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Morning Word: Griego Ethics Complainant Steps Forward

July 14, 2016, 7:30 am
Maez Confirms She Filed Original Ethics Complaint against Griego
Stephanie Maez, the former executive director of an Albuquerque nonprofit and a former state representative, tells the Albuquerque Journal she's the one who filed the formal ethics complaint against then-Sen. Phil Griego. The complaint came four months after SFR discovered Griego's involvement in the sale of a state-owned historic building in Santa Fe. The complaint jump-started an investigation that led to Griego’s resignation from the Senate. He is now charged with nine felonies stemming from the sale. No trial date has been set. 

PNM Prepares Solar Power Plan for Data Center
New Mexico may have lost out on its bid to lure Elon Musk’s battery factory to the Land of Enchantment in 2014, but that’s not stopping economic development folks from trying to attract a large data company (rumored to be Facebook) to the state. Los Lunas city councilors have already approved the $5 billion industrial revenue bond, and the Public Service Co. is seeking Public Regulation commissioners’ approval to offer the “mystery” firm special energy rates if it sets up its operations here.

Senators Support Opioid Treatment Funding
US Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both New Mexico Democrats, joined with the majority and voted Wednesday in support of a measure that allocated $181 million for opioid use disorder treatment programs aimed at curbing the epidemic that has claimed so many lives around the country and here in New Mexico.

Ginsburg Spars with Trump before Her Visit to New Mexico in August
New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who slammed Donald Trump and joked during an interview Sunday that she might move to New Zealand if he’s elected president, may have to recuse herself if the court has to decide any issues in a close election, according to court analysts. Ginsburg, 83, who started her career as a young attorney advocating for women, will be in Santa Fe in August to participate in a panel called “Gender and Justice: New Mexico Women in Robes."

Hometown RNC Coverage
We wanted to see how the Cleveland Scene, another alt-weekly newspaper, is covering the Republican National Convention in its hometown. Yup, its staff put together a coloring book, “Because if they can act like children, so can you.” Of course, the president of the Cleveland police officers union is taking things a bit more seriously and hoping nobody brings their AR-15s to any of the protest marches or rallies.

VA Revamps Scheduling Process
We missed this story last week: Officials with the US Veterans Affairs Department in New Mexico, who were criticized in a federal report, say they’ve revamped their troubled scheduling process to make it easier for veterans get quicker access to care.

Residents Raise Safety Concerns after Oil Fires
The oil storage container fires at WPX Energy’s production site near Nageezi, which started on Monday, are now nearly extinguished, but The Farmington Daily Times reports that people who live in the area claim they haven’t received much information about the explosion or community safety concerns.  

Wildfire in Otero County Forces Limited Evacuations
Meanwhile, firefighters are battling a 200-acre wildfire in Otero County that has forced some people to evacuate to Cloudcroft. KRQE reports that 10 structures have been burned. 

New Mexico Nun Closer to Sainthood
Sister Blandina Segale, a Roman Catholic nun who challenged Billy the Kid and helped open schools and hospitals in New Mexico, is one step closer to sainthood. Records that document her “good deeds” are on their way to the Vatican, and retired Archbishop Michael Sheehan plans to travel to Rome next month, according to the Associated Press.

 

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Morning Word: Death Penalty Reinstatement Would Cost State Millions

Morning Word At the same time New Mexico lawmakers are trying to shore up the state’s budget, the New Mexico Public Defender's Office is questioning the costs associated with reinstating the death penalty.  ... More

Sept. 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

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