KUNM

Largest Solar Project In NM To Power 40,000 Homes, Gov. Martinez Will Not Support Trump

Oct 10, 2016

1,400-Acre Solar Energy Project Is State's Biggest – The Associated Press & The Carlsbad Current-Argus

A $260 million solar project opening near Roswell will have the capacity to provide enough power for more than 40,000 homes.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the 1,400-acre solar project is the biggest in the state.

Xcel Energy will purchase power from the Roswell and Chaves County Solar Energy Centers under a 25-year contract with project builder NextEra Energy.

Five people are going to work at the centers full-time.

Xcel Energy New Mexico and Texas president David Hudson said the company is expanding energy from renewable sources. He said he sees projects like the solar facility as the future.

NextEra Energy Resources executive director Jim Shandalov said construction took a year and led to 300 jobs.

New Mexico Gov. Martinez To Not 'Support' TrumpBy Russell Contreras Associated Press

Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the nation's only Latina governor, says she will not support Donald Trump for president.

Martinez said Saturday she has withheld her support for Trump and now will not back him after his lewd comments about women.

The Republican said in a statement that what Trump brags "about is appalling and completely unacceptable."

Martinez's comments come as Republicans around the country are denouncing Trump for remarks he made about women in a 2005 video.

She had previously criticized Trump for comments he made about Mexican immigrants. Trump later harshly criticized Martinez at an Albuquerque rally that turned violent.

Las Vegas Mental Patients Struggling After DischargeThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal 

An investigation has found that some patients discharged from the state mental hospital in Las Vegas live in poor conditions, including going hungry, while staying in boarding homes in the northern New Mexico city.

The Albuquerque Journal found that the state mental hospital, formally known as the Behavioral Health Institute, discharges about 200 patients each year into Las Vegas and surrounding San Miguel County and that many don't have anywhere to go.

The newspaper investigation found many end up in boarding homes that are ill-equipped to handle their ongoing mental health needs, forcing them to spend a large portion of their $750 in monthly Social Security disability benefits on room and meals.

The state Health Department says it doesn't have the authority to regulate boarding homes.

Aviation Company General Manager Banned For Clovis AirportThe Associated Press & The Clovis News Journal 

The general manager of an aviation company that operates at the Clovis Municipal Airport has been banned from airport property.

The Clovis News Journal reports that City Manager Larry Fry sent a letter to Blue Sky Aviation General Manager Carlos Arias last week that he was no longer be allowed to enter the Clovis Municipal Airport.

Fry wrote in an Oct. 4 letter that if Fry came onto airport property, he would be arrested for criminal trespass.

Arias said he believes the ban order stems from he and others alleging improprieties by Clovis Municipal Airport Director Kyle Berkshire.

City Attorney David Richards says the city has grounds for the ban and doesn't need to provide a reason.

UNM Eliminates More Than Half Of Smoking Areas On CampusThe Associated Press & KOAT

The University of Mexico is working to become a smoke-free campus by closing a number of designated smoking areas.

KOAT-TV reports that by fall 2017, three of the seven current smoking areas will be closed.

University officials say a nonsmoking campus is healthier for students and faculty they also say eliminating smoking should keep the campus cleaner without cigarette butts.

The fine for smoking outside of the remaining smoking areas will be $100

Libertarian Candidate Johnson Blasts Trump CommentsAssociated Press

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is denouncing lewd comments made by Donald Trump, saying the remarks disqualify him from being president.

Johnson told reporters before a scheduled rally in Albuquerque on Saturday that he has never used language like that to describe women in his entire life.

The former New Mexico governor says that Trump has said around 150 things that should have ended his campaign but "maybe this is the one that puts him over the top."

Johnson told The Associated Press that he and vice-presidential nominee Bill Weld are "an honorable alternative" to Republicans who can no longer support Trump.

Polls show Johnson has the highest percentage of support in his home state.

Campaign representatives say he could win the state's five electoral votes.

New Mexico College Republicans Chair To Support Gary JohnsonAssociated Press

The chair of New Mexico College Republicans has announced that he will vote for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson over GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Michael Aguilar told a group of Johnson supporters on Saturday that he couldn't support Trump after a video showed the wealthy businessman making lewd comments about women. Aguilar and other College Republicans in the state announced their support for Johnson during a rally for the Libertarian at the University of New Mexico.

Aguilar says Trump hasn't demonstrated that he had the temperament or the character to be president.

Aguilar made his announcement the same day New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, said she's couldn't support Trump for president after his lewd remarks.

1,400-Acre Solar Energy Project Is State's BiggestCarlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

A $260 million solar project opening near Roswell will have the capacity to provide enough power for more than 40,000 homes.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the 1,400-acre solar project is the biggest in the state.

Xcel Energy will purchase power from the Roswell and Chaves County Solar Energy Centers under a 25-year contract with project builder NextEra Energy.

Five people are going to work at the centers full-time.

Xcel Energy New Mexico and Texas president David Hudson said the company is expanding energy from renewable sources. He said he sees projects like the solar facility as the future.

NextEra Energy Resources executive director Jim Shandalov said construction took a year and led to 300 jobs.

Lack Of Insurers To Close 24-Hour Nurse Help HotlineAssociated Press

A hotline that has been providing around-the-clock medical advice in New Mexico for the last decade plans to shut down at the end of the year, citing a lack of money from insurers.

The Albuquerque Journal reports NurseAdvice will answer its last calls Dec. 31.

Registered nurse and program director Connie Fiorenzio said the closure impacts about 41 employees.

She said a University of New Mexico medical economist found the nurse line saved insurers $4 million to $5 million annually by helping to keep thousands of cases out of emergency rooms each year.

No other state offers a free, 24/7 nurse help line to all residents regardless of insurance status.

The state health department funds about 20 percent of the hotline’s $2.2 million annual budget.

3 Juveniles In Albuquerque Caught With Clown Masks, HandgunAssociated Press

Albuquerque police say three people dressed as clowns are in custody after being found with a possible firearm.

Police spokesman Simon Drobik says officers were dispatched Sunday to a call about a "clown sighting" near a kids' clothing store.

Authorities located three juveniles donning clown masks.

Drobik says they were also in possession of what appears to be a handgun.

The investigation is ongoing.

It's not clear what charges the three could face.

The incident comes amid a rash of hoaxes and threats of scary clown sightings across the nation.

Police in Alamogordo have identified three boys who allegedly haunted a middle school dressed with a clown mask.

Roswell police have urged residents not to dress up as clowns after reports surfaced of clowns with bats walking around the city.

Report Shows Big Increase In People Seeking Asylum On BorderAssociated Press

Hundreds of thousands of people have sought asylum along the U.S.-Mexico border in the last two years, a dramatic increase.

That's according to a report for the federal government that illustrates how migrants have changed from mostly Mexican men trying to evade capture to more Central American families who often turn themselves in.

Asylum seekers, many of them fleeing drug-fueled violence south of the border, peaked in 2014 at 170,000, nearly triple the 63,000 who arrived the previous year. Before 2012, there were fewer than 30,000 a year.

In the 2015 fiscal year, the number declined to 140,000 people.

The report was written by the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded research organization that was tapped to help develop new measures of border security.

Hobbs Public Defender Office To Stop Taking Clients – Hobbs News-Sun, Associated Press

A public defender office in southeastern New Mexico has announced it won't be taking new clients amid a budget crisis in the state.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Hobbs Public Defender Office intends to start filing a "notice of unavailability" into magistrate court on Monday. That means the office cannot accept appointments for representation in the adult criminal courts of Lea County for 90 days.

Public defenders are state-funded attorneys who represent defendants charged with a crime, who are unable to obtain private counsel.

The announcement comes after Fifth Judicial District Court District Attorney Diana Luce said last month her office would have to cut personnel due to a budget crunch.

The Fifth Judicial District Court covers Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties and includes Roswell.

Utah Company Sues Santa Fe Sandwich Shop Over NameSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A Santa Fe sandwich shop has become embroiled in a trademark lawsuit with a Utah-based coffee shop.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Utah company Bad Ass Coffee filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday against Santa Fe Bad Ass Sandwiches.

In the suit, the coffee shop franchise argues the Santa Fe eatery's name and marketing will likely confuse consumers.

It wants the Santa Fe business to drop "bad ass" from its name and to pay damages and attorney fees.

Owner Shannon Quintana says he was unaware of the Utah company and has removed his logo, which also uses a donkey, from menus and social media.

Attorney Ben Allison, who is representing the coffee company, says Quintana is still infringing on a legally registered trademark.

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