89.9 FM Live From The University Of New Mexico
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Headlines: Sheriff Convicted, EPA Approves Energy Plan, Navajo Supreme Court Weighs In On Election

Michael Grimes via Flickr and Creative Commons

Jury Convicts NM Sheriff In Heated Traffic Stop - The Associated Press

A federal jury has found a northern New Mexico sheriff guilty of charges stemming from a heated traffic stop.

Jurors reached their decision Friday in Albuquerque after just a few hours of deliberating the case involving Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella.

The lawman was charged with deprivation of rights and brandishing a firearm.

Authorities say Rodella was in plain clothes in March when he pulled over a 26-year-old motorist in a fit of road rage, jumped out of his personal SUV with a gun, and shoved his badge in the driver's face.

Defense lawyers say Rodella did nothing wrong and was merely trying to stop a reckless driver.

Rodella faces up to 17 years in prison if convicted.

Man Fatally Shot By New Mexico Police Identified - The Associated Press

Authorities have identified a man who was fatally shot by a member of the New Mexico State Police Tactical Team after a standoff near Deming last week.

State police say the man killed last Friday morning was William Smith, who was a military veteran who may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

They say officers tried to stop a speeding motorist on Interstate 10 and that led to a standoff that lasted several hours.

The officer who fired the fatal shot is a 12-year veteran and was assigned to provide perimeter security while fellow tactical officers approached Smith's vehicle.

The officer reported seeing Smith point a firearm in the direction of the other officers. He fired a single shot and Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.

EPA Signs Off Of Power Plant Proposal - The Associated Press

Federal regulators have signed off on a settlement that calls for shutting down part of a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico that serves more than 2 million customers in the Southwest.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved the settlement agreement Friday, clearing a major regulatory hurdle for curbing haze-causing pollution at the San Juan Generating Station.

The proposal was negotiated in 2013 by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration, the state's largest electric utility and the Navajo Nation.

State regulators previously approved the plan, which calls for PNM to retire two units at the power plant by the end of December 2017. The utility must also install pollution-control equipment on the plant's two remaining units.

State Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn calls the agreement a win for customers and the environment.

Navajo High Court Weighs Case On Language Fluency - The Associated Press

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court says a lower tribal court shouldn't have dismissed a case against presidential candidate Chris Deschene over whether he speaks Navajo fluently enough to be on the ballot.

The tribe's high court on Friday afternoon in Tuba City, Arizona reinstated grievances filed against Chris Deschene.

The Office of Hearings and Appeals must hold a hearing next week to determine whether or not to disqualify Deschene from the November ballot.

Plaintiffs' attorneys say Deschene lied about being able to effectively communicate in Navajo when he entered the race to preside over the country's largest American Indian reservation.

Deschene says fluency is a matter of opinion and his language skills are progressing.

Deschene is set to face off against former Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr.