Update

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.

Senate Panel OKs Funds To Help WIPP Reopen - The Albuquerque Journal

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad would get an extra $102 million to help reopen the facility, under a new Senate appropriation. 

Wildfire Rages As Navajo Communities Evacuate The Associated Press

A wildfire that has forced the evacuations of Navajo communities in northwestern New Mexico has grown to more than 17 square miles.

Fire officials say the Assayii Lake Fire is being fueled by fierce winds.

There's zero containment, and the gusts have hampered any effort to attack the flames directly.

Guilty Plea In Governor's Hacked Email Case - The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's former campaign manager has pleaded guilty to two counts in a case that accused him of intercepting her email.

Jamie Estrada entered his plea Monday as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors. He initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Under the plea agreement, Estrada faces up to one year in jail for intercepting email from Martinez's campaign account and for making false statements to federal investigators.

Report: New Mexico Prisons Need $277M In Repairs - The Associated Press

A new legislative report says New Mexico's state-run prison system has a $277 million backlog of needed infrastructure repairs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Legislative Finance Committee report released Thursday says prisons have holes in cell walls and floors, and flawed electrical, plumbing and sewer systems. The report says some of the problems could pose security threats to both inmates and correctional officers.

Police: Teen Had A Weapon When He Was Shot - The Associated Press

New Mexico State Police confirm a teenager was armed when he was fatally shot by an Espanola police officer, but investigators aren't providing any details about the weapon.

State Police spokesman Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said Thursday the investigation into the shooting of 16-year-old Victor Villalpando is ongoing.

Struggling Navajo Head Start Program On Rebound - The Associated Press

The Navajo Nation's Head Start program has struggled for years to ensure children are safe, employees undergo background checks and it has qualified teachers. Now, it's on the rebound.

The federal government recently announced the tribe will receive a 5-year, non-competitive grant after fully passing reviews for the first time in decades.

Sharon Henderson-Singer, who oversees the program, says the tribe is required to meet some 2,800 standards.

VA Officials Address Wait Times For NM VeteransThe Associated Press

Officials with the Veterans Affairs health care system in New Mexico say they have identified at least 21 people who died while waiting to see a doctor amid an investigation into lapses in care.

Authorities have not determined whether any of the deaths were related to a lack of care. They said Tuesday during a news conference that each case is being reviewed in detail to determine the circumstances.

State Police: Española Officer Shoots Teenager – The Associated Press

A fatal shooting of an armed teenager by an Española police officer is under investigation by New Mexico State Police.

Authorities say two Española officers on Sunday responded to a report of a suspicious person in a parking lot behind a shopping center and then made contact with a person identified as 16-year-old Victor Vialpando of Española.

Mora Commissioner Behind Fracking Ban Defeated  The Albuquerque Journal and The Associated Press

The driving force behind an ordinance that made a northern New Mexico county the first in the country to ban fracking lost his seat in this week's primary, raising new questions about the future of the ordinance.

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.

General Election Race For Governor Under WayThe Associated Press

Democratic Attorney General Gary King has cleared the first hurdle in his underdog bid to become governor, toppling four opponents in a lackluster primary race. His next challenge will be much more formidable.

King faces Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the November general election and is at a decided disadvantage.

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