August 19 First News: Santa Fe Marijuana Measure Advances; City Council To Decide Its Fate (Listen)

Aug 19, 2014

Santa Feans may get to vote in November on marijuana use in The City Different.  KSFR's Dave Marash has the story. IN:  A proposal to reduce         OUT:  For KSFR, I'm Dave Marash.  RUNS:    00:53

TEXT:   A proposal to reduce the penalties for possession and use of marihuana could be on the Santa Fe City ballot in November.  The Santa Fe City Clerk's office says the Reducing Marijuana Penalties Campaign submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the city's citizen initiative process.  The next stage of which puts the proposal to reduce marijuana penalties before the City Council where the governing body has two options, vote for the ordinance change outright or send the initiative to the people for a vote. This would mark the first time in history that New Mexicans will vote on reforming marijuana laws, and he first time that the people of Santa Fe brought forth an issue via the City’s citizen initiative process.   For KSFR News, I'm Dave Marash.

A former Jemez Springs police chief has pleaded not guilty to rape charges. KOB-TV reports a judge on Monday ordered Shane Harger held on a 250-thousand dollar bond following his arraignment. Harger was indicted earlier this month on charges of kidnapping, criminal sexual penetration, criminal sexual contact and extortion. According to a complaint filed in January, the 19-year-old woman said she and three men were stopped by Jemez Springs police and Harger raped her while holding her at the police station for three hours. Harger was fired in February over what town officials called questionable judgment after Transportation Security Administration agents discovered he had two names. His next court appearance is scheduled for December.

Results of a recent survey on New Mexico's U.S. Senate race indicate that Democratic incumbent Tom Udall leads Republican challenger Allen Weh (way) among likely voters. According to the survey conducted for the Albuquerque Journal, 53 percent of likely voters statewide favored Udall while 35 percent backed Weh, with the remainder undecided. The Journal reports that its poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points and is based on telephone interviews conducted Aug. 12-14 with 606 likely voters. Udall is a former U.S. House member who was elected to a six-year Senate term in 2008. Weh is a former state Republican Party chairman and a retired Marine Corps colonel.

State records show that New Mexico has paid nearly eight-million dollars to settle damage claims against the Rail Runner Express. But the commuter rail system, until last month, made no premium payments into the state's self-insurance program that provides liability coverage for settlements of lawsuits against government agencies. The insurance arrangement represented a little-known subsidy for the state-owned passenger train. According to General Services Department records, the taxpayer-financed liability fund has covered seven-point-seven million dollars in settlements involving the Rail Runner since it started in mid-2006. Those settlements include about four-million for wrongful death claims for car-train accidents that killed three people in 2007. Governor Susana Martinez's administration assessed a two-million dollar annual insurance premium on the Rail Runner for the budget year that began last month.

Authorities say three jail guards were attacked during an uprising in the Cibola County Detention Center. Officials said the uprising began Sunday night when two inmates assaulted the officers. Investigators say the two inmates were eventually detained, but then others started breaking items in the jail. According to authorities, officers in tactical gear went inside the jail late Sunday and put down the unrest within 30 minutes. Undersheriff Tony Mace told KOB-TV the riot was under control by 11 p.m. Officials say the guards were treated on site and no one was hurt during the riot.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly sunny today with a high near 84 with a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tonight: Mostly cloudy with the low down to 57 and a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow: Partly sunny and a high of 79 with a 30-percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.