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Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are taking up final consideration of a request by the state's largest electric provider to raise rates for its 500,000 customers. The Public Regulation Commission is meeting Wednesday in Santa Fe. Concerns raised by environmentalists over the value of Public Service Co. of New Mexico's stake in an Arizona nuclear plant spurred a recommendation over the summer that the multimillion-dollar request be slashed by two-thirds.

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) — Police and firefighters in Artesia will not be taking pay cuts as the city will accept a donation from an anonymous donor to offset the costs. The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2cChRfM ) that the City Council on Tuesday voted to accept the donation for an undisclosed amount that will restore pay cuts for Artesia's police officers, firefighters and two librarians. The city announced immediate pay cuts of 10 percent last month for all employees for the fiscal year that began July 1.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Search teams from around Colorado have been brought in to help look for an Albuquerque man who failed to return from a hiking trip near Aspen. About 20 people were being flown into the Maroon Bells Wilderness by helicopter and searching for 49-year-old David Cook on Wednesday. He was reported missing Sept. 20 after setting out to climb some 14,000-foot-plus mountains, including the Maroon Bells, some of the most famous and most photographed peaks in Colorado. The search didn't start until Thursday and weather hampered the search on Friday and Saturday.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A ranch house where Los Alamos scientists assembled the world's first atomic bomb is being restored. The McDonald/Schmidt Ranch House at the Trinity Site is facing exterior renovations thanks to a cooperative agreement with White Sand Missile Range Cultural Resources Program. Improvements will focus on the exterior stucco, gutters and drainage and interior restoration. On July 16, 1945, scientists from the then-secret city of Los Alamos successfully exploded the first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site, near Tularosa.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Legislative analysts say spending on prescription medication by New Mexico state agencies is rising quickly as insurance coverage expands under Medicaid and demands for specialty drugs are met. A report released Wednesday by the Legislative Finance Committee finds that state agencies spent $680 million on prescription drugs during the most recent budget year. That represents a 54 percent increase from two years ago. Much of the spending increase can be attributed to New Mexico's rapid expansion of Medicaid health coverage for the poor and disabled.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists say New Mexico isn't going far enough to protect the state's limited groundwater supplies from copper mining operations. Regulators say they have the toughest rules in the West. After years of legal wrangling, it's now up to the New Mexico Supreme Court to decide. The justices are hearing arguments in the case Wednesday. Environmentalists want the court to set aside the rule and require the state to adopt new regulations to prevent pollution.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of the six New Mexico teens charged with killing a 60-year-old Albuquerque man in his driveway during burglary rampage is set to appear in court. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports (https://goo.gl/IUowwV) that the teen is expected Wednesday to plead guilty in Bernalillo County District Court in connection with the 2015 death of Stephen Gerecke. Arrest warrant affidavits say the teens had been stealing from several cars and homes in a neighborhood on the city's northeast side before one of them shot and killed Gerecke.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge is holding New Mexico Human Services Department Secretary Brent Earnest in contempt for failing to comply with court orders aimed at improving the administration of food aid and Medicaid health care benefits. U.S.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque police officer trained to handle encounters with the mentally ill says he had achieved some progress in negotiations with a homeless man to drop his knives before officers with a tactical unit moved in to replace him. The testimony from Officer Mikal Monette on Tuesday came as a special prosecutor questioned him about the March 2014 standoff that ended with the fatal shooting of homeless camper James Boyd. Boyd was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Department of Health has announced three more cases of West Nile virus around the state. During the past month, health officials say a 53-year-old Bernalillo County man, a 57-year-old Dona Ana County man and a 40-year-old McKinley County man have been diagnosed with the virus transmitted by a mosquito bite. All three men were hospitalized. Health officials say the three newest West Nile cases doubles the total of human cases identified in New Mexico so far this year. The three previous cases were reported in Rio Arriba and Valencia counties.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's judiciary system is cutting travel reimbursements to help rein in spending as the state wrestles with a budget shortfall. The Administrative Office of the Courts announced Tuesday plans to save about $500,000 this fiscal year by lowering the mileage reimbursement rate for travel by judges, court staff, jurors, interpreters and court-ordered witnesses. The New Mexico Legislature is preparing for a possible special session to replenish depleted operating reserves and address revenue shortfalls linked to energy markets. Gov.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 2-year-old civil lawsuit over emails released from Gov. Susana Martinez's hijacked email account has been dismissed. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2ddnqiq ) on Monday, court filings showed that both parties have agreed to dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning it can't be refiled. Attorneys in the case declined to comment. Four plaintiffs were suing several people including a former state Democratic Party chairman and Martinez's ex-campaign manager for violations of laws over the interception and protection of electronic communication in 2010.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An Ohio man accused of killing a southern New Mexico police officer has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/2cAiypL ) that Jesse Denver Hanes of Columbus pleaded not guilty on Monday to the seven charges he is accused on in connection to the Aug. 12 death of Hatch police Officer Jose Chavez.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A prosecutor is expected to begin calling her final witnesses Tuesday in the trial of two former Albuquerque police officers charged in the shooting death of a mentally ill homeless man. Special Prosecutor Randi McGinn has spent the last week making her case against now-retired Detective Keith Sandy and former Officer Dominique Perez, who are standing trial on second-degree murder charges.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Liberal advocates and some Democratic lawmakers say they will strongly oppose a push by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to reinstate the death penalty. The coalition of death penalty foes is scheduled Tuesday to denounce the governor's plan to bring back capital punishment in New Mexico after it was abolished seven years ago. They are meeting at the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice to discuss how they will oppose the governor's plan.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The FBI says motor vehicle thefts reported by New Mexico law enforcement agencies jumped around 36 percent in 2015 from the year before. New crime statistics released this week show the estimated number of motor vehicle thefts in New Mexico was 8,526, or a 35.5 percent surge from the 2014 estimate. That spike was well above the percentage increase nationally. The FBI says the estimated number of motor vehicle thefts in the nation was 707,758, or a 3.1 percent increase.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A search is continuing for a 49-year-old New Mexico man who is overdue from a climb in the Maroon Bells area near Aspen. David Cook, of Corrales, N.M., was planning to climb Pyramid Peak on Sept. 19 and Maroon and North Maroon peaks the following day. 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.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque police union says staffing troubles aren't just at the recruitment level, and that officers aren't applying for leadership roles. KOB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2dbgpid ) that the Albuquerque Police Department has about 800 personnel working at a department that needs more than 1,000 and that now union leaders say there's a leadership shortage as well. Officer's union President Shaun Willoughby says Department of Justice regulations have made it harder for officers to become sergeants and also have made the workload unappealing.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Statistics from the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division show a drop in the state's production during the first half of 2016. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2daZHQ2 ) that statewide oil production fell nearly 5 percent in the first seven months of the year. The latest statistics show that the production was down by about four million barrels from January to July, dropping to 82 million barrels from 2015's 86 million during the same time period.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council has approved funding to pay San Juan County for fire services. The Daily Times of Farmington reports (http://bit.ly/2cyekik ) that delegates have voted in favor of transferring more than $417,000 from the tribe's Department of Fire and Rescue Services' personnel and fringe benefits account to the department's operations account to help pay for fire and rescue services in Shiprock, Newcomb and Ojo Amarillo. San Juan County will operate the stations in July, August and September. The tribe will assume operation of the stations in October.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two people have died after their vehicles collided head-on in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 25 near Santa Fe. Forty-four-year-old Clara Avina and 23-year-old Anton Gress, both from Santa Fe, died Saturday night. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office says 911 dispatchers had received several calls about a driver going the wrong way on the highway before the crash. Avina had been driving south in the northbound lanes when she struck Gress, causing her vehicle to burst into flames. Deputies arrived to find Gress still conscious but pinned inside his SUV.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico election officials have witnessed a surge in online voter registration activity after 460,000 invitation postcards were mailed to residents who appear to be eligible and yet unregistered to vote. The New Mexico Secretary of State's Office saw a nearly eight-fold increase in weekly online voter registration and updates to voter records. Elections Director Kari Fresquez says online registrations and updates increased to 8,778 last week from 1,189 the previous week.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — Dan Miles, one of the three founders of the Los Alamos Monitor, has died. He was 95. The newspaper's editor Jill McLaughlin told The Associated Press that Miles died Wednesday at his home in Los Alamos. The Los Alamos Monitor reports (https://goo.gl/JmmFxj) Miles started the newspaper with John Barnett and Mark McMahon in 1963 out of a small office above a jewelry store. A geologist for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Miles came to Los Alamos with the idea of starting a newspaper in a town that didn't have one.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A wildlife foundation started by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and actor Robert Redford is stepping into the fray between state and federal government over the Mexican gray wolf. The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife announced Sunday it was siding with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's wolf release plan in an ongoing lawsuit, filing an amicus brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is traveling to Dallas for a political fundraiser. Spokesman Mike Lonergan says Martinez traveled on Sunday to attend a Monday-morning fundraiser. More details about the event were not available. The governor's political committee is paying for the travel. The second-term governor travels beyond the state regularly as chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, recently attending a campaign event for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory as he seeks re-election.

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