KUNM

NMSU Looks To Win Over Fans With Official Beer, NM Managers Contemplate Benefits

Aug 17, 2017

NMSU Looks To Win Over Fans With Official 'Pistol Pete' Ale - The Associated Press

New Mexico State University has become one of a handful of U.S. colleges to license its own official beer. The southern New Mexico school is teaming up with Bosque Brewing Co. to create "Pistol Pete's 1888 Ale," which pays homage to the Aggies' mascot and the year the university was founded. The cans will feature school colors and the fight song.

The move is aimed at raising NMSU's profile and generating more revenue at a time when fundraising has become more difficult for higher education institutions nationwide.

In Louisiana, university leaders embarked on similar branding deals to help fill budget gaps, resulting in LSU's Bayou Bengal Lager and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale. Tulane has its Green Wave Beer, and Colorado State recently unveiled its Old Aggie lager.

New Mexico Pension Managers Contemplate Benefit Reforms - The Associated Press

Managers of New Mexico's two major public pension funds say a recent surge in investment earnings will not be enough to address an accumulation of unfunded financial obligations to retirees.

New Mexico Educational Retirement Board Executive Director Jan Goodwin told a panel of lawmakers on Thursday that changes to pension benefits and contributions are under consideration to address $7.4 billion in unfunded liabilities.

She said reforms may be proposed ahead of the 2019 legislative session to ensure that enough money is available to pay public school and college employees as they retire.

Double-digit annual investment returns have boosted assets at the state's two public pension funds to record levels and shortened the timeline somewhat for addressing billions of dollars in unfunded obligations to current and future retirees.

New Mexico Well Authority Seeking Federal Funding – The Associated Press & The Carlsbad Current-Argus

Local and state officials are considering applying for federal funding to repair a New Mexico well.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports repairing the I&W Brine Well would prevent a collapse and $1 billion in damages to local infrastructure.

Eddy County Commissioner Stella Davis, who sits on the well authority's finance working group, says state funds for the $25 million remediation efforts were being researched, but federal funding could be the answer.

Davis says members of the authority are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. next month to meet with U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to attempt to identify available funds

Accreditor Calls For UNM To Explain Audit Into Sports Funds – The Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

University of New Mexico's accreditation agency wants an explanation for why the university is under a special audit by the state Auditor's Office.

The Albuquerque Journal reports State Auditor Tim Keller's office started the audit May 31 amid questions about athletic fundraising and expenses.

Higher Learning Commission coordinator Robert Rucker on Tuesday said the agency has "concerns regarding the university's financial oversight."

Rucker says the audit raised questions about the university's compliance with accreditation criteria. He requested a response by Sept. 14.

The university released a statement saying it "considers a response to this request to be of utmost importance to clarify that the university is financially sound."

The university has acknowledged in the past that it used about $25,000 in public funds to pay booster expenses on a 2015 golf junket in Scotland.

UNM Working To Prevent Suicide AttemptsThe Associated Press & KOB 

University of New Mexico officials say they will be making fencing around a parking structure taller in response to four attempted suicides at the school's parking garages in 2016.

Parking and Transportation Director Barbara Morck tells KOB-TV the additional fencing will be placed at the top of the Cornell parking garage where students and staff saw a women jump off a year ago. The student survived the fall, but was badly injured.

The university will add 3 to 4 feet (roughly 1 meter) in height to the fencing around the Cornell parking garage. Morck says she hopes the fencing will make it difficult for people to attempt to jump off the garage.

The move is expected to cost about $58,000 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of September.

New Mexico Predicts Future State Budget SurplusAssociated Press

New Mexico state economists say government income is expected to surpass spending obligations by $25 million in the coming fiscal year.

State economists released a fiscal forecast on Wednesday that shows New Mexico emerging from a budget crisis that has threatened funding for classrooms, courts and museums.

Economists at three state agencies and the Legislature predict that tax revenue and other government income will surpass spending obligations during the fiscal year that begins in July 2018. During the current fiscal year, expenditures are expected to exceed revenue streams by about $122 million.

Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Democrat from Deming, cautioned that New Mexico remains vulnerable to swings in oil and natural gas prices. Smith also warned that an ongoing lawsuit could force legislators to boost funding of public schools that already account for 44 percent of state general fund spending.

Judge Rules APD Owes Damages And Fees In Officer-Involved ShootingAlbuquerque Journal

The Albuquerque Police Department must pay damages and attorneys fees and produce documents it withheld in a wrongful death lawsuit over a shooting of a 19-year-old woman by an APD officer.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the total amount could be as high as $130,000. Shannon Kennedy, the attorney representing the family of shooting victim Mary Hawkes, set her fees at $103,091.

District Judge Nancy Franchini ruled that APD violated the Inspection of Public Records Act and the state allows for $100 a day in fines for such violations. APD’s fees began in September 2016.

Hawkes was a suspected car thief and was shot in April 2014 by Jeremy Dear, who is no longer with APD, after a foot chase.

Early Childhood Programs Net Mixed Results In New MexicoAssociated Press

Legislative analysts say the results are mixed when it comes to the effectiveness of New Mexico's programs for young children.

The Legislative Finance Committee has released an accountability report that covers spending and outcomes for early childhood programs across several state agencies. Members of the committee were scheduled to discuss the findings at a meeting Wednesday in Taos.

The report shows recurring funding for early childhood programs has been on the rise for the last several years, surpassing more than $350 million during the last fiscal year.

While funding for many services has increased even during lean budget years, the report highlights troubling indicators that show more work needs to be done to curb abuse and neglect and to get more children into early learning programs.

Man Carrying A BB Gun Is Arrested At Las Cruces High SchoolAssociated Press

A man has been arrested for allegedly carrying a BB gun onto the campus of a Las Cruces high school.

Las Cruces police say 28-year-old Joel Alfaro is jailed without bond on suspicion of unlawfully carrying a deadly weapon on school premises.

It was unclear Wednesday if he has a lawyer yet who can speak on his behalf.

Police say a security officer at Oñate High noticed a man wearing a hoodie and acting suspiciously inside the school's west hallway about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The man was questioned and security officers noticed he was carrying what appeared to be handgun in his shorts.

They took possession of the weapon, which turned out to be a BB gun.

Authorities say no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Judge OKs Takata Request To Halt Some Lawsuits Over Air Bags - By Randall Chase, Associated Press

A Delaware bankruptcy judge is temporarily halting the prosecution of lawsuits filed by Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata over its lethally defective air bag inflators.

Judge Brendan Shannon ordered the 90-day stay Wednesday after hearing arguments last week on Takata's request to halt hundreds of air bag-related lawsuits while it works on a reorganization plan.

Shannon also granted Takata's request to temporarily halt individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed the faulty air bags. But he refused to extend that ruling to scores of lawsuits consolidated in a federal multi-district litigation case in Miami.

Takata said allowing the lawsuits to proceed would jeopardize its restructuring efforts.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing air bag recall costs.

UNM Adding Fencing To Garage To Prevent SuicidesKOB-TV

In an effort to persuade people from using a parking garage for suicide attempts the University of New Mexico is adding fencing to the structure near Cornell and Central Avenue.

KOB-TV reported officials with UNM’s Parking and Transportation Services said there were four suicide attempts last year at parking structures on the campus. One woman jumped from the Cornell structure and survived but was severely injured.

UNM will add fencing around the Cornell garage at a cost of about $58,000.

 Looks To Win Over Fans With Official 'Pistol Pete' AleAssociated Press

New Mexico State University has become one of a handful of U.S. colleges to license its own official beer.

The southern New Mexico school is teaming up with Bosque Brewing Co. to create "Pistol Pete's 1888 Ale," which pays homage to the Aggies' mascot and the year the university was founded. The cans will feature school colors and the fight song.

The move is aimed at raising NMSU's profile and generating more revenue at a time when fundraising has become more difficult for higher education institutions nationwide.

In Louisiana, university leaders embarked on similar branding deals to help fill budget gaps, resulting in LSU's Bayou Bengal Lager and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette's Ragin' Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale. Tulane has its Green Wave Beer, and Colorado State recently unveiled its Old Aggie lager.

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