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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The first witness to testify in the trial of four members of a New Mexico prison gang was an FBI agent who used confidential informants to build a racketeering investigation against them. FBI Special Agent Bryan Acee testified in a federal courtroom in Las Cruces Wednesday, describing how an inmate informer was provided a cellphone that the alleged ringleader of the Sindicato Nuevo Mexico prison gang used to call members outside the prison, the Albuquerque Journal reported .

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican lawmaker says his budget request to restore $41 million to public school reserve accounts was pushed aside after members of lead budget writing committee met out of public view. Rep. James Townsend of Artesia says House rules may have been broken when a quorum of 10 members of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee met in a legislative agency conference room to discuss provisions of a proposed $6.3 billion budget. He announced the concerns Thursday on the House floor and filed a verbal complaint with the lead staff attorney for the Legislature.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque zoo has another snow leopard. ABQ BioPark officials say they've started visually introducing Sarani, a 7-year-old female, to the zoo's male leopard, Azeo. The hope is that the zoo can breed the two snow leopards to help the species survive. Sarani arrived in New Mexico in December from the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Azeo is parent to 11 offspring from his former mate, Kachina, who died last year.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is scheduled to honor the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike that drew the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., to the cause. Keller is slated Thursday to join elected officials and community leaders in the Edith Yards in Albuquerque for a moment of silence to honor the significance and legacy of the strike. Two Memphis sanitation workers lost their lives during the turmoil and King was later assassinated in Memphis.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democrat-led push to expand health care coverage by allowing almost anyone to buy into Medicaid is gaining ground in New Mexico. The state Legislature is considering initial studies and steps toward opening up access to Medicaid services through a fee to individuals and possibly businesses, amid GOP efforts in Washington to dismantle Obamacare. The concept has the backing of a coalition of local public health advocacy groups. Legislative efforts are being led by Rep. Deborah Armstrong and Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino.

CLAYTON, N.M. (AP) — Record high temperatures for winter are making their way to New Mexico. The National Weather Service said Clayton, New Mexico, reached 78 degrees (25.5 Celsius) on Tuesday. That's a record high for the northeastern New Mexico community in winter. Much of New Mexico has seen temperatures above normal in recent days. Temperatures in Arizona also are heating up to near-record marks. National Weather Service meteorologists say Phoenix's high Monday was 83 degrees, tying the record for the date set in 1935.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico woman is facing charges after authorities say she gave her 13-year-old daughter marijuana candy. The Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Sylvia Rubio was arrested following an investigation that began in November. According to a criminal complaint, Rubio's daughter took chocolates containing marijuana to school but was confronted by the school principal. Rubio told detectives a homeopathic doctor suggested she give her daughter edible medical marijuana to ease her anxiety.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two Democratic state lawmakers in New Mexico have proposed consumer protection legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net-neutrality rules, urging the state's Republican governor on Tuesday to allow a vote on the measure. Gov. Susana Martinez has discretion over whether non-budgetary bills can be heard during a 30-day legislative session and has not responded.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state report shows the number of criminal cases filed in New Mexico courts increased by more than 7 percent during the last fiscal year with homicide and domestic violence cases increasing significantly. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports more than 16,800 new criminal cases were filed in district courts from July 2016 to June 2017. More than 15,600 cases were filed during the previous year. The annual report by the state Administrative Offices of the Courts shows homicide case filings increased by about 32 percent from 125 cases to 165.

Authorities say a 13-year-old boy whose body was found buried in a remote area of northern New Mexico had endured years of abuse that included being locked for hours at a time inside a dog kennel. Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia choked back tears Tuesday as he provided more details about a case that state and local authorities described as gruesome and heartbreaking.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A revised spending bill for New Mexico state government includes a 10 percent pay raise for utility regulators and statewide elected officials including the state's next governor. The budget bill is headed to the state House of Representatives for a vote after approval Tuesday by a panel of lawmakers. Senate revisions are pending. The plan would provide a 10 percent pay increase starting Jan. 1, 2019, to the governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor and secretary of state, as well as members of the Public Regulation Commission.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico election regulators say the Libertarian Party has qualified as a major political party. Major-party status makes it easier for Libertarians candidates to get their name on the ballot. Secretary of State's Office spokesman Joey Keefe said Monday that Libertarian candidates need just 230 petition signatures to run statewide. A Democrat will need 2,507 based on prior election turnout. Attorney A.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal entity that markets and transmits electricity across the West is expressing interest in a proposed transmission line that would link Arizona and New Mexico and serve as a path to get renewable energy to large markets in the region. Developers of the SunZia transmission project say they and the Western Area Power Administration have reached an agreement that includes terms and options for the agency's potential participation in the project. SunZia declined to provide details, saying the agreement was confidential.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say three people have been arrested in the death of a teenager in New Mexico including the boy's mother. Santa Fe County Sheriff's officials say investigators received confidential information last Thursday regarding a possible homicide. They built a case over the weekend and announced on Monday the arrests of 42-year-old Wayne Ferguson, 35-year-old Tracy Ann Pena and 19-year-old Jordan Anthony Nunez in connection with the death of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia. Authorities say Valencia is Pena's son. Sheriff's officials say Nunez lives in Hereford, Texas.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A legal challenge filed Monday in state district court accuses New Mexico of unlawfully denying driver's authorization cards to some residents under a system adopted in 2016 to meet federal REAL ID Act requirements. Civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups claim the state has failed to fully and correctly implement the driver's license law and that requiring unnecessary documentation for a driver's authorization card is causing confusion and hardship for some.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Lonnie Allsup, who started a chain of Allsup's Convenience Stores that expanded throughout New Mexico and Texas, has died. The Muffley Funeral Home in Clovis, New Mexico, confirmed Allsup died Sunday. He was 82. A cause of death was not immediately known. Allsup and his wife, Barbara, grew up in the small town of Morton, Texas, before purchasing a "drive-in" grocery store in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1956. From there, they grew Allsup's into a chain of 300 stores in 160 towns and cities.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is being accused of illegally denying driver's authorization cards to some residents after the state adopted a new system in 2016 to meet federal REAL ID Act requirements. Civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Monday in state district court in Santa Fe. Under the state's two-tiered system, the Motor Vehicle Division issues two kinds of identification.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Two men face charges in connection with the 1997 death of a man whose body was found in a ditch, in a case that has revolved around trying to locate a man previously charged and believed to be in Mexico. Tony Gonzales of Roswell was charged Jan. 22 with one count of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Edward Raymond Sanchez, while Gonzalo David Bonilla of Haltom, Texas, was originally charged Nov. 16 with four felony counts, the Roswell Daily Record reported last week.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The odds of beating DWI charges in Bernalillo County are about 50-50. According to the Albuquerque Journal, 42 percent of all DWI cases resolved in Metropolitan Court last year were dismissed either by judges or prosecutors while 58 percent ended with a guilty verdict or plea. In 2016, the percentages favored defendants with 55 percent of drunken driving cases being dismissed compared to 45 percent ending in pleas or convictions. District Attorney Raul Torrez believes prosecutors are making progress.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who fled Budapest to Mexico during World War II is scheduled to speak in Albuquerque. Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico announced this week that Samuel Marein-Efron will speak at the center on February 9. Marein-Efron was born into a wealthy Budapest family but was forced to flee after anti-Semitic laws were passed in Hungary. His family later ended up in Mexico City in 1941. His father later helped refugees from Poland.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico public schools would have additional money to spend each year on security under a measure being considered by state lawmakers. Supporters initially sought as much as $60 million for the effort but decided Friday to reduce the request to $25 million as lawmakers work on crafting a state budget. The measure calls for funneling the extra funds to the Public Education Department for training school personnel to respond to armed threats or attacks, contracting or employing security personnel and installing security cameras and metal detectors.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A lockdown at a downtown Albuquerque hospital has been lifted as police continue to investigate a fatal shooting. Officials at Presbyterian Hospital say the facility was placed on lockdown as a precaution shortly before noon Sunday after a gunshot victim was brought into the emergency room. The man eventually died from his injuries. His name hasn't been released yet. Police say they're investigating the incident as a homicide. The lockdown was lifted shortly after 1 p.m.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials say a former member of the tribe's council has died at age 77. They announced Sunday that Annie B. Descheny died Thursday. A cause of death wasn't immediately released. Descheny served four terms as a member of the Navajo Nation Council beginning in 1987. Council Delegate Seth Damon remembers Descheny as a dedicated and passionate leader that always wanted the best for her community and people. Descheny is survived by her husband, two children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a 26-year-old man is in custody and being treated for minor injuries suffered when he was hit by a bean bag round fired by Santa Fe police during a confrontation Saturday following a reported domestic violence incident. The New Mexico State Police says 26-year-old Alex Maestas allegedly barricaded himself inside a home and fired numerous gunshots inside the home during an eight-hour barricade situation Saturday.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Environment Department will be setting a date soon for a public hearing related to the cleanup of chromium contamination at one of the nation's premier federal laboratories. Agency spokeswoman Allison Majure said Friday a notice informing the public will come at least 30 days before the hearing. In a recent ruling, the state Court of Appeal sided with a coalition of environmental groups, finding there was no evidence to support an earlier decision by regulators to deny requests for a hearing.

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