Roswell police looking for new recruits in Michigan

From - By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News  - The Roswell Police Department made its way to Michigan this month to recruit police officers – a project that began when recruiters began considering the fact that 13 of their current officers were from the Great Lakes State.

Four officers, two of them Michigan natives, visited 11 police academies in the state. Officers in Michigan must first complete Law Enforcement Academy classes before hiring on with a Police Department. The classes are college-based, where individuals also get an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree before being employed with law enforcement. This means that these applicants will only need one week of training with RPD before they can start field training and then day-to-day work.

The recruiting efforts came as an attempt to fill 15 open positions at RPD, which the department says have been a little tough to find the right people for. RPD hopes these recruiting efforts, and others they’ve been doing within New Mexico, will help bring them to a full staff of 97 officers. Read more


PERA has $1.2 billion increase in unfunded liabilities

From Capitol Report New Mexico - The bad news for the state’s largest pension program — the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) — got worse on Tuesday (Oct. 23) when its executive director told members of a committee at the Roundhouse that PERA’s unfunded liability increased by $1.2 billion in the past year. “The increase was not unexpected,” Wayne Probst told the Investments and Pensions and Investment Oversight Committee. “Unfortunately, the increase is greater than anticipated.”
Last year, the unfunded liability — or, in plain English, the amount of money needed over time to make up the difference between incoming contributions and outgoing benefits to retirees — has risen from $5 billion to $6.2 billion. In the last three years, the unfunded liability has nearly tripled (it was $2.3 billion in mid-2009).
“The increase was driven primarily by poor investment performance in fiscal year 2012,” Probst said of the various stocks and bonds the $11 billion budget PERA handles for government employees who range from police officers to fire fighters to workers at state agencies.
PERA’s problems are indicative of public employee unions across the country that find themselves in a squeeze due to demographics of an aging population, an economic downturn and in some cases, guaranteed benefits that have proven overly generous. Read more


Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 10/23/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Industrial vacancy rate in ABQ up
Cowgirl bar in Santa Fe stops selling alcohol
NMFA audit findings to go public
NM unemployment rate down slightly 

Lobos picked to finish 3rd in Mountain West

The New Mexico Lobos men's basketball team has been picked to finish third in the Mountain West Preseason Media Poll.
San Diego State was picked to win the conference, earning 10 first place votes, followed by UNLV.
The Lobos are coming off a 28-6 season, tying for the second most wins in program history, a share of the regular season title and the conference tournament championship.
UNM returns eight letter winners, including three starters from the 2011-2012 season. The Lobos open the 2012-2013 season at The Pit against Davidson on November 12th.


Obama: The bill he signed, "won't happen"

Jim Spence
Analysis by Jim Spence - Barrack Obama submitted budgets the last two years. Both couldn't garner a single vote in either the House or the Senate. Not a single Democrat voted for either Obama budget.
One of the more amazing exchanges between Mitt Romney and Barrack Obama last night was in regards to one trillion dollars worth of spending cuts looming for the defense budget in January. It began when Mitt Romney explained the depth of the defense budget cuts that were passed in Congress and signed by Obama. The president got visibly irritated by the revelation. Suddenly when it was his turn to speak Barrack Obama said the bill he had actually signed into law earlier this year, "Will not happen."
How is it that a bill that went through both houses of Congress and had the Obama signature affixed to it......"won't happen?" Obama didn't say.
What was bizarre was that Obama seemed so miffed that Mitt Romney was pointing out the facts it appeared that he felt like he had to say something.
After making the incredible statement that the law he signed was irrelevant, Obama never explained how he or Congress would be allowed to disobey the law. He just said it wasn't his idea and it "won't happen." He also never explained why he signed the law he was now so visibly upset about.
The third consecutive progressive debate moderator, CBS's Bob Schieffer, never bothered to ask Obama why the law he signed was suddenly null and void with no further action.


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 10/23/12

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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NMFA audit findings to be made public
Court rules in appeal for Wayne Bent case
Governor in CO to campaign for Romney
Native American gets sainthood 

Assassination of Romney Threats Bombard Twitter

Commentary by Jim Spence - It all began with the majority of the American electorate completely ignoring the biggest red flag regarding Barrack Obama back in 2008. For sixteen years the man sat in Jeremiah Wright’s whacked out church. Sixteen years. Most Americans wouldn’t spend sixteen seconds listening to that ranting lunatic, let alone sixteen minutes or sixteen years. Not only did Obama listen to Jeremiah Wright, he called him his mentor.
Instead of using their common sense, many people naively bought into the flowery Obama speeches made during the 2008 campaign. He promised a new tone in Washington and the ushering in of a new attitude of unity in America. Not only was Obama was going to be a uniting influence he was going to put a stop to the reckless use of taxpayer money under Bush. Well not quite.
Jim Spence (left)
It came as no surprise to anyone who had listened to even a small portion of a Jeremiah Wright sermon that Obama's approach to policy was all about division, not unity. And since Obama took the oath of office it  has been no accident that Americans have been lectured frequently on how to divide out 5% of Americans here and 47% of Americans there.
In recent weeks our strange new world has turned even uglier. With the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, John Kennedy, and Bobby Kennedy, making threats on the lives of presidents and presidential candidates are grounds for long prison sentences. And for decades Americans would only on rare occassions read about some obscure crackpot that had been arrested by the Secret Service for threatening the life of a president or presidential candidate.
In America, legions of core supporters of Obama are engaged in behavior that has been considered taboo for two hundred and thirty-six years. Many supporters have promised on Twitter to start riots if Obama loses.
It seems after Obama failed to impress anyone at the first presidential debate and Mitt Romney surged in the polls, there have also been an incredible number of Obama supporters who have actually openly tweeted assassination threats against Romney. Apparently there are so many Obama supporters making threats on Romney's life the Secret Service doesn’t know quite what to do about all of them.
Yes, it is a strange new world we find ourselves in. You can read twenty-one different assassination threats against Romney posted on Twitter here and more coverage of this story here. Caution! Not only are the death threats alarming but the language used on these tweets is extremely vulgar.

New Mexico's U.S lawmakers spend time in the state

Sen. Tom Udall
  New Mexico’s U.S lawmakers have been spending time in their home state the last couple weeks. 

This week Senator Tom Udall is scheduled to visit Santa Rosa, Fort Sumner, Española, Silver City, Las Cruces and Santa Teresa to discuss economic development, education, helmet safety and border trade issues.

On Monday, Udall was in Santa Rosa to tour the Ilfeld Warehouse, the site of the future Route 66 Museum in New Mexico, and get an update from City Councilors and Guadalupe County Commissioners on ongoing economic development efforts. Today, Udall will meet with DBA Consulting, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that provides independent testing and assessment for new technologies and equipment for federal agencies like the Department of Defense and the State Department.

Then, on Tuesday, Udall will meet with Fort Sumner and De Baca County elected officials and State Rep. George Dodge, Jr. to discuss agriculture, energy and economic development issues.

On Thursday, Udall will give the keynote address at the 4th Natural History of the Gila Symposium in Silver City. From there, he will travel to Oñate High School in Las Cruces to meet with student athletes, coaches and trainers on concussions and sports safety. In 2011, Udall introduced the Children’s Sports Athletic Equipment Safety Act aimed at protecting youth athletes from the dangers of sports-related traumatic brain injuries.

On Friday, Udall will be in Santa Teresa to attend a briefing on border trade issues with local economic development groups. Then, he will tour Southwest Steel Coil and the Union Pacific Rail Facility. 

Rep. Steve Pearce
Meanwhile Congressman Steve Pearce hosted his eighth job fair of this Congressional term, in Hobbs on Thursday. The job fair wrapped up a series of events which fulfilled the Congressman’s commitment to putting New Mexicans back to work.

“We continue to focus on what is most important to get our economy going again, and that is connecting workers with job opportunities,” Mr. Pearce said. “I don’t know a more important role for Congress that I could do than get New Mexicans working again.”

More than 300 employers participated in the job fairs, which were held in Las Cruces, Roswell, Silver City, Alamogordo, Los Lunas and Hobbs. Approximately 2, 750 people attended the job fair series.

At last week’s job fair in Hobbs, Richard Johnson, Operations Manager of R360 Environmental Solutions of Hobbs, had 15 truck driving positions he was attempting to fill. “Each one of those positions have a potential salary of over $80,000,” Johnson said. “The economy is very strong in southeastern New Mexico and we need workers. We appreciate the opportunity to come and speak to job seekers.”

The Alamogordo job fair featured jobs for veterans with over 3,000 jobs available that day. “Employers should be looking at hiring veterans that are coming home right now. They are trained and ready to go to work, and the government offers incentives for hiring veterans that would be beneficial to companies,” added Pearce. 

Vanessa Dabovich


Carlsbad MVD Ambassador Program off to a slow start

Photo-Carlsbad Current-Argus
Monday was supposed to be the dawn of a new day at the Carlsbad branch of the Motor Vehicle Department. But customers who showed up to the office Monday said their visit was just more of the same frustrations over long wait times and customer service issues.
Mark Williams, director of the state's Motor Vehicle Division, told Carlsbad residents at a meeting last week they could expect big changes Monday, including the implementation of what he called the "MVD Ambassador Program." The Ambassador's job would be to greet customers and help them identify which documents they would need before waiting in line for service.
But there was no such person greeting or helping Stephanie Rodriguez, Giovanny Munguia, Deb Watson or anyone else at the Carlsbad MVD -- much to the chagrin of Williams himself.
It was his understanding that an ambassador was in place in the Carlsbad office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Williams said he will look into the matter and that the ambassador they hired was most likely in the back training for her new position.
Representative Cathrynn Brown, who organized Friday's meeting, was also disappointed, though she continues to have hope. "I'm definitely curious," she said. "They were going to bring in a new employee and shift someone from a new field office. That one I expected to take a little bit longer. But boy, I got the impression that Monday was going to start these changes."
And when questioned by the Current-Argus, the
Carlsbad MVD field office manager said she had been instructed by the state office not to share any information with the press.
Eighteen-year-old Giovanny Munguia was at the office for the seventh time Monday afternoon.
His previous six visits were unsuccessful because the office employees weren't clear about which legal documents he needed to bring with him, he said. He agreed that the proposed ambassador position would "help a lot."
Williams said he's arranged for a team from Santa Fe to visit the Carlsbad office later this week to provide support and oversight.
He asked for patience from the public.
"We're on top of it," he said Monday afternoon. "We're piloting this plan. It's not going to change everything around in five minutes."


Alamogordo considers convenience center changes

Photo-Alamogordo Daily Times

The Alamogordo City Commission is set to revisit a resolution that will allow city residents to dump yard waste without it counting toward a monthly weight limit.
The commission tabled the measure at its last meeting because commissioners wanted to include a couple of changes to the measure.
Mayor Susie Galea said previously that the commission was mostly in agreement to pass the measure -- which it hopes will help curb illegal dumping in the desert surrounding the city -- but that it wanted to make a few changes.
Galea said the commission might include a sunset clause in the resolution because it probably will cause the city to lose about $5,000 in revenue. She said the commission was also mulling the possibility of curbside pick-up for people without large trucks and allowing people cited by code enforcement to use their citation as proof of residency.
Currently, the city tacks on a $2 charge to water bills throughout Alamogordo that applies toward the use of the city-run convenience center on Lavelle Road.
Anyone who pays a water bill is allowed to dispose of up to 2,000 pounds of solid waste at the convenience center each month and pay $2 for every 100 pounds he or she goes over.
Commercial account holders pay the same rate, documents show.
In the 2011 fiscal year, the city estimates about 283 tons of tree limbs and yard waste were delivered to the convenience center. It costs the city about $18 per ton to process this kind of waste, documents show.
The convenience center was established in 1993 as a transfer station for residents of Alamogordo, and the commission intends the new rate change to encourage citizens to "beautify their properties," documents show.


State's unemployment rate down for September

New Mexico's unemployment rate dropped slightly for the month of September, down to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent in August. 
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions says that's also down from 7.4 percent a year ago. 
Meanwhile, the agency says large gains were reported by the state's leisure and hospitality industries, which added 2,700 jobs between September 2011 and September 2012. 
Educational and health services reported adding about 1,000 jobs during the same time period, while the state's mining industry gained 900 jobs. Professional and business services reported a loss of 3,200 jobs statewide since this time last year, while the construction industry also says it posted losses, down 3,000 jobs.


NMFA audit results to be made public soon

In little less than a month, New Mexico taxpayers as well as financial experts will get their first look at what happened at the New Mexico Finance Authority when a fraudulent audit plunged the agency into one of the biggest financial controversies in state history. 

State Auditor Hector Balderas told members of the NMFA Board on Monday that his office will release to board members and the public at large preliminary findings from independent audits into the controversy that has led to criminal charges, threats of lawsuits and jeopardized the state’s bond rating. 

Balderas didn’t give an exact date for the release of the preliminary findings but when the announcement comes, it will mark the first time since the scandal broke in July that results from independent sources can begin to determine the extent of the problem.


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New voter registration up in NM
Sandia Lab to help Navajo Nation with energy
First Native American canonized 

Gov. Martinez back on the campaign trail for Romney

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is back on the campaign trail for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. 
The Romney campaign says Martinez is to attend a rally this evening in Colorado with the presidential candidate, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, rocker-rapper Kid Rock and others. 
The rally in the Denver area comes the day after the final debate between Romney and President Barack Obama. 
The governor's political adviser said Martinez will return to New Mexico Tuesday night after the rally. 
Martinez is the nation's first female Hispanic governor. Hispanics account for nearly 21 percent of Colorado's population. 
The governor campaigned for Romney earlier this month in Nevada.


First Native American canonized

Pope Benedict anointed the first Native American to be canonized into sainthood by the Catholic Church on Sunday. 

This was part a ceremony where six others were recognized as saints.

Kateri Tekakwitha was a 17th century Algonquin Mohawk woman, whose miracles were first recognized by the church in 1980. 
Groups of New Mexicans were among the celebrants at Kateri’s canonization, one numbering about 50 and accompanied by Archbishop of Santa Fe Michael Sheehan, and a second of about 200 parishioners from Gallup, led by Bishop James Wall.


Sandia labs to help Navajo Nation develop energy sources

Sandia National Laboratories extended an agreement with the Navajo Nation to provide technical assistance as the tribe develops its energy resources.

 The Farmington Daily Times reports that the agreement announced Friday extends the cooperative relationship between the federal lab and the tribe another five years. 
The agreement comes as the tribe is forging an energy policy to take advantage of the coal, natural gas, wind and solar resources on Navajo land.


New voter registration up in NM

New voter registration figures show the number of New Mexicans eligible to vote has increased about 5 percent since the last presidential election and independent voters grew the fastest. 

The secretary of state's office reported Monday that nearly 1.3 million people are registered to vote in the Nov. 6 general election. 
The numbers of voters who are unaffiliated with a political party — so-called independents — increased by 22 percent since Oct. 31, 2008.


Sowell: Libya and Lies

Townhall - Commentary by Thomas Sowell - It was a little much when President Barack Obama said that he was "offended" by the suggestion that his administration would try to deceive the public about what happened in Benghazi. What has this man not deceived the public about?
Thomas Sowell
Remember his pledge to cut the deficit in half in his first term in office? This was followed by the first trillion dollar deficit ever, under any President of the United States -- followed by trillion dollar deficits in every year of the Obama administration.
Remember his pledge to have a "transparent" government that would post its legislative proposals on the Internet several days before Congress was to vote on them, so that everybody would know what was happening? This was followed by an ObamaCare bill so huge and passed so fast that even members of Congress did not have time to read it.
Remember his claims that previous administrations had arrogantly interfered in the internal affairs of other nations -- and then his demands that Israel stop building settlements and give away land outside its 1967 borders, as a precondition to peace talks with the Palestinians, on whom there were no preconditions?
As for what happened in Libya, the Obama administration says that there is an "investigation" under way. An "on-going investigation" sounds so much better than "stonewalling" to get past election day. But you can bet the rent money that this "investigation" will not be completed before election day. And whatever the investigation says after the election will be irrelevant.
The events unfolding in Benghazi on the tragic night of September 11th were being relayed to the State Department as the attacks were going on, "in real time," as they say. So the idea that the Obama administration now has to carry out a time-consuming "investigation" to find out what those events were, when the information was immediately available at the time, is a little much.
The full story of what happened in Libya, down to the last detail, may never be known. But, as someone once said, you don't need to eat a whole egg to know that it is rotten. And you don't need to know every detail of the events before, during and after the attacks to know that the story put out by the Obama administration was a fraud. Read entire column here: News New Mexico