Group sues again over Mexican grey wolf

The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s decision to grant itself a “recovery permit” to live-capture endangered wolves that may enter New Mexico and Arizona from Mexico or the Rocky Mountains.

Mexico recently released nine Mexican gray wolves near the U.S. border in the Sierra Madre, and wolves from the northern Rocky Mountains could make their way south at any time. 

Captured wolves will be placed into the captive-breeding program, returned to where they came from, or relocated into the Mexican wolf recovery area. 

Right now the only Mexican wolves in the two states are in the “Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area,” an area between Interstate 40 and Interstate 10 where wolves are considered an experimental, non-essential population and therefore enjoy fewer safeguards. 


NMFA fake audit sparks reform

A fraudulent audit that landed New Mexico’s Finance Authority in hot water has set the stage for some major reforms. 
When Greg Campbell pleaded guilty after word surfaced he faked a huge financial audit, it marked the end of a tumultuous period at the NMFA. 
The NMFA acts like a giant bank for projects around the state. It also served as a starting off point for reform. 
State Sen. Tim Keller is leading the push by co-sponsoring legislation that would reform the NMFA. The legislation would make sure all board members would have staggered terms, meaning they wouldn’t all be new at the same time.
 Board members would also need experience in the financial sector and will review audits more regularly.


Sunland Inc. to resume peanut processing

Sunland Inc. of Portales has been given permission to reopen its peanut processing plant as part of a consent decree between the company and the federal Food and Drug Administration. 
The FDA had ordered the plant closed after shipments of peanut butter and other peanut products sickened dozens across 42 states earlier this year. The cause of the illness was salmonella, a bacteria that was found on processing equipment in the plant. 
The Sunland factory is the nation's largest maker of organic peanut butter and its products were sold at Trader Joes, among other stores. 
According to a news release from the plant, all employees will be returning to work. The peanut butter plant has not yet reopened and it is unknown when or if it will.


Mayors petition Obama for gun control

Only Congress can take the guns away, not the president
NewsNM Swickard - shame on the mayors! No, not for their stand on guns, for not understanding that gun laws are made in Congress. Laws are not made in the Oval Office. What they really want is a dictator to decree no guns since those laws will never pass Congress. So who wants a dictator? From - RUIDOSO - It's been a hot-button issue, especially in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting. Now, hundreds of mayors across the country, including some in New Mexico, have petitioned the president for tighter gun control laws. Ruidoso's mayor has been vocal in the past on this issue, and on Wednesday he told KRQE News 13 his position hasn't changed.
Last week, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 people dead, most of them children, more than 750 mayors across the country addressed President Obama in a letter .
The letter states, "Together, we urge you to put forward an agenda that is rooted in common sense and that will make it harder for dangerous people to possess guns, and easier for police and prosecutors to crack down on them."
Ruidoso Mayor Ray Alborn was among the mayors who signed the letter. "It's never been a big part of my life, but that doesn't mean other people can't have guns," Alborn explained. "I don't care about that. All I'm concerned about is that we protect our employees and the public."
Alborn is no stranger to the issue. Last year he issued a controversial executive order banning guns on village property after a citizen refused to give up his gun at a council meeting.  More than 50 protestors responded to the order by showing up to a council meeting with their guns.
"Almost all of the mass murders in our country have occurred in areas just like you're fixing to set up, in gun-free zones," Executive Director Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America said at the meeting.
The executive order was later rescinded. But Alborn said he still wants guns banned on village property and has reached out to the state Attorney General's Office asking for a ruling on the idea. Read more