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Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — House and Senate Democratic leaders are proposing an economic development package to help create jobs in the state.

House Speaker W. Ken Martinez said Wednesday the legislation is a product of a bipartisan Jobs Council that was formed last year.

Among the provisions is $10 million for a "closing fund" to attract companies to the state by providing them with needed infrastructure. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has made a similar proposal in her budget recommendations to the Legislature.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department says an Albuquerque man has died from injuries in a shooting.

The Sheriff's Department identifies the victim of Wednesday's shooting as 49-year-old Edward Hernandez.

His car was found in the area where he was found.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — The identities of three Holloman Air Force Base airmen killed in a single-vehicle rollover accident are now being released.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports that police say killed in the early Tuesday morning accident were 26-year-old Ryan Nicholas Loehr, 21-year-old Deshon Maurice Wartley and 19-year-old Lamont Keith Cullars.

Police Capt. Israel Trujillo says the preliminary investigation shows the vehicle went off the road and into the desert when it failed to negotiate a curve while traveling at high speed.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials have confirmed three more flu deaths.

The New Mexico Department of Health said Thursday a 79-year-old man and a 73-year -old man, both from Bernalillo County, recently died from the illness. In addition, the department says a 45-year-old man from Rio Arriba County also died from influenza.

The names of the victims were not immediately released.

A 76 year-old Santa Fe woman who died earlier this month was the first reported flu death this season.

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Corrales police office has been injured in a crash involving a suspected stolen vehicle.

Corrales Detective Sgt. Frank Tomlinson said yesterday that Corrales officer Jeremy Romero was scheduled to go into surgery and is listed in stable but serious condition at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Officials say Romero was injured early yesterday during a car chase with a suspect. Authorities say the suspect crashed into a wall while the officer's car flipped over.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers are moving ahead quickly with a bill to pay for expenses of the Legislature's 30-day session.

A few hours after lawmakers convened yesterday, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee approved the measure to provide nearly $5.4 million for session costs, which include salaries for staff as well as the printing of bills.

Legislators aren't paid a yearly salary, but they receive $159 a day to reimburse them for expenses.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is recommending that lawmakers increase the starting salary for new teachers by about 10 percent next year.

The governor proposes to raise a beginning teacher's salary to $33,000 from $30,000. It's an initiative Martinez could find support for in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

A legislative budget panel has recommended boosting the starting salary to $32,500.

The salary measure was among the educational proposals Martinez outlined during her State of the State speech to the Legislature.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez wants lawmakers to focus on economic development, including expanding programs that train health care professionals.

In her State of the State speech to the Legislature yesterday, Martinez recommended increased spending on a program that repays student loans of nurses, dentists and physicians who agree to practice in medically underserved areas.

The governor said the measure will help create jobs and reduce the state's shortage of health care professionals.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A teacher credited with disarming a 12-year-old gunman in a Roswell middle school shooting says he acted solely on instinct.

John Masterson, an eighth-grade social studies teacher at Berrendo Middle School, was introduced to legislators yesterday during Gov. Susana Martinez's State of the State speech.

Authorities say Masterson talked the shooter into dropping his weapon after the boy wounded two students.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Great Lakes Airlines is cutting back on its flights to the eastern New Mexico community of Clovis.

Airport manager Gene Bieker tells the Clovis News Journal the airline is operating only one midday flight Monday through Friday.

Bieker also says he was told by the airline that it may not be able to serve Clovis after this month.

Great Lakes representatives did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but the airline's website does not list any available flights in February.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to review a recent court decision narrowing who must report suspected cases of abuse and neglect.

State law requires "every person" to contact authorities about suspected abuse and neglect.

However, the state Court of Appeals ruled last November in an Albuquerque case that the law's wording means the requirement only applies to 10 categories of people, including physicians, teachers and nurses,

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A court ruling says a police search that found 14 marijuana plants on a man's property in a remote area of northern New Mexico violated his privacy rights.

The state Court of Appeals' ruling says that's because authorities didn't have a warrant to conduct an aerial flyover that prompted the search.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the ruling cites prior New Mexico court decisions and says privacy protections apply to targeted, warrantless police aerial surveillance.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As the New Mexico Legislature gets underway, advocates are going to be pushing to improve the well-being of the state's children through education initiatives and other efforts aimed at pulling families out of poverty.

New Mexico Voices for Children is releasing its annual Kids Count in New Mexico report at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The group wants to get the attention of lawmakers.

The report places New Mexico dead last among states when it comes to child well-being.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will outline her legislative priorities to lawmakers on the opening day of the Legislature's 30-day session.

Lawmakers convene at noon Tuesday, and the governor will deliver her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Martinez already has unveiled parts of her legislative agenda, including merit pay for teachers and budget increases for programs to help train more health care professionals.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — The top state prosecutor for two eastern New Mexico counties plans to step down soon but he says it won't affect his work on a school shooting in Roswell.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler says he'll leave office March 1 to start a private law practice focusing on civil litigation.

The 9th Judicial District includes Curry and Roosevelt counties.

Chandler last week was named to handle the case in which a Roswell middle school student faces juvenile charges in the wounding of two other students.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a New Mexico middle school girl shot by a fellow student on campus says the suspected shooter "is not a bad boy."

The Roswell Daily Record reports that Bert Sanders, the father of 13-year-old victim Kendal, told reporters Monday he believes the boy's family are "good people." He also says his daughter and the suspected shooter are friends.

Kendal and 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez were wounded when the young gunman entered the crowded Berrendo Middle School gym Jan. 14 and fired three times from a 20-gauge shotgun.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez says the boy who was shot in the face and neck at a New Mexico middle school is on a breathing machine and is heavily sedated, but his doctors are optimistic.

Martinez says the 12-year-old remains in critical condition at a Texas hospital and that doctors have repaired slight damage to his heart. She also says his face has pockmarks from the shotgun pellets, and both of his eyes are injured.

But Martinez says the boy has improved, and his doctors "feel good about him."

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque police officer is hospitalized in serious condition after being injured while trying to arrest a man accused of domestic violence.

Police say the female officer was struck in the head multiple times in yesterday afternoon's attack.

They say a male officer was struck in the face by the suspect and was being treated at a hospital.

Police say 40-year-old Anthony Abeyta allegedly attacked both officers. He's in custody and facing multiple charges.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Senate committee leader plans a hearing during the upcoming legislative session on the awarding by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration of a state fairgrounds lease for a horse racing track and casino.

Rules Committee chairwoman Sen. Linda Lopez, an Albuquerque Democrat who is running for governor against Martinez, said yesterday the panel wants to question current and former State Fair commissioners about the 2011 lease awarded to the Downs at Albuquerque allowing the construction of a larger casino at the fairgrounds.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Congress has again cut funding for inspections at horse slaughterhouses, the latest blow to efforts to resume horse slaughter in the U.S.

Congress yesterday passed a $1.1 trillion budget bill that prohibits the Department of Agriculture from spending money for inspectors at equine facilities.

The last domestic horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, a year after Congress first cut funding for the inspections in an attempt to shutter the industry.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A plateful of problems, including a weak economy and struggling schools, await New Mexico's lawmakers when they to return to work for an election-year legislative session.

The Legislature's 30-day session convenes Tuesday against a potentially divisive political backdrop.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is seeking re-election, and two of her Democratic challengers serve in the state Senate. All 70 members of the state House are up for election.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The family of a 12-year-old New Mexico boy who police say opened fire inside his middle school gym is heartbroken over the tragedy.

The boy's parents and grandparents issued a statement through their lawyer yesterday, saying their thoughts and prayers are with the two children who were shot Tuesday at Berrendo Middle School.

The family says its remorse cannot be expressed in words. They added that they love the boy and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they piece together "how this awful tragedy occurred."

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new geothermal plant located in southwestern New Mexico is providing electricity to PNM Resources, the state's largest utility.

The Lightning Dock plant constructed in Hidalgo County by Cyrq (serk) Energy Inc. pumps naturally hot water from deep under the ground to heat a fluid that spins turbines to produce electricity.

The slightly cooled water is then re-injected back into the aquifer.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the plant began production in late December and is generating about 4 megawatts of electricity.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Family members and legal guardians of developmentally disabled New Mexicans have sued Gov. Susana Martinez's administration over cuts in services.

A lawsuit was filed in federal court yesterday to restore the services lost by individuals and stop the administration from continuing with changes to control costs in a Medicaid-funded program serving about 4,000 people.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque mother has been indicted on several charges after police say she repeatedly kicked her 9-year-old son, resulting in his death.

Prosecutors announced the indictment of 38-year-old Synthia Varela-Casaus yesterday. A formal arraignment has yet to be scheduled.

A grand jury handed up the charges Tuesday. They include one count of child abuse resulting in death, five counts of child abuse and one count of tampering with evidence.

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