Judge upholds gay marriage ruling
LOS ALAMOS (AP) — A judge has upheld a ruling that a northern New Mexico county must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson upheld the decision Wednesday and told the Los Alamos County clerk that she is required to issue marriage licenses to any two people.
Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover said Tuesday that she would not issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and went to court to defend her decision.
Judge expedites horse slaughter case
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A federal judge in Albuquerque says she will decide by the end of next month whether a New Mexico horse slaughter plant can open.
The attorney representing Valley Meat Co. of Roswell says U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo put the case on an expedited schedule Tuesday.
Attorney Blair Dunn says both sides will file briefs over the next month and Armijo says she’ll issue a final ruling by the end of October.
Armijo last month issued a restraining order blocking Valley and an Iowa company from proceeding with plans to become the first plants to slaughter horses domestically in more than six years.
Co. to house prisoners in Texas facility
CARLSBAD (AP) — The Eddy County Detention Center in Carlsbad has been expanded several times since 1993 but continues to grapple with overcrowding issues.
That’s why the county signed an agreement with Hudspeth County in Texas that will allow Eddy County prisoners to be housed at a jail facility in Sierra Blanca, a three hour drive from Carlsbad.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus says Warden Shawn Funk told the Eddy County Commission that the Sierra Blanca facility is charging $45 per day per prisoner.
That’s compared to the $65 to $85 per day most jails in New Mexico charge to house Eddy County prisoners.
Funk also says the Hudspeth facility will also pick up and return prisoners, eliminating the county’s transportation costs.
Las Cruces raising sales tax
LAS CRUCES (AP) — Shoppers in Las Cruces will pay a slightly higher sales tax on many purchases as a result of the City Council’s action responding to the state’s decision earlier this year to reduce payments to local governments.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the increase of .38 of 1 percent of the city’s gross receipt tax amounts to an additional 4 cents tax on $10 of purchases. Purchases for food, medicine and some medical services are excluded.
The increase begins Jan. 1, and city officials estimate that the city will collect nearly $4.5 million in additional tax revenue during the final six months of the current fiscal year.
Mayor Ken Miyagishima says Las Cruces had to raise its sales tax as a result of the state’s action.