ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico employees would get smaller paychecks while retirees would pay higher premiums under a task force's recommendations for covering the rising costs of retiree health benefits.
The recommendations submitted to the university's regents include requiring employees and the university to make payments into a new trust fund.
Workers would pay half of 1 percent of their salary in the first year and 1 percent by the third year. That money and university matches would go into the new trust fund.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces' public schools plan a new program to enable students to provide school officials with anonymous reports on bullying, drugs, potential suicides and other trouble.
The Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/XywxOx ) reports that the program will enable middle and high school students to use text messages, photos, video and a mobile app to anonymously send messages to school officials.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation aimed at simplifying New Mexico's tax code.
The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Taylor of Farmington targeted the statute that governs the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the procedures taxpayers have to follow.
With the governor's signature, the measure will extend deadlines so taxpayers filing amended returns as the result of actions by the Internal Revenue Service will have double the time — 180 days — to file.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg's office is revamping how her office handles cases involving Albuquerque-area police shootings.
Brandenburg says the new process will have prosecutors decide whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed. Then the case will be presented to a grand jury to decide whether to issue an indictment.
A previous process blocked by courts had a special grand jury reviewing cases but not deciding whether cases should be prosecuted.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has ordered some Santa Fe neighbors to stop threatening each other over barking dogs, loud music and access to a subdivision road.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/WHTvRy) that State District Judge Frank Mathew told the feuding neighbors Thursday in the Mission Viejo subdivision not to harass or call one another after a series of bizarre complaints.
Keith Bujold has been in a long fight with neighbor Ernest Kavanaugh Sr. over access to a disputed road that has resulted in threats with pistols.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal statistics show that efforts to douse the largest of the nation's wildfires last year cost more than $580 million, and it took more than three months in some cases to put out the flames.
A summary by the National Interagency Fire Center also shows more than 80 percent of the 51 largest fires were sparked by lightning. That includes the Long Draw and Holloway fires, which together burned more than 1 million acres and were among the largest in Oregon's history.
ALBQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico legislator says she'll try again next year now that a state Senate committee has rejected a bill to end promotion of third-graders whose reading ability isn't adequate.
The Senate Education Committee rejected the so-called "social promotion" bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs on a 5-4 party-line vote following a nearly four-hour hearing Saturday.
The legislation is a priority of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, but it's been repeatedly rejected by the Democratic-led Legislature.
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A southeastern New Mexico gun store has announced that it is hosting a coyote hunting contest following a similar hunt by another gun store that sparked protests.
Larry's Discount Gun Shop and Sporting Goods is organizing a two-day coyote hunting competition starting Saturday. Under the rule of the contest, two-person teams will try to kill as many coyotes as possible with first-place winner getting a pair of semi-automatic rifles.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government is asking a court to dismiss an American Indian community's lawsuit seeking all the land within the boundaries of the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico. A Justice Department filing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque argues that the Jemez Pueblo surrendered rights to claim the land under a 1974 judgment.
JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico water managers are planning to study the water quality of the Jemez River watershed.
The survey will include the Jemez River from its headwaters in northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains down to the village of San Ysidro. A tributary of the Rio Grande, the river cuts through Valles Caldera National Preserve and Jemez Pueblo land.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal advocated by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez to increase penalties for human trafficking is heading to the Senate for consideration.
The measure would make it a first-degree felony for human trafficking if the victim was under the age of 16. Convictions could carry a basic sentence of 18 years in prison. That doubles the penalty because the crime is currently a lesser felony.
The proposal would triple the basic penalty — to nine years in prison — for human trafficking if the victim was 16 years or older.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Efforts aimed at preservation of Native American languages would continue with the help of federal funding under legislation introduced by New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan.
The New Mexico Democrat says his bill would reauthorize the Esther Martinez Native Languages Preservation Act for another five years.
The original legislation was brought by former Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson in honor of a Tewa storyteller and linguist who was known for her life's work of preserving her native language and traditions.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico lawmaker wants to end what he calls the practice by public officials of creating "monuments to me."
Republican Sen. Mark Moores of Albuquerque says he has introduced a bill that would prohibit any public building from being named after a living person. He says the practice can turn embarrassing, as in the case of the Manny Aragon library at Lowell Elementary School in Albuquerque. Aragon is a former Senate leader serving time in federal prison for accepting kickbacks.
Bernalillo County District Court judges are barring District Attorney Kari Brandenberg's office from using investigative grand juries to probe shootings involving police officers.
Chief Judge Ted Baca and another judge say in a letter to Brandenberg that there's an appearance of a lack of impartiality.
The judges' letter says that's because the investigative grand juries are used only in officer-involved shootings and only after there's been a determination that there's no probable cause for criminal charges against the officers.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico advocacy groups say Walgreens won't allow individual pharmacists' personal religious beliefs to prevent customers from filling birth control prescriptions.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico announced Tuesday that Walgreens told the ACLU and the Southwest Women's Law Center that the company will take steps nationwide to make sure customers received prescriptions regardless of employees' beliefs.