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Morning Word: What Will Become of Baker

August 24, 2017, 7:30 am

Last Day
Today is Santa Fe Police Sergeant Troy Baker's last day on the job. The 22-year veteran is using vacation and sick time to buy out his retirement, which officially begins at the end of May 2018. While the city says its investigation of offensive memes Baker posted on his Facebook page won't go away, it's not clear if the public—or other officers—will ever learn if the city would have disciplined him. City leaders are anxious to see the problem go away.   

Pistol Garrey
Speaking of retirements next year, NMSU Chancellor Garrey Carruthers finally let on to what's really behind his. The former New Mexico governor says regents appointed by the current New Mexico governor told him they weren't renewing his contract. Gov. Martinez' office says she never talked to regents about the matter.

No access
Religious cult leaders in western New Mexico have stopped letting authorities into their compound to see how children there are being treated, according to Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace. One of the Aggressive Christianity Mission Training Corps leaders was arrested over the weekend and other cult members were charged with crimes including child sex abuse.

Rank and file
Common Cause New Mexico is out with its grades of legislators' response to transparency in campaign finance, efforts to monitor government ethics and drives to expand voter registration. The group says it gave lawmakers a heads-up as the legislative session got underway on the issues it would grade. 

FedEx opens
A new distribution center for FedEx Ground is open in Southern New Mexico. The governor's office says the facility will bring 80 jobs to the area as the state struggles to diversify its economy away from reliance on government jobs and oil and gas.

Zinke's decision
New Mexico communities should learn today whether US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke plans to close or downsize two new national monuments in New Mexico. The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is in Las Cruces, the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument is up near Taos and Questa. 

Sign the code or hit the road
The State Investment Council has voted to ban four members from participating in closed-door sessions because they haven't signed a new ethics code. But State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says the new ethics code is a sham meant to muzzle council members and keep deals out of the public eye. The governor, who appoints some members to the council, says that's silly. Dunn says the Gov's political consultants are working for one of his opponents in the upcoming race for the Republican nomination in New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District.

Power failure
Well, that's a bit strong, but nobody in New Mexico sold the winning ticket for the $700-something million Powerball lottery. Our state did show up in the also-rans, where people matched multiple numbers to win $2 million and $1 million prizes.

Thanks for reading! The Word wonders if all that money would change who we are ... you know, besides the menagerie of exotic animals wearing bespoke silk outfits.

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