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Las Vegas Optic Newspaper Archives Mar 30 2015, Page 2

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Las Vegas Optic (Newspaper) - March 30, 2015, Las Vegas, New Mexico2 LAS VEGAS OPTICMonday, March 30, 2015 The Associated Press Flu sickened more this year New Mexico health officials are warning that the flu season is not over. Officials say more people have been hos- pitalized in the state this season than in many years. According to the state Department of Health, the virus hos- pitalized 40 people per 100,000 this flu season as compared with 29 per 100,000 during 2012-13. Children under 5 and the elderly are par- ticularly vulnerable. One Dona Ana County child and 27 adults have died from flu-related complica- tions since the start of the 2014-15 flu season. Flu season peaked at the end of Decem- ber nationally and in New Mexico. While the predominant strain of flu this season has been the influenza A virus, the influenza B virus continues to be a threat. Vaccinations and washing hands curbs transmission of the virus. State jobless rate improves ALBUQUERQUE, — State labor officials say New Mexico notched its 30th consecutive month of over-the-year employment growth in February. That’s when the sea- sonally adjusted unem- ployment rate was 6 percent, up from 5.9 percent in January but down from 6.7 percent in February 2014. Officials said Friday the state’s economy added 15,900 jobs from a year earlier for a 2 percent increase. February was the first month since May 2006 that no industry posted an over-the- year job loss. Across the economy, 12 industries added jobs while only one — financial activities — remained unchanged from February 2014. The industries with the biggest February job gains were educa- tion and health services with 4,300 additional jobs and professional and business services with 3,500 additional jobs. Leisure and hos- pitality added 2,600 jobs. Gov facing April 10 deadline SANTA FE — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has until April 10 to act on bills passed during the just-concluded 60-day legislative session. The bills she doesn’t sign by then will be considered pocket vetoed. Martinez had signed five and vetoed one as of Friday afternoon. New Mexico law- makers passed 191 bills during this ses- sion. The Albuquerque Journal reports that’s the lowest number for a 60-day session since 1949. This was also the first time in six decades that the GOP had con- trol of the House. The Democrats maintained their edge in the Sen- ate. A number of Repub- licans-sponsored bills ran aground in the Senate during a rancor- ous session, including a right-to-work initia- tive, a ban on late-term abortions and repeal- ing the law allowing driver’s licenses for people in the county illegally. IN BRIEF to consider a resolution that would authorize the mayor and city man- ager to execute a final agreement with the Storrie Project Water Users Association. The resolution that the Council is being asked to approve states that the city and the association have generally agreed to a perpetu- al and permanent storage easement granting up to 2,300 acre-feet of water storage to the city at Storrie Reservoir. That storage easement would be granted by the associa- tion and certain shareholders who collectively own up to 2,300 acre- feet of storage rights. The resolution calls for the city to pay the association an initial payment of $9 million. The remain- ing $3 million payment would be contingent on the Office of the State Engineer approving a storage permit application that would be submitted jointly by the city and the association. The resolution states that the city will submit an application to the New Mexico Finance Author- ity for financing under the Public Project Revolving fund or seek financing through the open bond market. Revenues from water rate increases approved by the City Council several years ago could be used to cover the debt service on the bonds. The city has leased 500-acre feet of storage capacity at Storrie Lake in the past. In 1989, the city entered into a 20-year lease with the Storrie Project Water Users Association. That agreement was renewed for several years. It expired in Decem- ber 2013 or January 2014. Garcia said he’s optimistic about the tentative agreement with the association, but he cautioned that even if it goes through, it will not solve all of the city’s water prob- lems. “We need to make sure we tem- per our expectations,” he said. Garcia noted that 2,300 acre-feet of storage at Storrie Lake, while cheaper, isn’t the same thing as 2,300 acre-feet of storage at Brad- ner. He said there’s more evapora- tion and seepage at Storrie Lake because it has a larger surface area. It also costs more to pump water out of Storrie Lake, he said. But having a third reservoir gives the city options, Garcia said. He added that Storrie Lake would not have to be enlarged. The city will, however, have to improve its pumping system, but that proj- ect was already planned, Garcia said. As for Bradner and Peterson, Garcia said that at a minimum both will need to be rehabbed. Storrie From Page 1 HUGE BOOK SALE Art Trujillo/Optic photo The popular annual AAUW Book Sale at Sala de Madrid on the Highlands campus Friday and Saturday drew hundreds of browsers and buyers. In addition to books, the sale featured CD, VHS and DVD media. Proceeds go to provide scholarships to Highlands University. car behind the truck that the wounded boys were in. Police also found 9mm bullet cas- ings in the area where the boys said they had been shot at. A 9mm bullet was also located at the residence shared by Gold and Maestas. Police say the 14-year-old boys who had the initial encoun- ter with the boys who were shot at called Mae- stas to tell her that they were being hassled. The case is being investigated by Las Vegas police Lt. Pamela Sandoval. Gold has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and one count each of shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in injury to another person and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, all third-degree felonies. He has also be charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, all fourth- degree felonies. Maestas has been charged with five counts of being an accessory to the crimes and two counts of con- spiracy. Teens shot From Page 1 Sexual-assault claim at juvenile center investigated The Associated Press A southern New Mexico juve- nile detention center is the focus of a State Police investigation into a male detainee’s claim that a female staff therapist sexually assaulted him. The director of the state’s juve- nile justice services has resigned and two administrators have been placed on paid administrative since the alleged assault was reported in early February, the Albuquerque Journal reported Friday. All of the youths detained at the Lincoln Pines Youth Center near Ruidoso have been relocated to other facilities while authorities investigate what happened at the center. The therapist no longer works for the state, Children, Youth and Families Department spokesman Henry Varela said. He wouldn’t say whether she was fired or quit. Varela said the allegation was reported to State Police on Feb. 8. But he would not say when the assault allegedly occurred. Asked whether there could be other victims, Varela said: “That’s what’s currently being investigated by State Police. The department is taking this seriously. Obviously, that’s why a full assessment was done right away.” Juvenile Justice Services direc- tor Sandra Stewart submitted her resignation Monday. She didn’t specify a reason. She previously served as admin- istrator of the Chaves County Detention Center in Roswell. Asked whether Stewart’s depar- ture was related to the Lincoln Pines assessment, Varela said, “I can’t answer that because there was no reason given in the resigna- tion.” As part of the investigation at Lincoln Pines, the center’s superin- tendent and its program manager were placed on paid administra- tive leave Feb. 27. The 40 or so employees at the detention center also are undergoing additional training. Miles D. Conway, spokesman for the AFSCME Council 18, said union members who work at the center are “devastated that this has happened.” Aside from the alleged assault, “They’re certainly uncomfortable at the moment wondering, ‘Are they going to shut the facility down?’ “ “These individuals,” Conway added, “are dedicated to these kids and into rehabilitating them. There’s a lot of good work that goes on there.” The facility opened in October 2013 to serve male youth 18 years old and younger. Many attend funeral of slain officer The Associated Press FARMINGTON — Peo- ple lined the streets Friday as the funeral procession honoring a Navajo Nation police officer made its way through Farmington. Law enforcement officers from across the country and residents from throughout the Four Corners region gathered for the funeral of 42-year-old Alex Yazzie. Yazzie, of Crownpoint, was fatally shot during a March 19 shootout between tribal police and Justin Fowler near the Arizona- New Mexico state line. Fowler led police on a high-speed pursuit from a home in Shiprock, New Mexico, where he allegedly had been beating his wife and mother. Authorities say Fowler also wounded two officers before being killed by police in Red Valley, Arizona. New Mexico Gov. Susa- na Martinez also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset Friday in honor of Yazzie. Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly called on federal and state lawmakers to pro- vide more funding to the tribe’s public safety services and a full review by Navajo officials of tribal laws per- taining to public safety. “The laws we have are outdated, we need to change it,” Shelly said. Among the achieve- ments listed in the eulogy was Yazzie’s selection in February 2002 as the first criminal enforcement offi- cer for the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency. In April 2012, he trans- ferred to the Navajo police department and was assigned to the Shiprock District. Rolanda Cowboy, one of Yazzie’s nieces, remem- bered her uncle as possess- ing a unique laugh and love for his children. an eye out for you SALES REPRESENTATIVE The Las Vegas Optic is seeking applications for full and part-time positions in sales. Successful candidates must have good people skills as well as the ability to sell advertising and help businesses grow. Experience isn’t a requirement but is a plus in consideration. Resumes should be mailed to the attention of Martin Salazar, Publisher P.O. Box 2670 Las Vegas, NM 87701, or e-mail to msalazar@lasvegasoptic.com

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