Family May Sue Over Transgender Migrant's Death, Plan Would Give Route 66 Historic Designation

Nov 28, 2018

Family Threatens Lawsuit Over Death Of Transgender Migrant– Associated Press

The family of a Honduran transgender migrant who died while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is threatening to sue, claiming the woman did not receive adequate medical care and was physically abused.

The Transgender Law Center and attorney Andrew Free released details of an independent autopsy this week that concluded Roxsana Hernandez likely died as the result of severe dehydration complicated by HIV.

The autopsy also noted deep bruising along her ribs that wasn't evident externally and contusions on her back.

Immigration authorities say Hernandez wasn't abused while in their custody.

Hernandez arrived in the United States with other Central American asylum seekers. She was transferred to New Mexico in May after first being taken into custody in California.

She died at an Albuquerque hospital after showing symptoms of pneumonia, dehydration and other complications.

Airman From Cannon AFB Among 3 Killed In Afghanistan– Associated Press

The Pentagon has released the names of three U.S. servicemen killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

They are who Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, age 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania. Who was assigned to the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, based at Cannon Air Force Base in eastern New Mexico;  Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, age 29, of Lexington, Virginia; and Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, age 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington.

They were killed in Ghazni province, an area where the Taliban is resurgent. It was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan this year.

Ross and Emond were assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

With An Eye On Past Problems, Facebook Expands Local Feature– Associated Press

Facebook is cautiously expanding a feature that shows people local news and information, including missing-person alerts, road closures, crime reports and school announcements.

Called “Today In,”the service shows people information from their towns and cities from such sources as news outlets, government entities and community groups. Facebook launched the service in January with six cities and expanded that to 25, then more. On Wednesday, "Today In" is expanding to 400 citiesin the U.S., including Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Taos.

The move comes as Facebook tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling and rather a place for communities and people to come together and stay informed.

Facebook hopes the feature's slow rollout will prevent problems.

Nuclear Safety Panel To Discuss Changes During Hearing - Associated Press

Members of an independent safety panel that provides oversight of some of the nation's highest risk nuclear facilities are holding another public hearing focused on efforts to downsize and reorganize the group.

The public hearing is Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation, nuclear watchdog groups and others have voiced concerns about the reorganization of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The concerns include limiting inspections of certain federal sites and curtailing the board's access to key information at nuclear sites. Los Alamos National Laboratory is among the locations monitored by the board.

U.S. Energy Department officials during a hearing earlier this year denied they were changing their approach to safety and rebuffed calls by board members and others to put the policy changes on hold.

Plan Seeks To Designate Route 66 As National Historic Trail - Associated Press

A new proposal would designate Route 66, the Mother Road that connected Chicago to Los Angeles, as a National Historic Trail.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Jim Inhofe recently introduced a bill that would amend the National Trails System Act in an effort to help revitalize cities and small towns that sit along the historic Route 66 corridor.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar bill in June.

Route 66, one of the first roads in the U.S. highway system, spanned more than 2,400 miles. It ran through eight states, connecting tourists with friendly diners in small towns.

Use of Route 66 dropped significantly after highways were built as part of the interstate system.

It was decommissioned as a U.S. highway in 1985.

New Mexico Governor Questions Ballot Procedures - Associated Press

Most midterm election results in New Mexico have been certified by the State Canvassing Board with recounts pending in a handful of state legislative races.

A board composed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura and Democratic Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver on Tuesday confirmed election results in which Democrats won all statewide and congressional races.

At the meeting, Martinez and attorneys with ties to the Republican Party raised repeated questions about the online application process in a sometimes heated discussion with election officials. Absentee ballots are the focus of litigation by defeated Republican congressional candidate Yvette Herrell in the state's southern district.

Election officials say that absentee ballots obtained online account for 2,823 votes in that congressional race. Democrat Xochitl Torres Small won the race by 3,722.


New Mexico Crafts New Rules For Crisis Triage Centers - Associated Press

New Mexico health officials have crafted a new set of regulations and licensing requirements for behavioral health crisis triage centers.

The state Health Department says this new type of facility will focus on people who voluntarily admit themselves.

Officials say the triage centers will provide emergency behavioral health evaluations, as well as outpatient and short-term residential services under a new framework aimed at closing the gap between the needs of patients with outpatient and acute care needs.

Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher says the centers will be part of a safety net for crisis intervention.

The regulations fulfill legislation that was approved earlier this year.

Ex-customs Officer Gets Prison For Obstruction Of Justice - Associated Press

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer in Las Cruces has been sentenced to 366 days in prison for obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Christopher Holbrook also was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Las Cruces to two years of supervised release after his prison term.

According to Holbrook's guilty plea, he falsified an official report regarding his use of force against a man in March 2015.

Prosecutors say Holbrook's report falsely claimed that he used the minimum amount of force necessary to control the man.

They say Holbrook admitted that he intentionally swept the man's legs out from under him and caused his head to hit the floor.

The victim was only identified by initials in court documents.

Texas Tech, New Mexico Junior College Sign Transfer Deal - Albuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico Junior College and Texas Tech University have signed a new agreement that officials say will make it easier for students to transfer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the deal between the Hobbs, New Mexico, college and the Lubbock, Texas, school will allow New Mexico transfer students to qualify for Texas in-state tuition.

Another agreement will allow junior college students to feed into the animal science program at Texas Tech and eventually the new School of Veterinary Medicine.

Officials say Texas Tech will advise New Mexico Junior College students on courses they should take to make the transition "seamless."

The distance between Hobbs and Lubbock is about 110 miles, less than a two-hour drive.