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Around New Mexico

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Crash Hurts Student on Bus

A teacher who was on the bus involved in a Downtown Albuquerque accident Tuesday afternoon said one girl was taken to a hospital as a precaution but was not believed to be seriously hurt.

The teacher, Mary Ann Seslar, said the bus was carrying high school and middle school students from the Gallup-McKinley County School district who were in Albuquerque for a math and science competition.

The girl who was taken to the hospital was a middle schooler.

Seslar said the bus was stopped at a light when it was struck from behind by a white SUV. She said the impact was strong enough that it moved the bus several feet.

On the bus were 14 students, four advisers and the driver. Six of the students complained of neck pain, but reboarded the bus when it left for the return trip to Gallup at around 6:20 p.m.

Seslar said it took police about an hour to respond.


Animal Services Boss Fired

FARMINGTON – The animal services supervisor for Farmington, Angie Arnold, has been fired.

The move comes after months of questions surrounding her qualifications, background and conditions at the shelter.

Marcy Eckhardt of Pro-Shelter will continue to provide consulting services to the city, city officials said.

The board of directors of the Humane Society of the Four Corners sent an eight-page letter to Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts and the City Council on Nov. 12, alleging unsanitary, unsafe and disease-ridden conditions at the shelter.

The letter also alleged that Arnold was never a veterinarian as she claimed.

Arnold denied the allegations.

Research Maps Chile Genome

LAS CRUCES – Researchers in New Mexico and South Korea say they have mapped the chile pepper genome, a development that could speed efforts to breed new, improved peppers.

Researchers from New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute and Seoul National University announced Tuesday they have completed a high-resolution draft of the chile genome.

The genome map signals where genes that underlie certain traits are located. Researchers say the data will provide the tools for how to breed desired traits into pepper plants.

The head of the Chile Pepper Institute, Paul Bosland, says possibilities include plants that would use less water, resist pests and diseases and adapt to climate change.

NMSU researchers plan to use the map to investigate disease resistance to chile wilt, one of the leading problems for growers in New Mexico and abroad.

Victim Shot in Hotel Lot

Police on Tuesday were investigating a non-fatal shooting in the parking lot of Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town.

The victim was shot once in the left upper arm and was in satisfactory condition at University of New Mexico Hospital.

Police said the shooting resulted from a fight in the hotel parking lot.


20% of Roads Need Work

SANTA FE – A national highway research group says a fifth of New Mexico’s roads need upgrading because they are in poor or mediocre condition.

In a report issued Tuesday, the Washington, D.C-based group called TRIP said New Mexico’s economy would receive a boost if roads and bridges were improved.

The organization is partly sponsored by the highway construction industry.

The group rates 67 percent of New Mexico roads in good or excellent condition and 12 percent in fair condition.

The report said 44 percent of the major roads in the Albuquerque area are in poor or mediocre condition, and a third of Santa Fe’s main roads had similar ratings.

The Legislative Finance Committee has proposed $25 million for road improvements next year from taxes on motor vehicle sales.


Man Pleads to Murder Charge

A Church Rock man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with a fatal fight in New Mexico.

Prosecutors said 25-year-old Danny Dan Don Brown entered into a plea agreement Tuesday with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Brown and a co-defendant were charged in the fatal attack on a man on Dec. 3, 2011. Authorities say the killing occurred in Church Rock, which is on the Navajo Nation.

Authorities say Brown and the co-defendant repeatedly kicked and punched the victim during an alcohol-fueled fight. The victim died as a result of his injuries.

Prosecutors said Brown faces between 12 and 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced. He remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing.
— This article appeared on page C2 of the Albuquerque Journal

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