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KUNM News Update
Thu June 5, 2014
Thursday News Roundup: Lab Tests Show Semen Sprayed On Victims
Lab tests: Semen Sprayed On Victims In Albuquerque -The Associated Press
Authorities say lab tests show semen was sprayed on two victims in squirt gun incidents in Albuquerque.
Albuquerque police say samples collected from two victims who were sprayed by a man in February tested positive for "male bodily fluids."
Police say 35-year-old Kevin Jaramillo was arrested more than a week after several children reported being squirted and filmed by a stranger.
He bonded out of jail last month. It was unclear Thursday if Jaramillo has a lawyer.
A criminal complaint in March showed Jaramillo was facing eight counts of child abuse along with other charges.
Police say an 18-year-old victim told police Jaramillo admitted there was semen inside the water gun that he squirted at her.
Investigators say a picture taken by a 16-year-old victim's boyfriend led them to Jaramillo.
Band Draws Heat From Using Zia Sun Symbol- KOAT and The Associated Press
An up-and-coming rock band is drawing heat for its use of a symbol sacred to an American Indian tribe in New Mexico.
KOAT-TV reports that Bad Suns is using the Zia Sun symbol front and center on its new album and Zia Pueblo officials aren't too happy about it.
Pueblo Gov. David Pino says the image is so sacred that only medicine men are allowed to use it during ceremonies.
Christine Cao, a representative for the band, says the symbol used is the band's own interpretation of the image.
Pino says he hopes the band will reach out to the pueblo and ask for its blessing before the album is released.
The Zia Sun symbol is the official New Mexico State insignia and appears on the state flag.
Senators Urge Budget Revisions For NM Nuke Waste - The Associated PressNew Mexico's two U.S. senators want President Barack Obama to change his proposed budget to ensure that there's money for work needed at the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in Carlsbad.
The repository has been closed since February because of a radiation release.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced Wednesday that they're urging Obama to present Congress with an amendment to his proposed budget.
The two New Mexico Democrats said Obama needs to ensure that there'll be funding to implement recommendations of investigative panels.
Some containers waste intended for the Carlsbad site is being temporarily stored in West Texas.
Thousands Of Veterans Left Without Doctor In NM – The Associated Press and KUNM News
A New Mexico congresswoman says officials at the VA Medical Center in Albuquerque reported that as many as 3,000 patients were assigned to a doctor who didn't actually see them.
U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham says congressional staffers were told the practice was aimed at balancing too many patients and too few primary care doctors.
They said the health of patients was monitored and those who needed urgent care were seen, but Lujan Grisham is seeking more information to determine whether the practice put any veterans at risk.
The disclosure of the patient pool comes as the Department of Veterans Affairs grapples with allegations that secret waiting lists and delayed care sometimes led to veterans' deaths.
The Congresswoman wants to hear directly from veterans and their families about their experience with the NM VA Health Care System and she’s hosting a Veterans Town Hall this Saturday.
It’s from 3 to 5 p-m at Smith-Brasher Hall on the CNM campus. That’s 717 University Ave SE.
Veterans will have an opportunity to speak publicly at the Town Hall, meet privately with the Congresswoman’s staff, or submit comments in writing.
General Election Race For Governor Underway – The Associated Press
The general election campaign for governor has quickly got under way with Republican incumbent Susana Martinez and Democrat Gary King leveling almost identical criticisms.
Each candidate contends their opponent has accomplished little in office. That's shaping up to become a dominant campaign theme in the months leading up to the November general election.
King said at a news conference Wednesday that Martinez has failed to deliver on her 2010 campaign promise to bring "bold change" to New Mexico. The state is losing jobs, he pointed out.
Martinez campaign spokesman Chris Sanchez blasted King for his office's handling of public corruption prosecutions.
King defeated four other Democrats in Tuesday's primary election for the gubernatorial nomination. King's former rivals have pledged their support for him in the general election.
Services Set For Last Original Navajo Code Talker – The Associated Press
Flags will be lowered across the Navajo Nation in honor of a tribal member who helped developed a World War II code based on the Navajo language.
Chester Nez died Wednesday of kidney failure in Albuquerque. The 93-year-old was the last of the original group of 29 Navajo Code Talkers.
Navajo President Ben Shelly ordered flags flown at half-staff from Thursday to sunset on Sunday.
A public viewing for Nez is scheduled Monday evening in Albuquerque. A Mass is scheduled at Our Lady of Fatima in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning.
Nez will be buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Nez enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942, becoming part of the first all-Native American unit of Marines.
He and 28 others developed a code that confounded the Japanese.
FBI Search Home Of Rio Arriba County Sheriff – The Associated Press
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has searched the home of Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella.
FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says that agents issued a search warrant on Rodella's home Wednesday morning in connection with a federal investigation.
Fisher declined to give any details.
Rio Arriba County Sheriff spokesman Jake Arnold said the search of Rodella's home is connected to a March arrest of Michael Tafoya.
He was arrested on aggravated assault on a peace officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.
No attorney is listed for Tafoya.
Rodella lost the Democratic nomination for Rio Arriba County sheriff on Tuesday by coming in second to challenger James Lujan.
Interfaith Group Forms To Address Police Violence – The Associated Press
A group of clergy and religious leaders have formed a new association aimed at addressing Albuquerque police shootings and the ongoing protests.
Rev. Angela Herrera, an assistant minister at the First Unitarian Church and a member of the group, said religious leaders were inspired to organize because of the police shootings and "the dehumanizing tone" of the protests that have followed.
She says the group hopes to offer a safe, nonviolent place to grieve the fracturing of Albuquerque.
The group is sponsoring a prayer and meditation service on Tuesday at First Unitarian in an attempt to mend the community.
The move comes days after more than two dozen demonstrators stormed the mayor's office and held a sit in before tactical police moved in and arrested 13 protesters.