AG slams UNM
A 32-page report from the attorney general says the University of New Mexico deliberately misled the media, donors and the school's own administration as reporters dug to uncover a publicly funded golf junket to Scotland. Former UNM Athletics Director Paul Krebs was excoriated in the report for trying to find ways around the state's open records law, what the AG called a "disturbing pattern of concealment and deliberate misrepresentation." The attorney general still has an ongoing criminal investigation into the finances of UNM and its Athletics Department.
Take a listen
The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a lawsuit over Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver's decision to reinstate the straight-party option on ballots in November. When she announced the change late last month, Republicans and Libertarians challenged it as illegal. Both parties are dwarfed in registration by the Democratic Party, of which Toulouse Oliver is a member. The hearings will be next week.
New Mexico's method of doling out public money for maintenance, repair and replacement of public school facilities isn't doing the job its supposed to be designed to do. Better than one-fifth of the state's schools have systems like HVAC, fire suppression or electrical that are "on the edge of system failure." A report by the nonprofit journalism group Searchlight New Mexico explains how the state's funding decisions can tilt against poorer school systems, despite some built-in protections against that. You can also search to find failing systems at individual schools—for instance, the technology system at Santa Fe's highly regarded Academy for Technology and the Classics is beyond its expected lifespan.
Time for us to fly
Pilot Flying J has dropped its appeal ($) of a Santa Fe County Commission decision that blocked it from moving forward with a planned truck stop at the I-25/Cerrillos Road interchange on the edge of town. The commission said in May that the development wasn't appropriate for the area after a lengthy review and public hearing process. The appeal can't be refiled. It's unknown if the company plans to try again with a different design.
Authorities have extradited Jaime Veleta, Jr., to Bernalillo County to face charges for his role in the death of a drug smuggler a decade ago near Albuquerque. Danny Baca's body was found shot and burned on Pajarito Mesa in 2008. Investigators think he was killed by Veleta and others to send a message after he was suspected of taking some of the marijuana he was smuggling and selling it for his own gain instead of a drug cartel's.
State settles for millions
New Mexico has agreed to pay six current and former female corrections officers $2.5 million to settle a sexual harassment suit ($) stemming from treatment by male coworkers at the state prison in Los Lunas. The state denies the allegations, which include lewd drawings that hung in the prison for years, and harassment even in anti-harassment training sessions.
Hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll
It's the first night of Fiestas in Santa Fe, which is a pretty solid reason to forgo Amazon Prime and a pizza. But if the crowds aren't your thing, try strolling up Canyon Road and finding an art opening or two. SFR likes the scene at Edition One Gallery, which goes rock 'n' roll with a photo show that features portraits of notable rock stars by Glen Wexler, Yvette Roman and others. It's free and starts at 5:30.
Monsoon it’ll be over
This has been an impressive monsoon season. The latest numbers from the 2 1/2-month period show rainfall totals as high as 11 inches in Ruidoso and parts of Albuquerque. But it's been spotty. Albuquerque's airport numbers show just 4 inches. Santa Fe's lone listed measurement was more than 8 inches. Expect showers to continue today, with a warmup on the weekend.
Thanks for reading! The Word realizes the phrase "portraits of notable rock stars" may be the least rock 'n' roll phrase ever written.
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