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New Mexico News This Week
In this week’s Chile Street:
Police have a suspect in at least one of the shootings at local leader’s homes and offices, but few other details have been released
Public Regulation Commission stumbles into the new year as a new commissioner is appointed after a sudden resignation on the three-member panel
Legislators seek high-speed rail through New Mexico
LGBTQ rights could be strengthen this legislative session
Good morning and happy New Year! Today is Friday, Jan. 13. Here’s a look at the past week in New Mexico news.
Suspect in at least on shooting of politicians’ homes in custody
Albuquerque police announced Monday that investigators have a suspect in the recent shootings at the homes and offices of several elected officials. The person was taken into custody this week on unrelated charges. The name of the suspect has not been released, Elise Kaplan and Ryan Boetel of the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Police also recovered a firearm used in at least one of the shootings, but police have remained tight-lipped on other details, except to say the suspect is a man under the age of 50.
Last week, APD reported it were investigating gunshots fired at the homes of Bernalillo County Commissioners Debbie O’Malley and Adriann Barboa, and state Sen. Linda Lopez in December and January. Days later, other shootings were also reported near the offices of state Sen. Antonio “Moe” Maestas and Attorney General Raúl Torrez. On Monday, the department said investigators found evidence of shots fired at the home of Javier Martinez, the nominee for speaker in the New Mexico House of Representatives.
At a news conference Monday, Police Chief Harold Medina said investigators “have some ideas as to a possible motive,” but said it’s too early to disclose anything.
Read the entire story here (paywall): abqjournal.com/2563162/another-shooting-reported-at-home-of-local-lawmaker.html
PRC stumbles as it moves to smaller, appointed board
Until the start of this year, members of the Public Regulation Commission were elected by New Mexico voters. A constitutional amendment passed in November 2020 changed membership from being an elected position to one that’s appointed by the governor. It also shrunk the size of the board from five members to three. But so far this year, one of the new commissioners suddenly resigned while a Tribal Advisory Council ‘typo’ ended up excluding one tribal community, Ryan Lowery reported for Source New Mexico.
The state is now accepting applications for the new Tribal Advisory Council that will provide input from tribal lands in New Mexico to the PRC. The council was created late last year by an executive order issued by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. However, as originally written, the executive order stated the council will include a member from the eight northern Pueblos and “one from the 10 southern Pueblos” for a total of 18 Pueblos. There are 19 Pueblos in New Mexico.
Nora Meyers Sackett, press secretary for Lujan Grisham, told Source New Mexico the wording was a typo and that all 19 Pueblos will be represented by the council. The state’s website is now corrected to include all 23 tribes in the state.
The executive order was amended Wednesday after the issue was presented to the Governor’s Office this week. “To be clear, there wasn’t a Pueblo being left out of any representation, just an unfortunate copy error,” Meyers Sackett said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Brian Moore, one of the three people appointed to the PRC board, unexpectedly stepped down, stating in a resignation letter sent to the governor that he did not meet the statutory educational requirements.
The governor’s office also announced this week that James Ellison Jr. will replace Moore. The new PRC on Wednesday held its first open meeting with only two members officially on the board because Ellison has not yet taken the oath of office. He did attend the meeting via Zoom, though he was unable to vote on any matters.
Read the entire story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2023/01/12/public-regulation-commission-stumbles-into-the-new-year/
BioPark says Tiger cub will only stay 30-days
The tiger cub found by Albuquerque police at a crime scene is now spending the next month at the BioPark. In the meantime, officials with NM Game and Fish will attempt to find a permanent home for the cub, Stephanie Muñiz of KOAT-TV reported.
Watch or read the story here (no paywall): koat.com/article/albuquerque-tiger-cub-found-police/42479550
Balloon Fiesta RV and camping spots sell out in about an hour
RV reservations for this year’s Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta opened and closed Wednesday morning after the available spots sold out in about 70 minutes, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
Prefiled bills would launch a high-speed rail through New Mexico
Two bills prefiled in the state Legislature may pave the way for expanded rail service in New Mexico. The bills would allocate $500,000 for a feasibility study and $1 billion for the rail project itself, Megan Taros reported for Source New Mexico.
Read the story here (no paywall): sourcenm.com/2023/01/11/nm-train-riders-want-to-see-investment-in-high-speed-rail-make-it-out-of-the-station/
Bills to protect LGBTQ rights part of upcoming session
Legislators plan on introducing at least three LGBTQ-related bills in the upcoming legislative session, including one that would amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act, reported Susan Dunlap of New Mexico Political Report.
Read the story here (no paywall): nmpoliticalreport.com/2023/01/13/bills-to-protect-lgbtq-rights-part-of-upcoming-session/
That’s it for now. Have a great weekend!
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