KUNM

Arts Startup Meow Wolf Sells Out Small Equity Offerings, Feds Close Inquiry Into James Boyd Case

Jul 18, 2017

Feds Close Inquiry Into Police Shooting Of Albuquerque ManThe Associated Press

Federal prosecutors say there's not enough evidence to pursue criminal civil rights charges against the Albuquerque police officers who were involved in the 2014 fatal shooting of a homeless man that spurred public protest.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday it was closing its investigation into the death of James Boyd and that officials had met with Boyd's family and their representative to inform them of the decision.

Boyd, who had a history of mental illness, was shot and killed following an hours-long standoff with authorities after he was discovered camping illegally in the foothills bordering Albuquerque.

Two former Albuquerque officers were tried on second-degree murder charges in the case that ended in a mistrial last year before state prosecutors cleared them both.

Federal officials described their review as careful and thorough.

Arts Startup Meow Wolf Sells Out Small Equity OfferingsThe Associated Press

The startup company behind a popular immersive art exhibition space in New Mexico says it has raised more than $1 million through an online private stock offering aimed at small investors.

Meow Wolf announced Monday it reached the fund raising goal by offered equity stakes in increments of as little as $1,000 through the crowdsourcing website WeFunder.

A preliminary offering in late June and was followed by a broader sale starting on Saturday. The company says it quickly reached its annual cap on equity crowdfunding for small investors under federal regulations.

More than 500,000 visitors have flocked to Meow Wolf's kaleidoscopic walk- and crawl-through exhibit space since early 2016. CEO Vince Kadlubek describes the investment as a leap of faith as the company seeks to expand into major U.S. cities.

Albuquerque Tea Party Given Tax-Exempt Status After 8 YearsThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

The Albuquerque Tea Party has been granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service after applying eight years ago.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Graham Bartlett, president of the local Tea Party, says he was informed about a month ago that the group's request was going through.

Bartlett says the Albuquerque Tea Party requested tax-exempt status because it relies on donations and people tend to donate more when they know they can write it off on their taxes.

The group filed its request in December 2009. The Tea Party provided more than 1,000 pages of documentation about the group's activities.

Bartlett says he thinks the request was delayed so long because the IRS was "targeting any organization that had the name 'Tea Party' in it."

New Mexico Land Commissioner Announces Run For CongressThe Associated Press

Republican New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has announced he will run for election to Congress for New Mexico's southern district instead of seeking a second term in state office.

Dunn said Tuesday that he hopes to win the GOP nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, who is running for governor in 2018. Republican state Rep. Yvette Harrell of Alamogordo also is seeking the GOP nomination.

Dunn was elected in 2014 to lead a state agency that oversees state trust lands spanning 14,000 square miles (36,000 square kilometers) that help fund schools, universities, hospitals and other public institutions. Two Democrats already are aggressively vying for that job.

Dunn unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for the southern congressional district in 2008, when Pearce left to run unsuccessfully for Senate.

Facebook Has Plans To Expand New Mexico Data Center - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated

Social media giant Facebook is making good on plans to expand its high-tech data center already under construction in New Mexico.

Gov. Susana Martinez's office announced early Tuesday that the company will construct a second building at the site near Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque. In all, the two buildings will cover nearly 1 million square feet.

The governor says Facebook is an important partner as New Mexico works to diversify its economy.

With the second building, Facebook's investment will total a half-billion dollars.

Officials say there will be as many as 1,000 workers onsite at the peak of construction while the data center has the potential to support more than 100 full-time workers.

New Mexico Revises Guidelines To Recruit More Nurses – Associated Press

New Mexico is revising guidelines related to the hiring of nurses in hopes of bolstering recruiting in rural and underserved areas of the state.

The Health Department made the announcement Monday, saying state agencies will be able to hire recent graduates who are unlicensed but have obtained short-term permits to practice under the supervision of a licensed nurse or nurse practitioner.

Gov. Susana Martinez says the changes will help alleviate a critical shortage around the state.

All but one of New Mexico's 33 counties are designated by the federal government as health professional shortage areas.

The state also has created a new classification of job positions that will allow for the hiring of medical assistants to complete administrative and clinical tasks in public health clinics and other state facilities.

New Mexico Professor Seeks To Save Moon-Landing SitesAssociated Press

A New Mexico State University anthropology professor is on a mission to save moon-landing sites.

Beth O'Leary is speaking this week in Washington, D.C., on preserving the spots where humans stepped on the surface of the moon.

She is giving presentations at the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to coincide with the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

Her new book, "The Final Mission: Preserving NASA's Apollo Sites," looks at the exploration of space from an archaeological and historical-preservation perspective. It also details how various sites in New Mexico, Texas, California, and Florida contributed to the successful Apollo mission.

O'Leary says the Apollo 11 landing site at Tranquility Base, where humans stepped foot on the moon, should be named a National Historic landmark.

New Mexico Rebuilds Financial Reserves After Budget CrisisAssociated Press

A top finance official says New Mexico state government has a bigger financial cushion than anticipated.

Finance and Administration Deputy Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke told a panel of lawmakers Monday that the state entered the fiscal year on July 1 with reserves equal to 5.3 percent of annual spending obligations, and expects to maintain a 3 percent cushion at the end the current fiscal year in June 2018.

Estimates based on earlier revenue forecasts had the state nearly running out of cash by mid-2018, threatening the New Mexico's credit rating and its access to low borrowing costs on infrastructure projects.

To shore up shaky state finances, the Legislature, which is led by Democrats, and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez agreed in May to tap into borrowed money from suspended infrastructure projects.

Prosecutors Eye Combining Cases Against Ex-SuperintendentLas Vegas Optic, Associated Press

Prosecutors are seeking to combine two criminal cases against an embattled former northern New Mexico superintendent facing a slew of fraud and forgery charges.

The Las Vegas Optic reports prosecutors recently filed a motion to combine the two criminal cases against former Mora superintendent Charles Trujillo.

Trujillo is facing fraud and forgery charges for using fake credentials to obtain state educator licenses and high-paying administrative positions with the Mora and Pecos school districts in different criminal cases.

One case alleged Trujillo gave forged documents to the Pecos schools to obtain the assistant superintendent position.

The second case involves a position Trujillo applied for at Luna Community College.

Court documents say defense attorney Sam Bregman, who represents Trujillo, agrees with combining both San Miguel County cases.

'Curanderismo' Textbook Draws On Global Indigenous Healers - By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

A new textbook is focusing on curanderismo, which are indigenous healing methods from the American Southwest and Latin America.

"Curanderismo: The Art of Traditional Medicine Without Borders" was released this month to coincide with an annual conference in New Mexico.

Curanderismo is the art of using traditional healing methods like herbs and plants to treat various ailments. Long practiced in Native American villages of Mexico and other parts of Latin America, curanderos also are found in New Mexico, south Texas, Arizona, and California.

Anthropologists believe curanderismo is popular among poor Latinos because they didn't have access to health care.

Traditional healers and students of alternative medicine are at the University of New Mexico this week for a unique annual gathering that attracts indigenous healers from around the world.

Arts Startup Meow Wolf Sells Out Small Equity OfferingsAssociated Press

The startup company behind a popular immersive art exhibition space in Santa Fe says it has raised more than $1 million through an online private stock offering aimed at small investors.

Meow Wolf announced Monday it reached the fund raising goal by offered equity stakes in increments of as little as $1,000 through the crowdsourcing website WeFunder.

A preliminary offering in late June was followed by a broader sale starting on Saturday. The company says it quickly reached its annual cap on equity crowdfunding for small investors under federal regulations.

More than 500,000 visitors have flocked to Meow Wolf's kaleidoscopic walk- and crawl-through exhibit space since early 2016. CEO Vince Kadlubek describes the investment as a leap of faith as the company seeks to expand into major U.S. cities.

State Issues Boil Advisory For Southeastern New Mexico CityAssociated Press

State officials are urging thousands of residents in one southeastern New Mexico community to boil their water after tests turned up E. coli contamination in their water system.

The New Mexico Environment Department says the boil advisory issued over the weekend includes the city of Artesia as well as surrounding homes that rely on the Morningside Water Users Cooperative.

The Artesia municipal water system serves about 14,000 people. The Morningside system serves an additional 358 customers.

State officials say the presence of E. coli indicates that the water may have been in contact with sewage or animal wastes and could contain disease-causing organisms.

The Artesia utility is required to test the water until no further threat of contamination remains.

Pastor: Boy Pulled From Eastern New Mexico Pond DiesEastern New Mexico News, Associated Press

A pastor and family friend says a boy who was pulled from a pond following a July 4 swimming accident at a Clovis park has died.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports Gevion Lewis turned 13 eight days after the accident at Hillcrest Park. He never regained consciousness after being under the water for about 10 minutes.

Bonetta Hutson, the worship leader at the church Lewis and his family attended, said she was with the family and prayed with them Friday as they made the decision to remove the boy from life support.

First responders were on the scene within minutes of getting the call for help on July 4. Police reports show Lewis' friends also tried to rescue him but were unable to pull him from the murky water.

New Mexico Joins Lawsuit Alleging Generic Price FixingAssociated Press

New Mexico joined three other states and the District of Columbia to sue six generic drugmakers, alleging they conspired to hike prices for a common antibiotic and a diabetes medication.

Attorney General Hector Balderas joined attorneys general for Arkansas, Missouri, West Virginia and the District of Columbia in the suit filed Monday against Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Aurobindo Pharma USA, Citron Pharma, Mayne Pharma, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Teva Pharmaceuticals.

It follows a nearly identical suit filed in December by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, joined by 19 other states, based on Connecticut's ongoing investigation.

The six companies have asked Judge Vanessa Bryant to dismiss the initial lawsuit, denying they conspired to keep prices high for Doxy DR and Glyburide.

Lawsuit Targets Tax Business Over Refund-Anticipation LoansSanta Fe New Mexican

A company that operates several businesses near the Navajo Nation is being sued in a class action lawsuit, which accuses it of predatory lending.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the suit contends William and Sammia Dejolie borrowed $1,250 in late 2014 and were charged an interest rate of 385 percent. It alleges violations of the Truth in Lending act, willful breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The three businesses named in the suit, T&R Market Inc., Tancorde Finance Inc. and T&R Tax Service, are all connected, reported the New Mexican, and the parent company makes loans based on peoples’ anticipated income tax refunds.

A law that eliminates payday loans, passed this year, does not apply to these kinds of loans.

Nicholas Mattison, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, says these loans target low-income families. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

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