- SUBSTITUTES-TEACHER SHORTAGE
Substitutes filling void in New Mexico amid teacher shortage
(Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/)
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico school districts have become increasingly reliant on substitutes as they contend with growing vacant teaching positions in the state.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports school districts needing to fill vacancies have turned to hiring substitute teachers, particularly long-term substitutes.
Some of those substitutes have spent years in a classroom as temporary educators.
School district leaders say it's a necessary step as they deal with hundreds of vacant positions across the state. Still, they express concerns about the challenges that come with hiring substitute teachers who typically are not certified and do not build lesson plans or meet with parents.
A New Mexico State University report says that state had about 740 vacant teaching positions last year. That's more than double the 300 vacancies reported in 2017.
Police: New Mexico driver fled and said, 'I don't think so'
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman is facing charges after police say she fled an officer during a traffic stop and told him, "I don't think so."
Doña County court documents show Ricci Barnett was arrested April 21 following the exchange.
According to court documents, an officer tried to pull over the 41-year-old Barnett for driving the wrong way on a one-way street in Las Cruces, but she refused to stop. The documents say the officer made contact with Barnett as she stopped at a red light.
When the officer showed Barnett his badge, court documents say she responded, "I don't think so," and drove off.
She was eventually taken into custody and charged with aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer and reckless driving.
It was not known if she had an attorney.
- RIO GRANDE-TOURISM
Strong Rio Grande tourism in New Mexico expected
(Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com)
RIO GRANDE DEL NORTE NATIONAL MONUMENT, N.M. (AP) — Rafting and angler guides are predicting a good season for Rio Grande tourism in New Mexico thanks to strong runoff generated by a good snowmelt this year.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports a healthy snow patch this winter is feeding the Rio Grande with much needed-water after long dry spells stemming from drought.
This year, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque predicts runoff to be at least 148% of normal through June. Water levels were 50% of normal in 2018.
Anglers also expect a good summer of fishing even though the Rio Grande is still moving too high and fast for them to start casting their lines.
University of New Mexico biology researcher Rebecca Bixby says the increased flow will help the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow lay eggs and spawn.
- ALBUQUERQUE SHOOTING
3 people shot in car in Albuquerque; 1 critically wounded
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say three people in a car have been shot in northeast Albuquerque and one man is hospitalized in critical condition.
Police say the shooting occurred Saturday and it's still unclear if it was sparked by road rage or an ongoing dispute.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found three victims suffering from gunshot wounds.
Police say one of the victims had a gunshot wound to the head and was remains in intensive care.
The other two suffered injuries not considered life threatening.
Police haven't released the names of any of the three victims.
- INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY
Vermont renames Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont has joined a handful of states in renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill May 6 recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
A half-dozen states, including Vermont, and several cities have made the change.
The governors of Maine and New Mexico signed similar measures last month.
Native American tribes and others say celebrating Italian explorer Christopher Columbus ignores the effect that the European arrival in the Americas had on the native peoples.
They suffered violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation at the hands of the settlers.
Vermont's law states that "Vermont was founded and built upon lands whose original inhabitants were Abenaki people and honors them and their ancestors."
This story has been corrected to change the day of the bill signing to May 6, instead of Friday.
- DETAINEES-REOPENED PRISON
ICE detainees could be housed in reopened prison in Estancia
(Information from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Torrance County commissioners are expected to formalize a plan this week that may reopen an Estancia prison in order to house Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency detainees.
Albuquerque TV station KOB reports that the partnership with ICE is expected to bring back hundreds of jobs.
KOB says the county commissioners could formalize the plan on Wednesday.
The facility is owned by CoreCivic, which recently had posted job listings on their website.
That fueled rumors about the future of the prison that closed in 2017.
CoreCivic officials say they've started the hiring and training process to make sure they're positioned to meet any emerging needs.
Torrance County Manager Wayne Johnson says he would welcome the jail reopening.
But it's still unclear what type of detainees would be housed at the prison.
- SUSPICIOUS DEATH
Albuquerque police say dead woman has suspicious injuries
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they're investigating the death of a woman found with suspicious injuries.
They say Raymond Pacheco called about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and wanted officers to check on his unresponsive wife at the couple's apartment in northwest Albuquerque.
Officers entered the apartment and reported finding the body of Veronica Pacheco.
Police executed a search warrant and seized some items from the apartment.
They say the Bernalillo County Medical Examiner was called to the scene due to the injuries on the woman's body.
Police say an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death.
It's unclear if Raymond Pacheco will face any charges at this time.
- TOO DRUNK TO DRIVE
Police: Driver said he was too drunk to drive after crash
(Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com)
LOS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing charges after police say he caused a multiple-vehicle crash then told an officer he was too drunk to complete field sobriety tests.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports court documents show Gregory Trevor Jackson De Rouen was arrested April 20 after the crashes.
According to Las Cruces police, the 31-year-old De Rouen plowed his four-door Toyota van into a parked pickup truck, which then collided with another parked vehicle.
Court documents say three children were in the van at the time. No injuries were reported.
Police say De Rouen failed multiple field sobriety tests then admitted to an officer he was too drunk to pass one.
He was charged with aggravated DWI, child abuse and driving while his license was revoked.
It was unclear if he had an attorney.