New Mexico To Require Officers To Carry Overdose Antidote, NM Governor Nixes Lobbyist Disclosures

Apr 6, 2017

New Mexico To Require Officers To Carry Overdose AntidoteThe Associated Press

New Mexico on Thursday became the first U.S. state to require all local and state law enforcement agencies to provide officers with antidote kits as the state works to curb deaths from opioid and heroin overdoses.

Surrounded by advocates and parents who had lost children to overdoses, Gov. Susana Martinez signed legislation that was approved unanimously by lawmakers during their recent session.

The former prosecutor and two-term Republican governor said she has seen firsthand what drug abuse can do to families and communities.

New Mexico has been working for years to curb what has only recently been identified by the highest levels of the federal government as a national epidemic.

The state was the first in 2001 to increase access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone and a few years later it led the way to release people from legal liability when they assist in overdose situations.

New Mexico also was the first state to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription in an effort to expand access to the life-saving drug.

New Mexico Governor Nixes Lobbyist DisclosuresThe Associated Press

The governor of New Mexico has vetoed a bill that would have expanded financial disclosure requirements for lobbyists.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday rejected new requirements that lobbyists report expenses under $100 that are spent on lawmakers and other public officials.

In a veto message, Martinez says she supports the intent of the bill but fears it would have several unintended consequences, without further explanation.

Republican and Democratic sponsors of the measure sought to close a loophole in legislation approved last year that otherwise increased reporting requirements for lobbyists. Expenses over $100 including meals must currently be reported periodically to the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.

Tribe Could Lose $28 Million Annually If Power Plant ClosedThe Associated Press

Officials say the Navajo Nation could lose more than $28 million a year in revenue if the Navajo Generating Station is allowed to close.

The Gallup Independent reports that according to a Friday memo from the Navajo Nation Officer of the Controller, if the coal-fired power plant closes, the tribe could lose a projected revenue of $28.1 million.

Owners of the generating station have voted to close it, saying it is not currently profitable. It is unclear when the plant will begin to close. The power plant's lease with the tribe expires at the end of 2017 but could be extended.

Officials say the closure of the power plant would likely also lead to the closure of the tribe-owned Kayenta Mine, which is the sole source of coal for the Navajo Generating Station.

Appeals Court Oks Case Based On Pole-Mounted Video Camera - Associated Press

An appeals court has upheld a weapons conviction of a convicted felon seen with a gun outside his Hobbs home by law enforcement officers conducting surveillance with a video camera mounted on a utility pole.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Ruben Cantu had no expectation of privacy when he went outside while carrying an assault rifle and was seen by officers watching a next-door neighbor's home during a drug investigation.

The Lea County Drug Task Force obtained a search warrant for Cantu's home where they found an AR-15 and ammunition.

Cantu pleaded guilty to two felony charges but conditioned his guilty plea on his ability to appeal a trial judge's ruling that officers didn't have to obtain a search warrant to install the camera.

Truck, Freight Train Collide At Eastern New Mexico CrossingAssociated Press

A BNSF freight train and a truck hauling a trailer carrying a backhoe collided Wednesday at a New Mexico crossing, derailing multiple cars.

Melrose Fire Department spokesman Dale Hand told the Eastern New Mexico News that a train crew member was transported to a Clovis hospital for injuries that didn't appear life-threatening.

No other injuries were reported.

BNSF spokesman Joe Sloan said the truck "was either stopped or stuck" at the State Road 267 crossing and the train crew applied emergency braking before the collision.

Hand says the accident occurred about 9:45 a.m. and there was extensive damage with "quite a few cars on the ground."

Railroad officials say they expect to have the rails clear by Thursday morning.

Man Accused Of Killing Officer Sentenced On Weapons ChargesAssociated Press

A man awaiting trial in state court in the 2015 fatal shooting of an Albuquerque police officer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on federal convictions for weapons crimes.

U.S. District Court Judge Christina on Wednesday sentenced Davon Lymon to two consecutive 10-year sentences for convictions of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A Bernalillo County grand jury in December indicted Lymon on murder and other charges in the fatal shooting of Officer Daniel Webster during a traffic stop in Oct. 21, 2015.

Lymon was convicted of the federal weapons charges in 2016.

Federal prosecutors called more than a dozen witnesses and presented the fallen officer's lapel video as evidence as they sought to prove Lymon possessed the pistol used in Webster's death.

Court Rules For Navajo Nation In Funding Dispute With BIAAssociated Press

An appeals court has ruled for the Navajo Nation in a dispute with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs over federal funding for the tribe's judicial services.

The tribe says the ruling by the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals means the BIA owes the tribe approximately $15.6 million plus interest, an amount many times larger than the $1.3 million that the agency awarded.

The decision Tuesday said federal officials missed a deadline to reject the tribe's funding request and were wrong to contend they had additional time to decide because of a partial government shutdown in 2013.

The decision overturns a trial judge's ruling for the BIA.

Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote that the BIA had plenty of time to act after the partial shutdown ended.

Santa Fe Gallery Company Closes Bronze Foundry In TesuqueSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A Santa Fe-area gallery is closing its bronze-pouring foundry in Tesuque.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that as a result of mounting tax debt and other financial troubles, Shidoni Foundry and Galleries announced Tuesday that it is closing its foundry. Shidoni's two galleries and a sculpture garden will remain open.

Shidoni Inc. President Scott Hicks says he will help the dozen foundry workers who lost their jobs find new work.

Hicks says the closing is a result of the poor economy and a loss of artistic confidence in the foundry after the New Mexican published a story about the company's $315,000 in overdue tax bills.

The foundry's bronze pourings on Saturdays were a popular attraction for tourists and locals.

Navajo Nation Considers Implementing Gun RegistrationDaily Times, Associated Press

Navajo Nation Tribal Council officials are reviewing a proposal that would require tribal land residents to register their firearms.

The Daily Times reports the proposed bill would require residents to register firearms such as automatic guns, rifles and shotguns to the Navajo Nation Police Department.

The bill would allow the police department to maintain a registry, which would include the firearm's serial number, registration date and the owner's name and address. If measure is passed, current gun owners would have 180 days from the bill's approval to register their guns with police. New gun owners would have 180 days from the gun's purchase date.

Delegate Davis Filfred says the measure would create accountability for gun owners and make identifying gun owners easier for police.

Albuquerque Schools Approve Budget Cuts, Possible LayoffsAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Albuquerque Public Schools has approved a plan that will reduce the budget through larger class sizes, reduced staff work days and possible layoffs.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Board of Education on Tuesday approved the budget reduction scenario in anticipation of possible cuts to state funding approved by the Legislature.

Gov. Susana Martinez has said she will veto the Legislature's $6.1 billion plan that slashes education funding, saying she will call for a special session to re-negotiate a final deal.

Despite the uncertainty, APS Chief Financial Officer Tami Coleman says she believes a 2 percent cut in funding, or $12.4 million for the district, is likely. The approved budget plan prepares for a cut of that size.