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Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is including New Mexico's most populous county in an effort to pressure cities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Bernalillo County was one of roughly two dozen jurisdictions to receive warning letters Wednesday from the Justice Department. Federal officials are threatening to issue subpoenas to jurisdictions that aren't relinquishing documents showing they aren't withholding information about the immigration status of people in custody.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The chief appellate judge for the Crow Nation has been confirmed as chief justice of the Navajo Nation's highest court. JoAnn "Joey" Jayne's appointment to the position in July had been subject to approval by the Navajo Nation Council. Tribal lawmakers voted in favor Wednesday, and Jayne immediately was sworn in. She's the first chief justice hired under a change that requires a law degree for the job. She joins Associate Justice Eleanor Shirley on the bench. The third position on the Navajo Nation Supreme Court is vacant.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Xcel Energy says it has completed a $24 million transmission project that will boost the capacity and reliability of the system that powers one eastern New Mexico city. Utility officials say the Roswell project is part of a larger, region-wide effort to expand and modernize Xcel's grid, which serves nearly 100 communities in eastern New Mexico and West Texas. Crews closed the final segment last week of a nearly 24-mile transmission loop that feeds the city's electric substations.

RATON, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say they are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving a Raton police officer. On Wednesday, State Police filed a criminal summons requesting Officer Andrew Sanchez appear in the Raton Magistrate Court. Authorities say a woman contacted police and alleges Sanchez sexually assaulted her on Jan. 8 while he was off duty. According to a criminal complaint, the woman says Sanchez slapped her face and choked her. The woman also says that she and Sanchez were in a relationship.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top education official said the state plans to emphasize a need to teach and support the arts by adopting new statewide K-12 education standards on the arts. State Public Education Secretary-designate Christopher Ruszkowski announced Tuesday that the state has adopted the National Core Arts Standards, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported . The new standards, which will take effect in July, will give public school students the chance to study at least one of the following disciplines: dance, music, theater, visual arts and media.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is including New Mexico's most populous county in an effort to pressure cities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Bernalillo County was one of roughly two dozen jurisdictions to receive warning letters Wednesday from the Justice Department. Federal officials are threatening to issue subpoenas to jurisdictions that aren't relinquishing documents showing they aren't withholding information about the immigration status of people in custody.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state lawmakers aren't supposed to raise money or campaign while they are in Legislative Session. But the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office said this week nothing in the state's campaign finance laws prevents them from having a "donate" button on their campaign websites. New Mexico Secretary of State spokesman Joey Keefe says the state law doesn't bar state lawmakers from having the "donate" button where supporters can actively give money to a campaign.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It will be up to a federal judge to determine whether New Mexico is doing enough to meet obligations spelled out as part of a costly decades-long legal battle over the institutionalization of people with developmental disabilities. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal on Tuesday ordered the case back to district court to determine whether the state is complying with federal law. The appeals court said it also will be up to the lower court to determine whether changes implemented over the years will last and if federal oversight can end.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments in the case of a man who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing five family members when he was a teenager. The oral arguments scheduled for Wednesday in Albuquerque come nearly two years after a state children's court judge decided Nehemiah Griego had been receptive to psychological treatment while in state custody and could be sentenced as a juvenile. That decision cleared the way for Griego's release on his 21st birthday in March.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in December, down from two consecutive months of 6.1 percent. The state jobless rate was at 6.7 percent in December 2016. It's still higher than the national unemployment of 4.1 percent. But labor officials say New Mexico for the 13th consecutive month recorded aggregate gains in the private sector that resulted in 10,800 jobs, or 1.3 percent growth.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico may take part in a fledgling effort to limit and regulate the role of money in politics by amending the U.S. Constitution. State lawmakers are considering a pledge to help Congress ratify constitutional changes to regulate money that is spent to influence elections and governance. The proposed memorial also pledges support amendments to end partisan gerrymandering. Heather Ferguson of the watchdog group Common Cause said Tuesday that the initiative is being introduced this year in a handful of states that include Alabama and New Hampshire.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Defense attorneys say a southwestern New Mexico man acted in self-defense when he fatally shot 22-year-old Andres Rojo in Artesia in 2015. The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the first day of trial began Monday for 23-year-old Daniel Aguilera, who is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Prosecutor Ariane Navarrette told the Carlsbad court that Aguilera was upset about not being invited to a party, and no one else was armed during the confrontation that led to the death of the New Mexico State University student.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque pet store says two thieves took off with two parrots worth over $2,000 each. Petland store Owner Terri Hallberg tells the Albuquerque Journal that two men stole a scarlet macaw worth $2,800 and a Timneh African grey worth $2,200 on Saturday evening. Hallberg says the macaw is the most expensive bird that the store has ever had and added that the less of them are being bred annually. Employee Terry Goodman says she saw the men walk out of the store with the parrots tucked under jackets.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man is facing charges after police say he pulled a convincing toy gun on a man littering outside an Albuquerque convenience store. Police say John Joel Robinson was arrested last week following a frantic call about a man with a gun at a Circle K. According to a criminal complaint, the 35-year-old Robinson pulled his Glock-style handgun on a man he saw throwing trash on the ground. Officers later discovered the weapon was a "very real looking toy gun." Robinson was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon. No attorney was listed for Robinson.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico's sexual misconduct prevention training has garnered mixed reviews from students, but a majority says it has had some benefit. The Albuquerque Journal reports the university's status report to the U.S. Department of Justice shows more than 75 percent of students say they better understood sexual assault and Title IX after taking "The Grey Area" course. A similar number of students reported they had more confidence in recognizing sexual behavior that violates university policy and felt more confident in reporting that behavior.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is calling for new legislation that expands the duty to report child abuse or negligence. Balderas on Monday endorsed a bill that aims to close a loophole in the New Mexico Abuse and Neglect Act. He says current law makes it a duty to report abuse by parents, guardians and custodians of children but leaves out abuse by other people such as school personnel.

TAOS, N.M. (AP) — Taos County Sheriff's officials say two wanted fugitives have been arrested along with four other occupants of a home. Deputies executed a search warrant Friday and say Jaelynn Duran and Eric Griego were taken into custody. Sheriff's officials say Duran was found hiding in a closet in the basement and tried to escape, which will result in an additional charge of resisting arrest. They say Griego was armed with a knife and tried to flee from the back of the house before he was subdued and taken into custody.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are proposing a pension-forfeiture law aimed at elected officials who are convicted or plead guilty to corruption charges. The bill from Democratic Rep. Matthew McQueen of Santa Fe and Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque responds to a string of high profile corruption cases against New Mexico elected officials. The pension forfeiture proposal would erase certain retirement benefits when an elected official is convicted of corruption-related charges such as fraud, bribery, perjury or kickbacks.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The long-running restoration and trail project along the Santa Fe River is moving along. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Santa Fe County started construction on a mile-long stretch of the River Trail between Frenchy's Field and Siler Road in November and expects the work to be complete by July.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say they're investigating the discovery of a dead body in northeast Albuquerque. Albuquerque TV station KOB says the discovery was made around 1:30 a.m. Sunday after sheriff's detectives were called to the scene. The body reportedly was found near an irrigation ditch. Sheriff's officials say it is too early to confirm a cause of death, but it's being treated as suspicious. There's no immediate word on the body's identity. ___ Information from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com

BERNALILL0, N.M. (AP) — Sandoval County Sheriff's officials say a former UFC fighter has been arrested in Rio Rancho. They say 39-year-old Isaac Vallie-Flagg, of Albuquerque, was taken into custody Friday while allegedly attempting to burglarize a commercial property. Authorities say Vallie-Flagg had cut the chain to the gate of the property and driven onto the grounds. Sheriff's deputies say he was found in possession of numerous identification cards, Social Security cards, a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle with a silencer. It's unclear if Vallie-Flagg has a lawyer yet for his case.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the New Mexico impact of the federal government's partial shutdown (all times local): 2:50 p.m. You can still visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southeastern New Mexico during the federal government's partial shutdown but don't expect to go underground to see the namesake cavern itself. Park officials say all park roads and trails remain open but that the cavern and the park's visitor center are closed to visitors. Carlsbad Cavern has a huge underground chamber called the Big Room with ceiling formations called stalactites.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of flu deaths in New Mexico continues to rise. The Albuquerque Journal reports that the latest figures attribute 16 deaths in New Mexico to the flu but a state Department of Health spokesman says the number is likely higher. Department spokesman David Morgan says that's because many of this season's 60 deaths from pneumonia are related to the flu. The 16 total flu deaths reported Friday are an increase of nine from figures from the previous week. At that point, there were seven deaths from the flu.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A national monument in northern New Mexico is mostly closed to visitors because of the federal government shutdown. Officials of Bandelier National Monument at Los Alamos say campgrounds, the visitor center and other main areas of the monument are closed as of Saturday but that the entrance road and some trails remain open. Some trails and access roads were already closed for winter. Superintendent Jason Lott says the closure is necessary for visitor safety and preservation of the monument's fragile archaeological features and natural resources.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric provider is seeking state regulatory approval for power purchase agreements with two companies that would build new wind and solar farms to provide electricity for Facebook's new data center. The Albuquerque Journal reports the Public Service Co. of New Mexico's request for the Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday comes after Facebook announced plans to expand the data center under construction south of Albuquerque. The utility has negotiated agreements with Avangrid Renewables and NextEra Energy Inc.

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