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April 23 First News: State High Court To Decide Crownpoint Rep's Electoral Status (Listen)

Crownpoint State Representative Sandra Jeff’s re-election plans will be decided by the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court next Tuesday will hear Jeff’s challenge of this week’s District Court ruling that she failed to submit enough signatures required to have her name on the June Democratic Party Primary ballot. A Santa Fe non-profit, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, is behind the effort to see Jeff’s legislative career terminated. The C-V-N-M is highly critical of Jeff’s legislative record on environmental issues.

The Santa Fe Police Department is offering a ten-thousand dollar reward for your help in apprehending a man robbed the First National Bank of Santa Fe shortly after they believe the same suspect attempted to rob the Del Norte Credit Union at DeVargas Center. The robbery and attempted robbery occurred two weeks ago today, and SFPD along with the FBI believe it was the work of the same man. SFPD has posted photos of the suspect on its Facebook page.

The U.S. Justice Department has scheduled three public meetings next week to take public comment on possible reforms for the Albuquerque Police Department over its use of force. The federal agency earlier this month issued a highly-critical report on what it called “excessive force” and a culture of abuse and aggression at APD. Albuquerque officers have shot at 38 people since 2010, killing 24, including a woman who was suspected of auto theft earlier this week. The D-O-J report also criticized the city's oversight system and limited powers in investigating cases of questionable police conduct.

Thousands of New Mexico state government workers, past and present, should be getting payments to make up for overdue back wages.   The workers won the overdue wages in a union contract dispute.  The New Mexican reports that more than 10-thousand employees could see the money in July if funding is available. A Department of Finance and Administration spokesman says the state has appropriated less than ten-percent of the money owed, leaving state agencies to attempt to come up with the rest. Additionally, 57-hundred current state employees will receive a corrected—and higher—hourly wage as a result of the settlement.

Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are urging their Senate colleagues to come up with money in federal spending bills to pay for improvements to Amtrak long distance tracks. The New Mexico Democrats, along with Colorado Senator Mark Udall have written the chair of a key Senate Committee seeking the funding. The money would help keep trains running through New Mexico to serve small towns and cities. Financial woes have led Amtrak is to threaten to discontinue service to many western communities.

Santa Fe Weather:  Mostly sunny and breezy today, with a high near 69. Tonight: Partly cloudy and breezy, with a low around 36. Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 66.