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Morning Word: Stolen Email Lawsuit Dropped

September 27, 2016, 7:30 am
Secrecy Surrounds Lawsuit Dismissal 
A federal lawsuit filed by several people who had their emails stolen by Jamie Estrada, a former Republican operative who gained control of Gov. Susana Martinez's 2010 campaign web domain, is no longer on the court's docket and it can’t be refiled. It’s not clear if the two sides reached a secret settlement.

New Mexico Sixth Poorest State
New Mexico has one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, but the folks in Los Alamos don’t represent the majority. A new report for 24/7 Wall St shows the Land of Enchantment is the sixth poorest in the nation. Median income here was only $45,382. For most Americans, the median income is $55,775.

Violent Crimes Rise in New Mexico
Homicides were up 16 percent in New Mexico last year, according to new crime data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and in 2015 the overall violent crime rate jumped nearly 10 percent. Española has the state’s highest violent crime rate per capita.

Lawsuit: Inmates Not Seeing Judges Quickly
A federal class action lawsuit claims Santa Fe County Detention Center inmates’ rights are being violated since not all prisoners are getting to see a judge quickly. In fact, two inmates spent up to two months before seeing a judge, according to the prisoners' attorney.

Mental Health Service Boost
Bernalillo County is raising $17 million in new taxes to pay for new mental health services, but so far commissioners have only set aside $4 million to assist people before they go into crisis, which usually requires expensive police or other emergency personnel intervention.

Court Welcomes Environmental Groups' Input in PNM Power Plan Case Review
New Mexico Supreme Court justices will consider the impact of climate change and global warming when they review a power replacement plan approved by the Public Regulation Commission.
On Monday, the city of Santa Fe, along with 37 other New Mexico environmental groups, regional politicians and tribal representatives, submitted a 35-page amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” brief, supporting a renewable energy advocacy group’s appeal of state regulators’ decision to approve the power plan because it continues to rely heavily on coal power.

Paul Hultin, a Santa Fe attorney who wrote the brief, said he was pleased the state’s highest court had decided to accept it. He said the brief is meant to provide “scientific evidence that coal-fired electricity is a major cause of climate change, is bad for the environment, and presents unwarranted economic and public health risks for the people of New Mexico — evidence that the New Mexico Public Regulations Commission … ignored.”
Johnson Live-Tweets First Debate
Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson wasn’t invited to participate on stage during last night’s national presidential debate, so the former New Mexico governor spent the evening at Twitter’s headquarters expressing his views. He weighed in on the same issues Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were antagonizing each other about, including race, terror and the economy. Read a collection of his tweets and counter views here.

Voter Registration Campaign Records Early Success
The New Mexico Secretary of State’s postcard campaign to let people know they are eligible to vote is off to a good start. Morgan Lee over at the Associated Press reports the office saw “a nearly eight-fold increase in weekly online voter registration and updates to voter records. Elections Director Kari Fresquez says online registrations and updates increased to 8,778 last week from 1,189 the previous week.”

Students Study Beer-Making
Students looking to get a head start in the booming craft brew industry can now get an associate degree in the science of making beer at Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque. Thirty students have already signed up for the program. So far, CNM isn't offering to teach students how to grow medical cannabis plants.


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