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In Brief - News - Dec. 3, 2012

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The Associated Press

Student dragged down hall

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe teacher was put on leave after police say she grabbed a blind 6-year-old special-needs student by the ankle and dragged him down a hallway because she said the boy was uncooperative with her requests that he walk to another classroom.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Gonzales Community School teacher told investigators that she wasn’t trying to harm the boy.
Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns says the act was still negligent.
Dobyns says the boy complained to a school nurse that his head hurt afterward but he required no medical attention.
The incident occurred Nov. 15, and police were notified a week later by school staff.
The family didn’t want to press charges.

Gov. to light tree Monday
SANTA FE — Gov. Susana Martinez will help kick off the rest of the holiday season in New Mexico with the lighting of the state Christmas tree on Monday.
The ceremony will take place outside the state capitol in Santa Fe.
The governor’s office says the ceremony will include music from the New Mexico National Guard 44th Army Band, and a Santa Fe-based Girl Scout troop will be serving apple cider and bizcochitos, New Mexico’s state cookie.

Feds offer $55,000 reward
ALBUQUERQUE — Federal officials say they’re now offering a $55,000 reward for an arrest and conviction related to the 2007 shooting of a park ranger at a northern New Mexico lake.
The FBI and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the reward at a news conference in Albuquerque on Friday. The FBI is pitching in $25,000 and the corps $30,000.
The shooting happened the morning of Dec. 1, 2007, after Park Ranger Alfred Chavez noticed someone had tampered with a lock and chain on a pump house gate near Abiquiu Lake.
Two men left the pump house as he was investigating. One of them pulled out a revolver and fired two shots. One of the bullets hit Chavez above the knee.
Chavez survived, but the men still have not been caught.

NMSU prof salaries low  
LAS CRUCES — Faculty members at New Mexico State University say it would take an estimated $12.2 million to boost salaries to average levels at peer institutions.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that leaders of the Faculty Senate see the dollar figure as a rough estimate but a starting point for efforts aimed at raising lagging pay levels.
Biology professor William Boecklen reviewed salary data for peer universities from the Chronicle of Higher Education. He found that salaries for full NMSU professors are about 27 percent below average.
Associate professors are about 11 percent below average, and assistant professors are 21 percent below average.
The information was presented at an open forum for NMSU faculty earlier this week.