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Today's News

  • Snow predicted for morning commute

    The morning commute Wednesday may include rain and snow, with a chance of it turning to all snow by 9 a.m.
    Meteorologists from the National Weather Service, Albuquerque said commuters should expect rain quickly changing over to snow between 5-9 a.m. Wednesday.
    Meteorologists are forecasting one-half inch to three inches of snow the farther west one goes in Los Alamos County. The Jemez Mountains can expect as much as six to 10 inches.
    Wind is also expected, which could limit visibility.
    Meteorologist Clay Anderson added that’s basically it for a while though March may hold a surprise or two.
    “When you look at the climatological records, some of the biggest snowstorms around here happen in March,” Anderson said. “Just because it doesn’t look good now or as we get into February, doesn’t mean things can’t change.”
    As for fire season, things may be busy if there’s no snow in March. It could mean a longer season, especially in the forested areas, because so far, there’s no melting snow pack, according to Anderson.
    “It’s just a bad combination for the fire season,” Anderson said. “…I think it would be wise for people to prepare for a long and busy fire season.”

  • Couple with pot gifts again arrested in Nebraska

    YORK, Neb. (AP) — A California couple arrested in Nebraska last month for carrying 60 pounds of marijuana they described as family Christmas gifts have again been arrested in Nebraska, this time on suspicion of carrying drug money.

    The Lincoln Journal Star reports that 80-year-old Patrick Jiron and his 70-year-old wife, Barbara, were arrested Tuesday along Interstate 80 in northeast Nebraska. They were arrested last month along the same roadway — in the same vehicle — just two counties west.

    Lancaster County sheriff's officials say the couple were passengers in a pickup truck where deputies found a duffel bag carrying $18,000 in cash and notes consistent with marijuana sales.

    When the Jirons were arrested in York County on Dec. 19, they said they didn't know it was illegal to transport marijuana through Nebraska.

    Online court documents don't list attorneys for the Jirons.
     

  • New Mexico state lawmaker seeks to block border wall

    SANTA FE (AP) — A New Mexico state lawmaker is seeking legislation to obstruct plans for a new border wall by the Trump administration.

    Democratic Rep. Bill McCamley of Mesilla Park in southern New Mexico said Tuesday that he will introduce legislation that prohibits the use of state land in the construction of a new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    President Donald Trump's administration has proposed spending $18 billion over 10 years to significantly extend the border wall with Mexico. The New Mexico State Land Office oversees a patchwork of land holdings along the state's southern border with Mexico.

    Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has discretion over whether McCamley's proposal can be heard during a 30-day legislative session that begins Jan. 16, and it was unclear if she would allow it.
     

  • 2 state lawmakers propose criminal justice reforms

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A pair of New Mexico lawmakers put forward a series of public safety proposals Tuesday, aiming to strike a bi-partisan tone in addressing rising crime rates as more people cycle through the criminal justice system and the number of officers — especially in Albuquerque — has declined in recent years.

    At a news conference, Rep. Nate Gentry and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto touted their proposals as representing a sweeping approach to the city's crime problem with measures that target nearly every level of New Mexico's criminal justice system — from boosting police staffing levels to trying to trying to ensure more access to behavioral health treatment for inmates leaving prisons or jails.

    Gentry is a Republican and Ivey-Soto a Democrat. Both represent districts in Albuquerque.

    It's not clear ahead of the bills being debated in the 30-day legislative session that begins next week in Santa Fe how much support the measures would garner among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, though they so far have gained the support of Bernalillo County sheriff and the Albuquerque police union.

    "It's a common sense approach to a very dynamic problem," said Shaun Willoughby, president of the Albuquerque Police Officers Association.

  • New Mexico AG seeks more info for solar panel customers

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Attorney General's Office is hoping a new disclosure form will provide more information for customers considering rooftop solar.

    Attorney General Hector Balderas released the new form last week, saying it was created in collaboration with the solar industry, consumer groups and regulators.

    He said it's aimed at making more understandable the complex terms that are often associated with distributed electricity generation, which includes rooftop solar systems, and power purchase agreements or leases.

    The attorney general's office said it is also interested in hearing from non-English-speaking consumers regarding their experience in buying or leasing solar power systems or entering into purchase power agreements.

    The form can be found here.

  • New Mexico Supreme Court overturns domestic violence ruling

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — In the case of a man arrested numerous times on domestic violence charges, the New Mexico Supreme Court has determined that prosecutors should have been allowed to use previous statements made by the victim despite her later decision not to testify.

    At issue was the constitutional right for a defendant to be able to confront an accuser. That right can be forfeited as a result of wrongdoing by the defendant to keep a victim or witness from testifying, but up for debate was whether that wrongdoing has to come in the form of a blatant threat.

    The court in an opinion issued Monday clarified that coercion and intimidation can have the same result as making an overt threat to ensure a victim's silence. The case was ordered back to the district court for further proceedings.

    The ruling stems from domestic violence charges that were first leveled against Joshua Maestas in 2009. At the time, prosecutors sought to keep him in custody and cited a history of domestic violence that included being arrested seven times between 2003 and 2009.

  • Congressional race in New Mexico gets Libertarian candidate

    SANTA FE (AP) — The race for the Albuquerque-based congressional district in New Mexico is likely to include a third-party candidate after business consultant Lloyd Princeton announced Monday that he will seek the seat as a Libertarian.

    U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham isn't running for re-election in the 1st Congressional District as she seeks the Democratic nomination for governor against several rivals.

    Libertarian candidates are expected to have ready access to the general election ballot in New Mexico in November because of a strong local showing in 2016 by presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

    Princeton touted his professional experience at devising growth strategies for small businesses and said he wants to improve the state economy and reduce reliance on the federal government. It will be his first campaign for public office.

    "The two-party system has become about jockeying for power between the parties," said the 48-year-old entrepreneur who relocated two years ago to New Mexico from New York City. "Government at the federal level is getting exponentially bigger without simultaneously solving the problems for the people."

  • Trump appointee announces run for Congress; Salas withdraws

    Staff and Wire Reports

    ALBUQUERQUE — A former Trump administration appointee who resigned after a harsh report into a tribal loan program he oversaw announced Monday that he is running for Congress in New Mexico.

    Gavin Clarkson filed documents with the Federal Election Commission to seek the Republican nomination for the congressional seat in the southern district being vacated by Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, who is running for governor.

    Clarkson said in a campaign statement that he believes running is the "best way to help President Trump stop the swamp" and protect New Mexico.

    In November, ProPublica and The Washington Post reported that Clarkson resigned from the Bureau of Indian Affairs following an inspector general report into the loan program he directed. That report alleged the bureau's division of capital investment did not have adequate controls and managed the loan program with limited oversight.

    Clarkson, a New Mexico State University business professor and an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, has served as the bureau's deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development.

  • Gov. Martinez unveils tough-on-crime proposals

    ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez is making a final push for lawmakers to pass a series of tough-on-crime bills in her last year in office, including measures to expand the state's three-strikes law for violent felons and restore the death penalty.

    Martinez, a Republican, unveiled the legislation Monday ahead of the 30-day session that begins next week in Santa Fe.

    Her proposals include a bill to toughen penalties for people who commit crimes while on probation or parole, as well as the capital punishment and three-strikes measures — which have both been rejected in recent years by lawmakers.

    Democratic lawmakers, who now hold majorities in both the House and Senate, have in the past noted that the governor's public safety agenda is outdated, and reminiscent of a wave of 1990s anti-crime laws that some other states have reversed in recent years. She has cited a crime wave in Albuquerque, the state's largest city, and her decades as a prosecutor prior to becoming governor in arguing for harsher penalties for violent and repeat offenders.

    "Every year since taking office, I've pushed lawmakers to get tough on crime because I've seen the consequences of not being tough on crime," Martinez said.

  • US senator proposes ending protections for Mexican gray wolf

    By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press

    A wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico would be removed from the list of federally protected species under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

    The Arizona Republican introduced the measure last week. He's a critic of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan that was adopted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in November, calling it a regulatory nightmare for ranchers and rural communities.

    "I plan to continue my efforts to push for real recovery that takes into account the needs of the local stakeholders most impacted by this policy," Flake said in a statement Monday.

    The legislation calls for the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if a population of fewer than 100 wolves has been established in the species' historical range along the Arizona-New Mexico border. If so, the predator would be considered recovered and removed from the endangered list.

    Management of the wolves would be turned over to state wildlife agencies in Arizona and New Mexico once the Fish and Wildlife Service makes a determination.

    An estimated 113 wolves roam parts of Arizona and New Mexico, according to the most recent data. Members of the wolf recovery team will be conducting a new survey in the coming weeks.