Seminarian Among 2 Killed In Colorado Bus Crash, New Wind Farm Slated For Southeast New Mexico

Jun 24, 2019

4 Remain Hospitalized After Colorado Bus CrashAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Authorities say four people remain hospitalized after a charter bus carrying a church youth group crashed in southern Colorado. The crash killed two people.

State Patrol Sgt. Blake White said Monday that one person was listed in critical condition at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. White says three people are being treated for serious injuries at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo.

White says nine people were treated for minor injuries and released from area hospitals.

Jason Paul Marshall, a seminarian with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was killed, as was the driver of the bus, whose identity had yet to be released late Monday.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the group was from the Newman Center at the University of New Mexico. They were returning to New Mexico from a weekend retreat in Denver when the bus struck a bridge abutment and veered off Interstate 25 north of Pueblo.

White says the bus operator, Follow the Sun Inc. of Albuquerque, is cooperating in the investigation.

Telephone messages left with the company weren't immediately returned.

Seminarian Killed In Colorado Bus CrashAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, says that one of its seminarians died in the crash of charter bus carrying a church youth group in Colorado.

The Albuquerque Journal reported the group was from the Newman Center at the University of New Mexico. The archdiocese said in a Monday statement that 53-year-old Jason Paul Marshall was killed in Sunday's crash.

Marshall was chaperoning a youth group that had attended a weekend Catholic retreat in Denver.

The state patrol says the driver of the charter bus, who was not identified, also was killed. Investigators were looking into the possibility the driver had a medical issue that may have contributed to the crash.

The Santa Fe archdiocese says all 13 remaining passengers, including youth and adults, are recovering from their injuries.

The group was returning to New Mexico when the bus struck a bridge abutment and veered off Interstate 25 north of Pueblo. The crash is under investigation.

2 Dead In Albuquerque Charter Bus Crash In Southern Colorado - Associated Press

A charter bus carrying 15 members of a church group ran off a highway after striking a bridge support Sunday in southern Colorado, killing two people and injuring several others, a state patrol official said.

The bus was carrying a charter group from a church in Albuquerque, which The Albuquerque Journal reports was the University of New Mexico Aquinas Newman Center. Alvarado said the bus was traveling southbound on Interstate 25 when it struck the bridge structure and veered off the highway about 10 miles north of Pueblo, state Patrol Cpl. Ivan Alvarado said.

The driver may have had an unspecified medical issue that contributed to the crash, Alvarado said. The driver, whose identity wasn't released, was ejected from the bus and died, he said.

The identity of the other person who died wasn't immediately known. Thirteen other people sustained injuries varying from minor to critical, the state patrol said.

The bus was returning to New Mexico from a convention in Denver, The Pueblo Chieftain reported , citing Colorado State Police officials.

Prosecutors Say Member Of Armed Border Group Is Flight RiskAssociated Press

Federal prosecutors say a man who has been spokesman for a group of armed civilians that patrols the U.S.-Mexico border is a flight risk and should remain jailed on accusations of impersonating a federal agent.

A grand jury in New Mexico indicted 44-year-old James Christopher Benvie last week on two counts of false personation of a U.S. officer or employee. The indictment alleges Benvie, of Minnesota, impersonated a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Doña Ana County, New Mexico, on April 15 and 17.

The civilian groups have been widely criticized after videos surfaced showing them detaining immigrants.

Benvie was arrested Friday in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Prosecutors say in court filings that Benvie is dangerous and should remain detained.

His attorney, Bill Earley, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. A hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Oklahoma City.

Member Of Armed Border Group Indicted For Impersonation - Associated Press

A man who has been a spokesman for a group of armed civilians patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border has been charged with impersonating a U.S. officer or employee.

Federal prosecutors in New Mexico say an indictment returned Wednesday by a grand jury in the state charged 44-year-old James Christopher Benvie with two counts of false personation of a U.S. officer or employee. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said that Benvie, of Albany, Minnesota, made an initial appearance in federal court Friday in Oklahoma after the FBI arrested him there.

The indictment alleges Benvie committed the offenses in Doña Ana County on April 15 and April 17.

A detention hearing is set for Tuesday. He'll be transported to New Mexico for prosecution.

Half Of Private School's Students Got Vaccination WaiversAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

Officials say more than half the students at a New Mexico private school have received state exemptions to required vaccinations.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday that 119 out of 226 students at the Santa Fe Waldorf School were exempted for the 2018-19 school year.

Waldorf School spokeswoman Carole Cressman says the number of exempted students has remained steady over the past five years.

Cressman says the school doesn't track of how many of the vaccination waivers are for medical or religious reasons.

State Department of Health spokesman David Morgan says the department considers this density of unvaccinated children at a school a "risk to public health."

He says the more unvaccinated people grouped together, the more likely a preventable disease like measles will spread.

Government Moves Migrant Kids After Poor Conditions ExposedAssociated Press

The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 kids were detained there and caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.

Rep. Veronica Escobar said 30 children were at the facility near El Paso as of Monday. Her office was briefed on the situation by an official with Customs and Border Protection.

Attorneys who visited the station in Clint, Texas last week said older children were trying to take care of infants and toddlers, The Associated Press first reported Thursday. Some had been detained for three weeks, and 15 children were sick with the flu.

It's unclear where all the children have been moved. But Escobar said some were sent to another facility in El Paso.

Man Suspected Of Killing 2 In New Mexico In Custody In Texas - Associated Press

A suspect in the deaths of a 19-year-old woman and her mother in southeast Albuquerque has turned himself in to police in Texas.

Albuquerque police announced Sunday that 20-year-old Jesus Cartagena Jr. is being held by El Paso police on suspicion of two counts of murder in the deaths of Shanta Hanish and her 58-year-old mother, Laura Hanish.

According to a criminal complaint, Shanta Hanish had recently broken up with Cartagena.

She was a student at the University of New Mexico while her mother was due to retire this year after 24 years as a social worker at the Public Defender's Office.

The women's bodies were found in their home Friday morning when an employer went to go check on Laura Hanish after she didn't show up for work.

New Wind Farm Coming To Southeast New Mexico - Carlsbad Current-Argus, Associated Press

A new wind farm is coming to southeast New Mexico, and the project will bring turbines and transmission lines to key counties.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the San Diego-based EDF Renewables recently announced that construction on the Oso Grande Wind Project will start this year and the farm will go into full operations by the end of 2020.

The project between EDF Renewables and Tucson Electric Power will consist of 61 turbines in Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties in New Mexico.

EDF Renewables says the energy generated will be delivered to Tucson, Arizona, and the system will have a capacity of about 247 megawatts.

Tucson Electric Power President David Hutchens says the project will be his company's largest renewable energy asset and advance its goal of increasing renewable resources.

US Census Bureau Using Aerial Tech To Help With 2020 Count -By Russell Contreras Associated Press

The U.S. Census Bureau is using new high-tech tools to help get an accurate population count next year as it faces criticism for the way it plans to reach out to people of color.

Census employees are taking images captured from satellites and planes to verify addresses in rural communities and compare them to previous maps from 2010.

It comes as the bureau is planning internet and telephone questionnaires, which advocates say would be more likely to overlook rural areas without reliable communication infrastructure.

Deirdre Dalpiaz Bishop of the bureau's geography division says employees check the data through computers and then plan how to send staff to hard-to-reach areas if census questionnaires aren't returned.

City University of New York Mapping Service director Steven Romalewski calls the technology promising.

Wildfire In Lincoln National Forest Continues To Grow - Associated Press

A wildfire in south-central New Mexico continues to grow in the Lincoln National Forest.

State and federal fire officials say the fire grew Sunday to more than 9 square miles and is uncontained.

The blaze outside of the small community of Arabela, New Mexico, began Thursday and the cause remains under investigation.

The fire area includes multiple cabins, communication structures, archaeological and historical sites, and the unique wilderness characteristics of the Capitan Mountains Wilderness.

Around 300 firefighters are working to calm the inferno.

Arebela is about 220 miles southeast of Albuquerque.

University Of New Mexico Gets Rare George Orwell Collection - Associated Press

A longtime advocate and employee of the University of New Mexico University Libraries is donating his collection of rare George Orwell books.

The university announced last week that professor and curator emeritus Russ Davidson has agreed to donate his Orwell book collection, which includes first editions of "Animal Farm" and "1984" in various languages.

Davidson's extensive collection also includes scarce editions of many of Orwell's other books, essays and journalistic writings.

The collection will be part of an Orwell exhibit in Zimmerman Library from September 2019 through spring of 2020.

Davidson worked at University Libraries for 25 years.

The British-born Orwell was known for his allegorical novella "Animal Farm" and dystopian novel "1984," both of which tackled totalitarianism. Orwell's "1984" has become a best-seller in the U.S. again during the Trump administration.