Wednesday News Roundup
8:52 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Headlines: Santa Fe To Consider Pot Measure, Navajo Primary Election Results...

Credit Reduce Marijuana Penalties NM

Santa Fe City Council To Consider Pot MeasureThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

The Santa Fe City Council is considering a proposal that would put a measure decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana on the November ballot.

The New Mexican reports that officials will hold a public hearing Wednesday, a day after the Santa Fe County Commission unanimously approved a similar resolution.

Activists have submitted enough valid voter signatures to force a public vote on the matter.

Secretary of State Dianna Duran says she is not sure if it will fit on an already crowded general election ballot.

The proposal would make possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $25.

Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in Santa Fe now is a petty misdemeanor for the first offense.

Navajo President Fails To Make It Through Primary - The Associated Press

Navajo President Ben Shelly's hopes for a second term were dashed yesterday when he failed to make it through the tribe's primary election.

Navajo voters chose to send former President Joe Shirley Jr. and one-time Arizona Rep. Chris Deschene to the November general election. They were among 17 candidates vying for the top elected post on the country's largest American Indian reservation.

The results are unofficial until certified by the tribe's elections office.

Shirley served two terms as president, leaving office in 2011. He previously was a social worker, and longtime Apache County supervisor and tribal lawmaker.

Deschene is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He has worked as an engineer and lawyer, and served one term in the Arizona House.

New Mexico's Infant Mortality Rate Drops - The Associated Press

New Mexico health officials say the state's infant mortality rate has dropped significantly.

The state Department of Health said Tuesday the latest figures show a decrease from 6.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012 to 5.4 in 2013.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says the rate can vary substantially year to year and steep increases or decreases are not uncommon.

Ward says the department continues to try to understand the causes and implement initiatives to prevent or decrease infant deaths.

Birth defects as well as low birth weight and disorders related to preterm births were the most common causes of infant deaths in 2012.

The department says it has been participating in a regional collaborative to reduce infant mortality.

UNM Gets Grant To Study Rise In Rural Hepatitis C - The Associated Press

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center is getting a 1.3 million dollar grant to study the rise of Hepatitis C infections in rural New Mexico.

New Mexico Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Lujan Grisham says New Mexico is experiencing a disproportionate rise in infections, largely among young adults in rural areas. She says the research is crucial to developing long-term solutions for prevention, early detection and treatment.

UNM researchers will be working with the New Mexico Department of Health to study Hepatitis C infection and treatment services for New Mexico populations at the greatest risk of infection.

Food Bank, Humane Society Partner For Pets - The Associated Press

The Espanola Valley Humane Society and the northern New Mexico food bank are teaming up to make sure low income New Mexicans also have food for their pets.

The humane society and The Food Depot said Tuesday they will launch an 18-month pilot partnership to provide donated pet food through The Food Depot's Mobile Food Pantry Program, which delivers food to multiple locations across Espanola, Chimayo, Dixon, El Rito, Ojo Caliente, Truchas and Vallecitos.

Officials say local businesswoman Evelyn Ward brought the nonprofits together to launch the program.

The Espanola Valley Humane Society says it will also use the program to expand the reach of its free spay and neutering program.

Mexico Officials Pull Off Migrants From Trains - The Associated Press

A report from the Associated Press says U.S.-bound Central Americans are fleeing urban areas and hiking into the woods and low jungle for fear of being detained by Mexican officials rounding up migrants in southern Mexico.

Until recently, the streets of Arriaga, Mexico bustled with migrants who would stay at cheap flophouses and shelters and hop aboard the northbound freight trains at will. The streets of the city of about 40,000 people now look empty.

Federal official Humberto Mayans told the AP that immigration officials have pulled 6,000 migrants off the trains they call "The Beast" but offered no details on the roundups.

Mayans was recently appointed to head the federal government's southern border improvement plans.

Residents say masked police and Mexican immigration agents launched the roundups in Arriaga about two weeks ago.

Man Arrested In Albuquerque On Kidnapping Charge - The Associated Press

A man considered by federal authorities as one of New Mexico's most wanted violent fugitive offenders now is in custody.

Albuquerque police say Daniel M. Romero was arrested Monday after leading officers on a high-speed chase.

He allegedly abducted a woman in southeast Albuquerque and she told police that Romero was armed and in possession of narcotics.

Authorities say Romero now is facing kidnapping charges.

A warrant was issued for his arrest in May after authorities say he was wanted on charges of robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and trafficking a controlled substance.

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