KUNM News Update
Wed July 30, 2014
Wednesday News Roundup: King Asks To Intervene In Election Voting Case
King Asks To Intervene In Election Voting Case – The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King wants to defend in court a state law that bars independents from voting in the primary election.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that King is asking a state District Court judge to permit him to intervene in the lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 294,000 voters registered as independents.
The lawsuit contends the law allowing only Democrats and Republicans to vote in the primary violates the New Mexico Constitution.
Secretary of State Dianna Duran was named as a defendant in the case but a response filed by King on behalf of Duran didn't offer a defense of the law.
Chicken Pox Halts Deportation At Artesia Facility - The Associated Press
A New Mexico congressman says the deportation of immigrants from a detention facility in Artesia have been temporarily stopped because of chicken pox.
Rep. Steve Pearce says that the immigrant women and children at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers are being treated and vaccinated.
But Pearce says two people at the facility had to be put in isolation because of the chicken pox virus.
Department of Homeland Security officials didn't immediately return calls last night about the situation at Artesia.
Police: Water Main Breaks In Albuquerque - The Associated Press
Albuquerque police says a water main break Wednesday has caused a sink hole, closed at least one street and interrupted water to some residents.
Police say the break occurred in the area of Irving Boulevard and Eagle Ranch Road.
According to police, Eagle Ranch Road is closed in both directions between Irving and Agate Hills Road and that there's also water on Coors Boulevard.
Police are suggesting that motorists use alternate routes and use extreme caution on Coors Boulevard.
Albuquerque Police To Get Rid Of Armored Vehicle - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal
The Albuquerque Police Department says it turns out it doesn't need a massive armored vehicle that the city obtained as military surplus and plans to dispose of it.
Albuquerque was among numerous law enforcement agencies across the country that obtained some of the many mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles that the military procured for the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Police Department spokesman Janet Blair says Albuquerque got its 14-foot-tall, 22.5-ton vehicle eight months ago but has not used it in the field.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Blair says the department has other armored vehicles it can use for SWAT team deployments instead of the mine-resistant vehicle.
Blair said the department will work with the state to find a new owner for the vehicle.
Minimum Wage Proposal Submitted In Las Cruces - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News
Las Cruces officials say supporters of a minimum wage proposal collected enough valid signatures on petitions to either have it put into law or submitted to city voters.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the proposal seeks to raise the minimum wage within New Mexico's second most populous city to $8.40 per hour in 2015, to $9.20 in 2016 and to $10.10 in 2017.
New Mexico's hourly minimum wage is $7.50.
City Clerk Esther Martinez-Carrillo says the City Council will first decide whether to certify the signature verification. The council then would decide whether to simply adopt the proposed ordinance or put it on a ballot.
The council voted June 2 to raise the minimum wage in Las Cruces to $8 in July 2015 and $8.50 in January 2016.
D.H. Lawrence Ranch In New Mexico Opens To Public - The Associated Press
A northern New Mexico ranch once home to famed English author D.H. Lawrence has reopened to the public.
The Taos Community Foundation and the University of New Mexico say the ranch about 20 miles north of Taos is open every Monday, Thursday and Saturday through October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The 160-acre ranch is owned by the university but hasn't been regularly accessible to the public for several years.
An agreement between the foundation, UNM and the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance cleared the way for public visits to the ranch where Lawrence lived part-time during the early 1920s.
The ranch features Lawrence's memorial, two cabins and a home that was built by Frieda Lawrence after her husband's death.
Arizona Wolf Pups Thrive In New Mexico Pack - The Associated Press
Wildlife managers say two Mexican gray wolf pups from an Arizona pack are thriving with their new family in New Mexico.
Biologists in May transplanted a pair of 2-week old pups born in a large litter to another pack of wolves with a smaller litter and more rearing experience.
Wildlife managers have been troubled by the survival rates of wild-born pups. The goal with cross-fostering is to improve the genetic health of the endangered predators as they are reintroduced to the American Southwest.
The technique has worked with red wolves on the East Coast. This marks the first time it has been tried with Mexican gray wolves.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says a trail camera photo shows that the pups are alive and doing well.
Man Contacts Authorities After Dead Body Found - The Associated Press
The Torrance County sheriff's office says detectives have interviewed the man believed to have been spotted fleeing an area where a dead body was found.
The man's identity hasn't been released but officials say the man came forward Sunday after investigators began contacting his friends and families.
A deputy who stopped to check on a parked vehicle in a remote area southeast of Edgewood Friday saw somebody run from the vehicle. The deputy then found a dead body nearby.
A search for the person who ran away was unsuccessful.
Sheriff Heath White says the man who turned himself in hasn't been arrested but that the investigation continues.
The dead person's identity hasn't been released either, and White says investigators are awaiting a determination of cause of death.
Police: Naked Intruder Fell Asleep In Couple's Bed - The Associated Press
An Albuquerque man is facing charges after authorities say a couple found him naked and sleeping in their bed.
Investigators say 30-year-old Freddy Shelby was arrested Sunday after the homeowners called police to report their unwanted, mystery guest.
According to a criminal complaint, Shelby broke into the couple's home through a window and grabbed a Sprite from the refrigerator before falling asleep in the master bedroom.
The home's owners found a disrobed Shelby in a deep sleep.
The complaint says officers arrived and called to Shelby, but he slept through it.
Officials say he only woke up when an officer ripped the blankets off.
Shelby told officers he thought he was at his girlfriend's house.
He was charged with breaking and entering.