Tuesday News Roundup
9:09 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Headlines: Multiple Shooting Suspect Dead, Artesia Immigrant March And More...

Credit Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Albuquerque Police: Multiple Shooting Suspect DeadThe Associated Press

Police say a suspect wanted in a mass shooting in Albuquerque that left one woman dead has died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Albuquerque police said Tuesday 46-year-old Marcos Delgado shot himself after a short chase with officers.

Police spokesman Tanner Tixier said no officers fired their weapons nor were hurt in the chase.

The chase began when officers conducting an investigation near 12th and Griegos say a man started shooting at them with a rifle.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden says Delgado fatally shot 27-year-old Anna Vigil three times during a "fit of jealous rage" on Friday and shot three other women near an auto detailing shop.

The shooting sparked a statewide manhunt for Delgado.

Authorities say they will release more information later Tuesday.

Judge Rules Against Independent CandidateThe Associated Press

 federal judge has ruled against a Public Education Commission member seeking to be placed on the general election ballot despite failing to turn in enough nominating signatures to qualify as an independent candidate.

District Judge Martha Vazquez last week denied Tyson Parker's request for an injunction against the secretary of state's office.

Parker sued last month, contending that New Mexico's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring them to submit an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.

Vazquez ruled Parker hadn't showed he was likely to succeed in his constitutional challenge. She said the U.S. Supreme Court and 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have rejected similar election law challenges.

Parker said Tuesday he's considering whether to appeal the ruling.

 

Police: Smoke Shop Worker Fatally Shot Robber - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque police say an employee of a smoke shop fatally shot an armed robber.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, a police report states that the robber had covered his face with a black and white scarf when he entered the Oasis Smoke Shop and Hooka Lounge on Sunday.

Officer Tanner Tixier says no one has been charged with a crime .

Tixier says police have tentatively identified the dead man, but officers haven't contacted his next of kin.

The spokesman says police are waiting for the state Office of the Medical Investigator to confirm the dead man's identity.

Report: State Slow To Start Child Visit Program - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A new evaluation says New Mexico's embattled child welfare agency has been slow to set up home visiting services two years after winning a federal grant.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the evaluation found the state had set up home visiting services for children at only two of the four communities planned as pilot sites.

The Children, Youth and Families Department received the two-year $2.65 million grant in September 2011 to set up pilot programs at sites in Luna, Quay and McKinley counties and Albuquerque's South Valley. The state's original plan called for home visiting programs to be in operation at all four by September 2012.

But a state Children, Youth and Families official says state procurement laws caused delays in selecting contractors for the sites.

Martinez Declines News Group's Debate Invitation - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is declining the New Mexico Press Association's invitation for a debate against Democratic challenger Gary King at the newspaper group's convention next month.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that King accepted the association's invitation for a Sept. 27 debate but that Martinez's campaign declined without explanation.

Association Executive Director Phil Lucey says he hopes Martinez reconsiders and accepts the invitation.

He says that if she doesn't, King will speak at the convention Hyatt Regency Tamaya at Santa Ana Pueblo and field questions from journalists.

Martinez campaign spokeswoman Chis Sanchez says two other joint appearances with King have been scheduled and that others are expected.

King campaign spokesman Keith Brietbach says King has accepted debate and forum invitations from several organizations.

Univ. Of New Mexico Cleaning Up After Flood Damage - The Associated Press and KRQE TV

The University of New Mexico is scrambling to clean up and make repairs in the wake of flood damage from last week's rainstorms.

KRQE-TV reports that nearly 40 buildings were damaged.

University officials say classrooms will be open for the beginning of fall classes on Monday.

However, physical plant Director Mary Vosevich says some repairs will still be underway.

Insurance adjusters are checking conditions on campus and the university expects to know more about the costs of repairs once those visits conclude.

Immigrant March Planned For Detainees In Artesia - The Associated Press and Carlsbad Current-Argus

Advocates are planning a march in Artesia in support of detained Central American immigrants in New Mexico.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the Santa Fe-based advocacy group Somos Un Pueblo Unido has scheduled a "Prayer Rally and March" for Aug. 17 to bring awareness to the detained migrants.

Organizers say the march also is an effort to demand federal immigration reform.

Gerard Escamilla, one of the organizers, says he hopes the march will ease fears and tensions in the small Southeastern New Mexico community over the immigrants.

Currently, more than 600 women and children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are detained at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia while they await either deportation or asylum.

Energy Secretary Vows To Get NM Nuke Dump Working - The Associated Press

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is vowing to get southeastern New Mexico's nuclear waste dump back in operation as soon as possible after a mysterious radiation leak closed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in February.

During a town hall meeting yesterday in Carlsbad, Moniz said the Department of Energy will stick with the community if the community will stick with the agency.

Officials have yet to pinpoint what caused a barrel of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory to leak in one of the plant's half-mile-deep rooms, contaminating 22 workers with low levels of radiation.

But Moniz says investigators are narrowing in on a plausible theory and hope to have a plan for reopening the mine by the end of next month.

Clarification: Investigators hope to have a plan and an idea of what caused the radiation leak by the end of the month. Moniz estimated as many as 12 to 14 months before WIPP would re-open. 

Commission To Mull Whether To Dam Gila River - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico's Interstate Stream Commission is meeting later this month to kick off its decision-making process over whether to partially dam the Gila River.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that federal authorities say the costs of a dam will far outweigh the benefits.

The commission has fewer than five months before it must tell the Interior Department about whether to divert up to 14,000 acre-feet of water from the Gila River under the 2004 Arizona Water Settlement Act.

Opponents worry about the financial and environmental costs of diverting water from a river often considered New Mexico's last "wild" river.

Others, believe that a drought-prone state cannot miss a chance to take water when it's offered.

The commission is meeting on Aug. 26 to begin its decision-making process.

Additional information: Divert & Conquer: NM’s plans to dam the Gila River are dubious and damn expensive

Albuquerque Rail Yards Named Historic District - The Associated Press

Albuquerque's rail yards and an expanded area of downtown Raton have been designated as state historic districts.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announced the new historic sites yesterday.

The department says Albuquerque's rail yards, which were established in 1880, are the state's largest historic industrial complex.

The Cultural Affairs Department's properties review committee also forwarded the nomination to the National Park Service as a potential National Register of Historic Places listing.

The committee also expanded the Raton Downtown Historic District by increasing its northern and southern boundaries.

Sandia Nuisance Bears Complaints Down - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Officials say complaints about nuisance bears in the Sandia Mountains are down considerably from last year.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that officials attribute the decreased reports to a reduction in the number of bears in the Sandias, and to an abundance of natural bear food there.

Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 5, 2013, the department handled 46 complaints about Sandia bears.

As of Aug. 5 this year, they had handled only five complaints. Official say none of those cases required relocating or euthanizing a bear.

Senators Concerned About Post Offices' Hours - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall are expressing concern about the Postal Service's plans to reduce hours at thousands of postal facilities, including nearly 150 in New Mexico.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that hours are already being reduced at some post offices — some to only two hours a day.

Heinrich and Udall wrote to the Postmaster General to say they're pleased that the Postal Service reconsidered its original plan to close 3,700 post offices nationwide, including over 50 in New Mexico.

But the senators say reduced service hours are troubling to many constituents, especially in rural areas where post offices are far apart.

Rio Arriba County in northern New Mexico would have the most affected locations at 15.

Commission Recommends 3 For Vacant Judgeship - The Associated Press

A Sierra County prosecutor and two private practice lawyers from Socorro have been recommended to Gov. Susana Martinez for possible appointment to a district court judgeship.

A Judicial Nominating Commission last week recommended Jerry Armijo and Katherine Stout Riley of Socorro and Mercedes Murphy of Truth or Consequences.

They were among five applicants for a vacancy caused by the retirement of District Judge Edmund Kase III in the 7th Judicial District.

Murphy has worked in the 7th Judicial District Attorney's Office since 2001, and is deputy district attorney in its Truth or Consequences' office

Armijo has operated his own law practice in Socorro since 1987.

Riley has worked in a private law firm in Socorro since 2005, and from 2002 to 2005 was an assistant district attorney.

'Better Call Saul' To Debut In February, AMC Says - The Associated Press

AMC-TV says that "Breaking Bad" spinoff, "Better Call Saul," will debut in February.

The network recently released a clip of sleazy attorney Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, arguing about the importance of always having a lawyer. After the clip the word "February" is shown.

Previously, AMC said "Better Call Saul" would premiere in November.

The series will follow Goodman as he defends drug lords, petty criminals and those allegedly injured in minor traffic accidents.

In "Breaking Bad," Odenkirk played the lawyer of meth lord Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston.

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