December, 2011

Gen. Leo Marquez dies

December 31st, 2011 at 5:20 pm by under Latest Posts, Photos

Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez, a native of Peralta who rose to be a deputy chief of staff at Air Force headquarters, has died at the age of 79, the Albuquerque Journal reported today.

Marquez was a graduate of Belen High School and the New Mexico State University ROTC program who completed Air Force pilot training in 1956, according to his Air Force biography.

Gen. Leo Marquez. U.S. Air Force photo.

Gen. Leo Marquez. U.S. Air Force photo.

He flew fighter jets in the late 1950s and early ’60s before becoming a maintenance officer and expert logistics, the organization and movement of personnel and materiel.

He was promoted to lieutenant general in 1983 and at the time of his retirement in 1987 was deputy chief of staff for engineering and logistics at Air Force headquarters in Washington.

Marquez was the highest-ranking Hispanic in the Air Force, the Journal reported.

After his retirement, the Air Force established the Leo Marquez Award for Excellence given annually to recognize outstanding work in technological maintenance by a civilian or Air Force personnel.

In Albuquerque Marquez is remembered as one of the leaders of the 1995 effort to convince the Air Force that Kirtland Air Force Base with its 7,000 jobs should not be closed.

He is survived by his wife, five children and three grandchildren.

Funeral services are pending with burial planned for the Santa Fe National Cemetery.

—–

More military news in the KRQE.com Military Section.


Nice Start to 2012!

December 31st, 2011 at 4:30 pm by under Weather

2011 ended on a warm note with temperatures soaring into the 70s over the far southeast.  Even the metro managed to reach 60° today.  A cold front will slide through the state tonight.  But have no fear! This front brings no precipitation, and barely any clouds.  Skies will stay mostly clear for New Year’s Eve celebrations, but it will be chilly.

Behind the front, temperatures will cool down by as much as 15° – 20°.  Despite cooler temperatures, Sunday will still feature plenty of sunshine.  Temperatures will warm back to above average readings by the middle of the week.

We could be looking at our next winter storm next weekend.  Right now the models have decent agreement on the track and speed of the system, dropping the storm into Arizona next Sunday.  However, the models do not agree on how much moisture and cold air will be in place.  Right now, I’m placing the possibility of snow in the Four Corners for late Saturday, expanding to the rest of the state Sunday.  We’ll have a better idea of what we’re facing in the coming days.  We’ll continue to monitor the forecast models and keep you updated!


Stiff winds sweep northeast N.M.

December 31st, 2011 at 12:55 pm by under Weather

Wind gusts up to 50 mph posing a threat to high-profile vehicles are forecast over northeastern New Mexico into this evening.

The National Weather Service expects steady west winds of 25-35 mph with the stronger gusts peaking early in the afternoon and then decreasing around sunset.

Drivers on north-south highways should take extra caution, according to the weather service, which specifically mentioned travelers on Interstate 25 from Las Vegas to Raton, and U. S. Highways 54, 56/412, 64/87 and 84 on the high plains and near the Texas border.

The weather service says the winds are the result of a powerful storm system moving through the central Rocky Mountains and a cold front swing southward into New Mexico.

Today Colorado logged a 126-mph gust at a remotely operated weather station at 12,000 feet in Summit County and a 69-mph gust at Wray in the northeastern plains near the Nebraska border.

The winds toppled three semis near Denver, some ski areas delayed opening lifts and gondolas and police banned high-profile vehicles from 180 miles of Interstate 76 from Denver into the northeast corner of the state, The Associated Press reported.

—–

KRQE.com Winter Weather Resource Guide: Find road conditions, weather forecasts, ski conditions and more.


Ice fishing begins at Eagle Nest Lake

December 31st, 2011 at 10:15 am by under Latest Posts

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says Eagle Nest Lake is now open to ice fishing, and it will host the annual Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day.

Recent cold weather has increased the ice depth on most areas of the lake, making it safe enough for foot traffic.

However, officials are warning that off-highway vehicles, snowmobiles or other vehicles are prohibited on the lake.

The department will continue to monitor ice conditions. The lake could close to ice fishing if conditions deteriorate.

On Sunday, visitors will have the chance to start the new year off with a plunge into the lake’s icy waters. Registration for the event begins at 9 a.m.

State officials say day-use fees of $5 per vehicle will be required.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


GOP governor appoints Dem state senator

December 30th, 2011 at 5:52 pm by under Latest Posts

Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed the only person recommended by the Bernalillo and Sandoval county commissions to fill a vacancy in the state Senate.

Late Friday Martinez, a Republican, announced she had appointed Lisa Curtis, a Democrat, to replace Republican Kent Cravens.

Cravens had a year left in his term when he resigned the District 21 seat to become a lobbyist.

Curtis, the president of the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, will have to stand for election to retain the two-county seat past the end of 2012.

Traditionally county commissions have offered replacement candidates of the same party as the departed legislator, and the commissions in two-county districts might propose separate replacements each from their own county.

In this case, both Democrat-controlled commissions voted 3-2 along party lines for Curtis, who lives in Bernalillo County.

Previous coverage from KRQE News 13: Party politics leaves senate seat vacant

—–

Find political news from New Mexico and around the country in KRQE.com OnPolitix.