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Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State Auditor Tim Keller has entered the race to become Albuquerque's next mayor. The Democrat made his announcement Wednesday, saying he will seek public financing for his campaign. An Albuquerque native, Keller said the city is a special place but is facing immense challenges, including some of the highest crime rates in decades. He listed police reforms and economic development as top priorities. Republican City Councilor Dan Lewis and retired police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes, an independent, announced their candidacies earlier this week.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The legislative committee that drafts the New Mexico state budget is recommending new cuts in agency spending for next year to avoid a shortfall. Budget recommendations announced on Wednesday by the Legislative Finance Committee would trim general fund spending by 0.4 percent to $6.05 billion. Funding for public schools would decrease by $22.5 million without cutting per-pupil funding to school districts, and would bolster some efforts to improve early literacy.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The outgoing Bernalillo County District Attorney compared the Albuquerque Police Department to a criminal enterprise in one of her final acts in office. Kari Brandenburg wrote in a farewell letter to the U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, released Tuesday, that the police department is affected by widespread corruption and is unwilling to change. APD Chief Gorden Eden released a statement Tuesday saying his officers work tirelessly for the community and that all of Brandenburg's allegations are baseless.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A fire at a Farmington apartment complex displaced approximately 30 people but there were no immediate reports of injuries. The Daily Times (https://goo.gl/KQTZpl ) reports that the Tuesday night fire destroyed six units and that residents were evacuated from several others. Police Lt. Casey Malone said a motel owner provided rooms for the night for displaced residents, and the American Red Cross says it sent volunteers to assist displaced residents.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The nation's only Latina governor is avoiding attacking President-elect Donald Trump over not appointing a Hispanic cabinet member. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who clashed with Trump during the election, said Tuesday the new president has the right to pick "the best and the brightest" for his team — even if that means there won't be a Latino in his cabinet. None of Trump's cabinet picks is Latino. The Trump administration could be the first one in three decades not to have a Hispanic cabinet secretary.

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — A study done by a consulting firm for the village of Los Lunas estimates nearly $2 billion in fiscal and economic impacts from Facebook's new data center over 10 years. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2jgltDH) the study by California-based David Taussig & Associates came out in December, more than a month after Facebook broke ground. The study focused on whether the project was expected to generate enough revenues for Los Lunas to offset funding provided through the state Local Economic Development Act.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the discoveries of several bodies in the Albuquerque area (all times local): 6 p.m. The FBI says the bodies of an adult woman and a child were found Tuesday on a Native American pueblo on the northern outskirts of the Albuquerque. Searchers found the bodies of two unidentified children on the Santa Ana Pueblo on Monday and the body of another adult woman Sunday. FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says it appears the bodies are the missing women and children who were the subject of an Albuquerque Police Department missing persons bulletin issued Saturday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on New Mexico and President Obama's farewell address. (all times local): 5:30 p.m. The nation's only Latina governor says it is not her role to evaluate the presidency of Barack Obama. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, said Tuesday it's up to the American people and for history to decide on what impact his presidency had on the country and the world. Martinez often criticized the Obama Administration over the Affordable Care Act and policies dealing with endangered species.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has a budget plan designed to close the state's funding shortfall and restore depleted reserves while sticking by her vows to avoid tax increases. Announced Tuesday, the plan preserves funding for economic development and public safety, while extending recent agency spending cuts into next year and deepening those cuts at the Legislature and state universities. It also would shrink overall compensation to state employees by decreasing pension contributions.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says a New Mexico State Police officer did not violate clearly established law when he shot and killed an armed man without first calling out a warning. The nation's highest court issued its decision Monday in the case of Officer Ray White, who is facing a wrongful death lawsuit over the 2011 shooting of Samuel Pauly at a home in northern New Mexico.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Six fired employees are suing New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas over claims that the state's top prosecutor retaliated against them and three dozen of their colleagues after he was elected in 2014. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2j4qFgB) the lawsuit was filed last week in state district court after workers failed to have their dismissals overturned by the state Personnel Board. Balderas spokesman James Hallinan says the lawsuit is without merit. The personnel board said the employees serve at the pleasure of the attorney general.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former Santa Fe paramedic has been sentenced to probation for stealing a debit card from a man getting treatment and using it to spend more than $11,000 after the patient died. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2i9oLvr ) that 32-year-old Michael John Harcharik on Monday was sentenced to a suspended sentence of six years in prison. If he serves probation without incident, he will avoid jail time. He pleaded no contest on Dec. 15 to identity theft and three counts of violating the Remote Financial Service Act.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The FBI says the dead bodies of two children and a woman have been found on a Native American pueblo on the northern outskirts of the Albuquerque area. FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says the body of an unidentified woman was found Sunday on the Santa Ana Pueblo and that the two children's bodies were discovered Monday in a rugged area of the pueblo. Identities, circumstances of the deaths and information about discovery of the bodies were not released, and Fisher said the case remains under investigation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic activists in the country's most Hispanic state are holding a "watch party" to listen to the nation's first black president give his final address. Advocates in New Mexico are gathering at a union hall in Albuquerque Tuesday night to hear President Barack Obama say goodbye and thank his supporters. Obama will deliver the speech in his adopted hometown of Chicago, and Democratic activists are planning watch parties around the country.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Highlands University has named a new provost. The northern New Mexico school announced this week that Roxanne Gonzales has been selected to become its new provost and vice president for academic affairs. Gonzales recently served as executive dean of Venango College at Clarion University in Pennsylvania. Clarion University officials say under her leadership, the Venango College faculty and staff grew enrollment in existing credentials in nursing, counseling, the health sciences and other fields.

EUNICE, N.M. (AP) — A Texas company is a proposing new oil waste facility in southeastern New Mexico. The Hobbs News-Sun reports (https://goo.gl/3bkv2s) Lubbock-based CK Disposal wants to build a 317-acre surface waste oil management plant in eastern Lea County. The proposed waste management facility is intended for the permanent disposal of exempt and non-exempt/non-hazardous oil field waste. It will include a liquid waste processing area, a possible deep well water injection unit, and a landfill.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they're processing a crime scene on the Santa Ana Pueblo in New Mexico's Sandoval County. However, it remains unclear if the investigation is connected to the disappearance of two adult sisters and three children. KOB-TV reports that Vanessa George, her sister Leticia, and their children — a 4-year-old and two 1-year-olds — were last seen Thursday on the pueblo. FBI activity intensified on the pueblo Monday regarding what they called a crime scene involving a vehicle, but they didn't immediately release any other information.

A Republican state lawmaker in New Mexico is reviving efforts to reinstate the death penalty as an option for convicted killers of police, children and corrections officers. Rep. Monica Youngblood of Albuquerque has pre-filed a bill that would bring back punishment by lethal injection to New Mexico. A spokesman for GOP Gov. Susana Martinez said Monday she supports the measure. A similar bill was approved by the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives in October during a special legislative session, but never taken up by the Senate.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A lawmaker wants to increase the amount of marijuana that licensed medical-cannabis producers in New Mexico can grow. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2ivnzyE) that the proposal by Democratic Sen. Cisco McSorley of Albuquerque also would increase the amount of marijuana that the program's participants can possess. The bill would let producers grow up to 1,000 cannabis plants during any three-month period. Currently, a producer can have 450 plants.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two new candidates have entered the race to become the next mayor of Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2iZG3e9) that City Councilor Dan Lewis and retired police detective Michelle Garcia Holmes made separate campaign announcements Sunday. They join Democrats Deanna Archuleta, a former Bernalillo County commissioner and first candidate to enter the race, and Stella Padilla, a retired Old Town resident. Lewis is the first Republican in the race. Garcia Holmes is an independent.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The head of the U.S. Energy Department says it was the determination of workers and pure ingenuity that allowed the nation's only underground repository for nuclear waste to recover from a radiation release. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz tells The Associated Press that resuming work at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico means the nation's multibillion-dollar cleanup of waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research can get back on track. Moniz and others are gathering Monday to mark the reopening.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say a man has died after driving his motorcycle at a high rate of speed and striking another vehicle in Albuquerque. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2jsT7cS ) that the victim of the Sunday crash has not yet been identified. Officer Simon Drobik says the motorcyclist had been speeding when a car pulled out in front of him and the two vehicles collided. The crash remains under investigation.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera says new statistics show most parents are not being informed properly when early reading difficulties. The Public Education Department found that fewer than 5 percent of parents received necessary written notices when third graders failed to meet reading proficiency standards at public school throughout the state. The agency says that parents of those students should be required by schools to sign a waiver before their children advance to the next grade.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say officers have fatally shot a man suspected of armed robbery in northeast Albuquerque. They say officers were called to an armed robbery at a business before midnight Saturday. Undercover officers who were in the area caught up to the two suspects, a man and a woman. Police say the two suspects were in a vehicle and appeared to be armed. They say the male suspect was shot and taken to a hospital, where he later died. The female suspect wasn't injured. Police haven't released the names of the two suspects yet.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say four hikers have been rescued from the East Mountains in Albuquerque. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office says two groups of hikers were reported lost Saturday. KOB-TV reports that three of the four people were located by air and had supplies dropped to them. Search and rescue crews had to go in by foot to bring them down from the mountains. Authorities say the fourth hiker managed to make it to the tram and ride it down to get help. The names of the hikers weren't immediately released by sheriff's officials on Sunday.

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