Rapper Snoop Dogg faces drug charge after stop in same place where Willie Nelson was busted

From the El Paso Times - Snoop Dogg has joined country singer Willie Nelson on the list of musical artists who have been weeded out by the law in Sierra Blanca. The world-famous rapper was arrested and released at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint Saturday morning in Sierra Blanca after agents found marijuana on his tour bus. Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor, by the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office. He has been ordered to appear in court before or on Jan. 20. Representatives for Snoop Dogg could not be reached for comment. The Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office said that Border Patrol agents detected the odor of marijuana from his 2009 black Prevost tour bus that stopped at the checkpoint on Interstate 10 East around 3 a.m. Saturday, according to a statement. Agents ordered everyone out of the bus so that a drug-sniffing dog could conduct a search. The dog alerted agents to a trash can in the back of the bus that had a red prescription bottle containing marijuana cigarettes, the news release said. Agents also found two other containers with marijuana in them, the news release said. In total, the marijuana weighed .13 pounds. Snoop Dogg admitted that the marijuana belonged to him and was placed under arrest by Border Patrol agents, the news release said. Read more

Three City of Albuquerque employees fired for fraud

From KOB-TV.com - The City of Albuquerque fired three employees accused of defrauding the city in various schemes. A report provided to KOB Eyewitness News 4 by the city states employees Susan Dixon and Robin Sandler lost their jobs for running a racket while working inside the John Marshall Health and Human Services Center. They were paid to help non-profits give out patient care, but investigators found they were running a tax return business instead. “These people were not authorized by anyone in the city to be preparing taxes," said Director of Family and Community Services, Robin Otten. Since 2003, the city report states Dixon and Sandler were charging people for tax preparation services, even though neither are licensed to do so. The report states once they met with a private investigator looking into the matter, Dixon ordered her staff to take all of the tax returns to the basement and place them in milk crates and label them “sugar.” “Which says to me they weren't supposed to be doing this," commented Otten. The report also states the two were entrenched in a bowling league racket. Investigators found Sandler had more than 3,000 entries in her city computer of managing a for-profit bowling league, which Otten said had nothing to do with her city job. “Its absurd to think that anyone would have thought it's alright to run a private business while they are on government time being paid by taxpayers," Otten said. And the fraud continues. The report states there is at least $20,000 that nobody can find. Read more

APD: Car thief steps into baited trap

From KRQE-TV.com - ALBUQUERQUE - Police detectives say they busted an Albuquerque teen who stole what turned out to be a bait car planted by the Albuquerque Police Department early Saturday morning. Angelo Godla, 18 was arrested on one count of auto theft after being accused of lifting the bait car in the southeast part of the city. “As soon as he gets out of the neighborhood he thinks he’s in the clear, pulls over twice to rummage through the vehicle, try and go through the trunk,” Lt. Scott Lopez with the APD Property Crimes Unit said. He drove around in the car for about seven minutes before being pulled over, He gave up easily, police said. It is no accident that car was lying in wait where it was. “We look at past history for auto thefts, and based on that we can project with about 99 percent accuracy where a car is going to be stolen," Lopez said. "We put our fleet of bait cars there, and this is a prime example that it works." Read more

Eagle Nest Lake opens to ice fishing

From the Santa Fe New Mexican.com - EAGLE NEST — Eagle Nest Lake is now open to ice fishing, but only foot traffic is permitted on the ice at this time. The lake needs to be frozen at least 9 inches deep for any activity to take place. The lake opened to foot traffic Dec. 30. "This is a conditional opening for walk-in fishermen only," a recording for the Eagle Nest Lake Visitor Center said. "No snowmobiles or ATVs are allowed. Violators will be cited." State officials advise anglers to stay away from pressure ridges or areas of open water. The New Mexico State Parks Division has a formal procedure for checking the depth of ice. The ice thickness is measured starting at the shoreline and progressing out over the lake. When the ice is considered safe, the lake is opened to ice fishing. Read more

NM Construction Industry Job Losses Staggering

Capitol Report New Mexico - The Albuquerque Journal wrote about it and Gov. Susana Martinez talked about it. Now you can look at the statistics showing New Mexico had the biggest decline in construction jobs in the past year of any other state in the US, including the District of Columbia. Here are the numbers released by the Associated General Contractors of America, based on data from the US Department of Labor: Read full story here: News New Mexico

Albuquerque Has Less Road Funds

KRQE - Albuquerque officials say the city's ability to maintain roads and build new projects is going to take a serious hit in 2013. Mayor Richard Berry's administration is projecting the city will have $110 million in bond capacity for the next bond cycle, far less than the $164 million it had to work with in 2011.
"$110 million is quite frankly not enough to keep the city in great shape on a long term basis," said Mayor Berry. "We really need to be in a $200 million range for a bond program for the city of ABQ and frankly that's where we would be if those property taxes hadn't been shifted away from the built environment and into the operation of government." Mayor Berry is referring to the transfer of approximately $48 million a year in property taxes into the general fund budget over the course of the last several fiscal years to balance the city's finances. But city finance director Lou Hoffman says a flattening of property tax revenues aren't helping either. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Mitt We Have a Problem

Dear Mitt,
Congratulations on winning the Iowa Caucus! I know you have worked long and hard for the Republican Presidential Nomination.

Marita Noon
On the night of the caucuses, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS), was heard saying: “Republicans, in general, aren’t enthusiastic about any of their choices.” This is clear as evidenced by the search for the “not Romney” candidate.
While DWS was correct, one thing all Republicans are enthusiastic about is beating President Obama. They will unite behind that cause. If you are to be the candidate who unites the Republican Party, you are going to have to differentiate yourself from President Obama to win support beyond Iowa. You’ve got several problems there.
One problem is your view on manmade climate change. The American public doesn’t view global warming as an important issue—this is especially true for Republicans. Yet President Obama continues to tout green jobs. In the name of saving the planet, his administration’s policies are making it difficult for people to feed their families and heat their homes.
People know his Solyndra-esqe failures have eaten up taxpayer dollars at a time when neither individuals nor the government have money to gamble, while adding to his campaign cash. They support the Keystone XL pipeline that would provide jobs and increase our energy freedom—but President Obama won’t make a decision on it. They are seeing their electric bills increasing and food costs going up. Each of these can be traced back to his insistence—in spite of evidence to the contrary—that climate change is a crisis caused by human’s use of hydro-carbons. Read rest of the column here: News New Mexico


Feds Seek "Input" on Depleted Uranium Tails

KOB TV - Idaho-based International Isotopes Inc. plans to deconvert the tons of depleted uranium tails that will be produced each year at a National Enrichment Facility in the town of Eunice.
In the process, International Isotopes will be able to simultaneously extract fluorine gases that could be sold and used in manufacturing solar panels, computer screens and medical equipment.
Federal regulators have released a draft environmental impact study on the proposed uranium deconversion plant. Staffers found through a preliminary assessment that the deconversion plant would have no large environmental impacts. Elected officials from the area have expressed support for the project and the public is now being asked for input. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The Secret: Alice in White House Land

NY Post - It was the tea party the Obamas just couldn’t resist. A White House “Alice in Wonderland” costume ball — put on by Johnny Depp and Hollywood director Tim Burton — proved to be a Mad-as-a-Hatter idea that was never made public for fear of a political backlash during hard economic times, according to a new tell-all. “The Obamas,” by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor, tells of the first Halloween party the first couple feted at the White House in 2009. It was so over the top that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas sent the original Chewbacca to mingle with invited guests.
The book reveals how any official announcement of the glittering affair — coming at a time when Tea Party activists and voters furious over the lagging economy, 10-percent unemployment rate, bank bailouts and Obama’s health-care plan were staging protests — quickly vanished down the rabbit hole.
“White House officials were so nervous about how a splashy, Hollywood-esque party would look to jobless Americans — or their representatives in Congress, who would soon vote on health care — that the event was not discussed publicly and Burton’s and Depp’s contributions went unacknowledged,” the book says.
However, the White House made certain that more humble Halloween festivities earlier that day — for thousands of Washington-area schoolkids — were well reported by the press corps. Read full story here: News New Mexico

NCAA and BCS are Corrupt

The Alabama, Houston, Boise State, LSU, and Oklahoma State football programs have something in common. Each finished their seasons with one loss. Five weeks ago, at the end of the regular college football season, there was enough time to invite the top 32 teams to a national championship playoff and determine a genuine National Champion. Instead fans are asked to recognize a faux national champion. Nothing could be less American.
Instead of a fair system, the NCAA colludes with an inherently corrupt BCS organization. Together these two bodies conspire each year to preserve an antiquated bowl system and funnel dollars to large established conferences. Their schemes prevent up and coming football programs like Boise State and Houston from EVER competing for their mythical championship. And they also force up and coming programs to abandon their conferences and traditional regional rivalries for east or west coast conferences. The process is as anti-free market and totalitarian as any dictatorship. The NCAA and BCS should not be supported nor should their "declared champion" be recognized. All media outlets engaging in "debates" about which of the one-loss teams are the best in the nation rather than demanding a playoff contribute to institutionalized corruption.