News Briefs: Democrats walk out during teacher pay debate


Democrats walk out during teacher debate

SANTA FE (KRQE) – House Democrats walked out during debate over teachers pay Tuesday night. The House was debating a bill that would allow the state’s best teachers to advance through the ranks faster and earn more money sooner. Democrats say at the last minute Republicans wanted to change the bill to base teacher raises off evaluations. The Democrats wanted more time to debate that issue but the Republicans called for a vote. Democrats protested and walked out. With only the Republicans voting and the bill passed 37 to zero.

Family, friends gather to remember murdered boy

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It’s been one year since a 12-year-old boy was murdered by his friend. Tuesday night friends and family gathered to remember Alex Madrid. The memorial for Alex was held in a field in Meadowlake in Valencia County, the same field where his body was found under a mattress last February. Brandon Villalobos, 15, is charged with beating Alex to death. Villalobos is being held at the juvenile jail, while his mental competency is evaluated.

Students stay home as vaccination deadline passes

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Tuesday was the deadline for students in Santa Fe Public Schools to get their measles vaccination or stay home. Parents had to provide proof their kids were vaccinated or provide a medical or religious exemption. The district said 20-25 students didn’t come to school Tuesday because of it. A majority of those students will get a shot from the school nurse later this week. The crackdown comes after the measles outbreak in nearby states.

Teen could be charged for running over friend

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A teenager is facing possible charges after accidentally running over his friend. It happened Monday near Five Points Road in what is known as a skitching incident. Deputies say 19-year-old Luis Delgadillo Vasquez was riding a skateboard while holding onto the door of a suburban his friend was driving. Witnesses say a second skateboarder was being towed by a rope on the back of the vehicle. At some point Vasquez fell off and was run over by the rear wheels of the vehicle. He suffered severe upper body injuries and was rushed to the hospital. Investigators aren’t releasing the driver’s name or age.

Governor announces high paying jobs coming to NM

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Dozens of high-paying jobs are coming to New Mexico. The governor announced Tuesday that Seamless Medical Systems is adding 30 new employees. The average salary there is $90,000. The company was founded in Santa Fe in 2011 and it operates the first iPad based patient registration forms in hospitals which have replaced traditional clipboards. The system is already being used in 100 facilities in 15 states. The governor also used the event to announce proposals to expand the angel investment credit. That credit provides money to start up companies, helping them get off the ground.

Toy library opens in ABQ’s South Valley

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Child care providers and families across the city can now check-out educational toys for free. A new toy library at the SNM South Valley campus opened Tuesday. The library offers unique and educational toys for children ages zero to 12. People can check out toys for 30 days at a time, similar to a regular library. The library is a joint effort between CNM’s early childhood mutli-cultural education program and the University of New Mexico’s Carino early childhood training and technical assistance program. A $400,000 grant awarded to UNM is funding the library.

ABQ Health Partners hosting vaccination clinic

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – As the deadline approaches for Albuquerque Public Schools students to get vaccinated a health organization in Albuquerque can help parents get the wavier that students needs. ABQ Health Partners is hosting a vaccination clinic for kids under 18 on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon. It’ll take place at their Journal Center location in north Albuquerque. No appointment is needed and costs will depend on your insurance coverage.

Suspect sought in Bloomfield murder

BLOOMFIELD, N.M. (KRQE) – Bloomfield Police are looking for help solving the apparent murder of a man on New Year’s Day. Harrison Happy, 34, was found just after 3 a.m. January first at a home on Third Street. He had been stabbed in his torso. A woman was there when police arrived but she is not considered a suspect. If you have any information call police.

Police investigating Clovis fires, break-in

CLOVIS, N.M. (KRQE) – Clovis police are investigating some fires and a break-in that happened within 45 minutes of each other. According to the Clovis News Journal, the first fire was reported at the Clovis Livestock Auction just before 3:00 Sunday morning. Then minutes later, the fire department was called to a fire at Johnson Lumber Company. After that reports someone had broken into Gebo’s Farm and Ranch Supply Store. Right now investigators don’t know if the cases are connected, but are looking at whether the two fires were used as a diversion, for the break-in.

Thousands stolen from La Plata County Humane Society

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. (KRQE) – There has been a string of robberies at the La Plata County Humane Society. They say thieves are targeting the donation center after hours taking off with thousands of dollars in donations. No one has been arrested but employees at the facility are urging people to donate when the donation center is open and never leave the goods after hours. They’ve implemented new hours and will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Santa Fe police may get body cameras

SANTA FE (KRQE) – Santa Fe police could be armed with body cameras soon. The Public Safety Committee is meeting next month to discuss the possibility.The police department wants more than $70,000 to buy 90 body cameras and related video equipment. Santa Fe Police Chief Eric Garcia says he wants officers to have the devices to hold them accountable and defend them when necessary. There has been a nationwide push to arm all officers in the country with body cameras.

UNM grad student among 100 finalists for Mars

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A UNM grad student could be going to Mars. Zachary Gallegos just learned he’s among the 100 finalists for the mars one program. The program challenges people to start a permanent colony on mars. As part of a reality TV competition, 24 crew members will ultimately be chosen and they could go there as early as 2024. He’s the only candidate from New Mexico.

Police arrest 2 in string of credit card cases

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two people have been arrested in a huge credit card fraud case. Albuquerque Police say someone contacted them about several unauthorized purchases at Valero Gas Station corner stores. Police looked at surveillance video from the stores and identified the suspect’s vehicle which led them to Pavel Diaz-Garcia and Hortensia Rojo. They were both arrested and are facing several charges including credit card fraud and identity theft. Police say they were able to identify at least 19 victims in the case.

Nursing, teaching bills head to NM Senate

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The New Mexico House sent two bipartisan bills to the senate that would improve our rural health care and help teachers get an administrator job. The first bill passed without opposition it sets aside funds for nurses who want to pursue higher education and teach nursing at schools in rural parts of the state. Lawmakers hope this bill brings up the number of nurses in New Mexico. The second bill makes it easier for teachers to become school administrators. The current six-year licensing process is the longest in the nation and discourages teachers from moving up.

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