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Morning Word: Pursuit of the Truth

May 5, 2017, 7:30 am

'Just back off a little'
Santa Fe police and New Mexico State Police disagree over whether the pursuit of a suspected car thief had ended by the time SFPD officer Leonardo Guzman shot and killed Andrew James Lucero in a Santa Fe County driveway. The disagreement has legal ramifications as police and prosecutors try to determine if the shooting was justified. Police also released dispatch and video recordings.

Lawmakers want new budget forecasts
As the state hurtles toward the fiscal year that starts in July—without funding for higher education or the legislative branch—lawmakers are calling for a final economic forecast. But the governor, whose economists have to be part of that process, says it isn't necessary. Lawmakers are still at odds with her over her characterization of a current fiscal crisis that might mean forced days off for state workers. There's still no special session on the calendar and much of the work seems to be going on behind closed doors.

State budget pinch forces K-3 Plus cuts at SFPS
Four Santa Fe elementary schools that are part of K-3 Plus, a program to provide 25 extra days of school each summer for some of New Mexico's poorest students, will not be able to provide the service this year. The state says the popular program isn't funded enough and it has had to reshuffle the available money.

State issues permit for wolves
New Mexico has been battling the feds for years over the release of additional Mexican gray wolves into the wild here. After winning its latest court battle, though, in its quest to reintroduce greater numbers of the threatened animal, the federal government struck a deal that allows it to put two captive-born pups into a den here. The catch is—and advocates call this "a sordid bargain"—that the feds also have to remove two pups. The swap allows biologists to broaden the gene pool to make it easier for wolves to sustain their population.

Stunning numbers on lead poisoning
In the US, 64 percent of children age 5 or younger who are diagnosed with lead poisoning have that determination made through testing. In New Mexico, that number is just 5 percent. Not only that, despite guidelines that say all Medicaid-eligible children are supposed to be tested between their first and second years of life, New Mexico tests only 40 percent of them at best. The state has been making it hard, if not impossible, to find useful information on its lead-testing practices.

Border Patrol protest in Las Cruces
There were some harsh exchanges at a protest in Las Cruces yesterday, as about 150 immigration advocates—including a state legislator and at least one military veteran—protested the militarization of the border and Trump administration immigration policies. At one point, protesters blocked both entrances to the Border Patrol station.

New Mexico congressional reps toe the health care line
The state's US House delegation voted as expected on the Republican alternative to Obamacare. Rep. Steve Pearce voted for it, calling it a step in the right direction, while Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan called the bill and its hasty vote shameful. 

Another week, another weather pattern
It looks like a beautiful weekend is in store for Santa Fe, with pop-up storms a possibility a bit later, but otherwise a lovely time to get out and enjoy our fair city!

Thanks for reading! The Word's ready for a morning walk.

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