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Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic activists in the country's most Hispanic state are holding a "watch party" to listen to the nation's first black president give his final address. Advocates in New Mexico are gathering at a union hall in Albuquerque Tuesday night to hear President Barack Obama say goodbye and thank his supporters. Obama will deliver the speech in his adopted hometown of Chicago, and Democratic activists are planning watch parties around the country.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Highlands University has named a new provost. The northern New Mexico school announced this week that Roxanne Gonzales has been selected to become its new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Gonzales recently served as executive dean of Venango College at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. Clarion University officials say under her leadership, the Venango College faculty and staff grew enrollment in existing credentials in nursing, counseling, the health sciences and other fields.

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) — A Texas company is a proposing new oil waste facility in southeastern New Mexico. The Hobbs News-Sun reports (https://goo.gl/3bkv2s) Lubbock-based CK Disposal wants to build a 317-acre surface waste oil management plant in eastern Lea County. The proposed waste management facility is intended for the permanent disposal of exempt and non-exempt/non-hazardous oil field waste. It will include a liquid waste processing area, a possible deep well water injection unit, and a landfill.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they're processing a crime scene on the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico's Sandoval County. However, it remains unclear if the investigation is connected to the disappearance of two adult sisters and three children. KOB-TV reports that Vanessa George, her sister Leticia, and their children — a 4-year-old and two 1-year-olds — were last seen Thursday on the pueblo. FBI activity intensified on the pueblo Monday regarding what they called a crime scene involving a vehicle, but they didn't immediately release any other information.

A Republican state lawmaker in New Mexico is reviving efforts to reinstate the death penalty as an option for convicted killers of police, children and corrections officers. Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque has pre-filed a bill that would bring back punishment by lethal injection to New Mexico. A spokesman for GOP Gov. Susana Martinez said Monday she supports the measure. A similar bill was approved by the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives in October during a special legislative session, but never taken up by the Senate.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A lawmaker wants to increase the amount of marijuana that licensed medical-cannabis producers in New Mexico can grow. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2ivnzyE) that the proposal by Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque also would increase the amount of marijuana that the program's participants can possess. The bill would let producers grow up to 1,000 cannabis plants during any three-month period. Currently, a producer can have 450 plants.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two new candidates have entered the race to become the next mayor of Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2iZG3e9) that City Councilor Dan Lewis and retired police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes made separate campaign announcements Sunday. They join Democrats Deanna Archuleta, a former Bernalillo County commissioner and first candidate to enter the race, and Stella Padilla, a retired Old Town resident. Lewis is the first Republican in the race. Garcia Holmes is an independent.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Energy Department says it was the determination of workers and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tells The Associated Press that resuming work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico means the nation's multibillion-dollar cleanup of waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research can get back on track. Moniz and others are gathering Monday to mark the reopening.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a man has died after driving his motorcycle at a high rate of speed and striking another vehicle in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2jsT7cS ) that the victim of the Sunday crash has not yet been identified. Officer Simon Drobik says the motorcyclist had been speeding when a car pulled out in front of him and the two vehicles collided. The crash remains under investigation.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says new statistics show most parents are not being informed properly when early reading difficulties. The Public Education Department found that fewer than 5 percent of parents received necessary written notices when third graders failed to meet reading proficiency standards at public school throughout the state. The agency says that parents of those students should be required by schools to sign a waiver before their children advance to the next grade.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say officers have fatally shot a man suspected of armed robbery in northeast Albuquerque. They say officers were called to an armed robbery at a business before midnight Saturday. Undercover officers who were in the area caught up to the two suspects, a man and a woman. Police say the two suspects were in a vehicle and appeared to be armed. They say the male suspect was shot and taken to a hospital, where he later died. The female suspect wasn't injured. Police haven't released the names of the two suspects yet.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say four hikers have been rescued from the East Mountains in Albuquerque. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says two groups of hikers were reported lost Saturday. KOB-TV reports that three of the four people were located by air and had supplies dropped to them. Search and rescue crews had to go in by foot to bring them down from the mountains. Authorities say the fourth hiker managed to make it to the tram and ride it down to get help. The names of the hikers weren't immediately released by sheriff's officials on Sunday.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Separate human resource departments in larger state agencies would be eliminated and those functions consolidated under a plan under development by Gov. Susana Martinez's administration. The centralization plan is under development as state officials struggle to find savings amid a continuing budget crisis, but it's not yet known how much jobs could be cut. The State Personnel Office already handles human resources for smaller state agencies, but larger departments have their own human resources staffs.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's court system plans to allow attorneys, law enforcement agencies and the news media to have secure online access to state court records in most civil and criminal cases. The Supreme Court says the policy will improve governmental transparency, assist attorneys and government agencies do their work and help the media to provide timely and accurate information to the public. The court's announcement Friday says the access could begin as early as March.

HAHNVILLE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana middle school teacher is in custody after investigators say they uncovered evidence that she and her husband were running a meth lab at the home they shared with their 7-year-old child. Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes says 37-year-old teacher Kristy Allen and her husband, 42-year-old Ryan Allen, face charges including creating and operating a clandestine laboratory and possession of methamphetamine. The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2iQFG5R ) that the Allens were arrested Wednesday and jailed on $500,000 bond each. St.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A spokesman for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says the second-term Republican will attend the inauguration of Donald Trump. Michael Lonergan confirmed Friday that the Martinez will attend the inaugural in Washington on Jan. 20. Martinez was critical of Trump throughout the presidential campaign and never endorsed him, but offered congratulations after his victory. She publicly denounced Trumps remarks about Mexican immigrants, his criticism of a bereaved military family and his lewd talk about women from a leaked 2005 videotape.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 540 tons of metals — mostly iron and aluminum — contaminated Colorado's Animas River over nine hours during a massive wastewater spill from an abandoned gold mine in 2015. That's according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which released a report Friday on metals released into the environment during the August 2015 spill. The report says the total amount of metals entering the river was comparable to levels during one or two days of high spring runoff.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales says the city will continue to seek federal grants despite President-elect Donald Trump's threat to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities. The New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2hYkqLE ) that Gonzales became a de facto spokesman for sanctuary cities last year when he defended policies like refusing to use local resources to help enforce federal immigration laws. He made his recent comments at a news conference Thursday at which city officials announced a $150,000 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque City Council has approved a measure that could help clear a backlog of untested sexual-assault evidence kits. The bill establishes a team to monitor the city's efforts and calls for a study of whether Albuquerque is paying its forensic scientists enough. It also directs city executives to work with local colleges to create incentives to encourage students to study forensic science. There are currently nearly 4,000 untested rape kits in police custody.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on winter weather in New Mexico (all times local): 9:15 a.m. Officials in New Mexico's largest city have decided to close their offices for the day due to weather and road conditions, joining communities around the state that were hammered by the winter storm. All non-essential employees with the City of Albuquerque were told Friday morning not to come to work. The University of New Mexico also closed its main campus. Schools in some communities, including Santa Fe, canceled classes as difficult driving conditions were reported around the state.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Schools and government offices in some New Mexico communities are closed or delaying their openings because of a winter storm dropping snow and creating hazardous driving conditions. Schools are closed Friday in Santa Fe and Albuquerque's eastern mountains, and other Albuquerque schools delayed their openings by two hours. Gallup-area schools also delayed their openings, as did state government offices in Santa Fe and Las Vegas.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials have signed off on a plan that spells out how the Rio Grande will be allocated and delivered to users in southern New Mexico and Texas over the next three decades. The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the record of decision regarding the river's operating agreement was signed Thursday and that accounting and operation of the system will continue as it has for the past several years. A decision is still pending on renewal of a contract to store water from the San Juan-Chama project in Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico PBS, a public television station in the nation's most Hispanic state, is dropping Spanish-language TV channel Vme (BEE-meh) from its lineup due to low ratings. The move comes as Vme TV — the first and only Spanish broadcast television network associated with public television stations — recently announced it was transitioning to commercial cable over the next year. New Mexico PBS marketing manager Michael Privett says Vme TV just never caught on in the Albuquerque area despite the region's large Latino population.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials have signed off on a plan that spells out how the Rio Grande will be allocated and delivered to users in southern New Mexico and Texas over the next three decades. The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the record of decision regarding the river's operating agreement was signed Thursday and that accounting and operation of the system will continue as it has for the past several years. A decision is still pending on renewal of a contract to store water from the San Juan-Chama project in Elephant Butte Reservoir in southern New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the winter storm approaching New Mexico (all times local): 3 p.m. Gov. Susana Martinez has activated the state's emergency operations center in preparation for a winter storm that's expected to bring bitter cold temperatures and heavy snow to the northern half of New Mexico. The National Weather Service already has issued winter storm warnings and alerts for the region and forecasters are warning of significant travel impacts.

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