News Briefs: Black bear stuck in tree for days

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Black bear stuck in tree for days

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) –  An adult black bear made a tree in Las Vegas its home for a couple days. He wandered into the city where he climbed a tree in a city park and refused to leave. The bear was so high up, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish didn’t want to tranquilize it. They were afraid he would be hurt in the fall. They tell KRQE the bear came down low enough Thursday morning to allow them to capture it. He will be released far from Las Vegas.

Christopher Torres case to move to federal court

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) –  A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit against Albuquerque Police Department can move forward. The judge says there is enough evidence to take the Christopher Torres case to trial in federal court. Torres, who suffered from schizophrenia, was shot by undercover APD officers in his backyard in 2011. The Torres family has already won their wrongful death lawsuit in state court but the payout was capped at $400,000 under state law. Now it’s going through federal court where there is no limit.

Bernalillo County claims it can can make-up budget deficit

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Bernalillo county says it will be able to make-up a  $53 million budget shortfall without cutting jobs and services. The county manager said it will take a lot of belt tightening to balance the $261 million budget including freezing vacant positions and reducing employees’ cell phone use. The county is also postponing or trimming major budget requests for building maintenance. Also, Employees will not be getting raises.

The budget proposal does not count on charging the city of Albuquerque a fee for the inmates dropped off at the Metropolitan Detention Center but the county is still considering it. The county commission still needs to approve the plan.

Burglary suspects bite man trying to retrieve his stuff

Jessica Higgins

TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – Police say two burglars bit a man while he was trying to get his stuff back. The Taos Police Department said Jessica Higgins and Jessica Sparks-Lewis stole a laptop computer and a 12-gauge shotgun from the man’s apartment. They then called the owner and demanded $500 for the computer’s return. But during the ransom exchange, the victim fought for the shotgun. One of the women then bit him on the left hand while the other bit him on the right. Police say the women are facing a number of charges including aggravated burglary and extortion.

Jessica Sparks-Lewis

Police: Burglar caught eating sandwich by homeowner

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A couple living in Carlsbad returned to their home to find a burglar making a sandwich in their kitchen. Joseph Gomez, 40, reportedly told police that he knocked on the door of the home and heard someone tell him to come in. He says he saw food lying on the table so he helped himself to a sandwich. But the couple says no one was home at the time, and Gomez fled when they came home. Gomez has been charged with residential burglary and larceny.

New Mexico hospitals near bottom for patient satisfaction

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A federal report is ranking hospitals in the country by patient satisfaction. But to find most New Mexico hospitals you’ll have to start from the bottom. The report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services surveyed patients who were asked to rank facilities where they had just been treated on a scale of one to five stars. New Mexico hospitals averaged 2.8 stars. Patients in only four states and the District of Columbia were less satisfied with their hospital experiences.

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