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May 8 First News: Early and Absentee Voting Is Underway For New Mexico Primary Election (Listen)

Primary election voting is under way for registered Democratic and Republican voters in New Mexico. Santa Fe County Elections Bureau Chief Deputy Eric Barraza *****050814-Barraza-3 27***** Barraza says early and absentee voting in Santa Fe County allows voters to avoid potential long-lines on New Mexico Primary Election Day, which is June Third.

The largest water utility in New Mexico has issued an official drought advisory for its customers. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says drought conditions across most of the county are classified as severe. The utility is taking steps to increase public awareness and continue alerting customers to conservation programs.

Santa Fe’s Christus-St. Vincent Hospital and La Familia Medical Center are among several health-care providers launching a new program to provide prenatal care to pregnant women in Santa Fe County regardless of their ability to pay. The New Mexican reports that the Healthy Babies campaign was prompted by a recent assessment that found that 24 percent of pregnant women in the county did not receive any prenatal care during their first trimester. It offers walk-in pregnancy testing and counseling about options.

The Bureau of Land Management is looking at updating decades-old regulations that govern venting and flaring across oil and gas country. The BLM is holding a public forum in Albuquerque today to gather public comment on what the new rules should look like. Two more meetings are planned in North Dakota and Washington, D.C. The changes are aimed at limiting methane emissions from energy exploration. Environmentalists say venting and flaring at well- sites on public lands throughout the West have wasted resources and have resulted in the loss of potential tax revenues.

Some 20 New Mexico high school students—including those from Santa Fe and Los Alamos—will be gathering in California next week for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Rick Bates is the Chief Executive Officer for the Society for Science in the Public, one of the sponsoring groups along with Intel. Bates tells KSFR of one of the New Mexico student projects he finds interesting. *****050714-Bates-1 :28  ***** Bates says the competition begins next week in Los Angeles, with competitors working for five-million dollars in awards.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. There's a slight chance for isolated showers with thunderstorms this afternoon. Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 37. Tomorrow: Sunny, with a high near 66