ABQ Council Member To Introduce Rape Kit Resolutions, Panel Nominates 7 For State Court Of Appeals

Dec 3, 2016

ABQ Council Member To Introduce Soccer, Rape Kit ResolutionsAssociated Press

Expect some moves by Albuquerque City Council member Dan Lewis on Monday. The Republican says he wants to introduce a resolution to study the best location in the downtown area for a 10,000-seat soccer stadium.

Lewis says the stadium would be used by the Albuquerque Sol Football Club, which is seeking entry into the professional United Soccer League.

Lewis also wants to introduce a resolution that aims to eliminate the backlog of unprocessed sexual assault evidence kits. He says Albuquerque police currently have 800 evidence kits. The resolution would require the city to work with CNM to incentivize students into the forensic technology field.

The council will meet Monday afternoon.

Panel Nominates 7 For New Mexico Court Of Appeals VacancyAssociated Press

A state commission is nominating two sitting judges and five other lawyers for appointment to fill a state Court of Appeals vacancy.

The judges among the seven nominees chosen by the commission from nine applicants are Judge Briana Zamora of state District Court in Albuquerque and current Court of Appeals Judge Stephen French.

French is a Republican now serving on the court by appointment. He ran unsuccessfully for his current seat in the Nov. 8 general election, losing to Democrat Julie Vargas. French is now applying for the vacancy created by Judge Michael Bustamante's retirement.

The other nominees are Assistant Attorney General Jacqueline Medina and Albuquerque attorneys Kristina Bogardus, Henry Bohnhoff, Emil Kiehne and Kerry Kiernan.

Gov. Susana Martinez will appoint one of the nominees as Bustamante's replacement.

Effort To Remove Roosevelt County Sheriff UnderwayAssociated Press

A local attorney has launched an effort to unseat an eastern New Mexico sheriff accused of falsifying information to get arrest warrants.

Attorney Eric Dixon filed a petition in court in Roosevelt County on Friday seeking the removal of Sheriff Malin Parker.

The petition claims Parker lied about a confidential informant to get arrest warrants for five people suspected of selling drugs in the county.

Parker said an attorney advised him to not comment on the claims.

The petition claims Parker lied in the affidavits that the confidential informant had in the past provided credible information that led to arrests and seizures of stolen property. That confidential informant later said he had never worked with the sheriff before but had known him in high school.

The petition seeks a jury trial against Parker.

Spaceport America Chief Aims To Build Aerospace Economic HubAssociated Press

The new chief executive of Spaceport America says New Mexico is well positioned to use the futuristic facility as a jumping off point to build an aerospace economic hub.

Daniel Hicks appeared Friday before an interim legislative committee to brief lawmakers on some of the initiatives planned at the taxpayer-financed spaceport.

Hicks said signature events such as the recent drone summit and next year's Spaceport America Cup rocket challenge are aimed at attracting future engineers and aerospace companies to the New Mexico desert where they can conduct research and development.

He said the spaceport's location can benefit more than the fledging space tourism industry.

Democratic Rep. Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup said she was encouraged about the focus on aerospace companies. She said New Mexico could use the industry's manufacturing jobs.

Noche De Luminaries' Continues Sunday At New Mexico StateAssociated Press

A 32-year-old tradition continues Sunday evening at New Mexico State University with the illumination of thousands of luminarias on the Las Cruces campus.

The "Noche de Luminarias" display of more than 7,100 luminarias is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. and serves as a start of holiday-season festivities and entertainment.

The Las Cruces High School band will set up the display, starting at the Educational Services Building, continuing along the International Mall, surrounding the Corbett Center Student Union, extending to Barnes and Noble and finishing at the University Museum.

The event is free and open to the public. It started in 1984 as the President's Holiday Reception.

Professional Mediator Takes On New Mexico Budget ImpasseAssociated Press

He is a mild mannered professional mediator who negotiates out-of-court resolutions to legal disputes.

In his unsalaried job as the next New Mexico state Senate majority leader, Democrat Peter Wirth is positioned as a chief powerbroker for high-stakes decisions about plunging state revenues and essential government services.

Wirth says his challenge is keeping the doors of government open and protecting programs that are economic drivers. And that could mean raising more tax dollars from gasoline sales, corporate income taxes or even the legalization of recreational marijuana — ideas that have been anathema to the state's second-term GOP governor.

Wirth says the best opportunities for political compromise involve limits on misguided tax exemptions, deductions and credits, areas where influential industry lobbies will certainly stand in the way.

Tribal Leaders Press Feds On Drilling Plan In New MexicoAssociated Press

Leaders from several American Indian communities want federal land managers to consider the cultural significance of a large swath of land surrounding Chaco Cultural National Historic Park as they plan for more oil and gas development in northwestern New Mexico.

The All Pueblo Council of Governors recently passed a resolution calling for the Bureau of Land Management to make permanent a 10-mile buffer around Chaco park to prevent any drilling activity.

They're also asking for the federal agency to develop a master leasing plan that takes into consideration the significance of the region.

The resolution comes as the agency holds the last of several public hearings Friday on the Navajo Nation as part of an expanded review of management in the area that was sparked by concerns over oil and gas development.