Albuquerque Police Department Goes To Buddy System – Albuquerque Journal
For the second time this month following shootings of police officers, the Albuquerque Police Department told officers to respond to calls in pairs.
The Albuquerque Journal reports the shootings of police officers in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday prompted APD to reinstate the buddy order after lifting the mandate on Friday.
It was first put in place after a gunman killed five Dallas police officers earlier this month. Chief Gorden Eden warned that the buddy system means response to lower priority calls, which in the past usually had just one officer responding, may be slower.
Spokesman Simon Drobik said the buddy system order will be in effect indefinitely.
Police Officer Calls Out Racism In Santa Fe – Albuquerque Journal
A police officer in Santa Fe, which prides itself on being tolerant, said the city is one of the most racist places he has ever been.
The Albuquerque Journal reports Anwar Sanders says he feels racism from people more often when he’s in uniform. Santa Fe prides itself on being a tolerant city and has an openly gay mayor.
Sanders, who moved here from New Jersey, did not want his agency named because he says he is speaking for himself, not his employer. He is assigned to the Santa Fe district.
Another African-American officer who works with the Santa Fe Police Department backed up sanders’ observations. Jacquaan Matherson told the Journal he gets many racist comments when he’s on duty, especially if he is arresting people.
Mayor Javier Gonzales called it heartbreaking to hear Santa Fe described as racist. He called for broader conversations about race.
Poll: US-Mexico Border Residents Feel Ignored, Oppose Wall – The Associated Press
A new poll suggests residents along the U.S.-Mexico border are feeling ignored in the midst of the U.S. presidential election.
A Cronkite News-Univision News-Dallas Morning News border poll released Monday found a majority of urban residents surveyed on both sides of the border are against building a wall between the two countries. They also believe the tone of the presidential campaign is damaging relations.
Journalists who gathered reaction to the poll say residents feel Democrats and Republicans are ignoring their concerns and aren't proposing solutions to help their economy and combat drug trafficking and human smuggling.
The poll surveyed 1,427 residents in 14 border cities. The majority of interviews were done in Spanish, and the margin of error was 2.6 percent.
Judge Seeks Contempt Finding In New Mexico Food Aid Scandal – The Associated Press
A federal judge is recommending contempt findings against New Mexico officials for failures in the distribution and oversight of federal food and Medicaid health care benefits to the poor.
Federal Magistrate Judge Carmen Garza on Monday recommended the appointment of a court-supervised monitor to ensure that that the New Mexico Human Services Department complies with standing court orders, decrees and federal law in the administration of federally funded benefits.
Garza said a finding of contempt against the state agency and Human Service Sec. Brent Earnest is appropriate to ensure improvements in the administration of benefits under Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps.
The recommendation responds to court testimony that expedited food aid applications were falsified to meet federal deadlines, delaying the delivery of benefits.
Judge Delays Officer Shooting Suspect's Weapons Trial – The Associated Press
A federal judge has postponed the trial for an ex-convict charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm that authorities say was used in the shooting death of an Albuquerque police officer.
The Albuquerque Journal reports the judge decided to postpone 35-year-old Davon Lymon's trial at a hearing Monday, citing concerns over news coverage of the fatal shootings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The trial originally was scheduled for Aug. 3 in Las Cruces. The judge hasn't set a new trial date.
Lymon was transferred to federal custody after his October arrest in the shooting of Officer Daniel Webster.
Lymon has not been charged in Webster's death, but remains under investigation in the shooting.
Police say Webster pulled over Lymon for driving a motorcycle with a stolen license plate.
Evacuations In New Mexico Wildfire Lifted Sunday – Associated Press
Southern New Mexico residents forced to clear out of their homes because of a wildfire were expected to be able to return.
Fire spokeswoman Linda Wallace said evacuations, along with road closures, in the area of a fire in the mountain village of Timberon were lifted Sunday.
Residents had been allowed to go to their homes to retrieve items, but only with an escort.
The blaze has destroyed 70 structures, including 44 homes, as well as numerous vehicles.
It is currently 60 percent contained.
The fire started Wednesday and has burned nearly 270 acres.
The cause remains under investigation.
Gov. Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency Friday to free up resources to fight the fire.
Tularosa Residents Mark Cancer Deaths On Trinity Anniversary – Alamogordo Daily News, Associated Press
New Mexico residents living near the site of the first atomic bomb test 71 years ago are remembering loved ones who have died from cancer.
The Alamogordo Daily News reports Tularosa Basin Downwinders lit more than 700 luminarias as part of an annual vigil Saturday night.
The group says the 1945 Trinity Test irreparably altered the gene pools of residents in surrounding communities such as the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa.
They say many people and their descendants have been plagued with cancer and other illnesses.
The Downwinders are currently lobbying for compensation and apologies from the U.S. government.
They received a grant from the Santa Fe Community Foundation in March to hire an expert to evaluate health surveys they have collected from residents.
No Charges For 3 Albuquerque Officers In 2013 Shooting – Associated Press
Three Albuquerque police officers involved in the 2013 shooting of a suspect will not be charged.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that District Attorney Kari Brandenburg announced Friday there was "no probable cause" to prosecute James Edison, Luke McPeek and David Muñoz.
Brandenburg says the officers acted properly out of concern for others.
Initially, there were questions as to whether suspect Shaine Sherrill, who survived the December 2013 shooting, was armed.
Police were responding that day to a domestic violence call involving Sherrill and his ex-girlfriend.
Investigators say Sherrill had expressed a desire to be shot by cops and pulled an object from his waistband that looked like a gun.
The three officers, who were aware Sherrill had 11 outstanding felony warrants, fired. They hit Sherrill three times.
Public Meeting To Address New Mexico's Wild Animal Policy – Associated Press
Wildlife advocates and New Mexico lawmakers are planning to discuss outdoor safety and a state law that led to the death of a mother black bear in June following an attack on a marathon runner in the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening in Santa Fe.
Participants will include several environmental groups, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department and Karen Williams, the marathon runner who was attacked June 18 in the Valles Caldera.
The black bear was killed the next day for rabies testing.
Williams wants to change state regulations that mandate the euthanization of any wild animal that attacks a human for rabies testing.
Williams argues that the bear, which was acting in defense of its cubs, showed no signs of rabies.
Navajo Pride Flour Mill To Reopen After More Than A Year – Daily Times, Associated Press
A flour mill owned by the Navajo Nation is reopening after undergoing renovations for more than a year.
Navajo Agricultural Products Industry officials announced Friday that the Navajo Pride flour mill will relaunch through a joint venture with a new company.
The Daily Times of Farmington reports New Mexico Milling LLC will operate the mill.
CEO Wilton Charley, who was named to the position in March, says the venture will mean hiring 20 employees.
Charley says the operation will generate $1 million a year in wages to run it.
New Mexico Milling CEO Bryan Ledgerwood says this is a rare opportunity to operate an independent mill.
Ousted NAPI CEO Tsosie Lewis said the closure was prompted by increased expenses and the need for upgrades.
UNM Plans $180 Million In Construction Over Next 4 Years – Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press
One of New Mexico's largest universities is planning $180 million in construction projects on campus over the next four years including a proposed building that has been described as "a new public face" for the University of New Mexico.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the university is planning six new projects over the next four years that will bring new buildings and updated classrooms to the campus.
The most expensive project calls for the destruction of a decades-old water reservoir that will be replaced with a building that will house astronomy, physics and other science programs. The architect has said the planned building will come to redefine the campus.
Funding for that project comes from severance tax bonds, UNM institutional bonds and a general obligation bond awaiting voter approval.