Ghost town to reopen, murder unsolved

From - by RUSSELL CONTRERAS - STEINS, N.M. (AP) - Seven months after 68-year-old Larry Link was gunned down in the dusty expanse of the ghost town he owned and where he once hosted tourists, his murder remains unsolved. Speculation about the killing — Link was shot five times, his scalp was lacerated and his chest and stomach were bruised — from neighbors and family members ranges from Mexican drug cartels to a random stranger, who might have happened across the collection of dilapidated clapboard, rock and log buildings that is Steins from nearby Interstate 10. The investigation has stalled, with New Mexico State Police asking the public for help. Authorities believe Link's death might have been a robbery gone wrong. A semi-trailer used for storage on the property appeared to have been broken into, with items from inside strewn on the ground. Meanwhile, family members have announced that they will reopen the Steins Railroad Ghost Town for tours in May. The curious will be able to experience what was once a bustling mining and railroad town, which survived on water freighted in by the Southern Pacific, had competing bordellos and, most recently, a very modern episode of Old West violence. Steins is located in far southwest New Mexico, atop the state's Bootheel, where nearby residents have long worried about drug trafficking and its related violence. Read more

Part Of Rio Rancho Open Space Area Could Be Sold

From - A part of the area the has the Veterans Monument Park and a series of open trails in Rio Rancho may be turned into a parking lot. Turtle Mountain Brewery wants to purchase the land near the Esther Bone Memorial Library from the city for additional parking. Some residents said the sanctity of the space intended to honor veterans is being maligned. Ty Teel, a Navy veteran, said the place gives honor to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the country. "They are the ones, a lot of them, that didn't come back," Teel said. He said the least their memory deserves is a little peace and quiet. The city is mulling over a proposal to sell a chunk of land that comes right up to the edge of the memorial to the brewery, so up to 50 additional parking spaces can be added. Customers of the brewery told Action 7 News it does need more parking, especially during the summer months. Preliminary drawings obtained by Action 7 News do show a proposal to put up a retaining wall around the new parking spots. Read more:

Deming Intruder shot by home owner

From the Deming Headlight - By Matt Robinson, Headlight Staff - A home intruder was shot on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 2 as he attempted to charge the home owner. Authorities were tipped off when the failed home intruder called Central Dispatch with his cellular phone seeking help for his two gunshot wounds. Justin Hull, 32, suffered two gunshot wounds after he broke into a home on the 5000 block of Amapola Road in the county. The home owner, a 62-year-old man, had called the Luna County Sheriff's Office to his residence earlier that evening because he had noticed some of his personal items stacked in a strange way. According to Capt. Arturo Baeza, of the LCSO, the home had been burglarized in early Dec. 2011 and the home owner suspected the stacked items were awaiting pickup by intruders. The LCSO conducted its investigation of the oddly-stacked items, then left when they concluded everything was fine. The home owner then sat in his property - which does not have heat or electricity, according to the LCSO - and waited. "He hears a bam and the door flew open and there's this guy charging in," Capt. Baeza said, reading from the LCSO report. "The guy closed distance on him and he (home owner) shot at him three times." The owner was able to connect with the intruder on two shots from his .45-caliber pistol. Hull suffered gunshot wounds to his right leg and beneath his rib cage on the left side of his torso. "We got tapes from the 911 call where he admitted he broke into this guy's house," Capt. Baeza added, noting the call was received at about 10:40 p.m. Read more

Giants beat Patriots 21-17 to win the Super Bowl


Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Lizards

The Albuquerque Journal is reporting that there is now a rift developing between dueling government agencies within the Obama administration. It seems that on one hand there is the Bureau of Land Management which is staffed by bureaucrats more interested in trying to counteract the president’s growing image as an oil and gas industry jobs and wealth destroyer. And on the other hand are some of the most radical elements in the administration, those working in the Fish and Wildlife Service who would happily destroy the very economic foundations of the nation's energy infrastructure to save some obscure “critter” that most people never heard of.
Apparently the Bureau of Land Management bureaucracy is promoting a compromise that officials say will protect the so-called dunes sagebrush lizard, while still allowing the high paying jobs and enormous tax revenues flowing out of energy industry in southeast portion of the state to continue.
For its part, the BLM has been enrolling both ranchers and energy companies in agreements that “protect” and “reclaim” the so-called habitat. It says tacking on these added costs will make the job and wealth killing consequences of an endangered species listing unnecessary. Read full story here (subscription required): News New Mexico


Martinez Applauds Passage of Anti-Corruption Bill

Susana Martinez
Governor Susana Martinez applauded the New Mexico House of Representatives for passing HB 111 yesterday. The legislation will increase penalties for public officials who are convicted of corruption by preventing those individuals from doing business with the state, requiring them to forfeit their public pensions, and providing stronger prison sentences for public corruption offenses. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), passed with bi-partisan support by a margin of 41-26. Speaker Ben Lujan was joined by 25 other Democrats that voted "no'" on the bill. You can see the final vote here.
Ben Lujan

“The first and only job of public officials is serving taxpayers – not using their position for personal benefit,” said Governor Martinez. “Removing pensions and prohibiting corrupt officials from doing business with the state will send a strong message that we will not tolerate those who put their own gain ahead of the responsible use of taxpayer dollars. I applaud the House of Representatives for working across party lines to help confront public corruption and I urge the Senate to act quickly on this legislation so we can work to restore New Mexicans’ trust in their leaders.”
“When a public official is convicted of corruption, they should be held accountable by returning their pensions to taxpayers and being barred from receiving state contracts or doing any other business with the state,” added Rep. Gentry. “This is a common-sense, bi-partisan policy that will help to rebuild confidence that elected officials, state leaders, and public employees are working on behalf of the public rather than using taxpayer resources to benefit themselves.”