KUNM News Update
6:43 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Wednesday News Roundup: Santa Fe Elects Javier Gonzales As New Mayor

Santa Fe Elects Javier Gonzales As New Mayor - The Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe voters have elected Javier Gonzales as the city’s new mayor.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the former county commissioner and former chairman of the state Democratic party took all four city council districts in the capital city, and is the first openly gay man to be elected to Santa Fe’s top leadership position.

Gonzales won the district represented by candidate Patti Bushee, the city’s longest serving city councilor. The third mayoral candidate Bill Dimas is also a city councilor.

It was Santa Fe’s first publicly financed mayoral race. In the lead up to the election critics of the city’s rules cited the involvement of Political Action Committees that dumped $60-thousand dollars into the campaigns on top of the $60-thousand dollars each candidate had to spend. 

President's Budget Proposes Horse Slaughter Ban - The Associated Press

Animal protection advocates are applauding President Barack Obama for proposing a continued federal ban on commercial horse slaughter in the U.S.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals senior vice president Nancy Perry on Tuesday urged Congress to adopt the proposal.

A measure approved earlier this year withholds money through September for Agriculture Department inspections necessary for slaughterhouses to process horse meat for human consumption.

The ban derailed a New Mexico company's plan to slaughter horses to export the meat to overseas consumers.

The president's budget proposed continuing the inspection funding prohibition through September 2015.

The last U.S. horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007 because Congress eliminated inspection funding. Plants in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa sought to resume horse slaughtering when federal money was restored in 2011.

New Mexico Enacts Law On Sexual Abuse Prevention - The Associated Press

New Mexico public school students will be taught about sexual abuse prevention under legislation that Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law.

Martinez signed "Erin's law" on Tuesday in Albuquerque, saying the state is taking "one step forward in protecting New Mexico's children."

The measure unanimously passed the Legislature.

New Mexico becomes the 10th state to enact such a law.

The measure will require teachers and other licensed school personnel to be trained in detecting and reporting sexual abuse and assault.

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, elementary, middle and high school students must be taught in health education courses about reporting and preventing sexual abuse.

The law is named after sexual abuse survivor Erin Merryn of Illinois. She advocates for programs to teach children about sexual abuse.

Feds Set Aside Habitat In Southwest For Jaguar - The Associated Press

Federal wildlife officials are setting aside nearly 1,200 square miles in the American Southwest as critical habitat for the jaguar.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its decision Tuesday. The area includes parts of Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise counties in Arizona and Hidalgo County in New Mexico.

There hasn't been a jaguar sighting in New Mexico in eight years, and federal biologists are aware of only one male jaguar that frequents southern Arizona.

Still, the agency says setting aside land will contribute to the cat's recovery across its entire range, which stretches into South America.

Environmental groups filed a series of lawsuits seeking to protect the jaguar, but critics argue that critical habitat in the U.S. isn't essential to the cat's survival.

Jaguars were placed on the federal endangered species list in 1997.

New Mexico Enacts Law On Sexual Abuse Prevention - The Associated Press

New Mexico public school students will be taught about sexual abuse prevention under legislation that Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law.

Martinez signed "Erin's law" on Tuesday in Albuquerque, saying the state is taking "one step forward in protecting New Mexico's children."

The measure unanimously passed the Legislature.

New Mexico becomes the 10th state to enact such a law.

The measure will require teachers and other licensed school personnel to be trained in detecting and reporting sexual abuse and assault.

Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, elementary, middle and high school students must be taught in health education courses about reporting and preventing sexual abuse.

The law is named after sexual abuse survivor Erin Merryn of Illinois. She advocates for programs to teach children about sexual abuse.

3 Employees Hurt In Oil Rig Fire Near Farmington - The Associated Press

Authorities say three employees have been injured in an oil rig fire south of Farmington.

Sandoval County Fire Chief James Maxon says the fire started in the oil well about noon Tuesday and was extinguished about 2 ½ hours later.

He says the cause of the fire isn't immediately known.

Maxon says three units of county firefighters were called in to help battle the blaze because the nearest fire station is 43 miles away.

He says the three injured employees were taken to a hospital by personal vehicles and their names and conditions aren't immediately available.

The oil rig is located in a desolate area off Route 550 near Lybrook.

Maxon says there was a fire at the same location a year ago but nobody was injured that time.

ALCU Seeks New Mexico Officer Training Curriculum - The Associated Press

A civil rights groups is seeking the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy curriculum under scrutiny for giving officers more leeway to use deadly force

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico announced Tuesday that attorneys have filed an open records request to examine the state's lesson plans used to train officers.

The move comes after the academy director Jack Jones told the Santa Fe New Mexican he'd rather burn the training materials than publicly release them.

State police also have drawn controversy after a series of high-profile shootings and the Albuquerque Police Department is under a U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation over cases of excessive force.

Newly appointed New Mexico Secretary of Public Safety Greg Fouratt said last week he planned on reviewing all state training policies.

Lottery Expects Greater Ticket Sales This Year - The Associated Press

New Mexico lottery officials are forecasting stronger than expected ticket sales this year, which will generate more revenue for a college scholarship program.

The lottery said Tuesday that ticket sales in the current budget year are expected to reach about $135 million, which is nearly $4 million higher than initial projections.

That would mean the lottery should provide $40.6 million for the scholarship program rather than $39.4 million as originally anticipated.

The scholarship program faces financial problems because lottery revenue isn't keeping pace with rising tuition.

The Legislature approved a measure to use liquor tax money to help pay for scholarships in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. A budget passed by lawmakers provides nearly $14 million to shore up the program this year and $11.5 million for next year.

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