Video: Morning News, Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Council to vote on putting reduced pot penalties on ABQ ballot

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s city councilors say voters should get a say in deciding whether penalties should be reduced for marijuana possession. The council approved the measure on a 5-4 vote along party lines, with the Democrats on the council voting for it. It is not a done deal however, since Republican Mayor R.J. Berry still has to approve it. If he does not, it would take six councilors to veto him. Meanwhile there are enough valid signatures on a petition to put the reduced pot penalty measure on the ballot in Santa Fe.

This November, Albuquerque voters could decide if they want to increase sales tax in the city by an eighth of a percent to help people with mental health issues. Last night, the City Council approved a plan to hike the sales tax, but Mayor R.J. Berry has to approve it first.

It looks like we’ll have to wait until the end of the week to see if a 30-year-old Bernalillo County woman hospitalized at UNM Hospital has the Ebola virus. That’s when results of blood work sent to the Centers for Disease Control should be complete. In the meantime, the woman is isolated, and doctors say there is no public health threat.

It was another night of violence in Ferguson, Mo., where police fired tear gas on a crowd of protesters, who police say are primarily people from out of town. The violence stems from the Aug. 9 fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. An autopsy shows the white police officer shot Michael Brown six times, but doesn’t say if the teen had his hands up at the time.

A new website in Albuquerque has set up an exchange system allowing people to offer services to others and get some in return. It’s called ABQ Hours, and the idea is to remove money from the mix. ABQ Hours operates online. People sign up to offer and provide a variety of services, everything from bike repair, gardening, to guitar lessons. Organizer Jamie Phillips says new members must attend an orientation where safety issues are addressed. To become a member, your references must check out and there’s a rating system. The idea is to inspire the community and build relationships. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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