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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is praising a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that bolsters the rights of millions of learning-disabled students. The ruling issued this week requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards. The case involved a boy who attended public school outside Denver. Balderas was among those who filed briefs in the case.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered a hiring freeze for all agencies under her control, a move designed to save cash pending a political standoff over funding state government and public schools. Martinez announced the freeze Thursday in a memo sent to her cabinet secretaries. She's still disappointed that the Democratic-controlled Legislature sent her a budget built on $350 million in tax increases and fee hikes.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is no closer to finding a more permanent solution to solvency problems with a vital program that provides college scholarships for tens of thousands of students through lottery revenues. The Legislature wrapped up its regular session more than a week ago without passing any measures that would affect the program's long-term bottom line. Some have warned that the scholarships might only pay 70 percent of tuition starting next fall, but state officials are still crunching numbers.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A suspended northern New Mexico judge has been found in contempt of court after she failed to follow a court order. The Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/2nrVAWf ) that Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Connie Johnston failed to provide recordings and transcripts of private conversations captured in the Aztec Magistrate Court building. A district court judge found that Johnston violated court order and may have altered the requested recordings. Johnston says the court order is incorrect and that she plans to fight it.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters say an approaching storm system with potentially damaging strong winds is expected to poses hazards that include extreme fire conditions on New Mexico's eastern plains through Thursday and into Friday. The National Weather Service says eastern and central New Mexico will see winds gusting up to 70 mph. Forecasters warn of dangerous crosswinds on roads oriented north and south and blowing dust reducing visibilities to a mile or less on the eastern plains and central New Mexico's lower elevations.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man is accused of committing 47 armed robberies in a five-month period. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2nMS1e8 ) that police arrested 46-year-old Paul Salas March 16 after he robbed a Verizon Wireless store of cash, 22 new iPhones and a tracking device. Police say they used the tracking device to follow Salas into a parking garage and arrest him. Police have also connected him with robberies at several other local businesses including ice cream shops, taco joints, auto parts stores and sandwich chains.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters with the National Weather Service say warm temperatures and dry weather are combining to create a flash drought across parts of New Mexico. They issued the warning this week after weighing current conditions. They say the month of March has been bleak when it comes to precipitation and a ridge of high pressure sitting over the state is partly to blame. Hydrologist Royce Fontenot says temperatures have been well above normal, with several locations setting records.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The State Land Office says schools will see an extra $18 million next month thanks to a major lease sale of oil and gas. Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says the March 21 sale was the second highest in the office's history. It included 56 tracts covering about 16,800 acres in the state. Public schools, the University of New Mexico and several other institutions benefit from the State Land office, which is a self-funded agency. Oil and gas leases are on five-year terms.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Carlsbad Caverns is celebrating the highest number of visitor in 15 years. The national park says it saw higher-than-average visitation for the 2017 spring break season, hosting over 42,000 people in the first three weeks of March. That's a 44 percent increase in visitors compared to the same period in 2016. The park is known for its underground limestone caves. Former President Barack Obama and his family visited last summer.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The Dona Ana County District Attorney says a Las Cruces man has been sentenced to over 13 years in prison for kidnapping an elderly woman and stealing her car. The DA says 44-year-old Andrew Serna of Fairacres was sentenced in the October 2015 case in which he burglarized an 82-year-old woman's home, holding her against her will and stealing her car after dropping her off at a convenience store. Serna pleaded no contest to kidnapping, residential burglary, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and larceny.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has given preliminary approval to a class action lawsuit settlement that would ban the San Juan County Detention Center from cooperating with federal authorities on immigration holds. The Friday decision came as the Trump administration publicly shamed counties and cities that don't cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The settlement is a result of a 2014 lawsuit filed on behalf of a New Mexico woman who was serving eight days in county jail and was held on an ICE detainer after she was supposed to get out.

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a sheriff's office sergeant is facing 21 felony counts of fraud, falsification of documents and perjury. Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe says Sgt. Ricky Romero was charged Wednesday and that the department has launched an internal investigation. The charges were brought forward by the New Mexico Attorney General's Office, which conducted the investigation. The AG's offices alleges that Romero was taking payments from Medicaid for caring for an elderly person while at the same time billing the sheriff's office for work.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has determined there's probable cause for prosecutors to pursue their case against a man accused of gunning down a police officer on the nation's largest American Indian reservation. Kirby Cleveland is charged with killing Navajo Nation Officer Houston James Largo on March 11 following what authorities call a drinking binge and domestic violence at the defendant's home in western New Mexico. Largo was responding to the call when he was shot. He later died from his injuries at a hospital.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of New Mexico's child welfare agency is frustrated that a string of measures aimed at closing loopholes and toughening penalties for those convicted of child abuse and similar crimes failed to reach Gov. Susana Martinez's desk. The 60-day legislative session wrapped up March 18. Left on the agenda were bills that Monique Jacobson, secretary of the Children, Youth and Families Department, said would have increased accountability for those who hurt children.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A company that formerly provided medical services to New Mexico prison inmates is appealing court orders for disclosure of certain records and for payment of legal fees of two newspapers and an advocacy group seeking the records. The Santa Fe New Mexican (https://goo.gl/yLFtAy ) reports that state District Judge Raymond Ortiz ruled this month that Corizon Health must pay $37,535 to attorneys for the New Mexican, the Albuquerque Journal and the Foundation for Open Government.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police vehicles could soon be equipped with the anti-overdose drug naloxone. The City Council voted Monday to equip at least half of the police department's vehicles with the drug by Sept. 30, with the remaining vehicles getting them by the end of the year. Mayor Richard Berry still needs to approve the resolution, which speeds up deadlines for implementing a naloxone program the council previously approved in October. The City Council has approved $10,000 for the naloxone program.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Stark choices lie ahead for New Mexico about which residents continue to receive Medicaid coverage and to what extent if congressional Republicans enact a plan to overhaul Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, according to first detailed analysis from the state with the nation's second-highest poverty rate.

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — A defense attorney says he plans to appeal the murder conviction of a New Mexico man. The Farmington Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/2nH7r3k ) that 46-year-old Kenneth Burrows was found guilty Monday of killing Daniel Boone of Flora Vista. One of Burrows' attorneys, Christian Hatfield, says he did not think the state proved Burrows' guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Burrows and 34-year-old Tiki Marez were both charged last year with killing Boone in January 2014. Cosme Ripol, who also represents Burrows, says Marez might have also shot Boone.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of people have gathered in Eastern New Mexico to honor three young airmen who died in a training exercise last week. The Eastern New Mexico News reports (http://bit.ly/2nOws9M ) that a crowd prayed, sang hymns and lit candles for the airmen outside the Curry County Courthouse on Monday. First Lt. Frederick "Drew" Dellecker, Capt. Kenneth Dalga and Capt. Andrew Becker were killed March 14 when their aircraft crashed near Clovis Municipal Airport. They were 26, 29 and 33 years old. Col.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of a Navajo Nation police officer (all times local): 10:45 a.m. The man accused of gunning down a Navajo Nation police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call in rural New Mexico has been charged with murder. Kirby Cleveland appeared before a federal judge in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning, shackled and wearing a black-and-white striped jumpsuit. The judge ordered an attorney to be appointed for Cleveland and set his next hearing for Wednesday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico's two longest-serving regents will remain on the board, as Gov. Susana Martinez's nominees didn't get confirmation hearings. Jack Fortner and Bradley Hosmer will remain on the school's governing council at least until next year's legislative session despite their expired terms.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former high school cheerleader is suing the Albuquerque school district in federal court over nude images of her posted by teammates on social media. The lawsuit was moved to U.S. District Court in Albuquerque last week. It alleges teammates at West Mesa High School used a coach's smartphone to capture photos and video of the 15-year-old taking a shower during a 2015 cheerleading camp in Phoenix. Court documents say the teammates then made fun of the girl's body and posted a video on Snapchat.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new television pilot starring "Without a Trace" actress Poppy Montgomery is set to begin production in Albuquerque. New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Monday that CBS pilot "Mission Control" will begin principal photography. The production will be filmed at Albuquerque Studios. "Mission Control" focuses on the next generation of NASA astronauts and scientists as they juggle their personal and professional lives during a critical mission. The pilot also stars David Giuntoli and Peyton List.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The man accused of gunning down a Navajo Nation police officer who was responding to a domestic violence call in rural New Mexico is scheduled for his first court appearance. McKinley County authorities identified the suspect as Kirby Cleveland. He has been in custody since the deadly March 12 shooting of Officer Houston James Largo. Prosecutors have confirmed that the suspect will make an initial appearance before a federal judge in Albuquerque on Tuesday. The FBI has not provided any details about the suspect or the circumstances that led to the shooting.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque zoo has welcomed a new tiger after going nine months without one. The ABQ BioPark zoo's last tiger, an 18-year-old Bengal tiger named Scout, was euthanized in June because it was suffering from liver cancer. The zoo welcomed a new tiger, a Malayan tiger named Penari, on Feb. 24. The nearly 4-year-old cat was previously kept at the Jacksonville Zoo. Zoo officials say Penari has been in quarantine and is adjusting to his new environment. The animal's public-viewing hours will increase as he becomes more comfortable with his surroundings.

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