Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:45 pm
The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.
"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.
The interim Chief of Albuquerque's embattled police department has announced he is stepping down and heading to Texas.
Allen Banks was named interim chief last summer when his predecessor was told by the City Council that it was time for new leadership. The president of the police officers' union said she believes Banks is leaving because Mayor Berry took too long deciding whether to keep him permanently.
Banks announced his impending departure to his department in a video message.
An effort to establish a high-tech research and development center in downtown Albuquerque could get an infusion of some serious cash depending on what the University of New Mexico's Board of Regents decides.
The regents will review proposals to invest $13 million in the Innovate Albuquerque initiative during a special meeting Friday. This will be their first opportunity to fully vet the project.
Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to provide $600,000 next year for telemedicine services to help provide access to medical specialists for patients and primary care providers in rural areas.
The governor proposed Monday that the money be used for buying and installing equipment and computer technology, such as teleconferencing video systems.
If the money is approved by lawmakers, Martinez said, health care provider organizations could apply for grants.
A federal appeals court has tossed out a First Amendment lawsuit filed by residents protesting the Iraq War during a 2007 New Mexico visit by then-President George W. Bush.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ordered Tuesday that the lawsuit against a U.S. Secret Service agent and two Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies be thrown out and said the agents did not personally discriminate against the protesters.
A California-based law firm representing ranchers is suing to have two New Mexico plant species removed from federal protection.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a federal lawsuit last week and said the Kuenzler hedgehog cactus and gypsum wild-buckwheat should either be "downlisted" or delisted and removed from government protection all together. Both plants are found in southeastern New Mexico.
A University of New Mexico psychology professor is under fire after he tweeted that people battling obesity don't have the willpower to finish doctorate degrees.
Geoffrey Miller wrote on Twitter Sunday that obese doctoral applicants who don't "have the will power to stop eating carbs" won't "have the willpower to do a dissertation." The tweet has since been deleted and his Twitter account has been made private.
Oil production in New Mexico has increased by nearly 50 percent over the last three years, making it one of five western states that have helped boost national production over the last three years.
Statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show onshore oil production increased nationally by more than 2 million barrels a day — or nearly two-thirds — between February 2010 and February 2013.
North Dakota and Texas have been the driving forces, but New Mexico along with Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah account for 15 percent of the growth.
New data shows that of the $32.2 million Dona Ana County residents have paid in a spaceport tax that took effect five years ago, $1 in $4 has been routed to local education.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/13VMZIt) that new county data says $8 million in total, or 25 percent of all sales tax revenues, has been sent to the three county school districts.
During the 2007 referendum, a main argument touted by tax proponents was that the money would help to train future engineers and technicians who'd be qualified to work at future Spaceport America facilities.
New Mexico State University's next president is set to be announced next week.
The Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/103TdSn ) reports regents plan tentatively to reveal their pick on Monday.
Finalists include NMSU business dean and former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, former Texas Tech University president Guy Bailey, former University of Nevada, Las Vegas president David Ashley, former Texas A&M University president Elsa Murano and University of Colorado Denver Dean Daniel Howard.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Taos restaurant is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it overserved a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a pickup.
The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/ZlwD8I) reports Julian Varela had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for driving when he left the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on Dec. 29, 2011.
He was killed by a teen driver who wasn't cited in the incident.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates for immigration reform are holding rallies and prayer events across New Mexico in an effort to push a federal immigration proposal.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a Santa Fe-based advocacy group, has scheduled a May Day rally in Santa Fe and a prayer vigil in Gallup "to call on Congress to pass a common sense immigration reform."
In Albuquerque, the group El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos (EE-gual-DAHD' EE deh-REH-CHOHS) are slated to hold a march and interfaith prayer service at a park. Activists also plan to march through Old Town Albuquerque.
TULAROSA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say they're investigating after a 19-year-old man was fatally shot in a confrontation with officers at a southern New Mexico elementary school.
Authorities say the shooting happened outside the Tularosa Elementary School Tuesday night, but had nothing to do with the school. They say because of the investigation, the school will be closed Wednesday.
Police say several rounds were fired during the altercation with Jesse Vigil of Tularosa and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico teenager says she had a miscarriage in a high school hallway and that a teacher didn't help her because she was late to class.
But school officials say the student actually had a miscarriage a week before and had passed her placenta that day.
KOAT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/12Kf0Uk) that the Grants High School student says she miscarried outside a band class last week. The teen says after the teacher refused to let her in the class she then made her way to a bathroom and passed out.
PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance is expanding its list of endangered cultural properties.
The organization will be adding to the list the plains of San Augustin in southern New Mexico, the Masonic Temple Center in Santa Fe and a historic lodge at Conchas Dam when it meets for an annual conference this week in Portales.
The organization says it hopes the three new listings will alert the public to possible threats to their preservation.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Another Mexican gray wolf has been found dead in the Southwest, but federal officials have refused to provide any details.
The wolf reintroduction team confirmed in its latest monthly report that the male wolf died in March. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the troubled wolf program, would not say where the animal was found or how it might have died.
This marks what is believed to be the second death this year of an endangered Mexican gray wolf.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico employees would get smaller paychecks while retirees would pay higher premiums under a task force's recommendations for covering the rising costs of retiree health benefits.
The recommendations submitted to the university's regents include requiring employees and the university to make payments into a new trust fund.
Workers would pay half of 1 percent of their salary in the first year and 1 percent by the third year. That money and university matches would go into the new trust fund.