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.
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.