News Briefs: Thursday September 25, 2014

Albuquerque Police

KRQE News Briefs for Thursday, September 25, 2014.

APD hopes to expand crime monitoring center

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Police Department is looking to expand its real-time crime center. The center is a network of city and private cameras monitored by police to deter and solve crimes.

Thursday police Chief Gorden Eden says they also want to use the center to quickly get information out to the public. For example when there’s an amber alert or to notify neighborhoods if there’s a SWAT situation in their area.

Robbery suspect may also be facing murder charges

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Sources tell KRQE News 13 the woman involved in the Cash for Gold robbery is also under investigation for murder. Janessa Perea was indicted on robbery and aggravated battery charges Thursday for pepper spraying a clerk at the Cash for Gold store in Los Lunas in May.

In the video you can see her accomplice grab items off a counter and run. Los Lunas police won’t say which murder Perea is connected to.

Tests underway for sinking off-ramp

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Crews are now testing a major Albuquerque interchange that is sinking. News 13 first reported back in July that the eastbound I-40 off-ramp to Louisiana is cracking and sinking.

The state Department of Transportation told News 13 Thursday they have been testing the area to find what’s causing the dirt berm under the ramp to sink.

When they figure out the problem the state will come up with a plan for repairs. The state says the ramp is still safe to drive on.

Shelter to host memorial for Raphael

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A memorial service has been scheduled for Raphael the extremely emaciated dog that touched people from all over the world. Raphael was found in Pojoaque last October.

He weighed just 45 pounds when he arrived at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. Once he gained enough weight he was then diagnosed with cancer. In March after his health deteriorated Raphael was euthanized.

Raphael quickly drew an international fan base with thousands checking up on him on Facebook. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter will be holding a memorial on October 4, 2014.

Programming note: No CBS Evening News Thursday

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Due to CBS’ coverage of Thursday Night Football there will be no CBS Evening News. KRQE News at 5:30 will air at 5:00 p.m. Thursday.

Health Department confirms 1st NM flu case

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The state Health Department has confirmed the first influenza case of the season here in New Mexico. A 94-year-old Bernalillo County man has been hospitalized because of the illness. Health officials recommend vaccinations for everyone six months and older.

NM awarded $2.5M healthcare grant

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico is getting some big money to prevent chronic diseases. The Health and Human services announced a $2.5 million award to help fight stroke, diabetes, obesity, tobacco related illnesses and heart disease.  New Mexicans will also have access to a program to get the right nutrition.  The grant is funded in part by the Affordable Health Care Act with the hope the programs will help lower the nation’s health care costs.

Environmentalists call for more renewable energy

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A group of environmentalists is delivering more than 6,000 petition signatures to the state Public Regulation Commission calling for more renewable energy.

The commission is considering a proposal by PNM, to shutter two units at the coal-fired San Juan generating station in the four corners.

The utility wants to replace the power with a mix of coal from the plant’s other units.

There’s been a big fight about the changes at the plant. PNM has said the required changed by the federal government would make electricity much more expensive for customers.

Trial for ex-sergeant continues

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The trial of former APD Sgt. Adam Casaus continued Thursday.

Casaus is accused vehicular homicide in the death of a young woman.

In court, the jury heard more from an accident reconstruction expert who said Casaus sped through a red light on Paseo and Eagle Ranch and didn’t have his foot on the brakes in the two seconds before the crash.

His vehicle struck an SUV in the February 2013 crash, killing Ashley Browder and severely injuring her sister.

Casaus claims he was chasing a drunk driver, but there has been no evidence to prove that.

The prosecution claims he was driving recklessly with no regard for public safety.

Feds to pay Navajo Nation $550M

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The federal government will pay the Navajo Nation more than $550 million.

The Navajo Nation sued in 2006 saying the federal government mismanaged its money from farming, grazing, mineral development, timber harvesting and housing.

The Navajo Nation originally sought $900 million. This is the largest settlement of its kind for a single American Indian tribe.

Police ID Santa Fe River drowning victim

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A man found dead in the Santa Fe River bed Tuesday has been identified, according to the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office.

Police say the man was Robert Trujillo, 58, and that he drowned when river levels reached 4 to 6 feet Monday. If anyone witnessed the drowning, police are asking they call Sheriff Robert Garcia at 428-3720.

2 NM Jimmy Johns hacked in last month

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Those who ate at Jimmy Johns this summer may want to take a close look at credit card statements.

The sandwich chain says customer credit card data from more than 200 stores in 37 states – including two locations in New Mexico – may have been compromised between June and September.

One of the New Mexico stores is in Roswell, the other, is in Albuquerque.

Teen flees Farmington courthouse during hearing

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) – A 17-year-old boy managed to escape while in custody in a Farmington courthouse, but was apprehended a short time later.

The Daily Times reports that the unshackled boy fled during a Wednesday morning court hearing and was chased by a sheriff’s deputy out a door.

The deputy then lost track of the boy, but a search by deputies, jail personnel and Farmington police resulted in the boy’s recapture.

It’s not immediately known what charges the boy faces.

Federation to survey state’s Jewish population

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Jewish Federation of New Mexico has launched a survey of New Mexico’s Jewish community to probe the population size and its history.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that federation recently hired a Denver firm to contact Jewish residents affiliated with a synagogue and to contact nonaffiliated Jews through random calling and identification of Jewish family surnames.

It’s estimated that the Jewish population in the state is around 4,000 to 7,000. Officials say so far the survey has reached more than 300 families.

The federation’s study will be to try to identify the descendants of crypto-Jews who escaped the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th and 17th centuries to settle in the Spanish new world, but might not have openly practiced Judaism.

State workforce little changed in 2 years

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The Legislative Finance Committee reports that the number of state workers has changed very little in the past two years.

The committee said there were about 22,500 state agency employees this month, which is a 1 percent drop from mid-2012. The number of government workers grew by 0.1 percent from July.

There are about 3,000 vacant state agency positions, according to the committee, and it took an average of 64 days to fill a job during the most recent budget year. That dropped from an average of 73 days in the previous year.

Group delivers ‘clean energy’ petition to PRC

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A group of Latino environmentalists is delivering more than 6,000 petition signatures to the state Public Regulation Commission that call for more renewable energy.

Juntos New Mexico was launched earlier this year by Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund. Organizers have spent months going door-to-door to collect the signatures.

The petition calls for electricity to be generated in a way that won’t pollute New Mexico’s air and water.

The commission is considering a proposal by the state’s largest electricity provider, PNM, to shutter two units at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico.

The utility wants to replace the power with a mix of coal from the plant’s other units, electricity generated by the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona, a new natural gas-fired plant and solar.

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