Report: Trinity Test Caused Generations Of Cancer, NM DAs Partner With Feds To Fight Violent Crime

Feb 10, 2017

Report: Trinity Test Caused Generations Of Cancer, Struggles – The Associated Press

A new report 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 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.

New Mexico DAs Partner With Feds To Fight Violent CrimeThe Associated Press

Some New Mexico district attorneys will help federal prosecutors put away some criminals as part of an ongoing initiative to fight violent crime.

On Thursday four prosecutors from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney's Office in Albuquerque were named special assistant U.S. attorneys.

The move goes along with the state's ongoing initiative to prosecute people with long criminal histories in federal court, where the sentences are often harsher, instead of state court. Supporters of the project say New Mexico's laws don't have the teeth to go after repeat offenders the way federal sentencing guidelines do.

For example, a felon in possession of a firearm conviction carries an 18-month sentence in state court. The same conviction in federal court would carry a minimum of 15 years.

New Mexico Considers Budget Bailout For Museum System – The 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.

Albuquerque Police Shoot Suspect Involved In CarjackingThe Associated Press

Police in Albuquerque were involved in a shooting on Friday after coming in contact with a suspect who attempted a carjacking at gunpoint in front of officers.

Eastbound San Antonio Drive is closed from the Interstate 25 frontage road to San Pedro Drive while police investigate.

Albuquerque police said on their Facebook page that officers were responding to an armed suspect who led police on a foot chase. Police then saw the suspect try to forcibly take a car, which led to the shooting.

It's unclear whether the suspect died and how many shots were fired.

New Mexico Bill Halting Immigration Law Enforcement Advances – Associated Press

A new proposal that would prevent New Mexico law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal immigration laws has cleared its first hurdle.

The New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-2 on Thursday to move the bill that would prohibit New Mexico police departments or sheriff's offices from cooperating with federal agents in deporting immigrants suspected of living in the country illegally.

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero, an Albuquerque Democrat, introduced the measure and said it was needed to prevent discrimination against Mexican Americans.

But Rep. Monica Youngblood, a Republican, says the bill puts New Mexico at risk of losing federal funding and prevents officers from doing their jobs.

President Donald Trump campaigned on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and promised to deploy a "deportation force."

New Mexico Congressman Seeks White House Help For Refinery – Associated Press

Republican Congressman Steve Pearce says he has pitched the idea of constructing an oil refinery in New Mexico to the administration of President Donald Trump.

The lone Republican in New Mexico's congressional delegation described his efforts to ignite job growth in his home state Thursday during an address to a joint session of the Legislature.

Pearce did not specify where the refinery project would be located or how it might be financed. He praised Trump's efforts to restart stalled pipeline infrastructure projects including the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Native American tribal leaders in New Mexico wrote to Trump in January to express their opposition to extending the pipeline underneath a reservoir.

Pearce represents New Mexico's southern congressional district that includes portions of the oil-rich Permian Basin.

New Mexico 'Daddy Diaper' Bill AdvancesAssociated Press

A bill that would require baby changing tables for all newly constructed restrooms in public places has cleared its first hurdle.

The New Mexico House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 4-1 on Thursday to advance the "daddy diaper" measure that would give a helping hand when it comes to diaper changing. The proposal would mandate that baby changing tables be built in public restrooms, whether for males or females.

The regulations would apply to hotel lobbies, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, concert halls, grocery stores, museums, gas stations, doctor's offices and more.

State officials estimate equipment and installation can range from $750 to over $3,000. Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to $250.

'Cultural Atlas Of New Mexico' App ReleasedAssociated 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.

Charges Allege Conspiracy To Sell Fake Native American Art Associated Press

A federal grand jury in New Mexico has indicted four people on charges of conspiring to import and fraudulently sell Filipino-made jewelry as made by Native Americans.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the indictment Tuesday stems from an investigation that began in early 2015, involved several federal agencies and resulted in a previous indictment.

The latest indictment charges four people with conspiracy and one of the four as well as a fifth person with violating the Indian Arts and Craft Act.

U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez says eliminating the flow of counterfeit Native American art and craftwork provides a level playing field for producers of genuine Native American art.

Pearce Criticizes Idea Of Border WallSanta Fe New Mexican

The only Republican in New Mexico’s congressional delegation said a border wall will not work and said it would be more effective to invest in staff and technology.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce spoke to the state legislature Thursday. Pearce has been a strong supporter of President Donald Trump but has criticized the idea of a border barrier.

He called for better enforcement of immigration laws. Pearce joins two other Republicans in border states who have also been critical of the wall idea – U.S. Reps. Will Hurd of Texas and Martha McSally of Arizona.

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has proposed federal land swap in order to make room for a promised border wall, or a purchase of an easement by federal officials.

Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation to halt that process.

Rio Rancho To Expand 'Mobile Speeding Units' ProgramAssociated Press

Drivers in the Albuquerque suburb of Rio Rancho will still have to watch out on certain streets. The city has decided to keep and expand its mobile speeding units.

Rio Rancho spokeswoman Annemarie Garcia said the city council voted Wednesday to approve a four-year deal with the camera company Redflex. The company will provide the city with eight mobile speeding units — unmanned patrol cars that take photos of suspected speeders.

Rio Rancho ended its program with Redflex on red-light cameras last year.

The new deal in Rio Rancho comes as some drivers in New Mexico are getting checks from Redflex in the mail. Settlement checks of up to $200 are currently going out to people who took part in a $2 million class-action lawsuit involving automated calls from creditors for unpaid fines.

UNM’s Frank Withdraws From Presidential Search In Ohio – Albuquerque Journal

The outgoing president of the University of New Mexico was one of two finalists for the presidency of Ohio University, but he has withdrawn from consideration.

The Albuquerque Journal reports Robert Frank said he decided it was not a good fit and he wants to continue building a new program at the UNM Health Sciences Center.

Frank is on sabbatical after clashing with the board of regents and threatening a lawsuit. His contract ends in May. He will then move to a tenured position in the Center For Health and Education Innovation in the Health Sciences Center.