Gary Johnson Draws 24 Percent Of NM Voters, NM Republicans Move To Cut University Costs

Oct 3, 2016

Gary Johnson Draws 24 Percent Of NM Voters – Associated Press, Albuquerque Journal

A new poll shows former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson drawing support from 24 percent residents in the presidential election.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Research & Polling Inc. found Hillary Clinton has support from 35 percent of voters and Donald Trump has 31 percent of voters behind him. Just 2 percent of voters favor Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

Johnson appeared in Phoenix on Saturday to push his bid for the presidency.

The Libertarian spoke to a packed room at a hotel near the airport, touting his plans for a smaller government, fewer taxes and easier immigration path.

Johnson also alluded to his public missteps in the past few days, telling the Phoenix crowd that he still can't think of a foreign leader he admires, several days after he was asked during a town hall appearance to name one and couldn't. Johnson criticized those types of questions, saying they were trivial.

Johnson also got attention last month after flubbing a question about the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo.

Johnson was governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003 as a member of the Republican party.

House Republicans Move To Cut University CostsThe Associated Press

Republican majority leaders in the New Mexico House of Representatives have unveiled new details of a budget solvency plan designed to preserve funding for public safety and childhood development programs.

House Republicans including majority leader Nate Gentry said Monday that the plan would shift funding reductions toward administrative expenses for higher education and sideline Senate plans to tap cash reserves at public school districts.

Democratic lawmakers say public university and community college students could end up paying higher tuition or fees to make up for cuts to state general fund spending, and are criticizing Republican for rejecting a freeze on corporate income tax reductions.

Budget proposals put forward by House Republicans and Senate Democrats both aim to close a nearly $600 million in state general fund shortfall and restore operating reserves to 1.5 percent.

Balloon Fiesta Grounds Pilots Day After Power Line CrashesThe Associated Press

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta officials have grounded pilots a day after two balloons hit power lines.

Authorities canceled the morning launch Monday due to high winds. The National Weather Service says parts of New Mexico are under a wind advisory.

On Sunday, two balloons struck power lines along busy Albuquerque streets.

The "Outlander" alien balloon hit a power line near the Paseo del Norte and Jefferson intersection, knocking out power for around 1,200 residents. The crash sparked a small explosion, and Public Service Company of New Mexico crews had to cut the gondola from the balloon to rescue the pilot and passengers. No one was injured.

Just south of that crash, officials say a balloon landed on another power line. Officials say one person was injured during that rescue.

Deputies: Explosives Found At Sandia Crest Near TV Towers KOB-TV, Associated Press

Authorities say a man attempted a crime of the highest level — setting off explosives at the Sandia Crest.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports that Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says homemade explosives were found recently near Albuquerque broadcast towers. Officials say at least one Molotov cocktail was detonated and caused minor damage, but the fire did not spread.

Photos of the crime scene show the accelerant and jumper cables.

Investigators say a camera on the crest captured a man acting suspiciously in the area and he left in a white SUV.

No arrests have been made.

The Sandia Crest has an elevation of 10,000 feet.

Trinity Test Site Tour Met With Protest From Descendants Alamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

New Mexico residents living near the site of the first atomic bomb have held their annual demonstration as visitors caravanned into the Trinity Test Site for a tour.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports Tularosa Basin Downwinders protested Saturday as caravanners enter the site that is opened twice a year to visitors.

The group says the 1945 Trinity Test irreparably altered the gene pools of residents in surrounding communities such as the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa. Members say descendants have been plagued with cancer and other illnesses.

The Downwinders are currently lobbying for compensation and apologies from the U.S. government.

On July 16, 1945, scientists from the then-secret city of Los Alamos successfully exploded the first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site. The bomb later was dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Prohibition-Era New Mexico Hotel In Online Auction Las Vegas Optic, Associated Press

A famous northern New Mexico landmark where a newspaper publisher shot a judge and a highway official during the 1920s is being sold.

The Las Vegas Optic reports the owners of the Prohibition-era El Fidel Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico are selling the building in an online auction.

Two years after it opened, the hotel then called The Meadows made headlines as the site of a shooting involving Las Vegas Judge David Leahy and Carl Magee, founder of the now-defunct Albuquerque Tribune.

Leahy attacked Magee in the hotel's lobby over Magee's coverage of political corruption. Magee drew a revolver and shot Leahy and killed a State Highway Department official.

Magee was acquitted of manslaughter.

The Spanish Colonial Revival-style hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Three-Strikes Bill Advances In New MexicoAssociated Press

A proposal to expand the list of crimes requiring a mandatory life sentence after a third conviction has been approved by the New Mexico House of Representatives.

The House approved Sunday the three-strikes bill that would add a list of 16 additional crimes to the current mandatory sentencing law.

It was unclear whether the Senate would consider the measure during a special legislative session as the Legislature seeks to address a budget shortfall. A nearly identical bill was approved by the House earlier this year in a regular legislative session and never came to a full Senate vote.

The New Mexico Sentencing Commission estimates the three-strikes expansion could cost state government $60 million over 15 years in increased incarceration costs.

2 Minor Balloon Crashes On Day 2 Of Balloon FiestaKOB-TV, Associated Press

A hot-air balloon that crashed into a power line caused a temporary outage in northwest Albuquerque on Sunday.

Police nobody said nobody was injured.

The crash caused an intersection to be closed for a short time while workers fixed the power line.

Police also reported another crash on Sunday morning, which marks the second day of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. KOB-TV reports the balloon hit power lines near Montaño and Renaissance.

Officials with Balloon Fiesta said one passenger was injured getting out of the gondola.

The week-long Balloon Fiesta draws tens of thousands of spectators and pilots from all over world.

Group Want New Mexico To Deny Permit For Water ProposalSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

Environmental activists are calling for the state to reject a permit that would allow a company to pipe billions of gallons of water from rural western New Mexico to more populated communities.

Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians filed a protest of the permit Thursday with the State Engineer's Office regarding the proposal being floated by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC.

The ranch wants to drill more than three dozen wells capable of pumping more than 17 billion gallons of groundwater annually to supplement dwindling supplies in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that WildEarth Guardians argues the company does not identify who would purchase the water and the Rio Grande and Gila River could be depleted.

Project developers say several municipalities in central New Mexico could benefit.

Santa Fe Mayor Prompts Review Of Crash-Prone Area Of I-25Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

State transportation officials say they will review a stretch of freeway as requested by Santa Fe's mayor, who has grown concerned over a series of wrong-way crashes.

Transportation Department spokeswoman Emilee Cantrell told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the agency will examine Interstate 25 between Santa Fe and Eldorado to look for ways to make it safer.

Gonzales wrote to Transportation Department Cabinet Secretary Tom Church, saying there is a pattern of accidents in that area.

The mayor was prompted by the Sept. 24 deaths of 44-year-old Clara Avina, who was driving the wrong way and collided with 23-year-old Anton Gress.

Both were from Santa Fe.

The department reconstructed an interchange in that area in 2007 after a wrong-way crash that killed six people.