Thursday News Roundup: GOP Group Spends $571,000 On NM Ad Blitz

Jul 3, 2014

GOP Group Spends $571,000 On New Mexico Ad BlitzThe Associated Press

A national Republican group reports spending more than a half million dollars in the past month on advertising against Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gary King.

A fundraising report by the Republican Governors Association lists expenditures of $571,000 to produce and air ads in June.

The RGA started airing hard-hitting TV ads against King a few days after he won a five-way primary election contest for the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

Today is the deadline for candidates and political committees to file reports with the secretary of state's office disclosing how much they've raised and spent since late May.

Martinez had cash-on-hand of about $4.3 million as of May 27. King had a cash balance of about $75,000 a week before the primary election.

US Marshals Deputy Fatally Shoots Fugitive In NM - The Associated Press

The U.S. Marshals Service says a deputy has fatally shot a fugitive in southwest Albuquerque while trying to serve a federal arrest warrant.

Deputy U.S. Marshals and task force officers from the District of New Mexico weren't injured in yesterday's incident.

Details of the shooting weren't immediately released.

Officials with the Marshals Service say they cannot comment because the incident is under investigation.

They say the investigation is being handled by a multi-jurisdictional team comprised of New Mexico State Police, Albuquerque Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department and the Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office - with the assistance of the FBI.

Boy, 12, Gets Maximum Sentence For School Shooting - The Associated Press

A New Mexico judge has ordered the maximum sentence for a 12-year-old boy who opened fire in a Roswell middle school gym earlier this year, injuring two students.

After a daylong hearing, state District Judge Freddy Romero ordered the boy held in state custody until he is 21.

The boy pleaded no contest to the January shooting. His lawyers had asked that he be placed in treatment for two years and then released if doctors determine he's no longer a danger.

A defense memo says the boy was chronically bullied, is socially and emotionally immature, and regrets what he did.

The boy was charged with three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count of carrying a firearm on school premises.

Radiation Leak Leads To Layoffs At Los Alamos - The Associated Press

The Los Alamos contractor that packaged the radioactive waste linked to a leak at the government's nuclear waste dump is laying off workers.

A Los Alamos spokesman has confirmed that Energy Solutions has reduced its workforce by 115 because its contract for packing the waste for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad expired June 30.

That’s the date the lab was supposed to have thousands of barrels of contaminated waste off its northern New Mexico campus. But the final shipments were halted after the February leak that shuttered WIPP was traced to a barrel packed by Energy Solutions.

Containment Of New Mexico Wildfire At 30 Percent - The Associated Press

Firefighting officials have started to declare partial containment of a wildfire burning in northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains.

A status report released by fire officials says crews had established containment lines around 30 percent of the Diego Fire as of Wednesday night. That's up from zero percent earlier in the day.

The status report says crews on Wednesday took advantage of favorable weather conditions that included higher humidity and that growth of the fire was minimal through two structures have been destroyed.

The lightning-sparked fire has burned approximately 5.6 square miles of mixed conifer forest about 8 miles south of Coyote.

Approximately 700 people are assigned to the fire.

Drug Convictions Overturned Thanks To Saint Death - The Associated Press

Two Oklahoma residents have had their federal firearms and drug-trafficking convictions in New Mexico overturned thanks to a skeleton saint known as La Santa Muerte.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday a Santa Muerte expert tainted the convictions of 53-year-old Rafael Goxcon-Chagal and 38-year-old Maria Vianey Medina-Copete. Both were convicted in August 2012 for trafficking methamphetamine.

Authorities say a Santa Muerte prayer card was found with the couple during a traffic stop that led to their 2011 arrests.

Prosecutors used the expert during their trial to discuss the use of Santa Muerte, which translates to "Saint Death" in English, among drug traffickers.

Popular in Mexico, and sometimes linked to the illicit drug trade, Santa Muerte is a folk saint also worshipped by some immigrant small business owners, gay activists and the poor.

The appeals court ordered a new trial for the couple.

Las Cruces Diocese Sets Up Shelter For Immigrants - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is establishing a short-term shelter in Las Cruces for immigrants, and officials report a large response from volunteers and donors.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the shelter is being set up in an event hall at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral's campus.

Church officials said they're expecting mainly women and children from Central America to stay at the shelter for up to 36 hours after being released on their own recognizance by federal officials after initial proceedings.

Diocese official Susan Roberts says there's been a nonstop influx of people signing up to volunteer in response to Bishop Oscar Cantu's call for assistance.

Items being donated for the shelter include towels, sheets and laundry service.

39th Annual Pancakes On The Plaza KUNM News

Tomorrow is July 4th.  You know what that means, Independence Day and Pancakes on the Plaza in Santa Fe.

Now in it’s 39th year, this fundraiser for the Rotary Club is all about pancakes, show cars, music and an art show.

Organizers say it brings the communities of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico together to celebrate our nation's birthday and that proceeds generated from Pancakes on the Plaza make a difference in the lives of people in need.

More information at  pancakesontheplaza.com