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Associated Press

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — The 2015-16 NMPA APME Better Newspaper Contest awards were handed out during the 108th annual New Mexico Press Association convention at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa on Saturday. The contest is sponsored jointly by the New Mexico Press Association and the New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors. Judging was completed by the Utah Press Association. The New Mexico Associated Press Member of the Year, which is given for outstanding cooperation, went to the Hobbs News-Sun.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An attorney representing an Albuquerque woman accused of playing a role in the horrific rape and killing of her 10-year-old daughter wants her trial to be separate from the other two suspects and held elsewhere. Attorney Gary Mitchell told KOAT-TV (http://bit.ly/2cv2zct) Friday that he plans to ask for a change of venue for Michelle Martens. He also wants each defendant tried separately. Mitchell told Martens to ask for a different judge, citing Judge Brett Lovelace's background working in the district attorney's office.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Police are investigating a bomb threat that led to the shutdown of the Plaza in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2cZEB6I) that someone telephoned in to report a possible bomb Friday just before 5 p.m. Police spokesman Greg Gurule says officials closed the area within minutes, forcing tourists and vendors at the Palace of Governors to leave. City Hall also sent out text message and email alerts to warn people to shelter in place. Officers took about 45 minutes later to determine there were no suspicious devices. The area reopened to traffic.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A Farmington animal shelter is putting a temporary halt on all cat adoptions after several cats became ill. The Daily Times in Farmington reports (http://bit.ly/2d82BVq) that officials at the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter say multiple cats have been diagnosed with panleukopenia, a parvo virus also known as feline distemper. The cats were all diagnosed earlier this month. As a result, the shelter is refraining from adoptions for at least 14 days and the rooms with cats will be closed to the public.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A dog found in Albuquerque has been reunited with his owners after going missing two years ago and 800 miles away. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2d7n5f0) that Huxley, a paillon and collie mix, was flown Friday from Albuquerque to Reno, Nevada where his owners now live. Someone dropped the dog off last Sunday at a local shelter after he was found wandering. Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department director Paul Caster says Huxley had a microchip which led to a phone number for his original owners.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Taos police are searching for a man accused of slapping his newborn daughter and punching the mother because the woman was breast-feeding in front of a male doctor. Authorities say 22-year-old Rafael Orozco remains at large after the incident, which led to the hospital going into emergency mode the next day. According to a police report obtained by the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/2cZiXkI), Orozco became outraged Wednesday night because the victim was "exposing herself" to a doctor who had come to check on them.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation is seeking further investigation into the potential environmental fallout of hydraulic fracturing as it looks to update its energy policies. The Farmington Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/2daZH5w ) that tribal legislators are pushing for a better understanding of energy industry practices as well as any necessary revisions of rules surrounding oil and gas production. The issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has taken a greater precedence in recent months.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — When two orphaned bear cubs arrived in the care of a New Mexico veterinarian in mid-June, they were dehydrated and weighed little more than human infants, at 8 and 12 pounds. The small bears had been plucked from treetops in the Valles Caldera National Preserve, where they had been wandering alone for several days after their mother was killed by state wildlife officers because she had mauled a marathon runner and, under a state regulation, had to be tested for rabies. The motherless cubs likely would have died in the wild. Instead, Dr.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Donald Trump presidential campaign has added a Republican activist from New Mexico to a council of advisers on issues affecting Hispanic communities. The Republican Party of New Mexico announced Friday that Phil Archuletta of Mountainair has been appointed to Trump's National Hispanic Advisory Council. Archuletta has attended every Republican National Convention since 1984 and says he supports Trump's proposal to build a border wall to deter illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A search is underway for a 49-year-old New Mexico man who is overdue from a climb in the Maroon Bells area near Aspen. The Aspen Times reports (https://goo.gl/BU3tzO ) David Cook, of Albuquerque, was planning to climb Pyramid Peak on Monday and Maroon and North Maroon peaks Tuesday. Pitkin County sheriff's officials say someone alerted them Tuesday night that Cook was overdue. Investigators found a receipt in Cook's car indicating that he arrived at the Maroon Bells entrance station at 11 a.m. Monday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal authorities say a pharmacy technician in Carlsbad has been arrested and accused of stealing prescription painkillers. They say 30-year-old Amber Otero was taken into custody Friday morning on a criminal complaint charging her with theft of medical products. Federal drug agents began an investigation after the Carlsbad pharmacy reported that more than 20,000 oxycodone tablets of various strengths had been stolen. Prosecutors say Otero was identified as the suspected thief. Her initial appearance in federal court is scheduled for Tuesday in Roswell.

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man has been convicted in the shooting death of a suburban Albuquerque police officer during a traffic stop. Jurors handed down a guilty verdict Friday against Andrew Romero after a short deliberation. The 29-year-old was charged with first-degree murder in the May 2015 death of Rio Rancho Officer Gregg Benner. The case was moved from Sandoval County to 40 miles south in Valencia County because of extensive media coverage of the case. In their closing, prosecutors said Romero was not too high on drugs to know what he was doing.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico President Robert Frank has announced that he won't seek to renew his contract after it ends next year. Frank said Friday that he decided it was best to let the Board of Regents know of his intentions. He was hired by UNM in January 2012 and his contract ends on May 31, 2017. The regents now have eight months to choose the school's 22nd president. On Thursday, Frank announced the university will put a freeze on hiring, and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Drag races will continue in Roswell as the city has agreed to lease an airstrip to a local hot rod group for less than what it would charge other groups. The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2d6dW8J ) that the Legal Committee unanimously agreed Monday to lease the runway at the Roswell International Air Center to Alien City Dragway for $500 a month, with a $500 deposit. Interim Air Center Director Scott Stark told the Legal Committee that the 35-acre runway would net much more money renting as airplane storage.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former state Senate candidate has been accused of illegally applying for absentee ballots in the names of three dead people in 2014. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2ctrq0s ) that Carlos Villanueva, a Democrat, says he didn't break the law and that he intends to plead not guilty. A grand jury on Thursday charged Villanueva with three counts of unlawful absentee ballot application and three counts of unlawful absentee ballot possession. He also faces charges of perjury and conspiracy to committee forgery.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With declining enrollment and a smaller allotment from the cash-strapped state, the University of New Mexico is bracing to have $22.5 million less to spend in fiscal year 2017. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2d5YdGN ) that at a meeting Thursday UNM President Robert Frank said the expected losses mean everything from programs to staff and administrative positions could face cuts. Frank announced that the university will put a freeze on hiring and all college officials will perform departmental audits of temporary and part-time staff positions.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Facebook has held a workshop for New Mexico Hispanic small businesses as part of a nationwide push to attract Latino-owned companies to use its tools. Facebook and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted the forum Friday in Albuquerque days after the social media giant announced it was building a new data center in the nation's most Latino state. A Facebook small business expert gave a presentation on the latest apps. The Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is holding similar seminars across the country for Hispanic Heritage Month.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Facebook is holding a workshop for New Mexico Hispanic small businesses days after announcing it is building a new data center in the state. The social media giant and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Albuquerque seminar Friday to show businesses how to have a better presence on Facebook. A Facebook small business expert will give a presentation on the latest practices and strategies for success. The Menlo Park, California-based Facebook announced earlier this month it had selected New Mexico for a new data center over Utah.

SUNSPOT, N.M. (AP) — More than $1 million from the National Science Foundation will help support efforts to transition the operation of New Mexico's solar telescope to a consortium led by New Mexico State University. Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation announced the funding Thursday. The Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope specializes in high resolution imaging and spectroscopy used by astronomers for a better understanding of the sun and how space weather affects the planet. The National Solar Observatory currently operates the telescope.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The latest feature film to use Albuquerque as a backdrop will star a few actors of "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" fame. Steven Michael Quesada, Vincent McDaniel and Jermaine Washington are among the actors in "Furthest Witness," which is shooting through the beginning of October in Albuquerque. The production will employ nearly four dozen New Mexico crew members, 30 principal actors from the state and 30 background talent.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A defense attorney for former state Sen. Phil Griego says state prosecutors are placing an undue amount of scrutiny on the longtime politician in response a new search warrant of bank records. Court documents filed this week show the New Mexico attorney general's office is probing deeper into Griego's prior campaign finances with the consent of a district court judge. An investigator with the New Mexico attorney general's office has obtained a search warrant to access bank records for a political action committee that Griego allegedly helped create.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Doctors at a New Mexico jail are extending prescriptions for inmates dealing with mental illness before releasing them. KOAT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2cre6tw ) that about 2,000 people are booked into the Bernalillo County Jail each month and many of them have a mental illness. Jail doctors treat the inmates and often provide prescriptions. They typically give the inmate a prescription for a three-day supply of any necessary medicine when they are released from jail.

UPHAM, N.M. (AP) — An engineer who has held senior management and planning posts at White Sands Missile Range is Spaceport America's new CEO. The board of the authority that oversees the commercial spaceport in southern New Mexico announced Thursday the selection of Daniel Hicks to replace Christine Anderson. Hicks' 34 years as an Army civilian employee at White Sands has included working on strategic planning and numerous programs involving missiles, sensors and space. Hicks is expected to assume his new positon in November.

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials say one person was killed and another injured after being hit by an Amtrak train. The Gallup Independent (http://bit.ly/2d3YiuF ) that the Sept. 15 collision killed 24-year-old Chelsea Chavez of Borrego Pass and sent 19-year-old Derrick Silentman of Gallup to the Gallup Indian Medical Center. McKinley County Sheriff's Office head investigator Merle Bates says Chavez and Silentman were highly intoxicated and walking on the railroad tracks north of Fire Rock Casino when they were hit by the train.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Medical investigators are unable to shed more light on the final moments of a Colorado man who went missing during his search for a $2 million hidden treasure in the wilds of New Mexico. The skeletal remains of Randy Bilyeu were discovered this summer by a crew with the Army Corps of Engineers that had been working along the Rio Grande just north of Cochiti Lake. Autopsy results obtained by the Associated Press show there wasn't enough evidence left for the Office of the Medical Investigator to determine what caused Bilyeu's death.

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