Thousands of people converge on WSMR for 23rd annual Bataan march

Photo by Norm Detlaff/Las Cruces Sun-News
From the Alamogordo Daily News - The lives, and deaths, of 1,800 New Mexico National Guard members who endured the Bataan Death March in April 1942 are being commemorated. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the fall of Bataan, when American and Filipino military forces surrendered after battling for days to keep Bataan from the control of the Japanese military. Those among the New Mexicans who survived Bataan lived the rest of their lives with nightmares of all the horrific experiences they endured. But their spirit has been immortalized among the three larger-than-life bronze statues and the footprints in cement of actual Bataan veterans that are included in the Bataan Memorial Monument. Unveiled 10 years ago, a re-dedication of the Bataan Memorial Monument was staged last Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park, 2651 Roadrunner Parkway, in Las Cruces. Read more

Senate Candidate Says He Had Only One Bankruptcy

Charles Rountree
From -Charles "Blacke" Rountree, whose corporation is licensed to produce marijuana in New Mexico, filed for bankruptcy when he lived in Illinois. He says it was a single case, but court records show three filings because he changed attorneys. "I've had one bankruptcy due to the concurrent foreclosure of my home, a divorce and the company I worked for at the time downsized," he said. The court records, in the Northern District of Illinois, show that Rountree filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection starting in 2000. In another matter, state corporation records list Rountree as president of GrassRoots Rx, a medical marijuana company in Cibola County. Rountree, on a promotional website, is listed as owner of the company, but he says that is an error. Rountree, in emails and an interview, said he is merely a member of the company's board of directors. Like all state-sanctioned marijuana companies, those involved in GrassRoots Rx had to form a nonprofit New Mexico corporation to be licensed. Rountree, 53, is running for the Senate in District 4. It includes parts of Cibola, McKinley and San Juan counties.

NM Police Involved in Shootings Given Union Checks

From -Albuquerque police officers involved in a rash of fatal shootings over the past two years were paid up to $500 under a union program that some have likened to a bounty system in a department with a culture that critics have long contended promotes brutality. Mayor Richard Berry called Friday for an immediate halt to the practice, which was first reported in the Albuquerque Journal during a week in which Albuquerque police shot and killed two men. Since 2010, Albuquerque police have shot 23 people, 18 fatally. “The administration has nothing to do with how the union conducts their business,” Berry said in a statement, “but I was shocked yesterday when made aware of this practice. I cannot stand aside and condone this practice — it needs to end now.” Although the union said the payments were intended to help the officers decompress from a stressful situation, one victim’s father and a criminologist said it sounded more like a reward program.  More News New Mexico

Four "Hate Groups" in NM

From - The 11th Hour Remnant Messenger is one of four hate groups in New Mexico, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  The others include two "aggressive Christianity" or anti-Muslim groups in Berino, south of Las Cruces, and in Fence Lake, south of Gallup; and the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for which no locale is given.  The state with the most hate groups is California with 84, followed by Georgia with 65, Florida with 55 and Texas with 45.  The Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil-rights nonprofit founded in 1971, has listed the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., as a hate group for years. Eleven of the new groups on the hate map were listed for anti-gay bigotry. But the law center said the largest growth in recent years has been in the Patriot movement, "which is composed of armed militias and other conspiracy-minded organizations that see the federal government as their primary enemy."  More News New Mexico

7 NM Lawmakers Could be Removed From the Ballot

Sec. of State Dianna Duran
From -Seven legislators in New Mexico are facing the possibility of being removed from the ballot because of their voter signature forms failed to list the district numbers of the offices they're seeking. The Albuquerque Journal reports that one of the seven is Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings.  The Democrat from Roswell says new candidate requirements might have contributed to the confusion and predicts the issue would be easily resolved.  The others are Republican Sen. Sue Wilson Beffort of Sandia Park, Democratic Rep. James Roger Madalena of Jemez Pueblo, Democratic Sen. Pete Campos of Las Vegas, Republican Rep. Dianne Hamilton of Silver City, Democratic Rep. Rodolpho Martinez of Bayard and Republican Rep. Rick Little of Chaparral. Secretary of State Dianna Duran is expected to decide the issue next week.

NM Coyote Hunting Contest Stirs Critics

From -A contest that involved killing more than a dozen coyotes in Farmington is drawing ire from a state wildlife protection group for its "bloodthirstiness  The Farmington chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife held a so-called coyote-calling contest last weekend, attracting 22 hunters who killed 16 coyotes in two days. It was the seventh year for the event.  Hunters use specialized reeds to mimic the sounds of a dying animal, such as a rabbit, to attract the coyotes to kill them. The Farmington Daily-Times reports ( ) that such events aren't too common in New Mexico, but Sportsmen member Frances Espinoza said hunting predators is a fast-growing hobby across the country. Proponents of the practice say that coyotes damage deer herds and kill livestock and sometimes people's pets, while critics say it amounts to animal cruelty. "While these events aren't illegal, they are astonishingly egregious for their bloodthirstiness," said Phil Carter, wildlife campaign manager for Animal Protection of New Mexico. He said anyone who supports the "repulsive killings contests" is displaying a callous disregard for wildlife.  More News New Mexico