Nov. 15 First News: Governor Martinez to Seek a Fix for Loopholes in Child-Abuse laws. (Listen)
Governor Martinez has announced that she will request the State Legislature to fix what she views as loopholes in child abuse laws, including a recent court decision narrowing who's required to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect. Martinez outlined her proposals Thursday to a Santa Fe meeting of officials from state child protection agencies. The State Court of Appeals’ October ruling said only 10 categories of people listed in law, including physicians and teachers, must report suspected child abuse to authorities.
Meanwhile, Martinez will be in Albuquerque today to announce the creation of 47 jobs at Prime Therapeutics, which calls itself a “thought leader” in pharmacy benefit management- strategies. The governor’s office also says Prime is planning on adding an additional 33 Duke City jobs in the near future. Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela will join Prime officials for today’s announcement.
Senators Tom Udall & Martin Heinrich are sponsoring a bill to expand the White Sands Missile Range and Fort Bliss. Citing White Sands as a critical and valuable New Mexico asset, the legislation would add some 5100 acres from the Bureau of Land Management to White Sand's existing expanse. Additionally, the BLM would be prohibited from selling, exchanging, or developing another nearby 35,500 acres. Senator Udall says clarifying the range's boundaries will prevent incompatible future development and facilitate the work done by the military and NASA.
Santa Fe City and Education leaders—in a rare joint meeting Thursday—heard from residents with a variety of concerns facing the community. One speaker was Capitol High School math teacher Gary Park, who says diagnostic test-scores of his incoming students reveal that some 80-percent don’t meet state standards.*****Nov. 15-GaryPark-1 :09***** Park stressed that local teachers need money for remediation, so kids coming in can meet basic benchmarks.
In Washington, New Mexico First District Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham took to the House Floor Thursday to request support for her Veterans’ Independent Living Enhancement Act to assist disabled veterans. The Democrat says less than three-thousand veterans nationwide can enroll in the Veterans’ Administration’s successful Independent Living Program each year:*****Nov. 15 MLG-1 :13***** Lujan-Grisham says the measure she sponsored would remove impediments to all veterans who would benefit from the Independent Living Program.
Albuquerque's police chief says one of his officers shot a drunken-driving suspect early today during a traffic stop. Chief Allen Banks tells KOB-TV that the shooting happened after the driver displayed a gun. The unidentified suspect is hospitalized in critical but stable condition. The officer was not hurt. The shooting along a stretch of Montgomery Boulevard about a mile east of Interstate 25 has left that section of the Duke City arterial closed through the morning commute.
The state Department of Transportation says New Mexico law enforcement officers will be targeting drunk drivers, speeders and those who aren't wearing seat belts throughout the holiday season. The D-O-T says the Holiday Superblitz starts today and lasts through January fifth. The crackdown coincides with the holidays since drunken driving crashes increase significantly during this time of year. So far this year, 105 people have died in alcohol-related crashes. That accounts for more than 40 percent of all fatal crashes in the state during 2013.
Santa Fe City Hall has issued a summary of the ballot items for a special city election in March 2014 to be held in conjunction with the municipal elections. Many of the items expand mayoral powers including unilateral authority to fire the City's Manager, Attorney and Clerk. The mayor's job will become a fulltime position, with a preliminary salary of $74,000, pending future adjustments by an independent salary commission. If passed by voters, the changes will begin in March 2018.
Weather for Santa Fe – Clouds on the increase today with a 40% chance for showers this afternoon, increasing to 60% tonight. Snow levels will be 8,000 feet and higher with several inches possible. Meteorologist Chuck Jones with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque says high winds will be present through Saturday….*****clip. High temperatures today and Saturday in the low-to-mid 50s.