Wednesday News Rounup
8:54 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Headlines: ABQ Mayor May Veto Marijuana Vote, Governor Opposes Pot Advocacy And More...

Credit Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Albuquerque Mayor Considers Veto On Pot MeasureThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry reportedly is seriously considering a veto of at least part of a package of city ballot measures that include a marijuana decriminalization proposal and a tax measure that Berry opposes.

Berry has 10 days to act from when he formally receives the resolution that the City Council approved Monday night to put five proposals on the ballot.

Along with the marijuana decriminalization proposal to make possession of an ounce or less a civil offense, Berry also opposes a measure for a tax increase to provide funding for social services.

According to Gilberto Montano, Berry's chief of staff, the mayor is seriously considering a veto.

However, the Albuquerque Journal reports that there's debate over whether Berry can legally veto individual propositions or only the entire package.

Martinez Says She Opposes Marijuana Law Changes - The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she opposes efforts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe to reduce marijuana possession penalties.

Martinez said at an event in Bernalillo that marijuana possession in illegal under federal law and she believes that's the way it should remain. She called current penalties appropriate.

The Santa Fe city clerk said Monday that petitioners seeking to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana garnered enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

And Albuquerque city councilors voted Monday to ask voters whether they supported reduced penalties, although Mayor Richard Berry could veto the measure.

Martinez called the efforts political moves to get young voters to the polls. She said any changes should come from the Legislature so the laws would be consistent statewide.

Group Eyes Report In School Chief's Resignation - The Associated Press

A government transparency group is asking state officials not to approve a buyout for outgoing Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks until the district releases a report into alleged personnel concerns.

The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government said Tuesday it has filed on open records request for details into the investigation that has remained a mystery.

FOG president Kathi Bearden says the public deserves to know the circumstances around Brooks' resignation and why public money is being spent to end his employment.

The embattled superintendent of New Mexico's largest school district resigned Friday after school board members met earlier to discuss an investigation of a personnel issue involving Brooks. Both sides declined to elaborate.

The school board then approved a $350,000 settlement to buy him out of his contract.

Hobbs Commissioners OK Voter ID Special Election - The Associated Press and Hobbs News-Sun

Hobbs city commissioners have voted to allow a special election to decide if voter identification will be required in municipal elections.

But the Hobbs News-Sun reports that there was a mistake over number of petition signatures needed to change the city charter.

Still, commissioners approved Monday in a 5-2 vote to host an estimated $25,000 special election Dec. 9 for registered Hobbs voters.

City officials and staff made an error on the required number of valid signatures needed on the petition sponsored by the New Mexico Citizens Coalition.

Despite the possibility of being short on signatures, Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb says that the valid signatures already tallied showed him the voter ID issue is something residents need to decide.

Lottery Revenue For Scholarships Drops To $41M - The Associated Press

The New Mexico Lottery generated almost $41 million dollars for college scholarships in the most recent fiscal year.

That's down about 6 percent from a record-setting $43.7 million dollars a year earlier.

The lottery says sales exceeded the agency's budget projections by $4.6 million, despite being lower than the previous year.

Lottery officials attributed the revenue decline to smaller Powerball jackpots, which didn't drive ticket sales as high as a year earlier.

Lottery sales have declined seven out of the last 10 years.

State law requires at least 30 percent of lottery proceeds go to the scholarship program, which helps pay tuition for New Mexico college students.

New Mexico Cancels Women's Soccer Game Amid Probe - The Associated Press

New Mexico women's soccer game against Texas Tech has been canceled due to an investigation into possible hazing.

University of New Mexico Vice President of Athletics Paul Krebs announced Tuesday that the team's opening game in Lubbock, Texas, scheduled Friday was canceled. He says the alleged hazing took place Sunday night.

Officials say neither Texas Tech nor New Mexico will have its season record affected.

Krebs says officials are still interviewing student-athletes and gathering details.

The Lobos now will open their season on Sept. 5 against Marquette in the Colorado College Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colo.

ACT Report On NM Student Readiness For College - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Thirty percent of New Mexico’s 2014 high school graduates “have a strong likelihood of experiencing success in college” - that according to the company that gives the A-C-T college-entrance exam.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that students who met “college-ready” benchmarks in at least three of four subjects – reading, writing, math and science – were deemed likely to be successful in college.

The findings are based on the A-C-T test results of New Mexico’s 2014 high school graduates (full report).

Martinez: Detained Immigrants Got Due Process - The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says immigrants at a temporary detention center in the state have been given full due process.

Martinez said Tuesday at an event in Bernalillo that immigrant women and children held at an Artesia center have been allowed a fair chance to argue their case in court.

But the Republican blasted the federal government for failing to tackle immigration reform and said people are confused over immigration laws.

Martinez made her remark after federal immigration authorities announced this week that they had resumed deporting immigrants housed at the temporary center in Artesia. A quarantine stemming from a few cases of chickenpox recently was lifted.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement late Monday that the agency resumed removal flights back to Central America from New Mexico on Aug. 7.

Police Identify Man Fatally Shot In Home Invasion - The Associated Press

Albuquerque police have identified a man fatally shot while allegedly participating in a home invasion.

Police identified the man fatally wounded Friday by the victim of the home invasion in northeast Albuquerque as 18-year-old Edgardo Marquez-Ordonez.

According to police, a second man was shot and wounded in the incident and is in custody while being treated at a hospital.

A third man has been arrested in the case.

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