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Morning Word: Final Morning Word for NM Telegram

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  • Yes, this is the final Morning Word on NM Telegram. More at the bottom.
  • Something that everyone had expected for the last three weeks came to fruition on Tuesday: There will be a recount in the State Land Commissioner campaign. The automatic recount comes because Aubrey Dunn leads Ray Powell by under one-half of one-percent (so, 0.5 percent) of the total amount of ballots cast.

    It is the first statewide recount since the automatic recount law went into effect in 2008.

  • State Rep. Bill McCamley, D-Las Cruces, says he will introduce legislation to legalize marijuana.
    Under the bill, 40 percent of those taxes would go to public education, 20 percent would go toward addiction services, 20 percent to local law enforcement, 15 percent to state police and 5 percent for abuse prevention. McCamley added that he would like to see THC percentage labeling on the product, noting that it’s similar to alcohol labeling. He also wants to add a provision allowing cultivation of industrial hemp.

    Don’t get too excited, though. As Milan Simonich notes, the odds of any such marijuana legalization aren’t good.

  • Protests in Albuquerque shut down streets in Nob Hill. The protests are after the lack of an indictment against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Department officer who killed Michael Brown. APD had its own share of controversial police killings that sparked protests that resulted in police firing tear gas at protesters.

    As protests continue to rage across the United States, Jeff Proctor reminded his followers on Twitter that the grand jury process in Albuquerque used for years was even odder than the process used in Ferguson. The grand jury process in Albuquerque couldn’t even indict officers if the jury wanted to.

  • KOB took a brief look back at the 1971 riots in Albuquerque. The riots, which media says started because of arrests over smoking marijuana and smoking, left hundreds injured.
  • The state’s waiver from the George W. Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act will be expedited by the Obama administration.
    New Mexico is among seven states the U.S. Education Department will allow to apply for four-year waiver extensions – compared with three-year extensions for most other states – and it will undergo an expedited review process.

    Like New Mexico, the other states – Florida, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia – have begun using student test scores in their teacher evaluation systems and have put in place other policies, such as school-grading systems, outlined in their waivers.

  • A member of the Albuquerque Public Schools board will speak to the governor’s office about opposition to teacher evaluations.
  • A study finds that a lack of jobs is leading to a decline in undocumented immigrants in New Mexico.
    New Mexico lost 20,000 “unauthorized” immigrants, falling from 90,000 to 70,000 during that time period, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, a Washington, D.C.,-based research institute.

  • The Navajo Nation Council will meet in a special session on Wednesday to hear the audit of the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Co.
    The audit is also supposed to focus on the transfer of $17 million in company funds into a new bank account and more than $1 million in payments that were made to various individuals and companies from September 2013 through June, according to the press release.

  • The Bureau of Land Management found that there was no significant impact to burying the Sunzia transmission line.
  • Some more (temporary) government jobs are coming to New Mexico in the form of the U.S. Census Bureau for a housing survey. The part-time jobs will last from May to August.
  • A man in Laguna Pueblo stole a lot of money over a long period of time from an ATM. How much? A lot.
    Most of the deliveries were around $20,000, the sources said. After the courier left, Cheromiah would stuff about half the cash in his clothing, then stash it in a drawer. The rest went into the ATM.

    As time went on, Cheromiah spent significant amounts of the stolen case, according to the sources. He bought more than 100 pairs of Air Jordan tennis shoes, and he gambled in a neighboring tribe’s casino.

  • KUNM covers the debate over whether or not the bosque should be kept a wild landscape or become an urban park. Albuquerque mayor Richard Berry wants it to be an urban park. Environmental groups want it to stay wild.
  • Ruidoso Downs is looking to fill a vacant city council spot. A city councilor died earlier this month, leaving a vacant spot.

    The Los Alamos School Board is continuing their search for a replacement superintendent.

  • The Las Vegas San Miguel Chamber of Commerce received a new contract from the city of Las Vegas. The local chamber was in trouble and the contract will help it run for at least a little longer.
  • And there we go. My final Morning Word. Six hundred or so editions later, nearly every non-holiday weekday, I can have my weeknights free again.

    Yes, I’ve said goodbye once or twice already and will again on NM Telegram later today. But, forgive me, it’s a pretty big part of my life that is ending.

    Thank you to each and every one of the hundreds of you who made this part of your daily routine, either through email, the New Mexico Telegram website or the Santa Fe Reporter website. And thank you for the Santa Fe Reporter for helping make sure the Morning Word continues.

    Now I will pass the baton on to Peter St. Cyr. Thank you to everyone who expressed well-wishes over the past couple of days. The Morning Word will surely be different, but I am confident that it will still be the best New Mexico news recap.

    Just about every night that I put together the Morning Word, I listened to music off my computer. The last song that played as I finished writing this? One of my favorite songs, Everlong by Foo Fighters.

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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