Associated Press

ALBQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say an Albuquerque coin shop owner shot and killed a suspect during a robbery.

The shooting happened at Jim Coad Rare Coins on Eubank Boulevard and Candelaria Road around 3 p.m. Saturday.

According to authorities, at least two male suspects tried to rob the store.

Police say one hit the owner on the head with a blunt object.

That is when the owner fired a weapon, striking one of the suspects.

Both fled with several items.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a tax preparer in Albuquerque has been indicted for filing fraudulent tax returns using stolen identities.

They say 54-year-old Flora Mascarenas has been charged with two felony counts each of identity theft, forgery and computer access with intent to defraud or embezzle.

Authorities say the charges carry a maximum sentence of nine years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

Mascarenas was indicted by a Bernalillo County Grand Jury in the Second Judicial District of New Mexico.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Santa Fe police officer fatally shot an armed robbery suspect at a motel, and a Montana man says he feels blessed he wasn't caught in the crossfire..

New Mexico State Police said no officers were hurt during the Wednesday night shooting. No details were released about the suspect or circumstances of the shooting.

However, Tim Quigg of Billings, Montana, said he was talking to a man staying in the motel room next to his when two police officers arrived and got into a shootout with the other man.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Legislation to broaden the state's three-strikes law for violent offenders with three or more felony convictions is scheduled for a vote on the House floor Thursday.

Rep. Paul Pacheco's proposal to add 16 felonies to the list of crimes that make repeat offenders eligible for life sentences is part of a slate of tough-on-crime bills proposed by Republican lawmakers.

The proposals come as strict sentencing laws already on the books in other states are being re-evaluated amid concerns nationally about burgeoning prison populations.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new poll finds that three out of five New Mexico residents support the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana.

The survey released Thursday by Albuquerque-based Research & Polling, Inc. found that 61 percent of residents support proposed legislation to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana sales among adults of ages 21 and over.

Support rises to 69 percent when residents are informed that tax revenue generated by marijuana sales would be used to pay for health care and substance abuse programs.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state auditor is flagging a long list of state agencies and local government authorities for failing to turn in annual audit results on time.

State Auditor Tim Keller announced Wednesday that 56 entities have not submitted audits for the fiscal year ending in June 2015.

Audits are overdue from the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Department of Public Safety, Cibola and Harding counties, and the cities of Carlsbad and Espanola.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is revising downward estimates for revenue growth to $30 million from previous expectations of $232 million as the Legislature crafts a new budget.

The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration announced Wednesday that a perfect storm of low energy prices had eroded revenue expectations for the budget year starting in July. Economists from three executive agencies and the Legislature agreed on the new estimate.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democratic lawmaker says a GOP House proposal bill aimed at putting New Mexico in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act would make some immigrants "indigent servants."

Rep. Miguel Garcia said Wednesday the proposal would discrimination against immigrants living in the country illegally and transform the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department into a deportation "pipeline."

Garcia's remarks came during a partisan debate over the bill in the full New Mexico House. The debate is expected to sparked heated rhetoric from some lawmakers.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Auditor's Office says the embattled Martin Luther King, Jr. State Commission also is under investigation by its office for fraud and abuse.

State Auditor spokeswoman Justine Freeman said Tuesday that the commission has been on the state's "at-risk" list for two years and now is facing an investigation.

The New Mexico Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday it was launching its own investigation into the commission but declined to comment further.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is asking lawmakers to consider a bill aimed at regulating ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft.

The Republican governor put legislation on her official call Tuesday and asked lawmakers to pass a bill to show that such companies are welcome in New Mexico.

The legal status of the companies has been in limbo in the state since they began offering services in 2014. The companies say the state's Motor Carrier Act doesn't apply to them because they don't operate as commercial taxi businesses.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to add law enforcement officers as a protected class to New Mexico's hate crimes law has cleared its first hurdle.

The bill pushed by House Republicans passed 4-3 in the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee on Tuesday as law enforcement agencies came out to support it.

The proposal introduced by Rep. Nate Gentry, an Albuquerque Republican, is one of a number of proposed justice system reforms for this legislative session in response to a string of high-profile crimes in the Albuquerque area.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Time may be running out for an extension of New Mexico's rooftop solar tax credit as legislators weigh whether to forgo $5 million in annual state revenues to encourage more generation of solar energy by households, farms and small businesses.

The tax credit offsets up to 10 percent of costs for new solar energy systems and expires at the end of the year. A bill to extend the credit through 2024 cleared its first hurdle on Monday with approval by a House energy committee.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The nation's only Latina governor continues to face accusations by advocates for pushing an "anti-immigrant" agenda over her push to revise New Mexico's immigrant driver's license law.

Those charges come even though New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has been one of the few elected Republicans to denounce GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump for his remarks on Mexican immigrants. The El Paso, Texas-born Martinez also has pressured Republicans to tone down rhetoric on immigration.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A GOP-sponsored bill that would make New Mexico compliant under the REAL ID Act and allow some allow immigrants to obtain driver's permit cards has cleared another hurdle.

The proposal passed 7-6 on Monday in the House Judiciary Committee along party lines after a nearly three-hour meeting.

The measure passed despite charges of racism from immigrant advocates.

New Mexico currently allows immigrants in the country illegally to obtain driver's license and this bill would only allow them get the driver's permit cards.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A sobering center to help people with alcohol addiction in San Juan County is on track to open in less than two months.

The Daily Times in Farmington reports that the facility is scheduled to begin operations March 1.

County officials say the sobering center is being built to fill a gap left by the Four Winds Recovery Center.

The center is closing a detox center and will offer residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Four Winds Recovery has long been the only detox center in the county.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico lawmaker is pushing for a ban on reserved seating during joint sessions of the state Legislature.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez spoke out Friday after seeing some guests attending the governor's State of the State address had color-coded passes for seats.

The Belen Democrat says it is "unconscionable" to deny the public a chance to sit in on such events.

House sergeant at arms Steven Shaw says some seats were reserved for the public.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Search and rescue teams rescued two hiking parties who became stranded in the Sandia Mountains.

New Mexico State Police say crews initiated efforts to help a total of five hikers down safely Saturday night.

State Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Armijo said Sunday the hikers were taken to a base camp and checked out by Albuquerque firefighters.

The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says one group became stuck near the Crest and another got lost on the La Luz Trail.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Sandia National Laboratories says it spent more money in 2015 than the previous year and more than $381 million went to New Mexico businesses.

The national laboratory released its latest economic impact report Thursday. It covers spending from October 2014 through the end of September 2015.

It shows spending on goods and services was just shy of $1 billion at $983 million. That's up nearly $21 million from the previous year.

SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a man detained after being found with a stolen vehicle escaped from the back seat of a State Police officer's car and drove off in it before crashing into drainage canal about two miles away.

State Police Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo said the suspect was taken back into custody Thursday after the incident that started at a truck stop in Lemitar north of Socorro in west-central New Mexico.

Armijo said the State Police commercial vehicle enforcement officer whose car was fired shots during the escape but that nobody was injured.

SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — Business leaders in New Mexico say the partisan stalemate in the Legislature over a REAL ID fix have them nervous about the state's economy.

Border Industrial Association president Jerry Pacheco says potential investors may overlook New Mexico if workers can't get REAL ID compliant driver's licenses. Pacheco says he worries the uncertainty may hurt efforts to attract new companies to places like the booming border city of Santa Teresa.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators are conferring with energy experts about plunging oil prices as they craft a new state budget.

The price of U.S. crude sank almost seven percent to below $27 a barrel Wednesday amid a glut in oil supplies.

New Mexico may put plans for $77 million in salary increases on hold because of falling revenues from taxes and royalties linked to oil production. The salaries represent about one-third of new spending under a $6.5 billion state budget recommendation from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Defense says it will no longer accept New Mexico driver's licenses at its installations nationwide.

Defense Department officials announced Wednesday that driver's licenses from New Mexico — along with those from Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Washington state — can't be used as proof of identity to enter its bases.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state of New Mexico is suing Volkswagen over an emissions cheating scandal that involves millions of cars worldwide.

Attorney General Hector Balderas filed the lawsuit in state district court in Santa Fe late Tuesday. He alleges Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and their U.S. subsidiaries violated state air quality regulations and engaged in deceptive trade practices.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe will have its own film commission to help lure productions and cultivate independent filmmakers.

The Santa Fe City Council unanimously approved establishing a 16-member commission last week amid inquiries about how it would use its $50,000 budget.

Councilor Joseph Maestas says he will "reluctantly support" the commission but wants more discussions about the film industry's potential in Santa Fe.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna Duran was released Sunday from a Santa Fe County jail after a 30-day sentence for using political campaign funds to fuel a gambling spree.

A judge ordered Duran to be released at 9 a.m.

Duran pleaded guilty to felony counts of embezzlement and money laundering. Her transgressions have led to calls for a major overhaul of New Mexico's campaign finance and ethics laws during the legislative session that starts on Tuesday.

Pages