KUNM

Absentee Voting Begins In New Mexico, Las Vegas Mental Health Patients Struggling

Oct 11, 2016

Absentee Voting Begins In New Mexico – The Associated Press

Absentee voting has begun in New Mexico ahead of the November general election.

County clerks started issuing and collecting absentee ballots Tuesday across a state that was an early flashpoint for Republican concerns about Donald Trump. Support runs relatively high in New Mexico for the state's former two-time governor, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Well over half of New Mexico voters cast ballots before election day in the past two presidential elections.

In statewide and local elections, Democrats are challenging Republican control of the New Mexico House of Representatives and the Secretary of State's Office. Republicans won a House majority in 2014 for the first time in 60 years.

Local candidates and political committees were filing campaign finance disclosure statements Tuesday under a newly enacted October deadline.

Mistrial In Case Against Former APD Officers Who Shot James Boyd - The Associated Press

A judge has declared a mistrial in a murder case against two former New Mexico police officers after the jury deadlocked on the charges.

Judge Alisa Hadfield made the declaration on Tuesday after three days of deliberations in the case involving the 2014 on-duty killing of a mentally ill homeless man in Albuquerque.

The panel was deadlocked at nine jurors in favor of a not guilty verdict and three voting guilty on second-degree murder charges against now-retired Detective Keith Sandy and former Officer Dominique Perez.

The officers killed camper James Boyd, prompting further unrest in Albuquerque over the actions of its police department amid a wave of police shootings earlier this decade.

Jury Weighs Fates Of 2 Ex-Officers In AlbuquerqueThe Associated Press

A jury has resumed deliberations in the trial of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a homeless man after an hourslong standoff.

The 12-member jury received the case Thursday afternoon after a nearly three-week trial, and deliberated for a full day Friday before the holiday weekend. They returned Tuesday.

Jurors must decide whether now-retired Detective Keith Sandy and former Officer Dominique Perez were justified in the March 2014 shooting of James Boyd, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Sandy and Perez are charged with second-degree murder in Boyd's death. Sandy also is charged with a count of aggravated battery.

Their attorneys say they opened fire to protect the life of a K-9 handler who lost control of his police service dog and chased after it bringing him within roughly 10 feet of Boyd.

Ruling: Short Wait At Green Light Doesn't Obstruct TrafficThe Associated Press

A New Mexico court ruling says a driver isn't violating a local law against obstructing traffic merely by waiting 5 to 15 seconds before proceeding after a light turns green.

The Court of Appeals ruling overturns the conviction of a man who was stopped by an officer in downtown Albuquerque early in the morning.

The ruling says the officer had pulled up behind Terence Goodman at a red light and then stopped Goodman after Goodman waited 5 to 15 seconds after the light turned green.

The court said the Albuquerque ordinance provided no standard to judge a permissible delay and that there was no evidence that the officer was inconvenienced or even forced to wait another full light cycle.

The ruling vacated Goodman's conviction.

Navajo Nation Opposing Federal Veterans' Health Copay Plan – Gallup Independent, Associated Press

The Navajo Nation is opposing a federal plan to adopt a copay system for veterans seeking medical care at U.S. Indian Health Service hospitals.

The Gallup Independent reports Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez recently told Veterans Affairs officials the plan is "outrageous" and violates the government's responsibility to provide health care to Native American tribes and veterans.

Nez made his feelings known at a tribal consultation in Washington.

VA officials wanted to discuss the consolidation of multiple community care programs into one program with standard rates.

Nez says those changes would slow the process for care.

Blue Bell Recalls All Ice Creams With Suspect Cookie DoughAssociated Press

Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its ice cream products that contain cookie dough from an Iowa-based supplier.

The move announced Monday night comes after Aspen Hills recalled cookie dough supplied to ice cream makers after finding potential listeria bacteria contamination.

The Blue Bell recall involves half-gallons and pints of Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Blue Bell Cookie Two Step sold to retailers and three-gallon packages of Blue Bell Blue Monster, Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie and Blue Bell Krazy Kookie Dough sold to food-service clients.

They were produced between Feb. 2 and Sept. 7 and distributed in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems.

Gary Johnson Says He Forgives Ex-Cabinet Member In Pot SpatAssociated Press

Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson says he forgives a former public safety secretary who resigned over Johnson's stance on legalizing marijuana.

That former secretary, Darren White, now is CEO and security director of one of the state's new medical marijuana producers.

Johnson told The Associated Press on Monday that everyone makes mistakes, but he is happy that White has come around and endorsed the legalization of marijuana.

White stepped down as Johnson's secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety in 1999, because he publicly disagreed with then-Gov. Gary Johnson's stand on legalizing marijuana. He later became a two-term Bernalillo County Sheriff.

Today, White says he uses marijuana due to chronic back pain. He endorsed Johnson for president in July.

Presbyterian CEO Departing For TexasAlbuquerque Journal

The man who has led New Mexico’s largest health system for 21 years is leaving for a job in Dallas.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Jim Hinton, CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare, will lead Baylor Scott & White Health starting in January. It’s the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas.

Hinton has led Presbyterian since 1995 and has overseen its growth to include eight hospitals and 11,000 employees. The Presbyterian Medical Group was created under his leadership and now has 800 providers. The Presbyterian Health Plan insures 470,000 people.

Presbyterian is planning a major expansion to its Albuquerque headquarters for up to 600 additional employees. Dale Maxwell will be interim CEO following Hinton’s departure.

Las Vegas Mental Patients Struggling After DischargeAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

An investigation has found that some patients discharged from the state mental hospital in Las Vegas live in poor conditions, including going hungry, while staying in boarding homes in the northern New Mexico city.

The Albuquerque Journal found that the state mental hospital, formally known as the Behavioral Health Institute, discharges about 200 patients each year into Las Vegas and surrounding San Miguel County and that many don't have anywhere to go.

The newspaper investigation found many end up in boarding homes that are ill-equipped to handle their ongoing mental health needs, forcing them to spend a large portion of their $750 in monthly Social Security disability benefits on room and meals.

The state Health Department says it doesn't have the authority to regulate boarding homes.

Ruling: Short Wait At Green Light Doesn't Obstruct TrafficAssociated Press

A New Mexico court ruling says a driver isn't violating a local law against obstructing traffic merely by waiting 5 to 15 seconds before proceeding after a light turns green.

The Court of Appeals ruling overturns the conviction of a man who was stopped by an officer in downtown Albuquerque early in the morning.

The ruling says the officer had pulled up behind Terence Goodman at a red light and then stopped Goodman after Goodman waited 5 to 15 seconds after the light turned green.

The court said the Albuquerque ordinance provided no standard to judge a permissible delay and that there was no evidence that the officer was inconvenienced or even forced to wait another full light cycle.

The ruling vacated Goodman's conviction.

UNM Eliminates More Than Half Of Smoking Areas On CampusKOAT-TV, Associated Press

The University of Mexico is working to become a smoke-free campus by closing a number of designated smoking areas.

KOAT-TV reports that by fall 2017, three of the seven current smoking areas will be closed.

University officials say a nonsmoking campus is healthier for students and faculty they also say eliminating smoking should keep the campus cleaner without cigarette butts.

The fine for smoking outside of the remaining smoking areas will be $100

Tags: