Authorities Find Body Of Missing Girl, New Mexico Sues Family Behind Purdue Pharma Over Opioids

Sep 11, 2019

Authorities Find Body Of Girl, 5, In New MexicoAssociated Press

Authorities say they have found the body of a 5-year-old New Mexico girl who was reported missing Sunday.

FBI Special Agent James Langenberg, who heads the agency's Albuquerque office, said during a brief news conference Wednesday in Española that Renezmae Calzada's remains had been found. He did not say where.

He did not take questions after stating the investigation into Renezmae's case would continue. He says authorities were working to identify who might be responsible for her death.

Authorities say the girl was last seen Sunday morning outside her home in Española, and she was reported missing that evening. Authorities have not explained why there was a delay.

Langenberg says the searched for Renezmae included Española and 2 miles of the Rio Grande.

New Mexico Marijuana Task Force Proposes Licensing CompaniesAssociated Press

A New Mexico task force studying proposal options to legalize recreational cannabis has opposed state-operated marijuana stores.

The Cannabis Legalization Working Group set up by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has proposed the state license companies that would grow and sell marijuana, and operate their stores.

The task force says the recommendations are similar to what's already in place for the medical cannabis program.

Members opposed the idea of local governments banning marijuana sales entirely, but say they would still permit cities to impose zoning restrictions and similar regulations.

A bill to legalize recreational cannabis passed the House this year, but did not clear the Senate.

The working group announced plans to give the governor a recommendation in October that could be considered in interim legislative committee meetings.

Improvements Being Made At US Nuclear Waste RepositoryAssociated Press

Officials say several infrastructure projects are being launched at the federal government's underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico.

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is licensed to take Cold War-era waste generated by decades of bomb-making and defense-related nuclear research. The waste includes gloves, clothing, tools and other materials contaminated with radioactive elements.

The waste is entombed in disposal rooms carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile down.

The repository has been receiving waste since 1999.

The work being done includes repairing a hoist used to remove salt mined from the underground facility.

It also involves additions to a new fire protection system, replacement of underground electrical substations and upgrades to a central monitoring room that tracks all of the repository's key systems.

New Mexico Developing Plans To Address Ozone PollutionFarmington Daily Times, Associated Press

New Mexico environmental officials are working on plans to address ozone pollution as a number of counties are pushing the limit set by federal regulators.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports that a monitor near Navajo Lake in northwestern New Mexico has met the ozone limit of 70 parts per billion set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

San Juan County is one of seven New Mexico counties that exceed 95 percent of the national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The others are Eddy, Lea, Dona Ana, Rio Arriba, Sandoval and Valencia.

The state Environment Department is holding meetings and drafting ozone attainment plans.

Right now, any measures taken to lower ozone levels will be voluntary. But if a county goes into non-attainment status, the measures become mandatory.

New Film Explores Legacy Of Puerto Rican Actor Raúl JuliáAssociated Press

The influential Puerto Rican actor Raúl Juliá who opened doors for a generation of Latino artists in film and television is the subject of a new documentary.

"Raúl Juliá: The World's a Stage" on PBS looks into the formation of Juliá from his middle-class upbringing in Puerto Rico to the streets of New York as he attempted to break into theater. The film uses rare footage of Juliá and interviews of actors like Edward James Olmos and Andy Garcia to explore Juliá's fight to battle stereotypes and garner respect as a performer.

The documentary shows footage of him performing Shakespeare with a young Meryl Streep and his work to tackle world hunger.

The film is a co-presentation of American Masters and VOCES and slated to premiere Friday on most PBS stations.

Tent Courts Set To Open On Border For Us Asylum Seekers - By Cedar Attanasio Associated Press

The Trump administration is ready to open a tent court on the border to handle cases of asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico, with hearings held entirely by videoconference.

The court is scheduled to begin operations Monday in Laredo, Texas. Another is expected to open in Brownsville.

The administration introduced its "Remain in Mexico" policy in San Diego in January and expanded to El Paso, Texas, but hearings there are conducted inside large buildings with normal courtrooms, and the judge usually appears in person.

U.S. officials say the Laredo court will handle as many as 300 cases a day. Asylum seekers have been told to report more than four hours before their court time.

The "Remain in Mexico" policy, assailed by critics for making families wait in violent Mexico border cities, has become a key piece of the U.S. response to a large increase in asylum-seeking families.

New Mexico Sues Family Behind Purdue Pharma Over Opioids - Associated Press

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing members of the family behind Purdue Pharma, alleging that deceptive practices helped flood the state with opioids.

His office filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state district court. At least 17 states already have sued one or more members of the Sackler family.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and other drug companies are named in numerous lawsuits that have been filed by state, local and tribal governments over the opioid crisis.

Purdue Pharma said Sunday it was still negotiating a settlement after some attorneys general told colleagues that talks had reached an impasse.

If the company files for bankruptcy, the Sacklers could still be exposed to more lawsuits.

New Mexico filed its initial complaint against Purdue, other manufacturers and distributors in 2017.

New Mexico Senate Leaders To Wait On Lawmaker's FateAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico legislative leaders apparently will take a wait-and-see approach on whether embattled Democratic Sen. Richard Martinez gets to keep his post on a key Senate committee.

Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen tells the Albuquerque Journal that Senate leaders are waiting for a resolution in Martinez's court case.

Martinez has pleaded not guilty to aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving charges following a June arrest. Police say he slammed into the back of another vehicle that was stopped at a red light in Española.

Police lapel video showed Martinez responding to officers with slurred speech following the crash. He refused a breath test to determine his blood-alcohol level.

Martinez says he has no plans to resign, even if convicted. He's currently chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

States Sue SEC, Claiming Investors Left Behind By New Rules - Associated Press

Seven states, including New Mexico, and the District of Columbia have sued the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the regulatory agency is putting investors in jeopardy by relaxing rules for brokers.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to order the agency to scrap new rules that weaken protections for consumers.

A message seeking a response was left Tuesday with the SEC. The states say they are harmed because bad investment advice leaves consumers with less money to spend, and thus they collect less in taxes.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a release that new rules let broker-dealers consider their own interests when recommending investments. She said that favors "Wall Street over Main Street."

Other state plaintiffs include New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine and Oregon.

New Mexico County To Propose Changes To Paid Leave Ordinance Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico county officials have announced plans to suggest an amendment to a newly approved paid leave ordinance.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that the Bernalillo County Commission approved a law in August that would take effect July 2020 requiring businesses in the county to offer workers at least one hour of paid leave for every 32 hours worked.

Officials say a gradual implementation schedule would keep the final at 56 maximum hours of paid time, but not all companies would have to go that high under the changes.

Companies with 10 or less employees would offer up to 28 hours of paid time, those with 11 to 34 employees could offer up to 44 hours and those with 35 or more employees would offer up to 56 hours.

New Mexico Coach Bob Davie Said He Will Be Back Eventually - By Glen Rosales Associated Press

New Mexico coach Bob Davie, who will miss the Lobos' trip to South Bend to face No. 7 Notre Dame because of an undisclosed health issue, said Tuesday he will eventually be back on the sidelines for the team, though it's not clear when.

Davie has turned the reins of the team over to offensive line coach Saga Tuitele and he said he will leave the game planning for Saturday's matchup in the hands of his coaching staff. He said he'll be back when he's ready.

Davie was taken to the hospital after having what he described as a "serious medical situation" that came on unexpectedly during New Mexico's season-opening win over Sam Houston State on Aug. 31.

Davie said he expects to make a full recovery.