Warren Taps Haaland To Co-Chair Campaign, Commission Votes To Reconsider Stream Access Rules

Nov 22, 2019

Warren Taps US Rep. Deb Haaland, 2 Others As ‘Co-Chairs’Associated Press

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has named U.S. Reps. Deb Haaland, Ayanna Pressley and Katie Porter as her campaign co-chairs.

Warren made the announcement Friday on social media with a video of the congresswomen at her campaign rallies.

Haaland of Albuquerque is one of the first Native American women elected to the U.S. House.

Pressley was elected to her Boston-area seat after defeating a Democratic incumbent in a primary last year. She is the first black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts.

Porter’s represents a district south of Los Angeles.

It was not immediately clear what role the co-chairs will play in the campaign.

New Mexico City To Try Comprehensive Crime-Fighting PlanAssociated Press

Facing another year of record homicides, New Mexico's largest city plans to tackle violent crime with a more comprehensive approach.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller on Friday outlined the city's new violence intervention program. It's the result of almost nine months of learning from efforts that have shown promise in places such as New York City and Oakland.

The mayor says fighting violent crime is complicated because it's usually rooted in issues such as domestic violence or addiction. He says solving those problems will take a team of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, social services and community partners.

A new unit within the Albuquerque Police Department will help coordinate the effort.

Officials say data shows most of Albuquerque's violent crimes have been committed by young men so improving outcomes for youth will be part of the equation.

Boy Scouts Mortgage Vast New Mexico Ranch As CollateralAssociated Press

One of the most spectacular properties owned by the Boy Scouts of America has been mortgaged to help secure the youth organization’s line of credit.

The Boy Scouts say there is no plan to sell the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. It is being used as collateral to help meet financial needs that include rising insurance costs related to sex-abuse litigation.

The move dismayed a member of Philmont’s oversight committee, who says it violates agreements made when the land was donated in 1938. The BSA disputed his assertion.

The mortgage document was signed by top Boy Scout officials in March. But members of the Philmont Ranch Committee only recently learned of the development.

The ranch is a popular destination for hiking and camping trips.

New Mexico Panel Opts To End Recreational Cougar TrappingAssociated Press

New regulations have been adopted by the New Mexico Game Commission that will prohibit recreational cougar trapping in the state beginning next year.

The commission voted unanimously in favor the new regulations during a meeting Thursday in Roswell.

The decision comes after Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Humane Society of the United States sued. The groups argued that indiscriminate traps and snares threatened legally protected species such as Mexican gray wolves and that hunting quotas for cougars were unsustainably high.

Under the new rules, hunting quotas for cougars will be reduced. New Mexico hunters will be permitted to kill 580 cougars over the next four years.

Trapping opponents applauded the vote but said the commission should consider doing away with all traps and snares on public lands.

Juvenile Detention Center In New Mexico To Close In DecemberRoswell Daily Record, Associated Press

County officials in New Mexico have voted to close the Chaves County Juvenile Detention Center after making transfer agreements with nearby counties.

The Roswell Daily Record reported Thursday that Chaves County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to close the detention center Dec. 29.

County officials say they signed an agreement with Curry County Nov. 5 to allow the transfer of youth offenders saving more than $1 million a year.

Officials say Chaves County would still have about $219,000 in expenses to juvenile detentions since they still would pay facilities by day to hold their county youth.

Those who opposed the closure have raised concerns about separating youth from their communities and not providing them the same services.

Officials say juvenile facilities have closed from changing attitudes about detaining youth.

New Mexico Commission Votes To Reconsider Stream Access Rule - Associated Press

The New Mexico Game Commission has voted to reconsider a rule governing access to streams and rivers adjacent to private property.

The commission voted 6-1 Thursday to order the Game and Fish Department to come up with a plan to either amend or repeal the measure.

The rule was adopted by the previous commission two years ago. It allows landowners to petition the department to certify waters on private property as "non-navigable" and prohibit public access without written permission.

The department has approved five applications certifying waters as "non-navigable." A few others are pending.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas says his office will work with the commission in the coming months to ensure the rule balances landowner interests in protecting their property from trespass and damage while ensuring New Mexicans' rights of access to public waterways.

New Mexico Task Force Rolls Out Climate Change Strategies Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says her administration is committed to addressing the causes and effects of climate change.

She reiterated her environmental focus Thursday with the release of a report prepared by her climate task force.

The document summarizes the steps taken by the first-year Democratic governor since assuming office and details upcoming regulatory strategies.

It also suggests New Mexico officials need to work faster if they want to reach a statewide target of reducing net emissions by 45% over the next decade.

According to the report, New Mexico's top greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and the transportation sector as well as methane, largely from oil and natural gas production.

The state is in the midst of drafting methane rules for the industry.

Prescribed Fires Planned For 3 New Mexico Counties - Associated Press

Federal land managers are teaming up with the state Game and Fish Department to conduct a series of prescribed fires across hundreds of acres in three New Mexico counties.

The work is scheduled to begin next week and is aimed at clearing out brush to reduce the severity and risk of wildfire.

One project involves about 1,000 acres within the El Malpais National Conservation Area near Grants. Fire managers estimate it will take a few days to complete the burning operations.

The exact timing will largely depend upon weather.

The other project will cover about 500 acres within the Ignacio and Chamisa Wilderness Study Areas southwest of San Luis.

Police Say Albuquerque To Surpass Year-End Homicide RecordAlbuquerque Journal, Associated Press

New Mexico authorities have announced three people were shot in less than two days pushing the number of homicides in Albuquerque to 72 and matching the highest year-end total in recent history.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Wednesday that the Albuquerque Police Department confirmed two people were killed and another was rushed to the hospital after suffering from gunshot wounds, each in unrelated cases.

Authorities say neither of the alleged homicide cases have been solved.

Mayor Tim Keller says officials expect this year to be one of the worst years on record and announced plans to double the number of homicide detectives among other initiatives.

Keller says Albuquerque was regarded as worst or second-worst nationwide in violent crime, auto theft and robbery leading into 2018.

New Mexico Environment Officials Want $1.2M To Study PlumeSanta Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

New Mexico's Environment Department is asking state lawmakers for $1.2 million to study a plume of toxic chemicals seeping from two U.S. Air Force bases.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports state Environment Secretary James Kenney said the requested money would be used to investigate the plume and is "a critical first step" in knowing how to contain it.

He says the department would hire a private contractor to study the pollution if the Legislature approves the special funding request.

New Mexico regulators first issued a notice of violation to the Air Force last year for failing to address the contamination at the base near Clovis adequately. They followed up earlier this year on Holloman, saying that base had yet to respond to concerns about the pollution near Alamogordo.

Video: Officer Had Youtube On Then Ran Red Light, Crashed - Associated Press

A lapel video shows an Albuquerque police officer accused of running a red light and crashing into a vehicle was streaming YouTube on a laptop before the accident.

The footage obtained by KOB-TV shows Officer Bryce Willsey streaming on a department-issued laptop inside the patrol car a clip on how to play a popular video game moments before the December 2017 crash.

Records show Willsey's patrol car struck a female victim who was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The victim later received a $40,000 payout in a settlement with the city of Albuquerque.

Willsey told investigators he saw a green light. But a witness told police he ran a red light.

Officials say Willsey was disciplined but not for streaming YouTube.

New Mexico Police Arrest 2 Students Suspected Of Having GunsAlamogordo Daily News, Associated Press

New Mexico authorities have arrested two middle school students on charges of possession of deadly weapons on school property.

Alamogordo Daily News reports that Chaparral Middle School administrators were alerted that two 13-year-old students allegedly had unloaded firearms on the campus Wednesday.

A school resources officer says she found the students and their backpacks.

Authorities say a pistol was found in the backpack of one student and another pistol and two knives were found on the other student.

The names of the minors were not released.

Alamogordo police say both students were charged with possession of a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm by a minor while one student was also charged with larceny of a firearm and larceny.

They are held at the Otero County Detention Center.

Another Woman Accuses Epstein Of Abuse, Sues His Estate - By Verena Dobnik, Associated Press

A woman who says she suffered lasting damage from sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 17 years old has sued his estate.

Teala Davies on Thursday joined the growing list of women who have sued the wealthy financier. She filed her lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.

Davies appeared at a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred.

She says she still hurts from abuse suffered over two years at Epstein's residences in New York, Paris, Florida, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Epstein killed himself in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. A message was left seeking comment from a lawyer for his estate.