KUNM

Update

Albuquerque Tech Center Gets Fed Grant - Associated Press

The economic development arm of the University of New Mexico has received a $1.5 million federal grant for creating a new high-tech business district in downtown Albuqueruque.

U.S. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich Wednesday announced the Commerce Department funding for the Innovate ABQ initiative.

The grant brings funding for the project to $6.5 million, or close to the appraised value for the seven-acre First Baptist Church site that the project hopes to purchase.

NM's Infant Mortality Rate On The Rise - Associated Press

New Mexico health officials are concerned about an increase in the state's infant mortality rate.

The state Department of Health says New Mexico's rate has exceeded the national rate for the first time since 1994. The latest figures show an increase from 5.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 6.9 in 2012.

Health Secretary Retta Ward says the department will monitor the numbers closely to see if the increase signals a trend.

NM Governor To Seek Money For Water Emergencies - Associated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to create an emergency fund to help communities with critical drinking water supply problems.

The governor proposed Monday that lawmakers allocate $200,000 to allow the administration to immediately respond when local governments face emergencies and potentially are running out of water.

Martinez also wants to be able to replenish the fund automatically in $200,000 installments by issuing an executive order.

Judge Says State Can Keep Audit Secret - Associated Press

A state district judge in Las Cruces has ruled the state can keep secret the audit that prompted it to freeze payments to substance abuse and mental health providers.

State District Judge Douglas Driggers rejected a request by the Las Cruces Sun-News and New Mexico In Depth to order the Human Services Department to release the audit under state open records laws.

NM Teachers Object To Evaluation System - Associated Press

Unions representing teachers and other educational employees organized protests Wednesday against a teacher evaluation system by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration that heavily bases ratings on student performance on standardized tests.

National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers encouraged teachers to wear black and participate in rallies across the state.

Albuquerque Votes On Late-Term Abortion Ban - Associated Press

Voters in New Mexico's largest city will decide Tuesday whether to ban late-term abortions.

The municipal referendum is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and is being watched as a possible new front for activism in the abortion wars that have typically been waged at the federal and state levels.

The outcome is anyone's guess following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising.

State: 15 NM Teachers Get Stipends For Transfers - Associated Press and The Las Cruces Sun News

New Mexico Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says the state is "off to a good start" with 15 teachers each approved to receive a $5,000 stipend for transferring from a top-graded school to a low-graded one.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the teachers worked for the Las Cruces, Taos, Las Vegas City, Espanola, Estancia and Gallup school districts.

Albuquerque Police Officer Shoots DWI Suspect - Associated Press and KOAT-TV

Albuquerque's police chief says one of his officers has shot a drunken-driving suspect during a traffic stop.

Chief Allen Banks says the shooting happened early Friday after an officer pulled over a car. Banks tells KOAT-TV that after the car stopped the driver inside showed a gun and the officer shot the person.

The unidentified suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The officer was not hurt.

NM Ed Chief Vows To Push Law On 3rd-Grade Reading - Associated Press and The Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico's top education official says Gov. Susana Martinez won't stop pushing for legislation to hold back third-graders who can't read at grade level.

Public Education chief Hanna Skandera vowed that she and Martinez will be "back in full force" to push the proposal in 2014. The Legislature has rejected the plan for the past two years.

Tribal Leaders Gather For White House Conference - Associated Press

American Indian leaders are gathered in Washington, D.C., to talk directly with officials in President Barack Obama's administration about their needs.

The White House Tribal Leaders Conference is scheduled for Wednesday. Obama is set to deliver remarks to representatives invited from 566 tribes across the country at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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.

NM County's Investments Probed By State Officials - Associated Press and The Albuquerque Journal

The State Securities Division has launched an inquiry into Bernalillo County's investment practices.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the agency is trying to determine if a turnover of the county's $300 million investment portfolio was the result of a misguided effort in pursuit of higher interest rates or something more sinister.

Santa Fe Mayor Wants Proper Disposal Of Nuke Waste - Associated Press

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss is urging the Los Alamos National Laboratory to analyze and properly dispose of its nuclear waste.

He's also calling on the New Mexico Environment Department to disallow the creation of a permanent nuclear waste dump.

Coss is chairman of the regional coalition of Los Alamos National Laboratory Communities.

Los Alamos' proposed remedial plan allegedly leaves nuclear waste buried in pits and trenches at the laboratory's Area G.

Martinez Rips School Official For Twitter Comments  - Associated Press and KOAT - TV

Gov. Susana Martinez is calling out Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Winston Brooks over his social media remarks about Martinez's education secretary, and Brooks is apologizing.

Brooks had suggested in Twitter comments to a KOAT-TV reporter Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Moriarty that Skandera "head for the livestock truck."

KOAT  reports that Winston then tweeted "Moo, moo, oink, oink!!"

Wildlife Poaching Appears To Be On The Rise In NM - Associated Press

Wildlife poaching appears to be on the rise in New Mexico.

Game and Fish officials say they're investigating 22 cases across the state involving elk, deer and antelope carcasses found headless and left to rot.

Department officers are running road blocks across the state to check for illegal hunting activity and to gather data about harvest success.

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