3 Dead and 3 Others Injured After Shooting At Hobbs Party, New Mexico Pushes Census Participation

Aug 26, 2019

3 Dead, 3 Others Injured After Shooting At Hobbs House Party - Associated Press

Police in Hobbs say three people are dead after a shooting at a house party.

They say three other people were airlifted to a hospital for treatment of undisclosed injuries.

Police say officers were dispatched to a home shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday in response to reports of a loud party and shots fired.

When police arrived, they found several people with gunshot wounds.

Police say 18-year-old Khalil Carter of Hobbs, 24-year-old Kristal Avena of Hobbs and 22-year-old Lamar Lee Kane Jr. of Washington, D.C., died at the scene.

They say four people were found injured at the scene, but one was treated and released from a hospital.

The Albuquerque Journal reports 19 year old Bishop Henderson, who police describe as “a subject involved in the incident” was arrested and charged with aggravated battery Sunday afternoon. It was not clear if there were any other suspects.

New Mexico Pushes Census Participation To Safeguard Funding - Associated Press

New Mexico is pushing forward with a multimillion-dollar effort to encourage participation in the U.S. census to preserve federal funding for schools, health care and various public benefits.

The state launched its "I Count New Mexico" website Friday that includes a video message from Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham encouraging residents to participate in the national population count next year.

The state is offering $2.4 million in grant money to county governments that can encourage traditionally undercounted communities to participate in the first census with online access.

The state website estimates New Mexico would lose about $3,750 in annual federal spending for each person that goes uncounted. The state estimates that a 1% undercount would reduce annual federal Medicaid spending by $32 million and undercut health care services.

New Mexico Senator Plans To Stay In Office Following Arrest - Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A New Mexico state official has announced plans to remain in office and seek reelection after a drunken driving arrest.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Friday that Democratic Sen. Richard Martinez stated Friday following a legislative hearing in Los Alamos that he has no intentions to step down despite calls for his resignation.

Authorities say the 66-year-old has pleaded not guilty after being charged with aggravated DWI, and is free on his own recognizance awaiting trial.

Officials say he has skipped other committee meetings since his arrest nearly two months ago.

The state Republican Party called on Martinez to resign.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says no one is above the law and that elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

New Mexico City Seeks Help Paying Monument Lawsuit Fees - Farmington Daily Times, Associated Press

A New Mexico city has asked residents to help fund the remaining balance of fees resulting from a Ten Commandments monument lawsuit.

The Farmington Daily Times reported Thursday that the city of Bloomfield launched an online fundraiser asking for help coming up with $467,000 it owes the American Civil Liberties Union lawyers after courts ruled against the city.

Officials say the ACLU represented several residents who said the monument violated their First Amendment rights.

Officials say the city owes lawyers $700,000 by June 30, 2021, and has already paid more than $200,000.

Anything not raised will be paid for using the gross receipts tax and is currently budgeted.

Officials say the resident-funded monument was displayed in front of city hall before being moved to a nearby church.

Book Tries To Show How US Democracy Hurt Native Americans - By Russell Contreras Associated Press

A new book by a noted historian attempts to show how expanding American democracy hurt Native Americans in the early days of the nation.

University of Oregon history professor Jeffrey Ostler's "Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution and Bleeding Kansas" argues that the emergence of American democracy depended on the taking of Native lands.

Ostler's book is the first of two volumes on Native American history.

The book comes as scholars and writers are challenging the narrative around American history and how it hurt people of color. These efforts are drawing criticism from some conservative columnists.

Columbia University history professor Karl Jacoby called Ostler's book an exciting work in Native American history.

State, Nonprofits Brainstorm Overcoming 2020 Census Hurdles Associated Press

New Mexico officials are pulling out all the stops to encourage 2020 Census participation.

At a conference Monday at Isleta Pueblo, state officials said they want to overcome roadblocks that have made the rural Southwest state's Native American and Hispanic populations among the toughest in the nation to count.

New Mexico stands to lose millions of dollars in federal funding without a complete count of its population.

Outreach efforts to boost participation include promotional recordings in Native American languages, and outreach to military veterans and oilfield workers who live in temporary "man camps."

Still, state officials and nonprofit leaders acknowledge that limited broadband access in certain areas and distrust of the government among minority communities present significant challenges.

Federal officials are planning to place emphasis on telephone and online questionnaires.

Group Hit By Abuse Claims To Open New Mexico Migrant Shelter Associated Press

An Arizona-based company plagued by abuse and mistreatment allegations is planning on opening an Albuquerque facility to house migrant teens.

An email recently sent to some Albuquerque residents said VisionQuest will shelter up to 60 minors who entered the U.S. illegally without their parents. The planned facility awarded by a federal contract would be located along the city's historic Route 66 near the University of New Mexico's main campus.

The letter signed by Michael Vos of the Albuquerque consulting firm says VisionQuest will shelter boys from ages 11 to 17 for up to 90 days.

VisionQuest spokeswoman Amanda Burton confirmed to the Albuquerque Journal the company plans to open the Sam Mahan Center in January.

VisionQuest has faced allegations of mistreatment dating back to 1987.

State Paid $900,000 To Settle Claims Against Police Chief Associated Press

The state of New Mexico is acknowledging it paid out $900,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing former State Police chief Pete Kassetas of discriminatory and lewd behavior along with retaliation against those who complained.

The General Services Department on Monday released financial terms of a settlement agreed upon in December 2018 during the final weeks of the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez.

The lawsuit was filed by former Deputy Chief Michael Ryan Suggs, Lt. Julia Armendariz and Sgt. Monica Martinez-Jones. It described distress and mental anguish from a hostile work environment.

Allegations against Kassetas include instances in which he pulled down his pants and showed his behind to staff after drinking on the job and sending a deputy Cabinet secretary a picture of a man's testicles.

Police: New Mexico Woman Robbed Stores Wearing 'Fake Beard' - Associated Press

A New Mexico woman is facing charges after authorities say she robbed stores while wearing a fake beard.

Court documents show that Tamala Cole was arrested Thursday following heists at the Nothing Bundt Cake store and a Boba Tea cafe in Albuquerque. In each case, police say the 51-year-old year Cole demanded money while holding a gun and wearing a "black beanie style hat" and a fake brown beard.

Investigators say Cole also is suspected of robbing a Subway and the religious goods store FaithWorks.

Police say Cole was tracked down through caller ID after she called the tea shop moments before the robbery and asked for her mother.

She is facing seven counts of robbery.

It was not known if she had an attorney.

Police: New Mexico Man Stole 22 Boxes Of Ice Cream Bars Associated Press

A northern New Mexico man is facing charges after he was accused of committing a cold crime on a hot day: an ice cream heist.

The Las Vegas Optic in New Mexico reports authorities say 31-year-old Paul Trujillo was arrested last week after he was one of two men who entered a walk-in freezer at a Dairy Queen store and stole 22 boxes of Dilly Bars.

Police say the July 29 footage shows Trujillo walking up to the freezer following a stakeout.

The second man has not been identified.

Trujillo was charged with felony commercial burglary and misdemeanor larceny.

It was not known if he had an attorney.

New Mexico's New Energy Law Prompts Legal ChallengeAssociated Press

Several environmental and consumer advocacy groups are challenging New Mexico's new landmark energy law.

The groups filed a petition with the New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday, arguing that provisions within the law signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier this year erode the state's ability to regulate utilities and put electric customers at risk of paying unchecked costs.

Aside from mandating emissions-free electricity by 2045, the law charts a course for the closure of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station by 2022. It includes a financing mechanism aimed at easing the economic consequences of closing the power plant.

Mariel Nanasi with New Energy Economy says the groups support renewable energy but that regulatory oversight will be important as New Mexico's electricity market evolves over the next two decades.