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Briefs 06-10-14

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By Associated Press

King hitting
the airways hard

SANTA FE (AP) — Democrat Gary King is punching back in New Mexico’s race for governor with a television ad criticizing Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s record in running state government.
The ad began airing Tuesday and came in response to hard-hitting advertising by the Republican Governors Association against the Democratic nominee.
King’s ad points out that New Mexico has been losing jobs during Martinez’s tenure. It also refers to allegations of contracting violations and other wrongdoing in the Martinez administration made in a whistleblower lawsuit by two former Economic Development Department workers.
King “will clean up her mess,” the ad said. King will push to increase the state’s minimum wage and demand gender pay equity for women doing the same work as men, according to the ad.
The King campaign is spending about $82,000 to air the ad across the state about 160 times through next week, according to advertising contract records filed with the three major TV stations in Albuquerque.
King launched the ad as he’s looking for a new manager for day-to-day operations of his campaign for the general election.

Services to be held for Navajo Code Talker Nez

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Flags will be lowered across New Mexico as family and friends gather in Albuquerque for a funeral Mass to honor the last of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers.
Chester Nez died last week in Albuquerque. He was 93.
The Mass is scheduled for Tuesday morning in Albuquerque. Burial will follow at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.
Gov. Susana Martinez has called for flags to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sundown Tuesday. She calls Nez and his fellow Code Talkers true patriots who changed the course of history.
Nez and the others developed a code based on the Navajo language that confounded the Japanese during World War II. Another group of Navajos followed in their footsteps and about 30 of them are still living.

Gila National Forest to restrict motorized travel

SILVER CITY (AP) — The Gila National Forest plans to generally prohibit motorized cross-country travel within the forest in southwestern New Mexico.
According to forest officials, the plan chosen by Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell designates a system of roads, trails, and other areas for motorized vehicle use.
The forest says the plan chosen by Kelly keeps 96 percent of non-wilderness land within two miles of a road and 99 percent within three miles.
Under the plan, approximately 3,300 miles of road are kept open for vehicle use while just over 900 miles of road are closed for non-emergency uses. Most closed roads are a mile long or shorter.
There are special provisions for various users, including hunters, campers and firewood cutters.
The forest says publication of a legal notice starts a 45-day appeal period.

Tortilla company
plans to open factory

LAS CRUCES (AP) — A California tortilla company is expanding to New Mexico.
Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday that Franco Whole Foods, which supplies tortillas to Whole Foods and Costco, will open a manufacturing facility in Las Cruces that will create 160 jobs with an average salary of $37,000 plus benefits.
With the help of $75,000 in state economic development funds, the company will convert a long-vacant warehouse into a modern manufacturing facility.
Franco Whole Foods was founded by Angel Franco in El Paso. In the 1980s his sons Gus and Mike Franco launched a tortilla manufacturing business in San Diego. Gus developed the uncooked flour tortilla recipe in 1993.