Crews working to tame two wildfires in New Mexico hope to begin flood prevention measures after recent favorable weather helped slow the blazes' growth.
Officials said Thursday that the Jaroso Fire in the steep canyons of the Pecos Wilderness in the Santa Fe National Forest has increased the potential for flash flooding, mud and debris flows as monsoon season looms. Heavy rains could impact several communities, homes, roads, and other infrastructures adjacent to and downstream from the burned area.
David F. Cargo, a maverick Republican who became the youngest governor of New Mexico and served two terms in the turbulent 1960s, has died at the age of 84.
Family members confirmed Cargo died early Friday at an Albuquerque hospital after falling ill the evening before.
Known as "Lonesome Dave," Cargo championed the film industry and established the first state film commission. He was an early advocate of a policy for apportioning legislative seats that has altered the political landscape over several decades.
UPDATE 7p: A furious wildfire torching through the mountains of southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest has grown to 127 square miles.
Fire officials say the Silver Fire continued to burn Tuesday to the north and west as crews battled the blaze amid dry and breezy conditions.
The fire is still about 5 miles west of the nearest community, but the flames have already burned through entire grazing areas and some ranches. That has left ranchers in this drought-stricken corner of the state nowhere to turn to find feed for their cattle.
With each dry thunderstorm that moves across New Mexico, the chance of another wildfire breaking out goes up.
Crews are battling a handful of blazes in the Santa Fe National Forest, on private land near Whites Peak and in rugged territory in southern New Mexico.
The flames are being fueled by overcrowded forests, the terrain and dry conditions.
However, New Mexico State University wildland fire management specialist Doug Cram says the wind hasn't been as big of a factor. In 2011 and 2012, the state broke records with three massive wind-driven wildfires.
Law enforcement officials in eastern New Mexico are teaming up this week to search for more than 100 fugitives.
Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler says dozens of state and local law enforcement officers will be working on the sweep for felony absconders in Roosevelt and Curry counties over the next several days.
He says officials will be looking for people who over the past decade have been arrested, indicted and released from jail, but then failed to come back to court as ordered.
The League of United Latin American Citizens says two recent cases of Spanish being banned at New Mexico high school games are examples of a "disturbing" pattern.
Ralph Arellanes, New Mexico LULAC state director, said Monday that the group has heard of a least five cases of high school players being ordered this school year not to speaking Spanish. Arellanes says LULAC will begin an aggressive effort to monitor future cases, and if necessary, will file lawsuits.
New Mexico's highest court is allowing the state's top water manager to decide proposed water rights transfers to increase flows in the drought-stricken Pecos River.
The state Supreme Court ruled Monday the state engineer's office can move ahead with an administrative hearing on a proposal to transfer water rights to allow more pumping of groundwater near Carlsbad in southeastern New Mexico. The water will go by pipeline into a reservoir to boost river flows.
A gun-rights group has won a preliminary injunction that will keep New Mexico from enforcing part of its concealed handgun carry law.
The Second Amendment Foundation sought the injunction on behalf of Rio Rancho resident John Jackson, a legal immigrant who was denied a concealed carry permit. Under New Mexico law, permits are granted only to U.S. citizens.
The ruling handed down late last week by Chief U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo blocks the state from enforcing the citizenship provision when it comes to qualified applicants who are legal residents.
Monday marks the beginning of daytime watering restrictions in Bernalillo County.
Those who use sprinkler irrigation systems between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. will be subject to fines.
Katherine Yuhas of the Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says only about half of the water reaches the ground when residents water during the hottest and windiest part of the day. The other half evaporates.
Outdoor irrigation accounts for 40 percent of the water authority's overall use.
Santa Fe, Roswell and Hobbs could lose their airport control towers because of federal budget cuts.
Officials with American and United airlines, which service the small airports, have declined to comment on whether such cuts would impact service.
Towers at the three small airports, as well as the general aviation Double Eagle Airport in west Albuquerque, are on a list of nearly 200 being eyed for possible closure if across-the-board federal budgets cuts that took effect Friday stay in place. The FAA is expected to announce the final cut next week.
State officials have awarded a contract to begin safeguarding more than two dozen abandoned mines near Deming.
The Mining and Minerals Division says the $475,000 contract with Duran Bokich Enterprises represents the first of a multiple-phase project involving old mines in the Florida and Little Florida Mountains. The mines are on private property and land managed by the federal government.
Before 1918, the ores recovered from mines in the area were mostly lead, zinc, silver, copper and some gold. After that, manganese and fluorite were produced in large quantities.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former Santa Fe hospital executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges but will avoid jail time as part of a plea agreement with the state Attorney General's office.
Richard Crabtree also agreed to repay St. Vincent Hospital, now known as Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, for losses it suffered in a scheme he allegedly ran with a former girlfriend to receive kickbacks from her brothers in a computer upgrade contract.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Detectives are investigating allegations of steroid use among Albuquerque police officers.
Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz confirmed the probe at a news conference Wednesday but said he did not know how many officers may be involved. Schultz also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation is "monitoring" the department's investigation amid the FBI's own probe into Albuquerque police over excessive force claims.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A health clinic in Las Cruces is getting a half-million-dollar grant to expand into the border community of Santa Teresa.
U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced Wednesday that La Clinica de Familia will receive a two-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build a new health center next to Santa Teresa High School and strengthen its existing school-based health services. The funding comes from capital project outlays under the Affordable Care Act.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman has bid his farewell to Washington.
In his speech on the Senate floor Thursday, the retiring Democrat said it was an honor and a privilege to have represented the people of New Mexico in the Senate for the last 30 years. And he thanked New Mexicans for their confidence in his representation.
Bingaman will be replaced by Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich, who defeated Republican Heather Wilson for the coveted seat.
A statewide off-highway vehicle user group is suing the Santa Fe National Forest over its travel management plan.
The New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday.
The group's president, Jim Tyldesley, says the complaint is being filed on behalf of all forest users. He contends the plan closes more than 70 percent of existing roads and trails on the northern New Mexico forest, significantly reduces camping options and makes it difficult for hunters to retrieve game.
Environmentalists have filed another lawsuit as they push for reforms of the federal government's troubled effort to reintroduce Mexican gray wolves in the American Southwest.
The latest lawsuit centers on a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reject a petition that sought the classification of Mexican wolves as an endangered subspecies or separate population of gray wolves.
The Center for Biological Diversity says specific protection is needed for wolves living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona.