The State Land Office has approved a proposal for a large wind energy project in central New Mexico that officials say could generate as much as $40 million for the state over 45 years.
Land Commissioner Ray Powell announced Thursday that Iberdrola Renewables of Portland, Ore., has won the right to lease nearly 34,000 acres of state trust land in Torrance County to develop a wind farm that ultimately could generate about 1,000 megawatts of electricity. That's enough to supply up to 400,000 homes.
Two of New Mexico's popular tourist destinations are open again as many parts of the state continue to clean up after heavy rains, unruly runoff and flooding.
Officials say there's still much work to be done in the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico, but the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument reopened Thursday and a few dozen visitors have already stopped by.
Monument volunteer Dave Young says the dwellings are accessible, but the visitors' center remains closed while officials inspect the safety of a bridge that leads to the building.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government has filed a lawsuit seeking public disclosure of an audit that identified potential overbillings and fraud by providers of mental health and substance abuse services.
The Human Services Department has frozen payments to more than a dozen behavioral health providers because of the fraud allegations.
UPDATE 12p: A planned emergency airlift of food, water and other supplies for a tiny New Mexico town isolated after weekend flooding has been called off.
New Mexico Department of Homeland Security spokesman Estevan Lujan said Tuesday that state authorities and the National Guard will deliver supplies by foot to residents of the privately run ghost town of Mogollon. Lujan says there was not enough space to land a helicopter.
New Mexico's highest court has scheduled a hearing next month in a case that could resolve whether gay marriage is legal in the state.
The state Supreme Court on Friday set the hearing for Oct. 23.
The five-member court took the step a day after New Mexico's counties and county clerks statewide filed a petition asking the justices to decide whether a judge in Albuquerque was correct in declaring it unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
A group representing New Mexico counties is asking the state's highest court to decide whether gay marriage is legal.
The Association of Counties and clerks statewide filed a petition Thursday with the state Supreme Court. They're seeking clarity in a legal dispute that's been rapidly changing in the past two weeks since a county clerk in southern New Mexico independently began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
Since then, seven other counties followed — some because of court orders.
Federal land managers have proposed limiting the number of parcels to be leased for oil and natural gas development near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.
The Bureau of Land Management on Tuesday released its environmental assessment for the lease sale that will take place in January. The agency has proposed cutting the number of available parcels to just four.
The industry initially nominated 38 parcels totaling more than 19,000 acres. One of those was less than a quarter-mile from the park's boundary.
Behavioral health providers under investigation for possible overbillings, mismanagement and fraud have lost an appeal of a court ruling that allows New Mexico to continue to withhold Medicaid payments.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday dismissed the appeal by eight nonprofit providers.
A federal judge in Albuquerque last month denied the providers' request for an order stopping the state from freezing payments for mental health and substance abuse services.
New Mexico may open as a museum the site of the 1980 bloody prison riot.
State Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel says strong public interest in tours of the closed "Old Main" prison offered during last year's New Mexico centennial celebration sparked the idea for a permanent museum.
Old Main was closed in 1988, eight years after the February 1980 riot in which inmates killed 33 fellow prisoners in a violent clash that included beheadings, amputations and burned bodies.
UPDATE 8/5 4p: A federal judge in Albuquerque has postponed until Thursday a bond hearing for the animal rights groups who won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter.
The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others on Friday won a temporary restraining order that blocked plans by companies in Roswell, N.M., and Sigourney, Iowa, to start slaughtering horses this week.
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.