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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe Police Chief has announced the department will step up efforts to curb drunken driving. The Santa Fe Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2pmCN0h ) Thursday that the number of alcohol-related crashes in Santa Fe continues to climb, while the number of arrests for drunken driving continues to decrease. In response, officers will be keeping a closer eye on the number of arrests. Police say the department had 99 alcohol-related crashes in the city in 2016, which was more than double the number of crashes in 2013.

CONCHAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident that left a 76-year-old Australian man dead. Police say John Scully was on State Road 104 in a remote area in the northeast part of the state on Wednesday when he lost control and crashed. Scully was pronounced dead on scene. Police say he is from Toorak, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. Police have not released any additional details. An investigation is ongoing.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced Friday that she's creating a taskforce focused on increasing voter registration and turnout in tribal communities. Toulouse Oliver says the Native American Voting Taskforce will include members from the Navajo Nation, Jicarilla Apache Nation, Mescalero Apache tribe and Fort Sill Apache tribe, among others. It will be tasked with analyzing tribal community needs and ways that Native Americans can be better informed about elections. The goal is to increase voter education and turnout in Native communities.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Legislature sued Republican Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday over budget vetoes that would effectively eliminate the legislative branch of government by cutting off its funding amid an escalating clash over how to resolve the state's financial crisis. The move by the Democratic-controlled Legislature was an extraordinary step in a drawn-out feud over budget shortfalls that already have triggered cuts to public school athletic programs, layoffs at state museums and shortages of public defenders.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell to record lows in four U.S. states in March after months of steady job creation nationwide. Unemployment rates fell in 17 states in March and were mostly unchanged in 33, the Labor Department said Friday. Employers added a significant number of jobs in just three states last month and cut them in four. Employment was mostly unchanged in the other 43 states. Hiring nationwide was weak in March but strong in the previous two months. Arkansas, Colorado, Maine and Oregon reported the lowest unemployment rates since 1976.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Public Service Company of New Mexico has proposed to stop using all its coal-fired electricity within the next 14 years. The Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2plWogY ) Friday that the company plans to replace coal entirely with solar, wind, natural gas and nuclear power. The company has found through its 20-year resource plan that consumers will save money in the long run if it shuts down its coal generating station in San Juan by 2022 and relinquishes the utility's 13 percent share in the nearby Four Corners Generating Station by 2031.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildlife officials have confirmed that two endangered Mexican gray wolf pups died last month. The Arizona Department of Game and Fish detailed the cases in a monthly report released Thursday. The agency says a female pup with the Hoodoo Pack was found dead in Arizona in March. The cause remains under investigation. A male pup with Arizona's Bluestem Pack died after being captured for a medical evaluation. Officials say testing confirmed the animal had canine distemper.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Lt. Gov. John Sanchez has been selected as the chairman of the National Aerospace States Association. The nonprofit organization is made up of lieutenant governors and governor-appointed delegates with the goal of fostering economic development and promoting state perspectives when it comes to federal aerospace policy. Sanchez says New Mexico in recent years has taken steps to offer incentives to attract new jobs and investment from aerospace and aviation companies.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on proposed cuts by Albuquerque Public Schools (all times local): 5:10 p.m. State education officials are joining the chorus of people who are criticizing Albuquerque Public Schools for proposed cuts to middle school sports. Deputy Public Education Secretary Paul Aguilar issued a statement Thursday saying parents deserve to know that pay for the district's top administrators has increased dramatically in just five years and now tops $4 million.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say human remains have been found inside a Mesilla Park home. Sheriff's detectives were called to the scene Tuesday morning when a woman who was cleaning out the house reported finding what appeared to be human jaw bones inside a box. Detectives say the bones appear to be very old and suspect they were dug up from an unknown location. Sheriff's officials say the home belonged to someone who died in January and left the house to a neighbor, who had started clearing it out.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials on Thursday joined the chorus of people who are criticizing Albuquerque Public Schools for proposing to cut to middle school sports next year. Deputy Public Education Secretary Paul Aguilar issued a statement saying parents deserve to know that pay for the district's top administrators has increased dramatically in just five years and now tops $4 million. He also said there are now 35 administrators at the district who earn six figures, nearly double the number in 2011 despite a drop in enrollment.

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation President has called for the resignation of the current Navajo Housing Authority commissioners. The Gallup Independent reported (http://bit.ly/2o70OE6 ) Wednesday that President Russell Begaye signed a letter addressed to the commissioners complaining about "extravagant uses of discretionary funds." Begaye says commissioners are using their influence to build houses for their relatives. He says their meeting and trips have become excessive in nature.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is releasing its latest series of stamps, and this time, the tiny works of art are dedicated to the influence of Mexican, Central and South American and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine. The dedication ceremony for the Delicioso Forever Stamps is being held Thursday evening at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. The stamps feature bright illustrations of tamales, flan, empanadas, chile rellenos, ceviche and the traditional soup sancocho.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The man accused of gunning down a tribal police officer in a remote corner of the nation's largest American Indian reservation has pleaded not guilty to several charges including murder. Kirby Cleveland entered the pleas during his arraignment Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque. He'll remain in custody pending trial. The murder and weapons charges against Cleveland stem from the killing of Navajo Nation Officer Houston James Largo, who was shot March 11 on a dark road in western New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis is running as a Democrat for U.S. Congress in New Mexico's central district. Davis formally announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination on Thursday at a brief news conference. He is a former police officer who directs the liberal advocacy group ProgressNow New Mexico. Democrats are hoping to maintain control of the Albuquerque-based congressional seat currently held by Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

PECOS, N.M. (AP) — A Colorado man has been arrested for the 11th time on suspicion of driving drunk after authorities received numerous calls about an erratic driver near the northern New Mexico community of Pecos. State police identified the driver as 56-year-old Terry Huff of Greeley. He was booked into the San Miguel County jail on charges of DWI, child abuse and reckless driving. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney. Police say Huff's breath alcohol content was three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A proposal that called for changing the name of the Navajo Nation to Dine Nation has failed to win enough support from the tribal council. Legislation proposing the official name change went before the council Tuesday, with only nine delegates voting in favor. The measure was previously tabled in January in an effort to gather more perspective from elders and study the costs of making such a change.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The latest oil and gas lease sale has netted nearly $4 million for public schools and other beneficiaries. The State Land Office said this month's sale attracted two dozen bidders from six states. Up for auction were 35 tracts covering nearly 9,000 acres in Eddy, Chaves and Lea counties in southeastern New Mexico. With two months left in the fiscal year, revenues earned from monthly oil and gas lease sales have surpassed $61 million. Officials say earnings for the 2016 fiscal year totaled only $36 million.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Church is endorsing a proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in New Mexico's state capital city. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe threw its support Wednesday behind a soda tax of 2 cents per fluid ounce that would go toward expanding prekindergarten programs. Santa Fe voters will decide on the local tax May 2. In a news release the archdiocese says municipal governments are being left with little choice other than to fund their own early childhood education programs because of a lack of state funding.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Clovis officials say possible tampering has prompted them to remove and replace all drugs on the Fire Department's 11 ambulances used for emergency calls. The Eastern New Mexico News (https://goo.gl/v4KsJB ) reports that police began investigating after tampering with some narcotics was discovered Saturday night. City Manager Larry Fry says all of the department's 72 uniformed personnel are being drug tested and that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is assisting Clovis police with the investigation.

MESILLA, N.M. (AP) — Dona Ana County authorities say a man threw a knife at a Mesilla town marshal and then set himself on fire after the marshal stopped to help him as walked along a street carrying a gasoline can. The Sheriff's Department says 48-year-old Gaspar Ayala-Arellano doused himself with gas from the can and used a lighter to ignite the gas. He was jailed on suspicion of aggravated assault on a peace officer after being treated at a hospital for burns on his legs and torso.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An audit by independent investigators with the U.S. Justice Department has determined a New Mexico program that helps crime victims allowed federal grant funds to be used to reimburse the purchase of medical marijuana. The review by the agency's inspector general was released this week. It identified $7,630 in questioned costs. Officials noted that while medical marijuana is legal in New Mexico, the substance is still banned under federal law and not an expense that can be covered by grant funding.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe is looking to spread its city accounts to community banks and credit unions now that its contract with Wells Fargo is set to expire in December. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2pgn4zz ) Tuesday that the city wants to spread about $210 million in various accounts to community banks and credit unions. The city has put out a request for proposals for banking services. City officials say community reinvestment practices, local employment and financial education will all come into play.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Real estate agents say 2017 could be a record-setting year for New Mexico's housing market. The Realtors Association of New Mexico reports that 1,760 properties were sold in March, representing an increase of more than 6 percent over the same period last year. The figures also show that 19 counties across the state reported an increase in sales for the first quarter over the first three months of 2016. Association officials say inventory is still tight in many areas and homes that are priced right are going quickly and sometimes getting multiple offers.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican construction contractor Mick Rich of Albuquerque is the first challenger to seek the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Martin Heinrich. Rich said Tuesday he will seek the New Mexico GOP nomination for Senate in 2018 in his first bid for elected public office. Rich is emphasizing his support for commercial development of natural resources on federal lands as a way to boost the New Mexico economy. He is criticizing Heinrich's vote against the confirmation of Energy Secretary Rick Perry as a liability for New Mexico in efforts to ensure federal funding.

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