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Associated Press

LORDSBURG, N.M. (AP) — A section of Interstate 10 near the New Mexico-Arizona border was closed for nearly two hours due to high winds and blowing dust. New Mexico Department of Transportation officials say the westbound lanes of the freeway were re-opened around 6 p.m. Monday but only the passing lane of eastbound I-10 is open at this time. Traffic was diverted onto U.S. 70 after visibility became low in the Lordsburg area around 4 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says any effort to rescind the designation of the state's two newest national monuments would be short-sighted and reckless. Balderas on Monday sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, outlining his support for Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The two are among 27 monuments where a review ordered by President Donald Trump might remove protections previously considered irreversible.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is instituting new controls and oversight of athletics department finances as it continues a review that has found "inconsistencies" in contracts for basketball arena suites, the university said Monday. A top university administrator, Chris Vallegos, will head efforts to evaluate and improve the department's financial management while working with the recently appointed acting athletic director, interim President Chaouki Abdallah said in a statement.

TIJERAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities say they were alerted to a potentially deadly domestic violence situation involving a woman and child thanks to a piece of smart home technology. The Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office detailed the case Monday, saying the woman had been threatened and hit in the face with a handgun. When the suspect asked if she had called the sheriff, that prompted Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to dial 911. Sheriff Manuel Gonzales says the unexpected use of the technology possibly helped save a life.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Event organizers are starting several major improvement projects to prepare for this year's Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The Albuquerque Journal reports construction begins Monday on a bridge over the North Diversion Channel that will lead to a new set of RV sites to the west of Balloon Fiesta Park. Balloon Fiesta spokesman Tom Garrity says large radio transmission towers west of the park have been removed in order to construct RV sites and parking for staff and volunteers.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque-based architectural firm has been chosen to design the transformation of a former state records building into a contemporary art space for the New Mexico Museum of Art. The selection of DNCA + StudioGP was recently announced by officials with the museum, the museum's independent fundraising arm and the state Department of Cultural Affairs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former U.S. attorney who led the office during Justice Department reforms of Albuquerque police is expected to run for an open congressional seat in central New Mexico. Damon Martinez, who was ordered to resign earlier this year by the Trump administration, plans to announce Monday that he is jumping into a crowded Democratic primary to succeed U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who is running for New Mexico governor.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A grandmother is accused of driving off with a baby strapped in a car seat and dangling from the rear door. The baby's mother says she was going to give her mother a ride home and placed in the baby in her safety seat before the 64-year-old woman got in the driver seat and sped off. The mother was dragged by the car while she held onto the car seat. Santa Fe police say bystanders were able to block the grandmother's path to keep her from driving away. The baby was not hurt, but the mother suffered minor injuries.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A national publication and an expert found that teacher evaluations in New Mexico are among the toughest in the U.S., as they put a large amount of weight on student test scores. The Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2tDN7jA ) Thursday that New Mexico evaluations from 2015-2016 ranked twice as many teachers as below effective than the other 24 states reviewed in the study. Brown University Assistant Professor Matthew Kraft's study on teacher evaluation systems across the U.S.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — A panel of lawmakers on the nation's largest American Indian reservation is throwing its support behind federal legislation that would expand the Amber Alert child abduction emergency notification system to tribes across the U.S. One of the standing legislative committees on the Navajo Nation voted this week in favor of a measure that supports the congressional legislation. The legislation is in response to the 2016 deadly abduction of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Nation.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Justin Hansen, a man accused of beating a former New Mexico high school student in 2008, appeared in court for the first time. While Hansen was in court Friday, the judge also unsealed documents revealing Hansen was inconsistent in his statements to detectives in January when he was first questioned in the beating of Brittani Marcell. According to the unsealed criminal complaint, Hansen would give variations in his story, specifically in how well he knew Marcell.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new nonprofit wants to create a hall of fame for those who have made significant impacts on New Mexico's bustling movie and television industry throughout its century-plus history. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2sL56r6 ) the nonprofit is calling its project the New Mexico Film and Television Hall of Fame, and hopes to one day find a building to host it. But in the meantime, the group will seek nominations for the first crop of inductees, who will be announced at an awards gala in February in Santa Fe.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State wildlife officials are reviewing the federal government's plan for recovering endangered wolves that once roamed parts of New Mexico, Arizona and northern Mexico. A draft was recently released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the agency works to meet a court-ordered deadline to have the plan completed by the end of November. In Arizona, the state Game and Fish Department says the plan appears to address concerns raised in a 2015 lawsuit that was filed by the state.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest electric utility has been told to publicly release documents that were sealed as it pursues approval from state regulators for a rate increase. Two hearing officers for the Public Regulation Commission ruled this week that the utility failed to show the information's secrecy was protected by state or federal law, and it didn't prove that any trade secrets would be revealed if the documents were made public. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2tUEoM9 ) that Public Service Co.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to review the level of access that New Mexicans have to behavioral health care services through the Medicaid program. Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation made the request earlier this year, citing significant access issues that remain following a shake-up among nonprofit providers who served some of the state's most needy residents. The inquiry will be one of a handful being conducted by the agency's inspector general.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a Senate hearing in New Mexico about preventing counterfeit American Indian art sales (all times local): 1 p.m. Former U.S. Senator and jewelry maker Ben Knighthorse-Campbell has dropped in on a Senate hearing in New Mexico about ways to prevent counterfeit Indian arts and crafts. Knighthorse-Campbell said Friday that enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act has grown more complex since the 1990s. He says disputes about who qualifies as an Indian artist can complicate law enforcement efforts.

DENVER (AP) — Hundreds of people spent another night away from their homes as firefighters scrambled to beat back a small wildfire near Colorado's Breckenridge Ski Resort and the nearby historic town. The fire has scorched less than a quarter of a square mile (.65 sq. kilometers) but has forced the evacuation of nearly 500 homes, many of which are pricey ski properties. No houses have burned, and investigators do not know what sparked the blaze that a mountain biker reported Wednesday.

GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The unearthing of a thick layer of coal at the site of Gallup's soon-to-be skate park has put a hold on construction. The Gallup Independent reports (http://bit.ly/2o70OE6 ) officials had no idea there was coal and other materials buried when they started construction on the skate park last summer. Public Works Director Stan Henderson says the coal and other materials found are from "way back yonder" when coal used to be loaded and unloaded in the area.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A wildfire continues to burn on a mountain range overlooking Albuquerque but officials say it is significantly smaller than initially estimated. Cibola (sih-BOH'-luh) National Forest spokeswoman Donna Nemeth says officials initially thought the fire in the Sandia Crest area had grown to 20 acres (8 hectares) but that its size was estimated Friday at 5 acres (2 hectares). Nemeth says the fire is burning numerous dead standing trees and other fuel. Its smoke can be seen from Albuquerque and the surrounding area.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A trial date next April has been set for a former Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy whose first two murder trials in the killing of another deputy ended in mistrials when juries couldn't agree on a verdict. The third trial of ex-Deputy Tai Chan is set for April 9 in state District Court in Las Cruces. Chan has testified he fatally shot fellow deputy Jeremy Martin in self-defense at a Las Cruces hotel in 2014 during a work trip.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Volunteers haven't given up the search for a New Mexico man who failed to return from climbing mountains in the Aspen area last fall. Members of Mountain Rescue Aspen looked for 49-year-old David Cook of Albuquerque from the air on Thursday around Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak but didn't find any sign of him. The Aspen Times reports it was the first in a series of aerial searches planned for the area. The next is scheduled later this month. Searchers spent eight days searching for Cook in late September. He set out Sept. 19 and was last seen by a U.S.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — One of New Mexico's fastest growing cities is celebrating the completion of a $25 million project that will allow for recycled water to be used to help recharge the aquifer. The city of Rio Rancho depends on the aquifer for drinking water. Starting this summer, the city will put up to 1 million gallons of treated water per day into the aquifer via an injection well. That's about 10 percent of the daily average the city pumps out. Officials say recharging the aquifer, along with conservation, is crucial to the city's long-term sustainability and success.

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — A police department in southeastern New Mexico is the latest to join the ranks of law enforcement agencies armed with a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses. The Hobbs Police Department announced Thursday that it has trained all of its commissioned personnel in the use of naloxone and has supplied each with two doses to have on hand while on duty. New Mexico became the first U.S. state this year to require all local and state law enforcement agencies to provide officers with antidote kits as the state works to curb deaths from opioid and heroin overdoses.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Efforts to prevent the sale of counterfeit tribal art and jewelry will be the focus of testimony as two U.S. senators hold a field hearing in New Mexico about protecting legitimate American Indian artists and markets from fraudulent goods. Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich plan to gather suggestions Friday from top federal officials responsible for enforcement of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. The act makes it a crime to falsely market and sell art as Native American-made when it is not.

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a Roswell man has been formally charged in a five-vehicle crash that fatally injured a woman more than two years ago. Roswell police say 68-year-old Orlando Padilla is accused of driving under the influence of a prescription drug when he allegedly caused the May 2015 crash. Padilla is charged with homicide by vehicle and driving under the influence of a medication used to treat insomnia. The criminal complaint and arrest warrant were filed June 28 in Roswell Magistrate Court. Padilla turned himself in to authorities on July 3.

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