Final-Minute Hashish License Prompts Calls For Investigation – Santa Fe New Mexican, Related Press
New Mexico well being officers in late June briefly opened a window to submit functions for profitable licenses for pot manufacturing after which accredited the one utility acquired, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.
The Well being Division’s dealing with of the method that resulted within the license being issued June 28 to Albuquerque-based GH LLC after minimal public discover has prompted allegations of favoritism and requires an investigation.
“In my view, this was a grimy affair,” stated Willie Ford, managing director of Reynold Greenleaf & Associates, a consulting agency for hashish companies. “This was clearly anyone making it occur for anyone else.”
The state had not allowed producers to use for licenses within the earlier six years, as the brand new Hashish Management Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Division ready to take oversight of licensing of the hashish business on June 29. New Mexico this yr legalized leisure marijuana and people gross sales will begin by April 1, 2022.
The Well being Division’s June 23 web site posting of “Medical Hashish Licensed Non-Revenue Producer Utility Directions” did not explicitly say the division was accepting new functions, although an internet utility type gave a June 28 deadline, the New Mexican reported.
Paperwork obtained below a public information request confirmed that GH LLC submitted a 713-page utility for a nonprofit medical hashish producer license June 25 and that two senior Well being Division officers inspected the corporate’s amenities two days afterward a Sunday, sooner or later earlier than the license was granted.
GH LLC “submitted an utility like everybody else,” stated firm founder Vance Dugger, who can also be CEO or founding father of three street service and towing firms.
Well being Division spokeswoman Baylee Rawson advised the New Mexican in an e-mail that the company “typically posts bulletins by means of the web site” to tell license holders and sufferers about program updates.
Rawson stated it wasn’t uncommon for division officers to work on weekends and that the division had labored for months “on opening licenses for extra licensees to assist guarantee sufferers had extra choices for acquiring their medicine.”
Rawson didn’t reply follow-up questions on whether or not the division had disclosed it was engaged on such an effort, the New Mexican reported.
Ford and others within the business stated the appliance opening seems to have been stored secret intentionally.
“This new licensee course of has actually ignited a good quantity of mistrust, raised eyebrows and questions,” stated Duke Rodriguez, president and CEO of New Mexico High Organics-Extremely Well being, the state’s largest medical hashish operation.
“There are a selection of fine of us who’ve invested time, effort and assets whereas not understanding there may need been an categorical lane,” he stated.
“This can be a lottery ticket,” Rodriguez stated, including folks within the business are referring to the license approval as “weedgate.”
Suspended Professor Advocates For 2020 Election Audits – Las Cruces Solar-Information, Related Press
A New Mexico State College professor has been touring to advocate for audits of the 2020 presidential election amid a paid suspension for rejecting coronavirus well being mandates from the college.
The Las Cruces Sun News reports that the general public college on Aug. 27 prolonged its emergency suspension of professor David Clements. A number of complaints had been acquired from college students after Clements rejected campus masks and vaccination mandates.
The college requires college students and employees to indicate proof of COVID-19 vaccination or present take a look at outcomes for the virus on a weekly foundation. Its indoor masks mandate mirrors the New Mexico public well being orders.
By a social media account on the Telegram platform, Clements has documented his travels to advocate for additional audits of the 2020 presidential election, whereas alleging widespread election fraud and referring to former President Donald Trump as “the true president.”
Clements couldn’t be reached for touch upon Sunday. The Solar Information reported that he declined to talk with the newspaper except it was for an unedited video interview with a required studying record upfront.
Clements indicated by means of Telegram postings that he’s confronting doable disbarment as an legal professional in New Mexico and has been blocked from service by some business airways.
Trump’s allegations of widespread election fraud have been dismissed by judges and refuted by state election officers, an arm of his personal administration’s Homeland Safety Division and his personal legal professional common.
New Mexico Reviews 20 Extra COVID-19 Deaths, Most In Months – Albuquerque Journal, Related Press
New Mexico’s pandemic dying roll rose by 20 on Friday, the most important reported single-day enhance in months.
The state on Friday additionally reported 885 extra confirmed instances — the most important one-day enhance in every week and considerably greater than the current every day common — because the pandemic totals elevated to 239,886 instances and 4,605 deaths.
Of the 20 extra deaths, 18 occurred within the final month and the opposite two occurred greater than 30 days earlier.
The final time the state’s every day report on extra deaths was bigger was in Might when the entire jumped by 114 after an audit, and the state earlier than that hadn’t reported a every day enhance of 20 or extra since February, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Well being care officers have expressed concern about New Mexico’s hospital capability through the present surge as COVID-19 sufferers contribute to an already-high affected person load resulting from different diseases.
The 20 fatalities had been adults ranging in age from their 40s to their 90s.
When Does Virus Pressure Closure? New Mexico Colleges Now Determine – By Cedar Attanasio Related Press / Report For America
State training officers largely ceded management over if and when faculties must shut down due to a COVID-19 outbreak, and so they relaxed guidelines that will have had faculties shut their doorways this semester.
Till final month, faculties needed to ship college students into distant studying if there have been 4 constructive COVID-19 assessments on campus inside two weeks.
Now there isn’t any set quantity or proportion of COVID-19 instances that set off a college to close down, based on statements from the training and well being departments.
Looser well being guidelines are doable partly due to widespread instructor vaccinations. Round half of minors who’re eligible for the vaccine, ages 12-17, have additionally gotten their photographs.
Elementary college students aren’t but eligible for vaccines, and a handful are ending up within the hospital. However their sickness is much less extreme. New Mexico Division of Well being officers stated this week that 4 youngsters have died from COVID-19 throughout your complete pandemic.
As of Thursday, there have been 10 faculties with 4 instances and one with 5.
4 of the faculties are in Hobbs, in japanese New Mexico. Because of the relaxed guidelines, they’ll keep open.
“The longer we keep open, the extra confidence that creates in dad and mom by saying I am not going to have this yo-yo impact of going forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards,” Superintendent Gene Strickland stated.
Stone Elementary, in Hobbs, has 5 instances listed. However the numbers will be misleading: they’re all members of the identical household, Strickland stated. And a small variety of assessments is extra vital in a smaller faculty than a bigger one.
A extra vital metric going ahead would be the proportion of employees and college students who take a look at constructive. Stone’s constructive charge is 2%, based on a dashboard up to date by the college every day.
Different faculties don’t present as a lot public info, and it is tough to trace faculty closures as a result of the Public Training Division now not releases a weekly record.
Siembra Management Excessive Faculty shut down all in-person courses on the constitution faculty final month as a result of pf an outbreak, based on an e-mail despatched to oldsters on Aug. 25. The closure got here because the variety of in-person college students fell from 130 to round 35 due to constructive assessments and close-contact quarantines. Representatives for the college didn’t instantly reply to telephone calls and messages left Friday.
The Public Training Division is requiring faculty districts to write down and launch plans describing what they are going to do if the an infection charge in a college constructing goes up, together with a plan for hitting 5%.
It will be as much as the Division of Well being “to find out when an outbreak was of ample concern to require a college constructing to shut,” Public Training Division spokeswoman Judy Robinson stated. “We’re permitting districts a a lot larger deal of self dedication in creating native plans that may each deal with rising instances and maintain college students and employees secure and in class.”
Strickland says Hobbs’ plan has been submitted, however not but accredited. He says if a college hits 3% or 5% an infection charge, the district would enact different measures first, like ending group gatherings, and returning to every day scholar symptom screenings.
Ruling: Residence Does not Have To Be Completed To Be Burglarized
Simply because a home below building is not completed and lacks key options doesn’t suggest it isn’t a dwelling below the New Mexico regulation that makes housebreaking of a residence against the law, an appellate court docket dominated for the primary time.
The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled Thursday in a case from San Juan County, upholding Albert Dell Shelby’s conviction for residential housebreaking of a house that was enclosed and had a whole exterior however had an incomplete inside and lacked utility providers.
Shelby’s enchantment argued that there wasn’t ample proof that the property was truly used as residing quarters by its proprietor, an oil business employee who stayed there half time when not understanding of state.
The Courtroom of Appeals ruling concluded that the unfinished state of the house did not decide its standing and that there was sufficient proof that it supplied its proprietor with habitation “in an everyday, but intermittent, means.”
New Mexico Cattle Ranchers Pummeled By Western Drought – By Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican
State Sen. Pat Woods noticed a number of it over this previous yr — cows culled from a herd and despatched to the slaughterhouse as a result of their homeowners could not afford to feed them anymore.
“It was awfully dry,” stated the longtime rancher and Republican lawmaker from Broadview, a ranching neighborhood on New Mexico’s japanese plains. “They had been forecasting it could by no means rain once more and it was going to be such a tricky yr that a number of ranchers did not need to put their cash into the cow.”
The drought strikes once more — and its results are having a big affect on the state’s cattle ranching business, based on a brand new report from the New Mexico State College Division of Animal and Vary Sciences.
The report, which was offered to Woods and different members of legislative panel, specified by stark phrases how drought circumstances are hurting ranchers.
Some local weather specialists have known as the drought enveloping the southwestern a part of the nation one of many worst in centuries. About two-thirds of the state has been experiencing average to excessive drought circumstances in current weeks. And that was after a wholesome monsoon season in lots of areas.
Amongst different outcomes, drought circumstances lower animal development, diminish forage alternatives for livestock, enhance the price of manufacturing and reduce calf costs, the report says.
That in flip results in further prices on the subject of restocking herds which were thinned out.
Calling the scenario “the proper storm of drought and pandemic,” Loren Patterson, president-elect of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Affiliation, stated the business is reeling below “the entire above” identified within the examine.
“It has a reasonably large affect on us economically,” he stated by telephone following the presentation of the report. “It raises our price of manufacturing. Not solely do we have now to cut back cow numbers, we have now to complement extra for the cows we maintain.”
Economically talking, the cattle business is a meaty, if not mighty, power. A 2019 report, from the environmental publication Sustainability, stated its position within the state financial system is “substantial.” Utilizing 2012 information, it stated about 44 % of income from the state’s agricultural business is derived from cattle.
Patterson stated whereas those that work in agriculture are accustomed to coping with issues introduced on by longterm drought, “it is all the time a bit harder than you put together for.”
In the end, shoppers will really feel the brunt of the impacts at meat markets, grocery shops and eating places, Patterson stated.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Shopper Value Index stories the value of beef and veal went up 6.5 % between July 2020 and July 2021 — although it doesn’t present a proof for the rise.
And there could also be much less beef to go round. Patterson stated ranchers who’ve thinned herds are actually making an attempt to restock them by retaining feminine cows so that they start calves. These cows should not headed into the meals provide chain anytime quickly. That may have an effect on the meat provide for as much as three years, he stated.
Restocking is pricey, the report says.
Rep. Sweet Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, who’s a rancher and a member of the interim committee, stated she has skilled that price firsthand — noting in an interview she needed to dump greater than 100 of her herd on the finish of 2019 due to the consequences drought had on her operation.
Now, making an attempt to restock, she finds cows as soon as price $700 going for practically twice that worth as demand outpaces provide.
“That is a shortage of a commodity that we as ranchers want,” Ezzell stated.
Carla Gomez, a small cattle rancher in Mora County, stated the drought has had a “devastating” affect on fellow ranchers in her space, regardless of a season of actually good rainfall.
“Right here in Mora, lots of people who’ve had cattle previously do not anymore due to this continuous drought cycle,” she stated. “Folks promote their cattle … some folks construct the herd again up and a few do not.”
The report gives quite a few suggestions for alleviating the drought’s results, resembling weaning and promoting offspring early to cut back grazing charges; offering dietary supplements to exchange milk and grass for feed functions; culling each young and old “low productiveness” animals out of herds; retaining animals in a pen to feed them stored-up meals merchandise.
A few of these choices are costly, the report famous.
Whereas Patterson stated these choices will “completely” assist, promoting off livestock or sending them to the slaughterhouse is “economically devastating” for cattle ranchers.
And, he stated, it’ll price the state and native counties in tax income as a result of cattle ranchers “pay taxes on each head of livestock, so clearly the counties and state will notice much less taxes.”
Choose Refines Proof For Trial Of Airman Accused Of Homicide – By Felicia Fonseca Related Press
Prosecutors can be allowed to current proof at an upcoming trial that they are saying exhibits a U.S. Air Pressure airman charged within the dying of Mennonite girl had disdain for the spiritual group, a choose dominated Friday.
The proof consists of textual content message exchanges between defendant Mark Gooch and his brothers the place he talked about surveilling Mennonite church buildings in metropolitan Phoenix and praising one for ticketing a Mennonite throughout a site visitors cease.
Gooch is charged within the capturing dying of Sasha Krause, who lived in a Mennonite neighborhood exterior Farmington, New Mexico. Krause disappeared whereas gathering supplies for a Sunday faculty course in January 2020, and her physique was discovered exterior Flagstaff greater than a month later.
Jury choice begins Sept. 21 for the three-week trial. Gooch faces life in jail if convicted of first-degree homicide and different expenses.
Coconino County Superior Courtroom Choose Cathleen Brown Nichols wrapped up a two-day listening to Friday on requests to refine the proof. She stated the textual content messages despatched earlier than and after Krause’s dying level to motive and are extra related than prejudicial.
“It is for the jury to resolve if the defendant had some type of spiritual bias towards Mennonites,” she stated.
Brown Nichols additionally allowed proof from cellular phone information that prosecutors say confirmed Gooch returned to the forested space the place Krause’s physique was left earlier than authorities found it.
“The court docket is persuaded by the state’s argument that this purported proof does join him to the scene of the homicide,” the choose stated.
Gooch attended the listening to nearly from jail.
Gooch’s legal professional, Bruce Griffen, had argued that the textual content message exchanges had been amongst hundreds that Gooch despatched and acquired, and had been the one two that talked about Mennonites. Gooch did not provoke the trade with the brother who was a state trooper in Virginia, he stated. He merely responded in a boisterous, pile-on trend, nicely after Krause’s dying, Griffen argued.
Gooch used phrases like “surveillance” within the trade with one other brother as a result of he has a navy background, Griffen stated. And Gooch’s textual content that the older folks he noticed weren’t just like the Mennonites he grew up with means Gooch is a younger man, and that is not his crowd, Griffen stated.
“The state is studying a lot extra into that,” Griffen argued.
Gooch advised authorities he drove to the church buildings as a result of he was searching for fellowship, based on public information. However the prosecutor, Ammon Barker, stated neither of the textual content exchanges counsel Gooch was searching for a pleasant, Mennonite church.
“The state isn’t saying as a result of he is surveilling folks, he is a assassin or has a personality trait for being a assassin,” Barker stated. “It exhibits motive.”
Gooch and Krause did not know one another however each grew up in giant households who had been a part of the Mennonite church. Gooch by no means grew to become a church member. Krause grew to become a part of a bunch of conservative Mennonites the place girls put on head coverings and lengthy clothes or skirts, and males had been plain clothes, her neighborhood has stated.
Brown Nichols earlier rejected a request to confess proof that Gooch may need focused Mennonites in burglaries as a teen in Wisconsin. A childhood buddy of Gooch testified Thursday that he did not recall Gooch saying that he disliked Mennonites.
Brown Nichols has but to rule on a protection request to find out whether or not statements that Gooch made to a detective throughout an interview at Luke Air Pressure Base the place he was stationed in metropolitan Phoenix had been lawfully obtained.
US Flag, Sewn At POW Camp, Settles At Smithsonian – By Ollie Reed Jr., Albuquerque Journal
Its beginnings had been humble, however proud and courageous too.
An American flag, assembled secretively and in danger in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, was customary out of items of pink blanket, white bedsheets and blue denim dungarees.
For 25 years, it was saved in a closet on the Albuquerque house of Joseph O. “Jose” Quintero, the American soldier answerable for its creation.
Then for practically 30 years it traveled with Military Lt. Gen. Edward Baca to each U.S. state and territory and 7 continents, as Baca advised the story of the flag and the courageous males who battled the Japanese within the Philippines earlier than falling to the enemy throughout World Battle II.
Now this flag, its items as soon as wrapped in canvas and buried in grime to maintain it hid from Japanese guards, is on the way in which to the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of American Historical past in Washington, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
“One of many first locations my father gave his speech concerning the flag was on the Smithsonian,” stated retired Col. Brian Baca, son of Lt. Gen. Baca, who died in September 2020.
“He stated then he would give the flag to the Smithsonian, and my father’s phrase was his bond.”
Brian Baca, who’s retired from the Military Nationwide Guard, and his sister, Karen Nielsen, who’s retired from the Air Pressure Nationwide Guard, went to a New Mexico Nationwide Guard Strategic Planning Convention just lately at Albuquerque’s Resort Andaluz to inform the flag’s story to troopers and airmen.
“We could not let the flag depart New Mexico with out doing one thing like this,” Brian Baca stated. “It was superior to be telling this story for the final time in entrance of those troopers.”
The flag was scheduled to be handed off to Smithsonian representatives in Albuquerque in September. There are plans to make a reproduction of the flag, which might be stored in New Mexico.
Quintero died in Albuquerque at age 82 in November 2000. Based on his obituary, he was born in Fort Value, the oldest of 9 youngsters. He moved to Albuquerque in 1946 and labored as a analysis technician with the federal authorities.
Throughout World Battle II, he served as a corporal with the U.S. Military’s sixtieth Coastal Artillery Regiment on Corregidor. Like the numerous New Mexicans serving within the two hundredth and 515th Coastal Artillery regiments in Bataan and Corregidor, the lads within the sixtieth had been overcome by the Japanese within the spring of 1942.
“They held again the Japanese for months,” Brian Baca stated. “They had been lastly defeated by illness, starvation and lack of ammunition.”
Most of the defenders of Bataan and Corregidor who survived the combating, the pressured marches after their defeat and preliminary imprisonment within the Philippines, had been placed on ships and transported, in hellish circumstances, to prisoner-of-war and labor camps in Japan. Quintero was amongst these despatched to Japan.
It took Quintero greater than a yr to make the flag. His fellow prisoners helped.
A Canadian soldier, a double amputee who had entry to a stitching machine as a result of he was tasked with mending the uniforms of Japanese troopers, put the flag collectively.
“Jose needed to make the flag as a tribute to those that had been dying round him,” Brian Baca stated. “But when the Japanese had discovered it, it may have been dying for not solely him, but additionally for his comrades. Jose didn’t even know what number of states had been within the union or the importance of the 13 stripes. He needed to ask an officer.”
Within the early ’90s, Gen. Baca was chatting with a bunch of Bataan and Corregidor survivors at an Albuquerque lodge, when Jose Quintero approached him together with his flag, advised Baca its story and entrusted the overall with it. Baca promised to inform the story of the flag’s unbelievable origin and the lads it honored wherever he went.
“He advised the story in Russia,” Brian Baca stated. “One of many final locations he visited was the Philippines.”
Nielsen stated her father advised the story to all his youngsters and grandchildren. She stated it is tough to present the flag up.
“It feels very unhappy to me,” she stated. “It is like letting a part of my father go. It’s extremely emotional.”
However her brother believes the flag must go to the Smithsonian, so its story can reside on.
“Reminiscences are what we have now now,” Brian stated.
S. Carolina, Georgia Locations High Journey + Leisure Listing – Related Press
Two of the South’s most picturesque locations have topped a serious journey journal’s record of finest U.S. cities.
Readers of Journey + Leisure ranked Charleston, South Carolina, No. 1 on its record of the highest 15 cities within the U.S. Coming in at No. 3 was a coastal Southern neighbor — Savannah, Georgia.
The journal wrote that Southern cities “proceed to steal the hearts” of its readers “due to the great mixture of heat hospitality, approachable measurement, glorious meals, and hanging structure.”
It is the ninth straight yr that Charleston has led Journey + Leisure’s finest U.S. cities record. The town that beat out Savannah for No. 2 on this yr’s record was Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The record is featured within the journal’s October problem.