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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The former top-ranked lawmaker in the New Mexico House of Representatives says he was confronted in his state Capitol office in 2014 by a senator for interfering with the sale of a state-owned building. Court testimony on Wednesday by former House Speaker Ken Martinez provided a glimpse of backroom dealings in the Legislature as then-Sen. Phil Griego helped usher the sale of a state-owned building through approvals. Griego is accused of using his position as a lawmaker to profit from the sale of the building in downtown Santa Fe.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has proclaimed Nov. 9th as a day to honor two Houston Astros from New Mexico who helped the Astros win its first World Series. Martinez said Wednesday that Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and pitcher Ken Giles made significant contributions to the Houston Astros' 2017 World Series Championship-winning season and deserved to be recognized. Bregman attended Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He later played baseball at LSU before the Astros drafted him in 2015.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico group that erected a monument on city-owned property honoring the Ten Commandments will move it to church property. The city of Bloomfield and the organization must move the monument after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving whether it could be displayed on public property, the Daily Times of Farmington reported . The monument was placed on the lawn of City Hall in 2011 and was challenged a year later by the American Civil Liberties Union. Lower courts concluded it violated the U.S.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of Sandia National Laboratories says the research facility has recently made changes aimed at bolstering recruitment and diversifying the workforce. Lab director Stephen Younger told members of a state legislative committee on Wednesday that Sandia has dropped its grade point average requirement for non-intern positions. Younger says the change adopted in August is part of an effort to look at the whole person, rather than just transcripts or what kind of degree a person might have.

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force is teaming up with El Paso Electric to build a new solar farm that will serve Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico. Officials announced the start of construction Wednesday, saying the 5-megawatt plant will be the utility's first renewable energy project built to serve a military installation. The new facility will be made up of almost 56,000 thin-film modules and will generate enough electricity to power more than 1,700 homes annually. M+W Energy, Inc. will build the plant.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — State Rep. Dennis Roch says he will step down from the New Mexico Legislature after 10 years. The Eastern New Mexico News reports the Logan Republican announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election when his term expires on Dec. 31. He said his chief reason for leaving state politics is the imminent birth of his fourth child. Roch says he's also facing difficulty in balancing his political career with his duties as superintendent of Logan Municipal Schools.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Members of state's congressional delegation say more than $32 million in rural development loans will help increase access to affordable electricity in parts of eastern and northern New Mexico. The loans are being offered through the U.S. Agriculture Department. The Jemez Mountains Electric Coop will receive $18.3 million to build 58 new miles of power line and improve another 28 miles of line. The coop will also make other improvements and invest in smart grid projects. The Roosevelt County Electric Cooperative Inc.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces has hired Patrick Gallagher as its new police chief. City Manager Stuart Ed announced the hiring Tuesday. Gallagher has been the police chief in Santa Fe. He will succeed Las Cruces police chief Jaime Montoya, who is retiring at the end of this year. Gallagher has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience. He previously was police chief in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico and also worked with the New York City Police Department as deputy inspector and captain/internal affairs bureau division commander.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge is limiting testimony about a 2014 meeting between New Mexico's attorney general and a former state senator being prosecuted on corruption charges to the defendant's own words if he chooses to testify. District Court Judge Brett Loveless on Tuesday ruled against allowing testimony from an attorney who previously represented ex-Sen. Phil Griego about his knowledge of the conversation in June 2014 between Griego and Hector Balderas.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque City Council is prohibiting panhandlers from soliciting motorists at medians and sidewalks and making it illegal for motorists to physically interact with them. An ordinance approved Monday night also bars so-called boot brigades that firefighters sometimes engage in to raise money from motorists, a Brownie trying to sell cookies to motorists or any other activity when drivers are being asked to interact with a pedestrian. It won't apply in instances where motorists can pull over into street side parking.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico man is suing Walgreens over claims a pharmacist erroneously filled a prescription for him, and that anti-anxiety drug led to a suicide attempt. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports an attorney for Anthony Gonzales filed a lawsuit last week in New Mexico state district court stemming from an alleged mix up from 2014. According to the lawsuit, Gonzales was attempting to fill prescriptions for a muscle relaxant filled at a Walgreens in Espanola, New Mexico. Court papers say the drugs were prescribed to treat injuries from an auto accident.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Navajo Nation education agency wants to remove a school board member after claims she failed to list two alcohol-related convictions on her candidacy paperwork. The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico, reports the Department of Diné Education has filed a complaint with the Navajo Election Administration to remove Sanostee Day School board member Temara Lewis-Emerson. Court records show Lewis-Emerson was convicted in Farmington Magistrate Court in April 2013 of a misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A prominent Democratic candidate for New Mexico governor is outlining her economic agenda for the state. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday announced a plan designed to foster sustained job creation, attract millennial-generation workers and stop the "brain drain" of talented professionals exiting the state. As she runs for governor, Lujan Grisham says she wants assemble industry leaders and entrepreneurs to address the state's economic difficulties, and for state universities to help more.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether 10 bills vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez deserved to be invalidated because the governor allegedly failed to explain her decisions. Supreme Court justices on Monday unanimously agreed to wade into the dispute between the governor's office and lawmakers who say Martinez never offered a reason for her vetoes and missed veto deadlines.

SANTA FE, N.M (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says she has called Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to express her sympathies for the victims of the church shooting near San Antonio that killed 26 people and wounded about 20 others. Martinez says in a statement that only a coward would attack people while at a place of worship. Authorities didn't identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday. But two other officials identified him as Devin Kelley. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — A central New Mexico school district is considering moving to a four-day week schedule. KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reports Socorro Consolidated Schools officials are examining if such a change would attract qualified teachers. School board member J.C. Trujillo says the five-member board wants the hard facts on a shorter week and more opinions. The district recently posted a survey on its website asking whether community members agreed or disagreed with a four-day week. Trujillo says there is a lot that still needs to be discussed.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A tiny bug is posing a threat to one of New Mexico's biggest cash crops. An investigation by the Carlsbad Current-Argus and Roswell Daily Record found that an invasive bug known as the pecan weevil could derail New Mexico's $180 million pecan industry. In late 2016, and January 2017, the weevil was found in residential pecan orchards in multiple counties in southeast New Mexico. It was confirmed in Eddy, Lea, Chaves and Curry counties.

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police are investigating a police shooting in the popular tourist village of Ruidoso. The Ruidoso Police Department announced Sunday that at least one officer opened fire after a vehicle rammed into a patrol car. Authorities say officers were investigating a call for suspicious activity. It was not clear if any suspects were shot in the encounter. No further information was available.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Jobs in the energy industry are slowly coming back to northwest New Mexico, marking a shift after several setbacks in commodity pricing and market demand for U.S. oil and gas. The Farmington Daily Times reports that producers and oil service companies in the Farmington area are beginning to hire again, falling in line with the local unemployment rate that has shown improvement this year after steadily increasing since 2014. Halliburton's Farmington office posted for more than 30 job openings last month for service operators, supervisors, mechanics and technicians.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police chief Gorden Eden has announced he plans to retire at the end of this month. KOB-TV reports that the announcement was made by a letter from Eden to police department employees Saturday morning. Eden states in the letter that he made the decision in March. The chief's retirement was expected as a new administration will be in place after this month's mayoral election. However, the charge in police leadership will come at one of the worst periods for crime in years for New Mexico's largest city.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico credits its reliance on paper ballots in part for making the state less vulnerable to hackers and vote thieves. The state was not among the 21 states where Russian hackers were accused of targeting voting systems last year, New Mexico election officials said. As concerns circulate about cybersecurity and the election process, more states are considering turning back to paper ballots, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Tuesday.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State lawmakers and members of the public say safety of Los Alamos County groundwater is in doubt because of pollution from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. U.S. Department of Energy officials have acknowledged for years that there is a significant concentration of the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium pooled in the aquifer under Los Alamos. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the chemical came from decades of negligent lab waste disposal.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An Alamogordo grandmother who was facing deportation has sought refuge in a Las Cruces church. The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Saturday that Martha Lorena Rivera sought refuge at the Franciscan-run Holy Cross Retreat Center. She was set to be deported on Oct. 16 and sought refuge a day earlier. A news release from NM Comunidades en Accion y de Fé (CAFé) says she plans to speak at a prayer vigil on Monday. Rivera has lived in Alamogordo since 2002 and has been working with an attorney to be granted a stay of deportation since 2011.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State regulators say methane emissions from oil and natural gas production in New Mexico have dropped by more than 50 percent over the past year thanks to advances in technology and changes in the way wells are drilled. Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Ken McQueen told a panel of state lawmakers Friday that most companies that are actively drilling are reporting the volumes of methane intentionally released through venting and flaring as part of their operations.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Multiple fires have weakened many trees at Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico, prompting officials to warn hikers about the dangers of suddenly falling trees. The Las Conchas Fire in 2011 and several others since 1977 have resulted in dangers from falling trees, even healthy ones. Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott says hikers should choose days that are not windy and be aware of their surroundings. The monument says a hiker who stopped at Frijoles Creek in October barely averted being struck by a falling tree.

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