Prosecutor Says Compound Trained Kids For School Shootings, Pearce Vows To Halt Closure Of Plant

Aug 8, 2018

Prosecutor Says Man At Compound Trained Kids For School Shootings- Associated Press

The father of a missing Georgia boy was training children at a New Mexico compound to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents obtained Wednesday, as authorities waited to learn if human remains found at the site were those of the boy.

The documents say Siraj Wahhaj was conducting weapons training with assault rifles at the compound near the Colorado border where authorities say they found 11 hungry children living in filthy conditions in a raid Friday.

Prosecutor Timothy Hasson filed the court documents while asking that Wahhaj be held without bail after he was arrested last week with four other adults facing child abuse charges.

Prosecutors did not bring up the school shooting accusation in court on Wednesday during an initial appearance by the abuse suspects.  A judge ordered Wahhaj held without bond pending further proceedings.

In the court documents, authorities said a foster parent of one of the 11 children removed from the compound had told authorities that the child had been trained to use an assault rifle in preparation for a school shooting.

Court Dismisses Challenge To Indian Child Welfare Law – Associated Press

A federal appeals court has dismissed a challenge to a law that gives preference to American Indian families in adoptions of Native children.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not rule on the constitutionality of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. Rather, it dismissed the complaint from a Phoenix-based right-leaning think tank, the Goldwater Institute, saying it's moot.

The institute had sought to keep two children with ties to the Gila River and Navajo tribes from being removed from their non-Native foster parents.

Those children since have been adopted.

The law firm Akin Gump represented the tribes. Their attorney says the court's decision is one victory in an ongoing struggle to protect tribal sovereignty.

The Goldwater Institute said Tuesday it will ask the 9th Circuit for a rehearing.

Santa Fe Flood Destroys Work Of 'Project Runway' Finalist- Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A flood that struck Santa Fe last month has destroyed the work of a Taos artist, who gained fame as a finalist on the Bravo TV show “Project Runway,”.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports fashion designer Patricia Michaels said this week her collection of coats, capes, blouses and pants was nearly a total loss after floodwaters struck her Santa Fe studio.

Michaels says the damage to her studio, which contained everything from shoes and fabrics to photographs and autographed books, is around $70,000.

The monsoon storm that hit Santa Fe on July 23rd caused flash floods and damage to a number of businesses and homes.

Supporters are organizing a fundraiser for Michaels.

Governor Hopefuls Vow To Help Trinity Test Descendants- Associated Press

New Mexico's gubernatorial candidates are promising descendants of families who lived near the world's first atomic bomb test to help receive financial support from the U.S. government to compensate for generations of health problems.

Democrat Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, who currently both serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, said this week they would continue as governor to advocate for descendants to be included in a federal law that compensated families near nuclear test sites.

Descendants who lived in communities near the World War II-era Trinity Test of the bomb are pressuring Congress to include them in the federal Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Descendants say the Trinity Test caused generations of families to suffer from rare cancer and economic hardship.

Currently, the law only covers areas in Nevada, Arizona and Utah that are downwind from a different test site.

Pearce Vows To Halt Closing On San Juan Generating StationFarmington Daily Times, Associated Press

GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce says if he is elected he will work to prevent the closure of coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners area.

The Daily Times of Farmington reports the Hobbs Republican told an audience last week he would seek to find potential buyers for the San Juan Generating Station and other coal-fired power plants.

The San Juan Generating Station is primarily owned by the Public Service Company of New Mexico, which has announced plans to shutter the power plant in 2022.

Those plans have local leaders worried about the economic impact of closing the plant, including the loss of jobs and tax revenue.

Pearce, a congressman in New Mexico's southern district, is facing Democratic Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham in November in the governor's race.

Man Due In Court, Child Remains Found At New Mexico Compound – Associated Press

For months, neighbors had been concerned about a squalid compound built along a remote New Mexico plain, saying they had brought their concerns to authorities long before sheriff's officials first found 11 hungry children, and then the remains of a small boy on the lot.

The father of a missing boy is due in court Wednesday as authorities work to identify the remains.

A warrant from Georgia seeks the extradition of Siraj Wahhaj to face a charge of abducting his son from there last December.

Wahhaj and four other adults also face felony child abuse charges.

The district attorney said he would withhold comment on the potential for additional charges until investigators identified the remains found on the site.

Board Votes To Limit Fiesta De Santa Fe Presentations- Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

The Santa Fe school board on Tuesday voted to limit the Fiesta Council's annual visits to public schools in response to complaints about the way local history is depicted during the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe.

Organizers of the reenactment of a 17th-century Spanish conquistador reclaiming Santa Fe from Native Americans recently issued an apology to Pueblo Indians after ending the event.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the new policy allows people dressed as conquistadors, Franciscan missionaries and other members of the Fiesta Court to visit only classes that study New Mexico history.

The school district also will maintain an "opt-out" option for students who do not wish to attend Fiesta events in school. Another change does away with a practice that allowed Fiesta Council members to choose students to portray Little La Reina and Little Don Diego de Vargas.

Probe Starts Of Police Shooting Of Man With Bipolar DisorderAssociated Press

A multi-agency investigation is looking into a fatal shooting by Las Cruces police of a 29-year-old man who reportedly suffered from schizophrenia and was bipolar.

Police say officers fatally shot James Bishop on Friday following a report of a domestic disturbance. Authorities say an officer was injured during an encounter with Bishop and a second officer fired "at least one round," striking Bishop. No other details were given.

Previous police reports say officers were called on Bishop when he was off his medication.

Bishop's mother, Betty Bishop, is chairwoman of the Doña Ana Republican Party.

In a statement, the Bishop family says it called police in the hopes officers would help parents get James under control and transport him to a hospital.