Winter Storm To Bring Freezing Rain And Snow, New Mexico Regulators Delay Racino Vote

Dec 6, 2018

Winter Storm To Bring Freezing Rain, Snow - KUNM News

A winter storm is on its way Thursday night. Rain and snow will develop across western and central New Mexico. Some freezing rain could cause ice buildup and difficult travel.

According to the National Weather Service, most of the snow accumulations will be above 7500 feet and along Highway 550 and parts of I-40. The San Juan and Jemez Mountains could see 2-4 inches of snow below 7500 feet and twice that at higher elevations.

Freezing drizzle and ice pellets could develop after midnite in the Middle Rio Grande valley especially above 7000 feet. There will be mostly snow overnight Friday night. The storm is expected to start to clear up across the state on Saturday.  

New Mexico Regulators Delay Racino Vote - Associated Press

New Mexico regulators are putting off a decision regarding the state's sixth and final license for a new horse racetrack and casino after one of the contenders went to court to seek a preliminary injunction.

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to table the license issue, and it was not immediately clear when the panel would take up the matter again.

Chairman Ray Willis said it was in the best interest of the commission to seek legal advice before going forward.

Attorneys for Hidalgo Downs, a group that wants to build a racino in southwestern New Mexico, filed a petition in court last week in an effort to put the brakes on the process. The filing contends the commission has not done enough to study the issue.

The state's five existing racinos have voiced concerns about adding a sixth venue.

New Mexico Coach Apologizes For Pregame Skirmish - Associated Press

University of New Mexico head men's basketball coach Paul Weir is apologizing for the actions of some of his players before the start of Tuesday's matchup against in-state rival New Mexico State.

Weir in a statement issued Thursday said he was extremely disappointed and wanted to apologize to everyone at the state's flagship university and at NMSU.

He says he was embarrassed and described the behavior as unsportsmanlike.

Neither Weir nor Aggies head coach Chris Jans witnessed the scuffle that ensued as the teams took the floor to warm up. They didn't want to talk about it much after the game, saying only that they would look into it.

Witnesses reported shoving and punches thrown between the teams.

The Aggies went on to rout the Lobos 100-65, extending their streak to five victories in the series for the first time since 1956.


New Mexico Governor Revamps Website To Tout Accomplishments - Associated Press

The public website for the governor's office in New Mexico has undergone a makeover to highlight economic accomplishments and spending on public education during the eight-year tenure of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez as a Democrat prepares to succeed her.

The governor's office cites a $2 billion budget surplus by combining two years of estimated state government income that hasn't materialized yet.

Those estimates were made in August as oil production in the New Mexico hit an all-time high and will be revised next week. Government economists say the state's recent revenue growth is mostly tied to the energy sector.

The website notes a $450 million increase in state spending on public education since Martinez took office. Martinez is appealing a court order that seeks greater resources for struggling public schools.   

New Mexico Republican Retires From State Senate - Hobbs News-sun, Associated Press

Republican state Sen. Carroll Leavell of Jal is retiring after more than two decades in the New Mexico Legislature.

Leavell told the Hobbs News-Sun that he decided to step aside due to health reasons. He says he fought cancer for more than two years and while it's under control, the aftermath has been difficult.

First elected in 1996, Leavell sat on the influential Legislative Finance Committee that drafts the state budget. He represented a Republican-dominated district that spans Lea and Eddy counties in the southeastern corner of the state, where oil and natural gas development are concentrated.

His replacement can be chosen by the state governor from suggestions by county commissions within the Senate district.

Democrats currently hold a 26-seat majority in the 42 member Senate.

Search Warrant Targets Lobo Club Bank Records, Spreadsheets - By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Agents with the state attorney general's office have seized documents from the University of New Mexico Lobo Club as part of an ongoing investigation into questionable spending by the school's troubled athletics department.

A search warrant made public Wednesday shows the agents were after bank statements, spreadsheets, reimbursements and other records related to former Athletic Director Paul Krebs.

Krebs stepped down last year amid inquiries into the handling of public money within the athletics department.

The investigation began after tens of thousands of dollars was spent on a 2015 golf trip to Scotland that included athletics officials and private donors.

Prosecutors are looking at whether there were possible violations of conduct laws and the state Constitution's anti-donation clause.

They've also alleged that Krebs asked employees to delete emails and text messages relating to the spending.

New Mexico Racing Regulators Set To Rule On 6th 'Racino' - Associated Press

New Mexico racing regulators are set to decide if they will issue the state's sixth and final license for a horse racetrack and casino.

The New Mexico Racing Commission on Thursday also could name the winning bid for the final license despite objections from New Mexico’s five existing "racinos."

Under the state's compacts with casino-operating tribes, only six racinos are allowed in New Mexico. The five existing racinos are in Hobbs, Ruidoso, Farmington, Albuquerque, and Sunland Park.

There are three other proposals out of Clovis, New Mexico, including one involving a "moving grandstand" that will allow an audience to travel alongside running horses.

Two other projects are proposed for Tucumcari along the historic Route 66 and Lordsburg near New Mexico's Bootheel.

EPA: Fish Damage From Mine Spill Wasn't Severe, Long-lasting - Associated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency says fish and other aquatic life didn't suffer severe or long-lasting damage from a 2015 mine waste spill that polluted rivers in three states.

An EPA report released last week analyzed the effects of Gold King Mine spill in southwestern Colorado, which an EPA-led contractor inadvertently triggered. Rivers in New Mexico, Colorado and Utah were polluted with a bright yellow-orange plume carrying iron, aluminum and other metals.

The EPA says parts of the Animas River in Colorado were already so polluted by decades of waste spilling from inactive mines that some fish had already been killed or driven off.

The agency says that in other areas, the potential damage to fish was lower because the pollution was diluted and kept moving downriver, so they weren't exposed long.

State Police: 14-year-old Carlsbad Girl Killed In A Rollover - Associated Press

New Mexico State Police say a 14-year-old Carlsbad girl is dead after a car crash in Eddy County.

They say eight people ranging in age from 14 to 17 were in an SUV that rolled southeast of Carlsbad around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

State Police say Sierra Corrales was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Three other occupants of the SUV were also taken to hospitals with varying degrees of injuries not believed to be life threatening.

According to State Police, the SUV was travelling at a high rate of speed at the time of the rollover.

They say alcohol isn't believed to be a factor in the crash and it appears seat belts weren't in use.

State Police say charges are pending against the driver.