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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state of New Mexico says the latest unemployment rate in the Land of Enchantment is 6.3 percent. That's down from 6.8 percent a year ago. The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions says that 6.3 percent rate is for August and didn't change from July. The national unemployment rate is 4.4 percent. New Mexico's leisure and hospitality industry had the highest growth with an increase of 4,000 jobs, or a 4 percent growth. Professional and business services also added more jobs and has reported growth for over two years straight.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Suicides are down in New Mexico for the first time in several years. That's according to the New Mexico Department of Health, which reports a 6 percent drop in the number of suicides in 2016 when compared to 2015. The department says that's reversing a rising trend of suicides in the last three years. The department offers prevention efforts like training public school staff and community members as well as providing media guidelines on safely reporting on suicide.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A state university in New Mexico is sending a 40-member team of faculty, students and staff to Texas to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The team is led by Beth Massaro, a social work professor who says "there's been a tremendous response" from within the university. Massaro says the team will travel Sept. 27 to the coastal community of Rockport, Texas, to volunteer at donation centers, help with cleanup efforts and other provide other aid.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe will no longer allow wild and exotic animal acts due to an approved amendment to the city's animal welfare ordinance. The City Council and mayor approved the amendment on Wednesday in an 8-1 vote after an hour of public testimony that was largely in support. The amendment prohibits shows of wild or exotic animals performing tricks, giving rides or participating in the amusement of a live audience. Animal exhibitions for educational purposes are excluded from the ban as well as common domesticated animals such as cats, dogs, cattle and horses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two fatal wrecks are snarling Albuquerque's Thursday morning commute. The Police Department says fatal accident involving a motorcycle closed eastbound Interstate 40 at Sixth and a fatal accident at Coors and Iliff involving a pedestrian closed northbound Coors at Iliff.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's entrepreneurship and innovation hub is getting a major financial boost. The school announced Wednesday during the opening ceremonies of the Domenici Public Policy Conference that the Arrowhead Center is the recipient of a $1 million gift from Paul and Alejandra de la Vega Foster. The money will be used to drive collaboration between the center and partners throughout the region, which includes southern New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's U.S. senators are pushing for language to be included in a major defense spending bill that they say would bolster safety at national laboratories in the state. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have proposed that the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress each year on what additional resources are needed to ensure that operations at Sandia and Los Alamos labs are safe.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state government is seeking to hire dozens of human resources professionals, in an ongoing effort to centralize and streamline personnel operations. The State Personnel Office has announced it will interview candidates Friday for human resources positions based in Santa Fe and Albuquerque linked to nine state agencies, at a "rapid hire" event at agency offices in Santa Fe. New Mexico employs about 18-thousand people at agencies overseen by the governor, not including political appointees.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's U.S. senators are pushing for language to be included in a major defense spending bill that they say would bolster safety at national laboratories in the state. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have proposed that the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report to Congress each year on what additional resources are needed to ensure that operations at Sandia and Los Alamos labs are safe.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's entrepreneurship and innovation hub is getting a major financial boost. The school announced Wednesday during the opening ceremonies of the Domenici Public Policy Conference that the Arrowhead Center is the recipient of a $1 million gift from Paul and Alejandra de la Vega Foster. The money will be used to drive collaboration between the center and partners throughout the region, which includes southern New Mexico, Texas and Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Transportation says it will put up warning signs along a dust-prone stretch of I-10 near the Arizona-New Mexico border where many people have died. KOAT-TV reports the state is spending $5 million on the warning system. The signs will tell drivers what precautions to take during a dust storm. They will be placed at every 2 miles (3 kilometers), beginning at Lordsburg. The department will also add more dust sensors and large, electrical signs that will warn drivers when a storm is approaching.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A review of an Albuquerque charter school already on the radar for financial mismanagement has turned up new allegations that a former business manager likely embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years. The State Auditor's Office outlined the allegations in a report released Tuesday without naming the ex-employee. The report states the employee is the daughter of the school's former executive director, who resigned after auditors determined she had doctored a receipt to receive improper reimbursement.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A U.S. judge is citing tribal sovereignty in dismissing a legal challenge filed by environmental groups over the federal government's decision to allow continued operations at a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The groups were targeting the 2015 approval of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant, which provides electricity to customers throughout the American Southwest. They argued the U.S.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A U.S. district judge cited tribal sovereignty in dismissing a lawsuit aimed at shutting down a coal-fired power plant and adjacent mine near the Arizona-New Mexico border. The lawsuit by environmental groups was targeting the 2015 approval by the U.S. government of a lease extension for the Navajo Mine and the Four Corners Power Plant, which has for decades provided electricity to customers throughout the Southwest.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico School of Medicine has received an $11 million federal grant to establish a new biomedical center. The National Institutes of Health funding will be provided over five years for research into biological processes that remove or recycle damaged cell parts. The university's announcement Tuesday of the grant funding says the research could help with treating diseases.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — More homes could be springing up in one of New Mexico's fastest-growing cities as the State Land Office has put up for bid a few dozen acres of state trust land in Rio Rancho. Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says the 50-acre (20-hectare) parcel is within a master-planned community east of Rio Rancho's city center. Bidding starts at $2.5 million, and prospective buyers will have to pay in cash once the sale closes in November. Dunn says the sale will generate revenue for public schools and other trust land beneficiaries.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Federal water managers are in New Mexico this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of a research center dedicated to pursuing technology that can turn brackish groundwater into usable water. Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation will be in Alamogordo on Tuesday and Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the national desalination research facility. Experts from NASA, the U.S. Agriculture Department and the University of New Mexico also will be on hand.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some state lawmakers in New Mexico say a plan for recovering endangered Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest is flawed and politically driven. The 21 Democrats outlined their concerns in a letter sent recently to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is seeking public comments as it works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have a recovery plan completed by the end of November. The plan is a long time coming as the original guidance for restoring the species was adopted in 1982.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors asked a state court Monday to reject an unusual effort to call New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas as a witness at a high-profile corruption trial being prosecuted by his office. Balderas has been listed as a potential witness as an October trial date approaches for Sen. Phil Griego on allegations that he used his position as a state senator to profit from the 2014 sale of a state-owned building in downtown Santa Fe without proper disclosure.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A criminal defense attorney said Monday that protesters were acting within their rights when arrested in Santa Fe at a rally against a re-enactment of the return of Spanish conquerors to New Mexico, challenging local law enforcement's handling of the event. Eight people arrested by Santa Fe police last week pleaded not guilty Monday in municipal court to charges of criminal trespassing that could carry penalties of 90 day in jail or a $500 fine or both.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque woman has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for methamphetamine trafficking. Prosecutors say 53-year-old Sandra Cook was sentenced after being convicted by a jury following a three-day trial in May. Cook was arrested in February 2016 on an indictment charging her with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say thieves have stolen an SUV and an attached U-Haul trailer — with a casket inside — outside an Albuquerque motel. Albuquerque police say the heist occurred early Monday at a Residence Inn and the casket was later found not too far from the site it was taken. Authorities say the casket contained the body of the victim's father-in-law. The U-Haul was located after police searched for a black 2005 Chevy Trailblazer SUV with Oklahoma license plates.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on protests in New Mexico over a public tribute to Spanish conquistadors (all times local): 12:50 p.m. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico is exploring whether civil rights violations occurred in the arrests of protesters at a re-enactment of the return of Spanish conquerors to New Mexico after a 17th century Indian revolt. ACLU Staff Attorney Kristin Love said Monday the watchdog group on civil liberties has begun collecting information about the arrests of eight protesters in downtown Santa Fe as part of a preliminary investigation.

Christianna Silva

Sep 11, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on an amber alert issued for three young boys who are missing (all times local): 11:10 p.m. Authorities say a woman and her three young sons who were reported missing in New Mexico have been found safe in Southern California. Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Felicia Maggard said late Sunday detectives are investigating the disappearance of Laria Anderson and the boys, which led to an Amber Alert. Maggard said in an email that Anderson and the boys aged 6, 8 and 9 were located in the city of Lancaster in Los Angeles County.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities say they believe the mother of three boys who are missing could be driving them through Arizona to Southern California, where she has family. The woman, 28-year-old Laria Anderson, isn't facing criminal charges at the time and has full custody of the boys. But the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says detectives are concerned for their safety after Anderson made threatening comments to the boys' father early Sunday morning.

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