- OPIOID CRISIS-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing members of the family behind Purdue Pharma, alleging that deceptive practices helped flood the state with opioids.His office filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state district court. At least 17 states already have sued one or more members of the Sackler family.Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, and other drug companies are named in numerous lawsuits that have been filed by state, local and tribal governments over the opioid crisis.Purdue Pharma said Sunday it was still negotiating a settlement after some attorneys general told colleagues that talks had reached an impasse.If the company files for bankruptcy, the Sacklers could still be exposed to more lawsuits.New Mexico filed its initial complaint against Purdue, other manufacturers and distributors in 2017.
- STATE SENATOR-CAR CRASH-DWI
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislative leaders apparently will take a wait-and-see approach on whether embattled Democratic Sen. Richard Martinez gets to keep his post on a key Senate committee.Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen tells the Albuquerque Journal that Senate leaders are waiting for a resolution in Martinez's court case.Martinez has pleaded not guilty to aggravated drunken driving and reckless driving charges following a June arrest. Police say he slammed into the back of another vehicle that was stopped at a red light in Espanola.Police lapel video showed Martinez responding to officers with slurred speech following the crash. He refused a breath test to determine his blood-alcohol level.Martinez says he has no plans to resign, even if convicted. He's currently chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- CHILD DEATH-OPIOIDS
PAGE, Ariz. (AP) — Family members of a 6-year-old girl who likely overdosed on opioids have been charged with abuse and first-degree murder.The girl had been staying with her grandparents, 51-year-old James Lane and 47-year-old Victoria Bizardie, in Page.The alleged role of the mother — 30-year-old Kamaya Lane — is unclear. Police arrested her in Farmington, New Mexico, in late August. She's awaiting extradition to Coconino County.Authorities say the girl was unresponsive when a babysitter took her to the hospital May 3.The Arizona Daily Sun reports that an autopsy found she had at least three times the therapeutic amount of fentanyl in her body.Police found illegal drugs, dozens of laptops and cellphones, and $3,000 cash in the grandparents' home and vehicle. They've pleaded not guilty in the case.
- PAID LEAVE-PROPOSED CHANGES
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico county officials have announced plans to suggest an amendment to a newly approved paid leave ordinance.The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that Bernalillo County Commission approved a law in August that would take effect July 2020 requiring businesses in the county to offer workers at least one hour of paid leave for every 32 hours worked.Officials say a gradual implementation schedule would keep the final at 56 maximum hours of paid time, but not all companies would have to go that high under the changes.Companies with 10 or less employees would offer up to 28 hours of paid time, those with 11 to 34 employees could offer up to 44 hours and those with 35 or more employees would offer up to 56 hours.
- AMBER ALERT-NEW MEXICO
ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man who might be connected to the case of a 5-year-old New Mexico girl who disappeared over the weekend.Federal and local law enforcement said the man was arrested on outstanding warrants Sunday. That's around the same time police issued an Amber alert for Renezmae Calzada.Detectives are trying to determine if there's a connection between the man and the girl. They did not release his name and provided few details about their search for the girl.Rio Arriba County Sheriff James Lujan says the investigation is ongoing.The girl was last seen in the front yard of her home in Espanola on Sunday morning. Her mother reported the girl missing that evening.Investigators interviewed family members and friends and canvassed the neighborhood. Volunteers were helping with the search.
- SEC-INVESTMENT ADVICE-LAWSUIT
NEW YORK (AP) — Seven states and the District of Columbia have sued the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the regulatory agency is putting investors in jeopardy by relaxing rules for brokers.The lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to order the agency to scrap new rules that weaken protections for consumers.A message seeking a response was left Tuesday with the SEC. The states say they are harmed because bad investment advice leaves consumers with less money to spend, and thus they collect less in taxes.New York Attorney General Letitia James says in a release that new rules let broker-dealers consider their own interests when recommending investments. She says that favors "Wall Street over Main Street."Other state plaintiffs include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Documents show Albuquerque spent nearly $1.6 million to promote a Mexico-based airline that had promised — then canceled — regular international flights.The Albuquerque Journal reports emails obtained through a public records request show panicked Albuquerque officials after hearing rumors low-cost airline Volaris was planning on suddenly canceling the scheduled direct service to Mexico.Officials in the emails tried to seek answers to rumors that Volaris was scrapping the flights despite planned media events and fanfare.In the end, Volaris did scrap the flight after Albuquerque refused to give the airline more money and following low ticket sales.Volaris was to begin direct flights from Albuquerque and the city of Chihuahua and from Albuquerque to Guadalajara, Mexico.Albuquerque has struggled to attract and retain direct flights to Mexico.
- CHILE HARVEST-LABOR SHORTAGE
HATCH, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is in the height of green chile harvest season, but farmers say a labor shortage is hurting them.KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports green chile farmers say the shortage of workers this season is causing farms to lose some crops to weeds and other elements.Hatch farmer Alonso Grajeda says the labor shortage also is allowing workers to pick and choose where to work and to demand higher wages.Grajeda also says extreme shifts in weather this year have made it a harder year to harvest.However, farmers say the quality of the crop hasn't been affected by the labor shortage or the weather.