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Friday News Roundup
4:31 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Headlines: Private Attorney To Prosecute APD Officers, Review Of Navajo Mine...

Credit Screenshot from video provided by APD through an IPRA request

Private Attorney To Prosecute NM Officers In Fatal Shooting - The Associated Press

The prosecutor removed by a New Mexico judge from the case of two Albuquerque police officers charged in the shooting death of a homeless man last year has tapped a private attorney to handle the case.

Randi McGinn has agreed to prosecute officers Dominque Perez and Keith Sandy, who were charged earlier this year with murder in the March 2014 death of James Boyd during an hourslong standoff.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:45 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Headlines: WIPP Leak Could Have Been Prevented...

Credit DOE Photo

Los Alamos Radiation Release Could Have Been PreventedThe Associated Press

Investigators say officials could have prevented the poor management and lapses in safety that led to radiation contamination inside the federal government's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The shortcomings were outlined in a final report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy's Accident Investigation Board.

Investigators spent more than a year looking into the cause of the radiation release at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:44 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Headlines: Potash Mine Water Plan Scrutinized, APD Officers Investigated...

Credit jsj1771 via Flickr

Allegations Against Albuquerque Police Officers Investigated - The Associated Press

Allegations of excessive use of force by two Albuquerque police officers are the subject of a New Mexico State Police investigation.

The State Police said its Investigation Bureau is investigating a March 20 incident and that details will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

The State Police didn't release any additional information but city officials said the two officers are on paid leave.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:46 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Headlines: Fire Managers Hope For Calm Season...

Credit photo: US Forest Service

Wetter Weather Tames Wildfire Fears In New Mexico Somewhat - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

An expected wetter-than-normal spring and possible more active summer monsoons have some fire managers hoping for a calm fire season in New Mexico this year.

The Albuquerque Journal report the predictions of less wind than usual also have fire managers hopeful that the state can avoid large wildfires but they say those conditions can change rapidly.

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Monday News Roundup
4:46 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Headlines: New APS Superintendent Announced, Payday Loan Reform Quashed...

Credit APS

Albuquerque Schools Names California Educator As New Leader - The Associated Press

The Albuquerque Public Schools Board of Education has named a California educator as superintendent.

The board picked Luis Valentino for the superintendent's job on Saturday from three finalists for the job. The district has nearly 88,000 students

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Local News
6:37 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Headlines: Gov Signs Bills, Judge Blocks Coal Mine Expansion...

Credit Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

Martinez Approves Majority Of Bills Passed In Legislature The Associated Press

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has wrapped up action on about 190 bills passed during the recent legislative session.

Martinez approved nearly 160 bills by a Friday noon deadline, signing several of them during public appearances in Albuquerque. She vetoed about a dozen bills outright and did not take action on about 20 others, resulting in pocket vetoes.

Martinez signed the key $6.2 billion budget Thursday.

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Friday News Roundup
4:43 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Headlines: Judge Removes DA From APD Murder Case, Finalists For APS Superintendent

Credit Rita Daniels

Court Takes Albuquerque Prosecutor Off Police Shooting Case - The Associated Press

A judge has removed the prosecutor from the case of two Albuquerque police officers charged in the shooting death of a homeless man last year.

Defense lawyers wanted prosecutor Kari Brandenburg disqualified because they believe she has a conflict of interest.

Second Judicial District Court Judge Alisa Hadfield agreed in a ruling Thursday. A special prosecutor will be appointed to handle the case of officers Dominque Perez and Keith Sandy.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:50 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Headlines: E-Cigarette Sales To Minors Banned, NM Water Forecast...

Credit Michael Dorausch / michaeldorausch.com

New Mexico Gov Signs Bill To Ban E-Cigarette Sales To MinorsThe Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation banning the sales of e-cigarettes and nicotine liquid containers to minors in New Mexico.

Sen. John Ryan's bill also requires those containers to be sold in child resistant packaging and prohibits online sales to minors.

The Los Ranchos de Albuquerque Republican says the products are dangerous.

He says nicotine is "addictive and harmful" and can be the "gateway to a lifelong addiction."

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:46 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Headlines: Efforts To Rename Hobbs Street After MLK, AG Weighs In On PNM Plan...

Credit Dick DeMarsico / World Telegram & Sun, Wikimedia Commons

Efforts To Rename Hobbs Street After MLK Hits SnagThe Associated Press and Hobbs News-Sun

Despite vocal support a Hobbs official says the southeastern New Mexico city has not received any formal request to rename a portion of a busy street in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Hobbs development director Kevin Robinson made the announcement this week at a city commissioners meeting, putting the future of the renaming in doubt.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:56 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Headlines: ABQ City Council Withdraws Support For PNM Plan, Reduced Speed Limit On County Roads...

Credit Courtesy San Juan's Citizen Alliance

Albuquerque Withdrawing Support For San Juan Plan - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque City Council has withdrawn its support for a plan to replace part of an aging coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico.

The resolution passed last night states the city supports an agreement reached by federal officials, Gov. Susana Martinez's administration and Public Service Co. of New Mexico to shut down part of the San Juan Generating Station in an effort to reduce haze-causing pollution.

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Monday News Roundup
4:43 am
Mon April 6, 2015

Headlines: Thousands Mark Anniversary At Trinity Site, Oil & Gas Industry PR Campaign...

Credit Atomicarchive.com via WikiMedia Commons

Thousands Visit Trinity On Anniversary Of Bomb Explosion - The Associated Press and Alamogordo Daily News

Thousands of visitors converged Saturday on the New Mexico site where the first nuclear bomb was detonated nearly 70 years ago.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports White Sands Missile Range officials say more than 5,500 people attended the first of two tours being offered at the Trinity Site this year.

Visitors came from all over the U.S. and included several documentary crews.

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Local News
9:00 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Headlines: Another APD Excessive Force Accusation, 2 UNM Regents Appointed...

Credit hugovk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Fired Albuquerque Officer Faces Excessive Force Lawsuit - The Associated Press

A former Albuquerque police officer, who fatally shot a 19-year-old woman last year and was fired for insubordination, is being sued for excessive force in another case.

Lawyers for Dennis Shoemaker filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque last week against Jeremy Dear stemming from a 2013 arrest.

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Friday News Roundup
5:46 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Headlines: Hearings Focus On Dairies, Corrections Worker Files Suit

Hearings will focus on pollution and dairies
Credit Keith Weller, Dept. of Agriculture, WikiMedia Commons

New Mexico Regulators To Hold Dairy Hearing – Associated Press

The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission is planning a public hearing to consider changes to the state's dairy regulations.

The hearing will start Monday afternoon in Roswell. Officials say it's possible the proceeding could last all week and more meetings could be scheduled in other parts of the state.

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Thursday News Roundup
5:33 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Headlines: DA Wants Police Shootings Information, AG Sues Nursing Homes

Credit Skarz via Creative Commons

DA: Albuquerque Police Sitting On Shooting Investigations – Associated Press

Albuquerque’s district attorney, who recently sought murder charges against two police officers, says police aren't sending her information on other shootings to review.

Kari Brandenburg sent Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden a letter this week asking about 13 investigations into police shootings her office is waiting to review. She says some of the investigations are 17 months old.

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Wednesday News Roundup
5:29 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Headlines: Trinity Protests Planned, Junk Food Tax Begins

Trinity Test Mushroom Cloud
Credit Atomicarchive.com via WikiMedia Commons

Trinity Test Site Opening To Face Protest From Residents – by Russell Contreras, Associated Press

Seven decades after an atomic bomb helped end World War II, families in New Mexico's Tularosa Basin want tourists to know nearby residents later suffered from health problems.

Protesters are planning a demonstration this weekend as the Trinity Test site opens to visitors.

Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, says a bomb tested at the site later caused rare forms of cancer for many residents in the area.

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Tuesday News Roundup
5:34 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Headlines: Oil And Gas Workers Underpaid, Fort Sill Apache Petition Rejected...

Credit inlandwest via Flickr

Labor Officials: New Mexico, West Texas Workers Underpaid The Associated Press

Federal labor officials say oil and natural gas workers in New Mexico and West Texas have been underpaid by more than $1.3 million.

The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division made the announcement Monday. The findings stem from an enforcement initiative launched by the division last year.

Officials say overtime violations led to the underpayment of some 1,300 workers.

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Monday News Roundup
5:35 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Headlines: URENCO Expansion, SW Chief Amtrak Route Stays...

Train tracks at the station in Lamy, New Mexico.
Credit artotem via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Nuclear Enrichment Plant OK'd For Expansion – Associated Press

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given its approval for URENCO USA to expand its nuclear enrichment facility east of Eunice.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the panel gave the OK last week on URENCO's most recent license amendment application.

That means URENCO can double its capacity over the course of two more phases beyond the current three-phase $4 billion facility.

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Local News
8:30 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Headlines: Gov. Martinez Has Just Days To Sign Bills, "Game Of Thrones" Sneak Peek...

Governor Martinez must sign bills by April 10, if they are to become law.
Credit Steve Terrell via flickr

New Mexico Governor Has Until April 10 To Sign BillsThe Associated Press 

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has until April 10 to act on bills passed during the just-concluded 60-day legislative session.

The bills she doesn't sign by then will be considered pocket vetoed.

Martinez had signed five and vetoed one as of Friday afternoon.

New Mexico lawmakers passed 191 bills during this session. The Albuquerque Journal reports that's the lowest number for a 60-day session since 1949.

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Friday News Roundup
4:52 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Headlines: Flu Season Continues, Cause Of WIPP Fire And Closure...

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

NM Officials: Flu Sickened More This Year; Season Not OverThe Associated Press

New Mexico health officials are warning that the flu season is not over.

Officials say more people have been hospitalized in the state this season than in many years.

According to the state Department of Health, the virus hospitalized 40 people per 100,000 this flu season as compared with 29 per 100,000 during 2012-13.

Children under 5 and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:42 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Headlines: Transparency Bills Fail, Graduation Rate Increases...

Credit Arianna Sena

Transparency Bills A Casualty In NM Legislative Session - The Associated Press

Open government advocates say it wasn't a good legislative session for boosting transparency as lobbying disclosure and campaign finance bills failed.

Of about a dozen bills — from requiring independent groups to disclose campaign donations to a two-year break for legislators who turn lobbyist — only a couple of measures made it to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:40 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Headlines: No Kendra's Law For NM, Groups Threaten Suit Over Mexican Wolf...

Credit Jim Clark / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / public domain

Partisan Fighting Also Killed New Mexico 'Kendra's Law' - The Associated Press

Lost in the partisan bickering of the New Mexico Legislature's final moments was a measure aimed at helping some residents with severe mental illness.

Since lawmakers failed to pass the bill, New Mexico remains one of only a handful of states without a "Kendra's Law."

It would have allowed judges in some counties to order patients to take medication and undergo treatment if they are deemed a danger to themselves and their community.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:42 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Headlines: Recent APD Hires Linked To Shootings, Nuclear Cleanup Costs...

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is the nation's only underground nuclear waste storage facility.
Credit Randy Montoya

Report: Feds To Exceed Costs For Cleaning Up Nuke Waste – The Associated Press

A government watchdog says work to clean up radioactive waste at one of the federal government's premier nuclear laboratories is costing more than expected.

The Government Accountability Office says by the end of the last fiscal year, the National Nuclear Security Administration spent about $931 million to remove contaminated equipment and soil from Los Alamos National Laboratory.

That's $202 million more than the agency's 2006 estimate.

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Monday News Roundup
4:45 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Headlines: Fatal Shooting ABQ Skate Park, Wet NM Spring...

Credit Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Albuquerque Police: 1 Dead, Others Hurt In Park ShootingThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police say one person is dead and others are injured following a shooting at a skate park.

A police statement early Monday says the shooting at Los Altos Park was reported shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

Officer Fred Duran says there are "multiple subjects injured and one subject deceased from the shooting."

Information was still sketchy with Duran saying that many details haven't been determined, including the identities of the victims.

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Weekend News Roundup
8:14 am
Sat March 21, 2015

Headlines: NM Legislature's Big Budget, Navajo Court Forces Election...

Credit 401(K) 2012 via flickr

NM Legislature Rips Through Bills; Wrangling Capital OutlayThe Associated Press 

State lawmakers continue putting finishing touches on dozens of bills as the 52nd New Mexico Legislature's first session heads for the history books.

Among bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Susana Martinez for consideration Friday was a massive $6.2 billion budget. It includes pay raises for new teachers and state police. It also boosts spending for education, the state's child welfare agency, public safety, tourism and economic development.

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Friday News Roundup
4:38 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Headlines: Legislature Heads Into Final Stretch, Police Shootings Reveal Gaps In Care...

New Mexico Legislature Heads Into Final StretchThe Associated Press

New Mexico lawmakers are scrambling to wrap up work on dozens of bills before noon Saturday, and some significant initiatives are still hanging in the balance.

A $6.2 billion budget bill is still sparking last-minute bickering among Republicans and Democrats.

And the fate of hundreds of millions of dollars in capital outlay projects is still undetermined, as is a bill aimed at boosting state lottery sales.

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Thursday News Roundup
4:46 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Headlines: Gambling Compact, Judge Rules For Closed Primary System...

Credit Prayitno via Flickr

Budget, Gambling Compact Pending In New Mexico House - The Associated Press

The fate of a proposed $6.2 billion spending plan that would fund public schools and other government services during the next fiscal year is still unsettled as the New Mexico Legislature approaches adjournment.

Also pending is approval of hundreds of millions of dollars in capital outlay projects and a gambling compact that would clear the way for a handful of American Indian tribes to keep their casinos open.

The 60-day session wraps up Saturday.

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Wednesday News Roundup
4:47 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Headlines: ABQ Combats Homelessness, Governor Vetoes Racehorse Drug Testing Bill...

Credit Ed Williams-KUNM

Albuquerque To Award $2M In Contracts To Combat HomelessnessThe Associated Press

The city of Albuquerque will award more than $2 million to six nonprofit organizations to help address homelessness and mental health issues.

Mayor Richard Berry announced the funding Tuesday. He says this shows Albuquerque has a heart for the most vulnerable and that it backs up its concern with substantial resources.

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Tuesday News Roundup
4:43 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Headlines: NM Senate Approves Budget Bill, Officials Promote Safe Ride...

Credit Jena g. . Einar E. Kvaran aka 98.20.23.52 23:59, 1 June 2009, via Wikimedia Commons

NM Senate Approves A $6.2 Billion Budget Bill - The Associated Press

The New Mexico Senate has approved a $6.2 billion spending proposal for the next fiscal year.

Senators Monday night took up a budget bill largely unchanged from what the House approved last month.

The spending plan includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers. Most department budgets remain flat, but education, the state's child welfare agency and tourism department get more money.

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Monday News Roundup
4:36 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Headlines: State Lawmakers Pass Pot Bills, Senate Tables Abortion Bills...

Credit Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Senate Passes Bill Lessening Penalties For Pot Possession - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Two marijuana-related bills have cleared hurdles in the New Mexico Senate and House.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that legislation that would not include jail time for offenders having less than an ounce of pot passed the Senate on Saturday in a 21-20 vote.

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Local News
7:54 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Headlines: Senate Rejects Chandler For UNM Regent, Language Requirement For Navajo President...

Navajo President Ben Shelly will decide whether to send voters a bill that could remove the Navajo language fluency requirement for the office of President.
Credit Navajohistory via Wikimedia Commons

Navajo Council Approves Referendum On Language Requirements The Associated Press

Funding for the long-delayed Navajo presidential election took a back seat Friday to a provision that would allow voters to decide whether candidates should speak and understand the tribe's language.

Navajo language fluency has loomed over the election ever since a candidate was disqualified last year for failing to prove he met the requirement for the tribe's top post.

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