Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez says Department of Indian Affairs Cabinet Secretary Kelly Zunie will be stepping down to pursue other opportunities. Effective this Friday, Deputy Secretary Suzette Shije will serve as acting cabinet secretary. Martinez appointed Zunie as cabinet secretary in November 2014. Zunie was the first woman to lead the department that works with tribes, nations and pueblos throughout the state.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The number of drug overdose deaths increased to 497 in 2016 from 493 the previous year in New Mexico, a state that has led the western United States in drug fatalities as it wrestles with opioid and heroin addiction. The overdose death rate remained unchanged during 2016 at 24.8 deaths per 1,000 residents, considering slight statewide population growth, the state Department of Health announced Wednesday. The rate of unintentional fatal drug overdoses — those not linked to suicides — showed a slight increase.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates are urging New Mexico's elected leaders to enforce existing policies aimed at closing wage gaps and gender disparities within the workforce as a way to address poverty and other systemic problems that have hampered the state for decades. Leaders with the Southwest Women's Law Center, Young Women United and other groups gathered Wednesday in Albuquerque to discuss the gaps and how they might affect families. They pointed to New Mexico as one of the poorest states in the nation, with consistently high rates of children and families living in poverty.

WASHINGTON (AP) — How's that "blazing" economy? At home and abroad over the past week, President Donald Trump described an America where everyone's getting rich off the stock market, money has started gushing into NATO and practically everything's on the upswing since he took office. On Russian meddling in the U.S. election, he expressed an enduring uncertainty that his U.N. ambassador — convinced of Moscow mischief — doesn't share. A look at some of his statements: TRUMP, on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S.

SOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico professors will be studying how hurricanes are formed under a $2.8 million grant. A New Mexico Tech news release says that the physics researchers have used the funds from the National Science Foundation to create the Climate and Water Center to oversee their atmospheric field project. With an aircraft from the foundation, Dr. Zeljka (zel-KUH') Fuchs and David Raymond plan to get close to hurricane breeding grounds in the tropical East Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. The hope is to improve weather predictions around the world.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council has approved $218,943 for a referendum to use $216 million from the principal of the Navajo Nation Permanent Trust Fund for road projects across the reservation. The Gallup Independent reports (http://bit.ly/2o70OE6 ) the council approved the Transportation Stimulus Plan referendum on Monday. The referendum is on its way to President Russell Begaye for signature or veto. The Legislative staff says the plan would use the $216 million throughout a six-year period at $36 million per year.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A review by state auditors indicates vendors doing business with the state of New Mexico have room to improve when it comes to pay equity and gender representation. State Auditor Tim Keller and others gathered Wednesday in Albuquerque to release the findings of a wage equity study. Officials say the study marks the first in-depth review of wage reports that vendors must to submit to the state when bidding for contracts. The requirement stems from a 2009 executive order.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former Santa Fe paramedic has requested a reduced sentence after receiving five years of probation for charges of stealing a dead man's debit card while on the job and using it to fund an $11,000 shopping spree. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2t41q3N ) a judge will consider 32-year-old Michael John Harcharik's request next week. Harcharik pleaded no contest in December to three counts of violating the Remote Financial Service Unit Act and one count of identity theft for stealing the debit card of 76-year-old Allan Pearson.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man running across Albuquerque traffic lanes is dead after two cars struck him. Albuquerque Police Department released a statement early Wednesday saying the man was not in the crosswalk when he was hit. Officer Tanner Tixier says two cars, both dark sedans, left the area Tuesday night without stopping to render aid or call the authorities. The victim's identity is being withheld, pending notification of next of kin.

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Silver police are investigating a possible arson of one of the department's storage units. The Silver City Sun-News reports (https://goo.gl/2aTLtN) authorities were called to an early fire on Sunday at a department impound. Officer Steven Delgado wrote that he saw flames coming out of the third and fourth garage bays when he arrived at the scene. Police found three cuts in the fence around the storage facility. Silver City Police Chief Ed Reynolds says the building appears to be a total loss along with one vehicle being stored for evidence.

LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Police in New Mexico are investigating whether a Texas teenager was electrocuted when she grabbed her charging cellphone while bathing. Detective Sgt. David Miranda of the Lovington Police Department said Tuesday that the 14-year-old Lubbock girl died Sunday while visiting her father. He says no cause of death has been established, but that initial evidence suggests electrocution. Miranda says a cellphone, a charging cord and an extension cord were found by the bathtub. Miranda says investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico officials said Monday that $432,000 in skybox suite revenue from the university's basketball arena has gone uncollected. UNM officials made the disclosure during a news conference after the university announced there were "inconsistencies" in contracts for arena suites. They said they were instituting new controls and oversight of athletics department finances. Officials said they've started to collect the money owed to the department for box usage from 2010 to 2017, but so far don't know why it was never collected.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top prosecutor is suing one of the state's largest health insurance providers over allegations that it falsified Medicaid deductions and credits and as a result evaded tens of millions of dollars in premium taxes and surcharges. State Attorney General Hector Balderas on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Presbyterian Health Plan Inc.; Presbyterian Network Inc.; and Presbyterian Insurance Co. Inc.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on congressional race in central New Mexico (all times local): 2 p.m. An immigration lawyer is jumping into the race for an open congressional seat in central New Mexico. The Albuquerque Journal reports (https://goo.gl/rSTUqW ) Michael Hendricks is launching a campaign this week for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District. He is the second Republican candidate to enter a race for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor. Former state Rep.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — First responders who helped pull a boy from a pond in New Mexico have been told to seek medical treatment after cholera bacteria were found in the water. The Eastern New Mexico News reports (http://bit.ly/2t0QVOO ) Clovis City Manager Tom Phelps said on Monday that the first responders have been advised to take a doctor recommended course of antibiotics. Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine.

BLOOMFIELD, N.M. (AP) — Bloomfield plans to drill four test drills as it seeks a secondary water source for the northwestern New Mexico city. Public Works Director Jason Thomas says the drilling is intended to determine whether there's an aquifer beneath the San Juan River that could provide quality drinking water. The Farmington Daily Times (https://goo.gl/XVg7bu ) reports the project is funded by capital outlay money the city received from the state in 2016.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Los Alamos National Laboratory is making changes in the wake of last month's improper shipment of radioactive material to two other research facilities in the U.S. The lab says several people were disciplined for their roles in the mix-up. That included firings and other personnel actions, but officials declined to provide more details. The lab also has transferred responsibility for certain nuclear shipments to another division and has created more controls for making shipping labels.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe say shifting U.S. policies on security and immigration have not hampered participation by artists from 53 countries, from Cuba to Jordan. In its 14th year, the annual bazaar is expanding its mission to highlight innovation and high-fashion within folk art traditions, from flower-petal dyed scarves from India to Amazonian basketry with mesmerizing patterns and symmetry. A crowd of 20,000 is expected at the three-day sale that starts Friday.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Police say a rash of thievery is plaguing neighborhoods in one southeastern New Mexico city. Carlsbad authorities tell the Carlsbad Current-Argus (http://bit.ly/2sHYtlf ) there were between 10 to 15 auto burglaries in just the first week of July and that some thieves have graduated from unforced vehicle break-ins to homes. Earlier this year, Carlsbad police had warned of an increase in auto burglaries. Police Detective Scott Naylor says the department now has seen a rise in forced home break-ins across the city.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A rising Latina Republican state lawmaker says she is not jumping into the crowded race for an open congressional seat in central New Mexico. State Rep. Monica Youngblood told The Associated Press that she didn't feel it was a "viable option" for her to seek the GOP nomination for New Mexico's 1st Congressional District. Her announcement comes as some Republicans have urged her to run for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor. Seven Democrats are seeking their party's nomination for the seat.

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — A section of Interstate 10 near the New Mexico-Arizona border was closed for nearly two hours due to high winds and blowing dust. New Mexico Department of Transportation officials say the westbound lanes of the freeway were re-opened around 6 p.m. Monday but only the passing lane of eastbound I-10 is open at this time. Traffic was diverted onto U.S. 70 after visibility became low in the Lordsburg area around 4 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says any effort to rescind the designation of the state's two newest national monuments would be short-sighted and reckless. Balderas on Monday sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, outlining his support for Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The two are among 27 monuments where a review ordered by President Donald Trump might remove protections previously considered irreversible.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is instituting new controls and oversight of athletics department finances as it continues a review that has found "inconsistencies" in contracts for basketball arena suites, the university said Monday. A top university administrator, Chris Vallegos, will head efforts to evaluate and improve the department's financial management while working with the recently appointed acting athletic director, interim President Chaouki Abdallah said in a statement.

TIJERAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities say they were alerted to a potentially deadly domestic violence situation involving a woman and child thanks to a piece of smart home technology. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office detailed the case Monday, saying the woman had been threatened and hit in the face with a handgun. When the suspect asked if she had called the sheriff, that prompted Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to dial 911. Sheriff Manuel Gonzales says the unexpected use of the technology possibly helped save a life.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Event organizers are starting several major improvement projects to prepare for this year's Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The Albuquerque Journal reports construction begins Monday on a bridge over the North Diversion Channel that will lead to a new set of RV sites to the west of Balloon Fiesta Park. Balloon Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity says large radio transmission towers west of the park have been removed in order to construct RV sites and parking for staff and volunteers.