State: Most New Mexico Parents Don't Get Literacy Notices — The Associated Press
Most New Mexico parents of students in first to third grade aren't getting required letters notifying them of students' lack of reading skills, according to numbers released Friday by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
The lack of notification is hurting parents with the decision on whether they should hold students back and stalling efforts to get students proficient under key early years, Public Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said in an interview with The Associated Press.
According to data released by the education department, 15,344 notification letters were sent last school year for the 27,143 students deemed not proficient in reading in first to third grade. State law requires school districts to send notification letters midyear to parents of students in those grades struggling with reading proficiency.
State data show that of those 27,143 students, more than 21,000 advanced to the next grade.
Curry County Jail Earns 3-year Accreditation — The Associated Press
The Curry County jail has earned accreditation from a special council of the New Mexico Association of Counties.
Detention Administrator Mark Gallegos tells The Eastern New Mexico News he has been working toward the accreditation since taking over in 2016.
To earn the accreditation, staff updated policies and procedures to meet the 208 mandatory standards developed by the council. They cover areas such as security and mental health.
The detention center passed the inspection of six auditors and will need to do so again in three years to maintain the accreditation. It must also keep documentation to verify that best practices are being followed.
The newspaper reports the designation is significant for a detention center that has been scrutinized for more than a decade after multiple inmates escaped its confines.
Land Managers Drafting Plan For New Mexico's Otero Mesa — The Associated Press
Federal land managers are drafting a plan that will guide the management of resources and potential energy development in the Otero Mesa, an area of southern New Mexico where environmentalists have sought protections for decades.
The Bureau of Land Management is expected to have a resource management plan for the Otero Mesa area ready for public comment next spring, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
Oil and gas development on the mesa would potentially lead to the construction of 350 new miles of road over the next 20 years, according to BLM officials. The agency believes development will also bring jobs and income within those industries to Otero County.
Southwest Environmental Center director Kevin Bixby said he worries the mesa would be irrevocably spoiled if industrial uses such as oil and gas drilling or mining were allowed.
Efforts over the years to secure wilderness or national monument status for the area have been unsuccessful.
Hopis Reject Political Establishment In Vote For Top Leaders — The Associated Press
A small northern Arizona tribe has chosen new leadership as it faces the loss of coal royalties that make up a huge chunk of its budget.
Tim Nuvangyaoma won the Hopi chairman's post with 969 votes, beating out David Norton Talayumptewa by more than 325 votes, according to unofficial results. Nuvangyaoma's uncle by clan and former colleague at the Hopi radio station, Clark Tenakhongva, will join him in the administration as vice chairman.
The two will lead amid economic uncertainty, with the expected closure of a coal mine in 2019 that feeds a power plant near Page on the neighboring Navajo Nation. Royalties from coal extracted at the Kayenta Mine make up 85 percent of the Hopi budget, and the reservation's isolation makes economic development difficult.
Nuvangyaoma said Friday that he will seek input from Hopis on potential solutions.
"It's going to be a lot of work, but I'm prepared for the challenge," he said. "I'm open to building relationships with the council, and I definitely want to start building relationships with the departments and really look at the whole picture."
Man Dead Following Shootout With New Mexico Deputies — The Associated Press
Bernalillo County authorities say a man is dead following a shootout with deputies on the northern edge of Albuquerque.
Sheriff Manuel Gonzales told reporters Friday the man had opened fire on deputies after barricading himself inside a home. Four deputies returned fire.
When SWAT team members eventually entered the home, they found the man dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
Authorities were waiting for positive identification but they believe he is the same man that prompted a call early Friday about a possible aggravated assault in which a man was accused of pointing a gun at his father.
Gonzales confirmed that deputies have been called to the home before.
This is the second time deputies have opened fire this week. A domestic violence suspect was shot and critically injured on Sunday.
Oilman, Philanthropist Dies In New Mexico — The Associated Press
An oil and gas pioneer who loved work and was known for his philanthropy has died at his home in northwestern New Mexico.
The Daily Times of Farmington reports that Tom Dugan died Tuesday. He was 91. His family says a memorial service is scheduled for Nov. 18 at San Juan College.
Dugan's granddaughter, Megan Rains, said her grandfather was committed to his company and loved going to work every day. She said he was loyal to the employees at Dugan Production Corp. and they were loyal to him.
A military veteran, he moved to Farmington in the early 1950s after graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in petroleum engineering.
His exposure to the oil business started in Kansas with summer jobs at a local oil refinery.