NM ranks second in nation for violent deaths

When you think about New Mexico's state of health, violence plays a leading role in the statistics.
A new report from the state Department of Health says that New Mexico has the 2nd highest violent death rate in the nation. It also says that in 2011, homicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 34.
Lisa Rains' son, John Rains, is now part of those statistics. He was murdered in Grants in 2012. Lisa Rains says the high violence in New Mexico is because of the lenient laws.

"It's almost like there's a big huge sign posted 'if you're a murderer or want to commit a serious crime, come to New Mexico because you're going to walk away,'" Rains said.

The state Department of Health report attributes a lot of the state's health problems to the population's socioeconomic status.

From KOB. 

Building code battle returns to court

 Environmentalists are accusing state construction regulators of running afoul of the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
The court last week overturned a 2011 decision by the state Construction Industries Commission to revamp green building codes that former Democrat Gov. Bill Richardson's administration promoted as among the most environmentally friendly in the country.
The court said the commission failed to provide reasons for changing the construction standards. The case was ordered back to the commission for reconsideration and a new vote.
The Construction Industries Division says it will continue to enforce the codes until it determines whether to appeal the ruling. A decision is expected at a special meeting next week.
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is now asking the court to hold the division in contempt for continuing to enforce the codes.


Senate committee approves Ken Gonzales for federal judge

Ken Gonzales

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday unanimously approved the nomination of U.S. Attorney Ken Gonzales as New Mexico's next federal judge.
The Albuquerque Journal reports the committee had delayed its vote on Gonzales since February over concerns by the panel's ranking Republican, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, about Gonzales's handling of a Deming-area gun case.
Grassley said on Thursday that a committee inquiry into the matter allayed his concerns.
The nomination now goes to the full Senate for final approval. No vote has been scheduled but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he wants to move quickly on a batch of stalled judicial appointments.


Gov. on the road to raise funds

Gov. Martinez

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is in Colorado to raise money for her re-election campaign and speak to a business group.
Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey said Thursday that the governor is holding a fundraiser in Denver and will appear at a separate non-campaign event.
Martinez will attend a reception by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry at Coors Field. The owner of the Colorado Rockies baseball team will speak at the event and Martinez will talk briefly about an economic development package of tax cuts that was approved by the Legislature and signed into law.
McCleskey said the re-election campaign will pay for Martinez's travel and she will return to New Mexico Thursday evening.