KUNM

State Supreme Court Debates Textbooks Again, Wind Energy Project Has Backers And Detractors

Nov 20, 2017

New Mexico Supreme Court Debates Textbooks Again – Associated Press

New Mexico's highest court will again debate whether the state should use public funds to pay for textbooks at private schools.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the parties in the legal battle filed briefs in the state Supreme Court in preparation for another round of arguments after the U.S. Supreme Court sent the case back to the state.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by two New Mexico parents seeking to stop the practice of using public money for private school textbooks, which they say is taking public funding away from public schools. The parents argued the practice also violated a provision in the state constitution that prohibits education funds from being used "for the support of any sectarian, denominational or private school, college or university."

Massive NM Wind Energy Project Has Backers, Detractors Associated Press

A proposed wind energy project in eastern New Mexico has a large group of backers but also faces a substantial number of opponents, including staff at the state's utility regulation commission.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the proposal from Minnesota-based energy giant Xcel Energy would see hundreds of turbines erected in Roosevelt County. It would create hundreds of construction jobs and more than two dozen permanent ones when it is completed.

It is backed by local town leaders, educators, state legislators, village councilors and county commissioners.

But the commission's own staff calls the project "fraught with risk" and it is opposed by conservationists.

A public hearing on the case is scheduled to begin next week and the commission will take it up after that hearing.

The Latest: New Mexico Democrats Mandate Harassment Training Associated Press

The Democratic Party of New Mexico says its political candidates will need to complete sexual harassment prevention training to receive campaign support from the party in 2018 elections.

State Democratic Party Chairman Richard Ellenberg on Monday announced the training requirement in response to decade-old allegations of harassment of women filed against state Sen. Michael Padilla and incidents beyond New Mexico.

Padilla denies the prior accusations and is resisting calls to end his campaign for lieutenant governor by gubernatorial candidates including U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Ellenberg said training will cover situations of sexual violence, harassment, bullying and differential treatment of men and women. He says candidates who do not complete training will be denied access to the party's voter database as well as communications support.

A rising star in the Democratic Party who has garnered national attention for tackling poverty in New Mexico is fighting for his political future amid decade-old allegations he sexually harassed women.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Padilla is facing calls to drop his bid for New Mexico lieutenant governor after The Associated Press began asking elected officials about the cases.

Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing an Albuquerque emergency call center in 2006.

The city ended up settling claims linked to a sexually hostile work environment. Padilla has long denied the accusations.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who's running for New Mexico governor, said last week that Padilla should exit the lieutenant governor race because of the old cases.

At least two female political leaders have pulled endorsements.

Rising New Mexico Democrat Fighting Harassment Allegations Associated Press

A rising star in the Democratic Party who has garnered national attention for tackling poverty in New Mexico is fighting for his political future amid decade-old allegations he sexually harassed women.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Padilla is facing calls to drop his bid for New Mexico lieutenant governor after The Associated Press began asking elected officials about the cases.

Two federal lawsuits say Padilla harassed women while managing an Albuquerque emergency call center in 2006.

The city ended up settling claims linked to a sexually hostile work environment. Padilla has long denied the accusations.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who's running for New Mexico governor, said last week that Padilla should exit the lieutenant governor race because of the old cases.

At least two female political leaders have pulled endorsements.

Los Alamos School Board Faces Heat On Immigrant Policy Associated Press

The Los Alamos Public Schools board is facing heat for over a proposal aimed at protecting immigrant students amid fears of increased federal immigration enforcement.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports opponents of the measure spoke out last week and said the policy change would result in more immigrants in the country illegally coming to Los Alamos schools.

Los Alamos resident Greg White told the board he had not heard of federal immigration agents coming onto school grounds and didn't see the point of the policy.

Board member Stephan Boerigter says the proposal was "political posturing."

The proposed resolution calls for school employees not to keep any records showing that information after admission.

Relieved New Mexico Superintendent Still Getting Paid Associated Press

A law firm says a northeastern New Mexico school superintendent relieved of her duties and locked in a legal battle with the school district is still being paid.

The Las Vegas Optic reports the law firm said last week Sheryl McNellis-Martinez is still earning an annual salary of $99,000 while her lawsuit is pending with Wagon Mound Public Schools.

McNellis-Martinez recently sued the school district of roughly 70 students after its board voted to invalidate a previous board vote on her contract because of an ineligible board member.

The Optic discovered former board member Tammie Avent was never a registered voter in Mora County, where the district is located. Another former board member, Debbie Coca, was told she was ineligible to serve because she lived in another town.

Albuquerque Man Facing 13 Counts Of Rape Involving Teen Girl Associated Press

An Albuquerque man is facing 13 counts of rape after he allegedly sexually assaulting a teenage girl on multiple occasions.

Police say 24-year-old Oliver Delgadillo-Vasquez also is accused of kidnapping the girl for two days.

According to a criminal complaint, the allegations date from more than last year to last month when Delgadillo-Vasquez reportedly showed up at the 13-year-old's home and allegedly punched her.

Police say the girl told detectives she first learned of Delgadillo-Vasquez through social media, then met him in person while walking around her neighborhood when she was 12.

She says Delgadillo-Vasquez routinely dragged her into his truck and allegedly raped her at multiple locations.

Prosecutors filed a motion in court Saturday to keep Delgadillo-Vasquez jailed until his trial.

It's unclear if he has an attorney yet.

Methadone Program For Inmates To Begin At New Mexico Jail Associated Press

Bernalillo County is joining only a handful of jails around the country that allow inmates with opioid addictions to start a methadone program while behind bars.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Recovery Services of New Mexico has been providing medication-assisted treatment with methadone since 2005 for inmates who are already enrolled in a program when they enter the Metropolitan Detention Center.

According to the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, fewer than 30 of the nation's 5,100 jails and prisons offer opioid users medication-assisted treatment.

Supporters of the program hope it will address a multitude of issues including recidivism, crime rates and community wellness.

The program begins Wednesday, exactly 12 years to the day after the first dose of methadone was given to an inmate at the jail.

Tags: