Mar. 31 First News: APD, Demonstrators Go Toe-to-Toe In Day-Long Protest (Listen)

Mar 31, 2014

Albuquerque Police fired tear gas at a crowd of protestors Sunday evening in an effort to end a day-long demonstration against the Department's shooting death of a homeless man in the Sandia Mountains in mid-March. Hundreds took to the streets and marched up Central Avenue, and protestors were toe-to-toe with officers attired in riot gear, getting an earful as a result of the Department's recent record of shooting people, something which is currently under investigation by the U-S Justice Department.

Authorities are investigating Saturday's robbery of the U-S Bank branch near St. Francis and St. Michael’s Drives. The FBI and Santa Fe police responded to the robbery and are searching for the suspect, who, based on a preliminary description, is a Hispanic male, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, and wore a gray hoodie and jeans. The robbery happened at the U-S Bank at 600 West San Mateo Road. Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the FBI, which may pay a reward of up to a thousand dollars for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and conviction.

The city of Santa Fe is suing the firm that built its convention center, alleging the company has refused to return a 600-thousand dollar tax refund that the city says was an overpayment. The New Mexican reports the lawsuit asks a court to find that the city is entitled to a refund from Santa Fe-based Cameron-Swinerton, L-L-C. The lawsuit said an accounting firm conducted an audit to identify items in the convention center that should have been exempt from gross receipts taxes. The audit determined the city had paid about 577-thousand, plus interest on items that were tax-exempt. The city says the company's stand on the tax issue constitutes a breach of contract.

A scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory has been tapped to help New Mexico with complex issues related to energy and water science. The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department says Jeri Sullivan Graham will lead the Brackish Water Work Group. One of the group's goals is to identify the state's brackish water resources and find ways to make it more available and useable as a buffer against drought. New Mexico is entering its fourth year of extremely dry conditions. The latest map shows nearly two-thirds of the state is dealing with severe drought or worse. Graham's position will be funded by the lab through September.

New Mexico's unemployment rate rose one-tenth of percentage-point to six-point-seven percent last month, up from six-point-six percent in January. The state Workforce Solutions Department says that the unemployment rate in February was down from six-point-nine percent a year ago. Over the past year, the agency says six industries added jobs, six lost employment and one remain unchanged. The largest employment gains were reported in the financial activities industry, which added 18-hundred jobs since February 2013. The mining industry gained 14-hundred jobs, and retail trade added one-thousand jobs since last year. The largest industry losing employment is government, which dropped 23-hundred jobs over the past year.

Santa Fe Weather: Sunny, with a high near 56. Partly cloudy, tonight with a low near freezing. Tomorrow, Mostly sunny and windy, with a high near 62.