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Around New Mexico

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Berry donors seek to block hearing

The plaintiffs in a civil rights lawsuit against the city clerk have asked a federal judge to stop the city’s Ethics Board from hearing a complaint against Mayor Richard Berry.

The plaintiffs’ suit challenges the City Charter’s ban on campaign contributions by city contractors and business entities. Berry, meanwhile, faces an ethics complaint from a rival campaign alleging he violated the ban.

The plaintiffs in the civil suit – who include donors to Berry’s campaign – asked a federal judge this week to issue a temporary restraining order prohibiting the ethics board from meeting on the ethics complaint.

They say they would suffer “irreparable damage” if the board declares their contributions illegal.

Mayoral candidate Pete Dinelli’s campaign, on the other hand, told the judge the plaintiffs are trying “to transform a political fight into a judicial one” by preventing the ethics board meeting.

Bicyclist falls into car’s path, dies

A bicyclist was killed Wednesday night after he fell into the path of an oncoming car near Wyoming and Harwood NE, and police said the driver had no time to react or brake to avoid hitting him.

Taylor Jojola, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to Albuquerque police.

Police said Jojola was heading east on Harwood NE when he fell into the path of the vehicle heading south on Wyoming.

The driver, police said, did not have enough time to react and struck the bicyclist as he lay on the asphalt.

Magdalena getting water deliveries

MAGDALENA – The drought-stricken village of Magdalena will be getting more help as it rations its water supply.

Albuquerque police cadets today will be loading bottled water that has been collected over the past week to deliver to the community, west of Socorro.

Also, Gov. Susana Martinez requested that the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority send a 6,000-gallon tanker of potable water.

The water table had dropped almost 20 feet since January due to the drought. That, combined with infrastructure problems, caused Magdalena’s only operating well to collapse this month, leaving about 1,000 residents and several businesses without water.

An older well has been temporarily put into service.

The Governor’s Office says state officials are working with the town to come up with a long-term solution, and work to repair existing wells is expected to start soon.

Mouse proposed for protections

Federal wildlife managers are proposing to list the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service outlined its plan in Thursday’s Federal Register. The agency is also proposing to designate critical habitat for the mouse along streams in 12 counties in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona.

With its large hind feet and long tail, the mouse can jump up to three feet high and swim to avoid predators.

The Fish and Wildlife Service first acknowledged in 2010 that the mouse deserved protection, but a listing proposal languished because the agency was busy with other activities. That prompted legal challenges.

Biologists say the mouse has been found in seven spots in Arizona and nine in New Mexico, one of which stretches into Colorado.

On a roll

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