Tuesday News Update: New Mexico Woman Who Sued To Marry Partner Dies

Nov 12, 2013

New Mexico Woman Who Sued To Marry Partner Dies - Associated Press

A New Mexico woman who won an emergency court order allowing her to marry her longtime partner this summer in one of a cascade of same-sex weddings in the state has died.

Jennifer Martin Neuman-Roper had been suffering from terminal brain cancer and died on Friday at the age of 44, according to an obituary on DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory's website. The ACLU of New Mexico issued a statement saying her participation in the group's freedom to marry case "helped open the door for thousands of same-sex couples to celebrate their love and commitment in marriage here in our state."

Jennifer and Angelique Neuman-Roper had an impromptu service in the lobby of the Christus St. Vincent Cancer Center on Aug. 21. A larger case on the legality of same-sex marriage in New Mexico hasn't been resolved.

Albuquerque Airport Braces For Fewer SW Flights - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

Airport officials in Albuquerque are bracing for significant Southwest Airlines flight losses next year when a federal law that restricts direct flights to Dallas Love Field expires.

Southwest is the Albuquerque International Sunport's biggest operator with 38 of the airport's 78 daily departures.

A federal law known as the Wright Amendment has forced Southwest to restrict its nonstop flights from Love Field to destinations within Texas and nearby states. Southwest flights heading for Los Angeles and Las Vegas from Love Field often stop in Albuquerque to comply with the rule.

The amendment is set to expire in October.

Southwest says it's too early to tell the impact. But city Aviation Director Jim Hinde tells the Albuquerque Journal he expects a cut in the number of flights.

Rail Runner Faces 2015 Deadline For Safety System - Associated Press

State officials estimate it could cost $30 million to implement a federally required safety system for the Rail Runner Express commuter rail system.

A federal law requires some passenger and freight railroads to implement a "positive train control" system by the end of 2015. Such systems can automatically apply brakes if an operator fails to slow a train for a stop signal or when speed is restricted.

A draft state rail plan by the Department of Transportation identifies the safety system installation as a high priority for commuter rail improvements.

The agency is holding meetings statewide to gather public comments on the plan, which analyzes passenger and freight rail line needs.

Meetings are scheduled Thursday in Farmington, Friday in Albuquerque and next week in Santa Fe, Springer and Roswell.

Report Addresses Public Safety On Tribal Land - Associated Press

A commission formed as part of a law to combat crime on American Indian reservations is set to release a report on public safety in Indian Country.

The Indian Law and Order Commission traveled around the country to hear from tribal leaders on criminal jurisdiction, courts, grant funding and other topics. What it came up with is a 324-page report that addresses gaps in public safety.

The report, "Strengthening Justice for Native America: A roadmap," will be released Tuesday, a day ahead of the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington.

Commission Chairman Troy Eid says Native communities often are more dangerous than the rest of the country. He says outdated federal laws and policies are to blame.

Among the panel's recommendations is giving tribes more control over crimes on their land.

Water Service To Vaughn Restored - Associated Press

Five days after their taps ran dry, water has been restored to the central New Mexico town of Vaughn. But state environmental officials are cautioning the nearly 800 people on the Vaughn Duran Water System in Guadalupe County to boil their water before they drink it.

The area had been without water since last week because of a massive leak in the aging pipes.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has been trucking in non-drinking water for residents to use to manually flush toilets to try and keep homes sanitary.

But the leak was plugged Sunday night and water service was restored Monday.

The New Mexico Enivronment Department's Drinking Water Bureau says no contamination has been found but urges residents to seek an alternate source of drinking water, or to boil the water for five minutes before drinking, cooking and dishwashing.