dozen teenage boys are being relocated from a detention center after one of them was apparently sexually assaulted by a female therapist. With the investigation ongoing, the director of the state’s juvenile justice system has resigned after two years. Also, Gov. Susana Martinez could be catapulted onto the Republican’s 2016 presidential ticket if she signs Rep. Zach Cook’s bill limiting property seizures.
It's Friday, March 27, 2015
A big shakeup in the New Mexico juvenile justice system after a teenage male offender was allegedly assaulted by a female staff therapist at a facility in Lincoln County.
A thermal reaction between cat litter and nitrate salts inside a nuclear waste disposal container shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad likely caused its lid to pop and allow gases to leak out last year, according to an independent report released by the US Energy Department.
The flu virus is still attacking residents around the state. The Department of Health reports 28 flu-related deaths this season, including the death of a baby in Doña Ana County.
Meanwhile, a discovery of “fancy water” at the labs may help doctors fight deadly bacterial infections.
The US Census Bureau shows areas around New Mexico’s oil field continue to be in the Top 10 fastest-growing areas in the nation.
The Hobbs area saw its population increase more than 2 percent to nearly 70,000 between July 2013 and July 2014. The area’s population in 2010 was listed as 64,727.
Overall, New Mexico actually had a net loss of residents.
New Mexico tribes could be considering joining the growing medical marijuana industry.
Tribes could leverage their sovereignty to grow marijuana for dispensaries, researchers and pharmaceutical companies, the consultants said, or even open resorts on tribal land that would target marijuana users.
Lawmakers approved a hemp research bill earlier this month, but Joey Peters reports that even if Gov. Susana Martinez signs the measure, it will be awhile before farmers start planting seeds.
Lawmakers may have opted not to reform the state’s payday loan rules in New Mexico, but now that industry could face new federal regulations.
The proposed regulations are designed to keep cash-strapped Americans from falling into what the agency describes as a predatory debt trap in which they must take out new loans to pay off the old ones — ultimately paying more in fees than the original amount they borrowed.
People opposed to abusive property seizures by police are urging Gov. Martinez to sign a bill that cracks down on the policy. If she signs it, she could end up on the 2016 Republican presidential ticket. Here’s the money quote from the Washington Times
"The governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, is expected to sign the measure, making it the law, and it could catapult her to consideration for a place on the Republican ticket next year."
Dan Mourning, the manager of Expo New Mexico, says lawmakers' failure to pass a capital outlay bill will set important building projects back even further. Mourning had wanted $11 million to fix up the fair property.
Blogger Joe Monahan says sprucing up or rebuilding Expo’s Tingley Coliseum is long overdue.
Train advocates continue to urge Gov. Martinez to support a $4-million-a-year cost-sharing agreement that would upgrade 636 miles of track from Lamy to eastern Kansas.
Jason Gibbs reports that officials are fast-tracking plans to study an international rail crossing at the Santa Teresa border.
Bill Mattiace, executive director of the New Mexico Border Authority, said the project would be another key element in building the Santa Teresa area into a regional powerhouse for international trade and help attract more businesses to the industrial parks developing near the border crossing.
Bernalillo County Commissioners have delayed action on the large 22-square-mile master land plan.
Santolina would be developed on almost 13,800 acres of Bernalillo County land located southwest of Albuquerque — a long-term plan that would bring residential and commercial components to the site.
Commissioners, it appears, want to see a development agreement before making their decision.
Gov. Martinez has ordered flags flown at half-staff today in honor of Navajo Nation Police Officer Alex Yazzie, who was killed last week.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post misidentified the first name of state Rep. Zach Cook.