Child Under Age 12 Shot In NE Albuquerque, Survey Says More Mexican Gray Wolves Roaming SW

Apr 8, 2019

Child Under Age 12 In Critical Condition After Shooting- Albuquerque Journal & Associated Press

Police say a child under the age of 12 was shot Sunday night in a home on the northeast side of the city, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Police say the girl who was shot is in critical condition but they have not released her specific age or identified her.

Albuquerque Police Department officer Simon Drobik says officers were dispatched to the house around 5:15 p.m. Sunday. Drobik said the shooting took place inside of the residence.

Police believe the girl's parents were not at home at the time of the shooting, but they returned to the residence as authorities arrived.

Drobik says the investigation involved a search for two other children who live in the home who were ultimately found in southeast Albuquerque.

"This is a family home and three kids live in this house," Drobik told the Journal. "Somehow they were moved after this incident happened."

Tafoya Stays On As Leader Of New Mexico State Parks Division- Associated Press

New Mexico's first female director of state parks will continue to lead the agency under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's administration.

The state's Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department announced Monday that Christy Tafoya has been named director of the State Parks Division.

She was initially appointed to the position in 2015 under the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez, making her the first woman to hold the post since the agency was created in 1933.

Tafoya has been with the parks division for more than 20 years. She started there as the first state parks archaeologist and has managed statewide outdoor classroom programming.

Tafoya says she's excited to increase offerings for park visitors.

Tafoya also serves on the executive board of the National Association of State Parks Directors.

'Better Call Saul' To Begin Shooting 5th Season- Associated Press

New Mexico is hosting the fifth season of AMC's "Better Call Saul."

The New Mexico State Film Office announced Monday the AMC-TV series will begin principal photography on another season this month in Albuquerque.

Officials say the production will employ approximately 375 New Mexico crew members and 200 actors from the state.

Starring Bob Odenkirk, the series follows Jimmy McGill, who eventually becomes meth lord Walter White's lawyer Saul Goodman on "Breaking Bad."

Survey Says More Mexican Gray Wolves Roaming Southwestern US- Associated Press

More Mexican gray wolves are roaming the American Southwest now than at any time since federal biologists began reintroducing the predators more than two decades ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday.

Agency officials declared progress for the endangered species in New Mexico and Arizona, saying there are at least 131 wolves in the wild in the two states. That represents a 12% jump in the population.

The rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America, Mexican wolves have struggled to gain ground since the first release in 1998 because of poaching, politics, legal challenges and even complications from a lack of genetic diversity.

"The Mexican gray wolf has come back from the brink of extinction thanks to scientific management and the dedicated work of a lot of partners," said Amy Lueders, head of the agency's southwest region.

Making up only a fraction of the wolves in the U.S., Mexican wolves are in a more precarious position with their limited numbers and the population is still far from where biologists had initially envisioned the species would be by now.

Convicted Ex-Sheriff Wants Sentence Tossed, Blames Lawyer-  Associated Press

A former New Mexico sheriff convicted of abusing a driver in a bizarre, off-duty traffic stop that prosecutors described as a fit of road rage wants his prison sentence tossed.

Former Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodella recently filed a motion to vacate his sentence over claims his attorney failed to provide an effective defense.

According to court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, Rodella says attorney Robert Gorence refused to let him testify on his own behalf, resulting in "a miscarriage of justice." Court documents also accuse Gorence of failing to investigate critical issues in the case.

Gorence did not immediately return an email requesting comment.

Thomas Rodella was sentenced in 2015 to 10 years.  He's serving time at a federal prison in Seagoville, Texas.

Film Explores Rural Health Care Amid Poverty, Opioid Crisis - By Russell Contreras Associated Press

A new documentary explores the world of rural health care amid poverty and a persistent opioid crisis.

"The Providers," set to air on the PBS Independent Lens series this week, looks at the challenges three health care workers in rural New Mexico face as they provide services to aging patients and those struggling with addiction.

The film shows how the health care providers from El Centro Family Health Center refuse to pass judgment on patients trying to cope with alcoholism, opioid use and unemployment in one the poorest regions in the nation.

Filmmakers Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin say they captured around 350 hours of footage.

The film is scheduled to air on most PBS stations on Monday.

2 People Dead, 9 Arrested After Van  Rollover In New Mexico - Associated Press

Authorities say two people are dead and nine others arrested after a minivan believed to be carrying immigrants rolled in southern New Mexico near the Texas border.

U.S. Border Patrol agents from the El Paso Sector responded to a report of a suspected smuggling incident around 5 p.m. Saturday on New Mexico's Highway 9.

Authorities say the minivan failed to yield to emergency lights and sirens, so agents deployed a tire deflation device.

The minivan swerved to avoid the device and rolled over.

Border Patrol officials say two occupants of the minivan were ejected and declared dead at the scene.

Their names are being withheld until relatives are notified.

Authorities say five other occupants were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life threatening.

New Mexico's Oil Country Seeing More Realtors Than Housing - Hobbs News-Sun, Associated Press

The heart of New Mexico's booming oil country is seeing more real estate agents than homes to sell.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports Hobbs Realtors Association president Kali Taylor estimates there are around 100 realtors in Lea County and only around 84 residential homes available. Taylor says 61 of those homes were listed this week in Hobbs.

Lea County in southeastern New Mexico is the epicenter of the state's oil and gas boom.

The numbers come as officials in southeastern New Mexico worry about a housing shortage for workers employed in the state's lucrative oil industry.

Robbie Robinson, owner of Robinson and Associates Real Estate, said many of the newer real estate agents in the area are considering other fields of employment.

Police Say Suspect Injured During Arrest May Have Lost Eyesight - Las Cruces Sun-News, Associated Press

Las Cruces police say a knife-wielding shoplifting suspect accused of trying to steal a vehicle after stabbing mall employees may have lost his eyesight because of injuries suffered when police fired bean-bag rounds 15 times and stun guns 23 times to subdue him.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Police Chief Patrick Gallagher said during a Friday news conference that a multi-agency task force will investigate the March 23 incident involving 31-year-old Joshua James LeNoir.

Police released a 17-second police video clip showing projectiles being fired at a man who stood up, turned away from officers and walked away.

A police spokesman said LeNoir is at a rehabilitation facility after being released from a hospital.

Court records don't list a defense attorney for LeNoir who could comment on the allegations.