KUNM

Governor Relaxes Occupational License Rules, State Holds Funeral For Forgotten Vets

Oct 4, 2018

New Mexico Relaxes Occupational License Requirements, Fees – Associated Press

New Mexico's Republican governor is ordering state agencies and boards to reduce requirements for occupational licenses in dozens of fields.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at making it easier for people to enter the workforce by reducing educational and testing requirements for entry-level positions.

Martinez said in a news release that licensure fees are being reduced or even waived entirely for poor and low-income residents who receive food stamps or subsidized health care under Medicaid.

The order applies to boards overseeing licensing for acupuncture, oriental medicine, architecture, barbers, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, funeral services, massage therapy, public accounting and real estate, social work, sign language interpreting and more.

Occupational licensing can address concerns of public safety and consumer protection but also is criticized for limiting work opportunities.

Navajo Court Rules In Favor Of Former Two-Term PresidentAssociated Press

Former two-term Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. can continue his run for the tribe's top elected office.

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court made the decision Thursday after hearing an appeal on term limits.

One of Shirley's primary challengers, Vincent Yazzie, had argued the court erred in previously ruling that Navajos who have served two consecutive terms as president could sit out a term and run again.

Yazzie's initial grievance was dismissed as untimely and for failure to state a violation of the election code.

The high court justices upheld that ruling by the tribe's Office of Hearings and Appeals.

Shirley faces current Vice President Jonathan Nez in next month's general election.

The court hearing had forced the tribe's election office to shift its schedule for printing ballots.

Workers Return To Mine Following Evacuation – Carlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

Employees of a New Mexico mine returned to work after the facility was evacuated for three days following a possible gas leak from a nearby oil and gas well.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the air quality was tested on Tuesday at the Mosaic Company's Carlsbad potash facility after employees were evacuated Monday, and the mine was again cleared as a "precautionary" measure.

It was kept closed Wednesday as the company continued to test the quality of the air in the underground mine.

Mosaic spokesman Tyler Hopson says the facility received a warning call from a nearby operator Monday evening of a safety "concern" at the nearby well.

Hopson refused to name the operator, and was unsure about the well's distance from the mine.

Hopson says no safety incidents were reported at the site.

Hearing Scheduled On Increasing Nuclear Waste Load At WIPPAlbuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Environment Department has scheduled a hearing on a measure that would increase the amount of nuclear waste that could be placed in a southern New Mexico facility.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the hearing on the permit modification for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant would be on Oct. 23 at New Mexico State University’s Carlsbad campus.

Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican from Carlsbad, sought to avoid a public hearing on the requested changes in a comment she filed in September supporting the plans. Most of the 36 comments filed on the permit modification opposed the change.

Don Hancock, director of the Nuclear Waste Program at the Southwest Research and Information Center in Albuquerque said he’s concerned supporters of the permit expansion want to get it approved before the gubernatorial election in November.

A spokesman for Republican candidate U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce says he supports the measure, while his Democratic opponent, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has said the decision should not be rushed.

Ex-Border Patrol Supervisor Pleads Guilty In Child Porn Case – Associated Press

A former supervisory U.S. Border Patrol agent has pleaded guilty in New Mexico to a child pornography charge.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Jason Christopher Davis of Las Cruces could serve up to 15 years in prison under the plea agreement.

Davis pleaded guilty Wednesday in an Albuquerque courtroom to production of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He will have to register as a sex offender.

The ex-border agent was arrested in May on suspicion of receiving child pornography.

Investigators say they found digital media with child pornography at his home.

His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

State To Hold Funeral For 9 Forgotten Military Veterans – Associated Press

State officials say they will hold a funeral Thursday for nine deceased U.S. military veterans who were indigent or whose bodies were not claimed by relatives.

The ceremony at the Santa Fe National Cemetery is set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

Officials say the veterans' remains will be interred with full military honors under a program meant to ensure "no veteran will be alone at the end."

The funerals include an Honor Guard, flag-folding presentation and Taps.

The program falls under the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, with support from Bernalillo County.

Ex-border Patrol Supervisor Pleads Guilty In Child Porn Case – Associated Press

A former supervisory U.S. Border Patrol agent has pleaded guilty in New Mexico to a child pornography charge.

Federal prosecutors say 46-year-old Jason Christopher Davis of Las Cruces could serve up to 15 years in prison under the plea agreement.

Davis pleaded guilty Wednesday in an Albuquerque courtroom to production of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He will have to register as a sex offender.

The ex-border agent was arrested in May on suspicion of receiving child pornography.

Investigators say they found digital media with child pornography at his home.

His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

State To Hold Funeral For 9 Forgotten Military Veterans – Associated Press

State officials say they will hold a funeral Thursday for nine deceased U.S. military veterans who were indigent or whose bodies were not claimed by relatives.

The ceremony at the Santa Fe National Cemetery is set for 11 a.m. Thursday.

Officials say the veterans' remains will be interred with full military honors under a program meant to ensure "no veteran will be alone at the end."

The funerals include an Honor Guard, flag-folding presentation and Taps.

The program falls under the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services, with support from Bernalillo County.

New Mexico Relaxes Occupational License Requirements, Fees – Associated Press

New Mexico's Republican governor is ordering state agencies and boards to reduce requirements for occupational licenses in dozens of fields.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at making it easier for people to enter the workforce by reducing educational and testing requirements for entry-level positions.

Martinez said in a news release that licensure fees are being reduced or even waived entirely for poor and low-income residents who receive food stamps or subsidized health care under Medicaid.

The order applies to boards overseeing licensing for acupuncture, oriental medicine, architecture, barbers, cosmetologists, tattoo artists, funeral services, massage therapy, public accounting and real estate, social work, sign language interpreting and more.

Occupational licensing can address concerns of public safety and consumer protection but also is criticized for limiting work opportunities.

New Mexico Lawmaker Gets One-day Sentence For DWI- By Mary Hudetz, Associated Press

A judge has ordered a New Mexico lawmaker to serve a day in jail after finding her guilty last week of aggravated drunken driving.

The ruling Wednesday gives Rep. Monica Youngblood, an Albuquerque Republican, credit for time served at the time of her May arrest. The minimum sentence for the misdemeanor charge against her is 48 hours.

Youngblood's sentence also includes requirements to complete community service and pay court fines. An alcohol ignition interlock placed on her vehicle in August will remain for a year.

She has until Oct. 19 to check into jail.

Her sentence comes after the state attorney general called last week for an ethics committee review of her conduct during her arrest. Video shows her telling an officer that she's a lawmaker who advocates for police.

Pedestrian Dies After Being Struck By A Train In Albuquerque – Associated Press

New Mexico State Police say a pedestrian is dead after being struck by a train in Albuquerque.

They have identified the victim as 62-year-old Gerald Paul Smith of Albuquerque.

State Police say their initial investigation indicates Smith was trespassing on a restricted area of the railroad tracks near Commercial and Indian School when he was struck by a Railrunner around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The train had just left the downtown station before the fatal incident.

State Police say Smith was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

They say it's still unknown why Smith was on the tracks or whether alcohol was a factor in the incident.

State Police say their investigation is ongoing.

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