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NM School Plans Event In Wake Of Shooting, New Santa Fe Mayor Continues Sanctuary

Mar 13, 2018

New Mexico School Plans 'Walk-Up' In Wake Of Gun ViolenceThe Associated Press

While students across the country plan walkouts to protest gun violence, teens at a New Mexico high school still reeling after two classmates were gunned down in December by an armed intruder have organized a "walk-up" to help unify a campus with varied ideas on school safety.

Students asked school administrators if they could schedule time Wednesday to gather around the flag pole at Aztec High School to honor the 21 students killed in recent months in school shootings.

Principal Warman Hall says the students also will be kicking off a campaign centered on 21 pledges — all aimed at engaging students and bolstering school safety on a campus where there has been a push to train and arm willing teachers.

Hall says Aztec is still recovering so student leaders wanted to avoid a contentious political debate or demonstration.

New Santa Fe Mayor Continues City's Sanctuary GoalThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

The new mayor of Santa Fe says the New Mexico city will remain a welcoming sanctuary under his leadership.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Mayor Alan Webber called for working toward an inclusive and fair future for Santa Fe during his inauguration speech Monday, sharing similar goals of his predecessor.

Webber takes over from former Mayor Javier Gonzales, who has advocated for so-called sanctuary cities.

Webber says the future of Santa Fe is one of "compassion and respect and sanctuary for every member of our community."

Santa Fe voters elected the publishing entrepreneur last week in the state's first election decided by ranked-choice voting. Webber prevailed as a newcomer to political office in a five-way race against a local school board member and three men on the city council.

Competition Takes Shape In New Mexico House, PRC ElectionsThe Associated Press

The political composition of the New Mexico House of Representatives is at stake as major party candidates file to run in June primary elections.

The Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday was collecting signature petitions from candidates seeking election or re-election to the House of Representatives and the Public Regulation Commission that oversees investor-owned utilities, the transportation industry and telecommunications. Three commission seats out of five are up for election.

The House has 70 seats, with a 38-seat majority controlled by Democrats. Republicans last won a House majority in 2014 elections, interrupting six decades of Democratic control. Senate elections take place in 2020.

The Libertarian Party also will appear on primary ballots as a major party after failed presidential candidate Gary Johnson won more than 5 percent of the 2016 vote.

NTSB To Reschedule Meeting On Fatal New Mexico Rail WreckThe Associated Press

Federal safety officials canceled plans to reschedule a meeting to determine the probable cause of a fatal 2015 collision involving two freight trains in New Mexico and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar wrecks.

The National Transportation Safety Board canceled the meeting scheduled Tuesday in Washington because of a fatal helicopter crash Monday in New York City's East River.

A Southwestern Railroad engineer was killed and a second crew member was seriously was injured when their train struck a train parked on a siding 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Roswell on April 28, 2015.

A preliminary report said the moving train went through a misaligned switch and that the parked train's crew went off duty about 20 minutes before the wreck and weren't present when it happened.

New Mexico's Jobless Rate Fell To 5.9 Percent In JanuaryAssociated Press

New Mexico's unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in January, down from 6 percent in December and 6.5 percent in January 2017.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the state jobless rate was second worst in the nation behind Alaska. The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January, unchanged from December.

Labor officials say New Mexico recorded aggregate gains in the private sector that resulted in 8,000 jobs, or 1.3 percent growth.

The latest figures released by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions show goods-producing industries added 5,600 jobs and private service industries reported an additional 2,400 jobs from January 2017 to January 2018.

Construction was up 4,100 jobs over the year and the leisure industry added 1,300 jobs.

The information industry lost 1,800 jobs while retail trade shed 1,600 jobs. Local, state and federal government jobs also lost jobs over the past year.

Competition Takes Shape In New Mexico House, PRC ElectionsAssociated Press

The political composition of the New Mexico House of Representatives is at stake as major party candidates file to run in June primary elections.

The Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday was collecting signature petitions from candidates seeking election or re-election to the House of Representatives and the Public Regulation Commission that oversees investor-owned utilities, the transportation industry and telecommunications. Three commission seats out of five are up for election.

The House has 70 seats, with a 38-seat majority controlled by Democrats. Republicans last won a House majority in 2014 elections, interrupting six decades of Democratic control. Senate elections take place in 2020.

The Libertarian Party also will appear on primary ballots as a major party after failed presidential candidate Gary Johnson won more than 5 percent of the 2016 vote.

Los Alamos National Lab Set To Mark Its 75th AnniversaryLos Alamos Monitor, Associated Press

One of the premier nuclear weapons laboratories in the U.S. where the world's first atomic bomb was developed is set to mark its 75th anniversary.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports the Los Alamos National Laboratory will celebrate the landmark date on Wednesday at the Bradbury Science Museum.

Lab director Terry Wallace is scheduled to speak at the reception and the museum will highlight its educational initiatives.

Los Alamos played a key role in the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II to develop the first atomic bomb. The program also involved facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Hanford, Washington.

Current work centers on nuclear deterrence, nonproliferation and the modernization of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

New Mexico Principal Placed On Leave After School ThreatSilver City Sun-News, Associated Press

A southwestern New Mexico school principal has been placed on leave after authorities say a student made a threat against his school.

The Silver City Sun-News reports Silver Consolidated Schools Superintendent Audie Brown recently placed Cliff Schools principal Dean Spurgeon on administrative leave but declined to give details.

Brown told the newspaper that there's an ongoing investigation and that there was a threat made to the school.

Grant County Sheriff's Department Lt. Fermin Lopez confirmed that deputies are looking into a case reported by Cliff Schools after one of their students allegedly made a threat.

Lopez says the student doesn't attend the school anymore and no charges have been filed.

Prosecutors Push To Keep Man Who Killed 5 As A Teen DetainedAssociated Press

A New Mexico Children's Court judge has set another hearing for Friday to determine whether a man who killed five family members as a teenager should remain detained while his sentence is reviewed following an appeal.

The hearing comes as Children's Court Judge John Romero has been directed last week by a panel of appeals judges to again review Nehemiah Griego's case and juvenile sentence, which had been expected to allow for his release on his 21st birthday.

Griego, who was 15 when authorities say he shot his parents and three younger siblings at their home south of Albuquerque, turns 21 next week.

Prosecutors have filed a motion for him to remain in state custody until another determination is made on his sentence.

Passenger Describes Chaos Of Emergency LandingAssociated Press

A passenger described the panicked screams, chaos and crying on board as his Dallas-bound Southwest flight made an emergency landing at Albuquerque International Sunport.

Brandon Cox said he had to jump from the wing, as did many other passengers, to escape the plane, as a crew member screamed, "Move away from the aircraft."

Cox said shortly before the crew announced that the plane would be making an emergency landing it got hot on the plane and there was a funny smell.

According to KRQE-TV, Southwest flight 3562 took off from Phoenix on Sunday night and was headed for Dallas Love Field Airport. The plane was forced to land in Albuquerque after what might have been an electrical fire.

The Albuquerque Fire Department tweeted that two people were taken to hospitals. The extent of their injuries was unclear.

Navajo Nation Rejects Attempt To Disqualify Water Judge Associated Press

The Navajo Nation is opposing attempts to disqualify a state judge from oversight of a decades-old water dispute in the San Juan River Basin.

In court filings Monday, attorneys for the Navajo Nation said accusations are unfounded that Judge James Wechsler previously worked on behalf of the tribal government.

At stake is a major water-rights award in northwestern New Mexico to the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation is seeking sanctions against attorney Victor Marshall for filing the motion against Wechsler.

On behalf of more than 20 community water districts, Marshall has highlighted Wechsler's prior work for DNA Legal Services in the 1970s as an unreported conflict of interest. DNA Legal Services is an independent, nonprofit law firm that at times has been at odds with tribal government.

New Mexico Marks Record Year For Oil ProductionAssociated Press

Oil producers have set a record for the number of barrels pumped in New Mexico last year, and industry experts say output from the Permian Basin is expected to double over the next several years.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Association and an industry group that represents hundreds of producers in New Mexico show a record 172 million barrels of oil were produced in 2017.

That's double New Mexico's output in 2011 and more than the previous record of 147 million barrels set in 2015.

New Mexico Oil and Gas Association Executive Director Ryan Flynn says the record production is the result of more than $13 billion in investments that the industry began making last year.

The sustained rebound in oil prices and the investments also have helped New Mexico's revenues to recover.

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