EPRI, NMSU study drones’ use in assessing storm damage

New Mexico Business Weekly - New Mexico State University and the Electric Power Research Institute in California have teamed up to test the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to assess storm damage on utility distribution systems. The first battery of tests show that UAVs can be effectively used for that purpose, saidMatthew Olearczyk, EPRI senior program manager for distribution research. “Our research clearly shows that drones may provide utilities with a tool that could reduce outage restoration time,” Olearczyk said. “Using live streaming video information, utility system operators would be able to dramatically improve damage assessment.” Testing is being done at NMSU’s Flight Test Center in Las Cruces, run by the Physical Science Laboratory. Read More News New Mexico


Serial Bank Robber on the Loose in NM

From therepublic.com -Authorities are on the hunt for a serial bank robber in New Mexico who federal agents say has likely robbed four banks without saying a word.  He said the suspect is described as wearing a denim jacket with a white fleece collar. FBI spokesman Frank Fisher said the masked robber, who authorities believe is connected to at least four Santa Fe bank robberies, strikes banks armed with a handgun but doesn't speak to bank workers. Fisher said in each case the suspect escapes with a significant amount of money. He said the suspect is described as wearing a denim jacket with a white fleece collar. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.   More here

Santorum is Out

From Politico -Rick Santorum announced Tuesday afternoon that he is ending his campaign for the presidency, effectively closing out the GOP primary season and cementing Mitt Romney's status as his party's presumptive nominee. The decision to shutter his campaign comes days after Santorum's youngest daughter, Bella, was hospitalized with a chronic and serious medical condition. Santorum's team said last night that Bella had been released from the hospital and Santorum was set to resume his campaign schedule. But in Gettysburg today, Santorum said his family had conferred over the weekend and concluded it was time to bring his White House bid to a close.  More here

Millennials Turn Rightward?

National Review The “luster of Obama’s promises has worn off” and “hope” and “change” no longer drive young voters. In 2008, the “millennial” generation, comprising those between the ages of 18 to 29, voted for President Obama by a margin of 2–1. In 2004, President Bush lost this demographic by nine points to John Kerry. But, for the first time in over a decade, it appears the trend  has reversed — young Americans are now reconsidering their allegiances to the Democratic party. Why have the millennials, the group that Obama has described as “the foundation of [his] campaign,” abandoned him? To quote another Democratic campaign, “it’s the economy, stupid.” According to research conducted for Resurgent Republic, a conservative policy organization, young voters are no longer enamored with the president because of the current state of the economy. The millennials chosen for the focus groups were all self-identified independents who had voted for Obama in 2008 but were now undecided on the generic ballot. The dramatic effects of the “Great Recession” had shifted the mindsets of these younger Americans — unemployment amongst this crucial Obama demographic is currently at its highest point since the end of World War II. Read More News New Mexico 


Gary Johnson Attacks Governor Martinez on Immigration

Gary Johnson
From necn.com - Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is slamming successor Susana Martinez for being too tough on illegal immigrants.  Johnson said this week while campaigning in Las Vegas that Martinez's efforts to make it difficult for immigrants to live illegally in the United States isn't wise policy. Johnson says it would be better to advocate for immigration reform and urged the federal government to offer more temporary employment visas so that immigrants can legally enter the country and work here. Johnson was a longshot candidate for the Republican presidential nomination when he announced in December that he would instead pursue the Libertarian ticket. He served two terms as New Mexico's governor starting in 1994. Martinez became the nation's first Latina governor in 2010.

UNM professor wins national award: Program shows dangers of prescription drugs

KRQE According to a professor at UNM’s College of Pharmacy, about 2,500 kids in America abuse a painkiller everyday. Professor Megan Thompson said a lot of those kids have no idea what they're taking. So, she's been showing them what they're doing to themselves through a program that won a national award. “It's an epidemic actually, especially here in New Mexico,” Thompson said. A day before Thompson was set to speak to La Cueva High School students about the dangers of taking pills, police arrested a student at the school who they say was selling oxycodone and adderall. During Thompson’s presentation, almost the entire class raised their hands when asked if they thought prescription drug abuse was problem in the community. “Prescription drugs are cleaner. They don't have to go through a drug dealer to get them. They can just go through a medicine cabinet. In some ways they think prescription drugs are much safer,” Thompson said. Read More News New Mexico 


Pearce Issues Statement on Supreme Court

Steve Pearce
Washington, DC (April 10, 2012) Yesterday, Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement regarding President Obama's urging the Supreme Court to deem his health care law Constitutional:
"The President has continually overstepped his boundaries," said Pearce. "In saying that it would be "unprecedented" and "extraordinary" for the Supreme Court to overturn his health care takeover, he is once again attempting to assert power where he has none. The founders of our nation set up the separation of branches of government to ensure that these types of political games did not negatively interfere in the governing process."
"The health care law invades personal liberties, and I believe it is unconstitutional," Pearce continued. "However, it is up to the Court to decide whether the law is unconstitutional without interference from the President.”


The EPA's Arrogant and Abusive Authority

Did the Obama administration overstep its authority with its landmark healthcare legislation? During the three-day review, Justice Anthony Kennedy created news with his statement that the government has a “heavy burden of justification” to prove its case. All of America is watching and waiting for the expected June decision from the Supreme Court.
But, we do not have to wait to decide that the Obama administration has “overstepped its authority”—a federal judge has already handed down a decision. In this case, healthcare is not at the center of the debate; the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is. The agency have been issuing regulations and finalizing rules with no “burden of justification.”
The EPA, “dominated by anticarbon true believers,” could be considered rogue—except that it has the blessing of the boss. The agency’s actions align with President Obama’s “campaign to raise the price and limit the production of fossil fuels” here in America. The EPA’s freewheeling, however, may have been curbed as the agency is facing a headwind of opposition from the industries they are shutting down, state regulators, and even federal judges.
The wheels are coming off the wagon.
A couple of weeks ago, March 23, the EPA suffered a setback when US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, DC, determined that the EPA did not have the power to revoke a legitimately approved mining permit once it had been issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, as the EPA had done in January 2011 regarding Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine in WV. In ordering that the EPA’s “action be vacated in its entirety,” Judge Jackson said: “This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute.” Read rest of column here: News New Mexico