Trump To Rally In NM on Sunday, Over 200,000 Ballots Cast In NM

Oct 29, 2016

Trump To Rally In New Mexico On SundayAssociated Press

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to campaign in New Mexico during a weekend swing through the Southwest.

Sunday evening's rally in Albuquerque will mark Trump's second visit to the state. A pre-primary campaign stop in May was attended by thousands of supporters but protesters outside sparked violence in the streets.

Trump's campaign did not immediately release details about Sunday's event.

His campaign schedule shows he will be in Arizona on Saturday and Nevada on Sunday.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine have skipped campaigning in New Mexico, relying instead on visits by Bill Clinton and a post-primary rally by Bernie Sanders.

Libertarian nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson recently attended a rally in Santa Fe after riding his bicycle from his home in Taos.

Early Voters Cast Over 200,000 Ballots In New MexicoAssociated Press

More than 200,000 New Mexico residents already have cast general election ballots by mail or at early voting centers.

The New Mexico Secretary of State's Office released on Thursday tallies of votes cast since the start of absentee voting on Oct. 11. The figures show registered Democrats casting 53 percent of the 204,014 ballots so far. Republicans cast 34 percent.

Voter participation for New Mexico peaked in the 2008 general election at just over 833,000.

Albuquerque-based pollster Brian Sanderoff says early voter turnout this year is clearly robust and that Democrats are voting in disproportionately large numbers.

The presidential election is tearing at traditional partisan allegiances in New Mexico, where Republican Gov. Susana Martinez refuses to endorse Donald Trump. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson previously served as the state's governor.

Appeals Court Denies Request To Halt Drilling In New MexicoAssociated Press

An effort to temporarily halt drilling across part of one of the nation's largest natural gas fields has been rejected by a federal appeals court, leaving environmentalists to push their case against hydraulic fracturing in district court.

A coalition of environmental groups sued the Bureau of Land Management in 2015, accusing the agency of failing to study the effects of fracking on local communities, the area's cultural resources and the environment as it approved dozens of drilling permits in the San Juan Basin.

They sought a court order to stop drilling while their case is heard.

In a decision issued this week, a panel with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a lower court and found that the groups failed to make their case for temporarily halting drilling.

New Mexico To Issue New REAL Ids Nov. 14Associated Press

New Mexico will begin issuing REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses, and driver's authorization cards for immigrants in the country illegally, starting Nov. 14.

The Taxation and Revenue Department announced Friday the date the motor vehicle division will issue the new cards after state lawmakers passed a REAL ID bill earlier this year.

The agency did not specify what documents will be needed to get a REAL ID from New Mexico. But it did say to get the driver's authorization card, applicants must prove residency and identity, and must submit fingerprinting and undergo a background check.

In March, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a law that allows immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to only obtain driver's authorization cards.

Advocates have warned proposed regulations could unnecessarily tighten documentation requirements for basic state identification cards that the poor use to get jobs.

Family Holds Memorial For Slain Albuquerque GirlAssociated Press

Family and friends plan to gather Saturday to remember a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who authorities say was assaulted, killed and dismembered at her mother's apartment in August.

Copper Pointe Church in Albuquerque will host the memorial for Victoria Martens, and it will be open to the public.

The girl's godmother Laura Bobbs says the event will not be a funeral. The Office of Medical Investigator says it will take months before her remains will be given to the family.

Police found Victoria Martens' dismembered body inside the apartment she shared with her mother last month after responding to a call about a disturbance.

Victoria's mother, Michelle Martens, the mother's boyfriend and the boyfriend's cousin all are charged in the girl's death.

People are asked to wear purple, Victoria's favorite color.

New Mexico Governor Names Acting Corrections SecretaryAssociated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has named one of her former executive staffers as acting secretary of the state Corrections Department.

David Jablonski will lead the agency while the search continues for a permanent replacement for Secretary Gregg Marcantel, who announced his retirement earlier this month.

Jablonski most recently served as deputy superintendent of the state Regulation and Licensing Department. While working for Martinez, he oversaw multiple agencies involved in public safety.

He also spent 14 years with the Corrections Department, including a stint as director of the Probation and Parole Division.

The change in leadership comes during an especially tumultuous year for the department that included the high-profile escape of a convicted murderer and another violent felon from a prison van. In August, questions were raised about probation and parole cases possibly slipping through the cracks.