CSU Invites Native American Teens Back, Bill Seeks Park Status For White Sands National Monument

May 4, 2018

Colorado State University Invites Native American Teens Back- Associated Press

Colorado State University is inviting two Native American teenagers pulled from a campus tour by police back to the school, saying it will pick up the tab for them to travel back there for a VIP tour with their family.

The school also said Friday it would refund the money the brothers spent to travel to the school for Monday's tour. School officials say a woman in that tour group reported feeling nervous about the presence of 19-year-old Thomas Gray and his 17-year-old brother, Lloyd.

They were questioned and released but by then the tour group had moved on without them.

The university says it deeply regrets the brothers' "unwelcoming and concerning experience."

The university says it has reached out to the family but the teens' mother says they're not ready to respond yet.

Bill Seeks Park Status For White Sands National Monument- Associated Press

White Sands would be elevated from a national monument to a national park under legislation proposed Friday by one of the state's senators.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a Democrat, made the announcement while visiting New Mexico as part of a multi-day tour that also included looking at the potential for more outdoor recreation elsewhere as New Mexico and other western states promote their wide open spaces in hopes of attracting more tourists and more money.  White Sands already brings in about a half-million visitors each year, and Heinrich said designating the area as a national park has been something that community leaders and local elected officials have been pursuing for years.

With national park status, supporters hope the destination would get more recognition. Entrance fees and access would remain the same.

Horses Trapped In Muddy Northern Arizona Pond Buried On Site- Associated Press

More than 100 horses found dead this week at a muddy watering hole in northern Arizona are being buried at the site.

The stock pond in the Navajo Nation community of Gray Mountain had been a reliable source of water for animals over the years.

But as drought worsened, it began drying up earlier and earlier, and trapped the animals.

Tribal officials say they counted at least 118 dead horses and two cows this week.

They were able to save a weeks-old foal they named Grace.

A barbed wire fence now surrounds the watering hole to keep out large animals. Workers have applied hydrated lime to the site to help decompose the horses and ward off scavengers.

Friday's work is focused on collapsing an earthen berm and burying the animals.

Police Arrest Boy After Threats To Alamogordo Schools- Associated Press & Alamogordo Daily News

Police say a 12-year-old boy has been arrested after making threatening phone calls to four Alamogordo schools.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports Alamogordo Public Schools officials instructed all campuses to shelter in place Thursday morning after two middle schools and two elementary schools received shooting threats.

Police Capt. Roger Schoolcraft says the boy called the schools after 9 a.m. Thursday, threatening to shoot up the campuses. The boy was later arrested and charged with 17 misdemeanor counts of interference with staff, public officials or the general public.

The boy remains detained pending his appearance in children's court.

School officials say the shelter in place alert was lifted at about 10:45 a.m.

Albuquerque Woman Sentenced To Prison For Fatal 2016 Crash- Associated Press & Albuquerque Journal

An Albuquerque woman has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for a car crash that fatally injured a prominent doctor.

Sara Casados was convicted Thursday of careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Casados was driving more than 70 mph when she crashed into Dr. Teodora Konstantinova's car in January 2016.

Casados' lawyer Ousama Rasheed says Casados was suffering from a medical episode and had unsuccessfully sought treatment in the weeks before the crash.

Prosecutor Guinevere Ice asked for the maximum sentence and said that Casados hadn't shown remorse or apologized for what happened.

Casados says court orders prevented her from reaching out to Konstantinova's family to apologize.

New Mexico Groups Seek Injunction On Driver-ID RequirementsAssociated Press

Civil rights groups in New Mexico are seeking a court injunction to ensure fair access to state driving credentials under a system adopted in 2016 for issuing two tiers of driver's licenses.

Advocates for immigrants and the homeless asked a state district judge Thursday to intervene and stop allegedly unlawful identification requirements. New Mexico adopted new driver ID standards to meet tougher U.S. identification requirements aimed at safeguarding commercial airlines, military bases and other federal facilities.

Lead plaintiffs' attorney David Urias says the requested injunction would stop the state from requiring identification numbers of applicants for driver's authorization cards, which can go to non-U.S. citizens.

Motor Vehicle Division spokesman Ben Cloutier says the current system of issuing driving credentials ends a "dangerous practice" of giving driver's licenses to those who entered the country illegally.

New Mexico Man Accused Of Prostituting 7-Year-Old DaughterAssociated Press

Authorities are accusing a New Mexico father of prostituting his 7-year-old daughter and forcing the girl and her brother to panhandle and pick pockets.

Court records show James Stewart Sr. was booked early Thursday on charges that include human trafficking, criminal sexual contact of a minor, child abuse and promoting prostitution. It wasn't immediately clear if the 37-year-old Stewart had an attorney.

Court documents indicate Stewart and his family are homeless.

Agents with the New Mexico Attorney General's Office began investigating in April after getting a call from a school nurse who had concerns that the girl might be a victim of sexual assault.

A criminal complaint states the girl told investigators she and her mother would "hustle," and there were previous instances in which police and state child welfare workers had contact with the family.

Haaland Says No Misconduct Case Filed As Dem ChairAssociated Press

Democratic congressional candidate Deb Haaland is disputing a Las Cruces woman's claim that she ignored a misconduct case while she was chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.

Haaland said in a statement Thursday that as chair the party received "no official complaints" about misconduct but still adopted a statewide sexual harassment policy for the state Democratic Party.

Nicole Bagg said at a press conference in Albuquerque that Haaland and New Mexico Democratic officials dismissed her complaints about former Doña Ana County Commissioner John Vasquez.

Bagg told reporters Thursday that Vasquez made racist and derogatory remarks about women during a drunken October 2016 encounter.

Vasquez resigned from the commission earlier this year after sexual misconduct complaints.

Haaland says she is a survivor of misconduct and applauded Bagg for speaking out.

Immigrants May Be Priced Out Of CNM ProgramAlbuquerque Journal

A program that has trained Spanish-speaking immigrants to become home health aides will be far more expensive next semester, and could result in fewer graduates from this group.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Central New Mexico Community College got rid of a tuition waiver that allowed trainees to pay in-state tuition if they lived here and took less than six credit hours each semester. The cost was about $161 per student.

Now trainees must pay out-of-state tuition rates, which is about $636, unless they have proof of legal residency. CNM is following rules under the state Department of Higher Education.

Advocates say the change hurts low-income workers who are already providing home health and personal care by undermining their ability to get certification and advance in their careers.

Two Democratic state lawmakers, Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino and Rep. Javier Martínez, said they will seek changes to Higher Education Department regulations in the 2019 legislative session.