KUNM

Shooting At NM Public Library, Police Shooting Spurs Criticism Of New Mexico's Bail Reforms

Aug 28, 2017

New Mexico Police: Shooting At Public LibraryThe Associated Press

New Mexico state police say there has been a shooting at a public library in the eastern New Mexico community Clovis.

Officer Carl Christiansen said Clovis police responded to the library this afternoon in response to a report of an active shooter. He could not immediately say whether there were any fatalities or injuries.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports that police scanner traffic reported air ambulances have been dispatched and at least one victim was taken to Clovis Municipal Airport for transport to a hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

Clovis is about 200 miles east of Albuquerque, near the Texas state line.

Police Shooting Spurs Criticism Of New Mexico's Bail ReformsThe Associated Press

A New Mexico sheriff is voicing frustration with how bail reforms are being implemented, saying the state's "catch-and-release" system is putting violent offenders back on the street.

Authorities say a state police officer is recovering after being hit Sunday with shrapnel from his badge after it was struck as a suspect opened fire during a traffic stop in Farmington. The officer and a San Juan County deputy returned fire, hitting and killing the suspect.

Sheriff Ken Christesen said 26-year-old William Wilson had an extensive criminal history. Court records show he was released from the county jail earlier this month pending trial on aggravated burglary and firearm charges.

The state Supreme Court earlier this year issued comprehensive procedures for judges to determine if and when defendants can be released. The rules are being challenged in court.

Report: 'Human Factors' Led To Fatal Air Force Plane CrashThe Associated Press & The Eastern New Mexico News

Air Force officials say a plane crash in which three airmen were killed earlier this year was caused by "human factors."

The Eastern New Mexico News reports Capt. Kenneth Dalga, First Lt. Frederick Dellecker and Capt. Andrew Becker from the Cannon Air Force Base died when their plane crashed on March 14 while they were practicing approaches and landings near the Clovis Municipal Airport.

According to a report released last month by the U.S. Air Force Aircraft Accident Investigation Board, over control or under control of the aircraft caused the crash. The report does not indicate which airman was controlling the plane.

The report says the $18.3 aircraft did not have any mechanical malfunctions.

US Nuclear Weapons Center Unveils New Nuke Weapons ContactsThe Associated Press & The ABQ Journal

The U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in Albuquerque has announced billions of dollars in nuclear weapons contracts aimed at modernizing the ground- and air-based legs of the country's nuclear triad.

The Albuquerque Journal reports official said the contracts made public last week are the first stages of the acquisition process, where contractors complete preliminary designs.

The center, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, says the two contracts worth up to $359 million apiece have been awarded to the Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp. for work on a ground intercontinental ballistic weapon system program.

It will replace the Minuteman III ballistic missile.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says the Minuteman III is 45 years old and it's time to upgrade.

Paramilitary Sect Members Indicted In Child Abuse CaseThe Associated Press

A grand jury has indicted four members of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect in connection with a child abuse and child sexual abuse investigation.

The Cibola County grand jury voted late Friday to indict the four members of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps after a magistrate judge refused to lower bonds.

Sect co-leader Deborah Green is facing charges of failure to report a birth, child abuse and sexual penetration of a minor.

Peter Green faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child on suspicion of raping a girl from the time she was 7.

Two others face failure to report a birth charges.

The group, founded in California, says the allegations are totally false.

US Nuclear Weapons Center Unveils New Nuke Weapons ContactsAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

The U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center in Albuquerque has announced billions of dollars in nuclear weapons contracts aimed at modernizing the ground- and air-based legs of the country's nuclear triad.

The Albuquerque Journal reports officials said the contracts made public last week are the first stages of the acquisition process, where contractors complete preliminary designs.

The center, located at Kirtland Air Force Base, says the two contracts worth up to $359 million apiece have been awarded to the Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp. for work on a ground intercontinental ballistic weapon system program.

It will replace the Minuteman III ballistic missile.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein says the Minuteman III is 45 years old and it's time to upgrade.

New Mexico Forests To Share $3.4M In Federal GrantsAssociated Press

Restoration projects in four of New Mexico's national forests will get a financial boost thanks to $3.4 million in federal funding.

Members of the state's congressional delegation announced the funds, saying they will be targeted at 10 projects designed to reduce the threat of wildfire and improve the health of watersheds around the state by thinning out small trees.

Projects on the Carson, Cibola, Gila and Lincoln forests will share in the grant funding. Private businesses, conservation organizations and water conservation districts will be awarded the funds to do the work.

The Pueblo of Santa Ana also will receive some of the money.

Alamogordo Puts Off Decision On Billboard OrdinanceAlamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

Billboard companies have succeeded in getting commissioners in one southern New Mexico city to put off a vote on a proposed ordinance that would affect the signage.

The Alamogordo City Commission moved to table the proposal during a meeting last week after representatives from billboard companies voiced their concerns.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the ordinance would prohibit any new billboards from being erected. Those signs already in place would need to be removed within five years. An appeals process through the city's planning commission could grant extensions.

Lamar Advertising real estate manager Matt Yoder told city leaders there's demand and that his company provides a service that people are willing to pay for. He said billboards are not just structures, but businesses that provide revenue.

New Mexico Mine Officials, Employees Welcome New LocomotivesAssociated Press

Employees at a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico are celebrating the arrival of two new locomotives that will help transport coal to the nearby Four Corners Power Plant.

LoRenzo Bates, a top Navajo Nation leader, touted the $5 million investment as assurance of the mine's continued operation but also acknowledged the challenges the coal industry faces from environmental regulations and renewable energy sources.

The Daily Times reports officials from the Navajo Transitional Energy Co., the Navajo Nation and Bisti Fuels Co. joined mine employees Wednesday for the unveiling ceremony for the two locomotives bought this year from General Electric.

Ernest Yazzie, one of five locomotive operators for Bisti Fuels, a subsidiary of the North American Coal Corp. that operates the mine, called the new machines "awesome."

Taos Celebrates Airport Expansion 25 Years In The MakingAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

After decades of discussion, controversy and litigation, Taos officials are finally able to celebrate a new, longer runway and expansion at the municipal airport north of town.

The Albuquerque Journal reports town leaders hailed the $26 million project as a boon for tourism and economic development at a celebration on Friday.

Mayor Dan Barrone says the project "is about new economic opportunities and partnerships that will increase accessibility between Taos and the world."

Work on the runway started in 2015, but discussion of the project began about 25 years ago.

The new runway, about 3,000 feet longer than the old one, is intended to increase the number of planes that can land and improve safety at an airport known for windy conditions at high altitude on the Taos mesa.

Police Officer Shot, Handcuffed Suspect Dead – Associated Press

Authorities say a state police officer killed a Farmington man after the man shot the officer who had just handcuffed him. The officer was hit in the badge.

New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas tells the Albuquerque Journal that the officer was treated and released at a nearby hospital.

Authorities say the officer, whose name has not been released, suffered bruising and facial injuries from badge shrapnel. He will be placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice.

William Wilson, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kassetas says the state police officer along with a San Juan County sheriff's deputy opened fire after Wilson fired a shot.

Authorities say Wilson was a passenger in a truck stopped about 9:30 a.m. Sunday by a San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy. Officers were looking for the truck because they believed it had been involved in recent larcenies and burglaries, the Journal reported.

Kassetas says the state police officer, who arrived soon after as backup, talked to Wilson before cuffing Wilson's hands in front of his body.

US Official: New Mexico's Medicaid Data Has Security FlawsSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A federal inspector general says the computer system behind New Mexico's Medicaid program fell short of the U.S. government's security requirements during a review that found data was left vulnerable and operations were put at risk.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Thursday that the New Mexico Human Services Department has since fixed the issues. But the inspector general cautioned that holes in security could have compromised the program's confidentiality and integrity, although a breach of the system was not found.

The review, conducted in March 2016, came just a few years after the state government budgeted nearly $20 million to upgrade the Human Services Department's system for handling Medicaid and other benefit-program applications.

Nearly 900,000 people were enrolled in New Mexico's Medicaid program as of June.

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