Honeywell Will Move Albuquerque Operations, Lujan Grisham Is Concerned For Caravan Children

Nov 9, 2018

Honeywell Aerospace To Relocate Albuquerque Operations- Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Honeywell Aerospace is planning to move from Albuquerque, leaving potentially hundreds of employees without jobs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the company told employees Thursday that its Albuquerque operations would be moved to Honeywell sites in Arizona, Florida, and Puerto Rico over the next year.

The global engineering firm's work in New Mexico is primarily focused on military and government contracts. The company says those operations can be more efficiently managed by integrating them into other facilities.

Honeywell said in a statement that employees are encouraged to apply for positions at other locations, and severance and outplacement assistance will be offered to eligible employees.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller says he has instructed the Economic Development Department to reach out to partners to see if workers can be connected with opportunities.

Political Transition Starts Between Latina Governors -Associated Press

An unusual political transition between two Latina governors is under way in New Mexico.

The state has a long history of Hispanics in politics and women are now consistently rising to the top. Democratic Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham was scheduled to meet on Friday with termed-out Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

Martinez won office in 2010 as the nation's only Latina governor and took issue with Donald Trump's characterization of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists when he was running for president. She and the president have since reconciled.

Lujan Grisham is a staunch critic of Trump's approach to immigration and has promised to pursue major changes from Martinez's approach to student testing, teacher evaluations, state investments, renewable energy, gun control, marijuana regulation and more.

Las Cruces Diocese Releases Names Of Accused Priests -Associated Press

The Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces has released the names of 28 priests who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The diocese announced Thursday it was handing over the names to the New Mexico attorney general's office two months after the department asked all Roman Catholic church officials for files.

Officials say the alleged abuse cases took place from the 1950s to 2000.

The New Mexico attorney general's office said in September it wanted Roman Catholic church officials around the state to allow it to review personnel records for any material that might be related to past or present allegations of sexual abuse.

The Santa Fe Archdiocese last year published a list of 74 clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children in New Mexico; though yesterday that list was updated to include 79 clergy members.

Female Politicians Gain Ground In New Mexico -Associated Press

The New Mexico state House of Representatives has inched within four seats of gender parity with a surge in victorious female Democrats in the midterm election.

House Speaker Brian Egolf said Wednesday that women will constitute a majority of Democrats in the House when the Legislature convenes in January. Overall, 31 women won election to the 70-seat chamber on Tuesday.

In other milestones, the governor's office will pass from one Latina governor to another with the election of Democratic U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham to the highest office in state government.

Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos will become the first woman to lead the State Land Office that oversees energy and mineral development on state trust land to fund public education.

Women won two open U.S. congressional seats.

Republican Herrell Not Conceding US House Race In New Mexico - Associated Press

Republican Yvette Herrell has not conceded in a U.S. House race in southern New Mexico despite unofficial results that showed Democrat Xochitl Torres Small winning the contest.

Herrell campaign senior adviser Rob Burgess said in a statement late Wednesday that Herrell is waiting for all provisional ballots to be counted.

The Associated Press called the race for southern New Mexico's 2nd District for Torres Small after absentee ballots counted Wednesday put her over the top.

New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Alex Curtas says around 1,000 or so provisional ballots remained to be counted. However, Curtas says even if Herrell won all those votes it still wouldn't be enough for her to win the race or trigger an automatic recount.

Herrell's campaign has not said if it would request a recount.

Commission's Performance Evaluations Impact Retention- Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

An outgoing judge in New Mexico says a state-funded commission's unfavorable evaluation of his performance had a direct impact on voters' decision to oust him.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court Chief Judge Edward Benavidez failed to garner the 57 percent of votes required to stay on the bench.

Benavidez says the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission "meddled in, interfered with and absolutely affected" his retention election.

Of the four judges who received "do not retain" recommendations this year, Benavidez and Kenny Montoya failed to garner the required votes to stay on the bench, while Linda Rogers and Michelle Castillo Dowler kept their jobs by slim margins.

Commission spokeswoman Patti Watson could not comment on election outcomes, but says voters have followed the commission's recommendations fairly frequently in the past.

Montoya did not respond to a request for comment.

Border Governor-Elect Worries About Caravan Kids- Associated Press

The Democratic governor-elect of New Mexico says she is worried about the wellbeing of women and children in migrant caravans approaching the U.S. from Mexico and may reconsider the state's decision to deploy local National Guard troops to the border.

U.S. Congresswoman and Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday that she doubts the credibility of information supplied by President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security about the caravans of Central American migrants. The Trump administration is warning that the caravans will further overwhelm asylum systems.

Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez in April deployed fewer than 200 troops to the border at Trump's suggestion. That was before concerns about the caravan prompted a new federal deployment of more than 5,000 troops.

Lujan Grisham and Martinez met Friday to discuss the transition of power from one Latina governor to another.

Eastern New Mexico Pipeline Project Awarded $4M- Associated Press

The U.S. government is funneling another $4.3 million to a pipeline project designed to one day bring billions of gallons of drinking water annually to communities in eastern New Mexico.

The latest infusion from the Bureau of Reclamation will help with construction of a pipeline to Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis.

Members of the state's congressional delegation say the money represents the largest single-year award from the agency to the Ute pipeline project, bringing the federal contribution so far to more than $20 million.

Decades in the making, the project aims to ease the strain on the Ogallala aquifer along the Texas-New Mexico border by tapping into Ute Reservoir.

Critics say the cost will outweigh the benefits as runoff that feeds the reservoir could be uncertain as drought persists.

New Mexico Announces 'Fresh Start' Tax Amnesty Program -Associated Press

New Mexico's tax agency is launching an amnesty program.

The state Taxation and Revenue Department's announcement Thursday says the program called "Fresh Start" allows qualified taxpayers until Dec. 31 to pay unreported or underreported taxes without penalty or interest.

The department says taxpayers would have to finalize enrollment by Dec. 31 and pay the liabilities within 180 days.

Escaped Inmate Killed In Mexico Shooting -Associated Press

Authorities say a man who fooled officers into releasing him early from New Mexico's largest local jail this year has been killed in Mexico.

A Bernalillo County sheriff's spokeswoman says the department learned that 27-year-old Duwin Perez had been fatally shot in the state of Chihuahua on Aug. 18, and confirmed the information with federal authorities.

Authorities say Perez escaped from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque in June. He was accused of tricking jail staff into releasing him by pretending to be his cellmate.

At the time, he was being jailed on charges of attempting to commit a felony, shooting at or from a car, aggravated battery, car theft, drug trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering.