ABQ may be facing special election

From KOB-TV.com - By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - Taxpayers may be on the hook to pay for a special election this spring with just one question on the ballot. A special interest group wants voters to approve a measure that would require candidates for mayor and city council in Albuquerque to win with at least 50 percent of the vote to be declared the winner. The group wants the new law to take effect before the next mayoral election.
In 2009, Richard Berry beat out Martin Chavez and Richard Romero for mayor with 40 percent of the vote. "It is not anti-RJ Berry, it is not anti-Martin Chavez or anyone else, it's pro-good government," said Paul Broome, a spokesman for the cause.
"It's in Rio Rancho's City Charter and they don't seem to have a problem with it,” said Broome. “They seem to like it and it should be in our charter as well." Broome brought pages of petition signatures to City Clerk Amy Bailey.
Bailey and her staff are going through each page, validating signatures. A little more than 12,000 signatures are needed for a special election. If there are enough signatures, the city must hold the election within the next three months at cost of about $750,000. Bailey said the office does not have funds at this point to run the election. A spokeswoman for the mayor said the city would be forced to cut city services if it is forced to hold a city election.
"The city spends about $33 million a year administering and defending itself on negligence cases. If we can't spend a half a million dollars to better government for our citizens, maybe there is something wrong here," Bailey said. The City Clerk has ten days to validate the signatures and determine if there are enough for a special election. Read more


Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 12/12/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

ABQ Health loses laptop with information
$9 million acquired in criminal and civil cases
Gov. wants sex offender clarification
SHARE system down 

                                          Visit spenceassetmanagment.com 

NM collected $9 million in criminal and civil cases

U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales says federal prosecutors in New Mexico collected nearly $9 million in fiscal 2012 for victims in criminal and civil cases. 
Gonzales says the District of New Mexico collected $8.7 million related to criminal and civil actions. Additionally, he says, the office collected $1.1 million in criminal and civil forfeitures. Gonzales says the collections are more important than ever during these tough economic times.
 Federal law requires defendants to pay restitution to victims who have suffered a physical injury or financial loss. Restitution is paid directly to the victim, while criminal fines and felony assessments are paid to the department's Crime Victims' Fund. 


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 12/12/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

Gov. wants sex offender clarification
Ben Shelly in Israel
Group sues Santa Fe National Forest
Reps want Rio Rancho investigation

                                         Visit spenceassetmanagement.com 

Gov. and AG want sex offender law clarification

Gov. Susana Martinez and Attorney General Gary King may ask the Legislature to clarify registration requirements for out-of-state sex offenders who move to New Mexico

Sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement for certain New Mexico crimes or the equivalents of those crimes in other states. The state Supreme Court last week overturned a Las Cruces man's conviction for not registering after moving to New Mexico. The court said there wasn't enough evidence to show the man's sex offense in California was the same as a New Mexico sex crime requiring registration. 
Spokesmen for Martinez and King said separately on Monday that their offices will consider legislation to deal with issues raised by the court.


Navajo Nation president in Israel

Ben Shelly
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly is visiting Israel this week.  
Shelly and his wife, First Lady Martha Shelly, arrived Saturday amid Hanukkah celebrations and growing tensions between Israel and Hamas. 
But Shelly says he plans to stay out of the political fight, and instead concentrating on Israel's agricultural and infrastructure strategies. He says he also wants to learn more about Judaism and its history. 
Shelly intends to visit a number of the country's top leaders in agriculture, including members of the Ministry of Agriculture and dignitaries of the Knesset, Israel's legislative body.


Group suing Santa Fe National Forest

A statewide off-highway vehicle user group is suing the Santa Fe National Forest over its travel management plan. 

The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday. The group's president, Jim Tyldesley, says the complaint is being filed on behalf of all forest users. He contends the plan closes more than 70 percent of existing roads and trails on the northern New Mexico forest, significantly reduces camping options and makes it difficult for hunters to retrieve game. 

The plan was signed by Forest Supervisor Maria Garcia in June. After a flurry of appeals, regional officials upheld the plan in October. 


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Wsebcast 12/12/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

                                     Listen here:

Methadone treatment at NM jail to continue
PNM to double solar power
Republicans ask for Rio Rancho investigation

                                          Visit spenceassetmanagement.com 


NM republicans ask for Rio Rancho election investigation

The Republican Party of New Mexico has asked the state Attorney General’s Office to assign an independent prosecutor to investigate Election Day voting delays in Rio Rancho for potential fraud.
 The state Republican Party charges that Democratic officials in Sandoval County ignored the potential for insufficient ballot-printing equipment to result in hours-long voter lines at several vote centers in Rio Rancho. The party has said those long lines for Rio Rancho voters likely caused some voters in the Republican-leaning community to choose to stay home. 
Attorney General’s Office spokesman Phil Sisneros on Tuesday said he was unaware of the Republican Party’s request for an independent prosecutor’s investigation. 
Sandoval County spokesman Sidney Hill said the county would comply with requests for information by the Attorney General’s Office, but said he was unaware of any inquiry.


PNM to expand solar power to meet standards

State regulators have approved PNM's renewable energy procurement plan for 2013.

PNM, the largest electric utility in New Mexico, says it plans to double its amount of solar power with new and expanded arrays capable of producing 20 megawatts of electricity. It also plans to enter into a 20-year contract to purchase 10 megawatts of geothermal power from a plant southwest of Lordsburg. 

The procurement plan is aimed at helping the utility meet New Mexico's portfolio standards, which call for utilities to get at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. That will go up to 20 percent by 2020. 


Methadone treatment to continue at NM jail

Treatment for substance abuse addictions at the Metropolitan Detention Center will continue into 2013 after the Bernalillo County Commission decided to extend the contract until it can vote on the matter. 

Community activists flooded the public comment portion of the meeting, blasting the county for discontinuing the program. Dozens of people approached the podium to tell their elected officials that depriving drug addicts’ methadone to kick the habit is inhumane.
 MDC Chief Ramon Rustin said he wanted to get rid of the methadone treatment program because programs like these are uncommon for jails. Rustin said he believes the community should look to non-profits to provide this kind of treatment, not the jail system. 
The commission made it clear Tuesday evening that ending the program is not for the jail director to decide. Methadone treatment will continue at the MDC unless the commission votes otherwise.