News Briefs: Friday September 12, 2014

KRQE News 13 headlines in briefs.

Ohio man accused of molesting children arrested in NM

SANTA FE (KRQE) – An Ohio man wanted for the rape and molestation of three children has been arrested in New Mexico. The U.S. Marshals say they got a tip that Jeffrey Robling was in Santa Fe after his picture was featured in news reports in Ohio.

He was taken into custody Thursday. Robling is accused of raping and molesting three children under the age of 13 in Toledo.

Marshals say he has an extensive criminal history involving sex crimes.

Rio Rancho murder suspect dies in custody

SANDOVAL COUNTY N.M. (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho man charged with first degree murder has died in custody. Donald Alber, 66, allegedly shot two people killing one of them.

It happened back in February when police say Garry Morrin was helping his girlfriend move out of Alber’s Rio Rancho home. That’s when a fight broke out and Alber allegedly opened fire killing Morrin and wounding Morrin’s girlfriend.

Alber was being held at the Sandoval County Detention Center. Officials say Alber was terminally ill. He was taken to a hospital last month where he died about a week later.

His case had not yet gone to trial.

Efforts to remove Bernalillo County Treasurer fail

BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – The recall effort to oust Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz has failed to gather enough signatures. Roughly 82,000 signatures were required to trigger an election to remove Ortiz, but organizers got less than 5,000.

County resident George Richmond spearheaded the effort saying Ortiz was gambling with tax-payer dollars and he wanted him out. In January, a district judge ruled there was enough evidence that he may have mismanaged the county’s portfolio.

The County Commission and Ortiz had been at odds over the county’s investment strategy.

The county ended up suffering about $16 million in losses this year.

Teens confess to Portales pumpkin thefts

PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) – A tip has led police to four boys accused of destroying a pumpkin patch down south. It happened at the Child Development Center at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

Last weekend, several pumpkins were stolen out of the center’s garden. The director says the patch was a special place for the kids because they had watched them grow all spring.

University police say surveillance video along with the tip helped them identify the four suspects. They’re teenage boys ages 14 and 15. Police say two of them have already confessed.

City accepting entries for downtown art

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – People can now submit ideas for a new piece of public art for Albuquerque’s downtown. The city wants a large scale piece that represents Albuquerque.

There are already iconic art pieces in Albuquerque but the city wants its art to get national attention like Chicago’s “Cloudgate” sculpture or Denver’s iconic blue bear. They are also asking for opinions on where the future art piece should go.

Those who wish to share their ideas have until the end of October to submit their proposals. The best ideas will be put on exhibit and the winner will get $500.

Bus driver honored by ABQ Mayor’s office

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) –Driver Roger Martinez was on his route when he noticed a car on fire on the side of the road.

Martinez stopped the bus, got out and realized there was a driver inside. He grabbed his fire extinguisher and ran to help.

“What was running through your mind, jut there’s probably lives at stake here and trying to help someone out” Martinez said about the whole experience.

Martinez got back onto the bus to a round of applause. Friday, he was named “Employee of the Week”. Martinez has been a bus driver for three years.

Carlsbad Caverns to close early due to flooding

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Carlsbad Caverns National Park is closing early Friday due to potential flash flooding. The main gate to the park will close at 1:00 p.m. and no additional visitors will be allowed to enter the park. All visitors and staff will be out of the park by 1:30 p.m.

The park will reopen as soon as weather permits and roads are safe to travel. Please check the general information line (575) 785-2232 for updates for opening times for the weekend.

Thousands of Employees to receive back pay

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) –Thousands of state workers owed back pay after a union contract dispute are finally about to get their money.

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled last year that 10,000 current or former employees are entitled to retroactive pay increases because former Governor Bill Richardson’s administration didn’t follow union contracts in distributing 2008 salary money.

The money was supposed to be paid in June, but it never happened.

The governor’s office now says most of the checks will go out this month and the rest in the first half of October.

Nevada signs off on Tesla incentive

NEVADA (KRQE) – Its official, Nevada’s governor has signed off on the Tesla incentive packages. The incentives include tax credits and other incentives worth up to $1.3 billion.

Republican Governor Brian Sandoval called Friday’s legislation “one of the most important pieces of legislation in Nevada’s history”

The electric car maker’s gigafactory is expected to produce more than 6,000 jobs and inject up to $100 billion in Nevada’s economy over the next 20 years.

Man shot in face in overnight domestic dispute

Man shot in faceALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Police say a man was shot in the face in Albuquerqu

e overnight during a domestic dispute. It happened at the apartment complex in the 5800 block of Anderson southeast, on the corner of Valencia near Kathryn and San Pedro.

When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the man had been shot. He’s in serious condition at a local hospital and is expected to survive.

The investigation is ongoing. No word on any arrests.

Borrow museum passes at city libraries

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library’s Museum Discovery Pass Program is a service providing library cardholders with free passes to local museums and cultural institutions.

The program offers library patrons, with a valid library card, free admission to the:

  • Albuquerque Museum
  • Explora
  • Maxwell Museum of Anthropology
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
  • Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum
  • National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.

Originally funded by the New Mexico Library Foundation, the Museum Discovery Pass Program is now supported through participating museums and the ABC Library. The program will begin on September 15 and will runto March 15, 2015. The passes are available at 16 branches. (They are not available at the Special Collections Library.)

For more information»

School bus catches fire

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An empty school bus fire illuminated the night sky s in the northwest part of Albuquerque Friday morning.

school bus fireBernalillo County firefighters and the sheriff’s office were both working the fire at a lot on north Fourth Street, south of Los Ranchos around 5 a.m. The burned out bus was close enough to the road and appeared to be pretty much a total loss.

No word on what caused the fire.

Rebel Donut in national spotlight, again

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – One of Albuquerque’s popular donut shops will be back in the national spotlight Friday.

Rebel Donut is going to be featured on the show, Donut Showdown, on the Cooking Channel. It’s a baking competition and rebel has to come up with royalty themed donuts. Rebel was on the show last year and won the $10,000 prize.

Donut Showdown will be on the Cooking Channel Friday at 8 p.m.

Workforce Connection holding career fair

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – If you’re in the market for a job, there is career fair Friday. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. and will be at Workforce Connection on Mountain in northeast Albuquerque. Hundreds of jobs from 54 companies will be available.

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