LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of border sheriffs is opposing a plan to designate scenic mountainous areas in Dona Ana County as a federal monument.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that in a letter to New Mexico's two Democratic senators, Dona Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison says the group believes plan will leave the land vulnerable to illegal activity.
U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall have introduced legislation that calls for designating about 780 square miles near Las Cruces as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials say the state is facing its worst shortage of primary care providers at a time when thousands are expected to enroll in state and federal health insurance exchanges.
The Associated Press reports that the federal government has designated every county statewide, except one, as having a shortage.
The latest figures show the state has 1,429 active primary physicians but another 219 are needed, based on the population.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new report says Albuquerque water use dropped seven percent last year amid an ongoing drought.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says the percentage was the biggest one-year drop since 1997.
Officials say the community's total water use for the year, 32 billion gallons, was the lowest for the metro area since 1983. That comes despite the fact that the population in the utility's service area has grown 70 percent in the two decades since.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A hearing officer is recommending that the New Mexico Environment Department deny a wastewater permit for a Roswell company that wants to slaughter horses.
The hearing officer cited what she called the company's record of "willful disregard" of the state's environmental laws.
Valley Meat Co. and the groups trying to block its opening now have 15 days to respond to the report before the environment secretary decides whether to renew the company's permit. The permit doesn't impact whether Valley can slaughter horses, but rather how it disposes of waste.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque has settled two lawsuits that alleged three people were mistreated during alleged "secret" arrests.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that the $150,000 settlement was reached in connection with 2010 detentions of a woman and her two adult sons. They were detained during an investigation into an officer-involved shooting of a suspect in a 2008 shooting.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Raton company has filed a lawsuit accusing the New Mexico Racing Commission of working to "sabotage" its plans for a $50 million racino in favor of a rival casino operator.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque says commissioners let the license for La Mesa Racetrack and Casino expire after the project faced a number of delays. The lawsuit also accused former commissioner Marty Cope of intentionally blocking the racino project because she was a friend of a rival.
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A busy highway was closed for several hours yesterday as Rio Rancho police investigated a suspicious death.
Highway 528 between Barbara Loop and Hilltop Plaza was closed after authorities received a report of a man lying in the road around 7:30 in the morning. The victim was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Officer Janet Garcia says the man sustained some type of trauma to his body, but investigators are trying to figure out exactly what happened.
FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The Navajo Nation Council has approved a measure that would let disputes over a northwestern New Mexico coal mine that's being bought on behalf of the tribe be settled in state courts rather than tribal courts.
The council voted 17-5 in favor of the measure during a special session Friday in Window Rock, Ariz.
The Farmington Daily Times reports that a number of tribal delegates, attorneys and risk management experts met for about an hour in executive session before the vote.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The former head of the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management's Intelligence and Security Bureau is accusing his bosses of retaliation.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Richard Clark filed his lawsuit earlier this month in state district court. It names cabinet Secretary Gregory Myers and Assistant Secretary Anita Tallarico Statman.
Clark is suing under laws protecting whistleblowers and members of the armed services.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Several university leaders in New Mexico are supporting Gov. Susana Martinez's plan to funnel $7.5 million into a state fund to recruit new college professors, scientists and researchers.
The Associated Press reports that Martinez's plan would allow the state's universities to compete for competitive grants, instead of being divvied up by colleges based on a set formula, as has been the practice in the past.
Funding decisions would likely be made by a committee of state officials, though details are still being worked out.