Navajo Nation High Court Rejects Request From Former Speaker, Report: 1st Atom Bomb Caused Cancer

Feb 11, 2017

Navajo Nation High Court Rejects Request From Former SpeakerAssociated Press

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Friday denied a request by a formal tribal council speaker to reinstate a plea deal he made in a case involving misuse of a financial assistance program for tribal members facing financial hardship.

The court said in its ruling that the Window Rock District Court "is proceeding within the discretionary boundaries of Navajo law" in its reversal of a plea agreement for Lawrence T. Morgan after Morgan revealed he could not pay back $17,800 in restitution.

Morgan, the speaker from January 2003 to January 2011, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery in September 2014.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that Morgan asked the high court to strike down the Window Rock District Court's revocation of this plea deal.

The high court denied his request.

Residents Say 1st Atom Bomb Test Caused Cancer Cases - Associated Press

A new report by an advocacy group says the world's first atomic bomb test caused generations of southern New Mexico families to suffer from cancer and economic hardship.

The report released Friday about the long-debated issue of the health effects of the test detailed resident surveys from areas around the 1945 Trinity Test and found many Hispanic families later struggled to keep up with cancer-related illnesses.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium unveiled the report involving residents of the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa and four New Mexico counties. They want lawmakers to include New Mexico in a federal law that compensates residents near atomic tests.

Chuck Wiggins of the New Mexico Tumor Registry says he hasn't reviewed the report. He has said data shows cancer rates in Tularosa are around the same as other parts of the state.

The Trinity Test was part of the World War II-era Manhattan Project.

Correction: This article has been corrected to show the year of the Trinity Test was 1945.

New Mexico Considers Budget Bailout For Museum System - Associated Press

New Mexico budget officials are seeking to ward off further layoffs and reduced services at a world renowned network of state museums and historical sites through a one-time accounting maneuver.

The Department of Cultural Affairs said Friday that lawmakers are studying a proposal to provide $1.5 million to the agency for the current fiscal year and the budget year starting July 1 through a complex swap of unused capital outlay funds for artwork at public buildings.

The agency oversees eight state museums and eight cultural sites that represent an engine of the state tourism economy, displaying cultural treasures from the story of Billy the Kid to international folk art. The agency reduced visitor hours and laid off 12 staff as its operating budget shrank by 12 percent this fiscal year.

'Cultural Atlas of New Mexico' app released - Associated Press

A new mobile app is putting New Mexico's cultural and historical sites at the fingertips of smartphone users.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs recently released the Cultural Atlas of New Mexico app that allows users to explore landmarks, parks and public art around the state.

It was developed with the help of Highlands University media arts graduate student Matthew Gallegos.

The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico app has more than 800 photos, a New Mexico map integrated with the user's phone-mapping software, and written highlights of the sites.

The app is available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Controversial Landfill Project In New Mexico Renews Permit - Associated Press

A waste management company has filed to renew a permit for a potential hazardous waste facility near Roswell.

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Gandy Marley Inc. filed for a renewal of its 2002 permit and says the project presents little to no environmental risk.

The proposed hazardous waste landfill has generated opposition from environmental groups and others for more than a decade. They argue that it has potentially risky side effects and that the state agency in charge of the permit has a pattern of discriminating against the poor, the less educated and Spanish speakers.

The public comment period for the Triassic Waste Facility ended in January. The New Mexico Environment Department will evaluate the feedback and decide whether to hold a public hearing on the subject.