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Attorney General announces district court ruling against FastBucks for unfair business practices

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New Mexicans should receive upwards of $32 million in restitution

SANTA FE – On Nov. 9, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that a district court judge ruled New Mexicans should receive upwards of $32 million from FastBucks for their unfair and unconscionable business practices. First Judicial District Judge Francis J. Mathew ruled that FastBucks should pay the sum of $32,255,054.00 in restitution to the consumer borrowers who were taken advantage of by FastBucks’ business practices. The suit was brought by the Office of the Attorney General for violations of New Mexico law. This judgment is the conclusion of the damages phase of the litigation. The initial decision deciding...

All-clear given on courthouse bomb threat

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Official: Sixth such threat in 2016

A bomb threat was called into McKinley County District Court on Nov. 4 — but for the sixth time this year, the situation was a false alarm.

McKinley County Attorney Doug Decker said a call came in between 8:30 am and 9:30 am and the building was immediately evacuated.

“Unfortunately, things like this do happen,” Decker said. “Each one of the threats remains under investigation.”

Decker said investigators believe the culprit is someone who either has a court date or some other pressing court matter and is probably afraid to face up to what may come out of the court situation. He said the matter is particularly bad when you have a...

Gallup Council approves $1M in NCI funding

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Is detox center out of the financial woods, though?

The Gallup City Council unanimously approved a $1 million operational allotment related to the Na’nizhoozhi Center, Inc. The action took place at the Oct. 25 regular city meeting and was introduced by City Manager Maryann Ustick.

The agreement takes effect July 1, 2016 so that the city can utilize Behavioral Health Investment Zone funding for detoxification services in fiscal 2017, according to information distributed at the meeting.

“The state will allow the city to back a bill for the detoxification services since the Behavioral Health and Investment Zone Strategy was not approved by the state until Oct. 10, 2016,”...

GALLUP HIGH HIRES NEW HOOP COACH

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Details still fuzzy on former coach’s dismissal

Wilbert Nez is the new head girls basketball coach at Gallup High School, officials confirmed. Nez started the job Nov. 1.

The hiring, which was finalized Oct. 28, brings closure to a tumultuous situation that saw the Lady Bengals’ previous head coach, Kamau Turner, terminated from the job by Gallup-McKinley County Schools Superintendent Frank Chiapetti in July.

Nez teaches Navajo language and culture at Gallup High School.

“We have hired a new girls coach for the basketball team,” Dominick Romero, principal at Gallup High, said. “He is someone who has worked at Gallup High the past several years.”

Romero said Nez was...

Pellington: ‘We’re optimistic that this [bond] will pass’

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$103K at stake for Gallup’s Octavia Fellin Public Library

Should a $10.1 million library bond matter go through on Nov. 8, public libraries around New Mexico would benefit in myriad ways, officials say.

Bond B, one of four state bonds on next week’s ballot, would impact public libraries, students from K-12, and construction projects at higher institutions of learning.

Gallup Library Director Mary Ellen Pellington said $103,181.80 is at stake for the Octavia Fellin Public Library and the city’s Children’s Branch. She is urging Gallupians to get out and vote.

“This helps in a tremendous and in a very positive way,” Pellington said. “We’re optimistic that this will...

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