Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former inmate searching for evidence of abuse at a now-closed state penitentiary has started digging. Samuel Chavez revisited the site of the abandoned Penitentiary of New Mexico on Wednesday, shovel in hand, searching for evidence to prove his claims that the state conducted medical experiments on prisoners, tortured them and sold their organs and blood. The Department of Corrections has denied Chavez' allegations. Chavez fought a two-year court battle for the right to search the grounds for evidence he says he buried but on Wednesday his search came up empty.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The White House's top drug control official is set to visit New Mexico on Thursday for a forum on addressing the opiate crisis. Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, is expected to discuss programs aimed at preventing and treating prescription drug addictions during a forum in Albuquerque at 6 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico education officials are set to release results from the latest student standardized tests. The New Mexico Public Education Department is scheduled Thursday afternoon to unveil the latest results that will help determine school grades. The test results come a year after only around a quarter of New Mexico students in grade 3 to 8 met proficiency or better benchmarks for reading and writing.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez will push to reinstate the death penalty in response to the killing of a municipal police officer in the south of the state and other recent events. The Republican governor and former district attorney announced her plans Wednesday in a passionate appeal for justice in the wake of the shooting death of Hatch police officer Joseph Chavez. New Mexico repealed the death penalty in 2009 by replacing provisions for lethal injection with a sentence of life in prison.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Santa Fe say two people have been arrested in connection with a $40,000 jewelry robbery last weekend. Detectives interviewed 40-year-old Jacob Paquin, who's jailed on a probation violation. Police say Paquin admitted being in the surveillance footage but doesn't remember Saturday's theft or where he put the jewelry. They say Paquin's girlfriend initially denied involvement in the theft but offered to check the trailer home she shares with him for stolen jewelry.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A man already convicted on an armed career criminal charge has been found guilty on carjacking and firearms charges in New Mexico and is possibly facing life in federal prison. Prosecutors say a jury in Albuquerque convicted 40-year-old Samuel Silva on charges arising from a one-day crime spree in April 2014. Another federal jury previously convicted Silva on an armed career criminal charge in July 2016. Silva was arrested in December 2014 and indicted on six offenses that occurred in New Mexico's Bernalillo County.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republicans in New Mexico who don't want to vote for Donald Trump may have another option come November. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( ) that the group Better for America claims to have gathered enough signatures from registered voters to qualify as a minor political party, but the Secretary of State's Office disagrees, saying the group submitted too many invalid signatures. Better for America is asking a state District Court judge to order the office to certify it as a minor party.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing felony charges after authorities say he falsified identification documents to purchase vehicles and thousands of dollars in merchandise during a weeklong spending spree. A Las Cruces police spokesman said Wednesday that 29-year-old Ronald Murray, of Rio Rancho, is charged with identity theft, forgery, fraud, and fraudulent use of a credit card. According to authorities, his fraudulent purchases in June included a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Jeep Wrangler, and totaled nearly $90,000.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state utility regulators have approved a power-supply plan for a proposed Facebook data center in the village of Los Lunas. The social media giant also is considering a location in West Jordan, Utah, for the facility. Members of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a power plan for the data center that would offset new electricity demands with solar energy. Investor-owned utility Public Service Co.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico district court judge has ordered Corizon Health to release settlement agreements it made with inmates who have filed lawsuits against the company. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( ) that on Tuesday the judge sided with two newspapers and an advocacy group that the for-profit provider of inmate medical services was not protected by confidentially agreements made with the prisoners who had sued. Until recently Corizon held a $37.5 million-per-year contract Department of Corrections to provide medical services at 10 New Mexico prisons.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A van used to take northern New Mexico veterans to medical appointments at Albuquerque's VA Hospital has been vandalized. The Las Vegas Optic reports authorities say parts from the San Miguel County van were stolen over the weekend, knocking it out of commission. San Miguel County Manager Les Montoya says the county has been forced to suspend the veterans' transportation program until it can file an insurance claim and repair the damage. Montoya says the damage was so severe that when he first saw the van he thought it had been wrecked.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Plans by a commercial venture to pipe billions of gallons of water from rural western New Mexico to more populated areas of the state are inching ahead again. New Mexico's top water official has cleared the way for a public hearing to weigh the merits of the proposal being floated by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC. The company wants to drill more than three dozen wells capable of pumping more than 17 billion gallons of groundwater a year to supplement dwindling supplies in the Rio Grande Valley.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has ordered flags across the state to be lowered in an honor of a police officer killed last week in Hatch. Martinez says the senseless killing of Officer Jose Chavez during a traffic stop Friday is a tragic reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face every day. Flags will be flown at half-staff on Wednesday. Funeral services for Chavez, who was 33 and a father of two, are set for Sunday in Las Cruces, his hometown. Authorities say he was a two-year veteran of the Hatch Police Department.

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — A Colorado manufacturer of candy and cough drops is relocating to New Mexico. The New Mexico Economic Development Department recently announced St. Claire's Organics will move its operations to the village of Santa Clara located near Silver City. Debra St. Claire, founder of St. Claire's Organics, says the decision to relocate was based on New Mexico's welcoming attitude and business friendly environment. St. Claire's Organics makes brand mints, candies, and fruit tarts.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say a man and woman are dead after a shooting and they're trying to find the suspect. They say a verbal altercation occurred in front of a house in Albuquerque about 11 p.m. Monday that led to the shooting. Authorities believe the victims knew the shooter. The man and woman were found dead at the scene. Their names are being withheld until their relatives can be notified. The car the victims were driving crashed into a shed a couple houses down the street.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Arizona woman who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and assault charges in New Mexico has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Prosecutors say 41-year-old Miranda Rentz of Red Valley, Arizona, also was sentenced Tuesday to three years of supervised release after she completes her prison term. Rentz was arrested in January 2015 after authorities say a car she was driving crashed head-on into another vehicle in New Mexico's San Juan County. Authorities say one person in the other car was killed and another seriously injured.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit asking the court to stop U.S. Border Patrol from seizing medical marijuana at highway checkpoints near the southern border. The Deming Headlight reports ( ) that Raymundo Marrufo of Deming filed the lawsuit in fall 2015. Marrufo said says there are no dispensaries in Deming and he must go to Las Cruces to fill his prescription forcing him to pass through a checkpoint with a drug-sniffing dog on the way home. District Judge William P. Johnson granted the Border Patrol's request for a dismissal in April.

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes is suing the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states. Attorneys for the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday. The tribe joins the state of New Mexico in pursuing legal action in the wake of the August 2015 spill. Tribal officials pointed to delays and resistance, saying the EPA has failed to compensate Navajos for their losses or provide any meaningful recovery.

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes is suing the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states. Attorneys for the Navajo Nation filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday. The tribe joins the state of New Mexico in pursuing legal action in the wake of the August 2015 spill. Tribal officials pointed to delays and resistance, saying the EPA has failed to compensate Navajos for their losses or provide any meaningful recovery.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Film Office says an action-comedy starring Oscar-winning actors is being filmed through the end of September in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The film, "Villa Capri," features Tommy Lee Jones as an ex-military operative and Morgan Freeman as a former lawyer. The two must put aside a petty rivalry to defend their resort community. Publicist Diane Slattery says production will spend about six weeks in New Mexico. The state film office says the movie includes about 120 crew members, 12 main actors and 650 background actors from New Mexico.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man shot and wounded by a state police officer had stolen a vehicle north of Albuquerque and fled before the pursuit ended and an officer opened fire. A New Mexico State Police spokesman says 52-year-old William Wilson took a vehicle by threatening the owner with a bladed weapon near the San Felipe Casino along Interstate 25. The suspect is accused of fleeing north in the vehicle to the Las Vegas-area, where authorities say the pursuit ended and Officer Carlos Vigil shot Wilson. The suspect sustained a non-life threatening injury. State Police Sgt.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State prison officials have been packing two inmates in cells built for one person at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants, violating population controls. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports ( ) that a recent federal court settlement shows that the facility was "double-celling" prisoners, which violates terms of the Duran Decree, which was put in place after the bloody Santa Fe penitentiary riot in 1980. Severe crowding was cited as a major contributor to the Santa Fe riot, in which 33 inmates died.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Donald Trump's running mate Mike Pence is scheduled to make a campaign stop in New Mexico's largest city — where a Trump rally in May turned violent. The Republican vice presidential candidate is slated to speak Tuesday at the Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque before heading to Roswell, New Mexico, for another campaign event. Albuquerque was the site a Trump event in downtown Albuquerque that turned violent. Anti-Trump supporters threw rocks and burning T-shirts at police.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — "The Lost Pueblo," a New Mexico film about the legacy of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, is set to be screened at a Christian film festival in New York. The movie is scheduled to be shown Saturday as part of the 2016 Great Lakes Christian Film Festival in Buffalo. The film, set in modern times, recounts the story of one of the pueblos that revolted when the Spanish settlers came to New Mexico. It was inspired by book "Saints of the Pueblos" by Charlie Carillo.

SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes is the latest entity to pursue legal action against the federal government over a massive mine waste spill that tainted rivers in three Western states. Navajo Nation officials say they have directed their attorneys to file a lawsuit over what they call an "unprecedented environmental disaster." Navajo President Russell Begaye, Navajo Attorney General Ethel Branch and other tribal officials planned to discuss details of the legal action during a news conference Tuesday in Shiprock, New Mexico.