KUNM

Frank Says UNM Committed To Reform On Assault, New Recovery Plan For Wolves In The Works

Oct 18, 2016

UNM President Says University Committed To ReformAssociated Press

The University of New Mexico president says he's sensitive to the reality that the school didn't handle past sexual assault and harassment cases as well as it should have.

President Robert Frank told the Associated Press in an interview Monday that he and other school officials recognize some student victims are coping with "pain they wouldn't have had" if the school had better handled their cases in the past. He says the school is committed to reform.

Frank's comments came as the university and U.S. Justice Department announced they signed an agreement to improve the school's response to sexual harassment and assault complaints. The university also must provide training on the subject to all students.

Under the agreement, the school will report its progress in revising policies and improving investigations over a three-year period.

Court Mandates New Recovery Plan For Mexican Gray WolvesThe Associated Press

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its decades-old recovery plan for the endangered Mexican gray wolf under a court order issued by an Arizona judge.

The judge on Tuesday signed off on a settlement that was reached earlier this year between environmental groups and the federal agency.

The agreement set a November 2017 deadline for the agency to come up with a new plan. The agency also has to provide the court and other parties in the case regular updates on the planning process.

Environmentalists have long argued that the agency had a legal obligation to adopt a recovery plan that spells out specific goals and milestones for returning the wolves to their historic range in the Southwest.

There are currently about 100 wolves in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.

Sanders Rally In New Mexico Draws Hundreds Ahead Of ElectionThe Associated Press 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a brief stop in New Mexico to rally Democrats ahead of the general election.

Sanders, who unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for president, is campaigning Tuesday in New Mexico and Arizona for nominee Hillary Clinton. In Albuquerque, he spoke to a crowd on the campus of the state's largest university.

He talked about creating an economy for the middle class and voiced support for raising the minimum wage.

Some in the crowd shouted in support. Others yelled "sellout," referencing Sanders' strong stance during the primary against what he termed "establishment politics and establishment economics."

Clinton hasn't made any public campaign appearances in New Mexico, but former President Bill Clinton made a two-day swing through the state during the primary.

Republican nominee Donald Trump held a rally in Albuquerque in May that sparked protests.

Immigrant ID Revisions Raise New Humanitarian ConcernsThe Associated Press 

New Mexico officials are running into criticism as they try to implement revisions to New Mexico's immigrant driver's license law.

Advocates for vulnerable populations such as the homeless and victims of domestic violence say proposed regulations unnecessarily tighten documentation requirements for basic identification cards that poor, displaced people can use to secure jobs or apply for government health benefits.

The Department of Taxation and Revenue is collecting public comments Tuesday on its plan to implement a new law that puts New Mexico in compliance with tougher federal identification requirements for driver's licenses, while extending driving privileges to immigrants in the country illegally.

The executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness says the draft regulations rule out several kinds of identity documents that were once allowed.

Senator: Loopholes Allow For Trafficking Of Tribal Items – The Associated Press

A U.S. lawmaker says loopholes in federal laws have left authorities with little leverage in seeking the return of tribal religious items that are illegal to trade in the United States but sell for thousands of dollars in foreign markets.

The comments Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, came during a field hearing in Albuquerque, where tribal leaders and representatives of several federal agencies — including the U.S. State, Interior and Justice departments — are delivering testimony.

Heinrich has sponsored legislation in the Senate seeking to broaden the scope of a federal law designed to crack down on looting, trafficking and exporting of federally protected Native American items.

The legislation would prohibit dealers from exporting protected Native Americans items of cultural or historical importance for tribes to international markets.

Begaye Focuses On Economy In State Of The Nation SpeechThe Associated Press & The Daily Times

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says the nation was facing a financial crisis before its current fiscal year began.

The Daily Times reports that during his State of the Nation address Monday, Begaye focused on the economy and the work he and the Navajo Nation Council did to avoid a $21 million budget shortfall before fiscal year 2017 began on Oct. 1.

Begaye said the shortfall would have led to employee layoffs, but the issue was eased when the tribe turned to "rainy day funds" to make up the gap. During his address he warned that that option is not available should a shortfall occur for fiscal year 2018.

Begaye said planning for the financial future is vital and that his administration has formed a task force to begin looking at how to ease a shortfall in the future.

Immigrant ID Revisions Raise New Humanitarian ConcernsAssociated Press

New Mexico officials are running into criticism as they try to implement revisions to New Mexico's immigrant driver's license law.

Advocates for vulnerable populations such as the homeless and victims of domestic violence say proposed regulations unnecessarily tighten documentation requirements for basic identification cards that poor, displaced people can use to secure jobs or apply for government health benefits.

The Department of Taxation and Revenue is collecting public comments Tuesday on its plan to implement a new law that puts New Mexico in compliance with tougher federal identification requirements for driver's licenses, while extending driving privileges to immigrants in the country illegally.

The executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness says the draft regulations rule out several kinds of identity documents that were once allowed.

'Better Call Saul' Filming Third Season In AlbuquerqueAssociated Press

Bob Odenkirk and the rest of the cast of the television series "Better Call Saul" are returning to New Mexico to film the show's third season.

The New Mexico Film Office made the announcement Monday.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the Emmy-nominated series is expected to employ several dozen New Mexico crew members.

"Better Call Saul" follows Jimmy McGill, played by Odenkirk, who later changes his name to Saul Goodman and becomes an attorney for drug lords in "Breaking Bad."

Odenkirk played the lawyer of Bryan Cranston's character, Walter White, in "Breaking Bad."

Prosecutors Want Lawyer Removed In Ex-Mora School Chief CaseThe Associated Press & The Las Vegas Optic 

A former northern New Mexico superintendent who resigned in disgrace over allegations of faking credentials and is facing criminal charges may need a new attorney.

The Las Vegas Optic reports (https://goo.gl/4V43W5) prosecutors are seeking to have prominent Albuquerque defense attorney Sam Bregman removed from the case involving Charles Trujillo.

The Fourth Judicial District Attorney's office says Bregman has a conflict of interest in Trujillo's pending criminal trial because he once represented a witness in the case.

Trujillo was arrested in August on forgery and fraud charges connected to his Mora position.

Bregman says prosecutors' attempt to get him removed from the case has no basis and he will represent Trujillo.

New Mexico Supreme Court To Consider Arrest Record ErasuresAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

The New Mexico Supreme Court will consider whether the state's courts should be able to erase court and arrest records, and, if so, when it is appropriate to do so.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that New Mexico has been grappling with the question for a decade. Lawmakers have passed four bills on the topic since 2005, but two were vetoed by former Gov. Bill Richardson and the others by current Gov. Susana Martinez.

The case headed for the Supreme Court began when paramedic Christine Stump was arrested eight years ago for grabbing an Albuquerque police officer's arm while both were responding to an attempted suicide. The charge of battery on a police officer was later dismissed and Stump is fighting to have her record expunged.

Sanders To Hold Rally For Clinton In Albuquerque On TuesdayAssociated Press

Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced that Sen. Bernie Sanders will hold a Democratic Party rally in Albuquerque on Tuesday to get out the vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.

Clinton's campaign says the Vermont senator will discuss the economic plans of Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The rally will be held Tuesday morning on the campus of the University of New Mexico.

Construction On Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project BeginsKOAT-TV, Associated Press

Drivers in Albuquerque can expect lane closures and some delays as crews begin heavy construction on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

KOAT-TV reports that the city has begun work to construct a dedicated bus lane along 9 miles of Central Ave. and work is expected to run into late 2017.

Pre-construction work began over the summer, but full construction is now underway. At least one lane will remain open at all times during construction.

Group Donates 39 Quilts To San Juan County Veterans – Daily Times, Associated Press

A number of San Juan County veterans have been recognized by a local quilting group.

The Daily Times reports that the San Juan Quilters Guild on Saturday presented veterans with 39 handmade quilts to thank them for their service.

The quilts, dubbed "quilts of valor" by the group, were presented during the guild's two-day quilt show at the Farmington Civic Center.

Quilting coordinator Becki Dunham says the quilts were part of the group's community service projects. Other community service projects included quilts that were donated to nursing homes, police department and other organizations in San Juan County.

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