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Man who pleaded guilty to killing Ashlynne Mike to be sentenced Friday

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man who killed 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike is expected to receive his sentence Friday. Tom Begaye Jr. will be in federal court Friday afternoon.  In August he pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and sexual assault in the murder of 11-year-old Ashlynne, which happened in May 2016. Begaye lured Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother into his van and drove them to the Shiprock Monument on the Navajo Reservation. Begaye sexually assaulted then killed Ashlynne, but let her brother go. Ashlynne’s body was found near the New Mexico Arizona border. While he has yet to be officially sentenced, under the Begaye’s  plea agreement he will spend the rest of his life behind bars and will never be paroled. The murder sparked a push for a tribal Amber Alert system and an expansion of the death penalty on tribal land.

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Filed under: Albuquerque - Metro, Home, News, SmartTV, Top Stories, Top Video

White nationalist Spencer drowned out by protesters

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Counter-demonstrators greatly outnumbered white nationalist Richard Spencer’s supporters on Thursday at the University of Florida, their chants drowning Spencer out during his speech. Outside, hundreds of people protested with signs and anti-Nazi chants alongside hundreds of police officers there to prevent violence. Anti-Spencer protesters shouted, “Not in our town! Not in our state! We don’t want your Nazi hate!” and “Let’s go Gators” during his speech, frustrating the head of the National Policy Institute. Three or four skirmishes occurred during the long afternoon after single Spencer supporters confronted the counter-demonstrators trying to speak and rile the crowds up. One man, wearing a white shirt with swastikas drawn on, was punched and chased out of the area. At least three others were quickly surrounded by crowds that shouted them down, chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and pushed them until they left the area or were chased behind police lines. The Alachua County Sheriff said two people were arrested. Sean Brijmohan, 28, was charged with possession of a firearm on school property. The office said in a tweet that he had brought a gun onto the campus after being hired by a media organization as security. David Notte, 34, was charged with resisting an officer without violence. Five people had minor injuries and were immediately treated by fire rescue teams, authorities said. The school estimated it would spend $600,000 on security to ensure no repeat of violent clashes connected to a white nationalist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one dead in August. School officials cited the Charlottesville violence in rejecting an initial request from Spencer to speak at the university. They later relented on free speech grounds. Florida’s governor had declared a state of emergency for the event.
Filed under: Home, National, World, News

What Puerto Rico is doing to get the power back after storm

BARCELONETA, Puerto Rico (AP) — Electrical linemen descend from helicopters, balancing on steel girders 90 feet high on transmission towers in the mountains of central Puerto Rico, far from any road. At the same time, crews fan out across the battered island, erecting light poles and power lines in a block by block slog. A month after Hurricane Maria rolled across the center of Puerto Rico, the power is still out for the vast majority of people on the island as the work to restore hundreds of miles of transmission lines and thousands of miles of distribution lines grinds on for crews toiling under a blazing tropical sun. And it won’t get done soon without more workers, more equipment and more money, according to everyone involved in the effort. “It’s too much for us alone,” Nelson Velez, a regional director for the Puerto Rican power authority, said as he supervised crews working along a busy street in Isla Verde, just east of San Juan, on a recent afternoon. “We have just so many, so many areas affected.” The office of Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Thursday that about 20 percent of the island has service and he has pledged to get that to 95 percent by Dec. 31. For now, though, most of the island’s 3.4 million people suffer without air conditioning or basic necessities. Many have resorted to using washboards, now frequently seen for sale along the side of the road, to clean clothes, and sleeping on their balconies and flocking to any open restaurants for relief from daytime temperatures above 90 degrees. “I thought we would we have power in the metro area by now,” said Pablo Martinez, an air conditioning technician, shaking his head in frustration. Hurricane Maria, which caused at least 48 deaths on the island, made landfall on the southeastern coast near Yabucoa as a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of about 154 mph (248 kph). It passed out of the territory about 12 hours later near Barceloneta in the north, still with sustained winds of about 115 mph (185 kph). The onslaught was sufficient to knock down hundreds of transmission towers and thousands of distribution poles and lines. The storm’s path was ideal for taking down the entire grid. Most of Puerto Rico’s generating capacity is along the southern coast and most consumption is in the north around San Juan, with steel and aluminum transmission towers up to 90 feet (27 meters) tall running through the mountains in the middle. At least 10 towers fell along the most important transmission line that runs to the capital, entangling it with a secondary one that runs parallel and that lost about two dozen towers in a hard-to-reach area in the center of the island. “It reminds me of a fireball that just burned everything in its path,” said Brig. Gen. Diana Holland, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers unit working to clear debris and restore the grid, with nearly 400 troops on the ground. The storm also struck at a terrible time. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority filed for bankruptcy in July. It has put off badly needed maintenance and had just finished dealing with outages from Hurricane Irma in early September. “You stop doing your typical deferred maintenance, and so you become even that much more susceptible to a storm like Maria and Irma coming and blowing down your towers, water coming up in your substations and flooding them,” said Tom Lewis, president of the Louis Berger Group, which has been supplying generators in Puerto Rico to clients that include the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Everything becomes that much more sensitive to any kind of damage whether it be from wind or water.” PREPA Director Ricardo Ramos said the authority is working with the Army Corps of Engineers and contractors to bring in more “bucket trucks” and other equipment. It already has about 400 three- to five-member repair crews and is trying to reach 1,000 within three weeks with workers brought in from the U.S. “With this number of brigades we will be able to advance much more rapidly,” Ramos assured reporters during a recent news conference. PREPA brought in a Montana company, Whitefish Energy Holdings, to help its crews restore the transmission and distribution lines across the island. It has a rolling contract and can bill up to $300 million for its work, said Odalys de Jesus, a spokeswoman for the power authority. It is a huge job for a young company, formed in 2015. Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski said previous work restoring transmission lines damaged by wildfires in the western U.S. has prepared them for the Puerto Ricocontract. “We don’t like easy,” he said during a break at one of the company’s base camps near Barceloneta. The camp buzzes with activity as helicopters come and go, taking linemen and equipment to the mountain towers, the pilots deftly navigating the lines and mountains to lower men and equipment to the steel-and-aluminum girds high above the trees. Whitefish had about 270 employees in Puerto Rico as of midweek, working both on transmission and distribution. It expects the number to double in the coming weeks if it can find sufficient lodging and transport to the island. Other contractors working in Puerto Rico include Fluor Corp., which was awarded a $336.2 million contract from the Army Corps of Engineers for debris removal and power restoration, and Weston Solutions, which is providing two generators to stabilize power in the capital for $35 million. Their efforts are to restore the system that was in place before the storm, not to build a better one, at least not yet. Gov. Rossello says the island needs to overhaul its power grid, make it less vulnerable and look at alternative sources. He welcomed a proposal by Elon Musk, CEO of electric-car company Tesla, to expand solar energy and has raised the issue of longer-term improvements with Washington. House Speaker Paul Ryan seemed to express at least a willingness to consider helping Puerto Rico build back better when he visited the island this month. “If you going to put up a power line let’s put up a power line that can withstand hurricane-force winds,” he said. “It makes no sense to put temporary patches on problems that have long term effects.” Techmanski said Whitefish was making progress on the line that carries about 230,000 volts to San Juan from the Aguirre power plant in the south, which will vastly increase the amount of power reaching the capital. “We’re getting it done,” he said. But, asked about the goal of getting 95 percent of power back by the end of the year, he wasn’t sure: “It is very optimistic at this point.”
Associated Press writer Danica Coto contributed to this report.
Filed under: Home, National, World, News

Trump’s border wall models take shape in San Diego

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The last two of eight prototypes for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall are taking shape at a construction site in San Diego. The prototypes form a tightly packed row of imposing concrete and metal panels, including one with sharp metal edges on top. Another has a surface resembling an expensive brick driveway. Companies have until Oct. 26 to finish the models but Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said Thursday the last two came into profile, as crews installed a corrugated metal surface on one model on a dirt lot just a few steps from homes in Tijuana, Mexico. As the crews worked, three men and two women jumped a short rusted fence from Tijuana into the construction site and were immediately stopped by agents on horseback. Francisco said there have been four or five other illegal crossing attempts at the site since work began Sept. 26. The models cost the government up to $500,000 each.
Filed under: Home, National, World, News

Man allegedly involved in Carlsbad shooting on no bond hold

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – A man is locked up on a no bond hold for his alleged involvement in a Carlsbad shooting. Eddy County Deputies say on October 6, Christopher Madron was shot in the leg prompting an investigation. Deputies later arrested Marcelino Medina for his accused involvement. Medina is now facing multiple charges and is behind bars. At this time deputies are continuing to investigate the incident. ———— Send a Breaking News Tip Report an error or typo Learn about the KRQE apps
Filed under: Home, New Mexico, News

Manzano Monarchs remain undefeated

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Manzano Monarchs claimed another victim on the football field Thursday night. The Eldorado Eagles became the latest team to experience the purple reign of the Monarchs. Manzano won the game 63-21. In the metro area’s other Thursday night game, Atrisco Heritage beat Highland 50-0. The game was ended at the start of the fourth quarter due to the mercy rule.
Filed under: Home, Sports Tagged: High School Sports

Lobos and BYU working on exhibition men’s basketball game

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The University of New Mexico Lobos men’s basketball team and the BYU Cougars are working on an exhibition game to be played October 28 in Albuquerque. The game would be to raise money for hurricane relief. Both sides are still waiting on a waiver from the NCAA before making the contest final. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports first reported the possible exhibition game. KRQE Sports confirmed the news with New Mexico Basketball.
Filed under: Home, Sports