Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Tired of layoffs and losses resulting from depressed energy prices, royalty owners and drillers in the nation's most prolific oil-producing area are embarking on a grass-roots campaign aimed at salvaging a major sector of the U.S. economy.

Their target: foreign oil imports.

The effort launched with forums this week in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico, home to the Permian Basin.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether federal felony charges can be filed against defendants who were previously convicted of multiple domestic violence counts in tribal courts that didn't provide attorneys.

The case set to be heard Tuesday marks a critical test for tribal courts — particularly those without the money to hire public defenders — at a time when Congress has begun broadening federal authority to prosecute violent crimes in Indian Country.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — An Alamogordo woman is accused of fraudulently filing income tax returns for other people to steal their refunds.

An April 12 indictment by an Otero County grand jury charges 43-year-old Tanya Skoropad with 180 criminal counts, including dozens each of tax fraud, identity theft and computer access with intent to defraud or embezzle.

The state Taxation and Revenue Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment and says Skoropad could be sentenced to up to 270 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in Las Cruces say four people have been arrested and a fifth person may remain at large after a vehicle crashed following a pursuit by the Border Patrol.

New Mexico State University Police say the individuals ran onto the Dona Ana Community College campus but were arrested within a few minutes of the Monday morning crash on Interstate 10.

The community college's central campus is located next to both the larger NMSU campus and I-10.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man is facing charges after authorities say he tortured a man for more than a day in his home after accusing him of stealing.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office said Marcel Bland was arrested Saturday after deputies found a stun gun, a claw hammer, scissors and a mallet inside his home. Deputies say some of the instruments had blood and the alleged torture devices were found neatly lined up on a kitchen counter.

FRUITLAND, N.M. (AP) -- San Juan County authorities say three Fruitland men are accused of robbing two women in their home.

The Sheriff's Office says one of the victims was an 81-year-old woman who was forced to lie face down on a bed so she couldn't call police before the robbers left Sunday.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the victims believed one of the robbers was a neighbor. Investigators then interviewed him and two of his friends, resulting in their arrests and recovery of money and jewelry stolen from the women's home.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) -- Control of the New Mexico House and Senate are at stake as candidates and political committees stockpile cash in advance of a June primary and November general election.

Political candidates and committees are filing campaign finance reports as a Monday-night deadline approaches for disclosing contributions and expenditures for the past six months. The filings give the public its first glimpse at campaign fundraising accomplishments since candidates for statewide and local elections registered in March.

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) -- United Airlines plans to use larger aircraft in southeastern New Mexico and that could mean higher subsidy payouts from the city of Hobbs and Lea County.

The Hobbs New-Sun reports it was announced at a recent Lea County Commission meeting United Airlines plans to retire 50 passenger Embraer EMB145 aircraft that currently serve the Lea County Regional airport. The jets that would replace the older aircraft both carry around 70 passengers.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman has been ordered to pay back more than $11,000 in unemployment benefits.

The state supreme court last month ruled that Nancy Garduno is responsible for paying back the money she received after her former employer successfully appealed her benefits.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state treasurer has handed out a few sizeable raises despite cuts to his department's budget.

Treasurer Tim Eichenberg gave pay hikes to nearly a dozen employees during his first year on the job. Some employees say their salaries increased by 20 percent and the chief financial officer's salary was boosted by 46 percent in ten months.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of the office's employees are doing the same work for the same pay and some jobs have been vacant since Eichenberg became treasurer.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's attorney general is stepping up pressure on administrative staff at the Legislature to turn over subpoenaed documents in a criminal corruption investigation of former Sen. Phil Griego.

The attorney general's office filed a rebuttal Thursday to the continued refusal to release records by the Legislative Council Service. The council service helps lawmakers draft legislation and says it is duty-bound to protect correspondence with legislators and other documents to preserve the integrity of the legislative process.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say shots were fired during a road rage dispute near an Albuquerque elementary school, prompting a lockdown at the school.

Deputy Felicia Romero, a Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, says no one was injured in the dispute Thursday afternoon, which authorities are continuing to investigate.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police have arrested a man whose father called police to report a dead body in the son's apartment.

Police say officers found victim had a neck wound and the body was lying in a pool of blood in an apartment on the 10800 block of Comanche Road early Thursday morning.

Police say 28-year-old Jarek Lovesee was arrested on suspicion of murder after officers found him shirtless and with blood on his pants and scratches on his body.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new complaint says U.S. Border Patrol agents are looting immigrants of possessions before deporting them to Mexico without their IDs or money.

The ACLU of New Mexico and a coalition of advocacy groups filed the administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday and say the seizures are endangering migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Staff attorneys and advisers to the New Mexico Legislature are standing by their refusal to turn over documents to prosecutors in the criminal investigation of former state Sen. Phil Griego.

The Legislative Council Service said Wednesday in court filings it is duty-bound to protect privileged communications between lawmakers including Griego and aides who help draft legislation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judiciary committee has redrafted state district court rules to bar judges from setting a bail bond higher than a defendant can afford for the sole purpose of keeping the person behind bars before trial.

The move Wednesday comes less than two months after state lawmakers approved a proposed constitutional amendment with similar language that will go before voters for final approval in November.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe officials will consider an updated plan to bring water to the city through a pipeline from eastern New Mexico.

Roswell rancher Ron Green proposed a similar plan in 2007, causing widespread opposition in the southern part of the state. The controversial idea was the subject of 35 protests before the Office of the State Engineer rejected it in 2011.

Green says Santa Fe officials invited his company Berrendo LLC to discuss the new proposal. A City Council committee meeting will continue the discussion on Wednesday.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico airport is hosting Marine Corp training in which aircraft crews practice refueling operations after flying in from Arizona.

Las Cruces International Airport officials say a training exercise scheduled Wednesday evening at the airport allows personnel to practice forward staging of equipment and fuel by refueling Osprey aircraft from a C-130 tanker.

A Marine Corps Air Station Yuma spokesman says the aircraft and crews are temporarily out of from the Arizona base where they're participating in a training course.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's Board of Regents has decided not to increase tuition for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Monday's vote means the university will need to cut its budget by approximately $10.7 million for the next year.

During a town hall meeting last month, university leaders outlined how NMSU was facing a challenging financial situation stemming from several factors.

That includes a decrease in state appropriations due to the struggling state economy and a decrease in student enrollment.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the high school commencement address to Santa Fe Indian School.

The White House announced Monday that Obama will address the school on May 26 as part of the White House Generation Indigenous Initiative.

The initiative works to improve the lives of American Indian youth by promoting a national dialogue and programs to train the next generation of leaders.

Last year, the First Lady addressed the White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque is planning a makeover for the first plane to drop a hydrogen bomb.

Time and weather have taken a toll on the B-52B Stratofortress. In its Cold War heyday, the plane test-dropped more than a dozen nuclear weapons.

Museum restoration coordinator Jerry Hanks says the aircraft needs a complete restoration on the outside, body work and a total paint job. That adds up -- the authorized paint runs $460 a gallon and the primer is $300 a gallon.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters in San Juan County are investigating four brush fires near Shiprock as human-caused.

San Juan County Fire Chief Craig Daugherty says the fires on Sunday are being investigated as being intentionally set.

The four fires were spread out over a few hours and burned a total of about 70 acres.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Arizona woman who served prison time in connection with the 2009 disappearance of her baby has been arrested in New Mexico for a probation violation.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say 29-year-old Elizabeth Johnson was booked into jail Thursday afternoon.

They won't disclose details of the probation violation and Johnson's lawyer in Arizona declined comment.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Leaders of a bus drivers' union in New Mexico say there will likely be a strike among drivers for Las Cruces Public Schools.

The representatives of the Las Cruces Transportation Federation Local 6341 say negotiations broke down between the union and STS New Mexico, the private company that provides bus service for the district.

The collective bargaining agreement between the union and STS expires Thursday. No further negotiation sessions are scheduled.

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a small plane has crashed eight miles south of Shiprock and the pilot has been airlifted to a hospital.

New Mexico State Police say the plane was landing at the Shiprock airport about noon Thursday when it got caught in a crosswind and was pushed off the runway.

The plane caught an edge and flipped. KOB-TV had a photo of the plane upside down in a field.

The Cessna 180D reportedly is registered to a company out of Durango, Colorado.