Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to fold thousands of acres into the Pecos Wilderness area northwest of Santa Fe is drawing resistance from nearby residents.

A group of people living in and around the village of Penasco, which is near forest involved in the proposed expansion, have been strongly opposed to the idea.

State lawmakers and wilderness advocates have thrown their support behind expanding the Pecos Wilderness, which includes 220,000 acres, by 30 percent with another 78,000 acres.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies say a 19-year-old man was killed in a head-on collision with a suspected drunk driver.

Sheriff's spokesman Aaron Williamson says Jacob Salazar was heading north on Coors Boulevard near Las Estancias when his car was hit by a truck around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Salazar was pronounced dead while being taken to a hospital.

Williamson says the 34-year-old driver of the truck, Roberto Lucero, remained hospitalized Sunday with serious injuries.

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a man was killed after he apparently lost control of his vehicle while driving north of Espanola.

Authorities say 24-year-old Antonio Valdez, of Santa Fe, was heading west on State Road 74 on Friday afternoon when he crashed.

According to investigators, the car went off the road and hit a fence before it overturned.

State Police say Valdez was not using a seat belt.

H was pronounced dead the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Newly released police video shows politician Bill Richardson feigning ignorance briefly before acknowledging to a Santa Fe Police officer that he rear ended another car at low speed and did not pull over.

The City of Santa Fe released the lapel-camera video on Thursday in response a request by The Associated Press.

CARRIZOZO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say state police have shot and killed a domestic violence suspect who fired at officers during a standoff outside a rural New Mexico town.

State police say the stand-off with the man began Wednesday evening after Lincoln County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic violence call at a home near Capitan.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The only commercial airline company at Four Corners Regional Airport is planning to close its maintenance operations, though it will continue passenger service.

Great Lakes Airlines will lay off 17 workers in its plane maintenance hangar by the end of the month. Officials say the airline has maintenance operations in Cheyenne and Denver. About eight of the laid off workers have been offered transfers to Denver.

The company will continue operating its two to five flights per day at the Four Corners Regional Airport.

CARIZOZO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a state highway is closed in south-central New Mexico because of a barricade situation involving an armed person described as suicidal.

State police said U.S. 380 is closed Thursday between San Antonio and Carrizozo though local traffic is being allowed through to some areas.

State police are assisting the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department with the situation, which began Wednesday evening.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Maggie Toulouse Oliver, the top elections official in New Mexico's most populous county, says she will run again for the Democratic Party's nomination for secretary of state.

This will mark Oliver's second run for the office.

She was defeated in 2014 by Republican incumbent Dianna Duran, who resigned from the position last year after being prosecuted for using campaign donations to fuel a gambling addiction.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The state's top agriculture official will be talking to dairy farmers and beef cattle ranchers in southeastern New Mexico impacted by last month's record snowstorm.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte will join officials from the state's Farm Service Agency at two informational meetings organized by the Dairy Producers of New Mexico.

The purpose of the meetings is to discuss disaster programs with dairy farmers, ranchers and other affected agricultural producers.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A state district judge says she'll consider arguments before issuing a written decision on whether to move the case of two former Albuquerque police officers charged in the on-duty shooting death of a homeless man in 2014.

Judge Alisa Hadfield gave no indication Tuesday how soon a decision will come.

Defense attorneys and the special prosecutor assigned to the case spent about an hour arguing whether the trial of now-retired detective Keith Sandy and ex-officer Dominique Perez should be moved from Albuquerque to Las Cruces.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State Auditor Tim Keller says New Mexico is making progress toward balancing its government checkbook after an estimated $100 million discrepancy was reported last year.

The Office of the State Auditor announced Monday that the discrepancy is now about $4.1 million between the state's general ledger and actual balances in bank accounts.

The accounting problems have been traced to software adopted by the state in 2007.

The assessment of the state's 2015 general ledger was completed by an Albuquerque-based consultant.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is unveiling a $6.46 billion budget proposal that emphasizes increased spending on public education, law enforcement initiatives and economic development programs.

Martinez announced her budget recommendations Tuesday at Corrections Department offices in downtown Albuquerque. Legislators convene later this month to craft a state budget.

The Republican governor wants to increase spending by $282 million over last year. That represents a 3.7 percent expansion.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A crime wave in New Mexico's largest city brought a rise in homicides in 2015, with early figures showing the number of killings in Albuquerque increased by about 53 percent from the previous year.

Albuquerque police say preliminary figures for 2015 show that they investigated at least 46 homicides. It's the highest number of homicides the city has seen since 2009, when FBI statistics show there were 56 in Albuquerque.

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — A 20-year-old Iyanbito man has been arrested for allegedly hitting a Cibola County Sheriff's deputy with a stolen van.

Police say Shawnessy Martinez has been booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated battery upon a police officer and two counts of aggravated assault.

He's also accused of vehicle theft, aggravated fleeing from law enforcement and criminal property damage.

The van was reported stolen from outside a bar in Prewitt and that led to a chase.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers in New Mexico are proposing a series of new criminal penalties for repeat drunken driving offenses.

Legislators on Monday introduced three bills that would increase jail time and trigger other felony sanctions against drunken drivers under existing New Mexico laws for habitual offenders.

One bill proposes increased penalties for those who lend their car to someone whose license has been revoked or suspended because of a prior DWI offense.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez is pressing Gov. Susana Martinez about a REAL ID letter amid a pending deadline.

Sanchez wrote Martinez and GOP House Speaker Don Tripp on Monday that all sides should come to a "fair agreement" on writing a letter to Department of Homeland Security seeking an extension on federal REAL ID requirements.

Last month, federal officials said New Mexico could get an extension if Martinez and lawmakers sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security seeking an extension.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County deputies have arrested two men in the killing of a 60-year-old man.

Sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Williamson said Sunday that 20-year-old Andrew Romero and 33-year-old Steve Salazar have been booked murder and conspiracy charges.

Salazar also faces counts of evidence tampering and witness intimidation.

According to a criminal complaint, Floyd Mascarenas' sister came home Thursday night and found her brother lying in a pool of blood.

She called authorities, who pronounced Mascarenas dead.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 3-year-old girl who was in a car that was stolen from outside an Albuquerque grocery store is home safe.

Caraline Leon-Alcocar was found in an empty parking lot around 1 a.m. Sunday.

Police spokesman Daren DeAguero says the girl was "very cold and very scared" but otherwise unharmed.

She was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

According to police, the child's mother had stopped to fill water jugs outside the store around 8:30 p.m. when a male suspect drove off in the running car with Caraline buckled up inside.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man is accused of putting his infant within inches of a ceiling fan and then in a choke hold.

Bernalillo County Sheriff's deputies arrested 32-year-old Benny Ballejos.

It was not clear Sunday what charges he will face.

Sgt. Aaron Williamson says the incident began when Ballejos and his girlfriend got into a drunken fight at a house party Friday.

Ballejos allegedly held the baby's head close to the fan to intimidate the girlfriend.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico prison doctor accused of sexual assaulting inmates during exams is the subject of another lawsuit, bringing the number of litigation cases against him to 15.

A Guadalupe County Correctional Facility inmate who alleges Dr. Mark Walden fondled him filed a lawsuit in federal court last month. Nearly 80 inmates from two state prisons say Walden victimized them or failed to give adequate medical care.

The inmate in the latest case said he didn't come forward sooner because he was embarrassed and was afraid of possible retaliation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A major Albuquerque freeway off-ramp will be closed for a month later this year for a multimillion-dollar reconstruction project.

The off-ramp that takes drivers from Interstate 40 to Louisiana Boulevard will be off-limits starting in mid-March.

The state Department of Transportation says a $3.7 million project will include improving that ramp.

Improvements will include a third left-turn lane where the ramp meets Louisiana to ease congestion.

The ramp is near one of the city's most popular shopping districts.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Stakeholders in New Mexico's oil and gas industry, particularly in Eddy County, are bracing for where crude oil prices will land in this new year.

The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association says the state had a record producing year but a drop in prices in 2015 had many wondering if it was the end of a boom.

In the past year, oil has dropped to a seven-year low and a 40-year-old oil export ban was lifted.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a man allegedly tried to carjack a vehicle with a passenger inside, dragging the car's owner.

Valerie Valdez had run into a Walgreens drug store while her friend waited in the car.

Valdez says she then saw the suspect get into the driver's seat of her car.

The suspect allegedly backed up the car, resulting in Valdez getting dragged for 10 feet.

Three Walgreens employees then pinned the suspect down until police arrived.

Valdez says she suffered bruising on her back, knees and ankles.

MESCALERO, N.M. (AP) — Two skiers who went missing at a southern New Mexico have been found.

KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reports that the two men were found yesterday uninjured.

The men, ages 23 and 27, were last seen Friday at Ski Apache in Mescalero.

They were reported missing after they never made it back to their vehicle by 4 p.m.

Officials say authorities have made contact with them and are working to safely get to them. They did not say where they were found.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of New Mexico residents will be required to complete paid or unpaid work in order to receive government food assistance after they ring in the new year.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that beginning Friday, most childless adults without disabilities and between the ages of 18 to 49 who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will have to prove they spend 80 hours a month in an approved work activity to continue receiving monthly benefits.

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