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Associated Press

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — Firefighters report making progress on wildfires burning near Grants in northwestern New Mexico in advance of expected windy conditions Monday. The fires are burning on a mountain and a mesa about 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of Grants. They started Thursday, one from an abandoned campfire and the other from an unknown cause. As of Sunday, authorities say one wildfire has charred about 9.5 square miles (2,741 hectares) while the other wildfire some four miles to the north has burned nearly 4 square miles (1,024 hectares).

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Officials in New Mexico's film and television industry say a new governor may help boost business for film production in the state. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports there is a sense within the industry that the changeover promised by the November election is to buoy the business of film and television work in New Mexico. Gubernatorial hopefuls seeking to succeed term-limited Gov. Susana Martinez say some potentially consequential tweaks to the state's film and television tax incentive program could round out this increasingly prominent piece of the state economy.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's two U.S. senators are concerned that tariffs implemented by the Chinese government on dozens of American product lines, including pecans, could hurt growers in the state. New Mexico is one of the nation's top pecan-producing states. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich wrote a letter Friday urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider the effects restrictive import tariffs on pecans will have on U.S. growers and rural agricultural businesses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A series of town halls are planned over the coming weeks as one of the state's largest hospital systems seeks a new chief executive officer. Officials at University of New Mexico Hospitals say the meetings will give employees a chance to meet the three finalists. The first will be April 17. The finalists include Herb Buchanan, most recently the president of Methodist and University Hospitals, the academic medical centers for Indiana University Health.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Air Force officials continue trying to ease concerns over an idea to expand military training airspace in southeastern New Mexico. The Roswell Daily Record reports local business and government leaders fear that the proposed expansion could affect the residents' lives and the local economy. Holloman Airspace Manager Juan Lavarreda Perez and Ed Chupein, deputy chief of operational training systems and infrastructure with Air Force Headquarters, held meetings on Wednesday and Thursday in Carlsbad, Artesia and Roswell to clear up some concerns and answer questions.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer be a criminal offense in New Mexico's largest city. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller signed legislation Thursday amending the city's criminal code, making low-level pot possession of an ounce (28 grams) or less without a valid medical marijuana referral a citable offense. Instead of jail time and a criminal penalty fee, police would issue a $25 fine. City officials say the new law will go into effect next week. Albuquerque joins a growing list of U.S.

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — Cibola National Forest officials say a prescribed fire near Grants has escaped its containment and is now a wildfire that has burned an estimated 300 acres. They say the fire is located in the Zuni Mountains about 5 miles outside of Bluewater State Park and 15 miles west of Grants. Forest officials say the prescribed burn that was started earlier this week jumped its containment lines due to high winds Thursday. McKinely County officials say residents in Bluewater Acres were briefly put on standby to evacuate around 5:45 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Koch brothers-funded group is hosting a New Mexico forum as part of a national effort aimed at convincing Hispanic voters that the GOP-sponsored tax reforms help them. The LIBRE Institute is scheduled Saturday to hold an event in Albuquerque and is inviting Hispanic business leaders to attend and speak on how they've benefited from the tax cuts signed by President Donald Trump last year. The conservative-leaning group is organizing similar forums in other states with a large number of Latino voters who could swing midterm elections.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal water managers say they will be facing some difficult decisions as the worsening drought is significantly affecting flows on the Rio Grande. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released their operating plan for the river Thursday. Officials say some of the lowest snowpack reports on record will leave managers with very little water and they will have to decide how and when to best move water for downstream users and for the Rio Grande silvery minnow. The tiny fish is protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of the country's largest American Indian tribes is the latest to sue pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors, alleging their conduct caused the opioid crisis. The Navajo Nation's lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees. The tribe says American Indians have suffered disproportionately from opioid dependency or abuse, leading to death, family dysfunction, poverty and social despair.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A political committee financed by hard-right conservatives in Congress' House Freedom Caucus has endorsed New Mexico state Rep. Yvette Herrell in the race for the state's southern congressional district. The House Freedom Fund on Wednesday listed its endorsement of Herrell, an Alamogordo resident in the real estate business. Herrell is competing against former Hobbs Mayor Monty Newman for the Republican nomination for the state's second congressional district. The seat is currently held by Steve Pearce, who is running for governor.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates are pressuring the University of New Mexico to give final approval on a plan to issue Chicano Studies graduate degrees. Activists recently gathered signatures for petitions to convince the school's Provost's Office to forward the proposal to the Faculty Senate by April 18. That way the university can launch its graduate program next year. Pamela Cheek, Interim Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment, says the office is evaluating the proposals.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state government is collecting more tax dollars than it did a year ago amid an oil industry rebound and some signs of an economic expansion. Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday said state revenues for the first eight months of the fiscal year have increased by $672 million from the previous year, or 13 percent. February state tax revenues outpaced last year's collections. A rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors is providing a windfall after two years of austere budgeting.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forecasters with the National Weather Service are warning that parts of New Mexico are in for more windy conditions later this week and that means higher fire danger. They say a deep low pressure system in the Great Basin will result in strong southwest winds across northern and central New Mexico. Gusts could range from 50 to 70 mph Thursday afternoon. Red flag warnings have been issued for the areas through Thursday evening.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University has named five finalists for its next chancellor and one of them is the state's secretary of higher education. The NMSU Board of Regents voted this week to approve a short list of candidates to lead the southern New Mexico college amid declining state funding. Barbara Damron is listed as a finalist. She will leave her post as secretary of higher education when Gov. Susana Martinez leaves office at the end of the year.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A square mile (2.6 square kilometers) of land is being added to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in northern New Mexico. The Trust for Public Land and the Bureau of Land Management announced Tuesday that a privately owned inholding will become part of the monument that borders Colorado. The monument was designated by President Obama in 2013 and is under review for modifications to its status by the Interior Department. The new territory was added to the monument using $438,000 from U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican candidate for New Mexico secretary of state has volunteered to act as defense attorney for a former congressional intern accused of disorderly conduct at a recent Democratic political convention. Court documents filed on Tuesday indicate that political candidate and attorney JoHanna Cox is representing Riley del Rey without pay in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that railroad companies install video and audio recording devices in their train cabs to monitor the activities of crew members to ensure safe operations. The board during a meeting Tuesday in Washington, D.C., also recommended that federal railroad regulators find ways to prevent collisions like the one in eastern New Mexico in 2015 in which an engineer was killed and a crew member was seriously injured.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say a woman accused of abandoning five dogs to die in a sweltering car last week has been arrested in Arizona. They say 31-year-old Sara Mauter is awaiting extradition to New Mexico. The Albuquerque Journal says a warrant of extradition was signed Sunday in Maricopa County, which is Arizona's most populous county. The Journal reports that Mauter is suspected of leaving five dogs in a locked and unventilated rented SUV behind a nursery and garden center in northeast Albuquerque last Wednesday.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man who shot and wounded a city police officer in 2015 has been sentenced to nearly 18 years in federal prison for unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition. Prosecutors say 40-year-old Christopher Cook received a 212-month prison term Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Santa Fe. Cook previously pleaded guilty to state charges in the January 2015 shooting of Officer Lou Golson and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in July 2016. Golson was shot during a traffic stop in Bernalillo County.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Federal safety officials are expected to determine the probable cause of a fatal 2015 collision involving two freight trains in New Mexico and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing similar wrecks. The National Transportation Safety Board is meeting in Washington on Tuesday. An engineer was killed and a second crew member was seriously injured when their Southwestern Railroad train struck a train parked on a siding near Roswell on April 28, 2015.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's Supreme Court is weighing whether the state's two remaining death row inmates still can be executed after the state's abolition of capital punishment. Oral arguments were scheduled for Tuesday in the appeal of death sentences against Robert Fry and Timothy Allen for convictions in two brutal killings. New Mexico repealed the death penalty for future murderers without canceling death sentences against Fry and Allen. Attorneys for Fry say the execution no longer fits his crimes, while the state attorney general's office says it still is appropriate.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic candidates for governor of New Mexico went on a spending spree of more than $2 million during the past six months as the sole Republican candidate stockpiled more cash than any other contender, according to campaign finance statements filed Monday with state regulators. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham's campaign for governor spent $1.2 million as it worked out of three offices in Las Cruces, Santa Fe and her home city of Albuquerque — while collecting contributions of $1.4 million.

CARSLBAD, N.M. (AP) — Activists are gearing up to speak out as federal regulators consider a plan to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear reactors around the United States at a proposed site in southern New Mexico. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has opened a public comment period that will last through May on an application filed by Holtec International. Public meetings have been scheduled for late April and early May in Roswell, Hobbs and Carlsbad.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is collecting dramatically more campaign cash in her bid for re-election than her Republican and Libertarian rivals. Toulouse Oliver on Monday reported contributions of about $123,000 from hundreds of supporters during the past six months as she seeks re-election as the state's top election and campaign-finance regulator. Former state lawmaker and Libertarian candidate Sandra Jeff has received a single $50 contribution to her campaign.

PHOENIX (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to visit southern New Mexico and speak at a conference for sheriffs in border states. Sessions will travel to Las Cruces on Wednesday and deliver remarks on immigration enforcement at an annual meeting organized by the Southwestern Border Sheriff's Coalition and the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition. Sessions' visit comes after President Donald Trump said last week he wants to send 2,000 to 4,000 National Guard members to the border.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Candidates for governor and other public offices in New Mexico are filing their first election-year campaign finance reports that detail contributions and expenditures. Monday evening is the deadline for candidates to make public their fundraising activities during the six-month period ending April 2. The mandatory report is the first of four ahead of June primary elections. Republican Congressman and gubernatorial candidates Steve Pearce already reported an infusion of $784,000 to his gubernatorial campaign in November from a federal campaign account.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a third eagle has been shot and found with its tail feathers removed on the Navajo Nation. The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico, reports U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the eagle shooting after the injured bird was found last week at the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry headquarters near Farmington. The shooting comes after two eagles were shot — one fatally — on the Navajo Nation last month.

DEMING, N.M. (AP) — A ranch couple's defamation lawsuit against New Mexico State Police officers who were members of Gov. Susana Martinez's security team has been settled. The Deming Headlight reports filing in Sixth Judicial District Court entered last week show that Scott and Colette Chandler settled their lawsuit against three New Mexico State Police officers. But Scott Chandler says the settlement terms have been sealed for six months. The Chandlers filed the suit against the three officers after a June 2014 dispute in Deming.

RIBERA, N.M. (AP) — The sprawling cattle ranch in northern New Mexico owned by controversial former radio host Don Imus is for sale. The Santa Fe New Mexico reports real estate agent Craig Huitfeldt confirmed last week that the ranch is on the market. The 2,400-acre ranch near the small community of Ribera, New Mexico, and about 45 miles east of Santa Fe has been used to benefit children afflicted by cancer. It is listed at $19.9 million after Bell Tower Keller Williams Realty originally listed it as $35 million. Imus and his wife founded the ranch in 1998.

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