The Morning Word has been up almost every weekday since June 1, 2012 (barring holidays, vacations and random computer outages). I have seen the audience grow and I'm grateful for everyone who reads and for all of those at the Santa Fe Reporter that picked up my little daily rundown of news from Farmington to Carlsbad to Raton to Deming -- and everything in between.
This won't be the last that you see of me here. I will be blogging for SFR during the legislative session and you'll see daily dispatches on the action going on from the Roundhouse. And the Morning Word will still run at my site, New Mexico Telegram each weekday morning (barring holidays, vacation and random computer outages).
Thank you again to all the readers and everyone who made this possible.
So for one last time, on to the Word:
- The Attorney General said there was insufficient evidence of fraud for one of the organizations that had its funding cut off and was taken over by an Arizona firm.
- New Mexico In Depth, which has been covering the behavioral health audit story since it broke, is now seeking the documents from the cleared organization.
Now the the investigation into The Counseling Center is complete, NMID has again requested the release of the section in the audit detailing findings against that organization. It has also requested the AG's file for its investigation into The Counseling Center.
- Here is a link to the full coverage of the Roswell shooting from the Albuquerque Journal. A lot of really good journalism in there -- most of it doesn't fit into what the Morning Word covers, but it is worth reading.
- Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, says she will question State Fair Commissioners over the racino lease.
- There is a proposal for more funding to prevent suicides among Native American youth.
- Susana Martinez's political campaign released an internal poll that puts her approval rating at 62 percent.
- The Democratic Party is pushing for a minimum wage hike to $10 per hour. KRQE spoke to Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, and finished the piece with this:
Last legislative session, Gentry proposed an increase that would bring minimum wage to $7.80 an hour. Democrats rejected it.Last session Democrats proposed a minimum wage increase to $8.50 per hour, from the current $7.50. Martinez vetoed that bill.
- State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, unveiled his plan to "prod New Mexico out of its coma." The five-part plan includes filling vacant state government positions, raising the minimum wage and drastically increase capital outlay bonds.
- Rep. Bob Wooley, R-Roswell, isn't a fan of another of Ortiz y Pino's initiatives -- a proposed legalization of marijuana in the state. Wooley says he will fight against legalization of marijuana.
“I’ve seen too many bad things happen with people that use (marijuana),” said Wooley, who’s congressional district encompasses Roosevelt County. “You hear all the time it makes you calm, but I don’t believe it. Colorado will be the test ground for it.”
- The Santa Fe Reporter looks at the third mayoral debate between Javier Gonzales and Patti Bushee.
- A PAC is airing ads promoting a change to a strong mayor system of government.
The proposed charter change regarding the mayor includes multiple components the City Council had considered separately but eventually lumped into one question.
The question, one of nine on the March 4 municipal ballot, asks voters whether the position of mayor should be full-time, with a starting salary of $74,000 until an independent commission sets the salary.
- The former director of the Taos Housing Authority and her husband were sentenced to federal prison for embezzlement.
Carmella Martínez, 42, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. Paul Martínez was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment. They will both serve a two-year term of supervised release following their release from prison. The couple was also ordered to jointly pay $786,014.14 in restitution.
The couple was first indicted on 49 charges in Dec. 2012.
- U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich will continue to pursue a national monument designation in Doña Ana County despite opposition by sheriffs.
- A drought prompted disaster declarations in 14 counties.
- And it isn't going to get much better.
At a time of year that is critical for building New Mexico’s water supply, seasonal snowstorms have largely bypassed New Mexico since the third week of December, and the new forecast suggests more of the same. Albuquerque is on track for one of its longest winter season rainless or snowless streaks on record, according to the National Weather Service.
- The Mora County Commission chose a new sheriff, Amos Espinoza.
Espinoza, a native of Mora County, is a volunteer with the Guadalupita fire department and has previously worked as a deputy in the department, said Mora County Manager Rebecca P. Montoya.
- A National Review article says 38 Affordable Care Act navigators' names pop up in the FBI database. The article admits this doesn't mean that they were convicted of a crime.
- A candidate for mayor in Carlsbad dropped out.
City Clerk Annette Barrick told the city council Tuesday night that Michele Rutley pulled her candidacy Monday. The race will now be between incumbent Mayor Dale Janway and challenger Martin Mills, Jr. Janway is seeking his second term as mayor.
- Candidates in Farmington filed their first campaign finance reports.
- The executive director of Navajo Head Start opposes a proposed investigation into the program, the Navajo Times reports.
- A recall election in Clovis won't make the March ballot.
- Public Education Department secretary-designate Hanna Skandera sided with Central Consolidated School District in a dispute over bus transportation.
Skandera's Jan. 10 letter was sent to the GMCS and CCSD school boards and superintendents. In the letter, Skandera sided with CCSD officials and concluded the law outlines the process for districts to cross into each other's boundaries.
- Sen. Martin Heinrich won't back new Iranian sanctions whiel negotiations go on.
- The Alamogordo Public Schools superintendent announced that he is retiring.
- Rio Arriba County wants the legislature to combine trash bill with property tax bills.