Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a suspicious device that was left on a road outside a courthouse and prompted authorities to close some streets was a water bottle. It was left on a smoking manhole cover, prompting a scare that Officer Tanner Tixier says ended up being a false alarm. Police said Wednesday morning that they were questioning a "suspect" as they investigated a potentially explosive device. Tixier said the person who was being questioned had fled the area on foot.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — The new head of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute says she's going to strive to reduce staff turnover. The Las Vegas Optic reports ( ) that 64-year-old Frances Tweed, herself only two weeks into the job as the 352-bed facility's executive director of administration, says the institute's 712 employees need to be stable for the facility to thrive. Tweed replaces Dr. Troy Jones, who in April after seven years at the helm accepted an administrator's position with a state hospital in South Dakota.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a cold-case investigation has resulted in the arrest of a 38-year-old man confessed to a brutal 1996 killing after being confronted with DNA evidence that linked him to the crime scene. A police affidavit says Jedidiah Rose initially denied involvement in the killing of Richard Brodbeck at Brodbeck's residence, but then admitted beating the victim in the head with a vase and another blunt object. Police interviewed and then arrested Rose at his place of employment Tuesday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state Democratic Party's executive director has accused a republican state representative of failing to report her income as is required by financial disclosure law. KRQE-TV reports ( ) that Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque, says the complaint filed with the secretary of state last week is politically motivated. The complaint says Barnes failed to disclose a $91,000 annual deal her husband has to rent space to the state Human Services Department.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say an anti-wrinkle vibrator forced a Southwest Flight to evacuate in Albuquerque. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports ( ) Albuquerque Aviation Police say passengers were ordered off the plane on Monday after a "Bar 24K Golden Anti -Aging Skin Roller" was discovered in the seat back of a passenger's seat. Authorities say the flight crew moved the items to the galley and Albuquerque Aviation Police conducted a full sweep of the plane. No other suspicious items were found. No arrests were made.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are on track to make a final decision on a request by the state's largest electric provider to raise rates for its 500,000 customers. The Public Regulation Commission met Wednesday in Santa Fe and made plans to consider Public Service Co. of New Mexico's proposed rate hike at a meeting in late September. Concerns raised by environmentalists over the value of the utility's stake in an Arizona nuclear plant spurred a recommendation earlier this month that the multimillion-dollar request be slashed by two-thirds.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A bipartisan contingent of the state's congressional delegation is urging the federal government to relocate F-16 squadrons to Holloman Air Force Base and expand training efforts at the southern New Mexico post. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Rep. Steve Pearce are asking U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff General David Goldfein for a meeting to discuss Holloman. The Air Force plans to move F-16s from Hill Air Force Base in Utah to make room for new F-35s.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators could make a final decision Wednesday on a request by the state's largest electric provider to raise rates for its 500,000 customers. Concerns raised by environmentalists over the value of the utility's stake in an Arizona nuclear plant spurred a recommendation earlier this month that the multimillion-dollar request be slashed by two-thirds. The Public Regulation Commission last week suggested reopening hearings so Public Service Co. of New Mexico could provide more information about the Palo Verde nuclear power plant.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Middle and high schools in Los Alamos will soon have gun safes full of shotguns and semi-automatic weapons on campus. The Los Alamos School Board on Thursday approved Police Chief Dino Sgambellone's request to have police-owned gun safes installed inside the schools. Sgambellone says the safes will help officers respond more quickly in the case of an active shooter. He says often valuable time is lost when officers have to run back out to their car to retrieve the weapons they need to handle a shooter situation.

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — The heart of oil and gas country in southeastern New Mexico is seeing unemployment jump and RV parks occupancy rates fall due to the oil downturn. The Hobbs News-Sun reports ( that Lea County's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent compared to 6.9 percent last year. According to RV parks around Hobbs, occupancy rates are way down from 100 percent capacities with long waiting lists to about 50-80 percent occupancy. Hobbs Superintendent TJ Parks says the district is down 150 students as of Tuesday from the same day last year.

BELEN, N.M. (AP) — Police say two trucks belonging to a woman were stolen from a New Mexico rail station within three months of each other. Mary Phillips told KOB-TV in Albuquerque ( this week it's frustrating that her second truck recently was stolen from a Rail Runner station in Belen after the first one was taken in June. Police say surveillance cameras at the station were unable to capture the first culprit. Authorities say the video just shows one of the trucks driving away.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico city is giving residents another incentive to conserve water with a new low flow toilet rebate policy. The Alamogordo Daily News reports ( that Alamogordo City Commissioners recently voted to make the policy official after city officials had been offering the rebate for years. The move comes as New Mexico continues to see abnormally dry conditions throughout the state. Officials say a high flow toilet is a toilet which uses three gallons or more of water per flush.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Law enforcement and local school district officials in Albuquerque are telling city leaders that drug abuse and poverty are at the root of much of the violence that children in New Mexico's largest city may face at home. The comments on Tuesday evening before a panel of city counselors and county commissioners came during a special meeting organized in response to the horrific killing last week of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl who authorities say was found dead in the apartment she shared with her mother.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say an Albuquerque man has been arrested on a federal criminal complaint for his alleged involvement in four bank robberies and one attempted bank robbery. FBI officials say all of the robberies occurred in Albuquerque within the past two weeks. Police say 36-year-old Christopher James Baum was taken into custody Tuesday and is facing federal charges. Baum is expected to have an initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque. The FBI says Bank of the West branches were robbed on Aug.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say a man has been arrested in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident. They say 21-year-old Joseph Perea was taken into custody Tuesday. Police say Perea was kicked out of a party late Monday. He's accused of intentionally running over 23-year-old Davon Martinez. Police say Martinez's body was found around 1:20 a.m. Tuesday and Perea had fled the scene. Records show Perea is jailed on suspicion of an open count of murder, driving while intoxicated and careless driving. He was being held on a $1 million cash-only bond.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — State authorities say a fatal crash involving a passenger vehicle and big rig has closed Interstate 40 east of Flagstaff. Arizona Department of Public Safety officials say the accident occurred Tuesday afternoon at Twin Arrows. Authorities say the car crossed the median and crashed head-on into the tractor-trailer and one person in the car was killed. State Department of Transportation officials say the eastbound lanes of I-40 are closed and there is no immediate timetable for when they will reopen.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — City and county officials have called a special meeting to address the brutal slaying of a 10-year-old Albuquerque girl in the hopes of identifying opportunities for the community to better protect children. Officials say they will be seeking funding for more social workers, and exploring solutions for drug treatment, mental health services and child abuse prevention. The meeting is being organized by Bernalillo County Commissioner Debbie O'Malley and Albuquerque City Councilor Klarissa Pena.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has decided to grant a right of way for a proposed new transmission line between southern New Mexico and southern Arizona. Dunn's announcement Tuesday says the Southline Transmission Project will improve New Mexico's electric grid and support the transmission of electricity to key markets while generating revenue for the State Trust. He also says Southline is striving to use existing corridors and minimize the overall footprint on trust lands.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Judges in New Mexico say they have disbanded a grand jury in Chaves County because of a lack of funding. The Roswell Daily Record reports ( ) that judges of the Fifth Judicial District disbanded the county's second grand jury, saying there wasn't enough money to pay jurors. The district judges last year denied a citizen petition asking for an 18-month grand jury in Chaves County, but they did convene a grand jury in the county for three months. The second grand jury was created in May.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police are investigating a pedestrian fatality that they're saying was an intentional hit-and-run. Police say officers dispatched to a crash site early Tuesday morning found the male victim lying on the road and that officers investigating the incident learned that the hit-and-run was intentional. Police say they're trying to identify and locate the hit-and-run driver. Police did not release a suspect description or the victim's identity and further information on the circumstances of the incident are not immediately available.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Clovis police say an officer was injured during a shooting incident as he was trying to arrest a man. Police say the officer was treated at a hospital for a thigh wound he suffered Monday night when a man he was trying to arrest fired a handgun. A police statement didn't specify whether the officer was shot or burned by the muzzle blast, and police didn't immediately respond to a request for clarification.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider wants state regulators to act on a proposed rate increase rather than delay a decision with more hearings. Public Service Co. of New Mexico filed a response Monday with the state Public Regulation Commission, saying extensive testimony and exhibits submitted over the course of the yearlong case provide enough information for commissioners to make a decision.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says construction has begun on a new building in Farmington to expand resources for law enforcement in the Four Corners area. Authorities say deputy federal marshals have been assigned to Farmington for the past six years and the building will create a permanent working space for them. Deputy U.S. Marshal Benjamin Segotta, a spokesman for the agency in Albuquerque, said in a release that construction on the Farmington building began this month and is expected to be completed by January. The U.S.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new television pilot starting two actors from the movie "Sicario" is set to begin production in Albuquerque. New Mexico Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Monday the production on "Broken Sidewalk" will start in September. The production will star Matt Page and Alex Knight and will be directed and produced by Aaron McPherson. Officials say "Broken Sidewalk" is a dark comedy anthology series that highlights the slow decay of the American Dream.

AZTEC, N.M. (AP) — More than a dozen immigrants have taken the oath of citizenship at a special Aztec Ruins National Monument ceremony. The 18 New Mexico residents from Guatemala, Iraq, Mexico, and the Philippines took part in the event on Saturday as part of an effort to highlight the nation's parks. They celebrated their new citizenship as the national monument celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service. Each of the new citizens was given a passport book to the national parks, which was stamped with an Aztec Ruins symbol following the naturalization ceremony.