Friday News Roundup: Ex-legislator Max Coll Of Santa Fe Dies At Age 82

Mar 28, 2014

Ex-legislator Max Coll Of Santa Fe Dies At Age 82The Associated Press

Former state Rep. Max Coll of Santa Fe, longtime legislative budget committee chairman, has died at age 82.

Sen. Peter Wirth, a family friend, said Friday that Coll died Thursday night after suffering a stroke last week.

Coll served in the House for 32 years, retiring in 2004. He had been chairman of the Appropriations and Finance Committee since 1987.

Coll began representing a Santa Fe district as a Republican in 1981, and became a Democrat two years later.

Born in Roswell, Coll represented a Chaves County district from 1967 to 1974.

Wirth described Coll as an "extraordinary public servant."

An avid rafter, Coll once likened serving in the Legislature as a "whitewater rafting trip with thrills, a few spills and wonderful friendship and thrilling side canyon hikes."


New Mexico Zoo Evacuated When Bear Cub Escapes KOB and The Associated Press

The zoo in Roswell, N.M., was evacuated for an hour until a bear cub could be coaxed back into its cage.

Spring River Zoo Director Elaine Mayfield tells KOB-TV the cub got out of its cage when keepers filling up a moat accidentally left water running all day Thursday.

The higher water level allowed the bear to make its escape by swimming across the moat and then climbing up the front of the exhibit's cage to get onto the roof.

While the cub was running around on the roof, zoo officials called New Mexico Game and Fish.

Game and Fish officers got the bear back into its cage and the zoo reopened.

Mayfield says the water level will be kept at its proper, lower level.


New Mexico Governor Seeks To Dismiss Records Case - The Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez is raising constitutional arguments in defending against a lawsuit by The Associated Press. The news organization is seeking public records about her travel and work schedules as well as cell phone calls by the governor and her staff.

In documents filed Monday in state district court, the governor's lawyer said a court injunction sought by the AP to enforce the public records law would violate the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. Attorney Paul Kennedy argued that if the judge granted the AP request, the court would effectively be "administering the operations" of Martinez's office and the Department of Finance and Administration.

Kennedy asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. He also contends federal law pre-empts the state's public records law in some instances.

New Mexico revamps training amid police shootings - The Associated Press

Amid a rash of questionable police shootings in New Mexico, the state's main law enforcement academy has changed its cadet curriculum aimed at helping reduce deadly force encounters.

The New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy recently adopted a new training model officials say could reduce police shootings, although some critics say those changes may increase them.

Documents outlining the new curriculum reviewed by The Associated Press show that cadets are now being trained to shy away from using deadly force in some cases.

Other changes in the curriculum include reducing the amount of time cadets spend at the academy from 22 weeks to 16.

The issue took on greater urgency after a homeless camper was killed this month by police in a barrage of gunfire, and a furor has erupted over the shooting since helmet-camera video emerged.

Million Jars Of Peanut Butter Dumped In New Mexico - The Associated Press

Nearly a million jars of untainted peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill.

The $2.6 million worth of peanut butter is being hauled to the landfill in Curry County this week to expedite the sale of the bankrupt Sunland Inc., the peanut-processing plant in Portales that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll says the peanut butter was produced for Costco Wholesale before the plant shut last fall. But Costco refused to take shipment of the product, and it declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food products to institutions like prisons even though tests showed it was safe.


Costco officials did not return phone calls seeking comment. But court records show the peanut butter was rejected by Costco because of leaky peanut oil.