News Briefs: NMSP chief serenaded by recruits

NMSP recruits singing

NMSP chief serenaded by recruits

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police chief Pete Kassetas was serenaded Wednesday during breakfast by the 88th recruit class. The recruits broke out singing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by the Righteous Brothers. They are currently in their 12th week at the academy. They have about 10 more weeks of training before graduation.

Death of woman found in river ruled accidental

DURANGO, Colo. (KRQE) – The death of a woman found in the Animas River in Durango has been ruled accidental. Karen Michelle Reyes was found earlier this month near the La Plata County Fairgrounds, submerged in the river. Autopsy results show she died from asphyxia and drowning and she also had signs of hypothermia. Reyes also had a blood alcohol level of .113 and had recently smoked marijuana.

Lyft, Uber decision on hold for now

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – New Mexico regulators were supposed to decide if they would allow ride-sharing services to operate Wednesday but instead they’ll wait to see what the lawmakers do. Last year, the PRC ordered Lyft and Uber to cease operations in Albuquerque. The companies use smart-phone programs to connect people wanting rides with people who have cars. A bill has been introduced that would allow ride-sharing companies to operate in the state. A house committee is expected to discuss the proposal tomorrow.

New brewery opening in NE ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A new microbrewery is about to open in northeast Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Brewing Company is set to open its doors as early as next month on Pan American, just south of Alameda. It will debut with five styles of beer including a pale ale, dry stout and some with maltier flavors.

Police mourn death of beloved K9

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – State Police and the Department of Public safety are mourning the loss of one of their K9s. Rodi died Tuesday after a recent illness. He was 12 years old and served the Department of Public Safety for about eight years before retiring to the care of his handler, Officer Hermilo Lucero last year. Rodi had a long, successful career. He helped in the seizure of 15-hundred pounds of marijuana, six pounds of crack, nearly a thousand pounds of cocaine, 82 pounds of meth and heroin and ecstasy.

Contractor facing prison time for scheme

VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Valencia County contractor faces up to nine years in prison after pleading guilty in a real estate scheme. John Perea, 41, of Los Lunas used money from new investors to pay previous investors and then diverted the money for his personal living expenses. The investments were supposed to be used as private financing for home construction by Perea’s company, Don Juan Construction. A sentencing date has been set for April. Perea must also pay nearly $400,000 in restitution to his victims.

Boiler out at Mountainair Elementary

MOUNTAINAIR, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a really cold week for students in one New Mexico school. The heater went out and it could take weeks to fix. School officials said the boiler at Mountainair Elementary went out sometime over the weekend. It also happened four years ago and this is the boiler that was replaced. Kids and parents said it’s been a cold few days in class. It’s been well below freezing every night there and even with heaters, the classrooms aren’t getting much warmer than 40 or 50 degrees. A new boiler has been ordered but it may take three weeks to arrive. School officials say there buying extra heaters to try to make it as comfortable for the kids as possible.

State demands LANL waste records

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – The state’s environmental department is now demanding that Los Alamos National Laboratory disclose nearly a decades worth of records. The new demand calls into question whether the lab is withholding information about its role in a radiation leak last year at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The concern is that another disaster could happen, this time at Los Alamos, where drums of waste may be mislabeled. The lab has until March 9 to hand over their waste handling records dating back to 2006. A senior LANL official said the lab plans to comply with the order. If they don’t, they’ll face fines up to $10,000 a day.

Police operation nets dozens of arrests

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Law enforcement agencies in southern New Mexico have been busy, arresting two dozen violent fugitives. Its part of the second phase of a statewide round-up called “Operation Desert Snow.” Federal, state, local authorities teamed up to bring wanted men and women to justice in Dona Ana, Lincoln, Luna, Otero and Sierra counties. The first phase was conducted in the four corners area.

Upcoming clinic to offer vaccinations for pets

CHAVES COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Dogs and cats that need their rabies shots and registration can get them both done soon. An upcoming clinic is being sponsored by the Chaves County Veterinary Medical Association. Roswell city requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated and for owners to register their dogs. The shots will cost $5 for a neutered dog and $10 for an unaltered dog. The clinics will happen on Sunday March 8th at the fire stations listed on your screen.

House supports raises for teachers, officers

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The New Mexico House of Representatives has crossed off an item on their to-do list. They passed a multi-billion-dollar budget proposal. The house voted 42-25 following a three-hour debate. The $6.2 billion spending proposal includes pay raises for new teachers and state police officers. The plan is very close to the one outlined by Gov. Susana Martinez and the legislative finance committee earlier this year. It now moves to the senate.

Child protection bills flying through the House

SANTA FE (KRQE) – As the legislative session passes its midpoint, the House is passing several child protection bills that are earning support from both sides of the aisle. House Minority Leader Brian Egolf’s bill to clarify the state’s child abuse reporting law recently cleared the House. Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage’s bill to crack down on sexual predators has also been approved. Between 2009 and 2013, New Mexico has seen a sharp rise in child abuse victims, putting the state in the top five nationally.

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