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Albuquerque firefighters extinguish a blaze at a house in the 1300 block of Trujillo SW. The home was heavily damaged, firefighters say. (ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOURNAL)
Albuquerque firefighters extinguish a blaze at a house in the 1300 block of Trujillo SW. The home was heavily damaged, firefighters say. (ADOLPHE PIERRE-LOUIS/JOURNAL)
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House Burns

School Board Candidate Forum

Albuquerque school board candidates will discuss education issues today at a forum in the Ladera Golf Course banquet room.

The forum, hosted by the SouthWest Organizing Project, will begin at 6 p.m. and will include candidates for the four school board seats on the ballot, three of which are contested races. Those are the Northeast Heights, the East Mountains and the North Valley seats.

The forum is sponsored by Families United for Education, a group that worked with Albuquerque Public Schools to create its new parent engagement policy.

For more information, contact Emma Sandoval at 353-2941 or emma@swop.net. The school board election is Feb. 5, and early voting begins Friday.

Pedestrian Killed on I-40 ID’d

Sheriff’s deputies identified Lawrence Zaragoza, 24, as the pedestrian who was struck and killed about 9 p.m. Tuesday on Interstate 40 about a mile east of Tijeras, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s spokesman Aaron Williamson said.

The driver of a vehicle that struck Zaragoza was not injured, and no charges are pending in the death, Williamson said. Investigators had not determined Wednesday why Zaragoza was in the roadway.

Eastbound traffic on I-40 remained closed at Tijeras until about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday as officers investigated the fatality.

APS 5th in Certified Teachers

Albuquerque Public Schools ranks fifth in the nation in the number of teachers who earned National Board Certification this year.

National Board Certification is a rigorous process that requires teachers to submit essays, student work samples and video recordings of classroom lessons to prove they are effective teachers. Only about 40 percent of applicants are certified on the first attempt.

In APS, 52 teachers were certified this year, out of 93 statewide. This brings the total number of certified teachers in APS to 391.

APS Superintendent Winston Brooks congratulated the teachers.

“We know we have dedicated, hardworking teachers in APS. That’s apparent every time you walk into a classroom. This is just more evidence of how good our teachers are,” he said in a written statement.

Wi-Fi Defense Claims Tossed

A Santa Fe man whose lawsuit alleged that a neighbor’s Wi-Fi system damaged his health won’t have to pay the neighbor’s legal defense costs.

District Judge Sarah Singleton dismissed Arthur Firstenberg’s suit on Sept. 1.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the judge ruled Tuesday that a $67,000 bill from a clinical psychologist deposed by the neighbor’s lawyers was excessive.

The exact amount of the neighbor’s total legal-defense costs was unclear. The neighbor and the neighbor’s landlord sought a total of $170,000 of damages, but lawyers agreed that there’s some duplication in that amount.

Other costs for the neighbor included mediation, copying and electronic filing.

Singleton hasn’t ruled on whether the landlord can recover costs in the case.

PERA Board Elects Officers

The Board of Trustees of the Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico elected officers at a special meeting Tuesday in Santa Fe. Patricia French was elected chairwoman, and Capt. Roman D. Jimenez vice chairman.

French is a municipal member employed by Albuquerque. She previously served as vice chairwoman and replaces Gerald Chavez, who is retiring and will leave the board in April.

Jimenez is a state member employed by the Department of Public Safety.

The board also swore in two new members: retiree member Daniel J. Mayfield — formerly employed by Bernalillo County — and state member Paula Fisher, who is employed by the Children, Youth and Families Department’s Juvenile Justice Services.

Suspects’ Photos on Facebook

ROSWELL — The Roswell Police Department is using Facebook to post photos of all those arrested each day and allowing users to share those images across the social media world.

The mug shots are of people arrested for drug, shoplifting, drunken driving and assault, Roswell Deputy Chief Brad McFadin said Wednesday. Roswell police have long used social media as a tool for investigations but McFadin said the department lately has been posting mug shots as a deterrent.

“We’re trying to be more open with the community and be as transparent as possible about what we do,” he said.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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