The Albuquerque Zoo has announced the name of its new baby rhino -- Chopper.
Zoo officials say the name was the overwhelming favorite of Facebook fans. The name was suggested in remembrance of Jimmy "Chopper" Abalos, a softball and little league leader in the community who died in 2010. Abalos sponsored multiple little league teams called the "Rhinos." He was inducted in the United States Specialty Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2003, and his adult softball team, also the Rhinos, was inducted in 2009.
County officials are asking the Legislature to require the disclosure of more property sales prices to help with tax assessments in New Mexico.
Currently, assessors are provided prices of residential property that's sold. They want to expand the disclosure requirement to vacant land as well as commercial property and agricultural land. The information would go to assessors but not be publicly disclosed.
Five members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory security force have been fired for an improper use of a live fire shooting range.
Los Alamos Monitor reports (http://bit.ly/UPMx7N) that the five employees of the lab security force, known as Securing Our Country, were fired last week for "inappropriate behavior" at Technical Area 72.
The lab said in a statement that the firings came after a preliminary inquiry.
However, lab officials declined to discuss the nature of the behavior that resulted in the firings.
A new study finds rustic home sites in the mountains east of Albuquerque and in rural Santa Fe County are adding to the number of people infected with plague.
The study co-authored by state public health veterinarian Paul Ettestad blames a trend that has seen affluent families building homes in areas rodents once had to themselves for changing the distribution of plague in New Mexico since the 1980s. The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/Tfka3I) the disease was previously most common in low-income communities in the northwestern part of the state.
Police are launching an aggressive campaign aimed at preventing theft at Albuquerque stores and shopping malls.
Albuquerque police announced Wednesday that uniformed and undercover police officers will be placed around malls this week to deter property crimes. In addition, bait vehicle and items will be placed to nab would-be thieves and shoplifters lurking around stores.
Police Chief Ray Schultz told reporters the massive operation will begin Friday and run through Christmas.
The Santa Fe group that organizes the annual Zozobra ritual is considering moving the event from Thursday to Friday nights.
The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe's Zozobra director says the group is considering the day move. Ray Sandoval tells the Santa Fe New Mexican http://bit.ly/RSDKDX) its awaiting a change of officers at the Santa Fe Fiesta Council before making a final decision.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is urging Congress to continue tax relief for financially troubled homeowners who have part of their mortgage debt forgiven by a lender.
King and other state attorneys general sent a letter Tuesday asking congressional leaders to extend a tax provision that will expire at the end of December.
Under a 2007 law, homeowners don't have pay income taxes on mortgage debt that's canceled or forgiven because of a foreclosure, a loan restructuring or when the lender agrees to a short sale at a price less than the amount owed on a house.
Regulators in New Mexico are negotiating with eight pueblos and two tribes over whether slot machine wagers started with "free play" or "bonus point" credits should be included when the casinos report their total quarterly wagers.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/UczmS9) that Gaming Control Board officials maintain the tribal casinos are paying the state less than they should by not adding the value of "free" or "bonus" play to the total amount of cash wagered and reported to the state.
A foundation backed by professional golfer Notah Begay III has identified New Mexico as "ground zero" for finding better ways to address obesity and diabetes in Native American children.
In a report released Monday, Begay's foundation pointed to New Mexico's large Native American population and what it describes as dramatic health and educational disparities.
The foundation has spent the past year discussing with tribal leaders, health experts and others the challenges of dealing with obesity and diabetes. More than 250 stakeholders participated in the discussions.
The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico says it plans to push for a new state law that would give pregnant teenagers maternity leave from school.
KRQE-TV reports (http://bit.ly/SJPPtp) that ACLU of New Mexico says it will push for the proposal in the next legislative session in January. In addition under the proposal, pregnant and parenting students, boys and girls, would get up to 14 days of absences a semester. Currently, students typically get up to 10 days per semester.
PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — Dairy farmers are hoping for federal help after severe drought and high feed prices have closed around 40 dairies in New Mexico.
The Portales News-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/SZdS7U) that experts believe the U.S. Farm Bill could give dairy farmers relief by ending old price support systems.
New Mexico State University Extension Dairy Specialist Robert Hagevoort (HAYG'-vohrt) says the proposal would create a regulated producer-paid insurance program. He says the program would make sure that if margins are upside down, insurance will pay out.
New Mexico's ski season kicked off Saturday with the opening of the Sipapu resort and at least two more resorts are expected to open later this week.
Taos Ski Valley and Red River Ski Area are expected to open by Thanksgiving Day. Ski Santa Fe officials say they won't open until after the Thanksgiving weekend but could open within 48 hours of significant snowfall.
A federal agency's proposal to use helicopters to gather hundreds of wild horses in northwestern New Mexico has drawn criticism from animal advocates who are urging the government to use gentler tactics.
The Bureau of Land Management office plans to round up more than 270 wild horses off the Jicarilla/Carracas Mesa area near Navajo Dam.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/TTmvCe) that the federal agency's preferred option includes using helicopters.
A coyote hunting contest organized by a New Mexico gun shop that set off protests from animal rights activists has ended without problems.
Gunhawk Firearms business manager Rick Gross says the hunt ended at noon Sunday and all hunters had checked in with the shop's owner by 2 p.m. Gross didn't have a count for the number of coyotes taken. But he says the last count he had from Saturday was 23 and he expected no more than 60 would be shot in all.
New Mexico's state land commissioner says participants in a commercial coyote killing contest run by a gun store in Los Lunas won't be allowed to use state trust land.
Commissioner Ray Powell says in a letter to the owner of Gunhawk Firearms that a permit or lease is needed for commercial use of the state lands and none has been issued. The letter obtained by the Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/QLFIZw ) on Thursday says anyone participating in the hunt who kills coyotes on state land will be considered a trespasser.