Sunday News Roundup: NM Law Officers Planning DWI Crackdown

Dec 29, 2013

NM Law Officers Planning DWI Crackdown - The Associated Press

Law enforcement agencies around New Mexico are planning to be out in full force, looking for suspected drunken drivers during the New Year's holiday and beyond.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation's Holiday Superblitz continues through Jan. 5. Some local agencies have also planned enforcement actions through the end of January.

As part of the Superblitz, state, local and tribal officers will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols as well as looking for other traffic violations.

The San Juan County Sheriff's Office and the Clovis Police Department are among those participating in the statewide DWI crackdown.

Sgt. Devon Dollar says the San Juan County Sheriff's Office is encouraging citizens in northwestern New Mexico to take an active role by reporting suspected drunken drivers by calling 911.

Overtime Costs Increase For NM Employees - The Albuquerque Journal

The number of overtime hours New Mexico state government employees are working is on the rise and the cost of that overtime was up significantly for the 2013 budget year.

Personnel figures released this month show the state paid out nearly $36.7 million in overtime, representing nearly 1.6 million hours. Three years earlier, the cost of roughly 1 million in overtime hours was $24.4 million.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Rep. Luciano "Lucky" Varela says he's concerned about the trend.

He questions why some state agencies have not been using the full amount of money appropriated to them by the Legislature for filling vacant jobs.

State Personnel Director Gene Moser says the rise in overtime cost and usage is attributable to an aging workforce and a spike in retirements.

NM Launches 'Designated Caregiver' Campaign - The Associated Press

New Mexico health officials say the risks of sudden unexpected infant deaths can be higher during the New Year's holiday.

So the Department of Health is urging parents to pick a "designated caregiver" for their babies during the holiday season.

The department is pointing to a national study that found designating a caregiver may be just as important as picking a designated driver.

Researchers at the University of California found that alcohol was a risk factor for sudden unexpected infant deaths, and that parental decision-making capacity is significantly impaired by the excessive use of alcohol.

State health officials say there were 86 cases of unexpected infant deaths in New Mexico between 2009 and 2012. That's an average of one every 13 days.

Navajo Blogger Pairs Humor, Politics In Articles - The Associated Press

A Navajo blogger is using satire to draw attention to tribal politics.

Andrew Curley first wrote about Navajo President Ben Shelly being furious that the National Security Agency had not been monitoring his phone calls.

Truth is, Shelly constantly is battling with the federal government for the tribe to be recognized as a sovereign nation. But, no, he doesn't want anyone tapping his cellphone.

The stories play to a culture known for shadowing humor in elements of fact and tradition for storytelling.

Curley follows American Indian poets, journalists, filmmakers, cartoonists and comedians whose material pull from stereotypes, the missteps of tribal government, a history of oppression and from life on the reservation to amuse audiences.

Curley says he wants people to think critically about news and question the motives of people in power.