Fireworks vendors feel heat to shut down

From - By: Eddie Garcia, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Fireworks vendors have been feeling a lot of backlash because of the high fire danger. We asked a Socorro County vendor why they're choosing to stay open and what challenges they're facing this year. Outdoor enthusiast Wendy Meek says she grieves for the destruction wildfires are wreaking throughout New Mexico. It's a feeling at conflict with her day job as a firework vendor with tents in Socorro County and Peralta. She's been feeling the heat to shut down all season. "It's not as easy for vendors to close down because they've already invested a lot of money and they have employees that they have hired and started to pay," said Meek. She says considering all that's at stake - it's too late to close. We asked her, with these dangerously dry conditions, why she insists on staying open. "If I shut this down today I would have to fire all of the people, I would lose $ 30,000 it wouldn't be good for the state in the sense that everything we make taxes are paid and it goes to each individual county, so the counties would lose money," said Meek. Read more

As crews gain leverage on 92,000-acre blaze, some residents stay put

From the Santa Fe New - by Staci Matlock - The Las Conchas Fire stood at 92,735 acres Wednesday, but some favorable winds and a massive effort by firefighters brought a hint of progress. The fire was officially listed as 3 percent contained. Despite the mandatory evacuation order for Los Alamos, a few dozen residents have stayed behind. Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy isn't happy about the situation, but he's not planning to arrest them. "There really is no specific penalty for failing to leave in a mandatory evacuation order," Torpy said. "What we're trying to do here is use the mandatory evacuation order to emphasize to people how important it is for them to leave for their own safety. When they don't leave, they add an extra burden on us, the law enforcement, the firefighters or National Guard people that are on the ground." Torpy said emergency personnel have been door to door twice and registered those who've stayed. If the fire does enter the community, they'll go back to make sure all the residents get out safely. "But by not going, they are taking up time that we could be doing something to help those who have to be here to serve the community. I urge them to go. This fire is not over." Read more

DAs scramble to save victim notification system

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - When she was a district attorney, Gov. Susana Martinez was instrumental in bringing to New Mexico an automated victim notification system about defendants’ incarceration status and court hearings. So many of the state’s district attorneys were disappointed earlier this year when she pocket vetoed a bill that would have funded continuation of the program at the end of a federal grant by imposing a fee on jail inmates’ phone calls. Now, with federal funding for the system ending today, district attorneys are scrambling to try to find a way to keep the system going. “The district attorneys were absolutely dumbfounded when we found out what happened,” 13th Judicial District Attorney Lemuel Martinez said about Martinez’s veto. He said he still doesn’t understand. Scott Darnell, spokesman for Susana Martinez, said the bill was flawed in several ways. In addition to paying for the automated notification system, he said it would have created “new state employee positions” that “are arguably unnecessary for an automated system.” Darnell said the bill had a sunset provision, so it didn’t ensure long-term continuation of the program. And the governor, he said, wants to ensure that district attorneys use the system to supplement, not replace, the personal relationships between victims’ advocates and victims. Read more

Fire Chief: Los Alamos Will Be Spared

Los Alamos on a clear day
KOB TV - One thousand firefighters set out Wednesday morning to battle the Las Conchas fire, which started Sunday and has burned close to 90,000 acres. The fire grew about 20,000 acres Wednesday, moving half a mile north into the Santa Clara pueblo and moving south, now about 10 miles from Jemez Springs. According to Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug Tucker, the part of the massive fire closest to Los Alamos is moving away from town. Chief Tucker is confident that homes in Los Alamos will be spared from the fire and if there is a chance for fire spotting, the crews are prepared to take action. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Terrell: He is Bold and Tireless

Steve Terrell
Roundhouse Roundup - Last week in this column, I boldly took a bold stance against politicians overusing the word bold. This week, if I may be so bold, I'd like to talk about another word that politicians love to use but has become tiresome: "Tireless." It seems that everyone running for political office these days seems to think that he or she has to convince voters that they are tireless advocates, tireless champions, tireless workers, tireless fighters. It's enough to make me bleary-eyed. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Chavez Rips GOP Offers No Specific Policies

Martin Chavez
KOB TV - Former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez has jumped into the race for Congress in New Mexico's first district. The 59-year-old Democrat pointed to his three terms as Mayor of New Mexico's largest city and contrasted his record with the performance of the U.S. Congress. "I've been watching those folks work," said Chavez. "I think everyone knows the solutions aren't happening, and I want to do my best to fight for New Mexico. It's my home state. I've got a record of getting things done and that is what is not happening in Washington today." Chavez took particular aim at the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.Read full story here: News New Mexico

Using DNA for Enforce Poop Scooping

Palmbeachpost - If your pooch poops, you pay. Plagued with pets that do business in all the wrong places, dog owners in the Village of Abacoa, a condominium association of 458 units, must pay a $200 fee starting Aug. 1. The money will pay DNA Pet World Registry to take the dog's genetic fingerprint and keep the information on file. Doggie droppings found in condo common areas will be collected and mailed in a plastic tube to the Knoxville, Tenn.-based company. If the poop matches the pooch, the owners can be fined up to $1,000. If they don't pay, a lien can be placed on their home, said Susan Nellen, property manager for Versa Property Management, which manages the condo near Roger Dean Stadium. More News New Mexico


Woman Dead in Public Pool for Two Days

FALL RIVER (FOX25 / - The body of a Fall River woman was discovered floating in a state run pool late Tuesday night, two days after she apparently drowned in that same pool. Police say lifeguards were on duty and people were swimming in the Veterans Memorial pool at Lafayette Park Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and it appears no one noticed the dead body. Investigators identified the body as 36-year-old Marie Joseph. Police say Joseph was watching her 9-year-old neighbor at the pool on Sunday when she apparently had an accident sliding down a waterside. Family friends tell FOX25 the little boy told lifeguards that she did not come up from above water but no action was taken. The Bristol County DA would not confirm if the woman’s body was in the water for two days, but did call the set of circumstances "unbelievable" and said the death is still under investigation. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Lenti: Governor Perry – running in 2012

Rick Perry
NM Politics - By Sarah Lenti - Here we go. Texas is about to do it again. I would place any wager that Governor Rick Perry is about to do what former President George W. Bush did in 1999. And that would be announcing his bid to run in the Republican primary for president. Recall that back in April of 2009, Governor Perry was laying secession out there as a good option for a very fed-up (with the feds) Texas. It’s highly unlikely that this talking point makes it into his platform, and it’s sure to be a lead balloon in any debate. At the risk of oversimplification, I would just note that the idea behind running for President of the United States should be to keep America, well, united. Read more here News New Mexico