AG Reviewing Fetal Tissue Transfers To UNM, More Regulator Testimony On PNM Rate Case

Jun 25, 2016

New Mexico AG Reviewing Fetal Tissue Transfers To UNMAssociated Press

The New Mexico Attorney General's Office is reviewing whether a clinic's transfer of aborted fetuses to the University of New Mexico violated state law.

The request for the investigation comes from Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who chairs the U.S. House Select Panel on Infant Lives. She sent a letter to Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday.

Southwestern Women's Options, which is a provider of early and late-term abortions, has been providing fetal tissue to UNM for medical research.

Blackburn says UNM Health Sciences Center and Southwestern Women's Options appear to have violated the Spradling Act.

Attorneys working for the panel say the 2007 law only allows for the donation or transfer of stillbirth fetuses or fetuses resulting from miscarriages.

The Health Sciences Center is disputing Blackburn's claims

Regulators To Take More Testimony On PNM Rate CaseSusan Montonya Bryan of the Associated Press  
New Mexico regulators are preparing to take more testimony on a request by the state's largest electric provider to raise customer rates.

The Public Regulation Commission called for another hearing after questions were raised about costs incurred by Public Service Co. of New Mexico when the utility purchased rights to more electricity produced by a nuclear power plant in Arizona.

The power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is intended to help fill the void in 2017 when PNM closes part of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico under an agreement with state and federal officials.

Some environmentalists have protested the additional nuclear power.

PNM first filed its rate request in December 2014. If approved, customers would see an average increase of more than 14 percent.

Martinez To Stump For Washington Gubernatorial CandidateAssociated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is traveling to Washington to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant.

The governor's office says Martinez will be in Seattle and Tacoma for rallies on Saturday. She will return to New Mexico on Saturday evening.

Martinez's office says the governor, as chair of the Republican Governors Association, has been working to elect GOP governors across the country.

The Washington State Republican Party is paying for Martinez's travel.

Bryant is running against incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee. The two will face off in their first debate in August.

Sunland Park extends contract for city managerAssociated Press & KVIA-TV

A former New Mexico Oil and Gas Association president hired as city manager in a troubled New Mexico border city has been given an extension.

KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports the Sunland Park city council recently voted to keep Bob Gallagher until December. He signed a 6 month contract as the interim city manager in February following a heated meeting.

Sunland Park had been without a full-time city manager for a year until Gallagher's hiring.

Nearly 40 percent of people live below the poverty line in the city, where the main source of income comes from the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino.

Gallagher says the city has recovered from budget problems and is ending the current fiscal year with about $5 million in cash reserves.

Man Gets 20 Years In Aztec For Deadly 2012 ShootingAssociated Press & The Farmington Daily Times

A suspect in a deadly 2012 shooting at a St. Patrick's Day party in San Juan County has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that 30-year-old Raul Avalos received the sentence in exchange for pleading no contest to second-degree murder and other charges. But he will get credit for four years spent in jail awaiting trial.

According to court records, Avalos is accused of shooting 20-year-old Demetrius Garrett twice in the chest at a part.

The victim's sister was also wounded, suffering a gunshot wound in her knee.

Garrett was hospitalized but died nine months later while waiting for a heart transplant.

Avalos expressed condolences to the victim's family but also said he acted in self-defense and never pointed a gun at Garrett.