Monday News Roundup: NM County Prepares For Same-sex Marriages Hearing And More...

Aug 26, 2013

NM County Prepares For Same-sex Marriages Hearing - The Associated Press

The clerk for New Mexico's most populous county has a supply of new forms ready in case a court orders her to issue licenses for same-sex marriages.

A judge in Albuquerque has scheduled a hearing Monday afternoon on a request by a couple from Pojoaque  to have their marriage recognized. Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver says she's had 1,000 licenses printed.

The hearing was originally scheduled on a motion to force the county to issue Jen Roper, who is dying of cancer, and Angelique Neuman a marriage license. But they got married in Santa Fe Friday after a judge in a different lawsuit ordered the Santa Fe County clerk to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

Also last week, the Dona Ana County clerk began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

City Revises Its Policies On License Plate Readers - The Albuquerque Journal

The city of Albuquerque says it will reduce the amount of time that it keeps information gathered from police license-plate readers from six months to 14 days.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the city announced the change on Friday after the newspaper made inquiries about license plate readers.

The readers consist of cameras mounted on police vehicles that automatically scan license plates and match the numbers against databases of stolen vehicles and people wanted for crimes.

The Albuquerque Police Department initially bought six automatic license plate readers in the summer of 2011. It now has seven.

Under the city's previous policy, information from the plate readers was stored in a city-owned database for six months. That database includes between 200,000 and 300,000 license plate numbers at any one time.

NM Task Force Studies Lottery Scholarship Program - The Albuquerque Journal

A state task force has begun considering possible changes to keep New Mexico's lottery-funded college scholarship program from running short of money.

New Mexico students qualify for a scholarship covering tuition by meeting certain enrollment criteria and academic achievements.

Scholarship costs are growing faster than lottery revenue in part because of tuition increases, and Higher Education Secretary Jose Garcia says scholarships could be scaled back as soon as next year if legislators don't act in their next annual session.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a task force of legislators and university officials has met once and plans to meet again in September.

A nonprofit advocacy group recently recommended that the program be changed to provide assistance based on a student's financial need.

Activists Keep Nevada Horses From Going To Slaughter - The Associated Press

Some 150 mustangs that had been set to be auctioned off for possible slaughter after their removal from the range in Nevada have been granted a reprieve.

With financial backing from Florida horse lover Victoria McCullough, activists acquired the animals Friday for $29,800, or $200 a head, from the Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe in northern Nevada

Plans call for the horses to be split up among advocacy groups and end up at homes in Nevada and California.

McCullough, chairwoman of the Chesapeake Petroleum board, rescues horses through her Wellington, Fla.-based Triumph Project.

A federal judge cleared the way Wednesday for the tribe to sell the mustangs over the objection of activists who claim the unbranded animals are federally protected wild horses that should not be auctioned off for slaughter in Canada or Mexico.