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GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has given approval to help fund a veterans facility in New Mexico that will prevent patients from having to travel far for care. Navajo Nation council members voted 19-0 this week to give $2.4 million toward the construction of a service center for veterans in the community of Thoreau. The center, which will be about 33 miles (53 kilometers) east of Gallup, will offer physical therapy as well as medical services.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Officials in northwestern New Mexico are teaming up as part of an effort to diversify the economy in a region that has been dependent for years on the oil and gas industry. The city of Farmington, San Juan County, Four Corners Economic Development, San Juan College and numerous other groups are backing the initiative to boost outdoor recreation. The initiative plans to highlight the area's opportunities for fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking and rock crawling as well as locations such as the Bisti Wilderness and Lake Farmington.

FOR SUMNER, N.M. (AP) — Federal water managers are warning that levels on the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico are expected to rise as the Bureau of Reclamation moves water downstream for farmers. The release from Sumner Reservoir will begin Monday. The Carlsbad Irrigation District has called for about 10,000 acre-feet of water to be released from storage. One acre-foot (1,233 cubic meters) is enough to supply a typical U.S. family for a year. The release rate is expected to be between 1,300 to 1,600 cubic feet per second. It will last for about three days.

BERNARDO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a wildfire is threatening some homes and railroad tracks in south-central New Mexico. Wendy Mason with New Mexico State Forestry says the fire began Friday afternoon and has charred an estimated 30 acres (12 hectares) north of Bernardo in Socorro County. She says between 10 and 15 homes are threatened. The fire has also forced the closure of State Highway 116. State forestry crews along with local fire departments from the area are fighting the flames.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Students in northern New Mexico plan to rally at the state Capitol amid a new wave of school walkouts across the country in response to gun violence. Brendon Baca of the Santa Fe Public Schools says students plan to gather Friday at the Statehouse for a series of events exploring solutions to gun violence. A panel of state lawmakers and public safety officials is gathering to answer questions from students about new approaches to school safety.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Campaign finance records indicate that a former candidate for New Mexico governor was paid $14,000 by a Democratic rival a day before announcing his exit from the race. Peter DeBenedittis told the Albuquerque Journal on Thursday that candidate Jeff Apodaca had paid him for an email list and to be a campaign spokesman after he had decided to drop out of the race. DeBenedittis says he was unemployed at the time, and the move was not improper.

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At schools across the country today, students are getting up from their desks and walking out when the clock strikes 10 a.m. They're participating in the National School Walkout, part of the movement that has taken hold among students to call for action to end gun violence.

Today marks 19 years since the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two high school students shot and killed thirteen people.

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Gina Haspel, the first woman nominated to lead the CIA, has a five-foot-tall poster of Johnny Cash in her office. She's an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan — though she transferred from that school and graduated from the rival University of Louisville. She majored in journalism.

A few months ago, I wrote a check for $12,000 but couldn't figure out exactly why.

The payment was to secure a place for my mother at Sligo Creek Center, in Takoma Park, Md. It's a nursing home and rehab center owned by Genesis Healthcare.

My mother was about to be discharged from Holy Cross Hospital, in nearby Silver Spring, after a fall. Medicare wouldn't pay for her rehabilitation care.

Africa's last absolute monarch has marked his country's 50th birthday with a rather unconventional gift: a different name. During Golden Jubilee celebrations Thursday, King Mswati III announced that from this point henceforth, the land formerly known as Swaziland is now to be known as the Kingdom of eSwatini.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is levying a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo — a record for the agency — as punishment for the banking giant's actions in its mortgage and auto loan businesses.

Wells Fargo's "conduct caused and was likely to cause substantial injury to consumers," the agency said in its filings about the bank.

Where other chefs might see kitchen trash, Tim Ma finds treasure — for his culinary creations, and his bottom line.

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