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Carlsbad Considers Resolution Against NM Gun Control, Wet Winter Bodes Well For New Mexico

Mar 19, 2019

Carlsbad Considers Resolution Against New Mexico Gun Control- Carlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

Officials in a southeastern New Mexico city will consider a resolution that declares they won't enforce gun laws that they believe violate gun owners' constitutional rights.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the Carlsbad City Council has scheduled a special meeting Thursday to consider declaring the city a sanctuary for the Second Amendment.

Several New Mexico counties and cities have made similar declarations in response to a series of gun control measures that have gone before state lawmakers.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill earlier this month that expands mandatory background checks on firearm sales.

The Legislature has also passed a bill that ensures people under protective orders for domestic violence relinquish their guns.

Wet Winter Bodes Well For Water Supplies Along Rio Grande- Associated Press

Some ski areas are touting an "endless winter" as forecasters say the snow that has fallen along the New Mexico-Colorado border bodes well for cities and farmers that rely on one of North America's longest rivers.

Climatologists and hydrologists with the National Weather Service provided a water supply outlook Tuesday for the basin that feeds the Rio Grande, which flows from the Southern Rockies to Texas and Mexico.

They say snowpack in the mountains that form the river's headwaters is about 135 percent above median levels, marking one of the best seasons in years.

Still, they say the region is recovering from months of extreme drought and it will take time to replenish the soil with moisture. That will affect how much runoff makes its way to the river this spring.

Police Say Driver For Ride-Hailing Service Shoots Passenger- Associated Press

Police say a driver for a ride-hailing service shot and killed a passenger along I-25 in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque police say 27-year-old James Porter and a friend had gotten into a confrontation with the driver after they called for a ride Sunday.

Police officers were called to the roadside shortly before 6 p.m. and found Porter with a gunshot wound to the chest. He died at the scene.

Police say the friend and the driver remained at the scene and were taken to the police station to be interviewed. They were later released.

The driver has not been charged with a crime. Police did not name the driver or the ride-hailing service.

Police say the shooting remains under investigation.

New Mexico Investigates Nonprofit Group Over Pay Disparities - Associated Press

The New Mexico attorney general's office has launched an investigation into a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities find work.

Attorney General Hector Balderas said Monday his office is looking into allegations that Adelante Development Center was grossly under paying employees.

Balderas' announcement follows a lawsuit filed Friday against Adelante. In the complaint, Disability Rights New Mexico alleges violations of state and municipal minimum wage laws.

Adelante spokeswoman Jill Beets said the company hasn't had an opportunity to review the allegations but that it has been honest and transparent about its work with all disability groups.

Headquartered in Albuquerque and governed by a board of directors, Adelante has been in business for 40 years. It's funded through Medicaid dollars, state and federal grants, donations and revenue generated by its social enterprises.

New Mexico Lawmakers Call For Wage Review - Associated Press

Six Democratic lawmakers are voicing their concerns about pay disparities among workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Mexico.

The lawmakers sent a letter to state Attorney General Hector Balderas, asking that he review the regulatory framework that governs pay for such workers in light of new allegations that some are being grossly underpaid.

Representatives Deborah Armstrong, Karen Bash, Joanne Ferrary, Angelica Rubio, Liz Thomson and Christine Trujillo signed the letter Friday. They say they want to ensure the state is adequately protecting a vulnerable population of workers.

Rubio and Ferrary sponsored legislation in 2017 that would have required at least minimum wage for workers with disabilities. That effort spurred the creation of a task force to examine the issue.

Adelante Development Center says it welcomes the review by the attorney general.

University Of New Mexico To Partner In Moon Rock Studies - Associated Press

Researchers at New Mexico's flagship university are among nine teams selected by NASA to study pieces of the moon that have been carefully stored and have remained untouched for decades.

The University of New Mexico says it will share in a total of $8 million that has been awarded to the teams.

Thomas Zurbuchen is with NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. He says studying the lunar samples will help a new generation of scientists advance the understanding of the moon and prepare for the next era of lunar exploration.

One of the samples that will be studied has never been exposed to Earth's atmosphere. It was collected and vacuum-sealed by Apollo 17 astronauts Harrison Schmitt and Gene Cernan in 1972 from a landslide deposit on the moon.

Plant-Eating Reptile Fossil To Return To Southern New Mexico- Alamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

A 300 million-year-old plant-eating reptile fossil is returning home to southern New Mexico.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports "Gordodon" is slated to come home to Alamogordo this week after spending the last few years in Albuquerque.

Gordodon's fossilized skeleton is incomplete but the remains showed it to be a sail-backed reptile that ate a specialized plant diet.

Such specialized plant diets were not known in reptiles older than 200 million years.

In 2013, a University of Oklahoma student on a geology class trip discovered the fossil of a Permian age plant-eating reptile fossil near Alamogordo. The fossil was taken to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque.

Gov. Lujan Grisham Vows To Fight Any 'Consent Decree' On Education – Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she wants to avoid long-term court oversight of the state's public education stemming from a landmark lawsuit.

Lujan Grisham told reporters on Monday that her administration will mount a vigorous legal defense and is against any consent decree involving the state's education system.

A judge ruled last year that New Mexico's public education system violates the state Constitution when it comes to providing for at-risk students.

The newly elected Democrat took office pledging she would not appeal the decision. Monday was the deadline to file an appeal in the case.

The state faces another deadline April 15th to prove that it is doing enough to comply with the decision.

Fort Lewis To Start Program For San Juan College Transfers - Farmington Daily Times, Associated Press

Fort Lewis College in Colorado is set to start a new scholarship transfer program for graduates of San Juan College in New Mexico.

The Farmington Daily Times reports the Durango, Colorado college is launching this fall a new reciprocal program for San Juan College graduates that could award them with a merit-based scholarship to pay in-state tuition rates.

Currently, New Mexico students who graduate with an associate degree and have a 3.0 GPA can apply for the New Mexico Reciprocal Scholarship.

San Juan College students starting in the Fall 2019 semester with a GPA of 2.75 or higher can apply to transfer to Fort Lewis College at the in-state tuition rate.

Officials say around 500 students in the last 10 years have transferred from San Juan to Fort Lewis.

Tom Hanks Surprises Woman By Singing 'Happy Birthday'- KRQE-TV, Associated Press

Tom Hanks surprised a New Mexico woman celebrating her birthday at an Albuquerque restaurant when he treated her to a special performance of "Happy Birthday."

KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports the Oscar winner surprised Samantha Aragon over the weekend while she was feasting with friends at a steakhouse.

Aragon says it was probably the best 12 seconds of her life.

She says she noticed people taking sneaky selfies with Hanks and kept dropping hints that she would like the actor to sing to her. Hanks eventually walked over to her table and fulfilled her wish.

Hanks is in Albuquerque filming a sci-fi drama called "Bios." He's been tweeting photos of New Mexico.

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