Nov. 20 First News: Albuquerque Voters Soundly Reject Late-Term Abortion Ban. (Listen)

  It's with a heavy heart that I report that the KSFR family is mourning the death of News Director Dan Gerrity. Dan died early today of an apparent heart attack. We extend our condolences to Dan's family and friends. Dan Gerrity was 59 years old.

Albuquerque voters Tuesday rejected a ban on late-term abortions in a special election that was being closely watched as a possible new front in the national abortion fight. Voters defeated the measure 55 percent to 45 percent.  Activists on both sides of the issue said it was the first municipal ballot on the matter, which usually is debated at the state and federal level.

Also on Tuesday, Duke City voters in city council district seven elected Democrat Diane Gibson over Republican incumbent Janice Arnold-Jones by a 52-to-48-percent margin in a run-off election. Gibson’s win gives Democrats a single-seat majority on the officially non-partisan Albuquerque city council. 

Santa Fe Police say a local man--24-year-old Moses Trujillo— is charged with murder after his girlfriend fell from his moving truck and later died from her injuries. The accident took place Monday along Esplendor Street. Trujillo told investigators that Jennifer Martinez, also 24, accidentally fell out while he was making a left turn. He called 911. Police say Trujillo is being held in the Santa Fe County jail.

A state district judge will review an audit of behavioral health providers to determine what portions the state can keep confidential. A government watchdog group filed suit to seek full disclosure of the review that led New Mexico’s Human Services Department to switch to Arizona providers. The attorney general is investigating allegations of possible overbilling and fraud by more than a dozen providers of mental health services through Medicaid, and contends that much of the audit is protected from disclosure under the state’s open records law.

A “Know Your Rights” clinic for victims of wage theft takes place in Santa Fe Thursday night, sponsored by Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a non-profit that works to protect and expand immigrants’ rights in New Mexico.  The group’s director, Marcela Diaz, says it’s been working on the issue to improve protection against wage theft and develop remedies for it. *****Nov. 20 Diaz-1***** Diaz says a recent study conducted finds about 30-percent of legal immigrants here had experienced some form of wage abuse. Tomorrow’s clinic is scheduled for 5:30 at Somos Un Pueblo Unido’s Santa Fe headquarters.

The health impacts of e-cigarettes is an agenda item before today’s meeting of the State Legislature’s Tobacco Settlement Revenue Oversight Committee at the Roundhouse. The panel will also hear about the American Lung Association’s “tobacco report card” and legislative priorities from the Attorney General’s Office that may include proposals on “e-cigs.” Americans spend around 400 million dollars annually on the products, and some analysts predict sales will surpass normal cigarettes in ten years. E-cigs are currently unregulated in New Mexico.

PNM—Public Service Company of New Mexico—on Tuesday unveiled its newest solar power plant. The utility says the Manzano Solar Energy Center in Los Lunas consists of 108-thousand solar panels capable of producing enough electricity for some 26-hundred homes. PNM has recently brought online five large solar power plants and has plans for a solar array near Tularosa as part of its compliance with New Mexico’s renewable energy standards.

Governor Susana Martinez is proposing the state spend the bulk of its capital outlay monies on a 112 million-dollar proposal she says would provide the state with secure drinking water resources. Martinez Tuesday released her plan to invest the so-called “pork” funds in water infrastructure. Her plan would prioritize spending on projects in communities that are in danger of going dry or struggling with water quality. The funding would also be spent on rehabilitation of dams and watersheds.

Santa Fe Weather: Mostly cloudy today, with a high near 52 with a slight chance of rain showers after 11am. Tonight: mostly cloudy, with a low around 33.