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Federal Authorities Seize $4M In Drugs In Laguna, Fight Over Energy Law Heads To NM Supreme Court

Aug 31, 2019

Federal Authorities Seize $4 Million In Drugs In New Mexico- Associated Press

Federal officials say officers seized 85 pounds of drugs on a road that runs through a reservation in New Mexico.

On Thursday, Interior Department officials said that the bust happened within the boundaries of the Laguna Indian Reservation west of Albuquerque.

The drugs purportedly had a street value of more than $4 million.

Drugs seized included close to 83 pounds of methamphetamines, two and a half pounds of heroin and 2,000 cigarette cartridges with THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana.

The Interior Department's statement did not identify the person arrested in the bust.

Fight Over Energy Law Heads To New Mexico Supreme Court- Associated Press

Environmentalists and PNM are asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to settle a dispute over whether the state's new energy law must be considered as regulators deliberate the planned closure of a coal-fired power plant.

The groups petitioned the court late Thursday to force the Public Regulation Commission to take into account the Energy Transition Act as part of the proceedings over shuttering the San Juan Generating Station.

Aside from mandating more renewable energy, the measure includes a financing mechanism that supporters say is necessary for the plant's closure in 2022.

The law allows PNM and other owners of San Juan to recover investments by selling bonds that will be paid off by utility customers. The bonds will fund decommissioning costs, severance packages for displaced workers and job training programs.

Sheriff Investigates Jail Inmate's Death In New Mexico- Associated Press 

Authorities say an inmate at a southern New Mexico jail died after becoming ill and collapsing in his cell. 

The Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating the death of 47-year-old Zachary Barela. He had been jailed for a year and 10 months. 

The Office of the Medical Examiner is also investigating, and an autopsy at the agency's facility in Albuquerque is pending. 

Sheriff's officials say Barela became sick on Wednesday evening and collapsed around 10:20 p.m. Authorities say Barela had not reported medical issues at the jail, where he was booked in October 2017 on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault on an officer and shooting at a home. 

Native Americans Say Dior Ad Pushes Stereotypes- Associated Press

Dior is facing widespread criticism for an advertising campaign that Native Americans say perpetuates stereotypes.

Dior consulted with the Albuquerque based Americans for Indian Opportunity on the campaign.

Executive director Laura Harris says the group sought to ensure Native American artists, actors and writers were included in the campaign to educate production teams. She says the controversy will start an international conversation about contemporary Native Americans.

Others like Dallas Goldtooth of the Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota say the ad is romanticizing Native Americans as relics of the past. He says the ad doesn't benefit Native people; it simply creates buzz for the French luxury goods company.

Authorities Say Teen Killed By Police In Carlsbad Fired Gun- Associated Press

State authorities say an officer in Carlsbad shot and killed a 16-year-old after the youth brandished a pistol and opened fire.

New Mexico State Police say they are investigating the shooting that happened Thursday.

The Carlsbad Police Department detective who opened fire was not identified.

Authorities say officers were investigating a homicide and searching for 16-year-old Randall Gamboa at an apartment complex when they saw him walking and approached him.

Authorities say the teen shot at police, prompting the detective to open fire.

Authorities say Gamboa died at Carlsbad Medical Center.

Authorities say they believe the gun he had on him was the same one used in the homicide that police were investigating.

State police say their investigation is ongoing.

New Mexico Forgoes Green Bonds On Energy Efficiency Projects- Associated Press

New Mexico has decided against green-bond financing that has the potential to attract socially conscious investors as it forges ahead this month with energy efficiency improvements to a fleet of state buildings in Santa Fe.

The New Mexico Finance Authority that oversees a revolving infrastructure loan fund for public projects found few prospects for savings on borrowing costs on the Santa Fe project after studying the bond market for financing environmentally minded projects.

Separately bundled "green" bonds for the Santa Fe energy efficiency project would have been too small of an offering to attract competition from investors and future savings on interest, according to officials at the finance authority. Tax-exempt bonds without green certification were sold in June.

Lujan Grisham has vowed to make renewable energy investments and policies that address climate change a hallmark of her administration, while endorsing goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to limit global warming.