State and Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Customers of New Mexico's largest electric provider will soon see their bills increase. The state Public Regulation Commission this week approved the rate increase after more than a year of debate, public hearings and legal challenges. The new rates take effect now that commission staff signed off Friday on a filing by Public Service Co. of New Mexico that detailed the rates. Officials initially said the increase would amount to roughly 10 percent, but PNM spokesman Pahl Shipley says calculations show the overall average increase will be closer to 7 percent.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Albuquerque police officer has been accused of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Police say 53-year-old Rodney Locke was taken into custody after Thursday night's crash that killed a pedestrian in a wheelchair. They say 60-year-old Kay Moss-Freese died in a hospital Friday morning. Officers ran the pickup truck's license plate number reported by witnesses and found Locke parked outside his home and still in the driver's seat. They say Locke smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The former girlfriend of a man who shot and killed a suburban Albuquerque police officer has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit an armed robbery and harboring a felon. Tabitha Littles appeared at a sentencing hearing before a New Mexico judge Friday afternoon — just hours after Andrew Romero was sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting and killing Rio Rancho Officer Gregg "Nigel" Benner.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico House of Representatives is starting committee deliberations on three criminal justice bills designed to expand mandatory sentences and reinstate the death penalty. The Republican-controlled House focused its first policy discussion of a special legislative session on the tough-handed reforms backed by Gov. Susana Martinez. The bills were filed partly in response to the recent killings of two police officers and the horrific sexual assault and killing 10-year-old Victoria Martens in Albuquerque.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature has sworn in two new members during a special session. Republican Sen. James White of Albuquerque started work in the Senate on Friday to fill a vacancy left by the resignation of Sue Wilson Beffort. In the House of Representatives, Democratic Rep. Harry Garcia of Grants took the oath of office to take the place of retired lawmaker Ken Martinez. White previously served in the House from 2009 through 2014. There are 18 Republicans and 24 Democrats in the New Mexico Senate. The House has 37 Republicans and 33 Democrats.

Most races for sheriff are low-profile, relatively low-budget affairs. Not in Arizona's Maricopa County, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio is running for his seventh term.

He's known nationally for his hard-line stance on illegal immigration. Arpaio's base all over the country has helped him raise a stunning $12 million for his re-election campaign, making it one of the most expensive races for local office in the country this year.

Aleppo, Syria's divided city where airstrikes hit two rebel-held hospitals earlier this week, is under renewed attack, as reports emerge that Russian and Syrian forces are using incendiary phosphorous munitions as part of an intensified shelling and bombing campaign.

In 2012, Shimon Peres became hip.

The then-Israeli president was 88 years old at the time, but not too old to shoot this music video asking people around the world to friend him on Facebook:

The video is playful, but Peres was dead serious. With his signature stone-faced expression, he imparted his words of advice to young people.

"Peace is needed. For your future. For your future. For your future," Peres said in the video, his words set to a dance beat.

It's October now, a month known for apple cider, colorful leaves — and hideous stock-price plunges.

This is the month that brought Americans such horrors as: The Panic of 1907; The Crash of 1929; The Black Monday of 1987; The Asia Market Crash of 1997 and The Financial Crisis of 2008 when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged.

So yes, October, you have a terrible reputation, and we are wary. Especially in this presidential election year — with so much political anger and uncertainty swirling — retirement savers may be wondering: Will you bring us another nightmare?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Michael Twitty wants you to know where Southern food really comes from. And he wants the enslaved African-Americans who were part of its creation to get credit. That's why Twitty goes to places like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's grand estate in Charlottesville, Va. — to cook meals that slaves would have eaten and put their stories back into American history.

How We Got Here: Treating Addiction In 28 Days

2 hours ago

Louis Casanova is playing cards with a friend on the back deck of a recovery house in Philadelphia's northern suburbs.

He's warm and open as he talks about his past few years. The guy everyone calls Louie started using drugs like Xanax and Valium during his freshman year of high school. At age 18, Casanova turned to heroin. About two years later, the rehab shuffle began.

"I relapsed and then I was just getting high. And then I went to treatment again in February of 2015," he says. "Then I relapsed again and went back to treatment."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.


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