Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

May 9, 2019

Former CIA operative and Trump critic runs for Congress
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former CIA operative Valerie Plame has decided to run for the Democratic nomination for an open congressional seat in New Mexico.
Plame told The Associated Press on Thursday that she wants to give back to a community that welcomed her after leaving Washington.
She joins a field of seasoned local politicians that are pursuing the nomination in a heavily Democratic district in the northern part of the state.
Plame, who lives in Santa Fe, became a national figure after her identity as a CIA operative was leaked by an official in President George W. Bush's administration in an effort to discredit her then-husband Joe Wilson.
Former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice following the 2003 leak and pardoned by President Trump.


APNewsBreak: New Mexico demands closure of Air Force lake
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state attorney general's office is demanding the U.S. Air Force close a publicly accessible lake in eastern New Mexico over contamination concerns.
In a letter obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, Attorney General Hector Balderas says recent sampling shows the concentration of hazardous chemicals at Lake Holloman are dozens of times higher than federal health advisory levels.
The state already is preparing to sue the Air Force over groundwater contamination at two bases, arguing that the federal government has a responsibility to clean up plumes of toxic chemicals left behind by past military firefighting activities.
Similar contamination has been found at military sites across the nation, and growing evidence that exposure can be dangerous has prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to consider setting maximum levels for the chemicals in drinking water nationwide.


US asylum limits spawn mishmash wait systems in Mexico
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — For thousands of asylum seekers, there are many ways to wait at the threshold of the United States.
Parents and children sleep in tents next to bridges leading to Texas for weeks on end, desperately hoping their names and numbers are called so they can be let in.
Some pay bribes to get to the front of the line; others, determined to enter the country legally, wait patiently.
The Associated Press visited eight cities along the U.S.-Mexico border and found 13,000 immigrants on waiting lists to get into the country — exposed to haphazard and often-dubious arrangements that vary sharply by location.
The lines began to swell in the last year when the administration limited the number of asylum cases it accepts each day at the main border crossings.


Police: Intoxicated 12-year-old arrested after highway chase
(Information from: Alamogordo Daily News, http://www.alamogordonews.com)
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say an intoxicated 12-year-old girl went on joy ride in the family car with three other children inside, leading police on pursuit on a New Mexico highway.
The Alamogordo Daily News reported Wednesday that the car fled from Alamogordo police and drove onto U.S. Highway 70 where she passed a New Mexico State Police vehicle.
Alamogordo police say the car then drove through a dirt lot and nearly struck an Otero County deputy.
The chase ended when the car spun out of control and hit a speed limit sign. No one was injured.
The young driver was referred to juvenile services on charges of reckless driving and DWI.
According to police documents, the four children told authorities that they all had been drinking.


New Mexico has plan for assessing damage at NASA site
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials have come up with a plan for quantifying the damage done by contamination at a site in southern New Mexico that once supported NASA's Apollo Space Program.
The New Mexico Office of Natural Resources Trustee on Wednesday released the final damage assessment plan for the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces.
It marks one step in a process aimed at restoring the site.
Officials say groundwater beneath the facility was contaminated when hazardous substances were disposed of and released during early NASA operations.
The site includes propulsion testing facilities for rocket systems and laboratories for testing the quality of space flight materials.
The trustee has authority to assess and recover damages from NASA and the U.S. Defense Department for the contamination and use the money for restoration work.


New Mexico land boss concerned about border wall work
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of one of New Mexico's most powerful statewide offices is raising concerns about the lack of an environmental review as the U.S. government prepares to replace fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border in two counties.
State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard delivered her comments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Wednesday as fellow Democratic members of New Mexico's congressional delegation pushed for the comment period to be extended.
Aside from environmental concerns, Garcia Richard said her agency hasn't received any inquiries from federal officials regarding rights of way permits or easements required for accessing state trust lands adjacent to proposed construction areas.
The U.S. government plans to install 31 miles (50 kilometers) of bollard fencing in Luna County and another 15 miles (24 kilometers) in Dona Ana County.


Report: Air quality harmed as Texas oil production booms
DALLAS (AP) — An environmental group says the booming production of oil and natural gas in West Texas is exposing residents to unhealthy levels of air pollution.
The Environmental Integrity Project noted in a report released Thursday that the Permian Basin, which extends into New Mexico , is one of the most productive hydrocarbon regions in the world.
But the report says a consequence is dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide in the air around Odessa and other locations.
The project's associate director, Ilan Levin, says regulators need to have stricter oversight of air pollution permits while penalizing polluters who violate the permits. He also says more air quality monitors are needed.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Oil and Gas Association said the industry group is reviewing the report but is confident that Permian Basin production benefits Texas and the United States.


Chevron bows out of fight for Anadarko
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Chevron won't increase its buyout offer for Anadarko, cutting short a potential bidding war with Occidental Petroleum.
Occidental challenged Chevron's initial bid last month, offering $57 billion in cash and stock, including debt and book value of non-controlling interest. Chevron's offer was worth about $50 billion by the same metric.
Occidental's bid gained momentum two weeks ago when Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway said it would put up $10 billion in financing for Occidental.
Chevron Corp. said Thursday that it won't make a counteroffer and will let the four-day match period expire.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. will have to pay a $1 billion fee for terminating its deal with Chevron.