May 28th Morning Rush: Veterans across New Mexico remembered on Memorial Day

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – 1. This Memorial Day we remember and honor the brave men and women who served our country and are no longer with us. The preparation for the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Santa Fe National Cemetery began Friday morning. Hundreds of volunteers placed nearly 60,000 flags, one for each grave site. Those volunteers are school kids, businesses, family members and citizens who just want to thank those service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The Memorial Day ceremony in Santa Fe begins at 10 a.m.

Full Story: 2018 Memorial Day Closures, Events

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2. This week family members say funeral services will be held for the mom and daughter
that were found murdered in their Albuquerque apartment. Sunday, family and friends gathered to honor Deborah Montano and 17-year-old Irisa. The mom and daughter were found stabbed to death in their Albuquerque Westside apartment Thursday morning. Irisa had just graduated high school and was excited to start nursing school. The family says the suspected killer, was a family member the mom had been trying to get help for. Family members say funeral services will be held in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Full Story: Family, friends hold vigil for double homicide victims

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3. Memorial Day will feature lots of sunshine across New Mexico! But with the sunny and dry conditions comes the heat. Albuquerque will top out in the upper 80s this afternoon, but the southeast will hit the triple digits. A cold front will edge into the northeast Tuesday, allowing for a few spot showers and storms.

Full Story: John’s Monday Morning Forecast

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4. Multiple fires are still burning in New Mexico, as crews try to make progress. At last check, the Buzzard Fire in a rugged area of the Gila National Forest has reached 15,000 acres. It’s now 10 percent contained. The Arena Canyon Fire, burning in San Juan County has reached 128 acres and is up to 40-percent containment. The Alamo Fire near Bandelier National Monument is 80 percent contained. The Kellar Fire in the Guadalupe Mountains has charred 25 acres so far.

Full Story: New Mexico Wildfires Coverage

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5. Two veterans are likely onto the next stop of their cross-country journey to raise awareness and money for veterans suffering from PTSD and suicide. Dustin Schnatz and Will Owens are traveling 3,000 miles from Imperial Beach, California to Virginia Beach. Over the weekend they made a stop in Albuquerque.

Full Story: Duo treks across country helping veterans

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Morning’s Top Stories

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Sturdy Homes Ltd. of Albuquerque New Mexico USA Introduces Affordable Tiny Steel Container Type Houses Along with Modular Customs Houses

Container Type Homes and Modular Steel Pre-Fabricated Homes made in China under specifications provided by Sturdy Homes Ltd. of Albuquerque NM USA.

Similarly, steel framed prefabricated houses are made to withstand high winds, fire and earthquakes.

Emphasis is on getting houses that are natural disaster proof.

The cost of these homes are 50 to 60% cheaper to build and can be erected in days rather than months. Labor costs are reduced by 60% as less labor is needed and install time is quick.

Container type houses, due to their low cost, can be used for backyards, grandma or mountain retreats as they have kitchen and shower facilities. They can also provide temporary housing for disaster areas as well as to accommodate the homeless population. Unlike freight containers that come in 8′ width for road transport, Study Homes are available in any width as they are not shipped on trucks. They are shipped in flat-packs for on site assembly.

Modular Steel Homes are mostly made to order and shipped in parts for onsite construction as per the customer’s requirement in containers. Any size, any design can be made. A typical 2,000 sq. ft house will cost around $110,000 in material and labor costs (without land). The house can be ready in 3 weeks for occupancy if building inspectors can keep up with the pace.

For more information visit www.sturdyhomes.com

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ABQ-area market offers fewer home listings, higher prices

New D.R. Horton homes are under construction in the Milagro Mesa subdivision in Rio Rancho. (Greg Sorber/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The spring home buying season in the Albuquerque metro area could be described this way: Fewer house listings, higher prices and faster deals.

It wasn’t just the weather that was heating up in Central New Mexico as April ended and May began. As the summer months approach, experts say home buyers should be prepared to face one of the most competitive selling seasons in years.

They say based on the number of single-family home transactions in April, demand will be intense. And that’s in an environment of rising home prices, mortgage rates and changes in the tax law that limit mortgage deductions.

While closed and pending sales were up in April from the previous year, there were fewer single-family homes to choose from, according to figures released this week by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.

The inventory of existing single-family homes for sale in the Albuquerque metro area shrunk more than 17 percent from last year in the GAAR coverage area, a region that includes Bernalillo, Valencia, Sandoval, Torrance and parts of Socorro and Santa Fe counties.

Even the number of condos and townhomes on offer saw an inventory decline of 16.5 percent from April 2017, according to GAAR.

With more buyers vying for fewer single-family residences, prices continued to climb higher. The average sales price in this category rose 2.5 percent from April 2017 to $242,037. Also during this period, detached homes moved four days faster than last year, selling in 47 days.

Still, rising home prices have yet to squelch demand, especially for those on the first rung of the property ladder, said GAAR’s president in a recent interview with the Journal. Being quick with an offer is still the rule of the day in most metro area submarkets, said Danny Wm. Vigil, GAAR president. “The Greater Albuquerque market has proven to be a strong seller’s market for 2018 so far,” he said. Year to date, sellers are getting 98 percent of the list price, according to GAAR.

But buyers are still hungry, Vigil said, and competition for homes that show well and that are still on the market continues unabated.

Meanwhile, an indicator of new-home construction in the metro area saw its best month so far this year. According to DataTraq, 203 residential building permits were issued in April. Volume rose 55 percent from last April’s figure of 131 permits.

One industry observer said the April number is a “nice bump” in activity but he isn’t sure it means the beginning of an upward trend.

“I think (April’s permit activity) is more of a case of builders like D.R. Horton, Pulte and LGI trying to close existing subdivisons out,” said John Garcia, executive vice president of the Home Builders of Central New Mexico.

In the past year, hot spots for new-home buyers were the Mirehaven, Desert Sands, Saltillo and Los Diamantes sudvisions. These communities were issued the most residential building permits.

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Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller gives State of the City address – Albuquerque Business First

Before he became mayor of Albuquerque, Tim Keller sat through his share of State of the City and State of the State addresses.

He learned how mayors and governors talk: mention how great the city or state is, discuss the problems and what’s holding it back, and end with big-picture concepts.

"It’s a pretty good formula for a speech," he said. "I want to do something a little bit different today."

Keller began his six-month State of the City update Monday as the NAIOP guest speaker at Albuquerque Marriott by saying the touristy photos of the city don’t always line up with reality.

"We’re a city that is stricken by addiction, that is dealing with real crime problems that are worse then they’ve been in recent years," Keller said. "We’re a city, I think, that is treading water just to keep up.

"It’s going to be a hot summer. It’s going to be a summer, I think unfortunately, no matter what we do today, [that] will be marked by homelessness, marked by crime and wildfires."

He said the city is long on ideas, but short on solutions, and said it cannot rely on bigger companies, or "silver bullets," to save it.

Keller laid out three tasks that should Albuquerque solve, it could compete with cities like Denver, Phoenix and Austin in neighboring states: get crime under control, figure out strategic placemaking with businesses and place a higher emphasis on after-school and youth summer programs. Placemaking is strategically placing economic development projects where they benefit the surrounding community.

The mayor said the city submitted a budget that will have the resources to beef up the police enough to make a dent in crime, should it get passed, drawing applause from the audience at the meeting hosted by NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association.

For each public project the city will explore, Keller said he will ask if it builds on Albuquerque’s core, if it’s part of a growing trend nationally, if it will help the city become a national leader in something, if it will add economic-based jobs that will pull money into the city rather than dividing it, and if it will be a part of strategic placemaking.

"That’s how we make step-change development in Albuquerque," the mayor said.

Keller touched on his new initiative to review all out-of-state contracts and said he hoped businesses in the audience could land some of the contracts that come up for grabs.

When Keller was state auditor, a transparency report from his office found that New Mexico’s information technology industry had the highest proportion of large contracts awarded out of state of any industry.

In fiscal year 2015, New Mexico spent about $40 million out of $48 million on IT contracts worth $60,000 or more outside the state, amounting to 84 cents of every dollar spent on IT going to outside companies, the report said.

"We have to actually try and hit the target, instead of looking for other solutions," Keller said Monday, "and to do this, we have to come together as one Albuquerque."

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GRAPHIC: Dad accused of prostituting young daughter in NM

A father in Albuquerque, NM, is facing human trafficking and child abuse charges after allegedly prostituting his 7-year-old daughter for drugs. (Source: KOAT/Albuquerque Police Department/CNN)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KOAT/CNN) – A father in New Mexico is facing several charges after being accused of forcing his 7-year-old daughter into prostitution.

Teachers at the girl’s school alerted officials to launch an investigation, but it was months before action was taken to protect the child.

"My immediate reaction as a mom, and as a human, is just absolute disgust and heartbreak," said Monique Jacobson, the cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Child, Youth and Families Department – or CYFD.

The man is behind bars after New Mexico’s attorney general said he prostituted his 7-year-old daughter for drugs.

Court documents said the little girl is homeless and would show up to Lew Wallace Elementary School, exhausted and disheveled, telling teachers: "Mom and I hustle."

Back in November, the criminal complaint said a teacher called police when she noticed dried blood on the girl’s underwear. Police took a report and notified CYFD.

But the little girl and her brother stayed with their parents.

Documents show the Albuquerque Police Department talked to the family at a nearby motel and said there was "nothing that could cause concern of either of these children being abused in any way by their parents."

Six months later, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas became involved because a school nurse said she was worried about the little girl.

Investigators talked with the 7-year-old and her brother.

According to court documents, their father prostituted the girl and made both children panhandle and steal.

Balderas is angry that nothing happened to help the children six months ago.

"There absolutely just need to be earlier interventions when it comes to protecting young children," Balderas said.

CYFD has ordered an internal review. If something was done incorrectly, they said the right people will be held accountable.

"We’re still – from our perspective – doing a real deep dive into all of that," Jacobson said.

APD said they’re still looking into what happened on their end. Balderas said that’s simply not good enough.

"These types of agencies need to take some responsibility in evaluating all of these cases, but there clearly needs to be timelier interventions when it comes to protecting children," Balderas said.

James Stewart, the father, is facing human trafficking and child abuse charges. It’s unclear if the mother will be charged.

Balderas gave credit to school faculty and staff for contacting authorities. He said they likely saved the girl’s life.

CYFD officials said they’re unable to remove children from their parents until they’re ordered to do so by a judge or law enforcement.

Copyright 2018 KOAT via CNN. All rights reserved.

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GRAPHIC: Dad accused of prostituting young daughter in NM

A father in Albuquerque, NM, is facing human trafficking and child abuse charges after allegedly prostituting his 7-year-old daughter for drugs. (Source: KOAT/Albuquerque Police Department/CNN)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KOAT/CNN) – A father in New Mexico is facing several charges after being accused of forcing his 7-year-old daughter into prostitution.

Teachers at the girl’s school alerted officials to launch an investigation, but it was months before action was taken to protect the child.

"My immediate reaction as a mom, and as a human, is just absolute disgust and heartbreak," said Monique Jacobson, the cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Child, Youth and Families Department – or CYFD.

The man is behind bars after New Mexico’s attorney general said he prostituted his 7-year-old daughter for drugs.

Court documents said the little girl is homeless and would show up to Lew Wallace Elementary School, exhausted and disheveled, telling teachers: "Mom and I hustle."

Back in November, the criminal complaint said a teacher called police when she noticed dried blood on the girl’s underwear. Police took a report and notified CYFD.

But the little girl and her brother stayed with their parents.

Documents show the Albuquerque Police Department talked to the family at a nearby motel and said there was "nothing that could cause concern of either of these children being abused in any way by their parents."

Six months later, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas became involved because a school nurse said she was worried about the little girl.

Investigators talked with the 7-year-old and her brother.

According to court documents, their father prostituted the girl and made both children panhandle and steal.

Balderas is angry that nothing happened to help the children six months ago.

"There absolutely just need to be earlier interventions when it comes to protecting young children," Balderas said.

CYFD has ordered an internal review. If something was done incorrectly, they said the right people will be held accountable.

"We’re still – from our perspective – doing a real deep dive into all of that," Jacobson said.

APD said they’re still looking into what happened on their end. Balderas said that’s simply not good enough.

"These types of agencies need to take some responsibility in evaluating all of these cases, but there clearly needs to be timelier interventions when it comes to protecting children," Balderas said.

James Stewart, the father, is facing human trafficking and child abuse charges. It’s unclear if the mother will be charged.

Balderas gave credit to school faculty and staff for contacting authorities. He said they likely saved the girl’s life.

CYFD officials said they’re unable to remove children from their parents until they’re ordered to do so by a judge or law enforcement.

Copyright 2018 KOAT via CNN. All rights reserved.

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