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Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court says prosecutors are not obligated to present live witness testimony at pretrial detention hearings. The ruling Thursday settles a question that had emerged among some prosecutors after voters approved a 2016 constitutional amendment to ensure dangerous or high-risk defendants awaiting trial remain incarcerated, and nonviolent suspects unable to afford bail are let go.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A northwestern New Mexico high school student is facing charges after writing a threatening message about a school shooting. Police say a 16-year-old Piedra Vista High School student was arrested this week after staff found the handwritten message in a boys' bathroom. The student was detained following a review of security footage outside the bathroom. Farmington police spokeswoman Georgette Allen says officers found no evidence the suspect was planning a school shooting.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has tapped Albuquerque civil rights attorney Leon Howard to lead the group's litigation and legal efforts in the state. The group said Wednesday that Howard will become the New Mexico chapter's legal director as the city of Albuquerque finishes up court-ordered reforms into its police department. Howard began his career working as an Assistant District Attorney in New Mexico's First Judicial District, primarily prosecuting DWI and domestic violence cases.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Highlands University officials say the school may see cuts or tuition hikes amid stagnant funding from the New Mexico state legislature. The Las Vegas Optic reports the proposals came as school officials expect state funding ranging from a zero-percent increase to a cut of 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, Highlands University is seeing a decrease in enrollment. Vice President for Finance and Administration and Government Relations Max Baca says undergraduate enrollment went down about 8.5 percent over the past year, dropping to 1,882 students.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Election sites far from reservations. Poll workers who don't speak tribal languages. Unequal access to early voting sites. Native Americans say they've encountered a wide range of obstacles that makes voting difficult. Advocates have been spending the past few months gathering stories from around Indian Country in hopes that tribal members can wield more influence in elections, and improve health, education and the economy on reservations. A coalition of voting rights groups is holding a field hearing Thursday in Phoenix to hear testimony.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers and the state's Republican governor are seeking more money this year for public schools as a state district court contemplates whether far more sweeping changes to state spending and oversight may be needed to fulfill constitutional guarantees for an adequate education.

A New Mexico state senator is sponsoring legislation to raise taxes on tobacco products to increase funding to public education. Democratic Sen. Howie Morales of Silver City announced Wednesday a bill that would increase the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.50 and impose an equivalent tax on cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes. Any increase in revenue would go toward operations for public schools throughout the New Mexico that rely on state government for majority of spending. A similar bill last year won approval in the state Senate but stalled in the House of Representatives.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are scheduled to hear arguments in a contentious case regarding a rate increase for customers of the state's largest electric utility. The Public Regulation Commission is rehearing the case Wednesday after Public Service Co. of New Mexico challenged an earlier decision that allowed for a rate hike but limited the utility's ability to recover investments made in two coal-fired power plants.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Santa Fe man is being accused of leading a drug trafficking ring that distributed crack cocaine in northern New Mexico. Officials with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the district of New Mexico detailed the charges against 31-year-old Kevin Madrid on Tuesday. Madrid has pleaded not guilty. He's being held pending trial, which is scheduled for Feb. 12. Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Santa Fe Police Department arrested Madrid in December following a long-term investigation.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state agency overseeing services for the elderly is defending its decision to end its contract with a major coordinator of services such as home-delivered meals and adult daycare. In a statement Tuesday, the Department of Aging and Long-Term Services said it terminated its contract with the Non-Metro Area Agency on Aging because of concerns about the group's handling of state and federal funds. U.S. Rep.

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in southern New Mexico say this year's event could be the biggest on record given a flurry of registrations. As of Monday, more than 4,150 people had signed up for the march. That represents 732 participants more than last year at the same time. The memorial march is scheduled for March 25 in the rugged terrain surrounding White Sands Missile Range.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state lawmaker is seeking legislation to obstruct plans for a new border wall by the Trump administration. Democratic Rep. Bill McCamley of Mesilla Park in southern New Mexico said Tuesday that he will introduce legislation that prohibits the use of state land in the construction of a new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Donald Trump's administration has proposed spending $18 billion over 10 years to significantly extend the border wall with Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two state lawmakers are putting forward a series of anti-crime proposals, including one they say would boost police retention by allowing for $15,000 bonuses for veteran officers. Republican Rep. Nate Gentry and Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto said Tuesday that their proposals represent a sweeping, bi-partisan approach to addressing crime — from tackling policing and court rules to trying to ensure behavioral health treatment for inmates leaving prisons or jails.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In the case of a man arrested numerous times on domestic violence charges, the New Mexico Supreme Court says a person's right to confront an accuser can be forfeited if that defendant is accused of wrongdoing through coercion or intimidation. The court in an opinion issued Monday said such behavior can have the same result as making an overt threat to ensure a victim's silence. The justices found that the district court should have allowed prosecutors to use some of the victim's statements in the case of Joshua Maestas.

SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — An El Paso businessman and developer is investing in a booming New Mexico industrial area along the U.S.-Mexico border. The El Paso Times reports that Lane Gaddy has purchased 3.4 square miles (8.8 square kilometers) of vacant land in Santa Teresa's growing industrial area. Gaddy says he believes momentum is in Southern New Mexico's favor no matter what happens with the NAFTA talks. Gaddy says he plans to sell pieces of his Santa Teresa land portfolio, which does not include any existing buildings, and develop some of it for industrial uses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Attorney General's Office is hoping a new disclosure form will provide more information for customers considering rooftop solar. Attorney General Hector Balderas released the new form last week, saying it was created in collaboration with the solar industry, consumer groups and regulators. He said it's aimed at making more understandable the complex terms that are often associated with distributed electricity generation, which includes rooftop solar systems, and power purchase agreements or leases.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez is making a final push for lawmakers to pass a series of tough-on-crime bills in her last year in office, including measures to expand the state's three-strikes law for violent felons and restore the death penalty. The governor unveiled the legislation Monday ahead of the 30-day session that begins next week in Santa Fe.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former Trump appointee who resigned after a probe into a tribal loan program he oversaw is running for Congress in New Mexico. Documents filed with the U.S. Federal Election Commission show that Gavin Clarkson is seeking the Republican nomination for a seat that represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border. The campaign later confirmed in a statement that Clarkson was running. The Washington Post reported that Clarkson resigned from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in November following a harsh Inspector General report into the loan program he directed.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two New Mexico lawmakers are proposing a special tax on pet food to raise money for spay and neutering fees for dogs and cats, but critics are concerned the additional fee could be passed on to consumers and deter pet food companies from doing business with New Mexico. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Democratic State Reps. Carl Trujillo and Debbie Rodella sponsored a bill that would impose an increase on commercial pet food registration fees from $2 per label to $100 per label of food each year.

A wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico would be removed from the list of federally protected species under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake. The Arizona Republican introduced the measure last week. He's a critic of the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan, calling it a regulatory nightmare for ranchers and rural communities. The bill calls for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine if a population of fewer than 100 wolves has been established along the Arizona-New Mexico border.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico Democratic Party chairman Brian Colon is running for state auditor. Colon announced his bid in a statement late Sunday. Colon says he is running because he is "fed up" and wants to ensure taxpayer money goes to the right places. He says his background in finance and law make him the right candidate. Colon earned an undergraduate degree in finance from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and graduated from law school at the University of New Mexico. Kevin Sourisseau is currently the acting deputy state auditor.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed in a shooting involving Albuquerque police. They say an officer opened fire after responding to a residential burglary call near east Central early Sunday. Police say officers were confronted by a man with a weapon and at least one officer shot the man. A multi-jurisdictional task force is investigating the officer-involved shooting. Police say investigators are obtaining search warrants and interviewing officers and witnesses about the shooting. The name of the man who was killed hasn't been released yet.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque say they're investigating an officer-involved shooting in the southeast part of the city. Details of the Sunday morning incident aren't immediately available and there's no word yet if any police officers are injured. A police spokesman says the shooting occurred on the 9100 block of Central NE.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A public school teacher in a New Mexico town situated near the country's largest American Indian reservation has developed a braille code for the Navajo language. Carol Green, who began developing vision problems as a child and is now a teacher for blind and visually impaired students in Farmington, developed a system of raised dots that enables people to read and write the Navajo language through touch, The Daily Times reported . The Navajo braille is based off the English code but it eliminates certain letters.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The city of Las Cruces and New Mexico State University are slated to celebrate the Aggies' first bowl win since President Dwight Eisenhower was in office. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports a celebration is scheduled for Jan. 20 at the Plaza de Las Cruces after New Mexico State's Arizona Bowl win last month. City officials say the plaza festivities will include members of the team, coaching staff, marching band, and other New Mexico State dignitaries.

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