KUNM

Update

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King Asks To Intervene In Election Voting CaseThe 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.

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Parts Of New Mexico Remain Under Flash Flood WatchThe Associated Press

Much of northern and eastern New Mexico remain under a flash flood watch as another storm system moves across the state.

The National Weather Service says scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected Tuesday to travel east and drop in intensity by mid-morning. But forecasters say another round of severe storms will likely pop up by late afternoon in central and northern New Mexico through the evening.

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Workers At Santa Fe Hospital Reject Contract OfferThe Associated Press

Unionized nurses and technicians at a Santa Fe hospital have rejected another contract offer from management.

Sunday's tally of the vote shows the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center workers rejected the latest offer overwhelmingly. The previous offer also was soundly rejected.

Hospital spokeswoman Arturo Delgado says managers are disappointed by the vote. Union local President Fonda Osborn says the union wants to return to the bargaining table.

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Santa Fe Forest Travel Plan Upheld By Court - The Associated Press

Conservation groups say a federal court has upheld a travel management plan for the Santa Fe National Forest that limits access for recreational use.

The U.S. District Court in Albuquerque ruled Friday that a statewide off-highway vehicle user group that sued the forest over the plan did not have a persuasive enough argument.

The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance filed its lawsuit in 2012 after a forest supervisor signed off on the plan.

ICE Denies Late Night New Mexico Deportation ClaimThe Associated Press

Federal immigration officials are denying allegations that immigrants held at a New Mexico detention center were being deported in the middle of the night.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said Wednesday the women and children housed at the Artesia facility weren't being pulled from sleep to board removal flights to Central America.

Sick Immigrant Kids Reportedly Not Getting Meds - The Associated Press

Immigration advocates who were allowed to visit a New Mexico detention center say women there are complaining that children aren't getting proper medical care and people are being deported before they can see a lawyer.

Southwest Retains Low Rankings In Child WelfareThe Associated Press

The Southwest continues to earn dismal marks for child well-being, with New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada ranking in the bottom five of an annual national report card on education, health care and poverty.

New Mexico, which last year was in last place, moved back up to 49th in this year's Kids Count Data Book. The report cited a slight drop in child poverty, improvements in high school graduation rates and a drop in the teenage birth rate.

Santa Fe Hospital Workers Reject Contract OfferThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

An overwhelming vote by unionized nurses and medical technicians at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe rejects a contract offer.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that 95 percent of the nurses rejected the offer that the hospital's administration called its best and last and that 80 percent of the techs also did so.

New Mexico Scaling Back Marijuana Program ChangesThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is scaling back possible changes for New Mexico's medical marijuana program.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a Department of Health official told legislators during a Thursday hearing in Taos Pueblo that the agency will scrap two proposals that had come under fire from pot producers and users.

New Mexico Incumbents Hold Campaign Cash EdgeThe Associated Press

New campaign finance reports show that Democratic challenger Roxanne "Rocky" Lara has raised more money in the past three months than Republican incumbent Steve Pearce in New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District race.

However, Pearce still maintains an overall campaign cash advantage.

Pearce reported cash-on-hand of nearly $1.5 million at the end of last month and Lara had almost $712,000.

Santa Fe Vote Sought On Pot Decriminalization  – The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Activists have submitted thousands of petition signatures to try to force a November vote in Santa Fe on decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

ProgressNow New Mexico and Drug Policy Action on Tuesday submitted petitions bearing more than 7,100 signatures. They need at least 5,763 valid signatures from registered city voters to force a vote on their proposal.

Santa Fe Plans To Expand Video SurveillanceThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe plans to expand its video surveillance program by adding cameras at the convention center and other locations in the northern New Mexico City.

The City Council last year approved a contract with a security company to install 38 cameras at parking lots, parks and trailheads, and a planned request for proposals would add 104 more cameras.

State To Release Corrected Teacher EvaluationsThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

State officials say hundreds of New Mexico teachers who received evaluations with errors will get corrected evaluations within weeks.

Spokesman Larry Bahrens says the Public Education Department plans to release corrected evaluations for the past school year by end of August.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the mistakes were caused by faulty data reported by districts.

Backlogged Immigration Courts Face New DelugeAssociated Press

The country's backlogged immigration courts are bracing for a deluge of cases after tens of thousands of Central American children began arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Lauren Alder Reid, counsel for legislative and public affairs at the U.S. Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review, says the courts have temporarily reassigned judges to hear cases in southern Texas and at a New Mexico detention facility via teleconferencing since the influx.

APD To Purchase 350 AR-15 Assault RiflesThe Associated Press and KOB TV

The Albuquerque Police Department plans to buy at least 350 military-style rifles as replacement for officer-owned weapons.

KOB-TV reports that a request for bid called for purchases of 350 AR-15 rifles in a two-year contract's first year, followed by more purchases as necessary.

Police Chief Gorden Eden in May said officers could no longer carry personally-owned weapons in the field.

NM Among Leading Oil Producing StatesThe Associated Press

Federal statistics are showing what many people in New Mexico already know: The state is in the midst of an oil boom.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration released figures yesterday that show behind the Gulf of Mexico, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming were the largest crude oil producers on federal and tribal land during the 2013 fiscal year. 

And despite steady decreases since 2003, New Mexico remained among the top producers of natural gas.

VA Makes Progress on New Mexico Waiting List - The Associated Press

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made progress in whittling down the number of new patients in New Mexico who are on the troubled health care system's electronic waiting list.

The latest audit shows there were 482 veterans on the waiting list. That's down from more than 1,040 a month ago.

The list includes new patients for whom appointments cannot be scheduled within 90 days.

New Mexico Independent Challenges Ballot Access - The Associated Press

A Public Education Commission member has filed a lawsuit challenging New Mexico's requirements for independent candidates to secure a place on the ballot.

Tyson Parker of Corrales brought the lawsuit in federal district court last week, contending the state's election laws discriminate against independent candidates by requiring an unfairly high number of voter signatures on nominating petitions.

Veteran Dies Waiting For Ambulance At VA Hospital - The Associated Press

A veteran who collapsed in the cafeteria at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, 500 yards from the emergency room, died after waiting 30 minutes for an ambulance.

It took a half an hour for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building to the other, which is about a five minute walk.

NM VA Health Care System spokeswoman Sonja Brown says medical personnel performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

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.

New Mexico Meeting Sparks Anger Over Immigrants - The Associated Press

Southeastern New Mexico residents are speaking out against a detention center for immigrants suspected of entering the country illegally.

Around 400 people attended Tuesday a contentious town hall meeting in Artesia to express their anger that close to 700 Central American women and children will be stay at a nearby facility.

Residents say they were afraid the immigrants might take away jobs from locals and resources away from American-born children.

Ex-New Mexico Gov. Johnson Named Pot Company CEO - Russell Contreras, The Associated Press

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has been named the CEO of a Nevada-based company that hopes to make medical and recreational marijuana products.

Johnson said Tuesday he was recently named CEO and president of Cannabis Sativa, Inc., and intends to work out of New Mexico to help develop products that are legal in states like Colorado and Washington.

Wildfire Burns In Santa Fe National Forest – KUNM News

The Diego Fire continues to burn in the Santa Fe National Forest. As of yesterday afternoon the fire was reported to be around 200 Acres.

It’s in the Coyote Ranger District, nine miles southeast of Coyote.  The fire was caused by lightning and was first detected on June 15th.  

At last report no structures were threatened and the fire was primarily on federal land.  Some private land may now be burning. 

State Worker Salaries Boosted For 2008 Pay Dispute - The Associated Press

About 5,300 state workers will receive hourly salary increases from 13 cents to more than 50 cents in this week's paychecks to help resolve a six-year-old union contract dispute.

State officials said Thursday that salaries were adjusted in early June to reflect wage rates that should have been in place starting in 2008.

Employees will get paychecks Friday reflecting the increases for a two-week pay period.

Santa Fe Archbishop Says Police Reforms NeededThe Associated Press

Santa Fe Archbishop Michael Sheehan says the fatal police shooting of a man struggling with schizophrenia convinced him that the Albuquerque police need drastic reforms.

Sheehan told The Associated Press yesterday that before the 2011 shooting of 27-year-old Christopher Torres, he generally supported the embattled Albuquerque Police Department. But Sheehan says after that shooting, he began to have serious doubts the agency could change without federal intervention.

Police Union Decry Use Of 'Cop Shooter' In ProtestThe Associated Press

The Albuquerque police union president has called demonstrators' recent use of a violent suspect who shot four officers an "offensive" act.

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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.

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 said Monday that 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.

Albuquerque Protest To Put Police Chief 'On Trial' The Associated Press

Critics of Albuquerque police say they will put the embattled police chief "on trial" during a planned rally Saturday.

Demonstrators say the march scheduled to start at Roosevelt Park at noon, is aimed at pushing for reforms at APD following a harsh U.S. Justice Department report over the agency's use of force.

Albuquerque police also are under scrutiny over 40 police shootings — 26 of them fatal — since 2010.

Farmington Deputy Shooting Ruled Homicide - The Associated Press & The Daily Times

The death of a driver who was shot by a federal officer in Farmington in March has been ruled a homicide.  The Daily Times reports that the Office of the Medical Investigator says John Marszalek died from the gunshot and multiple self-inflicted stab wounds to the throat.

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