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In Brief - New Mexico - June 20, 2014

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The Associated Press

Pension fund yields 15 percent

SANTA FE — New Mexico’s pension fund for state and local government workers has reached a high of $14.5 billion in assets because of strong investment performance.
Officials of the Public Employees Retirement Association told a legislative committee on Tuesday the fund had an investment return of about 15 percent from July 2013 through the end of last month.
The pension fund returned slightly more than 13 percent in the last fiscal year.
Since the retirement fund was established in 1985, it’s had a net-of-fee return of about 9.5 percent.
The retirement system covers nearly 32,000 retirees and 50,000 state and local government workers, including police and firefighters.

Sentencing set in email case

Sentencing has been scheduled in a case involving a Gov. Susana Martinez’s former campaign manager who pleaded guilty to stealing her email.
Jamie Estrada is slated to go before a federal judge in Albuquerque on Sept. 15.
The 41-year-old pleaded guilty this week to one count of unlawful interception of electronic communication and one count of lying to FBI agents as part of a plea deal.
Prosecutors alleged that Estrada used password and username information to change the computer account for the governor’s 2010 campaign organization after Martinez took office as governor.
Estrada briefly served as campaign manager in 2009 as Martinez, a Republican, was starting her bid for New Mexico governor. An FBI affidavit in the case says he was fired

First Hantavirus death of 2014  

New Mexico health officials say a 67-year-old woman has become the first person to die of Hantavirus this year.
The state Department of Health said Tuesday that the San Juan County home of the woman is being investigated to help reduce the risk of infection for others.

Police ID man killed by train

SANTA FE — Authorities have identified a bicyclist who died after being struck by a Rail Runner train in Santa Fe.
Santa Fe police said Thursday that 41-year-old Joseph Salazar, of Española, was killed Monday morning when he and the train collided.
Police had released a photo Wednesday of some of the clothing he was wearing at the time of the incident in an effort to figure out his identity.
Police say Salazar may have been a frequent visitor or recently relocated to Santa Fe.
They say the bicyclist and train collided as Salazar crossed the tracks and the train crossed the sidewalk.
Salazar was not wearing a helmet or headphones during the crash.

Movie about cartels to film

ALBUQUERQUE — A movie about efforts to take down a Mexican cartel boss will be filmed in New Mexico.
New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Wednesday that the feature “Sicario” will be shot in Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Corrales, Laguna Pueblo, Bernalillo County and Sandoval County at the end of June through the end of August.
Starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, “Sicario” is the story of a by-the-book female FBI agent who is assigned to work with two Delta-force operators to take down a Mexican cartel boss.
The film will be based at Albuquerque Studios and will employ about 200 New Mexico crew members as well as more than 2,000 resident actors and background talent.