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Archdiocese of Santa Fe Releases Names Of Accused Priests, Conference Attendees Honor Late Senator

Sep 13, 2017

Archdiocese Of Santa Fe Releases Names Of Accused PriestsThe Associated Press

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released the names of 74 priests and religious leaders who were accused or later found guilty of sexually abusing children by state or church authorities.

Archbishop John Wester made the list public Tuesday after years of pressure from victims and their family members.

Some names had been known for years while others had been secret.

The Catholic Church keeps much of its Canon law proceedings secret.

Wester in a letter cited a need to publicly acknowledge and identify clergy and religious leaders accused of perpetrating child sexual abuse within the one of the nation's oldest archdiocese.

The list does not provide details of alleged crimes or convictions.

Domenici Conference Attendees Honor Late Senator – The Associated Press

Attendees of a policy conference named after former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici are mourning the passing of the Republican lawmaker.

Participants of the Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, paused Wednesday for a moment of silence following news of Domenici's death.

Kevin Prieto, the student body leader at New Mexico State University, read a prepared statement from Domenici during the opening ceremonies.

Domenici wrote he was recovering from surgery and would try to follow the conference online.

"You know if I was there in person, I'd be asking questions," Domenici wrote.

He finished, "Once again, I'm sorry I'm not there with you."

Domenici died Wednesday. He was 85.

Warrant Issued For No-Show Witness Of Officer's DeathThe Associated Press

A key witness in the case against a man accused of shooting and killing an Albuquerque police officer didn't show up for court, prompting the judge to issue an arrest warrant.

Prosecutors in the murder case against Davon Lymon say 19-year-old Savannah Garcia was a no-show for the Tuesday court hearing for which her deposition was scheduled.

The judge granted motions issuing a material witness warrant that allows authorities to hold her for five days so her deposition can be recorded.

Authorities say Garcia was on the back of Lymon's motorcycle when Officer Daniel Webster was shot and killed in October 2015.

Prosecutors say Garcia is homeless, and they found Garcia about two weeks ago after a months-long search.

The Lymon's trial is scheduled for March 2018.

New Mexico Base Seeks Expanded Training Space For FlightsThe Associated Press

Holloman Air Force Base officials say their current array of flight training areas in southern New Mexico is outdated and that some need to be expanded, reshaped and relocated.

Officials from the Alamogordo, New Mexico, base are holding public meetings this week in several communities to receive public input on proposed changes that would have jet fighters flying over sparsely populated rural areas not now used for that purpose.

Holloman says its goals include maximizing training time, minimizing transit time for aircraft and limiting impacts to civil aviation.

The changes will be assessed in an upcoming environmental impact statement.

The charges are being considered as F-16s now based at Hill Air Force Base near Ogden, Utah, are being shifted to Holloman to make room for new F-35s at Hill.

UNM Researchers To Work With Purdue On Shale-Gas FuelsAssociated Press

A federal agency has chosen Purdue University to oversee a fledgling research center that will focus on developing new technologies to produce fuels from the nation's shale-gas deposits.

The Purdue-based engineering research center, called CISTAR, will get nearly $20 million over five years from the National Science Foundation for the initiative. More funding and resources will come from the center's industrial and university partners.

The new center begins operations on Oct. 1 at Purdue's Discovery Park. Its Purdue researchers will work with counterparts from the University of New Mexico, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Texas at Austin.

Their research will focus on devising new methods to convert light hydrocarbons from shale-gas into chemicals and transportation fuels using a network of portable, modular processing plants.

Manager Accused Of Stealing From New Mexico Charter SchoolAssociated Press

A review of an Albuquerque charter school already on the radar for financial mismanagement has turned up new allegations that a former business manager likely embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years.

The State Auditor's Office outlined the allegations in a report released Tuesday without naming the ex-employee.

The report states the employee is the daughter of the school's former executive director, who resigned after auditors determined she had doctored a receipt to receive improper reimbursement.

An earlier audit of La Promesa Early Learning Center highlighted late payments and missing or inaccurate documents.

The latest inquiry accuses the former manager of depositing over 500 checks written to various vendors into personal accounts. She's also accused of depositing checks payable to her mother and boyfriend, a vendor of the school.

Auditors have forwarded their findings to law enforcement.

New Mexico Public Defenders Seek More Funds, ReformsAssociated Press

New Mexico's chief public defender is urging state lawmakers to shore up resources for attorneys that represent impoverished defendants and consider reducing penalties for some low-level offenses that carry jail time.

Chief Public Defender Bennett Baur on Tuesday urged a panel of lawmakers to take steps to ensure public defense attorneys are not overwhelmed by caseloads.

The New Mexico Supreme Court currently is considering whether indigent defendants are being left without an adequate defense and potential remedies.

Democratic Sen. Richard Martinez of Española says lawmakers are likely to wait until 2019 when a new governor takes office to propose reductions again to misdemeanor penalties.

Republican Governor and former prosecutor Susana Martinez vetoed legislation this year that would have reduced penalties for a long list of misdemeanors.

New Mexico Prosecutor, Insurance Company Spar Over TaxesAssociated Press

A standoff over millions of dollars in unpaid insurance premium taxes is escalating between New Mexico's attorney general and the state's largest health-care insurance provider.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Tuesday renewed accusations that a for-profit insurance arm of Presbyterian Healthcare Services used an illegal accounting procedure to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes and surcharges on insurance premiums.

Subsidiary Presbyterian Health Plan has denied that it owes the state of New Mexico additional premium taxes.

It filed a motion Monday to dismiss the attorney general's lawsuit. Presbyterian says state insurance regulators reviewed and approved the company's amendments to past tax payments.

At a news conference in Albuquerque, Balderas urged Presbyterian to pay off tax liabilities dating back to 2003 that were circumvented with an "illegal amendment."

State Putting Up Warning Signs After Deadly Dust StormsKOAT, Associated Press

The New Mexico Department of Transportation says it will put up warning signs along a dust-prone stretch of Interstate 10 near the Arizona-New Mexico border where many people have died.

KOAT-TV reports the state is spending $5 million on the warning system. The signs will tell drivers what precautions to take during a dust storm. They will be placed at every 2 miles beginning at Lordsburg.

The department will also add more dust sensors and large, electrical signs that will warn drivers when a storm is approaching.

Officials say the signs should be installed by the end of October. Officials are also planning to expand the shoulder at this portion of I-10 so drivers have more room to pull over.

US Judge Cites Tribal Sovereignty In Dismissing Coal Lawsuit - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

A U.S. judge is citing tribal sovereignty in dismissing a legal challenge filed by environmental groups over the federal government's decision to allow continued operations at a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

The groups were targeting the 2015 approval of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant, which provides electricity to customers throughout the American Southwest.

They argued the U.S. Interior Department and other agencies did not consider clean-energy alternatives or possible effects on endangered species.

The judge tossed the case since the mine is owned by a corporation created by the Navajo Nation, meaning it has immunity from such legal challenges. The judge said the case could not move forward without the mine as a defendant.

New Mexico School Removes Religious Mural After ComplaintEastern New Mexico News, Associated Press

A complaint prompted a public school in eastern New Mexico to remove a wall mural containing a dove, an anchor and a Bible verse.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports that the mural at Clovis High School Freshman Academy was painted over last month after the school received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a watchdog group on separation of church and state issues.

The group says a parent of a student objected to the display and filed a complaint with the organization. The group says the mural alienates people who are nonreligious.

Superintendent Jody Balch says the school tries to follow state and federal regulations on the matter.

Members of the New Mexico Legislative Prayer Caucus sent a letter to the school countering the group's claims.

Medical School Gets $11M Grant To Set Up Biomedical CenterAssociated Press

The University of New Mexico School of Medicine has received an $11 million federal grant to establish a new biomedical center.

The National Institutes of Health funding will be provided over five years for research into biological processes that remove or recycle damaged cell parts.

The university's announcement Tuesday of the grant funding says the research could help with treating diseases.

Car Crashes Into School Bus On Navajo Nation; Driver JailedAssociated Press

Navajo Nation police say a man has been arrested for allegedly driving impaired and crashing into a school bus south of the Whippoorwill Chapter House.

They say all seven children aboard the bus escaped injury in Monday afternoon's accident, and the driver didn't need medical attention.

Police say the impaired driver of the car was found in a wash west of the crash scene and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

They say 33-year-old Virgil Yellowhorse was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, seven counts of endangerment to the welfare of a minor and nine counts of aggravated battery.

It was unclear Tuesday if Yellowhorse has a lawyer yet.

Two men who were passengers in the car were arrested for public intoxication.

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