Federal Funds To Help Fight Fire In New Mexico, As Wall Looms, US Moves To Settle Border Fence Land

Jun 17, 2017

Federal Funds To Help Fight Fire In New Mexico Associated Press

New Mexico's request for funding to help with the fight against a blaze that prompted evacuations in northern New Mexico has been granted by the federal government.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced the federal assistance Friday, saying the money will help cover the costs of emergency protective measures and firefighting activities.

The fire has charred more than a square mile since starting Thursday near the border of the Santa Fe National Forest and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Evacuations remain in effect, but sheriff's deputies are escorting residents to their homes to pick up pets and collect belongings.

Forest officials have imposed restrictions that prohibit building campfires or using charcoal, coal or wood stoves expect in developed campsites where grills are provided.

As Wall Looms, US Moves To Settle Border Fence Land Cases Associated Press

Government lawyers are renewing efforts to settle about 90 cases against Texas landowners whose land was seized to build a fence along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.

A 16-page legal notice appeared last week in the Brownsville Herald, the newspaper serving Texas' southernmost border city, saying hundreds of landowners had several weeks left to contest how much the government should pay for their land.

One lawyer for landowners believes the legal notice is a lead-up to a fight over a border wall proposed by President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Justice Department denies any connection between the legal notice and the possibility of a future border wall. Congress has so far refused to fund new construction of the kind of wall Trump has promised to build.

Man Accused Of Shooting A Taos Motorist Over A $400 DebtAssociated Press

A man has been arrested for allegedly shooting and wounding another motorist in Taos over a $400 debt.

Taos County Sheriff's officials say 54-year-old Paul Trujillo is jailed on $20,000 cash bond on suspicion of shooting at or from a vehicle, assault with intent to commit injury or death and aggravated assault.

It was unclear Friday night if Trujillo has a lawyer yet.

Sheriff's deputies responded to a shots fired call about 10:30 a.m. Friday and found a luxury car crashed into a fence and a 34-year-old Cerro man with a gunshot wound to his foot.

The gunman fled the scene in a pickup truck and deputies eventually identified the suspect as Trujillo.

Sheriff's officials say Trujillo's home was searched and the rifle believed used in the shooting was recovered.

The Latest: Prosecutor: 1 Victim In New Mexico Rampage Alive Associated Press

Prosecutors say a victim they believed was killed in a shooting rampage in New Mexico is still alive and in critical condition.

District Attorney Marco Serna told reporters during a news conference Friday that one of the victims had been taken off life support, leading authorities to believe that she had died.

The suspect, 21-year-old Damian Herrera, was then charged with murder in the death of his mother, stepfather, brother and two other men he encountered after he fled the family's home.

Serna said the murder count for Herrera's mother has been withdrawn, and prosecutors will be waiting for word from the hospital before filing updated charges.

Authorities say the shooting of Herrera's family is believed to have stemmed from an argument between Herrera and his stepfather.

The restrictions cover the entire Jemez Ranger District and other parts of the Santa Fe National Forest.

Coroner's 1908 Report Unveiled For Famed New Mexico Lawman Associated Press

Officials in southern New Mexico's Dona Ana County have publicly unveiled the coroner's report for the Old West lawman who fatally shot Billy the Kid.

The February 1908 document written in cursive script and signed by six men laid out the few findings of a coroner's jury investigation into the shooting death of famed sheriff Pat Garrett.

The previously unknown document was discovered by a county clerk's office employee last November in the clerk's office vault.

The county kept its discovery secret for months before the document was presented to the public for the first time Friday.

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News , about 150 people attended the unveiling ceremony at the county's Government Center including one of Garrett's granddaughters — Susannah Garrett of Santa Fe.

Navajo Generating Station Owners Deny Deadline Extension Associated Press

The owners of a coal-fired power plant in northern Arizona have rejected the Navajo Nation's request for a 30-day extension of a July 1 deadline for the tribe to decide whether to extend the owners' lease for the site.

The Gallup Independent reports the Navajo Generating Station owners rejected the extension on Wednesday.

The owners have said the plant must shut down by the end of 2017 if a longer lease is not approved by July 1 to provide time to remove the plant by the end of its current lease.

A Navajo Nation Council committee requested the extension in hopes of gaining more time to review the 800-page lease legislation.

The plant and a coal mine that supplies it employ about 750 people, almost all being Native Americans.

Border Patrol Raids Aid Camp, Arrests 4 Men From Mexico Associated Press

U.S. Border Patrol released a statement saying agents served a search warrant at a southern Arizona humanitarian aid camp and arrested four men suspected of being in the country illegally.

The federal agency says agents tracked the men walking north before the four entered the camp run by No Mas Muertes, an organization that provides care for migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Border Patrol says agents reached out to camp representatives Thursday but the talks were unsuccessful.

No Mas Muertes released a statement Thursday saying a helicopter, 15 trucks and 30 armed agents arrested four people receiving medical care.

Border Patrol says the four men were Mexican citizens.

Camp officials say the heavy presence of law enforcement has deterred people from accessing critical humanitarian assistance during this deadly hot weather.

Suspects Accused Of Assaulting Border Patrol Agent Arrested Associated Press

Authorities in New Mexico say two suspects accused of assaulting an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas with a machete have been arrested.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say 31-year-old Fernando Puga of Las Cruces was taken into custody Thursday.

He's being held on a $1 million cash bond on suspicion of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder.

On Tuesday, FBI agents in the El Paso Sector arrested 33-year-old Sergio Ivan Vanegas-Quinonez on an outstanding warrant of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and aggravated assault.

He's being held at the El Paso County Detention Center in Texas awaiting extradition to Dona Ana County.

The 30-year-old Border Patrol agent attacked June 9 in El Paso remains hospitalized in critical condition.