In response to public concern and questions over how Albuquerque police handled a teacher’s child abuse report, all Albuquerque police officers have been issued what the mayor called “common sense” new orders. Police Chief Michael Geier issued three special orders on Wednesday that require all officers called to a possible child abuse call to collect any possible evidence, preserve all on-body camera footage indefinitely and access a law enforcement portal that provides police with information on prior contact between the family and social workers.
A common refrain from businesses is that they can’t find enough workers. The unemployment rate is a low 4.1%, but one reason for the shortage are government benefits that corrode a culture of work. So credit to House Republicans for trying to fix disincentives in food stamps amid what are sure to be nasty and dishonest attacks.
New Mexico was at the bottom of the list again this year, while Massachusetts was named the best state to raise a family, followed by Minnesota and New Hampshire. Not helping New Mexico's case is having the highest unemployment rate in the country (6.1 percent), high child care costs, the state's violent crime rate and the percentage of families living in poverty. New Mexico had the second-highest rate of violent crimes per capita and the second-highest percentage of families living in poverty. New Mexico's median household income is $45,674 and 36.2 percent of children under the age of 5 in New Mexico live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census. Violent crime in the state rose by 6.8 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the FBI.
The New Mexico Senate on Wednesday approved a two-pronged measure to provide “immediate relief” to those who have struggled for years with the abuses of a closed legal guardianship/conservator system, while creating the framework for a comprehensive system overhaul by 2020. Under the measure approved Wednesday, court hearings that are now closed would be open to the public as of July 1. Family members would have more access to guardianship records and visitation wouldn’t be as easily thwarted by commercial guardians, who also have been accused in some cases of profligate spending and excessive fees. Nonfamily conservators would have to post bonds in case financial impropriety occurred.
A persistently high child poverty rate in New Mexico continues to offset slight improvements in some indicators of child well-being, according to the 2017 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book, just released by New Mexico Voices for Children and timed for the opening day of the state Legislature. The state rates 49th overall in child well-being, with only Mississippi faring worse.
Two deadly shootings in opposite corners of the state and a crime rampage that left five people dead across northern New Mexico are among the stories that made headlines in 2017. It marked another year in which violence spurred as many questions as calls for prayer and change as New Mexicans searched for answers. In Clovis, parents, children and others hid as gunfire erupted inside the public library on Aug. 28. The shooting left two dead and four others, including a 10-year-old boy, seriously wounded. Continue to read more top stories across New Mexico from the year 2017..
Americans moving to a new location continued a steady decline in 2017, reaching a new post-World War II low, an indicator of a less mobile workforce that reflects both an aging society and economic problems facing younger workers. The decline marked the fifth straight year in which the share of the population moving dropped. In 2017, the number fell to 11 percent, according to the Census Bureau. The level was nearly twice as high in 1985, 20 percent, but has fallen steadily, except for occasional cyclical zigzags, for the last three decades.
A decomposed body found early in the year is now being investigated as a homicide, bringing to 75 the total number of homicides in the city of Albuquerque as 2017 winds down, according to police.
If you believe illegal immigration isn't a problem for citizens, both natural and naturalized, think again. Of the 267 MS-13 gang members arrested in Operation Raging Bull, 16 were citizens, while the other 198 were foreign nationals. Only five of the foreign nationals had legal status. Sixty-four of those crossed the border illegally as unaccompanied alien children. MS-13 has more than 10,000 members across 40 states, and is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today.
Early voting is making a bigger impact on local elections. More than 55,000 voters cast votes by the close of early voting Friday, far outpacing the early voting that preceded the October election, according to City Clerk’s Office data.