KUNM

Governor Denies Trump Reached Out For VP Bid, Albuquerque Rapid Transit Approved

Jul 22, 2016

New Mexico Governor Disputes Claim Trump Reached Out On VPAssociated Press

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is disputing a claim that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tried to contact her to be vetted for vice president.

Martinez spokesman Chris Sanchez says published reports saying the nation's only Latina governor refused phone calls from Trump about being his running-mate are false.

However, Sanchez says the Republican governor had no interest in joining the ticket.

Sanchez says no one from the Trump campaign contacted Martinez before his May rally in Albuquerque. During that rally, which later turned violent outside, Trump harshly criticized Martinez.

The campaign later reached out to Martinez and Trump said he wanted a Martinez endorsement.

Martinez previously criticized Trump for comments he made about Mexican immigrants. She has not endorsed him.

New Mexico To Invest More In Early Pre-K Pilot ProjectThe Associated Press

New Mexico will invest another $3.5 million in its early pre-kindergarten program.

Officials with the state Children, Youth and Families Department announced Friday that unused pre-K funds will be funneled to the early education effort.

The pilot program began last summer. It provides early childhood education opportunities to 3-year-olds who are not eligible for the New Mexico Pre-K program.

Officials said with the additional funding, the early pre-K program will be able to reach nearly 1,000 children in childcare centers in about half of New Mexico's counties.

Under the program, services will be available at seven centers in Eddy, Lea, Luna, Santa Fe and Torrance counties. The extra funding also allows for expanded operations in Bernalillo, Dona Ana, Rio Arriba, San Juan and Valencia counties.

Highlands University To Unveil Add To New Deal-Era MuralsThe Associated Press

A northern New Mexico college is set to unveil a new addition to a set of Depression-era murals.

Highlands University will host a public reception next Thursday to celebrate the successful completion of the mural project.

Recent Highland graduate Dyna Amaya-Lainez painted the new piece after officials couldn't locate a mysteriously missing New Deal mural. She painted a new Art Deco-style mural based upon the clue from the missing mural's plaque with the Francis Bacon quote "Reading maketh a whole man."

In 1939, Santa Fe artist Brooks Willis painted the Ilfeld murals as part of New Mexico's Works Project Federal Art Project.

New Deal programs put Americans to work in public works projects such as the Ilfeld murals.

Albuquerque Wins Federal Approval For Route 66 Transit RouteAssociated Press

Albuquerque's plans for building a rapid transit route along a stretch of Historic Route 66 has won federal approval, amid strong opposition from local shop owners who say the project could cost them customers and even their livelihoods.

The $119-million project backed by the city's Mayor Richard Berry would build a system of express buses and canopy-covered stations along Central Avenue, which runs the route of the historic highway's original roadbed.

Berry says the project is an investment that will spur development along the corridor and get people on the bus. He says the buses mimic the concept of light-rail trains that run through larger cities, like Phoenix and Denver.

The mayor's office said Thursday that the Federal Transit Administration gave the city the green light to move forward with construction.

New Mexico Governor Willing To Discuss BudgetAssociated Press

Governor Susana Martinez says she's willing to discuss New Mexico's budget outlook with legislative leaders who are concerned about a multimillion-dollar shortfall and future spending.

Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan said Thursday the governor is closely monitoring revenue figures and will insist that the state moves forward cautiously to ensure taxpayers are protected.

The governor's office expects to have final revenue numbers for the 2016 fiscal year in a few weeks.

The statement came after Sen. John Arthur Smith, head of the Senate Finance Committee, formally asked the governor to call lawmakers into session this summer to address a deficit of close to $200 million for the fiscal year that ended in June.

Another concern is whether revenues will keep pace with the current budget year.

Smith says revenues could be $300 million to $500 million less than expectations, meaning lawmakers would have to adjust spending going forward.

Lawmaker Calls For DA Involved In Traffic Stop To Step DownThe Associated Press

A New Mexico lawmaker is calling for the resignation of a district attorney who was allowed to leave without taking a field sobriety test despite police believing she was intoxicated.

Grant County District Attorney Francesca Estevez was pulled over on June 11 in Silver City on suspicion of drunken driving after someone reported a vehicle driving erratically. Police officers pulled Estevez over and let her go after a two hour traffic stop. The officers did not conduct a field sobriety test.

Silver City Democratic Senator Howie Morales is now asking for Estevez to step down and for the Attorney General's Office to investigate the incident.

An attorney for Estevez says her driving was erratic because of a flat tire.

CDC Awarding $1 Million To New Mexico To Fight Zika VirusAssociated Press

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding $1 million to New Mexico to fight the Zika virus.

The award is New Mexico's share of about $60 million the CDC is giving states, cities and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from the virus.

The funding is in addition to $25 million awarded on July 1 as part of CDC's preparedness and response funding to states, cities and territories in areas at risk for outbreaks of Zika.

On Aug. 1, the CDC will award another $10 million to quickly identify cases of microcephaly and other adverse birth outcomes linked to Zika and to refer affected infants and families to services.

Woman In Illegal Body Cavity Search Settles Border CaseAssociated Press

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has agreed to pay $475,000 to a New Mexico woman who accused agents of forcing her to undergo illegal body cavity probes.

American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Texas and New Mexico announced the settlement Thursday that also requires training for Customs and Border Protection officers.

A 2013 lawsuit said the unnamed 54-year-old U.S. citizen was "brutally" searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in December 2012.

Court document said the woman was selected at an El Paso Port of Entry after a drug-sniffing dog jumped on her.

The lawsuit says no drugs were found but the woman was transported in handcuffs to the University Medical Center of El Paso where doctors subjected her to an observed bowel movement, a CT scan and vaginal exams without a warrant.

Highlands University To Unveil Add To New Deal-Era MuralsAssociated Press  

A northern New Mexico college is set to unveil a new addition to a set of Depression-era murals.

Highlands University will host a public reception next Thursday to celebrate the successful completion of the mural project.

Recent Highland graduate Dyna Amaya-Lainez painted the new piece after officials couldn't locate a mysteriously missing New Deal mural. She painted a new Art Deco-style mural based upon the clue from the missing mural's plaque with the Francis Bacon quote "Reading maketh a whole man."

In 1939, Santa Fe artist Brooks Willis painted the Ilfeld murals as part of New Mexico's Works Federal Art Project.

New Deal programs put Americans to work in public works projects such as the Ilfeld murals.

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