KUNM

Tuesday News Roundup: Security Boosted At Albuquerque Mayor's Office

Jun 24, 2014

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Security Boosted At Albuquerque Mayor's Office - The Associated Press

The Albuquerque mayor is getting additional security for his office after protesters recently occupied the building.

KOB-TV reports that new security features have been added around the office suites occupied by Mayor Richard Berry and his staff.

Officials say the changes include a second entry door and electronic features to quickly alert police if there is a break-in.

Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry says some administrative staff have been fearful for their safety.

Two dozen protesters were able to get past the front security door June 2. The demonstrators sat in a circle and requested to speak with Berry, who was out of state at the time.

Residents have held protests over several fatal shootings involving the city's police department.

Protesters Decry APD 'Spying' - The Associated Press

Critics of Albuquerque police are denouncing plain clothes officers among a peaceful demonstration and say the move amounts to "spying."

Organizer James Bowe said Monday there was no need for undercover Albuquerque officers to be placed among a march and rally Saturday since no laws were being broken. The demonstration attracted around 500 protesters who spoke out against 40 Albuquerque police shootings — 26 fatal— since 2010.

Bowe says Albuquerque police instead should be using its resources to fix the agency amid pending ordered U.S. Justice Department reforms.

In a statement, Police Chief Gorden Eden said the undercover officers were sent "for the sole purpose of monitoring for public safety issues" after three previous demonstrations turned rowdy.

Democratic Lawmaker Contests Primary Loss  - The Associated Press

Democratic Rep. Mary Helen Garcia of Las Cruces is contesting primary election returns that showed her losing in a three-way contest.

Garcia announced Tuesday she had filed a lawsuit in Dona Ana County challenging her loss by 17 votes to Bealquin "Bill" Gomez of La Mesa.

Garcia contends that signatures on absentee ballots don't match the signatures of registered voters.

Statewide primary election results are about to become final.

The state Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet Tuesday in the Capitol to certify official returns from the June 3 primary election.

According to unofficial returns, about 201,000 New Mexicans cast ballots in the election. That represents about 20 percent of the registered Democratic and GOP voters in the state — down from 28 percent voter turnout in 2010.

Security Boosted At Albuquerque Mayor's OfficeThe Associated Press and KOB TV

Albuquerque’s mayor is getting additional security for his office after protesters recently occupied the building.

KOB-TV reports that new security features have been added around the office suites occupied by Mayor Richard Berry and his staff.

The changes include a second entry door and electronic features to quickly alert police if there is a break-in.

Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry says some administrative staff have been fearful for their safety.

Two dozen protesters were able to get past the front security door on June 2nd. The demonstrators sat in a circle and requested to speak with Berry, who was out of state at the time.

State Police: Teen Had Cap Gun When Fatally Shot - The Associated Press

New Mexico State Police say a teenager was armed with a cap gun when he was fatally shot by Espanola police earlier this month.

State Police officials say their investigation into the June 8 shooting of 16-year-old Victor Villalpando will be presented to the 1st Judicial District's Attorney's Office when it's completed.

They say the two Espanola police officers involved have been interviewed by State Police investigators.

The officers had responded to a report of a suspicious person in a parking lot behind a shopping center.

It reportedly was Villalpando who called 911 to make the report using a different name. He allegedly said the suspicious person was armed with a gun and hitting himself.

Jail Guard Charged In Fatal Espanola Crash Resigns - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

An off-duty jail guard accused of causing a deadly drunk-driving crash in Rio Arriba County has resigned.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 26-year-old Justin Romero quit his job at Rio Arriba County Detention Facility on Monday.

Facility Director Larry Deyapp says Romero was initially suspended without pay.

New Mexico state police say Romero, of El Rito, drove his Ford pickup north on U.S. Highway 84 last Thursday and crossed into the southbound lane.

The pickup collided head on with another car.

Police say 23-year-old Leo Gurule of Espanola and 45-year-old Carlos Archuleta of Santa Cruz were killed.

Romero was booked into Santa Fe County jail on two felony counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol and one count of resisting an officer.

Court Rules Parent Can't Sue Children's Guardian - The Associated Press

The state Supreme Court has ruled that a court-appointed guardian for children cannot be sued by a parent in a custody dispute.

The high court says guardians at litem have immunity from lawsuits related to their duties as an arm of the court in determining what's in the best interests of children who are the subject of a custody fight between parents.

The justices also said the parent can't bring a lawsuit on behalf of a child because that would create a conflict of interest in the custody case.

The court's unanimous ruling overturned a decision by the state Court of Appeals allowing a father to sue a Santa Fe lawyer serving as the guardian for his four children in divorce and custody proceedings that began in 2006.

New Mexico Village 'No Criticism' Rule Struck Down - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A federal judge has come down hard on New Mexico village officials who tried to ban residents from saying anything negative at council meetings.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that U.S. District Judge James O. Browning issued an injunction Monday finding that the village of Ruidoso's rule or policy barring speakers from being critical is "an unconstitutional burden on free speech."

Under the village rules, a speaker could praise personnel, staff or the village council, or could make a neutral comment, but could not voice criticism.

In an 89-page opinion, Browning granted summary judgment to lawyer William Griffin, who sued after the council refused his request to speak at a meeting.

Browning said limits can be placed on time and topic, but not on the speaker's opinion.

Navajo Nation Wildfire Nearing Full Containment - The Associated Press

Firefighters say a wildfire that has burned nearly 23 square miles of terrain on the Navajo Nation just east of the Arizona-New Mexico border is nearing full containment.

Fire officials said Tuesday that the Assayii Lake Fire is now 75 percent contained.

Crews say they are continuing to patrol the area for any hot spots, clearing debris and constructing fire lines secure. Some of the fire is expected to continue to smolder.

Authorities say some roads are still closed, which may prevent some residents from returning.

The majority of the evacuations for people living near the rural communities of Naschitti (NAZ'-chit-ee) and Sheep Springs were lifted over the weekend and roads north of the fire were opened.

UNM's Project Echo Gets $6.4 Million - The Associated Press

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center has received $6.4 million to expand diabetes care.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust announced the grant yesterday for UNM's Project ECHO, a program that links community-based clinicians with UNM specialists to treat patients with complex conditions.

The university says the grant will be used to pilot a program called Endo ECHO, which aims to provide greater access to complex diabetes care and specialized endocrinology treatment, especially among publicly insured and uninsured patients.

Under Project ECHO, which stands for Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes, UNM Health Sciences Center specialists use teleconferencing technology to consult with and educate primary care providers across New Mexico on how to treat complex diseases.

New Mexico Woman's Body Recovered From Lake Powell - The Associated Press

The body of a 41-year-old woman who went missing over the weekend has been recovered from Lake Powell.

Spokeswoman Denise Shultz of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area says the body was taken from the water near Lone Rock Beach on Monday morning. Shultz says the woman was from New Mexico.

Details about her disappearance weren't immediately available.

Fishing Limits Lifted On Santa Fe River - The Associated Press

State wildlife officials have lifted restrictions on the number of fish that anglers can catch and keep from a two-mile stretch of the Santa Fe River over the next week.

The lifting of the bag limit and the suspension of tackle regulations are part of a salvage order aimed at removing as many trout as possible from the river before it runs dry.

The state Game and Fish Department stocked more than 500 trout in the river this spring to provide fishing opportunities. People have caught most of the fish, but some remain.

The order affects only the section of river from Paseo de Peralta downstream to Camino Alire.

Fish can be removed using nets or other methods. Fishing licenses will still be required.

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