News Briefs: Senators to celebrate new wilderness area

New Mexico

Senators to celebrate new wilderness area

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico’s U.S. senators are coming to New Mexico this Valentine’s Day weekend to celebrate the addition of a new wilderness area. Sen. Martin Heinrich and Sen. Tom Udall are expected to be at Taos Mesa Brewing on Saturday. They’ll be there to honor the recent designation of the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness, 45,000 acres of permanent wilderness.

CDC: Number of Flu cases declining in NM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – You might not believe it from all the coughing and sneezing around you but the Flu has finally hit its peak and the number of cases is going down. A new Center for Disease Control report shows the Flu reached its highest levels at the start of this year. As of last week, New Mexico had a moderate amount of Flu cases and the number of reported cases is actually down four percent. So far this Flu season there have been 14 reported deaths.

Anthropologists trying to carbon date bones found in Belen

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – Investigators say the bones found near the Belen airport late last year appear to be much older than first thought. Some people out walking spotted the bones in a shallow grave in November. Anthropologists believe they are likely very old and they are now working to carbon date them to get an exact age. Investigators say old Indian bones have been found in that area before.

Man found guilty for killing man, leaving body at Sunport

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Marzet Farris, 50, was found guilty of first degree murder, conspiracy and tampering with evidence for the Sunport body case. Farris and Laura Stelmasek drove from Prescott Arizona to Albuquerque with the body of her husband Craig in the back. They then left the van at the Sunport and got on a plane. The body was found days later with multiple stab wounds. Stelmasek and Farris had dated in college and had reportedly reconnected over the internet. They were both arrested in North Carolina 9 days after the body was found. Farris’ sentencing has been set for March 16th. Stelmasek is still awaiting trial.

ABQ students study Rio Grande

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque high school students waded through the Rio Grande Friday search of answers. Children from Rio Grande took water samples above and below the city to determine just how much pollution is created here. The goal is for students to learn more in a hands-on environment. So what did the students learn Friday? The water quality is much better north of the waste treatment plant, and that water levels are rising from snow melt.

Clovis coach’s art now on display

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) – A high school basketball coach in Clovis is getting attention for his work off the court. Corey Pickett is in his first year at Clovis Christian School and on his own time paints. He has so many works of art they are now on display at Eastern New Mexico’s Golden Library. The exhibit is called “Out of the Box”.

Santa Fe kids name Railyard gorilla

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The 1,500 pound gorilla at the Santa Fe Railyard finally has a name. “Zubachi” was chosen by Miss Amy Stone’s 4th grade class at Acequia Madre Elementary School. The word “Zubachi” is Japanese and means treat others they way the way you want to be treated. Students say it will represent anti-bullying efforts. Unfortunately Zubachi isn’t making Santa Fe his permanent home. A local artist created the sculpture for the Philadelphia Zoo and it will be moved there next month.

BCSO announces new MDC crime unit

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputies will now only focus on crimes at the Metropolitan Detention Center. The department announced the creation of the jail’s Special Investigation Unit staffed by a sergeant and a lieutenant. BCSO says this will free up field deputies that in the past would have been pulled from patrol duties to respond to calls at MDC. The new unit starts work on Monday.

Pet adoptions $14 for Valentine’s Day

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – City of Albuquerque animal shelters and animal humane are hoping you’ll add a little more love to your life this Valentine’s weekend. They’ll be offering $14 adoptions for all dogs and cats one year and older. The fee includes vaccinations, spaying or neutering and micro chipping.

Students model donated clothes for kids in need

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Some local middle school students strutted down the catwalk Friday in hopes of helping fellow students in need. The Jackson Middle School fashion show displayed donated clothes students can pick up for free. One of the teachers there has converted a classroom into somewhat of a department store. She says it helps boost confidence for students who feel self-conscious about their appearance and about taking home donated clothes. There are an estimated 6,000 homeless Albuquerque Public Schools students and thousands more who are low income.

Changes for medical pot program proposed

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – After reviewing comments and holding public meetings, an attorney is now submitting changes she would like to see in the state’s medical marijuana program. The first thing Attorney Susan Hapka wants to do is to drop a proposed requirement for patient fingerprints and biometric measurements. She then wants to increase the concentration levels of the active ingredient in marijuana produced for patients. Department Spokesman Kenny Vigil says the department will review her report before making any final decisions, but says there’s no time frame for doing that.

If you see smoke this morning, it’s probably Sandia labs

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Sandia National Laboratories will conduct a controlled fire experiment Friday at 10 a.m. in the lab’s Thermal Test Complex on Kirtland Air Force Base. Residents may be able to see a plume of smoke in Albuquerque during that time as liquid jet fuel is burned for about an hour. According to a news release sent from the labs, there is no danger of the fire spreading because the Thermal Test Complex is designed to burn jet fuel in steel pans.

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