USS New Mexico submarine returns from deployment

From - GROTON, Conn. -- A Navy submarine named for New Mexico returned from deployment Monday after conducting national security operations abroad.
     Under the command of Commander George Perez, USS New Mexico transited more than 34,000 miles over the course of six months while conducting national security operations in the European region.
     "New Mexico's performance on her inaugural deployment was exemplary," Perez said. "I could not be more proud of the way the crew, families, friends and supporters of New Mexico came together over this last year to make this first deployment a success."
     This was the first deployment for more 70 than percent of the boat's crew members.
     New Mexico was commissioned March 27, 2010 and is the second Navy vessel to be named for the 47th state. More

NMSU gets algae research funding

Research into the potential of algae-based fuel is getting a $5 million boost from the U.S. Department of Energy.

New Mexico State University recently announced the funding, saying it will go to a research effort aimed at improving fuel that's compatible with existing refineries.

 NMSU is working on the project along with Los Alamos, Argonne and Pacific Northwest national laboratories, Washington State and Michigan State universities and four companies. 

Key goals of the project are to improve the yields and stability of algal biomass and cultivation systems while also improving oil content at harvest. 

NMSU officials say the award follows other federal funding announcements for the university's algal bioenergy team, including money for the algal cultivation test bed at the Fabian Garcia Science Center.


Catwalk trail reopens

A scenic tourist attraction in southwestern New Mexico has reopened after repairs required by a rock fall. 
The Gila National Forest says the Catwalk Trail underwent repairs required by damage from a June 2 rock fall. The repairs included blasting to remove an outcrop and then removal of rock debris. 
The Catwalk is a trail within Whitewater Canyon. Part of the trail is suspended on the side of a cliff in the canyon The trail is only open until 1 p.m. daily. 
Forest officials say that's because of the continued threat of unpredictable monsoon thunderstorms causing flooding of low crossings of New Mexico Highway 174.


First human plague case this year

The New Mexico Department of Health has confirmed the first human case of plague this year. 
State health officials said Monday a 15-year-old boy from Torrance County currently is hospitalized in stable condition. His name hasn't been released. 
Health officials say an environmental investigation will take place at the teen's home to look for ongoing risk to others in the area.
 Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets. 
There was one human case of plague in New Mexico last year, a 78-year-old man from Torrance County.
 There were two cases in 2011 and none in 2010.