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Headlines: Candidate Campaign Cash, Las Cruces Minimum Wage...

Sep 9, 2014

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Gov. Susana Martinez Reports $3.8M In CampaignThe Associated Press

Democratic challenger Gary King has stepped up his fundraising in New Mexico's governor's race but Republican incumbent Susana Martinez still enjoys a large campaign cash advantage.

According to finance reports filed Monday, King raised about $379,000 during the past two months, including a $30,000 personal loan.

Labor unions contributed about $41,200 to King. Five companies with the same address in the Virgin Islands gave $30,400 to King, who is a two-term attorney general.

Martinez collected about $962,000 in contributions since late June, including $20,800 from members of a Lea County ranching family.

The governor's campaign reported cash-on-hand of $3.8 million at the start of this month and King had a cash balance of almost $158,000.

Martinez spent $1.4 million while King's campaign reported expenditures of $337,000.

Democrat Holds Money Edge In Attorney General Race - The Associated Press

Democratic candidate Hector Balderas holds a more than 4-to-1 campaign cash advantage over Republican Susan Riedel in the race for attorney general.

According to the latest fundraising disclosures, Balderas had cash-on-hand of $822,000 at the start of the month and Riedel reported a balance of about $178,000.

Balderas is a two-term state auditor and Riedel is a former prosecutor and district judge from Las Cruces.

Riedel raised $92,725 during the past two months and Balderas collected $70,037.

Riedel received $5,200 from Artesia-based oil producer Yates Petroleum and $15,400 from members of the Yates family. Riedel also loaned about $3,600 to her campaign.

Balderas collected $10,400 from two labor unions.

There's no incumbent in the race because Democratic Attorney General Gary King is running for governor.

Santa Fe County Eyes Marijuana Ballot Question - The Associated Press

Santa Fe County Commissioners are expected to consider a nonbinding measure on decriminalizing marijuana today.

The possible vote comes a day after Bernalillo County commissioners approved a similar proposal asking voters whether possession of an ounce or less of marijuana should be decriminalized.

Republicans say the marijuana measure is just an attempt by some Democrats to get younger voters to the polls.

Councilors in the city of Santa Fe voted last month to decriminalize marijuana, making the city the first in the state to make possession of small amounts a civil infraction. Previously, the crime was a criminal misdemeanor.

Las Cruces Jury Awards $67M In Damages In Lawsuit - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Jurors in Las Cruces have awarded a pacemaker patient more than $67 million in damages in a lawsuit.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a 3rd Judicial District Court jury yesterday found German pacemaker manufacturer Biotronik negligent in the case of Tommy Sowards.

Sowards claimed in his suit that he was unnecessarily implanted with a pacemaker as a result of an alleged conspiracy between the company, a Las Cruces doctor and a hospital to boost sales of the device.

The jury awarded $2.3 million in compensatory damages and $65 million in punitive damages.

Similar complaints against Biotronik by 33 other plaintiffs are pending in Santa Fe.

There was no immediate word from Biotronik on a possible appeal.

Las Cruces City Council Votes To Hike Minimum Wage - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

The Las Cruces City Council has voted to raise the city's minimum hourly wage to $10.10 by 2017.

The issue would have gone on November's ballot had the resolution not passed by a 4-3 vote yesterday.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports the new measure would implement a terraced wage increase, with hikes coming to $8.40 per hour in 2015, $9.20 per hour in 2016 and $10.10 per hour in 2017.

New Mexico's hourly minimum wage currently is $7.50.

UNM Gets Grant To Study Fetal Alcohol Disorders - The Associated Press

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of New Mexico $8.1 million over the next five years for research into fetal alcohol disorders.

The NIH says the New Mexico Alcohol Research Center at UNM's Health Sciences Center is one of 18 alcohol research centers in the U.S., and the only one targeting fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Research shows that alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases the risk of life-long consequences for a child, including problems with memory, intellectual ability, attention, executive function, language expression, social perception and abstract thinking.

UNM says it's working to better understand how prenatal alcohol exposure damages the brain and to develop better ways to diagnose and treat fetal alcohol-related issues in children.

Prosecutors Want Teen Charged As Adult In Killing - The Associated Press and Daily Times

Prosecutors will seek to charge a Farmington 17-year-old as an adult in a fatal shooting.

The Daily Times reports that the youth was arraigned Monday in state District Court on an open charge of murder in the Sept. 3 killing of 22-year-old Seth Stallings.

The Associated Press is not identifying the youth because of his age. He's currently being held without bond at the San Juan County detention center.

Police found Stallings dead of a gunshot wound at a residence.

Man Held In Santa Fe Shooting Claimed Self-Defense - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

A 911 recording indicates a Santa Fe man said he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot another man.

Police arrested 57-year-old Edwin Watters in the Aug. 14 shooting of 45-year-old Diego Sena at the home of Sena's niece.

Police say Watters was doing remodeling work at the home and that Watters had hired Diego Sena as a laborer on the project..

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that a 911 recording of a call made by Watters to report the shooting has him telling a dispatcher he'd shot a man who was attacking him.

Police spokeswoman Celina Espinoza says she can't comment on what Watters told the dispatcher.

State Police: Man Shot By Officer Reached For Gun - The Associated Press

New Mexico State Police say a Bloomfield man fatally shot by a city police officer was getting a gun out a vehicle's glove box when he was shot.

The family of 61-year-old Jonathan Rogers had said he was unarmed and did not have a gun in his hand when he was killed by the officer on Aug. 27.

However, State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says Rogers reached into the glove box as he spoke with Officer Andy Darby and then was shot by Darby after Rogers took hold of a semi-automatic pistol.

According to Gutierrez, State Police had been dispatched to investigate suicidal man at the residence.

Gutierrez says the State Police investigation of the shooting continues.

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