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Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A White House official says President Donald Trump has received U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's recommendations about national monuments protecting wilderness and ocean. The official says Trump is reviewing Zinke's "recommendations to determine the best path forward for the American people." The official was not authorized to publicly discuss a draft report and insisted on anonymity. Zinke told The Associated Press Thursday he's recommending none of 27 national monuments be eliminated. But he says there would be changes to a "handful."

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he's recommending that none of 27 national monuments carved from wilderness and ocean and under review by the Trump administration be eliminated. But there would be changes to a "handful," he said. Zinke told The Associated Press that unspecified boundary adjustments for some monuments carved out of wilderness and ocean over the past four decades will be included in the recommendations he planned to give President Donald Trump on Thursday.

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Lowriders, the iconic cars popularized by Mexican Americans, will be the subject featured at an upcoming photo exhibit at Western New Mexico University. The Frances McCray Gallery of Contemporary Art will host an opening reception Sept. 7 to jump-start an exhibit highlighting the classic cars over several decades. The images will showcase New Mexican residents who have customized, detailed, painted, and upholstered symbols of Hispanic culture, creating mobile works of art. Lowriders describe cars whose suspension has been lowered to inches from the ground.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State University's outgoing chancellor says he announced his retirement earlier this month only after being told by school regents that his contract wasn't going to be renewed. Garrey Carruthers said in a statement Wednesday that he would have liked to remain at the university. He reportedly had publicly acknowledged his willingness to stay on for an additional two years. But after he was informed by university regents during an Aug. 1 meeting that they didn't intend to extend his contract, Curruthers' made his retirement announcement two days later.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico watchdog group issued a report card Wednesday that grades state legislators on their support of reforms for expanding campaign finance disclosures, voter registration opportunities and government ethics oversight. The online report card from Common Cause New Mexico sums up each lawmaker's voting record on three bills and two constitutional amendments during the legislative session that ended in March, including committee votes. Active sponsorship of the initiatives earned legislators extra points.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A longtime journalist and Albuquerque native has been hired as the new editor at The Santa Fe New Mexican. The newspaper announced Wednesday that Phill Casaus will replace Ray Rivera, who is leaving Sept. 8 for a job as deputy managing editor for investigations and enterprise with The Seattle Times. Casaus, a former editor at The Albuquerque Tribune and The Rocky Mountain News, currently works as the director of the Education Foundation for Albuquerque Public Schools, the state's largest school district.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Defense Department is investing $17 million in high-powered laser technology that has the potential for practical uses on the battlefield, from destroying enemy drones to disrupting communication systems. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich announced the funding during a news conference Wednesday at a Boeing lab in Albuquerque, where many of the innovations needed to track targets and control the intensity of the high-powered lasers were developed.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a New Mexico military-style Christian sect facing child abuse charges (all times local): 12:15 p.m. A former member of a New Mexico paramilitary Christian sect rocked by child sex abuse arrests says the group made members raid dumpsters to make bread. Julie Gudino told The Associated Press that as a member of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, she was forced to search dumpsters for discarded produce in order to bake bread that the group would sell.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus have been found in New Mexico's Socorro County. Officials with the New Mexico Department of Health and New Mexico State University said Tuesday that it's the first time a species of mosquito capable of transmitting Zika virus has been found in Socorro County. However, there have been no identified human cases of Zika virus in the county so far. The addition of Socorro County brings the total number of counties in the state with mosquitoes capable of spreading Zika to nine.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico city and its police chief are locked in a public battle over funding, staffing levels and allowing officers to coach at area schools. The Las Vegas Optic reports (https://goo.gl/6zBk8G ) the city of Las Vegas recently received a letter from Las Vegas Police Chief Juan Montano's attorney informing officials he has filed a tort claim against the city. Attorney Raul Carrillo wrote that the claim comes amid acts against Montano around funding issues, hostile work environment, whistleblower issues and retaliation against the chief.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico wildlife officials are considering changes to the state's fishing rules. The Game and Fish Department has scheduled a series of public meetings around the state to gather comment. The first two meetings will be in the Farmington area at the end of August. Meetings also will be held in Santa Fe, Roswell, Silver City, Taos, Las Cruces and Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 58-year-old Navajo Nation man faces eight years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter in a 2016 fatal stabbing. Larry June of Shiprock, New Mexico, originally was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of a 53-year-old Navajo woman. But he pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Albuquerque to the lesser manslaughter charge under an agreement with prosecutors.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An attorney for Republican Congressman Steve Pearce is accusing elected New Mexico officials of using politically motivated stall tactics to starve his campaign for state governor of funding. As he runs for governor in 2018, Pearce has filed a lawsuit seeking access to a $1 million campaign war chest that he assembled over the years as a congressman. Attorney Bill Canfield said Tuesday that political maneuvering is behind a request for an extended period to respond to the lawsuit in federal court.

TATUM, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Texas man has died in a car crash in southeastern New Mexico. New Mexico State Police say 24-year-old Ryan Sklencar of McQuenney was declared dead at the scene of the accident Tuesday afternoon in the small town of Tatum. They say Sklencar was driving on U.S. 380 near the New Mexico-Texas border when his jeep crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a commercial vehicle. State Police say the driver of the other vehicle wasn't injured. They say the fatal crash still is being investigated.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lottery officials say an Albuquerque man has claimed a $1 million Mega Million prize. The lottery announced Tuesday that Leonard Bulmer had initially purchased two wagers for the Aug. 11 drawing. When he didn't win, he returned to the grocery store and purchased a couple more tickets for the Aug. 18 drawing. He learned Friday night that he had a winning ticket with the numbers 1, 31, 34, 40, 75 and Mega Ball 6. He had to wait until Monday to claim the prize since lottery headquarters was closed over the weekend.

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — Espanola Police Chief Matthew Vigil will be retiring next month following his recent indictment on charges from domestic incidents. City of Espanola Human Resource Director Sally Baxter tells The Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/2xqbSjW ) that Vigil's retirement is effective Sept. 1. She did not say why the 41-year-old was leaving the police force. Vigil did not respond to phone calls from the newspaper seeking comment. Mayor Alice Lucero placed Vigil on administrative leave after he was indicted by a Taos grand jury last week.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top education officials are concerned about a growing divide between public schools that are earning top marks and those that are falling behind when it comes to student achievement and learning opportunities. The Public Education Department on Tuesday released its annual report card for schools. While the percentage of schools earning As and Bs remained unchanged at 38 percent, 20 more schools earned Fs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal housing officials have found no legal or regulatory violations following an inquiry into the nation's largest Native American public housing authority. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued its final report on an investigation into the Navajo Housing Authority that was prompted by criticisms over management and the spending of federal grants. The investigation included visits earlier this year to housing projects in New Mexico and Arizona, interviews and a review of housing plans and contractor agreements.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A $1 million Mega Million lottery ticket was sold in New Mexico. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/2wv4B6e ) the ticket was sold last week for the Aug. 18 drawing. The New Mexico lottery did not release where the winning ticket was sold. The owner has 90 days from Aug. 18 to claim their prize. The winning numbers were 1, 31, 34, 40, 75 and Mega Ball 6. ___

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says it plans to open an office in northwestern New Mexico. Five years in the making, officials say the much-needed office in Farmington will provide a base for deputy marshals and members of the Southwest Investigative Fugitive Team as they cover the Four Corners region, where the borders of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah meet. Each year, the team apprehends an average of 300 of the most violent fugitives wanted on federal and state charges in the region.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An audit of New Mexico state procurement practices has found that roughly $6.5 billion in annual outside contracts bypass the competitive bidding process. New Mexico State Auditor Tim Keller says current exemptions to competitive bidding practices were designed to save the state time or money. But Keller says they have ended up reducing accountability in government and fairness to outside businesses.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials in Albuquerque want to attract businesses to the western part of the city's Route 66. Business advocates and city officials will make the case for Albuquerque's Route 66 on Saturday at an event designed to draw attention to the opportunity along the historic road. The move comes as city officials have face criticism for the construction along Albuquerque's Route 66 for a new rapid-bus route. New Mexico has the longest stretch of Route 66 passing through urban communities.

GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — A leader of a New Mexico military-style Christian sect is facing dozens of child sexual abuse charges in a case that authorities say is connected to widespread abuse by the religious commune. Peter Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps in the remote community of Fence Lake, New Mexico, faces 100 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a child, according to a criminal complaint filed August 15.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is defending new pretrial detention policies from legal challenge in federal court by the bail bonding industry. In court filings released on Monday, state judicial officials called the lawsuit a desperate attempt by the bail bonding industry to regain control. New Mexico has begun releasing nonviolent suspects before trial who might otherwise languish in jail only because they cannot afford bail. The policy changes respond to a constitutional amendment approved by voters in November.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new analysis could lead to the merger of public transportation services in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2vSFPuW ) the $150,000 study examined potential efficiencies and service improvements that could be created through coordination between the city's Santa Fe Trails bus system and the more rural North Central Regional Transit District. Santa Fe city councilors and the regional transit board will review the analysis.

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