it fired a shot into her midsection.

A short time later, they took him into custody after he ran from the scene.

Additionally, police have called the gun stolen from 2013.

The woman identified Salinas as the shooter, but she called it an accident. She remains in stable condition at a hospital.

Salinas remains in jail.

BCBSNM not backing down from raising some premiums 50+%

A major insurer on the state’s health exchange refuses to budge from a proposal to raise its premiums for some customers by over 50 percent.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico says the hike reflects the actual costs of coverage instead of the projections from it first set the rates.

Luce starts work as new DA

The region has a new district attorney.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports Dianna Luce has taken the oath as the Fifth Judicial District’s top prosecutor.

Luce supervises Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties.

The governor has named her to replace the retiring Janetta Hicks.

Hicks resigned two years into her second four-year term for personal and financial reasons.

Woman shot inside Roswell apartment complex, suspect in custody

Roswell Police say they have a possible suspect in custody following yesterday’s apartment shooting.

Someone shot a 17-year-old woman in the abdomen.

Spokesman Todd Wildermuth tells KOB-TV that she went to a hospital in serious condition, but he has not received any updates.

Officers took an 18-year-old man into custody after briefly running after him.

Wildermuth says police continue holding him for questioning, but they have not arrested him.

He also says investigators keep looking for two possible witnesses.

Legislation targets Mexican gray wolf program

Congressman Steve Pearce has helped introduce legislation that could guard against economic losses associated with Mexican gray wolves.

He and Arizona colleague Paul Gosar say the Fish and Wildlife Service has ignored public safety concerns and failed to set recovery goals for the wolves.

They have also criticized the decision to expand the wolf reintroduction area.

Pearce calls the current program ineffective, saying it does not provide enough accountability.

Environmentalists say the legislation threatens to remove endangered species protections for the wolves.

NM Supreme Court allows suits alleging support for Richardson to proceed

State Supreme Court has allowed two lawsuits to proceed.

The suits claim political support for former governor Bill Richardson influenced state investment deals.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the court believes former chief state investment officer Frank Fory can receive triple-damage awards should he prove corruption happened.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center employees go on strike

Service workers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in have gone on strike.

Their labor union and a contractor have failed to reach a deal on a collective bargaining agreement.

The Roswell Daily Record reports the strike involves 50 Omni employees.

Several workers have picketed at three locations outside the training center in Artesia.

The union’s organizers says they have resorted to this because Omni has threatened and intimidated them.

Chaves Co. Sheriff’s Office looking for information on deceased man

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office wants help in the finding the family of someone it found dead.

It found this person and a dog dead along with a green Dodge Ram pickup with Arizona plates.

The office made the discovery last Friday in a rural area northwest of Roswell.

It has mentioned 79-year-old Robert Rezabek as a possible identity. He had an Arizona driver’s license showing an address in Tucson.

However, Tucson Police have found very little information on Rezabek, other than he lived alone. No one has filed a missing person report on him.

The sheriff’s office believes this person and the dog likely died from exposure, and it has found no evidence of foul play.

It wants to send this information throughout New Mexico and Arizona so it can find next of kin.

The state medical investigator’s office continues working on confirming the identity.