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Wednesday Evening Roundup

Obama Announces New Council For Native Americans - The Associated Press

Citing a history of mistreatment that has hurt Indians, President Barack Obama has established a White House Council on Native American Affairs to promote a healthier relationship among the United States and tribal governments.

The leaders of 30 federal departments and agencies will serve on the council, which is charged with aiding tribes with economic development, transportation, housing and health care.

Obama said Wednesday the United States must restore and heal its relationship with Native Americans. In announcing the panel's creation, he said the country "cannot ignore a history of mistreatment and destructive policies that have hurt tribal communities."

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to discuss council details Thursday at the conclusion of the National Congress of American Indians Mid-Year Conference in Reno, Nev.

NM Current Insurance Regulator To Remain In Office - The Associated Press

State Insurance Superintendent John Franchini will remain New Mexico's top insurance regulator when his office becomes an independent governmental agency next month.

A nine-member committee named Franchini on Wednesday to serve as insurance superintendent for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2015.

Franchini has been the state's top insurance regulator since August 2010. However, voters approved a constitutional amendment last year to remove oversight of the insurance industry from the five-member elected Public Regulation Commission, which in the past selected the insurance superintendent.

The newly independent office will regulate insurance rates and policies starting July 1.

Franchini will be paid $101,000 a year.

A committee appointed by the governor and Legislature has the power to hire and fire the superintendent of insurance.

Santa Fe To Vote On Ammo Restrictions Proposal - The Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe city councilors are scheduled to vote on a proposal that would impose strict regulations on the number of bullets in gun magazines allowed in the city limits.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the vote slated for Wednesday night comes despite opposition from the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party of New Mexico, and a warning by the city attorney.

The plan would prohibit possession and sales of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and other gun accessories in Santa Fe.

But a city attorney believes the proposed ordinance might put the local government at risk of lawsuits.

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action has urged supporters to show up to speak against the measure.

Suicidology Expert Testifies In NM Murder Trial - KOB-TV and The Associated Press

A suicidology expert has testified in the murder trial of a former Albuquerque police officer accused of killing his wife.

Dr. Allan Berman was called by the defense Wednesday morning.

KOB-TV reports Berman analyzed Tera Chavez's diary, text messages and an alleged suicide note found in a trash can.

Berman testified that Tera Chavez's diary included self-hate statements and noted that she had a history of suicide in her family.

Prosecutors claim Levi Chavez shot his 26-year-old wife with his department-issued gun in 2007 at their Los Lunas home and then tried to make her death look like a suicide.

They allege Chavez killed his wife in part because she discovered he staged the theft of their truck for insurance money. The two were also having extramarital affairs.