State officials say the influenza season is off to an early start and are warning that it may be more severe than in recent years.
The New Mexico Department of Health says flu is circulating throughout the state. Health officials say anyone six months of age and older, particularly pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions, should get vaccinated.
The department says many of the influenza cases seen so far are a more severe type that has led to higher number of hospitalizations and deaths in previous flu seasons than other types.
A labor board has ruled against the Aztec teachers' union negotiating with the school district on a collective bargaining agreement.
The Farmington Daily Times (bit.ly/QMOkOJ) says the Labor Management Relations Board found that the union violated negotiating practices and failed to follow rules agreed upon by the two parties. The board said the union also had submitted proposals that conflicting with state statutes and the state constitution.
New Mexico's largest school district plans to spend millions of dollars to adopt new testing standards and move to computer-based testing.
Albuquerque Public Schools administrators say the district estimates it will spend $39 million in capital money to upgrade 17,000 computers and computer equipment, and another $15 million annually to maintain the system.
State officials are trying to wrap up the final results of the November general election.
The state Canvassing Board meets Friday and a top official in the secretary of state's office says winners are expected to be certified in all but one race.
There's a pending recount in a state House of Representatives race between Republican Paul Pacheco of Albuquerque and Democrat Marci Blaze of Corrales. Before the recount, Pacheco was leading by 66 votes.
The latest campaign finance reports show that two outside political groups spent nearly $4 million to influence legislative races, which ended up with Democrats retaining control of the House and Senate.
A political committee with ties to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez reported on Thursday spending $2.4 million. It was involved in 31 House and Senate races, including several Democratic primary contests.
Students at the University of New Mexico may soon be required to take at least one class on diversity.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/TEM9tO) that a draft proposal by the Provost's Diversity Council calls for a three-credit-hour diversity requirement that could go into effect in fall 2014. The class will be required for all students before graduation.
The Los Alamos National Laboratory is expected to conclude its probe into former employees who allowed visitors to operate weapons at the lab's shooting range.
The Los Alamos Monitor reports (http://bit.ly/SpVbMh) that the law says four unauthorized visitors were given access the range and were allowed to "operate a variety of firearms." The lab says participants also took photos of their time on the range and posted them on Facebook. Those photos have since been taken down.
The U.S. Department of Education says New Mexico has one of the worst four-year high school graduation rates in the nation.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/SpzOdY) that new federal numbers from2010-2011 preliminary data showed that New Mexico also falls at the bottom of the pack when analyzing rates across nearly every demographic.
Nevada had the lowest graduation rate, with 62 percent graduation, just ahead of New Mexico's 63 percent rate.
Iowa had the nation's highest with about 88 percent of students graduating.
New Mexico State University is set to host more than 50 Ecuadorean teachers who are seeking to learn English.
NMSU announced Thursday that the Ecuadorean teachers are scheduled to take part is a two-semester English language program funded by the Ecuadorean government. The "Go Teacher" program is aimed at improving English education in that country's schools.
School officials say the first group of teachers will study at NMSU between Jan. 15 and Aug. 15, and will likely to be followed by additional groups in later semesters.
Officials at Western New Mexico University say the school's nursing program has earned accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for 10 years.
The commission found that the program met all accreditation standards. The commission's review included a visit to the Silver City campus and interviews with university officials, program faculty, students and others.
The nursing program began in the fall of 2005. It was developed so that licensed nurses could earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
A former top official of the New Mexico Finance Authority has pleaded guilty to forgery and securities fraud charges for falsifying an agency financial audit that was distributed to bond investors earlier this year.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, ex-controller Greg Campbell had faced up to six years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to two counts of forgery and one count of securities fraud.
State District Judge Stephen Pfeffer placed Campbell on probation for five years.
A proposed overhaul of Santa Fe County's pet licensing rules would require cat owners to license their pets and people who feed feral cats to get permits.
The draft proposal approved by the county commission on Tuesday also would significantly increase almost all fees and fines associated with owning pets.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the cost of licensing spayed or neutered dogs and cats would increase to $8 from $3 per year, while the cost of licensing an unaltered dog or cat would increase from $10 to $100.
An independent special audit shows McKinley County made about $240,000 in questionable payments to a business owned by the county commission chairman.
State Auditor Hector Balderas released the finding of the audit Monday. His office says the county violated the state procurement code and its own purchasing policies.
Balderas' office also says there are potential violations of the Governmental Conduct Act related to the county's contracts for plumbing, heating, air conditioning and other services with Dallago Corp. The company is owned by Chairman David Dallago.
The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on a New Mexico peanut butter plant that had repeated food safety violations over several years, using a new authority to halt operations at facilities that may be producing unsafe food.