Tuesday’s 5 Facts, Top Morning Headlines

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5 Facts You Need to Know

  1. Today will be mostly sunny with highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s and north winds 10 to 15 mph shifting to the northwest 10 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Tonight is expected to be clear with lows in the 20s and northwest winds from 10 to 20 mph.
  2. Snow was blanketing parts of New Mexico this morning. It began picking up late last night near Las Vegas. Snow fell on cars and just about everything in the plaza.
  3. Police said cash and drugs may have been the motive behind a triple murder near Pojoaque. Nicholas Ortiz, 20, was arrested last week for murdering Lloyd, Dixie, and Steven Ortiz with a pick ax in 2011. Police said Ortiz, a family friend who was a teen at the time, planned the attack with his girlfriend and a friend, to take cash from a safe and marijuana. Two days after, a friend of Ortiz told police that Ortiz admitted to a killing in El Rancho. Then a year later, Ortiz’s girlfriend called police and told them everything. KRQE News 13 questioned state police about why it took so long to arrest Ortiz, but they wouldn’t comment and said the investigation is ongoing.
  4. A New Mexico lawmaker is proposing to keep kindergarten through fifth grade students in the classroom longer. Las Cruces Democrat Joseph Cervantes wants to add five weeks to the school year. He said the extra time would help kids achieve more academically. Critics aren’t so sure and say tutoring for struggling students may be a better option.
  5. Bernalillo County DA Kari Brandenburg said there is no conflict of interest from her office which is pursuing charges against the APD officers who shot and killed James Boyd. Brandenburg responded to a motion to remove her from the case Monday. She said that for the past 14 years, neither the city nor APD has ever raised a complaint about how her office has handled officer-involved shootings. Last month, a prosecutor from the DA’s office was booted from the briefing of an APD shooting and said that because of the charges, it’s a conflict of interest for her office to be there.

Top Morning Headlines

APD is being sued by an Albuquerque law firm over records from an officer-involved shooting. According to the Albuquerque Journal, Kennedy Kennedy & Ives Law Practice recently filed the suit in connection with the shooting death of 50-year-old Air Force veteran Armand Martin. Martin was killed in front of his Ventana Ranch home in May after he barricaded himself inside and started shooting at officers. An APD spokesperson couldn’t comment on the lawsuit.

The state senate has confirmed Hanna Skandera as education secretary. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez appointed Skandera as the education leader in 2011. She’s faced sharp criticism for her teacher evaluations and focus on standardized testing and lack of classroom experience. She received a full senate vote for the first time. Five democrats voted with republicans to confirm Skandera 22 to 19. The Albuquerque teacher’s union says Skandera isn’t qualified for the job and the senate just lowered the standards for that position. The governor says she is thankful for “the end to the four-year efforts of some to obstruct this process.”

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