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Around the Metro Area


    La Cueva Student
    With 'Gun' To Sue
    The La Cueva High student who set off a police raid last month by walking down a hallway carrying a cardboard gun has notified the school district and Police Department that he intends to sue.
    Steven Scholl, an attorney for senior Luke Schiffer, said the May 7 notice went to Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Police Department.
    According to the notice, Schiffer was "falsely and negligently accused of acts which culminated in the lockdown of the school, his false arrest, assault and battery upon his person, defamation of his character and the violation of his civil rights."
    La Cueva staff have said the cardboard gun was a prop for a project on Hamlet. APS attorneys argued that Schiffer took it to the bathroom April 28 to provoke a reaction.
    Schiffer's attorneys said school security didn't do enough to confirm suspicions that the "gun" was fake before ordering a lockdown.
    Candidate Wants
    Voter Notification
    State District Judge Elizabeth Whitefield filed documents Wednesday asking the state Supreme Court to order election officials to "take all steps possible to inform voters" that her election opponent has withdrawn.
    The reason: Her onetime challenger in the Democratic primary, Metropolitan Court Judge Frank Sedillo, decided to withdraw from the state District Court race, but did so only after ballots were printed. No Republican filed to run for the office.
    If Sedillo were to draw more votes than Whitefield from voters unaware of his withdrawal, the result might be to nullify the election in that office or even the whole election, her petition states.
    The high court could direct the county clerk and secretary of state to stamp "withdrawn" over Sedillo's name on ballots or require them to provide written notification by some other means, the petition says.
    Whitefield, a judge in the Family Court Division, was recommended by the Judicial Selection Commission and appointed by the governor in August to fill a vacancy.
    Drive Brings In
    61 Tons of Food
    The Stamp Out Hunger food drive Saturday yielded 121,798 pounds of food for Roadrunner Food Bank.
    That metro area collection was conducted by the National Association of Letter Carriers, who picked up food donations at mailboxes. This year's collection brought in about 6 percent less than last year's food drive, according to Melody Wattenbarger, Roadrunner's executive director.
    She attributed the drop to tighter budgets due to higher food and fuel prices.
    "We are happy that so many people continue to support us and help feed the hungry in New Mexico," she said in a news release, adding thanks to the letter carriers for their support.
    Mayor Promotes
    Green Employment
    Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez invited cities across the nation Wednesday to sign a pledge to focus economic-development efforts on green jobs.
    Chávez announced the effort in front of about 450 municipal government officials gathered in Downtown Albuquerque for an international environmental conference.
    He cited the burgeoning solar industry in Albuquerque as an example of how environmentally friendly companies can provide jobs.
    "It's a way of creating wealth— high-paying jobs that are sustainable," Chávez said.
    The Web site is www.usgreenjobspledge.org.
    Court Chief Judge
    Gets a 3rd Term
    Metro Court Chief Judge Judith Nakamura has been unanimously re-elected to her third term as chief judge.
    Nakamura, selected Tuesday, was unopposed.
    "My goals for the court remain the same," she said in a news release. "We must continue to provide courteous and efficient administration of justice for the residents of Bernalillo County."
    Sunport Opens
    Meditation Room
    People who travel through the Albuquerque International Sunport now have a place to pause for quiet reflection.
    Airport officials dedicated and opened the "Sunport Meditation Room" earlier this month.
    "It's a very nice, peaceful place where people can get away from the hustle and bustle of an airport if they need to," said airport spokesman Daniel Jiron.
    Many major airports have similar interfaith rooms or chapels.
    The room, located on the baggage claim level across from bag claim No. 7, is an extension of the volunteer chaplain program that was started at the Sunport a few years ago.
    May 30 Deadline
    For Judge Seat
    Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. May 30 for a new vacancy on the 2nd Judicial District Court bench with the retirement of state District Judge J. Michael Kavanaugh.
    Applications may be downloaded from the Judicial selection Web site at lawschool.unm.edu/judsel/application.php or obtained by calling 277-4700.
    Kavanaugh, who retires at the end of June, has been a district judge since his appointment in August 2004.