Associated Press

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A Denver-based company says it plans to suspend production at a potash mining facility in southeastern New Mexico, with hundreds of workers reportedly losing their jobs.

Intrepid Potash Inc. said the West facility in Carlsbad in July will go into what the company called a "care and maintenance mode."

The announcement said approximately 300 employees "will be impacted by this decision," while the Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that a company executive said during a phone call with investors Monday that 300 people were laid off.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Public Education Department says it will remove a rule that prohibits teachers from making disparaging remarks about standardized tests.

Department spokesman Robert McEntryre confirmed Monday that officials are working on getting rid of the rule and have never used it against any teacher anyway.

The move comes after the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a lawsuit in March challenging a regulation that prohibits New Mexico teachers and other public school employees from criticizing standardized tests.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — The American Red Cross is helping approximately 100 people displaced by a fire at an apartment complex in Los Alamos.

Authorities say an explosion early Monday morning caused the fire and forced the shutdown of all utilities to the complex.

The Los Alamos Monitor reports that one person was injured by the explosion and transported to a hospital for treatment.

Fire and police officials did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico lawmaker says attempts to crack down on tax refund fraud is delaying money to legitimate taxpayers throughout the state.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Rep. Debbie Armstrong, of Albuquerque, is demanding Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla disclose how regulators choose which taxpayers to scrutinize.

Armstrong says she believes elderly people are being targeted, as most people with delayed returns that she's spoken to have been seniors — including her mother.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two Albuquerque police officers will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting a knife-wielding man who reportedly attacked his girlfriend and another man.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that prosecutors announced Friday that the May 2014 shooting of Ralph Chavez was justified.

According to the District Attorney's Office report, both officers were carrying out their duties under the law.

Police video and audio shows Officers Brian Fuchs and Ryan Graves had backed away from Chavez across lanes of traffic before firing.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Albuquerque are investigating after a group of people dropped off a man with a fatal gunshot wound at an emergency room and left.

Police spokesman Simon Drobik says the victim was left at Kaseman hospital's ER around 5 a.m. Saturday.

He had what appeared to be a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to Drobik, he was accompanied by two women and two men.

All four then left the area in one vehicle.

Police have not released the victim's identity.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Republican Party of New Mexico is dropping a $100 fee for media seeking to cover its state convention.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports state GOP officials backtracked Friday on requiring news organizations pay $100 a piece for press credentials to the May 21 convention.

State GOP spokesman W. Tucker Keene says the idea of a fee was to help defray costs, not discourage media from attending.

New Mexico Democratic Party officials criticized the fee as a tactic to duck questions from journalists.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a woman who allegedly abducted her 4-year-old son from his elementary school near Jemez Springs has been arrested in Albuquerque.

New Mexico State Police say 23-year-old Angelica Garcia was taken into custody Thursday afternoon on suspicion of felony custodial interference.

An Amber Alert was issued for 4-year-old Angelo Jaramillo, who police say was abducted from the school by Garcia.

Witnesses saw her leave the school in a vehicle and State Police officers later tracked it to a motel off Interstate 40.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Leading Democrats in New Mexico are taking aim at Donald Trump as the state's Republican governor withholds her full endorsement of the presumptive GOP nominee.

State Democratic lawmakers and party leaders gathered at an outdoor plaza Thursday in Albuquerque to highlight a disconnect they see between Trump's candidacy and New Mexico values. Both major parties are reaching out to constituents days before a registration deadline to vote in New Mexico's June 7 primary election.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's state auditor is looking into practices and procedures that led to a backlog of more than 5,400 untested evidence kits from sexual assaults and rapes at law enforcement agencies and evidence vaults across the state.

State Auditor Tim Keller announced Thursday a new survey of eight police departments and sheriff offices aimed at identifying root causes of the backlog and better policies and standards that can prevent untested kits from piling up again.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico judge has ruled that a 16-year-old who fatally stabbed a man will be sentenced as a juvenile.

Judge Gerald Baca said Thursday that the teenager who stabbed his mother's 24-year-old boyfriend in the neck appears amenable to treatment and rehabilitation. The maximum sentence he can receive under the juvenile code is confinement until age 21.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The Dona Ana County Sheriff's Department is investigating an assault involving three detainees in the juvenile section of the county Detention Center.

They say three of the juveniles involved could face felony charges.

Authorities say a 16-year-old detainee allegedly rushed a door-control panel around 11 a.m. Wednesday and opened three separate cell doors.

That allowed two other teenage detainees to enter the cell of a 14-year-old detainee.

They allegedly attacked him before being subdued with pepper spray.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is slated to address a federal agency tasked with protecting consumers from predatory lenders.

The Democrat is scheduled Thursday to speak to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Albuquerque about proposed rules that would ban lenders from using "free pass" arbitration clauses to block consumers from filing class action lawsuits.

Balderas is expected to say those clauses especially hurt poor and minority residents in New Mexico.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two people are dead as a result of a T-bone collision between a motorcycle and a truck in the Albuquerque area.

Bernalillo County sheriff's officials say a passenger in the truck and a motorcyclist were fatally injured Wednesday evening when the truck made a left turn.

The accident occurred Wednesday evening at Tramway and Indian School.

The motorcyclist died at the scene. The truck passenger died later at a hospital.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In the Department of Justice's report on the University of New Mexico's handling of sexual assault on campus UNM police were critical of how the District Attorney's Office in Bernalillo County handles such cases.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that a footnote in the report, which was released last week, said supervisors in the University of New Mexico Police Department said they were frustrated with how infrequently the district attorney prosecuted sexual assault cases.

ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say an Espanola man has been arrested for DWI for the 10th time.

New Mexico State Police say 38-year-old Max Padilla was stopped around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday for multiple traffic violations on State Road 74 in the town of Chamita.

A police officer says Padilla smelled of alcohol and exhibited numerous signs of impairment.

Authorities say Padilla admitted to the officer that prior to the stop he drank some vodka and ingested heroin.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say the woman killed in Albuquerque after at least one sheriff's deputy opened fire had a stolen loaded gun in a truck she had been driving before she was shot.

Bernalillo County sheriff's deputies identified the woman Wednesday as 24-year-old Jaquelyn Burke, and said she had previously been accused of battery on a law enforcement officer and was being sought for violating her probation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There's nothing secret about what's planned for Area 74 — a swath of forested land along the Continental Divide in southern New Mexico that needs some attention.

After years of planning, crews with the Gila National Forest are making final preparations to walk the 16-mile perimeter with drip torches.

Nearly 16 square miles will be set ablaze this spring as part of a $375 million nationwide campaign by the U.S. Forest Service to clean up overgrown forest and reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires as things heat up and dry out.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hillary Clinton's campaign has announced the staffers who will be heading efforts for the Democratic presidential hopeful in New Mexico as the state's June 7 primary approaches.

A former state Democratic Party executive director, Scott Forrester will be leading the New Mexico campaign and Rich Thuma will serve as the organizing director.

The campaign announced Tuesday that it plans to open offices throughout the state in the coming weeks.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government and a journalist have dismissed their lawsuit against the state Department of Health now releasing public records with names of licensed medical marijuana producers.

The foundation and freelance journalist Peter St. Cyr sued last July in state District Court, but the case was put on hold soon after because the state agreed to begin taking steps to remove confidentiality provisions.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have resumed the search for a Colorado man who disappeared while hunting for a $2 million cache of gold, jewels and artifacts in a rugged part of New Mexico.

Officials at Bandelier National Monument confirmed Wednesday that a search-and-rescue mission was underway in an area of the monument off-limits to the public.

Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott declined to provide details but said authorities are encouraging people to stay out of the area, which covers steep slopes and a mass of loose rocks.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Republican Gov. Susana Martinez says she welcomes the attention New Mexico will get when the GOP presidential candidates begin campaigning in the state.

Still, Martinez — the chair of the national Republican Governors Association — doesn't plan on making an endorsement.

Her office made the statement after hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich defended their new alliance as the party's last, best chance to stop Donald Trump. They're coordinating strategies in three of the 15 remaining primary states.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of states has filed its opening brief in a federal lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's new ozone limits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightened the limits on ozone, a smog-forming pollutant linked to asthma and respiratory illness, to 70 parts per billion in October. A coalition of states including Wisconsin, Arizona, Kentucky, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Texas filed a federal lawsuit later that month challenging the rules.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The number of people accessing behavioral health care services in New Mexico is growing, inching up almost 5 percent over a one-year period.

The Human Services Department released the data Monday, saying the increase stems partly from the expansion of the state's Medicaid program to ensure more low-income people have coverage and access to everything from primary care doctors to psychologists.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of New Mexico teenagers are capitalizing on a new state law that allows 17-year-olds who will be 18 the day of the election in November to vote in the June primary.

More than 800 teens in New Mexico have registered to vote in June with more than half registering as Democrats. The deadline to register to vote in state primaries is May 10.

New Mexico's new law, which takes effect on May 18, the day of the primary, puts the state among about 20 states that permit 17-year-olds to cast ballots in party primaries.

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