Certification Of New Mexico Deputy Debated, New Mexico Regulators Punt On Gila River Plan

Jun 22, 2019

Certification Of New Mexico Deputy In Stun Gun Flap Debated-The Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

A New Mexico sheriff's office is disputing a claim a deputy under fire for using a stun gun on a teen doesn't have an active law enforcement certification.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Rio Arriba County Sheriff's Office said this week Deputy Jeremy Barnes had a certification that is valid and he is eligible to be a commissioned officer in the state.

Barnes has faced criticism after a video showed him using a stun gun on an Española Valley High School student with special needs in May.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Herman Lovato says Barnes had let his certification lapse for too long.

The Rio Grande Sun reported that Barnes had previously been the subject of an excessive force lawsuit as a Grants police office.

New Mexico Unemployment Rate Holds At 5% -Associated Press

New Mexico's unemployment rate in May remained unchanged from the previous month at 5%. Among states, only Alaska has higher unemployment.

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions on Friday published the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. It was an increase from 4.8% a year ago.

The national unemployment rate also held at 3.6% in May, down from 3.8%.

For New Mexico, mining and construction accounted for the most significant job gains. The sectors added 5,500 jobs for the year ending in May 2019. Retail sales employment fell.

395 Claims Filed In Church Bankruptcy Case -Associated Press

Officials with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe say nearly 400 claims have been filed as part of a pending bankruptcy case that stems from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

The archdiocese released the numbers Friday, saying 374 claims involved allegations of sex abuse. The remaining 21 were related to other grievances.

The archdiocese shocked parishioners across much of New Mexico when it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization last year, joining other dioceses around the United States that have struggling with fallout from the abuse scandal.

Church officials say they're hopeful mediation through the bankruptcy proceeding will result in an equitable resolution for the claimants.

Lawyers will be gathering more information on the archdiocese's finances to determine how much is available to divvy up. It's expected to take many months for the case to be resolved.

Political Opposition Grows To Nuclear Waste Storage Plan -Associated Press

Another member of New Mexico's congressional delegation is weighing in on plans to build a multimillion-dollar facility in the state to temporary store spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors around the U.S.

Congresswoman Deb Haaland on Friday joined the growing list of politicians in opposition, sending a letter to the U.S. Energy Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that detailed her concerns.

New Jersey-based Holtec International is seeking a 40-year license from federal regulators to build the complex near Carlsbad.

Holtec says the project is needed since the federal government has yet to find a permanent solution for dealing with the tons of high-level waste building up at nuclear power plants.

The topic will be up for discussion when the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meets next week.

New Mexico Regulators Punt On Gila River Plan-Associated Press

New Mexico's senior U.S. senator says plans for diverting water from the Gila River are fatally flawed and residents are rightly concerned about the cost of the proposed project.

Democrat Tom Udall made his comments Thursday after a panel of state regulators delayed action on a work plan that details environmental reviews, legal services and other activities needed as part of the project.

It could be September before the Interstate Stream Commission considers the plan again. Commissioners indicated they want to review a draft environmental impact statement prepared for the project.

Officials are facing a deadline this year to have the reviews completed. It would then be up to the U.S. Interior Department to grant approval.

Environmentalists have been fighting the proposal for years, suggesting that millions of dollars would be spent for little return.

Precautionary Evacuations Mount In Arizona Fire -Associated Press

A wildfire in rugged country east of Phoenix that has forced evacuation orders for about 700 homes.

Gila County spokesman Josh Beck said Friday evening that those evacuations occurred stretching south from Roosevelt Lake in the Tonto National Forest.

There were no reports of structures burning, and fewer than a dozen people sought shelter at public facilities.

The fire was about 42 percent contained on Friday evening as its footprint extended across more than 100 square miles (260 square kilometers).

 -KOB TV, Associated Press

A crown belonging to Ms. Wheelchair New Mexico was stolen just days before a national competition.

KOB-TV reports that Irene Delgado says someone broke into her car in Santa Fe and took the crown.

Delgado is set to compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America competition in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the week of July 1.

The contest seeks to educate and advocate for people with disabilities.

Delgado says she left the crown in her car overnight because she needed to wear it at an out-of-town event the next day.

No arrests have been made.

M&J Bridal Boutique in Santa Fe announced it was donating a new crown for Delgado.

Man Gets 2 Years In Youth Detention For New Mexico Killing -Daily Times, Associated Press

An 18-year-old man convicted of stabbing a man to death in New Mexico was sentenced to two years in a youth detention center.

The Farmington Daily Times reports Trustin Begay was sentenced as a juvenile Thursday after a jury found him guilty last week of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Steven Begay.

Steven Begay was stabbed multiple times in Farmington in April 2018.

Trustin Begay apologized to the family in court.

Judge Sarah Weaver said she would have imposed a tougher sentence if she could.

The judge told Begay that she hopes he is truly sorry and takes this opportunity to change his life.