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Associated Press

By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic and Republican lawmakers in separate inquiries. The panel said Tuesday it is dropping investigations against Democrat Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Republican Roger Williams of Texas. Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, was accused of using the House chamber to raise money for campaign purposes during a June 2016 sit-in on gun control.

ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) — Eddy County voters have gathered enough petition signatures to force a special election to decide if tax increases approved by county commissioners should stand. The Roswell Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/2vqkmup ) the Eddy County Commission in May approved a one-eighth of 1 percent gross receipts tax increase to build a new county detention center and another one-eighth of 1 percent increase to general purpose gross receipts. Collectively, the gross receipt tax increases would add an extra 33 cents of sales taxes for every $100 spent on goods and services.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police say a driver is dead after being shot by an officer during a traffic stop. A Police Department spokesman says the officer perceived a threat but was not injured during the Monday night incident. The spokesman, Officer Tanner Tixier, did not elaborate on the perceived threat. It's not known if the driver who was shot was armed, and Tixier says additional information on the circumstances of the shooting isn't immediately available. The shooting occurred near Menaul Boulevard and Vassar Drive in northeast Albuquerque.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A suspended New Mexico magistrate court judge facing criminal charges for secretly recording private conversations at a courthouse may settle a lawsuit with co-workers. The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico, reports (https://goo.gl/5F7S4P ) a proposed settlement of a lawsuit has been reached by plaintiffs who accused suspended Aztec Magistrate Court Judge Connie Johnston of placing recording devices inside the courthouse. Their attorney, Steve Murphy, said last week that he and Johnston's lawyer have reached an agreement.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a fire at a New Mexico church. Crews from the Rio Rancho Fire Department spotted heavy smoke around 5 a.m. Monday. That smoke led them to Peace Lutheran Church where they saw eight to 10 foot (2.44-3.05 meter) flames coming out of the building. Crews were able to put out the fire, but officials say there was heavy damage to the inside of the church.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico city has completed its explorations along the San Juan River in search of a secondary source for drinking water. The Farmington Daily Times (http://bit.ly/2uOi86P ) reported Monday that Bloomfield City Manager Eric Strahl says the tests did not find viable secondary drinking water sources. The city had hoped the aquifer beneath the San Juan River could produce quality water for residents. Strahl says there was not enough gravel beneath the river to create a good filter for the water.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — In a story July 30 about the housing shortage in oil-rich New Mexico, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Eddy County was a northeastern New Mexico community. It is located in southeastern New Mexico. A corrected version of the story is below: Officials extend workers camp ban as they finalize ordinance County commissioners have extended a ban on new camps for oil workers in a southeastern New Mexico community while they are working with constituents to draft new regulations for the so-called man camps CARLSBAD, N.M.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The National Weather Service says New Mexico is now in the most active period of the monsoon and that heavy rain is expected in the southeast as slow-moving thunderstorms rumble across the state. A flash-flood watch is in effect for much of eastern New Mexico through late Monday night. Forecasters say the weather apparently will be most active in areas near and south of Interstate 40 late Monday afternoon and into Monday night.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are considering rethinking the state's higher education model. The Albuquerque Journal reports the New Mexico Higher Education Department will be conducting a study to determine whether it would be beneficial to reorganize or consolidate the current system. New Mexico has 21 different governing boards that oversee 31 public colleges and universities. Critics have said the system is inefficient and ineffective.

KAYENTA, Ariz. (AP) — A Navajo Nation entity has taken its first step to generating electricity by starting a solar farm. The Daily Times of Farmington, New Mexico, reports (https://goo.gl/kLBfCz) the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority recently started operating the 27.3-megawatt Kayenta Solar Project on 200 acres (.8 square kilometers) near Kayenta, Arizona. Officials say it is the first large-scale solar energy facility on the reservation. Solar farm project manager Glenn Steiger says the closing of the Navajo Generating Station is leaving a hole in power generation in the region.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The prison term of a New Mexico man who was convicted of rape as a teenager and remains ineligible for parole until he's at least 62 is among the cases being challenged nationwide on grounds they amount to de facto juvenile life-without-parole sentences. Joel Ira is now 36 and petitioning for release before the state Supreme Court. His attorney say his sentence, handed down for crimes when he was 14 and 15, should be overturned in light of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that found mandatory juvenile life-without-parole terms unconstitutional.

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Alamogordo police are investigating a shooting where a 36-year-old was wounded during a domestic dispute. The Alamogordo Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/2vjr2uy ) officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound outside a mobile home Saturday. An Alamogordo Police Department spokesman says the man was taken to hospital for treatment. His injuries appear to be non-life threatening. Lt. Dave Kunihiro says there was a domestic disturbance at the home when the man was shot. Police are questioning multiple suspects and witnesses.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A shooting involving two rival motorcycle gangs prompted a temporary lockdown of a Santa Fe hospital. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (https://goo.gl/WqT5Kr ) Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center was placed on lockdown for more than an hour late Saturday after a member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club was taken to the hospital's emergency room. Santa Fe police Capt. Robert Vasquez says that member was shot by a rival motorcycle gang member near Franklin E. Miles Park.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — County commissioners have extended a ban on new camps for oil workers in a northeastern New Mexico community while they work with constituents to draft new regulations for the so-called man camps. The move comes after residents of the north Carlsbad community gathered hundreds of signatures in petitions asking Eddy County commissioners to adopt an ordinance to regulate the camps they feared would create a safety hazard.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A suspect is expected to change his plea in the kidnapping, sexual assault and killing of an 11-year-old girl in a remote part of the largest American Indian reservation that prompted an effort to expand the Amber Alert system into tribal communities across the U.S. More than a year after the May 2016 death of Ashlynne Mike in Navajo Nation, Tom Begaye is scheduled to attend a change-of-plea hearing Tuesday in an Albuquerque federal court. It's not known if his lawyers and federal prosecutors have struck a deal.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Self-driving cars and how they would operate in New Mexico may be an issue before state lawmaker next year. The Albuquerque Journal reports (https://goo.gl/yUGBJJ) that Transportation Secretary Tom Church told state lawmakers last week that Gov. Susana Martinez may add the topic to the agenda of the 30-day session beginning in January. New Mexico doesn't have any legislation on the books addressing autonomous vehicles.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (AP) — Police in Las Cruces are investigating the shooting death of a teenage girl. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/2va10sv) she died after at least one shot was fired from the street toward a home on Monte Vista Street. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene. Her age and name were not immediately released. The street was closed for the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call police.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A 115-year-old desert tortoise that disappeared from its garden at a New Mexico senior living community was returned. The Albuquerque Journal reports the tortoise, Diablo, was returned Friday to Manzano del Sol Village. He had ventured to the backyard of a nearby home after a family bought the shell-wearing wanderer from kids at a local park. Millie Tjeltweed, who owns Diablo, says she doesn't know the circumstances of the tortoise's disappearance.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The family of a woman shot and killed by an Albuquerque police officer is asking a court to force him to take a DNA test. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports (https://goo.gl/86bnee ) the family of Mary Hawkes believes former officer Jeremy Dear planted the gun police say Hawkes was holding when Dear shot her. Lawyers for the family say Hawkes' DNA didn't show up on the gun. The court is expected to rule in late August on whether Dear will have to take a DNA test or not.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposed truck stop near Santa Fe that is drawing opposing from some residents has suffered a setback. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (https://goo.gl/6rDtGw ) Santa Fe County rejected the developer's application as incomplete on Friday. That means partners in the venture would have to file a new application next month. County spokeswoman Kristine Mihelcic says the Pilot Flying J Co. application lacked a plan and profile stamped by a New Mexico-registered engineer for site access.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces Police Chief Jaime Montoya has set his retirement date for later this year. City Manager Stuart Ed announced Friday that Montoya will retire on Dec. 23. He was named police chief in December 2013. Montoya is a 26-year veteran of the Las Cruces Police Department. He holds a bachelor's degree from New Mexico State University and graduated from the Las Cruces Police Academy in 1991. During his career, Montoya served as a patrol officer, traffic officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and deputy chief in charge of the department's operations and budget.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — The chancellor of New Mexico State University got so tired of looking at weeds on campus he decided to remove them himself. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (https://goo.gl/e2tNVf) the university's grounds crew took Chancellor Garrey Carruthers on his offer this week to take out a tractor and a disk to cut some weeds. He told the university's grounds crew that if they didn't have time to cut those weeds he'd do the job.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Ranchers who want to scale back two national monuments in New Mexico competed for attention with the outdoor recreation industry as U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted a series of private stakeholder meetings linked to a nationwide review of 27 monuments approved by past presidents.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is urging Congress to keep trying to fix the Affordable Health Care Act. Martinez spokesman Joseph Cueto said Friday the Republican governor believes lawmakers need to find a solution that abolishes the "damaging fees" imposed on working families and businesses by Obamacare. Cueto said Martinez also wants taxes on medicine and medical devices removed. He said Martinez still believes that the Affordable Health Care Act "has been a complete disaster" because it raises premiums on families and businesses. The U.S.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Bernalillo County's first animal shelter is scheduled to be completed the by the end of summer 2018. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2w6Kxmo ) the shelter will be 17,140 square feet (1,600 square meters) and will have room for about 120 dogs, 67 cats and several other types of animals, including larger ones like horses. It will also offer veterinary care, pet adoption, microchipping, spaying and neutering in addition to other services.

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