Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Webcast 1/8/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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License fraud ring busted
NM movie projects pick up
Santa Fe gun buyback program Saturday
Santa Fe courthouse ready to open

Santa Fe to hold gun buyback program

The city of Santa Fe will kick off Operation Safe Streets with its first gun buyback program at police headquarters on Saturday.

 City officials say the goal is to provide a safe way for residents to dispose of unwanted firearms. Mayor David Coss has been pushing for a gun buyback program. He says he believes such a program will keep unwanted guns from falling into the wrong hands. 
The city will be partnering with Wells Fargo Bank to give out gift cards in return for operational firearms. The city will pay $150 for handguns, $100 for rifles or shotguns and $200 for high capacity weapons.All firearms accepted under the program will be destroyed. 
Two more gun buyback events will be held in February and March.


Leonard Napolitano dies

Leonard Napolitano
The father of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has died in Albuquerque.

 Leonard Napolitano was a former dean of the University of New Mexico Medical School. 
Current dean and chancellor Dr. Paul Roth issued this statement on Napolitano’s passing saying- "I am deeply saddened with the passing of one of the great legends of New Mexico and one of the fathers of the UNM School of Medicine. He saw what we could become and built the foundation upon which our great Health Sciences Center stands today." 
Napolitano would have been 83 today. 


Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Webcast 1/8/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12pm Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Santa Fe gun buyback program Saturday
Leonard Napolitano dies
Rapist parental rights legislation
LANL atomic bomb protesters in court 

Legislator seeks rapist parental rights law

New Mexico legislators are proposing to stop rapists from seeking custody or visitation rights for children conceived during a sexual assault.

 Rep. Conrad James, an Albuquerque Republican, said he's unaware of any pending New Mexico case in which a rapist is seeking parental rights but wants to stop that from happening as it has in other states. 
He said most states don't have laws that terminate parental rights for rapists.
 The lawmakers said in a statement that current New Mexico law allows a rapist to ask a court for custody of the rape victim's child or seek visitation rights.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Webcast 1/8/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8am Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Rapist parental rights legislation to be introduced
LANL atomic bomb protesters to appear in court
FBI continues Navajo Nation dog attack
Settlement reached for gay and lesbian veterans pay


FBI continues feral dog attack on Navajo Nation

The FBI continues to investigate the death of an 8-year-old boy believed to have been mauled by a pack of dogs, and his parents are now facing Navajo tribal charges related to the safety of his three siblings.

 Ramah Navajo Police Chief Emil Radosevich confirms that the boy's younger siblings have been placed with the tribe's social services department.

 He says the parents, Yolonda Henio and stepfather Keith Comosona, are awaiting a hearing in tribal court this month on charges of child endangerment.
 It wasn't immediately clear if they had an attorney. 
Radosevich says the parents were intoxicated the night Tomas Jay Henio was found dead face down in the snow. 


Settlement reached for LGBT veterans pay

A settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit that involves dozens of gay and lesbian former military service members who received only half of their separation pay after being discharged. 

The American Civil Liberties Union announced the $2.4 million settlement Monday. It will allow more than 180 honorably discharged veterans to get their full separation pay. 
The ACLU had argued that the former service members had been discriminated against due to their homosexuality. 
The case was filed by the ACLU on behalf of former Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Collins of Clovis. He was honorably discharged in 2006 after two civilians who worked with him at Cannon Air Force Base reported they saw him kiss his boyfriend miles from the base. The decorated sergeant was off-duty and not in uniform at the time.


Formerly a skeptic, governor gives spaceport her support

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - Diana Alba Soular For New Mexico In Depth - LAS CRUCES — Gov. Susana Martinez gave an enthusiastic speech in October to a yearly gathering of the “who’s who” in commercial spaceflight, touting the jobs Spaceport America could create and its potential to inspire young minds.“It is with great foresight that New Mexico has chosen to invest in the commercial space business,” she told the group. “And when I say New Mexico, I mean taxpayers have chosen to invest.”
Her eagerness seemed a far cry from the skepticism she showed soon after taking office in early 2011. The change of heart illustrates an ironic reality midway into Martinez’s four-year term. It`s not clear that Martinez would have supported the massive public investment required to build the spaceport had she been governor when the state and local communities pumped $209 million into the project. Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela wouldn’t say whether Martinez would have invested the money former Gov. Bill Richardson championed had she been in his place, saying he was “not willing to second-guess the prior administration’s decision.”
Because of the investment made while Richardson was governor, many spaceport supporters say, the project presents a real opportunity to create private-sector jobs — the kind Martinez likes best. But the spaceport’s future, and the possibility of private-sector jobs in a region desperately in need of them, appears tenuous, its fate hanging in part on proposed legislation state lawmakers will consider in the coming weeks. The bill would protect companies supplying parts to spaceships from being sued.
The Legislature has twice failed to pass the bill, even as some other states with competing spaceports have enacted similar protections.  Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas, thinks compromise is possible this year. “I would indicate today that it would be very likely, but all the stakeholders truly need to be brought to the table,” he said in late December.
While Martinez’s economic development plans are larger than Spaceport America — the spaceflight informed consent bill is one of seven measures she’ll promote in the upcoming session — the bill’s passage has the potential to boost Martinez’s economic development record, which some say is a mixed bag so far.
Martinez can count among her achievements a boom in international trade and a growing border-related industry in Santa Teresa. But the state is losing jobs, and other economic indicators show slower growth than nationally.
Spaceport supporters say the project has the potential to help grow a new aerospace economy and reduce reliance upon federal dollars. New Mexico ranked sixth in per-capita federal spending in fiscal year 2010, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. Though Martinez looks on the spaceport more favorably than she once did, she has been unwilling to pump more money into the project and has scaled back funding for its administering agency. Meanwhile, competing states have ramped up spending in the race to attract the commercial space industry and its jobs.
Those factors make the bill to cap legal liability for spaceflight parts manufacturers and company shareholders make-or-break for Spaceport America, supporters say. In recent weeks, the CEO of the spaceport’s major tenant, Virgin Galactic, bolstered those fears, saying the company would rethink its plans if the measure fails this year. The legislation has powerful opponents. The New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association has adamantly objected to the bill, saying it could undermine a long-held tenet protecting consumer safety.
Martinez has thrown her political weight behind the bill in the months leading up to the legislative session that begins next week. The proposal matches with her philosophy for creating a friendlier business climate in New Mexico. It’s perhaps Martinez’s best chance of supporting potential new jobs at the spaceport without spending more money on a project she likely initially saw as excessive. Read more