Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico women's basketball coach Yvonne Sanchez says she will address "in the future" if race or gender played a factor in her firing.

The veteran coach said at an emotional news conference Friday she believed male coaches may have more time to turn around struggling programs while female coaches don't.

New Mexico Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs fired Sanchez on Friday, saying he didn't see a trend toward a championship for the team after five seasons.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials say they have confirmed the state's first case of the Zika virus.

They announced Friday that a 46-year-old Bernalillo County man has tested positive for the infection.

The unidentified man acquired the virus while travelling to Central America.

Deputy Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher, state epidemiologist Michael Landen and other officials announced the test results at a news conference Friday evening in Santa Fe.

The rare tropical disease has become an epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A woman accused of helping two New Mexico convicts who sparked a manhunt after escaping from a prison transport van made her first court appearance. 45-year-old Celeste Salcido went before a judge Saturday. Salcido, of Albuquerque, has been charged with harboring or aiding a felon and assisting escape. Authorities say she is the partner of Olivia Cruz, the sister of convicted murderer Joseph Cruz. He and fellow convict Lionel Clah escaped March 9. The judge ordered Salcido held on $10,000 bond. It was not known if she had an attorney.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A facility that will help people with alcohol addiction is set to open in San Juan County this week. The Sobering Center is scheduled to open today. County officials say the sobering center will fill a gap left by the Four Winds Recovery Center. Four Winds Recovery has long been the only detox center in the county. San Juan Regional Medical Center, the city of Farmington and Presbyterian Medical Services all worked with the county to open the Sobering Center. It has private rooms for transgender people or those having a mental health crisis.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque's zoo went into a brief lockdown after an ape went missing from its enclosure. The zoo had visitors stay inside for about an hour Saturday morning after Tika, a 2-year-old siamang, got through a hole in some mesh. Zoo officials say Tika did not go far. Zoo keepers made a larger hole for the ape to get back into the exhibit and be with its mother. Dana Feldman, of the City of Albuquerque, says a tree branch may have caused the initial tear that led to the hole. The mesh was already scheduled to be replaced within the next two months.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is acknowledging the concerns of officials in New Mexico and elsewhere that spring runoff could stir up contaminants left behind by the Gold King Mine spill in southern Colorado.

EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry wrote in a letter to the state's congressional delegation that the federal agency is providing $2 million for long-term monitoring and planning. States and tribes can apply their share to monitoring this spring.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An environmental group is accusing a New Mexico utility regulator of misconduct for asking the state's largest electric provider to make a political donation to a Democrat running for the state treasurer's office.

New Energy Economy filed the complaint against Public Regulation Commissioner Karen Montoya with the Secretary of State's Office on Thursday.

The Santa Fe-based group had called out Montoya last year and questioned her relationship with Public Service Co. of New Mexico.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico election regulators have disqualified at least eight aspiring legislative candidates after reviewing applications and signature petitions, leaving several certified candidates unopposed in primary or general elections or both.

The New Mexico Secretary of State's Office confirmed the disqualifications Thursday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A government watchdog report says federal officials have failed to ensure dozens of Native American schools undergo standard safety building checks each year.

The Government Accountability Office says its review of federally run schools for Native American children found safety hazards ranging from exposed electrical wires to aging dormitory boilers that were blamed for high carbon monoxide levels. The findings were included in a report presented to a congressional subcommittee Wednesday.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico telecommunications company is getting a $13.8 million loan from the federal government to improve internet service.

Members of the state's congressional delegation announced the loan for Sacred Wind Communications on Thursday.

The low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service is being awarded under a program that aims to improve infrastructure in underserved tribal communities.

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Army will be stationing an air defense testing unit at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich confirmed the announcement Wednesday. The New Mexico Democrat say the range is a national treasure for the U.S. military due to its terrain, airspace and expertise.

The Air Defense Artillery Test Detachment will be made up of 143 soldiers. They'll be supporting Army missile defense programs that work to put the best equipment in the hands of soldiers deployed around the world.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two women have been arrested by New Mexico State Police for allegedly aiding and harboring two escaped convicts last week.

Police on Wednesday announced the arrests of 40-year-old Michelle Abeyta of Albuquerque and 51-year-old Patricia Petrushkin of Humble, Texas.

Abeyta allegedly turned in one of the fugitives after a three-day manhunt launched after Joseph Cruz and Lionel Clah escaped from a prisoner transport van in southeastern New Mexico.

Both were taken back into custody last weekend in Albuquerque.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is not ready to endorse another Republican candidate for president after campaigning for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio only to watch him drop out of the race.

A spokesman for the nation's only Latina governor on Wednesday said only that Martinez is proud to have stood by Rubio and will continue to watch the GOP primary race as it unfolds.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a man being transported to a Bernalillo County detention facility briefly escaped police custody before being caught.

Albuquerque police say 22-year-old Joseph Maestas was arrested by U.S. Marshals task force officers Wednesday morning on four felony and two misdemeanor warrants.

Police say Maestas also had heroin on him when he was arrested.

While being taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center, authorities say Maestas slipped his handcuffs to the front of his body while still in a transport van.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is asking the Legislative Council Service to weigh in on how recusals should be handled by the agency.

The request comes in the wake of a power plant case last year in which four of the commission's five members faced recusal challenges. The New Mexico Supreme Court eventually ruled the recusals weren't warranted.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says he'll be accompanying President Barack Obama on his visit to Cuba next week. The New Mexico Democrat made the announcement Tuesday. He'll be among a group that will include several other members of Congress. The historic three-day trip will begin Sunday. A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Udall has traveled to Cuba several times over the years to meet with Cuban officials, religious and business leaders and others to discuss the effects of the embargo and travel restrictions.

ROY, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities say two state Department of Transportation workers were killed when a 92-year-old motorist's vehicle struck the workers' parked vehicle and shoved it into the workers. State Police on Tuesday identified the motorist as Celestin Clavel of Roy and said he was seriously injured in the crash Monday in Harding County in northeastern New Mexico. The workers killed in the accident Monday were previously identified as 49-year-old Anthony Rivera of Rainsville and 54-year-old David Eggert of Wagon Mound.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A collection of rarely seen watercolors painted by Georgia O'Keeffe during her time in West Texas will be part of a new exhibition at the O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. The artwork will be on display April 29 through the end of October. The watercolors were created about a century ago when O'Keeffe was teaching art at what is now Texas A&M University. The artwork includes landscapes, abstractions and nudes and curators say the pieces mark a defining moment in the American painter's commitment to the abstraction she came to be known for.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The state's top Corrections Department official says all of New Mexico's prisons are on lockdown and no prisoners are being transported between correctional facilities as state police investigate what led to the escape of two inmates last week from a transport van. Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel also said Monday that all inmates in the state are being interviewed amid a broad, in-depth review of the state's prison system. The escape of inmates Joseph Cruz and Lionel Clah has raised a series of questions about prison security.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's unemployment rate showed only minor change in January.

The Department of Workforce Solutions reports that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in January 2016, down from 6.6 percent in December and up from 6.4 percent in January 2015.

The department says total nonfarm payroll employment contracted by 1,800 jobs between January 2016 and January 2015. That decrease represents a fifth of a percentage point.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico Board of Regents has approved a plan that will change the structure of the governing board of the school's Health Sciences Center.

The 4-2 vote came Monday after an hours-long meeting.

The Health Sciences Center includes University of New Mexico Hospital, the medical school, the nursing college and the cancer center. It all has been governed by a seven-member board that included regents, community members and the chair of the hospital's board of directors.

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Federal investigators are now looking into the cause of a blaze that destroyed a hotel in Carlsbad that was months away from opening.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Monday it sent a national response team to the southeastern New Mexico community.

The federal investigators were on scene Monday along with officials from the Carlsbad police and fire departments and the State Fire Marshal's Office.

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Supreme Court is denying a petition for the release of a jailed tribal official's wife who has refused to answer questions about a discretionary fund case. The Farmington Daily Times reports the court met Friday on the petition concerning Mitzie Begay, who has been jailed in Window Rock, Arizona. Mitzie Begay has repeatedly invoked spousal privilege in a case against her husband, Navajo Nation Council Delegate Mel R. Begay.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Police say drag racing led to a crash that injured several people and knocked down a power line in Albuquerque.

Officer Fred Duran says the crash happened early Sunday.

According to Duran, at least three vehicles were drag racing.

Several people have been taken to the hospital but police did not know the nature of their injuries.

He says at least one driver is being investigated for possibly driving while under the influence.

A stolen firearm was recovered from one of the cars.

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