Headlines: SF Parade For Marathon Winner, Native Actors Quit Movie...

Apr 24, 2015

Credit Meredith Nierman / WGBH News

Boston Marathon Winner Rotich To Get Santa Fe Parade - The Associated Press

The city of Santa Fe is holding a parade for a Santa Fe resident who won the Boston Marathon.

Officials announced this week the city and other groups will sponsor a parade on Monday in honor of Caroline Rotich.

Rotich, who has lived and trained in Santa Fe for about five years, used a late kick to bust through the tape first among the women runners in the 119th running of the prestigious event.

The 30-year-old Rotich says she spends nine to 10 months a year training in Santa Fe. She also runs in Albuquerque's bosque.

Officials say Rotich will be in the parade.

Adam Sandler Movie Sparks Debate Over American Indian ImagesThe Associated Press

A group of American Indian actors walking off the set of an Adam Sandler movie has sparked a debate over why Native American stereotypes in media have endured.

It also shows that more Native Americans are voicing their opinions.

This week, eight actors quit the production of the satirical Western "The Ridiculous Six" over complaints about offensive names and religious scenes.

Writer Megan Red Shirt-Shaw says the move generated praise on social media from American Indian advocates because Hollywood continues to embrace outdated stereotypes.

Other Native Americans say more actors and writers are needed in media to battle hurtful images and that the actors should have stayed on set.

The Sandler film is set for a Netflix-only release, and the streaming service says it's designed to lampoon stereotypes popularized in Western movies.

North America's Largest Powwow Draws Thousands To New MexicoThe Associated Press

Droves of Native American and other indigenous performers and spectators have converged in New Mexico for the 32nd annual Gathering of Nations, North America's largest powwow.

More than 3,000 dancers, drummers and singers representing some 700 tribes from the United States and Canada typically attend the three-day event in Albuquerque. The competitions also draw tens of thousands of spectators from around the world.

Organizers expect anywhere from 80 to 100,000 visitors.

According to a recent study the event has had an average annual economic impact of about $21 million over the past five years.

Judge: Slain Deputy's Personnel Records Will Not Be Released - The Associated Press 

The defense team for a Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting another deputy will not be using the victim's personnel records in their defense after a judge denied their request to have the documents released.

Tai Chan is accused of killing Santa Fe County Deputy Jeremy Martin in October after they went drinking in Las Cruces where they were staying after transporting a prisoner. Chan has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that John Day, Chan's lawyer, says they plan to argue the killing was self-defense. He says the files would have helped show Martin's "proclivity to violence."

The prosecution called the request a "fishing expedition."

Judge Fernando Macias denied the motion on April 17.

Albuquerque School Board OKs Contract For New SuperintendentThe Associated Press

The Albuquerque school district's board has approved a three-year contract for incoming superintendent Luis Valentino.

The contract includes a $240,000 annual salary and allows for annual raises equal to average annual raises received by the district's teachers.

The board approved the contract Friday following negotiations with Valentino since he was selected April 11 from three finalists.

Valentino currently is associate superintendent and chief academic officer for the San Francisco Unified School District. In Albuquerque, he will succeed interim Superintendent Brad Winter.

The contract runs from July 1 of this year through June 30, 2018.

Valentino said in a statement released by the district that he's eager to begin transforming the school system into what he called a "high performing and nationally recognized school district.

American Indian Actors Quit Adam Sandler Movie Over Names - The Associated Press

A group of American Indian actors have walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie over complaints about stereotypes and offensive names.

Actor Loren Anthony told The Associated Press on Thursday that he and eight others quit the production of the satirical Western "The Ridiculous Six" after producers ignored their concerns about its portrayal of Apache culture.

Anthony says the script also included offensive names for Native American female characters. He says producers told them to leave if they felt offended.

A spokesman for Sandler's New Hampshire-based production company, Happy Madison Productions, didn't immediately return a phone message.

"The Ridiculous Six" is produced by Sandler and Allen Covert and is slated for a Netflix-only release. Production on the film began this month in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico.

Oil And Gas Lease Sale Brings In $2.1M For New MexicoThe Associated Press

April's oil and natural gas lease sale has netted more than $2.1 million for state trust land beneficiaries.

The New Mexico Land Office says a dozen tracts totaling more than 3,500 acres were leased.

The highest sealed bid of $480,160 for 160 acres in southeastern New Mexico's Eddy County came from Chase Oil Corp. of Artesia.

The highest oral bid of $840,000 was submitted by Yates Petroleum for 320 acres in Lea County.

The revenue raised by the monthly sales benefit public schools, universities and hospitals.

New Mexico To Spend Record $2.75B On Public Education - The Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

Spending on early childhood programs and public schools in New Mexico will top $2.75 billion in the coming budget year.

That's the largest amount in state history. It will include funding to implement several new initiatives by the state Public Education Department.

Education Secretary Hanna Skandera tells the Albuquerque Journal she considers the budget a success since state lawmakers had less money than expected to appropriate for the next year due to dropping oil prices.

Still, disagreement persists over whether it will be enough for the state's 89 school districts to pay teachers and cover costs such as utilities and insurance.

Public school spending makes up about 44 percent of the $6.2 billion budget passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez during the recent legislative session.

State Has Excess Office Space, Building Projects Report Says - The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

While two state government building projects in Santa Fe are stalled, a report by the Legislative Finance Committee shows there is more than enough state-owned space.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the study shows the total amount of leased and state-owned office space has remained unchanged since 2012, while the number of state employees has dropped 12 percent since 2008.

A Health and Human Services complex and an executive office in Santa Fe have been in planning stages for more than two years, but the report suggests the state reevaluate the need for such buildings.

Landlords who lease office space to state agencies argue that building new complexes would inflate vacancy rates.

A General Services spokesman said no decisions have been made on either building project.

Woman Bitten By Rabid Fox In Lincoln County - The Associated Press and KOB-TV

A 78-year-old woman was bitten by a rabid fox in southeast New Mexico, marking the first case of rabies in the state this year.

KOB-TV reports that the woman was walking near her home in Lincoln County Monday when a fox bit her on the leg. New Mexico Fame and Fish said the animal tested positive for rabies.

The gray fox was euthanized by a Game and Fish Warden. The woman has begun rabies preventive therapy.

Game and Fish officials say there was a rabies epidemic among gray foxes in New Mexico from 2007 to 2010.

Officials are warning the public to stay away from wildlife that is dead, injured or acting abnormally.

2 Men From China Sentenced In New Mexico In An Export Case - The Associated Press

Two men from China have been sentenced to federal prison in New Mexico for conspiring to export sensors primarily manufactured for sale to the U.S. Department of Defense.

A federal judge Thursday sentenced 29-year-old Bo Cai, of Nanjing, to two years in prison.

Cai's 30-year-old cousin Wentong Cai, of Chifeng, received an 18-month prison term.

Both will be deported after completing their sentences.

The men pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to smuggle sensors to China without first obtaining the required export license.

The sensors are used in high-level defense applications such as line-of-sight stabilization and precision motion control systems.

Authorities say the men obtained a sensor from undercover agents. Bo Cai was arrested at a Los Angeles airport with a sensor concealed in a computer speaker inside his luggage.

Man Convicted Of Kidnapping, Human Trafficking In New Mexico - The Associated Press

A man is facing up to 97 years in prison after being convicted in a kidnapping and prostitution case in New Mexico.

State prosecutors say a jury in Bernalillo County on Thursday found Wallace Carson guilty of first-degree kidnapping and human trafficking.

They say Carson was convicted of kidnapping a 17-year-old girl from a downtown Albuquerque bus station in February 2013 and transporting a 21-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas to Albuquerque.

Prosecutors say Carson also was found guilty on two counts of promoting prostitution and two counts of accepting the earnings of a prostitute.

They say Carson faces 33 years of imprisonment and possibly 64 additional years as a habitual offender when he's sentenced at a later date.

Man Convicted Again In 1993 Killing Sentenced To Life Term - The Associated Press

A man whose earlier murder conviction in a 1993 killing in Portales was overturned has been sentenced to life in prison plus three years after being convicted a second time.

The 9th Judicial District Attorney's Office said 44-year-old Arnoldo Navarette was sentenced Thursday after being convicted Feb. 6 by a jury.

The New Mexico Supreme Court overturned Navarette's original conviction on grounds that his constitutional rights were violated because he wasn't able to confront the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on the victim, 30-year-old Reynaldo Ornelas Sr. of Portales.

The supervising pathologist who oversaw the autopsy testified at the original trial because the pathologist who conducted the autopsy was out of the country at the time.

Navarette fled after the shooting. He was arrested in Odessa, Texas, in 2009.

Pair Of Mexican Gray Wolves Released Into Wild Near Alpine - The Associated Press

A breeding pair of endangered Mexican gray wolves has been released into the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

The female had been captured in January to be paired with a more genetically diverse male.

Wildlife officials say they're hopeful the two will improve the overall genetic profile of the wolf population. They believe the female wolf is pregnant.

The pair was placed in an enclosure this week in the Alpine Ranger District in a territory once occupied by the Rim Pack. They will have to chew through fencing to release themselves into the wild. Wildlife officials will provide food while the wolves learn to hunt.

The most recent survey shows at least 109 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico. That's up from 83 the previous year.