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Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Democrat-led push to expand health care coverage by allowing almost anyone to buy into Medicaid is gaining ground in New Mexico. The state Legislature is considering initial studies and steps toward opening up access to Medicaid services through a fee to individuals and possibly businesses, amid GOP efforts in Washington to dismantle Obamacare. The concept has the backing of a coalition of local public health advocacy groups. Legislative efforts are being led by Rep. Deborah Armstrong and Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino.

CLAYTON, N.M. (AP) — Record high temperatures for winter are making their way to New Mexico. The National Weather Service said Clayton, New Mexico, reached 78 degrees (25.5 Celsius) on Tuesday. That's a record high for the northeastern New Mexico community in winter. Much of New Mexico has seen temperatures above normal in recent days. Temperatures in Arizona also are heating up to near-record marks. National Weather Service meteorologists say Phoenix's high Monday was 83 degrees, tying the record for the date set in 1935.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A southern New Mexico woman is facing charges after authorities say she gave her 13-year-old daughter marijuana candy. The Dona Ana County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that Sylvia Rubio was arrested following an investigation that began in November. According to a criminal complaint, Rubio's daughter took chocolates containing marijuana to school but was confronted by the school principal. Rubio told detectives a homeopathic doctor suggested she give her daughter edible medical marijuana to ease her anxiety.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two Democratic state lawmakers in New Mexico have proposed consumer protection legislation in response to the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net-neutrality rules, urging the state's Republican governor on Tuesday to allow a vote on the measure. Gov. Susana Martinez has discretion over whether non-budgetary bills can be heard during a 30-day legislative session and has not responded.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state report shows the number of criminal cases filed in New Mexico courts increased by more than 7 percent during the last fiscal year with homicide and domestic violence cases increasing significantly. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports more than 16,800 new criminal cases were filed in district courts from July 2016 to June 2017. More than 15,600 cases were filed during the previous year. The annual report by the state Administrative Offices of the Courts shows homicide case filings increased by about 32 percent from 125 cases to 165.

Authorities say a 13-year-old boy whose body was found buried in a remote area of northern New Mexico had endured years of abuse that included being locked for hours at a time inside a dog kennel. Santa Fe County Sheriff Robert Garcia choked back tears Tuesday as he provided more details about a case that state and local authorities described as gruesome and heartbreaking.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A revised spending bill for New Mexico state government includes a 10 percent pay raise for utility regulators and statewide elected officials including the state's next governor. The budget bill is headed to the state House of Representatives for a vote after approval Tuesday by a panel of lawmakers. Senate revisions are pending. The plan would provide a 10 percent pay increase starting Jan. 1, 2019, to the governor, attorney general, state treasurer, state auditor and secretary of state, as well as members of the Public Regulation Commission.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico election regulators say the Libertarian Party has qualified as a major political party. Major-party status makes it easier for Libertarians candidates to get their name on the ballot. Secretary of State's Office spokesman Joey Keefe said Monday that Libertarian candidates need just 230 petition signatures to run statewide. A Democrat will need 2,507 based on prior election turnout. Attorney A.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A federal entity that markets and transmits electricity across the West is expressing interest in a proposed transmission line that would link Arizona and New Mexico and serve as a path to get renewable energy to large markets in the region. Developers of the SunZia transmission project say they and the Western Area Power Administration have reached an agreement that includes terms and options for the agency's potential participation in the project. SunZia declined to provide details, saying the agreement was confidential.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say three people have been arrested in the death of a teenager in New Mexico including the boy's mother. Santa Fe County Sheriff's officials say investigators received confidential information last Thursday regarding a possible homicide. They built a case over the weekend and announced on Monday the arrests of 42-year-old Wayne Ferguson, 35-year-old Tracy Ann Pena and 19-year-old Jordan Anthony Nunez in connection with the death of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia. Authorities say Valencia is Pena's son. Sheriff's officials say Nunez lives in Hereford, Texas.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A legal challenge filed Monday in state district court accuses New Mexico of unlawfully denying driver's authorization cards to some residents under a system adopted in 2016 to meet federal REAL ID Act requirements. Civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups claim the state has failed to fully and correctly implement the driver's license law and that requiring unnecessary documentation for a driver's authorization card is causing confusion and hardship for some.

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — Lonnie Allsup, who started a chain of Allsup's Convenience Stores that expanded throughout New Mexico and Texas, has died. The Muffley Funeral Home in Clovis, New Mexico, confirmed Allsup died Sunday. He was 82. A cause of death was not immediately known. Allsup and his wife, Barbara, grew up in the small town of Morton, Texas, before purchasing a "drive-in" grocery store in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1956. From there, they grew Allsup's into a chain of 300 stores in 160 towns and cities.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is being accused of illegally denying driver's authorization cards to some residents after the state adopted a new system in 2016 to meet federal REAL ID Act requirements. Civil rights and immigrant advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Monday in state district court in Santa Fe. Under the state's two-tiered system, the Motor Vehicle Division issues two kinds of identification.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Two men face charges in connection with the 1997 death of a man whose body was found in a ditch, in a case that has revolved around trying to locate a man previously charged and believed to be in Mexico. Tony Gonzales of Roswell was charged Jan. 22 with one count of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Edward Raymond Sanchez, while Gonzalo David Bonilla of Haltom, Texas, was originally charged Nov. 16 with four felony counts, the Roswell Daily Record reported last week.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The odds of beating DWI charges in Bernalillo County are about 50-50. According to the Albuquerque Journal, 42 percent of all DWI cases resolved in Metropolitan Court last year were dismissed either by judges or prosecutors while 58 percent ended with a guilty verdict or plea. In 2016, the percentages favored defendants with 55 percent of drunken driving cases being dismissed compared to 45 percent ending in pleas or convictions. District Attorney Raul Torrez believes prosecutors are making progress.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who fled Budapest to Mexico during World War II is scheduled to speak in Albuquerque. Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico announced this week that Samuel Marein-Efron will speak at the center on February 9. Marein-Efron was born into a wealthy Budapest family but was forced to flee after anti-Semitic laws were passed in Hungary. His family later ended up in Mexico City in 1941. His father later helped refugees from Poland.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico public schools would have additional money to spend each year on security under a measure being considered by state lawmakers. Supporters initially sought as much as $60 million for the effort but decided Friday to reduce the request to $25 million as lawmakers work on crafting a state budget. The measure calls for funneling the extra funds to the Public Education Department for training school personnel to respond to armed threats or attacks, contracting or employing security personnel and installing security cameras and metal detectors.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A lockdown at a downtown Albuquerque hospital has been lifted as police continue to investigate a fatal shooting. Officials at Presbyterian Hospital say the facility was placed on lockdown as a precaution shortly before noon Sunday after a gunshot victim was brought into the emergency room. The man eventually died from his injuries. His name hasn't been released yet. Police say they're investigating the incident as a homicide. The lockdown was lifted shortly after 1 p.m.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a 26-year-old man is in custody and being treated for minor injuries suffered when he was hit by a bean bag round fired by Santa Fe police during a confrontation Saturday following a reported domestic violence incident. The New Mexico State Police says 26-year-old Alex Maestas allegedly barricaded himself inside a home and fired numerous gunshots inside the home during an eight-hour barricade situation Saturday.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Environment Department will be setting a date soon for a public hearing related to the cleanup of chromium contamination at one of the nation's premier federal laboratories. Agency spokeswoman Allison Majure said Friday a notice informing the public will come at least 30 days before the hearing. In a recent ruling, the state Court of Appeal sided with a coalition of environmental groups, finding there was no evidence to support an earlier decision by regulators to deny requests for a hearing.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to increase funding for early childhood education in New Mexico by distributing more money from a multibillion dollar state sovereign wealth fund has cleared another legislative hurdle. A panel of House lawmakers on Friday recommended approval of the constitutional amendment by a 7-4 vote with Democrats in support. It now heads to the House floor for consideration. The initiative would increase annual distributions from the Land Grant Permanent Fund by 1 percent. Supporters say preschool programs need more money to expand. Republican Gov.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The flu is continuing its march across New Mexico. State officials said Friday the New Mexico Health Department has investigated 21 outbreaks in long-term care facilities since October. That's more than was reported during the entire 2016-2017 flu season. Flu-related hospitalizations, especially in older residents, continue to steadily increase. There also have been 18 flu-related deaths and 72 pneumonia-related deaths in adults this season. State Epidemiologist Michael Landen says there's still time for people to get vaccinated.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are trying to figure out how more than 40 pounds of marijuana ended up being dumped at an Albuquerque elementary school. Police say the pot was found in several trash bags at Manzano Mesa Elementary School on Thursday morning. The discovery by a custodian prompted the principal to call police. The Albuquerque Journal reported that it marked the second instance of marijuana being found at or near an elementary school this week.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A panel of New Mexico state lawmakers is endorsing the reinstatement of state tax credits toward the purchase of rooftop solar energy systems. A Senate committee on Thursday recommended approval of a 10 percent tax credit against the cost of solar energy systems for homeowners, small businesses and farms. Credits would be capped at $9,000 per business and $4,000 per residence. Democratic state Sen. Mimi Stewart is sponsoring the bill. New Mexico's previous solar tax credit system expired in 2016.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man is facing charges after police say he and his girlfriend pawned a stolen crown from a Miss Indian America pageant winner. Court records show that Isaac Wright was arrested this week in connection with the theft and another burglary. According to a criminal complaint, Winona Buckner noticed her stolen 1969 crown on eBay and contacted police. Officers found the listing connected to a pawn shop whose workers helped lead police to the 40-year-old Wright.

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