State Police: Lapel Video Leads To Arrest Of Police Sergeant – The Associated Press
Authorities say a 33-year-old police sergeant in a northwestern New Mexico city has been arrested after he unwittingly recorded himself on a lapel camera taking marijuana from his office and giving it to his girlfriend.
State police say Grants Police Department Sgt. Roshern McKinney was arrested Wednesday following an investigation requested by the Grants department in July after it discovered the video recording.
According to state police, along with allegedly giving a small amount of marijuana to his girlfriend, McKinney allegedly embezzled $785 of cash and an eight-ounce brick of marijuana not submitted to the department's evidence vault.
McKinney remained jailed Thursday on charges of distribution of marijuana, conspiracy and felony embezzlement. It could not be immediately determined whether he has an attorney who could comment on the allegations.
Los Alamos App For 1940s 'Atomic City' Now On Android – The Associated Press
An app that lets users experience Los Alamos during the nation's top-secret World War II nuclear development program now is available on Android phones.
The Los Alamos Monitor reports that the "Los Alamos: The Secret City of The Manhattan Project" recently was released for Android months after the iPhone app was made public.
The app allows users to enjoy "augmented-reality" while seeing the place as it was in the 1940s. Los Alamos National Laboratory created the app.
During the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos scientists worked to develop the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The program also involved facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.
10 Ex-Navajo Nation Lawmakers Sentenced For Slush Funds Case – The Associated Press
Ten former Navajo Nation lawmakers have been sentenced for their involvement in misusing the tribe's discretionary fund.
The Daily Times reports that most of the lawmakers were sentenced Wednesday in Window Rock to probation and community service or ordered to pay restitution with the exception of former Delegate Leonard Teller and former Delegate Jack Colorado, both of whom were sentenced to serve brief stints in jail.
Prosecutors say all 10 delegates abused a financial assistance program designed to help tribal members facing hard times.
Each delegate pleaded either guilty or no contest to charges of conspiracy, making or permitting false tribal voucher, conflict of interest or adversely affecting confidence of people in the government.
Three other former delegates already have been sentenced and four lawmakers are still awaiting sentencing.
New Mexico Might Pay Facebook Water Tab – The Associated Press
New Mexico may use public funds to help Facebook pay for water rights at a major new data center proposed at Los Lunas.
The social media company is negotiating for tax breaks and subsidies as it weighs whether to locate the facility in Los Lunas or a suburb of Salt Lake City.
Los Lunas officials confirmed Thursday that a proposed water agreement with the data center developer includes provisions to acquire water rights with money from New Mexico's closing fund that helps pay for infrastructure as businesses expand or relocate to New Mexico.
The water agreement would set aside as much as 4.5 million gallons of water a day.
Mosquitoes Capable Of Transmitting Zika Found In 7th County – The Associated Press
Mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus have been found in a seventh county.
The state Department of Health and New Mexico State University announced Thursday that one of the two mosquito species capable of transmitting Zika has been found in Sierra County in southwestern New Mexico.
Mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika previously were found in Chavez, Curry, Dona Ana, Eddy, Otero and Roosevelt counties.
NMSU is conducting mosquito as part of a state-funded project to map the range and distribution of two species capable of transmitting Zika virus to people.
Zika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, but it can also be spread by infected men and women to their sex partners.
Zika infections in pregnant women can cause severe brain-related birth defects.
New Mexico Judge To Allow Testimony About Police Training – The Associated Press
A New Mexico judge will allow testimony about police training during the trial of Albuquerque officers who fatally shot a man in the Sandia foothills.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Judge Alisa Hadfield denied a prosecutor's request to limit the testimony, saying officers have a wider scope of privilege than the general public when it comes to using deadly force.
Former officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez are charged with murder in the 2014 death of James Boyd.
Defense attorneys say the officers' training is important to understanding how police recognize and evaluate danger and decide whether to use deadly force. Prosecutors argued that the training is irrelevant to a homicide case.
The trial is set to begin in Albuquerque in September.
Luna County Approves Tax To Expand Emergency Services – The Associated Press & The Deming Headlight
Luna County had one of the best turnouts in years for a vote to approve a special tax to fund emergency ambulance services.
The Deming Headlight reports that unofficial results show the county had a 22 percent turnout with the overwhelming majority voting to approve the measure.
The measure allows a 0.125 percent tax, or about 13 cents for every $100 spent, that will fund local ambulance services throughout the county. The gross receipts tax is a renewal of a similar agreement voters have approved every five years since the 1990s.
The election results will be certified on Aug. 29.
More New Mexico Public Schools Earn "A" Or "B" Grades - The Associated Press
More New Mexico public schools have been graded "A'' or "B'' but over a third still received "D'' or "F'' grades.
The Public Education Department released Wednesday new grades that showed a 7 percent jump in the number of schools getting an A or B. Meanwhile, records also show "D'' or "F'' schools dropped 2 percent.
Still, 315 of the state's 849 public schools received a "D'' or "F."
Albuquerque Public Schools, the state's largest school district, saw more than 40 percent of its schools drop at least one letter grade. Only 14 percent of Albuquerque schools went up.
School grades are based on student proficiency and growth on test scores.
Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the grades show New Mexico schools "are rising."
Ohio Man Accused Of Killing Officer Indicted On US Charges – The Associated Press
An Ohio man accused of killing a southern New Mexico police officer has been named in a five-count federal indictment.
Jesse Denver Hanes of Columbus pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces.
The indictment issued Tuesday charges Hanes with federal firearms and carjacking offenses stemming from an Aug. 12 traffic stop during which Hatch police Officer Jose Chavez was fatally shot.
Defense attorney Mario Esparza says his client was one of three people in the car stopped by Chavez and wants his day in court.
The 38-year-old Hanes also faces state charges that include first-degree murder.
Thousands gathered Sunday to pay respect to Chavez. The 33-year-old was the father of two daughters and had served on the Hatch police force for two years.
Utah Jumps Back Into Race To Attract Facebook Data Center – The Associated Press
A Salt Lake City suburb vying against a New Mexico town to attract a Facebook data center says they're restarting negotiations a day after the deal broke down over a contentious tax-break package.
West Jordan spokeswoman Kim Wells said the players are very interested in keeping the talks alive, so they're starting fresh.
Facebook is also considering a generous tax incentive offer from Los Lunas, New Mexico.
The Utah deal seemed to fall apart Tuesday after the state school board decided the $240 million deal was too rich, adding their voices to a growing chorus of questions.
Utah critics argue the cost was too high for a facility that would create relatively few jobs, but supporters say the data center would carry a cache that could draw high-tech companies.