Thursday’s Five Facts, Top Morning Headlines

The 5 Facts You Need to Know

  1. Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran begins her sentence behind bars Friday. This after she issues a public apology. The Las Cruces Bulletin website features a message from Duran, saying in part that she’s “sorry for her transgressions and the damage I caused to the public’s trust.” Duran decided not to back out of a plea deal for stealing campaign donations and spending that money at casinos part of her sentence is 30-days in jail.
  2. Albuquerque metro court is looking to form a new specialty court to better handle animal abuse cases and their offenders. Animal abuse cases would be sent to one judge and defendants would be encouraged to give up their pets and sign up for counseling. Supporters say it will better protect animals and make the community safer.  They hope to launch the program in February.
  3. Today will be mostly sunny with highs in the 30s to lower 40s.Tonight will be mostly clear lows 10 to 20.
  4. A woman accused of stealing a police SUV could soon face charges. Video released by police shows 27-year-old Melissa Dominguez drive off in it after officers were called to the Wells Fargo on San Mateo near Zuni where they said Dominguez tried to cash bogus checks.  A chase ended in a crash.  Authorities are finishing putting the case together.
  5. It’s not Christmas yet, but the city of Albuquerque is making plans for New Year’s Eve. The city will welcome in 2016 with a hot air balloon, which will rise as the clock strikes midnight. The event, on Civic Plaza, starts on December 31st at 8 p.m. and it’s free.

Top Morning Headlines

State lawmakers may vote on a proposed curfew for kids 16 and younger, during next month’s session. Representatives Nate gentry and Moe Maestas have pre-filed a house bill that would allow cities and counties in New Mexico to enact curfew ordinances at night and during the day on school days. The bill provides exceptions like if a teen is participating in a school function or if they’re with a parent or guardian. Other lawmakers have expressed concerns in the past saying it could lead to profiling.

The state’s Attorney General says a new audit shows Albuquerque Public Schools needs to step it up when it comes to employee background checks. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the district started doing checks on all employees in 1999, before that they’d only checked teachers.  In an audit of its own, APS found that of its 15,000 employees more than 2,000 haven’t gone through background checks because they were hired after 1999. The office recommended APS finish the checks by May of 2016. The report also suggests sanctions for administrators who don’t enforce background checks. It also recommends schools make a list of all employees they have checked to send home with families.

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