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Noah and Jacob Martinez, both of Trinidad, were advised of the charges against them, Thursday, in connection with stabbings that took place at a party in Trinidad in June. The cousins are facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Jason Phillips, 27. Phillips was killed during an argument over an arm-wrestling match. He died of multiple stab wounds to the back, thigh and arm. 4 others at the party also suffered stab wounds, but only Phillips‚€™ wounds were fatal. District Court Judge Leslie Gerbracht set cash-only bonds for the two men on Friday. Bond for Noah Martinez was set at $300,000. Bond for Jacob Martinez was set at $250,000. Both men remain in custody at the Garcia Justice Center in Trinidad.
Former Governor Roy Romer in an interview on Friday said that he wants presidential candidates to adopt national education reforms that if enacted, could erode a 200-year-old tradition of local control over schools. Romer said Friday that it would be a tough sell because the candidates don‚€™t believe local control is a national issue. He said candidates are more worried about the war in Iraq and global warming, and education has taken a back seat. Romer made the comments as he talked about a $60-million initiative to make education a part of the 2008 presidential campaign called ‚€œStrong American Schools‚€Ě. The project calls for rewarding teachers financially for better performance and gives states more time to implement federal standards if they agree to aim higher. Romer also wants longer school days and longer school years, a proposal that has upset teachers and their unions. Romer says he has talked with presidential candidates about the plan and some have adopted portions of it, but none of them have fully endorsed it.
Jesse James Martinez, 26, of Walsenburg, has been scheduled to appear before Chief District Court Judge Claude Appel for a preliminary hearing on October 22nd. Martinez is facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with the April 29th, 2007, stabbing death of his cousin, Joe Ray Gallegos. Gallegos, who was 24, was fatally stabbed during an alleged fight with Martinez after Gallegos allegedly broke into Martinez‚€™s home and woke him by punching him. Gallegos was taken to a hospital in Pueblo where he later died from his injuries. Martinez remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Gov. Bill Ritter, who was in the San Luis Valley on Saturday, spoke about economic development, emphasizing the role that solar energy could play, at a job fair designed to draw more workers into the valley‚€™s potato-packing plants. Ritter spoke about the need to marry higher education and work force development so that the valley can build on its recent successes such as the construction of a biofuels plant and a solar energy plant. Ritter said the next step for the region would be to attract manufacturers of solar energy equipment and technology. Ritter said he would support the development of the necessary solar technology degree programs at local schools such as Adams State College and the Alamosa campus of Trinidad State Junior College. He also lauded TSJC President Ruth Ann Woods for tailoring her school‚€™s programs to the booming natural gas industry in Las Animas and Huerfano counties.
New Conejos County Judge Mary Elizabeth ‚€œBeth‚€Ě Garcia was sworn in during a ceremony conducted by District Judge Martin Gonzales on Friday. Governor Bill Ritter appointed Garcia, who is 63, to fill a vacancy that was created by the July resignation of former Conejos County Judge Gordon Bosa. Judge Gonzales said that Governor Ritter appointed Garcia to the bench because of certain qualities she possesses such as the ability to be fair and impartial, ‚€œto be an independent thinker who is willing to listen and to be a servant of the public‚€Ě.