KUNM

ABQ To Add Anti-Overdose Drug To City First Aid Kits, Wait Times Increase At MVD

Dec 6, 2016

Albuquerque To Add Anti-Overdose Drug To City First-Aid KitsThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

First-aid kits in Albuquerque's libraries, community centers and other public buildings will now contain the anti-overdose drug naloxone.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the City Council on Monday voted unanimously to require the drug, which blocks the effects of heroin or other opioids, to be added to first-aid kits in city buildings that are open to the public.

Under the council-adopted resolution, the city will post signs and store naloxone in city facilities with public access. A city employee at each location will be trained to give the drug.

The move comes as New Mexico currently has the second-highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the country.

Wait Times Increase At New Mexico Motor Vehicle DivisionThe Associated Press 

Average wait times have nearly doubled at the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division with the arrival of new driver's licenses that meet stricter federal security standards.

Deputy MVD Director Jerry Valdez said Monday the average time for processing requests was 25 minutes last week. Last year the average wait was just over 13 minutes.

The state's new driver's licenses meet federal rules aimed at making commercial airlines and federal facilities more secure. New Mexico is also offering driving authorization cards for residents who don't have the identity documents needed for a new license, including immigrants in the country illegally and others.

Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla says motorists are told as soon as possible whether they brought the correct identity documents to receive a license to avoid unnecessary waiting.

New Mexico City Continues Ten Commandments Monument Lawsuit The Associated Press & The Daily Times

A New Mexico city is asking a larger panel of judges to review a decision that found its Ten Commandments monument unconstitutional.

The Daily Times of Farmington reports that the city of Bloomfield will petition all of the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to weigh in on the case. A panel of three judges from the court on Nov. 9 upheld a previous decision that found the 3,000-pound, 6-foot-tall monument outside City Hall violates the U.S. Constitution.

Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker ruled in August 2014 that the monument constitutes government speech and is subject to the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

Albuquerque attorney Andrew Schultz is representing the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the city on behalf of two Wiccan residents in 2012.

Dona Ana County Selects New Treasurer In Wake Of Ethics CaseThe Associated Press 

Dona Ana County commissioners have voted unanimously to name Eric Rodriguez as the county treasurer.

Rodriguez took the oath of office immediately after Monday's vote. He'll fill the remainder of David Gutierrez's term until he is sworn in at the end of the month to begin his own tenure as treasurer.

Rodriquez was previously the chief deputy clerk. He was elected to the post during the recent general election.

Gutierrez was removed from office earlier this month after he was convicted of an ethics violation for allegedly offering $2,000 to a female employee to have sex with him.

Gutierrez had testified during the civil trial that what he said to the employee was a compliment, not a sexual proposition.

New Mexico Slashes Revenue ExpectationsAssociated Press

State economists say New Mexico is likely to collect far less revenue than previously expected this budget year and next as employment, wages and economic growth lag.

Economists from three executive agencies and the Legislature on Monday revised downward figures for the state's annual revenue stream by $131 million to $5.6 billion for the current fiscal year, and by $127 million for the fiscal year starting in July. The new revenue estimates set a benchmark for state lawmakers who will meet in January to shore up state finances and craft a new budget.

The state's budget crisis has spilled over into the courts, where public defenders say they cannot keep up with caseloads, as other state agencies and public universities grapple with one-year spending cuts as high as 8 percent.

The new state revenue forecast indicates spending is likely to outstrip operating reserves by $69 million during the current fiscal year. Recurring revenues are expected to rebound next year and still fall $93 million short of current spending.

Police: Shots Fired At Officer; 3 In CustodyThe Associated Press 

Authorities say three people are in custody following a search after shots were fired at a New Mexico State Police officer just south of Taos.

Sgt. Chad Pierce says the officer wasn't wounded during the Monday evening incident but that several bullets struck the officer's vehicle.

Pearce says two women were arrested after a perimeter was set up Monday night and that a man was taken into custody Tuesday morning.

Pearce identified the women as 32-year-old Jenna Trujillo and 35-year-old Diana Castro and the man as 30-year-old Juan David Gonzales.

It's not immediately known if they have attorneys who could comment on the allegations.

New Training Focused On Sex Assault, Rape Cases - The Associated Press

Law enforcement officers across New Mexico will soon be required to undergo training on how to use evidence kits in rapes and other sexual assault cases and how to apply DNA findings to their investigations.

Officials with the state Department of Public Safety and victim advocacy groups announced the new training Tuesday. It will start in January for officers who are certified in New Mexico and will be a part of the law enforcement academy's curriculum going forward.

The announcement comes as the state grapples with a backlog of thousands of untested evidence kits.

State Auditor Tim Keller's office spent the past year querying law enforcement agencies around the state about their policies for handling the kits.

The resulting audit found that a lack of resources, training and attitudes about the credibility of victims are partly to blame for kits going untested.

3 Children Dead In Albuquerque Shooting - The Associated Press

Albuquerque police say three children were killed and their mother is in critical condition after a gunman shot them when they arrived home Monday night.

Police Chief Gordon Eden said during a news conference Tuesday that investigators believe the 45-year-old man forced his way into the home and waited for the mother and the children.

While he did not release any names, Eden said the victims included a 5-year-old boy, a 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.

Eden said the gunman was taken to the hospital with a self-inflicted gunshot wound and later died. Authorities believe the man had a short relationship with the mother.

Mayor Richard Berry described the incident as unimaginable and heartbreaking.

The mayor called for the city to come together as investigators try to determine what happened.

Navajo Nation Files $160 Million Claim With EPA Over Mine SpillAssociated Press

The Navajo Nation has submitted a claim of more than $160 million in damages to the federal government over last year's mine waste spill that fouled rivers in three western states.

A cleanup team led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency triggered the August 2015 spill while working at the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.

The 3-million-gallon blowout tainted rivers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah with tons of toxic heavy metals including arsenic, mercury and lead.

In a letter Monday to the EPA, attorneys say the tribe still awaits more than $3 million in unreimbursed expenses for costs through Sept. 30 to deal with the spill that contaminated the San Juan River.

The tribe also is seeking $159 million for 10 years of health monitoring and other assessments.

Tucson Launches Program For Homeless Modeled After ABQ's Associated Press

A coalition of nonprofit organizations in Tucson is launching a new program aimed at helping the homeless by giving them jobs cleaning streets.

The program is modeled after one in Albuquerque that in its first-year pilot phase included 700 participants who cleared 25 tons of trash.

Tucson's twice-weekly program will launch on Tuesday. For now, the program can employ up to 12 homeless people who will be paid $10 an hour.

Participants will be screened and will work five-hour days cleaning up roadways. They'll be fed and have access to a shower, clothes, hygiene items and shelter.

Tucson leaders say the program is meant to help people get out of homelessness. A community engagement specialist will work with participants closely with the ultimate goal of moving them into permanent housing.

New Mexico Beats Texas For Expansion Of Warehouse CompanyAssociated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico has beaten out Texas for the expansion of a homegrown warehouse and distribution company.

Valley Cold Storage and Transportation ships goods in New Mexico and Texas.

The Las Cruces-based company plans to invest $14 million to build a new 105,000 square-foot facility and create up to 33 jobs in Santa Teresa, tripling its current workforce.

The new facility will be the third major expansion in Santa Theresa's 166-acre Westpark Logistics Center in the last six months.

Westpark is the first new industrial park to be built in Santa Teresa in the last 15 years.

Valley Cold Storage and Transportation offers state-of-the-art refrigeration and transportation services to the retail, food service, food distribution and agriculture industries of southern New Mexico and western Texas.

Boy Scouts To Relocate National Museum To New MexicoAssociated Press

From merit badges and uniforms to an impressive collection of Norman Rockwell paintings and drawings, the Boy Scouts of America will be packing up more than a century of scouting history and taking it to the wilds of northern New Mexico.

The organization announced Monday that it'll move its national museum from its current home in Texas to the Philmont Scout Ranch, which has served as an adventure destination for generations of troops and their families.

Plans calls for expanding the existing Philmont Museum and Seton Memorial Library to make room for a collection that includes more than 600,000 items and reams of historical documents and photographs.

Construction is expected to start next year.

With the ranch hosting more than 32,000 visitors each year, officials say more people will get to see the national collection.

Albuquerque To Stock Overdose Remedy In Public BuildingsAlbuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque City Council passed a resolution Monday night to put an opioid overdose drug into first-aid kits in city buildings.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Damon Martinez, the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico, spoke in favor of the measure. The state is second in the country in the rate of deaths to opioid overdoses.

The drug, naloxone, is sprayed in the nose of someone who is going through an overdose.

The city will store naloxone, also called Narcan, in city facilities that have public access and an employee at each site will be trained on how to use it.

The bill calls upon the Albuquerque Fire Department to use $7,500 to purchase the naloxone kits.

New Mexico AG Seeks Review Of Police Investigation PoliciesAssociated Press

New Mexico's top prosecutor is asking a panel of experts to review the policies and procedures that law enforcement agencies around the state use when it comes to investigating shootings involving officers or other use-of-force incidents.

Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday that as the chair of the state's Law Enforcement Academy Board, he has appointed a subcommittee to perform a review and audit.

The inquiry will cover more than 190 agencies in the state. A report and recommendations are expected next summer.

Balderas says police shootings can have devastating consequences for communities and that the public deserves a process it can trust.

Balderas' announcement comes after allegations were raised that Albuquerque police altered or deleted video recordings from lapel cameras. The city plans to hire an independent investigator to look into the issue.

Wait Times Increase At New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Associated Press

Average wait times have nearly doubled at the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division with the arrival of new driver's licenses that meet stricter federal security standards.

Deputy MVD Director Jerry Valdez said Monday the average time for processing requests was 25 minutes last week. Last year the average wait was just over 13 minutes.

The state's new driver's licenses meet federal rules aimed at making commercial airlines and federal facilities more secure. New Mexico is also offering driving authorization cards for residents who don't have the identity documents needed for a new license, including immigrants in the country illegally and others.

Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla says motorists are told as soon as possible whether they brought the correct identity documents to receive a license to avoid unnecessary waiting.

Doña Ana County Selects New Treasurer In Wake Of Ethics Case Associated Press

Doña Ana County commissioners have voted unanimously to name Eric Rodriguez as the county treasurer.

Rodriguez took the oath of office immediately after Monday's vote. He'll fill the remainder of David Gutierrez's term until he is sworn in at the end of the month to begin his own tenure as treasurer.

Rodriquez was previously the chief deputy clerk. He was elected to the post during the recent general election.

Gutierrez was removed from office earlier this month after he was convicted of an ethics violation for allegedly offering $2,000 to a female employee to have sex with him.

Gutierrez had testified during the civil trial that what he said to the employee was a compliment, not a sexual proposition.

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