KUNM

Commissioners Reach Agreements With 4 Pueblos, Students May Need Post-High School Plan To Graduate

Jan 31, 2018

Commissioners Reach Rights-Of-Way Agreements With 4 PueblosThe Associated Press

Santa Fe County commissioners have approved settlements ending rights-of-way disputes with four northern New Mexico pueblos.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the settlements approved Tuesday clarify rights of way for 34 miles of roads through Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque pueblos through the year 2216.

Under agreements with Pojoaque and Tesuque, the county is granted rights of way for roads it maintains within the pueblo boundaries. The rights of way for roadways within Nambe and San Ildefonso pueblos go to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

All roads will remain open to the public, but San Ildefonso and Nambe have the right to close roads temporarily for cultural events.

County Manager Katherine Miller says she believes the county and pueblos can resolve any other issues that arise.

New Mexico Bill Wants Students To Have Post-High School PlanThe Associated Press

Two New Mexico lawmakers want high school students to fill out at least one college application as a condition of graduation, with a bill that so far has received mixed reviews from educators.

Under the measure, students also would have the option of showing they have made other post-graduation plans, like enlisting in the military, or committing to an internship or apprenticeship.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Nate Gentry and Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

The president of National Education Association-New Mexico is among the bill's critics, saying it doesn't account for the range of situations New Mexico students face. For example, she says, rural students may want to work on a family farm, and others may need to work a low-wage job before college.

1 Dead After Crash At Albuquerque Rapid Transit Bus StationThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

A man is dead after a two-car crash at an Albuquerque ART bus station.

APD say they were called to the scene about 7:15 this morning.

They found a car up on its side against a bus station platform with the driver dead inside the vehicle.

Witnesses told police that a driver ran a red light before running into a car that had a man and woman inside.  The two weren't seriously hurt.

The Albuquerque Journal reports officers say the car ran into the ART bus stop platform and came to a stop. The driver of that vehicle was dead on scene.  Officer Simon Drobik said they’re investigating whether the newly installed bus lanes and platforms could have contributed to the man’s death.

Experts Warn Of Cracks Forming Above New Mexico CavernThe Associated Press

Experts are painting a dire picture for lawmakers about the impending collapse of a giant cavern that has formed under a highway interchange that serves as a gateway to southern New Mexico's oilfields and two national parks.

They say new cracks are developing at the site on the edge of Carlsbad, where a now-defunct company had operated a well that produced millions of gallons of brine from salt layers deep underground for use in oil and gas operations.

Lawmakers from the region are seeking more than $40 million from various state funds to keep the area from turning into a massive sinkhole. The city of Carlsbad and Eddy County are pitching in $4 million.

State officials are concerned about siphoning money from funds used for cleaning contamination around the state.

New Mexico Looks Toward Medicaid Buy-In CoverageAssociated Press

A Democrat-led push to expand health care coverage by allowing almost anyone to buy into Medicaid is gaining ground in New Mexico.

The state Legislature is considering initial studies and steps toward opening up access to Medicaid services through a fee to individuals and possibly businesses, amid GOP efforts in Washington to dismantle Obamacare.

The concept has the backing of a coalition of local public health advocacy groups.

Legislative efforts are being led by Rep. Deborah Armstrong and Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino. Armstrong says the buy-in concept needs to be explored while more than 180,000 state residents remain without insurance.

Average marketplace premiums increased 40 percent this year. Sireesha Manne of the Center on Law and Poverty says a Medicaid buy-in plan would build on a trusted platform.

Record High Temperatures For Winter Strike New Mexico Associated Press

Record high temperatures for winter are making their way to New Mexico.

The National Weather Service said Clayton, New Mexico, reached 78 degrees on Tuesday. That's a record high for the northeastern New Mexico community in winter.

Much of New Mexico has seen temperatures above normal in recent days. Water resources could feel the pinch later this year thanks to dismal snowpack and a strengthening weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean that typically brings drier weather.

The National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued an update last week on the water supply outlook.

Senior hydrologist Royce Fontenot says drought has expanded across New Mexico in recent weeks. Severe conditions now cover 60 percent of the state.

New Mexico Lawmakers Seek To Protect Net NeutralityAssociated Press

Two Democratic state lawmakers have proposed consumer protection legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net-neutrality rules.

The FCC last month repealed Obama-era rules and gave internet services providers a free hand to slow or block websites and apps as they see fit or charge more for faster speeds.

Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City and Rep. Bill McCamley of Mesilla Park said Tuesday that their bill would prohibit paid prioritization of internet traffic as an unfair and deceptive trade practice under the state's Unfair Practices Act, and provide funding to state prosecutors for enforcement.

Morales and McCamley urged Gov. Susana Martinez to put the bill on the agenda for the current, 30-day legislative session. The governor's office had no comment.

Attorney Says $5m Settlement Reached In New Mexico Jail Death - By Mary Hudetz, Associated Press

Attorneys say a New Mexico county and several former staffers at a now-shuttered jail have agreed to a $5 million settlement in the death of an inmate who video and records show was repeatedly denied medical care after becoming violently ill.

Court documents obtained by The Associated Press detail the terms of the payout in the death of 50-year-old Douglas Edmisten, who died in July 2016 at the Cibola County jail. His mother's lawsuit says jail officers had seen him fall down and knew he had been vomiting blood.

Edmisten had been at the jail several weeks awaiting trial on a DWI charge.

A county manager did not immediately provide comment Tuesday, and two attorneys for jail personnel named in the lawsuit declined comment. Others did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ex-New Mexico Jail Guard Gets Prison Term For Raping InmatesAssociated Press

A former Bernalillo County jail guard convicted of raping and assaulting female inmates in his custody has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A judge gave 33-year-old Enock Arvizo the maximum sentence Tuesday and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Last August, a District Court jury found Arvizo guilty of criminal sexual penetration of an inmate in a March 2015 attack.

Prosecutors say the inmate was assaulted in an unoccupied part of the county courthouse while she was handcuffed and shackled.

Arvizo also was convicted in another trial last year of the April 2015 rape of a woman inmate in a courthouse elevator.

He worked as a transport officer for the Metropolitan Detention Center.

New Mexico State Spending Plan Heads To House FloorAssociated Press

A plan to boost spending on roads and provide pay raises to top New Mexico elected officials, state workers and teachers is headed to the state House of Representatives for a vote.

A panel of lawmakers voted 17-1 on Tuesday to send a $6.3 billion general fund spending plan to the House. Senate revisions are pending.

House Finance and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup is highlighting new spending on road construction and maintenance that can stimulate the economy in rural areas.

The bill would increase pay starting July 1 for all state employees by 2 percent, with larger increases slated for district attorneys, public defenders, state police, corrections officers, social workers and nurses.

It would also provide a 10 percent pay increase starting Jan. 1, 2019, to the governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor and secretary of state, as well as members of the Public Regulation Commission.

Report Says Violent Crimes Cases Filed In New Mexico IncreaseSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A state report shows the number of criminal cases filed in New Mexico courts increased by more than 7 percent during the last fiscal year with homicide and domestic violence cases increasing significantly.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports more than 16,800 new criminal cases were filed in district courts from July 2016 to June 2017. More than 15,600 cases were filed during the previous year.

The annual report by the state Administrative Offices of the Courts shows homicide case filings increased by about 32 percent from 125 cases to 165. Felony domestic violence cases increased by more than 100 percent to 236 cases from 112.

New cases against juvenile offenders dropped by nearly 3 percent between years, and felony driving while intoxicated cases decreased by more than 9 percent.

Police Say Teen Suffered At The 'Hands Of A Monster'Associated Press

Authorities say a 13-year-old boy whose body was found buried in a remote area of northern New Mexico had endured years of abuse that included being locked for hours at a time inside a dog kennel.

Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia choked back tears Tuesday as he provided more details about a case that state and local authorities described as gruesome and heartbreaking.

Garcia told reporters that the child, identified as Jeremiah Valencia, suffered at "the hands of a monster."

Investigators built a case over the weekend and on Monday announced the arrests of 42-year-old Wayne Ferguson, 35-year-old Tracy Ann Peña and 19-year-old Jordan Anthony Nuñez in connection with Valencia's death more than two months ago.

Authorities say Peña, the boy's mother, is cooperating and the investigation is ongoing.

Volkswagen Suspends Executive Over Monkey Trials In New MexicoAssociated Press

Automaker Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability in response to the controversy over experiments in which monkeys were exposed to diesel exhaust at a facility in Albuquerque.

The company said in a statement Tuesday that Thomas Steg was stepping away from his duties at his own request.

The statement said the company was "drawing the first consequences" as it investigates the activities of EUGT, the entity backed by Volkswagen and other carmakers that commissioned the monkey experiment.

The move follows a report in The New York Times that the now-disbanded EUGT commissioned the 2014 monkey test at the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque to measure how Volkswagen's diesel technology was succeeding in controlling harmful emissions.

But the test was done with a vehicle rigged to cheat on emissions tests. The practice was exposed in 2015, toppling then-CEO Martin Winterkorn.

Albuquerque Mayor To Honor Memphis Sanitation Workers StrikeAssociated Press

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is scheduled to honor the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike that drew the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the cause.

Keller is slated Thursday to join elected officials and community leaders in the Edith Yards in Albuquerque for a moment of silence to honor the significance and legacy of the strike.

Two Memphis sanitation workers lost their lives during the turmoil and King was later assassinated in Memphis.

King traveled to Memphis to join the strikers — members of AFSCME Local 1733 — and gave his "Mountaintop" speech the day before he was killed.

Burned Body Found In Rio Rancho ID'd As An Albuquerque Woman Associated Press

Authorities say a burned body found in northwest Rio Rancho last weekend has been identified as a 65-year-old Albuquerque woman.

Albuquerque police say Marilyn Rose Gandert was reported missing on Sunday.

Sandoval County Sheriff's officials say a body burned beyond recognition was found a day earlier by a passer-by.

Police say an active homicide investigation is underway.

They didn't say how the woman died or if there are any suspects in Gandert's death.

Deputies Say New Mexico Woman Gave Pot Candy To DaughterAssociated Press

A southern New Mexico woman is facing charges after authorities say she gave her 13-year-old daughter marijuana candy.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Sylvia Rubio was arrested following an investigation that began in November.

According to a criminal complaint, Rubio's daughter took chocolates containing marijuana to school but was confronted by the school principal.

Rubio told detectives a homeopathic doctor suggested she give her daughter edible medical marijuana to ease her anxiety.

A drug test on the girl child found the psychoactive constituent of cannabis in her system.

Rubio is charged with child abuse and of distribution of marijuana to a minor.

It was not known if she had an attorney.

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