4 new sex abuse suits name Santa Fe diocese

ALBUQUERQUE — Four new lawsuits have been filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe by men who say they were molested by priests in New Mexico decades ago.

The four suits filed this week by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall bring the number of lawsuits he’s filed on behalf of alleged victims to 25; 11 have been settled.

The lawsuits include one naming a former priest who was recently released from a prison in Michigan after serving nine years for molesting two boys in the 1970s. The new suit alleges the former priest molested a now-47-year-old man in the mid-1970s at a church in a community about 15 miles west of Abiquiú.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that three other victims allege they were molested by different priests.

N.M., Mexico sign work safety agreement

New Mexico’s work safety bureau is teaming up with the Consulate of Mexico and others to provide Spanish-speaking employees around the state with proper training to improve workplace safety.

A memorandum of understanding was signed Thursday in Albuquerque by New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn and Consul Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon.

Flynn says the two-year agreement is the first of its kind and will provide opportunities that could potentially save lives.

The effort will provide workers with access to education and training resources in Spanish. The information will cover their rights in the workplace and the responsibility of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

New Mexico Air Force base identifies dead airman

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — Authorities have identified an airman who was found dead in housing at Cannon Air Force Base in Eastern New Mexico.

Base officials announced Friday that Senior Airman Christian Barreto was a sensor operator with the 3rd Special Operations Squadron. He was a member of the 27th Special Operations Wing at the base.

His age and hometown weren’t immediately available.

Base officials say Barreto was found dead in his home about 8 a.m. Thursday.

They say the cause of his death remains under investigation.

Albuquerque schools names interim superintendent

ALBUQUERQUE — The school board of New Mexico’s largest school district has named its former chief operations officer as interim superintendent amid questions surrounding the former school chief’s departure.

The Albuquerque school board announced Friday that Brad Winter, who retired two month ago, will serve as school chief while the district conducts a national search.

Winter also is an Albuquerque city councilor.

Embattled Superintendent Winston Brooks resigned last week after board members said he was being investigated for a personnel matter. Both sides declined to elaborate.

The school board then approved a $350,000 settlement to buy him out of his contract.

Gov. Susana Martinez travels to meeting in Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez traveled across the international border to attend a meeting with officials from the Mexican state of Sonora.

The Governor’s Office said Martinez went Thursday to the Sonoran city of Hermosillo to attend a meeting of the New Mexico-Sonora Commission along with Sonora Gov. Guillermo Padres Elias.

Martinez is scheduled to return to New Mexico on Friday.

The commission was created by state law to deal with issues of mutual concern to New Mexico and Sonora, including public safety, the economy and cultural affairs. The governor has the power to negotiate cooperative agreements with Sonora.

New Mexico members of the commission include Martinez, secretaries of the Economic Development and Tourism departments and up to nine members of the public appointed by the governor.

Supreme Court vacates campaign finance hearing

The state Supreme Court has scrapped a planned hearing on a campaign finance lawsuit after the legal dispute was resolved between Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gary King and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

Court Clerk Joey Moya said Friday that King’s lawsuit had been withdrawn and the court canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for Aug. 28.

Duran’s office last week reversed course and agreed with King’s legal view of a state law limiting campaign contributions.

Duran said King could keep $10,900 in contributions if the money was to help retire his primary election debt.

The secretary of state initially had contended the contributions exceeded state caps because the money was given after the primary election.

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