NM State Fair cut to 12 days

KRQEThis year's edition of the New Mexico State Fair is going to be shorter. Fair organizers recently announced that the fair is streamlining down to just 12 straight days in September, instead of the 17 day stretch. The move comes as fair attendance fell to around 400,000 last year, about 30,000 fewer people than 2010. Fair managers are hoping the new schedule will pick things up. New Mexico State Fair spokesman Michael Henningsen said there are only six fairs in the country that run longer than 10 days. This year's fair will start a little later than usual on Sept. 12 and it will close on Sept.23. Read More News New Mexico


Romney campaign set to open 4 NM offices

Mitt Romney
KOB - The Romney campaign is set to begin its push in New Mexico with four new offices throughout the state. Rick Wiley, national political director of the Republican National Committee, announced Thursday that the GOP is launching an aggressive effort this weekend to identify voters and recruit volunteers. Wiley said the New Mexico efforts are part of a national push Saturday across the country. Wiley said Gov. Mitt Romney had to wait to win the GOP nod before opening New Mexico offices. He said the campaign plans to have bilingual volunteers to reach out to New Mexico's Hispanic population. RNC spokesman Ted Kwong said the campaign is opening up offices in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell and Farmington. The move comes months after as the Obama campaign opened offices throughout the state. Read More News New Mexico


New Mexico Unemployment Below National Average, Martinez Open for Business Attitude Helping?

KOB - The Department of Workforce Solutions says fewer weeks of unemployment benefits will be available to jobless New Mexicans because of a change in federal law. A maximum of 60 weeks of unemployment compensation will be offered effective July 7. That's down from 73 weeks.
The department says some federally funded unemployment benefits are expiring because the state's three-month average unemployment rate is below 7 percent. A 6 percent rate previously triggered an additional 13 weeks of benefits for jobless workers. A federal law enacted earlier this year established new provisions that determine the maximum benefits available in a state. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Duke City Public Employees Caught Gambling, Shopping, and Running Errands on Taxpayers Dime

KRQE — (Albuquerque) - A two-month long undercover investigation revealed three employees who work in the field as inspectors for the city's planning division spent their job time doing everything but an honest day's work.
Surveillance video shows the three inspectors gambling, shopping, running errands and visiting with friends. City officials said they got a tip about the three disappearing from work for hours at a time.
"They'd drop off their city vehicle, and they'd get in their personal vehicle and go about their personal business," said Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry. Video shot by Robert Caswell Investigators showed one woman visiting Sandia Casino on June 21 and June 26. On both occasions, she is seen playing penny slots for hours. Read full story here: News New Mexico

City of Belen Handing Out Raises, Two Years After Being Near Broke

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) — Things are looking up for the city of Belen, which had been struggling to pay its bills. The city council has approved a 75 cent pay raise for all employees with the exception of councilors and the mayor. While it doesn't sound like much, it's a huge change from the $3.2 million deficit the city faced two years ago. The city also had to resort to layoffs and furloughs. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Carlsbad Caverns Fire 50% Contained

KOB - A wildfire burning on the western border of Carlsbad Caverns National Park is now 50 percent contained. Fire officials said Wednesday crews were able to take advantage of rain, higher humidity and cooler temperatures to battle the 7,000-acre blaze known as the Horse Canyon Fire.
Authorities said that the wildfire was sparked June 29 by lightning in the Lincoln National Forest around the New Mexico-Texas state line. Read full story here: News New Mexico