Friday News Roundup: Judge To Decide Whether To Block Horse Slaughter

Aug 2, 2013

Judge To Decide Whether To Block Horse Slaughter - Associated Press

A federal judge in Albuquerque is expected to decide Friday whether companies in New Mexico and Iowa can begin slaughtering horses next week.

The Humane Society of the United States and others are requesting a restraining order to block Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa, from opening their slaughterhouses as planned on Monday.

The groups sued the Department of Agriculture in June after it issued permits to the companies, which would be the first to legally slaughter horses in the country since Congress effectively banned the practice in 2006.

Meat from the slaughterhouses would be exported for human consumption and for use as zoo and other animal food.

The move has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes about what is the most humane way to deal with the country's horse overpopulation.

NM Groups Push For Minority Organ Donation - Associated Press

Two New Mexico advocacy groups are pushing for more organ donor registrations among minority groups as part of a nationwide campaign.

Officials with Donate Life and New Mexico Donor Services say there's a desperate need for organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities.

The awareness campaign started Thursday and will run through Wednesday.

Officials say minorities make up 56 percent of the nearly 120,000 men, women and children who are on the national organ transplant waiting list.

In New Mexico, there's a higher than average need for kidney transplants because minorities are disproportionately affected by illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Nearly three-quarters of New Mexico patients on the waiting list in need of kidney transplants are minorities, including Hispanics and American Indians.

'Breaking Bad' Thanks Albuquerque On Billboards - Associated Press

The AMC hit television series "Breaking Bad" is thanking the city of Albuquerque for playing host through the filming of the show's five seasons.

Producers of the show have purchased advertising on billboards around the city that read, "Thanks Albuquerque. We had great chemistry." The billboards come as the show's final season is set to begin Aug. 11.

"Breaking Bad," which was filmed largely in Albuquerque, follows former high school teacher Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, producing and selling methamphetamine with a former student, Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul.

The popular show has attracted tourists to city and businesses have been given tours of well-known sites from the series.

NM Lottery Generates Nearly $44M For Scholarships - Associated Press

The New Mexico Lottery generated more money for college scholarships in the latest fiscal year as revenues reversed a two-year slide.

The lottery said it produced a record-setting $43.7 million for the scholarship program in the 2013 budget year, up from about $41 million during each of the last two years.

Net ticket sales rose almost 6 percent to $141.8 million. Revenues have declined five out of the last eight years.

Lottery officials say revenues grew partly because of Powerball ticket sales. The multi-state lottery game had several large jackpots, including a record $590 million.

State law requires at least 30 percent of lottery revenues go to the scholarship program, which covers tuition for New Mexico college students. The program is projected to run short of money in 2014-2015.

Navajo, Urban Outfitters Fail To Reach Settlement - Associated Press

The Navajo Nation and Urban Outfitters have failed to reach a settlement in a federal lawsuit alleging trademark violations.

The tribe sued the clothing retailer and its subsidiaries last year to keep them from using the "Navajo" name or variations of it on their products.

U.S. District Judge Lorenzo Garcia in New Mexico had thrown out all deadlines for discovery and responses to motions while settlement discussions took place. The parties wrote to the court this week saying that mediation has been unsuccessful.

The parties say no other mediation sessions are planned.

Urban Outfitters argues that "Navajo" is a generic term for a style or design and has asserted counter claims. It is seeking a declaration of non-infringement and cancellation of the tribe's federal trademark registrations.