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Morning Word: The Sessions Slap

August 4, 2017, 7:30 am

Sessions warns Albuquerque 
On Thursday, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his threat to pull resources for police in certain so-called sanctuary cities. The Justice Department sent letters to Albuquerque and three other cities around the nation participating in a federal program to to bolster local police efforts, warning that they needed to comply with directives to assist immigration authorities. Mayor Richard Berry rebuked the sanctuary city characterization.

COs stabbed
Two corrections officers at the Penitentiary of New Mexico, located just south of Santa Fe, were stabbed by two inmates yesterday. Both COs have been released from the hospital. The union representing the officers is looking into whether staffing vacancies partially created conditions for the attack.

Education trial coming to an end
Oral arguments end today for a two month-long civil trials that could determine the future of education in New Mexico. Civil rights groups have been duking it out against the state on behalf of several school districts, families and students. The coalition alleges that insufficient education funding has negatively affected the quality of education for New Mexico’s students, particularly low income, English language learner and Native American children.

Cops lied
Albuquerque’s Civilian Police Oversight Agency found that a police spokesperson “lied” to the Albuquerque Journal about details that preceded the brutal death of a 10-year-old girl. The CPOA is recommending that the spokesperson receive an 80 hour suspension for the lie and that another spokesperson get a written reprimand.

New Mexico State University chancellor leaving
Garrey Carruthers announced that he will leave his post on July 1, 2018. Reforms implemented during his tenure that resulted in layoffs of university employees have been controversial. He also oversaw a fundraising campaign for the school that has brought in $77 million so far, 62 percent of its intended goal.

Pojoaque Pueblo blinks
Pojoaque conceded its long effort to renegotiate a deal that would give the state of New Mexico a larger share of the tribe’s casino revenue. It will now join other tribes paying 10.75 percent (up from 8 percent) of its “net wins” to the state. The Pueblo’s governor hinted that the tribe couldn’t afford a protracted legal battle and was under threat of regulatory action from the Martinez administration.

Company moves to purchase water rights
People who live near the town of Magdalena continue to fight an application by a private company that wants to pipe out up to 17 billion gallons of groundwater out of a Western New Mexico basin annually. The company says it wants to sell water commercially in seven counties and to state and federal agencies. But locals worry it’s a step toward privatizing water in the state, which is still a public resource held in trust by the government.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders: Is "King of the Bongo" actually a good song, or does it just have us under some weird hypnotic spell? It seems like the kind of song that would do something sneaky like that.

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