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May 9 First News: Expert: WIPP May Be Closed For Three Years (Listen)

The head of the recovery effort at the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico says it could be three years before full operations resume at the underground facility. KOB-TV reports that recovery manager Jim Blankenhorn says the timeline for re-opening the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a moving target, but full operations are expected to resume no earlier than 18 months from now. He says crews are investigating the cause of a radiation release that exposed some workers and halted operations at the repository in February. One theory is there may have been a chemical reaction inside waste drums from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Santa Fe Police say a bad batch of heroin in the city may have caused the death of a 17-year-old girl who died at the Santa Fe County Juvenile Detention Center early Thursday morning. SFPD reports the victim died shortly after being released from the hospital following an apparent heroin overdose. The girl’s name was not released because she was a juvenile. Because there were two other possible overdoses that occurred around the same time and in the same part of town, Santa Fe police are worried there might be a lethal batch of heroin going around.

Two New Mexico Senators have joined a group of New Mexico judges asking the State Supreme Court to over-turn Governor Martinez’s partial veto this year of an eight-percent pay boost for judges. Questa Democrat Carlos Cisneros is one of the Senators. Cisneros says his concern is that the Governor didn’t entirely veto the line-item—she reduced it from eight-to-five-percent. *****050814-Cisneros-2 :27***** The petition filed before the State Supreme Court by Cisneros and the others says the Governor’s action, quote, “Could not possibly withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

Albuquerque police officers will soon no longer be allowed to carry personal weapons. Reports indicate that a memo from Chief Gorden Eden dated Monday says the department is getting new handguns and all officers will be required to carry those weapons while on duty. The move is a reversal of a current policy that allows officers to carry personal weapons. The U.S Justice Department criticized that policy in a harsh report last month faulting Albuquerque police over use of force.

Bridge work will resume today at the northern Tesuque exit of U-S 285 with closures set through the weekend. Southbound Traffic will be reduced to a single lane, detoured through the off and on ramps, with no local access at that point. Northbound traffic will have two lanes this weekend.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today, with a high near 64. Tonight Mostly clear and breezy, with a low around 42.Tomorrow: Sunny, with a high near 70.