Clovis Residents Hold Vigil For Shooting Victims, UNM Names New Athletics Director

Sep 1, 2017

Community Holds Vigil For Shooting Victims In ClovisEastern New Mexico News, Associated Press

Residents of Clovis gathered Thursday for a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of the library where six people were shot, two of them fatally, on Monday.

The Eastern New Mexico News reports Margaret Hinchee, director of the Clovis-Carver Public Library, cried as she remembered Krissie Carter and Wanda Walters, her fellow staff members who died during the shooting.

Carter was the children’s librarian and knew every child by name, Hinchee said, and she called Walters a “strong and joyous woman.”

Pastor Delmus Gillis of Bethlehem Baptist Church praised the resolve of the community as it dealt with the shooting, and subsequent threats of violence to numerous Clovis businesses on Wednesday evening.

Four other people were injured in the rampage. A judge on Thursday ordered 16-year-old Nathaniel Jouett remain in custody in connection with the shooting after prosecutors said he posed a threat to himself and others.

Prosecutors said suicide notes were found at the teen's home and the youth's pastor has also said that the teen contemplated suicide several months before the shooting.

Jouett's lawyer, Jennifer Birmingham, did not oppose the prosecutors' request.

Doctors Say Library Victims Saved OthersAssociated Press

Trauma surgeons at a Texas hospital who treated patients wounded during a shooting at a public library in New Mexico this week described them as heroes for saving other people the day of the rampage.

The doctors at University Medical Center in Lubbock told reporters Thursday that all four patients who were brought in following Monday's shooting in Clovis were recovering. Two have been released. Two public library workers were killed and a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Clovis is in custody.

The hospital says 20-year-old Alexis Molina suffered a gunshot wound just above her heart and was also shot once in each leg. Doctors say it's a miracle that she survived.

Fifty-three-year-old Howard Jones was shot in the forearm and the bullet traveling up his arm along his radial nerve.

The doctors say Molina and Jones were more concerned about the safety of loved ones who were in the Clovis-Carver Public Library when a gunman opened fire.

They say the two helped prevent others from being killed but provided no details.

New Mexico Candidate Seeks Court Injunction To Access CashAssociated Press

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce is seeking a federal court injunction to tap into $1 million in political contributions that he collected while in Congress to use in his run for governor of New Mexico.

The motion, filed late Thursday in federal court, seeks to block enforcement of limitations on campaign transfers from Pearce's federal campaign account to a state one. Approval could give Pearce access to campaign cash while underlying issues are litigated.

The Secretary of State's Office says that only $11,000 can be transferred by Pearce based on state campaign contribution limits.

Attorney General Hector Balderas was named in Pearce's lawsuit and has accused Pearce of wasting taxpayer money and being disruptive.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has said time is needed to address important constitutional issues.

Political Anxiety, Disaster Add Fuel To Zozobra FireAssociated Press

High anxiety about White House politics, hurricane flooding and even the threat of nuclear war with North Korea is adding an extra spark to the annual burning of a giant, ghostly marionette that serves as an effigy to gloom and doom.

The ritual burning of Zozobra is expected to attract tens of thousands of revelers Friday to a Santa Fe city park for a mixture of wholesome and ghoulish fun.

Inside the six-story puppet are reams of crumpled, handwritten notes about recent troubles and travails that people hope to leave behind in the past.

Worries this year are combustible mix of disenchantment with politics and preoccupation over natural and manmade disaster. Organizers of the event say the elaborate show is a chance to reflect and unburden the soul.

New Mexico Village To Hold Bigfoot FestivalLos Alamos Monitor, Associated Press

A New Mexico village is holding a festival in connection with a legend that Bigfoot is roaming around the state's Jemez Mountains.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports the village of Jemez Springs is hosting the Bigfoot BBQ & Blues Fest on Saturday to celebrate rumors the ape-like creature hangs around the forests near one of the nation's premier nuclear labs.

Event organizer Felix Nunez says he didn't want to hang his hat on Bigfoot's existence. But he says there are unexplainable and fascinating audio and video clips.

The gathering will feature anthropologist and Bigfoot expert Christopher Dyer, who will present evidence suggesting Bigfoot has taken up residence in New Mexico. Organizers say Dyer will present hair, photographs and a map pinpointing sightings around the state.

Federal Funding For Carlsbad Brine Well Project Might WaitCarlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

Federal funding to help shore up an underground cavern might not be available until 2019 if the Carlsbad Brine Well Advisory Authority can't meet application requirements by the November deadline.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that committee members expressed doubt at a Wednesday meeting that they could acquire the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the current cycle. The next cycle of allocations would not make the funding available until 2019.

State Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Ken McQueen says about $4 million could be acquired through FEMA, but the agency requires applicants to note how the rest of the project's costs will be funded.

The ground above the former brine well was deemed unstable in 2008. A collapse was predicted as soon as 2020.

UNM Names Eddie Nuñez As Its New Athletic DirectorAssociated Press

University of New Mexico officials say Eddie Nuñez has been hired as the school's new athletic director.

The 42-year-old Nuñez has been at Louisiana State University for the past 14 years and was most recently the Tigers' deputy director of athletics.

Nuñez will become the 13th athletic director in UNM's history.

He replaces Paul Krebs, who announced his retirement in June after 11 years with the Lobos.

UNM officials say they don't have a start date for Nuñez, but a formal news conference for him is expected next week.

New Mexico State Regents Vote To Replace ChancellorAssociated Press

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents voted to move forward with the search to replace Chancellor Garrey Carruthers despite widespread support from university faculty, staff, students and state lawmakers.

The board voted Wednesday to replace Carruthers after his contract ends in mid-2018. Public pressure had built for the regents to offer him a contract extension after a number of groups and Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima had stated support for Carruthers and his work.

The support was not enough to persuade a majority of regents, who chalked up their decision not to renew Carruthers' contract to waning student enrollment and other lagging performance metrics at the university.

The 78-year-old Carruthers said earlier he would be willing to stay on another two years, but the board rejected that idea.

Santa Fe Reintroducing Vans Meant To Catch Speedy DriversAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Santa Fe city council has decided to reintroduce unmanned SUVs equipped with cameras that will take photos of speedy drivers.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the Santa Fe city council decided to bring back the so-called speed vans in a 5-4 vote on Wednesday. The speed vans had been used in the Santa Fe area from 2008 to 2013.

City council members who voted in a favor of the speed vans say citations are issued to people who drive 10 mph over the speed limit and planned fines have been reduced.

Critics of the vans say they exploit poor people, discourage tourism, fail to address more serious traffic violations such as driving while intoxicated and emit harmful radar signals.

U.S. Marshals Close Guardianship CompanyAlbuquerque Journal

A guardianship service company has been closed down by the U.S. Marshals Service following the indictment of its two principals, who are accused of stealing client funds.

The Albuquerque Journal reports federal officials said Ayudando Guardians Inc. had about 1,400 clients at the time of the indictment. The Marshals Service took over operations of the company in early July.

Ayudando President Susan Harris and Chief Financial Officer Sharon Moore have pleaded not guilty to counts of conspiracy, fraud, theft and money laundering charges.

They are accused of embezzling more than $4 million from accounts of clients.