Woman Dies In Rio Grande Kayaking Accident, State Senator To Run For Governor

Jul 5, 2017

Woman Dies After Kayak Flips On Rio GrandeAlbuquerque Journal, KOB-TV

A 46-year-old woman died near Corrales after her kayak flipped during a family outing on the Rio Grande Tuesday.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the there were two adults and five children in kayaks and a canoe and they hit an eddy in the river that caused the woman’s kayak to overturn.

Rescue teams from Rio Rancho, Corrales, the town of Bernalillo and the counties of Bernalillo and Sandoval arrived about 15 minutes after the 911 call went out. They recovered the woman’s body about a half-mile downstream from where her kayak turned over.

Cmndr. Tanya Lattin with the Corrales Fire Department, said everyone was wearing a life jacket but she told KOB-TV the tree that caused the eddy in the river may have trapped the woman. Her identity was not released.

New Mexico To Unveil New 'Record-Breaking' Tourism Numbers - By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is expected to announce record-breaking tourism numbers for the southwestern state.

The Republican governor is scheduled Wednesday to unveil the state's latest tourism figures at the Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.

Last year, Martinez said around 700,000 more trips were taken in New Mexico in 2015.

Martinez said half a million more people visited New Mexico in 2014 than in 2013 and credited the state's New Mexico True campaign. That campaign features the state's famous outdoor locations and New Mexico celebrities.

New Mexico True advertisements are in airports around the country.

Martinez will visit Ruidoso, Roswell and White Sands National Monument in the coming days as part of her tour to announce tourism numbers.

Students Caught In Crossfire Over Public School Meal DebtsAssociated Press

Public school districts in the U.S. are rethinking how they cope with unpaid lunch debts amid a wave of outrage over practices that single out children by taking food out of their hands or stamping them with a payment reminder.

The U.S. Agriculture Department is requiring districts to adopt policies this month for addressing meal debts and to inform parents at the start of the academic year.

The agency isn't specifically barring some of the potentially embarrassing tactics. It is encouraging schools to work more closely with parents to address delinquent accounts and ensure children don't go hungry in classrooms.

Some states are taking matters into their own hands, with New Mexico this year becoming the first to outlaw school-meal shaming and several others weighing similar laws.

Burnout To Increase Smoke From Southern New Mexico WildfireAssociated Press

Authorities say operations to burn vegetation in advance of a southern New Mexico wildfire will cause a significant increase in smoke.

The fire is burning on state and federal land about 30 miles south of Socorro.

It has burned 10.1 square miles since being sparked by lightning on June 26 and officials say the planned burnout Tuesday of 2 square miles would help firefighters contain the fire in area of safe access for firefighters.

Approximately 250 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire.

The fire was contained around 40 percent of its perimeter as of Tuesday.

State Police: Texas Couple's Deaths Were Murder-SuicideAssociated Press

New Mexico authorities have concluded that a Texas married couple found fatally shot in a pickup parked along Interstate 40 west of Albuquerque died from a murder-suicide.

A New Mexico State Police statement did not specify which of 31-year-old Jacob Kokotkiewicz and 32-year-old Ursula Tammy Kokotkiewicz killed the other Thursday, but the statement said Jacob Kokotkiewicz was found with a handgun between his legs.

The statement said there was no evidence that anybody else was involved and that investigators will check electronic devices found in the vehicle as they try to determine a motive.

A State Police officer found the bodies of the couple from Flowermound, Texas, after stopping to check the welfare of the occupants of the vehicle.

It was parked on the eastbound shoulder with its engine running.

Southern New Mexico Democratic Senator Jumps In Gov's Race - By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

A southern New Mexico Democratic senator in the state's swing region is jumping into the race for governor.

Sen. Joseph Cervantes, an architect and Las Cruces attorney, told The Associated Press he will announced Wednesday he is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in a direct challenge to Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democrats wanting to succeed Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

Cervantes says he wants to focus on fixing the state's economy and educational system, and will try to change various policies that drive young people from the state.

The 56-year-old Democrat says he is different from his Democratic opponents because he's a small business owner and worked on a farm as a teen.

Term limits prevent Republican Gov. Susana Martinez from seeking re-election in 2018.

Detectives Suspect Car Was Involved In CrimesAssociated Press, Albuquerque Journal

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says a car may have been involved in crimes before the man driving it was fatally shot during an encounter with sheriff's deputies.

The department says the red Chevy Monte Carlo wasn't reported stolen before the shooting occurred early Tuesday morning but had a stolen license plate and contained unspecified items, which prompted investigators to believe it "has been involved in other crimes."

Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales says the man ran and then pulled a gun before he was shot by at least one of the deputies, who had followed and stopped the car early Tuesday morning.

Identities weren't released, but the Albuquerque Journal reported family members identified the man as Miguel Gonzalez.

Southern New Mexico County Conducting Anti-DWI BlitzAssociated Press

A southern New Mexico county is conduction an aggressive drunken driving blitz this month.

The Doña Ana County Sheriff's Department has scheduled at least two checkpoints and saturation patrols as part of an effort to reduce DWI-related crashes, injuries, and deaths.

The county says checkpoints and patrols will be conducted at various undisclosed locations.

The Doña Ana County Health and Human Services Department is offering county residents a low-cost taxi rides on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.

Permian Basin Produced Water May Hit 1B Barrels Per DayHobbs News-Sun, Associated Press

Experts say produced water from the Permian Basin may hit 1 billion barrels per day within the next decade.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports New Mexico EnergyPlex Conference panelist Nathan Zaugg told attendees last week that the billion barrels per day estimate could fill Elephant Butte Lake in around 21 days.

Produced water also contains heavy metals including zinc, lead, manganese, iron and barium.

Zaugg, industrial group leader for Carollo Engineers of Salt Lake City, said his company and a New Mexico company are working together to address the problem with urgency.

Ken McQueen, secretary for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, says companies now know the importance of recycling water.