Monday News Roundup: Protesters Arrested At Mayor's Office In Albuquerque

Jun 2, 2014

Dozens of protesters stormed Albuquerque Mayor Richard Barry's office this afternoon and demanded to speak with him about police reform. Berry never appeared. Several protesters were arrested.
Credit Rita Daniels

Group Stages Sit-In Over Albuquerque PoliceThe Associated Press

Albuquerque police are arresting about a dozen people staging a sit-in at Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry's office to protest police shootings.

About three dozen people gathered Monday afternoon at Berry's office and demanded to see the mayor. They're seeking more immediate reforms within the police department as well as the firing of Police Chief Gordon Eden.

At one point, a demonstrator chained herself to a display stand as others yelled and some sat silently. A handful of officers monitored the situation while chief administrator Rob Perry recorded the scene on his smartphone.

About a dozen protesters, some reading from a Justice Department report that highlighted excessive force by officers, remained when police arrived and began arresting them.

Monday's demonstration comes as the city negotiates with the federal government over police reforms.

Candidates Plan Last-Minute Campaign AppealsThe Associated Press

Candidates in a wide-open race for the Democratic nomination for governor are planning last-minute appeals to voters in Tuesday's primary election.

On the Democratic ballot are Attorney General Gary King, Santa Fe businessman Alan Webber, former government administrator Lawrence Rael and state Sens. Howie Morales and Linda Lopez.

Early voting ended Saturday, and polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The winner of the Democratic contest will challenge Republican Gov. Susana Martinez in the general election.

Martinez has $4 million in her re-election account, giving her a big fundraising advantage over the Democrats.

On the final day of campaigning, Democratic candidates plan events Monday targeting key voter groups such as senior citizens, who typically account for a large share of those casting primary election ballots.

Engineer: Water Settlement Suit Should Be Denied - The Associated Press and Farmington Daily Times

New Mexico State Engineer Scott Verhines says a lawsuit that seeks to nullify a deal settling tribal rights to water from the San Juan River should be denied.

A group of legislators and a northwestern New Mexico farmer have asked the state's highest court to nullify the deal between the state, the federal government and the Navajo Nation.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that Verhines filed a response to the lawsuit and says the matter should be handled by the New Mexico Court of Appeals.

Critics contend the settlement shortchanges non-Indian water users, but state water officials maintain it benefits New Mexico by avoiding a lengthy and costly court fight that could have ended with the Navajos winning the rights to even larger amounts of San Juan water.

UNM To Host Conference Focusing On PovertyThe Associated Press

The University of New Mexico is hosting a conference aimed at discussing poverty.

The school's continuing education program and the Association of Community Partners are sponsoring the conference from Wednesday to Friday to discuss solutions.

Census records show that more than 20 percent of New Mexico residents live in poverty and the state often is at the bottom on various poverty indicators.

Officials say the conference at the UNM Continuing Education building will focus on helping 400 nonprofits and agencies tackle poverty issues.

Tobacco Ban To Take Effect Next Year For School The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

A ban on tobacco use at New Mexico State University is expected to take effect in January.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the university is now developing the policy, but won't meet a July 1 deadline set by a state Senate resolution urging colleges to enact such rules.

Currently, smoking is banned indoors or within 25 feet of entrances, exits, walkways and ventilation systems at the university.

The most recent draft of a policy would prohibit the use of cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes on all properties owned or leased by the university.

Tobacco-cessation products would be allowed.

Repeated violations could lead to disciplinary action.

Season 3 Of 'Longmire' To Premiere Tonight - The Associated Press

The television series "Longmire" returns today with the premiere of its third season.

The New Mexico Film Office says the A&E Network drama has filmed at Garson Studios in Santa Fe since it first began production.  The show is also known to shoot around the city.

The crime drama is based on the "Walt Longmire" mystery novel series written by Craig Johnson. The series, produced by Warner Horizon Television, stars Robert Taylor as the titular character as well as Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackhoff.

The show, however, is set in Wyoming.

Shirley Maclaine Tells New Mexico Grads To Imagine – The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Shirley MacLaine wants the New Mexico School for the Arts' first graduating class to remember that there is nothing more important than imagination.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Oscar-winning actress and part-time Santa Fe resident gave the commencement speech Saturday to 48 students at the Greer Garson Theatre.

Greeted with a standing ovation, MacLaine said the event was not about her.

She told students to use their imagination because that is what would create their sense of who they are.

MacLaine, known for roles in films such as "The Apartment" and "Terms of Endearment," spoke to the same group of students four years ago when the school first opened.

The actress has most recently been seen on television screens in "Glee" and "Downton Abbey."

Complaint: Cook Licked Sandwiches, Served Officers The Associated Press and KOAT TV

A cook at a New Mexico facility that trains state corrections employees faces battery charges after authorities say she secretly licked sandwiches then served them to probation and parole officers.

KOAT-TV reports Yolanda Arguello was charged last week following witness interviews into the bizarre allegations at the South Valley New Mexico Women's Recovery Academy in Albuquerque.

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses told investigators that the 59-year-old would take a piece of cheese, lick it and put it on sandwiches at the academy. Another witness told authorities Arguello was seen sucking on an ice cube and putting it back into a cup before handing it to a staff member.

She is charged with three counts of battery on a peace officer.

It was unknown if she had an attorney.