April 9 First News: Santa Fe Mayor Gonzales Names Police Chief Screening Panel (Listen)

Apr 9, 2014

A nine member committee representing various Santa Fe groups will assist in the choice of the City Different's new police chief. Mayor Javier Gonzales announcing Tuesday that the panel will review the nearly 50 applications from those seeking to replace retired Chief Ray Rael. The mayor said, quote “The citizen screening committee encompasses the concerns of various interest groups in our community and I would like their voice heard in this thoughtful selection process.” The ultimate decision on the chief will be up to City Manager Brian Snyder.

The Albuquerque Police Department says it is bringing a commander out of retirement to oversee expected federal reforms. APD has been under scrutiny for recent police shootings and what critics say is a longstanding culture of abuse. Chief Gorden Eden Tuesday announced that retired APD Commander Robert Huntsman will be returning to the force as his fourth deputy chief. Huntsman will oversee the Department's Internal Affairs Unit, the Academy and overall training. The Department of Justice tomorrow will announce the results of its more than yearlong investigation of the department and propose reforms.

Conserving water by providing economic incentives is the concept behind four bills introduced in Congress by Senator Tom Udall. Udall discussed two of the bills on Tuesday: *****040914-Udall-1 :43***** The Democrats other two bills include one to provide tax incentives for the purchase of “water sense” appliances, while another bill would assist rural communities through grants seeking alternative water sources and more efficient use of current water supplies.

Attorney General Gary King has ruled that the Farmington school district has improperly contracted with a private company to manage an online charter school. King reached the conclusion in a nonbinding legal opinion released Tuesday. The New Mexico Virtual Academy opened in 2012, and serves students statewide in grades six to 12. Virginia-based K12 Inc. provides curriculum and administrative services. State law prohibits charter schools, which are public schools financed with taxpayer money, to contract with for-profit companies to manage the school. According to the opinion signed by King and an assistant attorney general, K12's services represent management under state law. The company's involvement includes hiring of personnel, budgeting and maintaining student records.

The Department of Cultural Affairs says several state museums in Santa Fe will be closed tomorrow because the city is making water system repairs. The Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Laboratory of Anthropology and the Museum Hill Cafe are expected to reopen on Friday. All are located at Santa Fe's "museum hill" on the east side. The agency said there will be no water because the city is replacing a water valve.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny today and tomorrow, with a highs in the low 70s. Partly cloudy tonight, with a low around 38.