Mora County Continues Oil And Gas Drilling Ban – The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican
Mora County commissioners have voted to continue a ban on oil and gas drilling that has triggered lawsuits from the oil industry but brought out a passionate defense from local residents concerned about pollution.
Artesia Mayor: Dozens Freed From Immigrant Center – The Associated Press
The mayor of a New Mexico city where immigration authorities are holding nearly 500 detainees says dozens of immigrants have been released.
Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch told The Associated Press that 68 detainees were released and around 14 were deported last week. He says federal immigration officials reported around 479 detainees remain at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia and more expected to arrive in the coming days.
Mora County Eyes Drilling Ban Repeal – The Associated Press
A northern New Mexico county is considering repealing an ordinance that made it the first county in the nation to permanently ban oil and gas drilling.
The Las Vegas Optic reports Mora County commissioners last month began laying the groundwork to repeal the ordinance that drew national and international attention and sparked two federal civil rights lawsuits.
Ex-campaign Manager Sentenced In Email Case – The Associated Press
A federal judge has sentenced a former campaign manager for Gov. Susana Martinez to nine months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for stealing the governor's email and lying about it.
U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson sentenced Jamie Estrada on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty in June to charges of unlawful interception of electronic communication and lying to FBI agents.
Estrada's family cried when the sentence was read.
Absentee Voting Starts Tuesday In New Mexico – The Associated Press
New Mexicans can start casting ballots in general election races although Election Day remains several weeks away.
Voters can go to their county clerk's office starting Tuesday to cast ballots. That's also the final day for New Mexicans to register to vote and clerks can begin mailing absentee ballots requested by voters.
Yesterday’s mass ascension of hundreds of hot air balloons was called off due to wind. More than 100 balloons had already been inflated when officials called it. Those balloons became part of an impromptu static display.
About 550 pilots are taking part in this year's Balloon Fiesta, which runs until October 12th.
Recording Shows Officer Promising To Shoot Suspect - The Associated Press and KOB TV
Two hours before an Albuquerque police officer fatally shot a homeless camper, which sparked violent protest in the city, he was recorded saying he would shoot the suspect in the penis.
A recording broadcast by KOB-TV shows Keith Sandy telling a state police officer that James Boyd was a "lunatic" and he was going to shot the man struggling with mental illness "in the penis with a shotgun here in a second."
Food Stamp Changes Exclude Some Counties, Tribes – The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
A state agency for now is exempting several New Mexico counties and about a dozen Native American tribes and pueblos from new work-related rules for participation in the food stamp nutrition-assistance program.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that counties being excluded from the rules include Luna, McKinley and Mora and that the tribes and pueblos being exempted include the Navajo Nation.
Rains Ease New Mexico's Short-Term Drought – The Associated Press
Heavy rain and flooding have hammered parts of New Mexico over the past week, but all the moisture hasn't been enough to scare the drought away.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say the southern third of New Mexico has seen 200 percent or more of its average rainfall so far this month, but nearly 70 percent of the state is still dealing with some degree of drought.
Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off At Forum – The Associated Press
Republican incumbent Susana Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King disagreed over the economy and schools in their first appearance together at a candidate forum in New Mexico's race for governor.
King criticized Martinez for presiding over the "worst economy in the country," and said New Mexico has lagged behind other states in job growth.
Martinez jabbed at King for supporting tax increases to balance the budget two decades when he served in the Legislature.
Marijuana Ballot Dispute Before Federal Court – The Associated Press
A federal court is to consider whether it will referee a legal fight over New Mexico's largest county trying to place nonbinding questions over marijuana and taxes on the November general election ballot.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen has scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon in a dispute between Bernalillo County and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.
Group Levels Abuse Allegations Against NM Dairy – The Associated Press
Undercover video showing workers at a southern New Mexico dairy whipping cows with chains and wire cables and kicking and punching the animals, has led to a state investigation into possible animal cruelty violations.
The New Mexico Livestock Board confirms it has launched an investigation into the practices at the Winchester Dairy near Dexter.
New Mexico Vets' Personal Information Compromised – The Associated Press
Officials with the New Mexico VA Health Care System say the personal identifying information of thousands of veterans may have been compromised.
The agency says it is notifying more than 2-thousand 600 veterans that a folder with their names and Social Security numbers was found in a women's restroom on July 30th at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque.
State Workers Face Delay In Court-Ordered Back Pay – The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican
Gov. Susana Martinez says thousands of state workers owed back pay to resolve a union contract dispute are finally about to get their money.
The state Supreme Court ruled last year that 10,000 current or former employees are entitled to retroactive pay increases because former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration didn't follow union contracts in distributing 2008 salary money.
APD Chief Says City Stuck With Bad Officers – USA Today
Albuquerque’s Chief of Police Gorden Eden told the national newspaper USA Today that it will be difficult to reform the Albuquerque Police Department because it is stuck with officers who shouldn't be on the force.