Monday News Roundup: Former Top Federal Prosecutor Starts Work As Judge

Aug 12, 2013

Former Top Federal Prosecutor Starts Work As Judge - Associated Press

The former top federal prosecutor for New Mexico starts his new job Monday as a federal judge in Las Cruces.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Kenneth Gonzales was sworn in Friday to his lifetime job.

Gonzales served as the U.S. Attorney for New Mexico for the past three-plus years.

He will serve as the second federal district judge in Las Cruces.

Federal judges in New Mexico designated the judgeship to be in southern New Mexico.

Gonzales says his appointment will relieve some of the pressure on other judges who have been making regular trips to Las Cruces.

As the state's top federal prosecutor, Gonzales focused on making a priority of Indian country violent crime, especially domestic violence, and launched an initiative in crimes against women.

Ex-School Site's Owner Loses Court Battle - Associated Press

A judge has ordered the owner of the former St. Catherine Indian School in Santa Fe to secure the historic buildings there and address their structural integrity.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the city claimed the landmarks there were being subjected to "demolition by neglect."

Municipal Judge Ann Yalman ruled that New Mexico Consolidated Construction Services violated the city code by allowing buildings to deteriorate beyond minimum maintenance standards.

Some buildings on the campus north of downtown Santa Fe date to the late 19th century, when the school was founded by Katharine Drexel, an American nun who was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 2000.

The school is named, however, for St. Catherine of Siena.

The last class graduated from the private school in 1998.

Defense Department Reiterates Opposition To Transmission System - Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Defense has reiterated its opposition to a plan to build a $1.2 billion electric transmission system in New Mexico.

The defense agency had warned earlier this year that a 45-mile stretch of the proposed 500-mile transmission system could disrupt military operations in White Sands Missile Range's northern extension area.

The Bureau of Land Management is to decide in September whether to approve the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project's application for right of way on federal lands and other amendments for property use.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that as decision day approaches, the Army is again warning that the project could endanger national security because transmission lines could interfere with missile tests and low-flying military aircraft.