DOJ Plans Crackdown On Violent Crime, Danny Gonzales Relishes Chance To Restore UNM Football

Dec 18, 2019

Justice Dept. Plans Crackdown On Violent Crime In 7 Cities - By Michael Balsamo And Corey Williams Associated Press

The Justice Department is launching a crackdown aimed at driving down crime in seven of the nation's most violent cities.

Attorney General William Barr announced the initiative known as Operation Relentless Pursuit at a Wednesday news conference in Detroit. He was joined by the leaders of the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Justice Department will intensify federal law enforcement resources in the seven cities with violent crime rates way above the national average. They are: Detroit, Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Memphis and Milwaukee.

New Mexico Officials Ask For Endangered Species Act ProbeAlamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

County officials in New Mexico have asked for an investigation into alleged waste and mismanagement of public lands by federal wildlife agencies.

The Alamogordo Daily News reported Monday that Otero County commissioners made the allegations against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and U.S. Forest Service in a letter.

County Public Land Use Advisory Council members say the letter referenced a Sept. 11 opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Raner Collins saying the two agencies were violating the Endangered Species Act.

New Mexico State Senator Found Guilty Of Drunken Driving Associated Press, Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico state Sen. Richard Martinez has been found guilty of aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving in connection with a June car crash.

Judge Francis Mathew delivered the verdicts on misdemeanor charges against the former magistrate judge and prominent Democratic state senator in connection with a June 28 wreck in the community of Española.

Martinez's car hit another vehicle that was stopped at a red traffic light, injuring Martinez and two people in the stationary vehicle. Police say Martinez refused a blood-alcohol test after the crash. Police body-camera video showed Martinez fumbling over a field sobriety test.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports sentencing has been set for Jan. 7. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham released a statement following the verdict urging the Senator to resign.

Saudi Student In Alleged 'Kill List' Plot Ordered Held - By Russell Contreras, Associated Press

A Saudi Arabian student who prosecutors say illegally obtained a gun in the U.S. and told someone he wanted to kill a professor and others has been ordered held until his trial.

A U.S. magistrate judge ruled Tuesday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that Hassan Alqahtani posed a danger after hearing allegations of domestic violence and threats made to others.

Witnesses told investigators that the 27-year-old Alqahtani had physically attacked his wife and threatened a girlfriend. He is facing a federal firearms charge. His defense attorney says the case is based on hearsay. 

New Mexico Film Office Restructures Office, Adds 2 EmployeesAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

A film office in New Mexico has expanded its staff to better meet the demand of film productions and public inquiries.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the New Mexico Film Office has added two full-time employees to its previously three-person staff in the past month. Officials say they are seeking another two positions to further restructure the Santa Fe office.

Film Office officials say the office expects to have overseen about 80 completed productions in the state by the end of the year. Officials say 29 projects were in production as of early December including eight television shows and nine films.

New Mexico Coach Gonzales Relishes Chance To Restore Program - By Glen Rosales, Associated Press

Danny Gonzales says taking the New Mexico head coaching job came down to having an opportunity to return home and a chance to turn around the program he grew up around.

New Mexico introduced Gonzales on Wednesday as the successor to Bob Davie, who stepped down after the season. The 43-year-old Gonzales has been Herm Edwards' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons at Arizona State.

He was promoted to assistant head coach before this season began. 

New Mexico Names Ex-Player Danny Gonzales As Football Coach - Associated Press

New Mexico has named former Lobos player and assistant coach Danny Gonzales as head football coach. 

Contract terms weren't immediately released. Gonzales will be formally introduced as the Lobos' 32nd football coach at a news conference Wednesday. 

The 43-year-old Gonzales has been Herm Edwards' defensive coordinator for the past two seasons at Arizona State. He was promoted to assistant head coach before this season began. Gonzales replaces Bob Davie, who had a 35-64 record in eight seasons. 

Gonzales walked on at UNM and played for the Lobos as a punter and safety. He started his coaching career at UNM as a defensive graduate assistant from 1999-2002.

Navajo Nation To Create Its Own Managed Healthcare Entity - Associated Press

The Navajo Nation says it is seeking to become one of the first Native American tribes to create its own managed healthcare entity. 

The tribe recently announced it plans to contract with Molina Healthcare to work toward a managed healthcare offering under New Mexico's Centennial Care Medicaid program. Navajo Nation Counselor Daniel Tso says the new entity "will be a one-of-a-kind Medicaid program" designed to improve access and quality of healthcare on the Navajo Nation. 

About 75,000 Medicaid eligible Navajos are living in New Mexico.

Albuquerque Probing 'Emergency' Involving Hyena, Zookeeper - Associated Press

Albuquerque Biological Park officials are investigating an "emergency incident" involving a zookeeper and a hyena.

KOB-TV reports the zoo confirmed Monday it is looking into a Nov. 7 episode before the park opened. 

According to emergency dispatch calls, first responders reported a 40-year-old woman with "some type of hand injury" who was bleeding profusely. The calls also indicated the need for medical transport at the time and that "this is a city employee."

Albuquerque Biological Park officials are not answering questions about the case. 

But in a statement, the city's Cultural Services Department said the Albuquerque zoo was investigating an emergency involving a hyena. 

"The city says the hyena was inside the enclosure the whole time and wasn't harmed, but there was an emergency response to the incident," the statement said.

The city employee has since returned to work.