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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — While a television news crew was gathering footage for a story about crime in the Albuquerque downtown area, a thief drove off in the station's SUV. The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2rMiw1n ) reported the story Friday about the KOB-TV truck. KOB News Director Michelle Donaldson says the vehicle was recovered within a half hour without police assistance by following the GPS tracking device that was on board. She says the thief had fled the scene and the SUV was locked with the keys missing.

HATCH, N.M. (AP) — Border Patrol agents say they had to rescue a university professor and two of her students who were overcome by heat near Hatch, New Mexico. Agents from the Las Cruces station responded to a call from the Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office requesting assistance in locating three people who were in distress Wednesday afternoon. The three people were located about seven miles south of Hatch. Agents say one student was severely dehydrated while the professor and the other student showed signs of heat exhaustion.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal regulators are launching an investigation into the improper shipment of nuclear material from Los Alamos National Laboratory to other federal labs last week. The National Nuclear Security Administration said Friday it was informed by the lab that procedures weren't followed when shipping what was only described as "special nuclear material" to facilities in California and South Carolina. The material had been packaged for ground transport. But instead it was shipped aboard an air cargo service, which isn't allowed by federal regulations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is crediting himself with the idea of building a Mexico border wall of solar panels. But that looks to be a borrowed brainwave; others pitched a solar wall back when he was a skeptic of tapping power from the sun. Trump's speech in Iowa on Wednesday night was rife with misstatements. He claimed beneficial effects to the economy from actions he has not yet taken. He declared that the "time has come" for a welfare moratorium for immigrants that has been in place for two decades. He juiced up the tax burden on Americans beyond reality.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Ranchos de Taos man was convicted of vehicular homicide and causing bodily harm while under the influence of drugs in the death of a Taos woman who was his passenger during a head-on auto collision. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2t2DzRB) that a jury found that the painkiller OxyContin, marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam contributed to Santiago F. Martinez's actions in swerving a convertible into the wrong lane of U.S. 84 near Chama, causing a head-on collision with a pickup truck that killed Martinez's passenger, Lindsay Hinds of Taos.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Finance Authority is letting the state's spaceport use more tax money collected in Dona Ana and Sierra counties to increase its operating budget. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2t3mpmz) that the authority agreed Thursday to let Spaceport America for one year use extra money from the taxes. But the spaceport wanted the excess tax money in perpetuity, a proposal that the authority rejected. Some politicians have argued the tax money was only intended to help build the facility, not cover its daily expenses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Visits made to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum since it first opened in 2005 now total more than 1 million. Officials say the attendance milestone was surpassed during an annual folk festival that was held at the museum in early June. The adjacent balloon park also is home to an annual international balloon fiesta that draws hundreds of pilots and tens of thousands of spectators to Albuquerque each October for the lifting off of hot air and gas balloons.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The number of people receiving opioid pain medication prescriptions or risky duplicate prescriptions is showing a precipitous decline in New Mexico since the state ordered doctors to check a database that flags patients who get narcotics from multiple sources. New Mexico State Epidemiologist Michael Landen tracks opioid prescription patterns in the state with the highest drug overdose death rate west of the Mississippi River.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is seeing higher graduation rates and more students are reading at grade level thanks to reforms made over the past several years, but a top state education official says the demands of public education are evolving and schools need to be prepared. Christopher Ruszkowski took over as acting secretary of the Public Education Department this week. He replaces Hanna Skandera, who announced her resignation earlier this month.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez says she will look closely at whether vulnerable New Mexico residents are protected under a Senate Republican plan to overhaul the nation's health care system. Martinez spokesman Joseph Cueto said Thursday the GOP governor did not yet have a chance to review the proposal for rolling back Barack Obama's health care law. Martinez has voiced support for overturning the Affordable Care Act while saying little about a House-approved bill that reduces generous federal funding for expanded Medicaid insurance for low-income adults.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico's delegation to Capitol Hill are at odds over whether to reduce the size of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument under a review by the administration of President Donald Trump. At a congressional hearing, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce on Thursday urged the secretary of the interior to reduce the land area of the monument on the outskirts of Las Cruces to about one-tenth of its current size.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife officials are investigating the death of an endangered Mexican gray wolf pup. Federal and state officials involved in the wolf reintroduction program say a female pup belonging to the Diamond Pack that roams southeastern Arizona was found dead in May. The death was noted in a report released this week. Wildlife managers have placed a food cache in the pack's territory in hopes of reducing the potential for conflicts with livestock in the area.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A study on proposed commuter rail service between Las Cruces and El Paso will be unveiled Tuesday night at a public meeting. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/2sYAF0k) that the $50,000 study was commissioned by the South Central Regional Transit District and paid for with state funding from Rep. Jeff Steinborn and other state legislators. The study will present the level of projected ridership, applicable fees to ride the train, the involved capital costs to operate the train and the development needed in the community around the stations.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on wildfires and fire restrictions in New Mexico (all times local): 10 a.m. Authorities say the evacuation of more than 150 homes in the mountains east of Albuquerque has been lifted as firefighters get a handle on the latest blaze burning in New Mexico. The fire started Wednesday afternoon. It took crews a few hours to slow the flames and families were allowed to return to their homes by nightfall. The fire is now 75 percent contained.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Small businesses in New Mexico working on new innovations that could help the U.S. Energy Department will be getting a boost thanks to $2.7 million in federal grant funding. The agency announced the grants this week. In all, officials say $116 million in grants will be awarded nationwide for research and development through a technology transfer program aimed at helping small businesses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Persistent hot, dry conditions have prompted forest officials in central New Mexico to impose more stringent fire restrictions. The Cibola National Forest says the restrictions apply to the Sandia and Mountainair ranger districts. The Mt. Taylor district in western New Mexico will enter stage-two restrictions later this week, which prohibit campfires and wood, coal and charcoal stoves. The district that covers the Datil, San Mateo and Magdalena mountains entered stage-one restrictions Wednesday.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities have seized 17 illegal game animal heads while serving search warrants at multiple locations in Farmington. The state Game and Fish Department confirmed Wednesday that a Farmington man is facing multiple charges stemming from an investigation into what appears to be illegal activity. Agency spokesman Ross Morgan declined to identify the man or list the charges, saying the investigation is ongoing. The investigation began in early 2017 after trail cameras placed on private land resulted in images that concerned state game wardens.

GOLDEN, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Forestry officials say about 150 homes near the small community of Golden are being evacuated as a precaution due to a growing wildfire. They say the fire had burned up to 40 acres of grass and pinion juniper by Wednesday evening. Authorities say structures are threatened, but none have been damaged so far. It's unclear how the wildfire started. The fire is burning near the intersection of Highway 334 and Highway 14 and is spreading toward the east through Heartbreak Hill Canyon in the San Pedro Mountain area.

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — A section of Interstate 10 near the New Mexico-Arizona border has re-opened after being closed for a few hours due to high winds and blowing dust in the Lordsburg area. New Mexico Department of Transportation officials say traffic was diverted onto U.S. 70 after visibility became low in the Lordsburg area Wednesday afternoon. A sudden dust storm Monday evening in the Lordsburg area resulted in a 25-vehicle pileup that left six people dead including a Phoenix couple and their 9-month-old daughter.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque police officer who has been in at least five on-duty vehicle crashes in the past three years is facing lawsuits in connection with two of the crashes. Officer Patrick Casias was sued in March and then again last week, The Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2rSLNff ). Both lawsuits were filed in state district court and are seeking damages. The first lawsuit against Casias, brought by Belinda Labrado of El Paso, accused Casias of carelessness and negligence in a three-car crash.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man accused of killing another man during an argument that started with a disagreement over song has been ordered held without bond. Court records show 30-year-old Chris Owens is facing charges of murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence in the death of Tim Baca. A preliminary hearing has been set for next week. It's not immediately clear from court records if Owens has an attorney. Authorities say Baca was celebrating his wife's birthday when they met Owens early Saturday morning at a nightclub in Santa Fe.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and one of his personal lawyers have contradicted each other over whether the president is under investigation by the special counsel probing Russians' meddling in the 2016 election and possible links with the Trump campaign. A look at recent statements by Trump, lawyer Jay Sekulow and Vice President Mike Pence on the Russia investigation and a variety of other matters: TRUMP tweet Friday: "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One person is in critical condition after a wanted felon driving a recreational vehicle caused several crashes while leading authorities on a chase through Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2sBOHC3 ) the pursuit started Tuesday in a Target parking lot when the suspect nearly ran over an officer. Albuquerque police officer Tanner Tixier says at least three crashes occurred as a result of the chase. The injured person was airlifted to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Officials in one southern New Mexico city have opened a handful of "cooling stations" where residents can find temporary relief from the heat wave. Las Cruces officials say the stations at community and recreation centers around the city are designed to help the elderly and other high-risk residents who could be affected by the extreme temperatures. The stations will be in operation only for certain times of the day.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A suspect in a shooting spree across northern New Mexico has been charged with an additional count of murder after the death of his mother from a gunshot wound. The office of District Attorney Marco Serna on Wednesday confirmed the charge against 21-year-old Damian Herrera of Ojo Caliente. Herrera is accused by police and prosecutors of fatally shooting his mother, Maria "Brenda" Gallegos, as well as his stepfather and brother at the family's home in La Madera last week.

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