MON: Inspections of chile imports heat up at New Mexico border, + More – KUNM
Inspections of chile imports heat up at New Mexico border – By Susan Montoya Bryan Associated Press
New Mexico’s green chile season is in full swing as the aroma of fresh roasted peppers permeates the air, but growers and exporters in Mexico are just as busy and that’s causing a crunch at the international border.
Authorities said Monday that agricultural inspectors with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been processing dozens of chile imports daily at the port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico. They’re looking for any pests in the shipments that could affect domestic production in New Mexico, where green chile is a signature crop and a cultural icon.
“Chile is a huge crop for farmers in New Mexico so it is important that CBP agriculture specialists identify and stop any dangerous pests from making it into the state and potentially spreading,” acting Columbus Port Director Sam Jimenez said in a statement.
As part of “Operation Hot Chile,” Jimenez said agricultural inspectors are being assigned to Columbus from other locations to help with the increased traffic.
The inspectors will process around 100 chile shipments a day during the busiest part of the season. The Mexican import season is busiest between September and October, but can stretch as late as mid-December. Last year, they handled just under 11,000 shipments of red and green peppers from Mexico.
Imports have grown significantly each season, with inspectors seeing a nearly 25% jump since 2016. Officials are expecting continued growth this year.
Despite more imports, New Mexico farmers are seeing higher yields from their crops and the state’s reputation for growing what many have anointed as “the best green chile in the world” is expanding, said Travis Day, executive director of the New Mexico Chile Association.
The state’s chile harvest starts in late July, but gets cranking in August. Day spent Monday taste testing green chile cheeseburgers at the New Mexico State Fair while still recovering from the annual chile festival in Hatch, New Mexico, just a week ago where he talked to people from New York, Kansas and even Hawaii who flew in to get their fix.
“As an industry, we’re in a unique place where demand is the highest it’s ever been and it’s continuing to go up every year,” he said.
Yet, fewer acres of chile are being grown in New Mexico today due to labor pressures and dwindling irrigation supplies. While most commercial acreage is started from seed, some farmers have shifted back to transplanting seedlings to give their crops a jumpstart. Farmers are also working with engineers to develop a mechanical harvester.
So far this season, officials said New Mexico’s green chile harvest is more than 10 days ahead of schedule and experts are expecting between 55,000 and 60,000 tons of peppers to be harvested.
Stephanie Walker, a vegetable specialist at New Mexico State University, said growers in New Mexico have become adept at minimizing losses from disease issues spurred by heavy summer rains and that the yield from newer green chile varieties is increasing.
At the port of entry, all Mexican chile imports are subject to an X-ray scan. Then comes a physical inspection by a Customs and Border Protection specialist who searches for pests, diseases and any contaminated soil or noxious seeds.
If anything is found, digital images are sent to officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture who determine whether the shipment can be released or returned.
In 2021, the inspections resulted in 25 cases where shipments had to be returned to Mexico.
100 years after compact, Colorado River nearing crisis point – By Chris Outcalt And Brittany Peterson The Colorado Sun And The Associated Press
The intensifying crisis facing the Colorado River amounts to what is fundamentally a math problem.
The 40 million people who depend on the river to fill up a glass of water at the dinner table or wash their clothes or grow food across millions of acres use significantly more each year than actually flows through the banks of the Colorado.
In fact, first sliced up 100 years ago in a document known as the Colorado River Compact, the calculation of who gets what amount of that water may never have been balanced.
“The framers of the compact — and water leaders since then — have always either known or had access to the information that the allocations they were making were more than what the river could supply,” said Anne Castle, a senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center at the University of Colorado Law School.
During the past two decades, however, the situation on the Colorado River has become significantly more unbalanced, more dire.
A drought scientists now believe is the driest 22-year stretch in the past 1,200 years has gripped the southwestern U.S., zapping flows in the river. What’s more, people continue to move to this part of the country. Arizona, Utah and Nevada all rank among the top 10 fastest growing states, according to U.S. Census data.
While Wyoming and New Mexico aren’t growing as quickly, residents watch as two key reservoirs — popular recreation destinations — are drawn down to prop up Lake Powell. Meanwhile, southern California’s Imperial Irrigation District uses more water than Arizona and Nevada combined, but stresses their essential role providing cattle feed and winter produce to the nation.
Until recently, water managers and politicians whose constituents rely on the river have avoided the most difficult questions about how to rebalance a system in which demand far outpaces supply. Instead, water managers have drained the country’s two largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, faster than Mother Nature refills them.
In 2000, both reservoirs were about 95% full. Today, Mead and Powell are each about 27% full — once-healthy savings accounts now dangerously low.
The reservoirs are now so low that this summer Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that between 2 million and 4 million acre-feet would need to be cut next year to prevent the system from reaching “critically low water levels,” threatening reservoir infrastructure and hydropower production.
The commissioner set an August deadline for the basin states to come up with options for potential water cuts. The Upper Basin states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming — submitted a plan. The Lower Basin states — California, Arizona and Nevada — did not submit a combined plan.
The bureau threatened unilateral action in lieu of a basin-wide plan. When the 60-day deadline arrived, however, it did not announce any new water cuts. Instead, the bureau announced that predetermined water cuts for Arizona, Nevada and Mexico had kicked in and gave the states more time to come up with a basin-wide agreement.
STILL LEFT OUT
A week before Touton’s deadline, the representatives of 14 Native American tribes with water rights on the river sent the Bureau of Reclamation a letter expressing concern about being left out of the negotiating process.
“What is being discussed behind closed doors among the United States and the Basin States will likely have a direct impact on Basin Tribes’ water rights and other resources and we expect and demand that you protect our interests,” tribal representatives wrote.
Being left out of Colorado River talks is not a new problem for the tribes in the Colorado River Basin.
The initial compact was negotiated and signed on Nov. 24, 1922, by seven land-owning white men, who brokered the deal to benefit people who looked like them, said Jennifer Pitt of the National Audubon Society, who is working to restore rivers throughout the basin.
“They divided the water among themselves and their constituents without recognizing water needs for Mexico, the water needs of Native American tribes who were living in their midst and without recognizing the needs of the environment,” Pitt said.
Mexico, through which the tail of the Colorado meanders before trickling into the Pacific Ocean, secured its supply through a treaty in 1944. The treaty granted 1.5 million acre-feet on top of the original 15 million acre-feet that had already been divided, 7.5 million each for the Upper and Lower Basins.
Tribes, however, still don’t have full access to the Colorado River. Although the compact briefly noted that tribal rights predate all others, it lacked specificity, forcing individual tribes to negotiate settlements or file lawsuits to quantify those rights, many of which are still unresolved. It’s important to recognize the relationship between Native and non-Native people at that time, said Daryl Vigil, water administrator for the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico.
“In 1922, my tribe was subsistence living,” Vigil said. “The only way we could survive was through government rations on a piece of land that wasn’t our traditional homeland. That’s where we were at when the foundational law of the river was created.”
Agriculture uses the majority of the water on the river, around 70% or 80% depending on what organization is making the estimate. When it comes to the difficult question of how to reduce water use, farmers and ranchers are often looked to first.
Some pilot programs have focused on paying farmers to use less water, but unanswered questions remain about how to transfer the savings to Lake Powell for storage or how to create a program in a way that would not negatively impact a farmer’s water rights.
Antiquated state laws mean the amount of water that a water right gives someone access to can be decreased if not fully used.
That’s why the Camblin family ranch in Craig in northwest Colorado plans to flood irrigate once a decade, despite recently upgrading to an expensive, water-conserving pivot irrigation system. Nine years out of 10, they’ll receive payment from a conservation group in exchange for leaving the surplus water in the river. But in Colorado, the state revokes water rights after 10 years if they aren’t used.
Not only would losing that right mean they can’t access a backup water supply should their pivot system fail, but their property’s value would plummet, Mike Camblin explained. He runs a yearling cattle operation with his wife and daughter, and says an acre of land without water sells for $1,000, about a fifth of what it would sell for with a water right attached.
There are other ways to improve efficiency, but money is still often a barrier.
Wastewater recycling is growing across the region, albeit slowly, as it requires massive infrastructure overhauls. San Diego built a robust desalination plant to turn seawater to drinking water, and yet some agricultural users are trying to get out of their contract since the water is so expensive. Some cities are integrating natural wastewater filtration into their landscaping before the water flows back to the river. It’s all feasible, but is costly, and those costs often get passed directly to water users.
One of the biggest opportunities for water conservation is changing the way our landscapes look, said Lindsay Rogers, a water policy analyst at Western Resource Advocates, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting water and land in the West.
Converting a significant amount of outdoor landscaping to more drought-tolerant plants would require a combination of policies and incentives, Rogers explained. “Those are going to be really critical to closing our supply-demand gap.”
After years of incentive programs for residents, Las Vegas recently outlawed all nonfunctional grass by 2026, setting a blueprint for other Western communities. For years, the city has also paid residents to rip out their lawns.
Several water agencies, including the one that serves Las Vegas, recently wrote to the Bureau of Reclamation committing to more water reuse and lawn replacement. Denver Water signed it, although it does not offer incentives for replacing residential lawns. Its neighbor, Aurora Water, has done so for 15 years and recently restricted non-functional grass in new housing.
This summer, in southern California, the Metropolitan Water District instituted an unprecedented one-day-a-week water restriction.
Still, regardless of the type of water use, more concessions must be made.
“The law of the river is not suited to what the river has become and what we see it increasingly becoming,” Audubon’s Pitt said. “It was built on the expectation of a larger water supply than we have.”
Outcalt is a reporter with The Colorado Sun and Peterson is an Associated Press video journalist. Both reported from Denver.
Learning from NM mistakes, Forest Service to better heed drought factor before burns – Patrick Lohmann, Source New Mexico
The United States Forest Service announced big changes to the way it will authorize prescribed burns in light of mistakes the agency made in igniting what became the biggest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history.
The agency released a 107-page review of its prescribed burn practices on Thursday. It came after a 90-day pause on prescribed burns across the country ordered after such burns escaped in New Mexico. The fires the agency set fed on drought and dry conditions, and went on to consume homes, forcing thousands to flee.
The agency then halted burns nationwide to ensure protocols were adequate. While prescribed burns rarely escape, Forest Service Chief Randy Moore acknowledged in the report, one errant blaze can be disastrous for everyone nearby.
“We cannot underestimate how destructive prescribed fire escapes can be,” he wrote in the introduction of the agency’s findings.
Now that the review is complete, prescribed burns can begin again across the country, Moore wrote. But federal forest managers will first need to review all existing plans for burns in their areas, even plans that were completed recently.
In addition, top officials who authorize burns will need to consider more factors before they’re allowed to give the OK, and the plans that guide their ignitions will only be effective for 24 hours, not weeks or months, as they were before. So officials will have to re-authorize a prescribed burn the day before it is lit every time.
In the case of the Dispensas burn in New Mexico that became the Hermits Peak wildfire, an administrator signed off on the burn on March 24 to occur between April 1 and April 30. Crews ignited the fire April 6.
Moore approved seven immediate changes to the prescribed burn approvals, and said the agency will make more adjustments down the road.
SEVEN CHANGES THE FOREST SERVICE PLANS TO MAKE:
Though the report mentions New Mexico only once, some of changes appear to be direct responses to errors the Santa Fe National Forest made when it lit a fire meant to blaze through a 1,200-acre swath of Las Dispensas earlier this spring, a burn that quickly escaped and was soon after declared the Hermits Peak wildfire.
That fire combined in late April with another escaped prescribed burn in Calf Canyon, that one sparked by a pile burn from January that crews mistakenly thought was extinguished and had stopped monitoring.
Eventually, the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon wildfire burned more than 340,000 acres. It destroyed communities and landscape around Mora, N.M., which is about 20 miles north of Las Vegas, and has ushered in intense flooding that has caused ongoing damage. The fire was finally deemed 100% contained on Aug. 21.
An interagency review published in July found numerous failings, including that the Forest Service crew was understaffed and ill-equipped if the burn were to escape.
Investigators also found that the crew didn’t have access to remote weather monitoring devices before the burn, and that another crew should have been on-hand in case it escaped but was hours away at a training.
The complexity of the burn was inaccurately deemed “moderate,” according to the review, when it should have been “high” due to the nearby communities and other assets. U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, who represents the burned area, blasted the agency for “undervaluing” her community and successfully pushed for a Government Accountability Office review of the fire, which is still underway.
In the days leading up to the fire, leaders reviewed weather forecasts from the National Weather Service that showed high winds and low humidity, metrics that fell right on the maximum or even exceeded the allowable limits called for in the burn plan.
Thursday’s report said insufficient information about local weather conditions was a cause for recent fire escapes and said officials need to consider weather trends, not just forecasts, on the day a burn is planned.
“Several fire escapes have been related to insufficient information on local weather conditions and forecasts,” the review authors wrote. “The reason can range from malfunctioning remote automatic weather stations to a failure to request spot forecasts and inaccurate spot forecasts.”
According to a copy of the Dispensas pre-burn checklist provided to Source New Mexico in response to a public records request, an administrator said recent snowfall would protect against any escape despite long-term dry conditions, and that the burn should go ahead.
“Although the area is in a drought, we anticipate recent snow events and moist fuel beds will moderate fire behavior,” the official wrote. The document provided to Source redacted the administrator’s name.
Thursday’s review cited failure to heed the impact of long-term drought as another reason prescribed burns escape.
“Insufficient consideration of the impact of long-term drought on prescribed fire behavior: Drought was cited in several reviews of escaped prescribed fires. The impact of drought on prescribed fire behavior will grow in a warming climate,” the authors wrote.
From now on, the burn authorization form for forestry officials has a new question at the top that requires them to say whether drought conditions are worsening, improving or stable.
The form will also require administrators to consider the fire risk in areas next to the planned burn and ensure that the maximum response time for backup crews is no longer than 30 minutes in case the fire escapes.
The review comes after an intense fire season and on the cusp of quadrupling the number of acres subject to prescribed burns and forest thinning on United States Forest Service land. The Forest Service has identified prescribed burns as a key tool to protect the nation’s forests from high-intensity fires that can grow out of control and leave scorched earth in their wake.
“Prescribed burning will be key in treating landscapes to reduce the risk of catastrophic fire to the American people and to the public lands entrusted to Forest Service care. The agency has to do the work — but it has to do it right,” the review authors wrote.
When the Hermits Peak fire was declared, local elected officials like Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham chastised the federal agency for igniting a blaze during the spring windy season and during prolonged drought. The review does not appear to limit any burns during a particular time of year.
A spokesperson for Lujan Grisham told Source New Mexico that her office is still reviewing the report.
“We appreciate that it appears to be a thorough review,” spokesperson Nora Meyers Sackett said. “We hope the Forest Service understands that it will take actions, not just words, to earn back the trust of New Mexicans.”
While some in New Mexico applauded the review process, one local forest management expert said he feared its conclusions might go too far.
Matt Hurteau previously told Source New Mexico that the 90-day pause occurred when burns could safely be conducted in wetter parts of the country, and he said adding additional onerous regulations on experienced burn bosses might make it even harder to protect the nation’s forests from high-intensity fires.
Hatch woman, son facing fraud charges over fake parking fees – Associated Press
A woman and her son are facing fraud charges for an alleged parking scheme outside the annual Hatch Chile Festival earlier this month, according to authorities.
Hatch Police said 68-year-old Celeste Zimmerman and 31-year-old Raymond Swingle allegedly collected more than $4,000 in fake parking fees from festival-goers.
Zimmerman and Swingle both have been arrested and booked into the Doña Ana County jail.
It was unclear Sunday if either has a lawyer yet who can speak on their behalf.
According to Albuquerque TV station KOB, court documents showed the committee that organizes the festival decided against parking fees because they aren’t allowed to charge for parking off public roads or on school grounds.
KOB says Swingle allegedly was seen demanding $10 from people to park and reportedly blocked cars until they paid up.
The station said Zimmerman allegedly posted a message on the festival’s website saying there would be a $10 contribution fee to help keep the event running.
Documents show the organizing committee didn’t approve the message, according to KOB. This year’s 50th festival ran from Sept. 2-4.
US to award $35M in grants to tribes for 988 crisis line – By Felicia Fonseca Associated Press
Most people in Santa Clara Pueblo in northern New Mexico know each other. So when a tribal member needs mental health services or help for substance abuse, calling a tribal office might lead to an aunt, cousin or other relative.
Confidentiality is important, pueblo Gov. Michael Chavarria said shortly after federal officials visited to talk about new grant funding available for tribes to spread the word about a nationwide mental health crisis hotline.
“That’s the hesitancy, but again they have to be strong enough to want to get that help,” Chavarria said Friday. “And that’s what we’re here for, to help them the best way we can.”
The 988 Lifeline went live in June. It’s designed to be an easy number to remember, similar to 911. Instead of dispatcher sending police, firefighters or paramedics, 988 connects callers with trained mental health counselors. People also can text the number or chat with counselors online.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that it’s making $35 million in grant funding available to Native American and Alaska Native tribes to ensure callers receive culturally sensitive support as well as follow-up care if needed. The deadline to apply is Oct. 25.
The reach will be limited, a fact often criticized by tribes who say they are forced to compete against each other for limited resources. Any of the 574 federally recognized tribes are eligible to apply, along with tribal organizations. Up to 100 grants will be awarded.
The funding is part of $150 million set aside for the 988 hotline in a bill addressing gun violence and mental health that President Joe Biden signed in June. Overall, the federal government has provided $432 million to expand the network of crisis counselors and telephone infrastructure, and help educate the public on the 988 hotline — some of which was available to states and territories as grants.
Chavarria said the tribal police chief is planning to meet with other tribal departments soon to talk about applying for a grant and what it might cover.
“Right now we just don’t know,” he said. “That’s the planning phase we’re in right now. At least it’s being afforded. It’s a matter of how do we leverage that with other resources we have, fill the gaps.”
Chavarria sees a need because of the social isolation brought on by COVID-19 and the pueblo being in New Mexico, a state that has some of the highest death rates from alcohol and drug overdoses. Native Americans and Alaska Natives also are disproportionately impacted by violent crime and suicide, federal data shows.
“It has to be a well-rounded, collaborative effort to put a damper on this,” Chavarria said. “Because sometimes it just revolves in that family and extended family into the community, to the local, regional and national (level). It is a challenging issue for all of us.”
Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at Health and Human Services, was among the federal officials who visited Santa Clara and Jemez pueblos, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, this week.
She said some of the challenges she heard from tribal leaders in accessing funding include a lack of resources to apply for grants, unreliable internet and cell phone services, and a widespread shortage of mental health specialists and culturally appropriate care.
“The thing we appreciated is that we had frank discussions,” Delphin-Rittmon said. “We encourage them and thank them when they push us, and that’s helpful. I think it really helps for there to be understanding.”
There’s no guarantee funding will be available in the future to raise awareness of 988 because it’s appropriated through Congress, Delphin-Rittmon said. Tribes also have opportunities for funding through other federal grant programs for training for emergency response, overdose prevention and mental health, she said.
The gauge on whether the funding works as intended isn’t numbers alone, she said, but anecdotal evidence from tribes.
The 988 system is built on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a network of crisis centers where counselors field millions of calls each year. The 1-800-273-8255 number still works, even with 988 in place.
The first full month of data from the 988 Lifeline in August showed an increase of 152,000 calls, chats and texts over August 2021. The average time to answer those contacts decreased from 2.5 minutes to 42 seconds, according to Health and Human Services.
GOP hopefuls for election posts see enemies within own party – By Christina A. Cassidy Associated Press
Four Republicans who have promoted false claims about the 2020 presidential election and are running for top state election offices said Saturday they were fighting against a corrupt system — even pointing a finger at mysterious forces within their own party.
The candidates — Arizona’s Mark Finchem, Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, Nevada’s Jim Marchant and New Mexico’s Audrey Trujillo — said they want to overhaul how elections are run in their states. They appeared at a conference inside a South Florida hotel ballroom that featured numerous speakers falsely claiming that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
“Our biggest enemy is our own party,” said Marchant, a businessman and former state lawmaker who was among Trump’s most ardent supporters challenging President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Nevada. “Even though we are Republicans, we are kind of the outsiders. We have a battle, but we’re not giving up.”
All are members of the America First Secretary of State Coalition, which calls for large-scale changes to elections. While not officially tied to Trump’s America First movement, it’s part of the broader effort promoting conservative candidates who align with the former president’s views.
Eliminating voting machines, mailed ballots and early voting are among their goals. The coalition also supports hand-counting of all ballots and a single day of voting for all Americans with few exceptions. They did not say whether Election Day should be a national holiday.
Many of their ideas are based on unfounded claims that voting machines are being manipulated. Nearly two years after the 2020 election, no evidence has emerged to suggest widespread fraud or manipulation while reviews in state after state have upheld the results showing Biden won.
The four are among the nearly 1 in 3 Republican candidates running for statewide offices that play a role in overseeing, certifying or defending elections who have supported overturning the results of the 2020 presidential contest, according to an Associated Press review.
Election experts say candidates who dispute the results of a valid election in which there has been no evidence of wrongdoing pose a danger of interfering in future elections. They warn it could trigger chaos if they refuse to accept or challenge results they don’t like.
With less than nine weeks before the November election, the candidates took time off the campaign trail in their own states to appear at the event, organized by the secretary of state coalition and the Florida affiliate of The America Project. The America Project was founded by Michael Flynn, the retired lieutenant general and Trump’s former national security adviser, and Patrick Byrne, founder of Overstock.com.
It was the latest in a nationwide effort to question the results of the 2020 election and promote conspiracy theories about voting machines and the workings of election offices. The forums, held for well over a year, have helped to undermine confidence in elections among broad swaths of the Republican Party.
A few hundred people attended Saturday’s conference, which featured numerous panels claiming that elections are being manipulated in a variety of ways. One panel was comprised of former candidates — Democrats and Republicans from around the country — who sought to cast doubt on their election losses in bids to challenge elected officials in their states.
Karamo, a community college professor, gained prominence after the 2020 election for claiming she saw irregularities in the processing of handling mailed ballots while serving as an election observer in Detroit. She called the election system corrupt.
“This is not a partisan issue. It’s a liberty issue,” Karamo said. “That’s why you see people in our own party, claiming to be Republicans, trying to silence us and stop us. Even though we are the Republican nominees of this office, we have people in our own party trying to make us lose. Because they are in on it.”
A wide-ranging review of the 2020 election in Michigan by Republicans who control the state Legislature found no systemic fraud and no issues that would have changed the results. Similar reviews in other battleground states have come to the same conclusion. Dozens of court cases brought by Trump and his allies were turned away, and even the former president’s own Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud.
Nevertheless, the Republican secretary of state candidates speaking Saturday spoke of a system they see as hopelessly corrupted.
Finchem said he did his job as a state lawmaker in calling a public hearing to discuss election concerns and noted how Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican in his final term, dismissed the effort: “How do you like me now, Doug?” Finchem said.
He added: “We are in battle against a cartel.”
Finchem was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, before Trump backers attacked Congress and has pushed for Biden’s win in Arizona to be withdrawn, something the law provides no way to do.
False claims about the 2020 election have led to death threats against election officials and workers, prompting some to leave the profession and raising concerns about a loss of experienced professionals overseeing elections in November.
The repeated false claims of a stolen election also have eroded confidence in U.S. elections. An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll in 2021 found that about two-thirds of Republicans say they do not think Biden was legitimately elected.
Trujillo, a small business owner from the central New Mexico town of Corrales, said she wants the state’s officials to follow the law when it comes to elections and to increase transparency. For example, she raised concerns about the security of drop boxes used to return mailed ballots, even though there is no evidence of widespread problems with drop boxes.
She also criticized election officials for being dismissive or even condescending to voters who have doubts.
“We have questions as voters and we should get to ask them,” Trujillo said in an interview after speaking as part of the panel. “We shouldn’t feel like, ‘OK, we can’t ask that because it’s taboo and we’ll look like we’re trying to question the elections.’ Because the integrity needs to be there. It needs to be very transparent.”
Found: Alligator, drugs, guns, money. But where’s the tiger? – Associated Press
An alligator, drugs, guns and money were seized during a raid at two homes in Albuquerque last month, but New Mexico wildlife officials said Saturday they are still searching for a young tiger they believe is being illegally kept as a pet.
Investigators think the tiger is with someone “in New Mexico or a nearby state,” New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers said in a statement
The animal was believed to be less than 1 year old and weigh under 60 pounds (27 kilograms), but tigers can grow to 600 pounds (272 kilograms), the department said, calling large meat-eating animals such as tigers and alligators a clear danger to the public.
Wild tigers are listed globally as an endangered species. Alligators were listed as endangered in the U.S. from 1967 to 1987, but today thrive in the wild.
The alligator seized by authorities is about 3 feet (almost 1 meter) long. It was taken to a wildlife facility after state conservation officers and federal, state and local police served search warrants Aug. 12.
Albuquerque police reported a 26-year-old man was arrested and investigators seized 2 pounds of heroin, 10.5 pounds of cocaine, 49 pounds of marijuana, 17 rifles and pistols, fentanyl and Xanax pills, and nearly $42,000.
Police: 5 wounded after shooting at Santa Fe birthday party – Associated Press
Five people have been injured after a shooting at a birthday party in Santa Fe, police said Sunday.
They said the shooting occurred shortly before 1 a.m.
Arriving officers found two adults and three teenagers had been shot and were being treated at a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Police said the shooter or shooters remain at large.