New Mexico's highest court legalized same-sex marriage today, unanimously declaring it unconstitutional to deny a marriage license to gay and lesbian couples.
New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage.
"The important thing is," said Peter Simonson, the Executive Director of the ACLU-New Mexico, "from this moment on, right now, same-sex couples can walk into any County Clerk's Office in the state of New Mexico and be sure that they will be married. That's their choice."
Report Critical Of NM Mental Health Audit Response - Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican
A legislative report is critical of New Mexico's handling of a shakeup of mental health services in which Medicaid to numerous providers were frozen as a result of an audit that reportedly found possible overbillings and fraud.
NM Officer In Van Shooting Is Fired- Associated Press
The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired.
New Mexico State Police spokesman Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says he confirmed with State Police Chief Pete Kassetas that Officer Elias Montoya is no longer employed by the department. His termination was effective at 5 p.m. Friday.
Montoya has 30 days to appeal his firing to a public safety advisory council.
Former Nuke Lab Scientist May Change Plea - Associated Press
A defense lawyer says a former Los Alamos National Laboratory nuclear physicist who admitted communicating classified nuclear weapons data may try to withdraw his guilty plea.
Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, were accused of offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela through dealings with an undercover FBI agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.
Los Alamos Working To Create National Park-Associated Press
Tucked away in one of northern New Mexico's mountain canyons is a log cabin that was the birthplace of a top-secret mission that forever changed the world.
Pond Cabin is one of the structures scattered in and around the modern day Los Alamos National Laboratory being proposed as sites for a new national park commemorating the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb.
NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise - Associated Press
New Mexico health officials are concerned about an increase in the state's infant mortality rate.
The state Department of Health says New Mexico's rate has exceeded the national rate for the first time since 1994. The latest figures show an increase from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012.
Health Secretary Retta Ward says the department will monitor the numbers closely to see if the increase signals a trend.
NM Teachers Object To Evaluation System - Associated Press
Unions representing teachers and other educational employees organized protests Wednesday against a teacher evaluation system by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration that heavily bases ratings on student performance on standardized tests.
National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers encouraged teachers to wear black and participate in rallies across the state.
Feds To Hold Public Hearing On Wolf Proposals - Associated Press
Future management of the federal government's troubled effort to return Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest will be the focus of a public hearing Wednesday in Albuquerque.
Environmentalists, landowners and others are expected to pack the meeting. They'll be commenting on a pair of proposals that will determine how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service moves forward with the program.
Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban - Associated Press
Voters in New Mexico's largest city will decide Tuesday whether to ban late-term abortions.
The municipal referendum is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and is being watched as a possible new front for activism in the abortion wars that have typically been waged at the federal and state levels.
The outcome is anyone's guess following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.
State: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News
New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the state is "off to a good start" with 15 teachers each approved to receive a $5,000 stipend for transferring from a top-graded school to a low-graded one.
According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the teachers worked for the Las Cruces, Taos, Las Vegas City, Espanola, Estancia and Gallup school districts.
Albuquerque's police chief says one of his officers has shot a drunken-driving suspect during a traffic stop.
Chief Allen Banks says the shooting happened early Friday after an officer pulled over a car. Banks tells KOAT-TV that after the car stopped the driver inside showed a gun and the officer shot the person.
The unidentified suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The officer was not hurt.
Tribal Leaders Gather For White House Conference - Associated Press
American Indian leaders are gathered in Washington, D.C., to talk directly with officials in President Barack Obama's administration about their needs.
The White House Tribal Leaders Conference is scheduled for Wednesday. Obama is set to deliver remarks to representatives invited from 566 tribes across the country at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
NM County's Investments Probed By State Officials - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal
The State Securities Division has launched an inquiry into Bernalillo County's investment practices.
The Albuquerque Journal reports the agency is trying to determine if a turnover of the county's $300 million investment portfolio was the result of a misguided effort in pursuit of higher interest rates or something more sinister.