Update

puroticorico via Flickr

New Mexico GOP Hopes To Win Legislative Majority - The Associated Press

Democrats have controlled the New Mexico House for the past 60 years, but the political landscape is giving Republicans hope for a breakthrough in the general election.

Republicans need a net gain of three seats to take control of the 70-member House. There are at least 10 competitive races, with Democrats and Republicans each holding five of those seats.

publik15 via Flickr

Report: Care Provider Needs Funding IncreaseThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

A company providing some behavioral health services in New Mexico following a shake-up of the state's network says it needs more money to stay afloat.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that Turquoise Health and Wellness said in an Oct. 9 report that it "is currently not a financially viable organization on its own."

Simon Thompson

NM Land Office Nears Record With $78M In RevenueThe Associated Press

The New Mexico State Land Office has earned more than $78 million for schools, hospitals and other beneficiaries of the state land trust.

September's earnings mark the second-highest monthly revenues in the history of the Land Office. The highest month on record was $79 million in December 2013.

Kevin Dooley via Flickr

NM Water Panel Accused Of Violating Meetings ActThe Associated Press

The former head of the Interstate Stream Commission is accusing the agency of violating the New Mexico Open Meetings Act in its deliberations regarding the future of the Gila River.

Norm Gaume filed a lawsuit in state district court in Santa Fe yesterday. He's seeking a restraining order to prevent the commission from taking any action related to proposals discussed by a subcommittee that has been considering Gila River diversion proposals.

Floyd E. Vasquez Jr.

Mora County Continues Oil And Gas Drilling BanThe Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Mora County commissioners have voted to continue a ban on oil and gas drilling that has triggered lawsuits from the oil industry but brought out a passionate defense from local residents concerned about pollution.

NM VA Health Care System

Records: $24,000 In Bonuses For State's VA LeadersThe Associated Press

Five top administrators in the Veterans Affairs' health care system in New Mexico received more than $24,000 in bonuses in 2013 despite complaints from veterans about lapses and delays in care.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request show the director of the New Mexico system collected more than $8,700 in 2013.

Ed Williams

Artesia Mayor: Dozens Freed From Immigrant CenterThe Associated Press

The mayor of a New Mexico city where immigration authorities are holding nearly 500 detainees says dozens of immigrants have been released.

Artesia Mayor Phillip Burch told The Associated Press that 68 detainees were released and around 14 were deported last week. He says federal immigration officials reported around 479 detainees remain at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia and more expected to arrive in the coming days.

Navajo Nation

Navajo Presidential Candidate To Appeal Ruling In Language Case – The Associated Press

A Navajo presidential candidate says he will appeal to the tribe's high court in a case challenging his ability to speak Navajo.

A tribal hearing officer on Thursday ruled against Chris Deschene after he repeatedly refused to answer questions in Navajo.

Tribal law requires presidential hopefuls to speak fluent Navajo and understand the language said to be handed down by deities.

Deschene has 10 days to appeal to the tribe's Supreme Court.

Laura Paskus

Rains Boost Level Of New Mexico Reservoirs - The Associated Press and Las Cruces Sun-News

Reservoirs in southern New Mexico have gotten a much needed boost thanks to late summer rains.

The levels at Elephant Butte and Caballo reservoirs have climbed in recent weeks as a result of runoff from the rain making its way down arroyos and other channels that drain into the lakes.

Photo via www.multiamerican.scpr.org

Absentee Voting Starts Tuesday In New MexicoThe Associated Press

New Mexicans can start casting ballots in general election races although Election Day remains several weeks away.

Voters can go to their county clerk's office starting Tuesday to cast ballots. That's also the final day for New Mexicans to register to vote and clerks can begin mailing absentee ballots requested by voters.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Day 3 Balloon FiestaThe Associated Press

Day 3 of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is underway.

Yesterday’s mass ascension of hundreds of hot air balloons was called off due to wind.  More than 100 balloons had already been inflated when officials called it.  Those balloons became part of an impromptu static display.   

About 550 pilots are taking part in this year's Balloon Fiesta, which runs until October 12th.  

Photo by buschap/Flickr (Creative Commons)

  New Mexico's Voter Registration Deadline Is Oct. 7The Associated Press

New Mexicans have only a few more days to become eligible to vote in the Nov. 4 general election.

Tuesday is the deadline to register as a voter. That's also the first day that New Mexicans can cast ballots in person at a county clerk's office.

County clerks also can start mailing out absentee ballots to voters on Tuesday.

Early voting will expand to more locations statewide on Oct. 18.

about.me/ReidAboutSex

University Of New Mexico Apologizes On 'Sex Week'The Associated Press

University of New Mexico senior administrator says the Albuquerque school didn't adequately supervise topics included in a program of workshops called "Celebrate Sex Week at UNM."

Vice President for Student Affairs Eliseo Torres issued an apology when campus officials received dozens of complaints about the four-day program that began Monday.

Still from APD video footage March 16, 2014

Chief: Foul Language 'Completely Unacceptable'The Associated Press

Albuquerque's police chief says it's "completely unacceptable" that an officer used foul language and called a man he later fatally shot a "lunatic."

Chief Gorden Eden told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Officer Keith Sandy violated department policy when he used an expletive to describe a 38-year-old man struggling with mental illness.

University of New Mexico

'Bless Me, Ultima' Novelist Anaya To Be HonoredThe Associated Press

The godfather of contemporary Chicano literature has been chosen as the 2nd ever inductee into the Albuquerque Wall of Fame.

Author Rudolfo Anaya is scheduled to be honored Tuesday at the Alvarado Transportation Center.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says Anaya is receiving a Wall of Fame nod because his descriptive narratives opened up Albuquerque and New Mexico to the world.

Anaya was born in Pastura, New Mexico, and raised in nearby Santa Rosa.

Recording Shows Officer Promising To Shoot Suspect - The Associated Press and KOB TV

Two hours before an Albuquerque police officer fatally shot a homeless camper, which sparked violent protest in the city, he was recorded saying he would shoot the suspect in the penis.

A recording broadcast by KOB-TV shows Keith Sandy telling a state police officer that James Boyd was a "lunatic" and he was going to shot the man struggling with mental illness "in the penis with a shotgun here in a second."

wiki commons

Food Stamp Changes Exclude Some Counties, TribesThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

A state agency for now is exempting several New Mexico counties and about a dozen Native American tribes and pueblos from new work-related rules for participation in the food stamp nutrition-assistance program.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that counties being excluded from the rules include Luna, McKinley and Mora and that the tribes and pueblos being exempted include the Navajo Nation.

Photo: inkknife_2000 via Flickr

Navajo Nation To Get $554 Million In Settlement With US  - The Associated Press

The Navajo Nation will receive more than $550 million as part of a settlement with the federal government that officials say is the largest of its kind.

The tribe agreed earlier this year to settle the case involving mismanagement of its resources, but it was awaiting signatures from federal agencies.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited Window Rock on Friday to mark the largest settlement of its kind for a single American Indian tribe.

National Weather Service

Rains Ease New Mexico's Short-Term DroughtThe Associated Press

Heavy rain and flooding have hammered parts of New Mexico over the past week, but all the moisture hasn't been enough to scare the drought away.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say the southern third of New Mexico has seen 200 percent or more of its average rainfall so far this month, but nearly 70 percent of the state is still dealing with some degree of drought.

Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off At ForumThe Associated Press

Republican incumbent Susana Martinez and Democratic challenger Gary King disagreed over the economy and schools in their first appearance together at a candidate forum in New Mexico's race for governor.

King criticized Martinez for presiding over the "worst economy in the country," and said New Mexico has lagged behind other states in job growth.

Martinez jabbed at King for supporting tax increases to balance the budget two decades when he served in the Legislature.

(nz)dave via Flickr

24 Spent Night In Carlsbad Shelter Due To FloodingThe Associated Press

Some Carlsbad residents spent the night in a shelter because of Pecos River flooding that is now receding.

Red Cross spokeswoman Beverly Allen says 24 people took refuge at a shelter at Carlsbad High School.

Eddy County emergency center spokesman Kenny Rayroux says the problem stems from flooding of the Pecos River that runs through Carlsbad.

However, Rayroux says the river crested early Monday morning and is now receding.

clevercupcakes via Flickr

Poll Shows Strong Disapproval Of Health Care Law - The Albuquerque Journal, The Associated Press

A newspaper's poll found that nearly half of New Mexico voters say the new federal health care law has been a failure.

The poll by the Albuquerque Journal also found that a majority of voters said Gov. Susana Martinez was right to take advantage of law by expanding the number of people eligible for Medicaid.

Albuquerque Council Oks Civilian Police Panel PlanThe Associated Press and Albuquerque Journal

The City Council has approved a plan for greater civilian oversight of Albuquerque's police department, which has faced criticism over recent shootings.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the bill was approved 8-0 late Thursday and sent to the mayor, who has said he would carefully review any such proposal.

Michael Grimes via Flickr and Creative Commons

Marijuana Ballot Dispute Before Federal CourtThe Associated Press

A federal court is to consider whether it will referee a legal fight over New Mexico's largest county trying to place nonbinding questions over marijuana and taxes on the November general election ballot.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen has scheduled a hearing Thursday afternoon in a dispute between Bernalillo County and Secretary of State Dianna Duran.

sliceofcruelty.com / Mercy for Animals

Group Levels Abuse Allegations Against NM DairyThe Associated Press

Undercover video showing workers at a southern New Mexico dairy whipping cows with chains and wire cables and kicking and punching the animals, has led to a state investigation into possible animal cruelty violations.

The New Mexico Livestock Board confirms it has launched an investigation into the practices at the Winchester Dairy near Dexter.

Jared via Flickr

Flash Flood Watches Issued For Parts Of New MexicoThe Associated Press

Flash flood watches are in effect through Tuesday evening in parts of northern and central New Mexico along the Rio Grande and in the state's southwest mountains.

The National Weather Service says subtropical moisture will continue to increase on Tuesday, allowing slow-moving thunderstorms to develop during the afternoon and evening.

NM VA Health Care System

New Mexico Vets' Personal Information CompromisedThe Associated Press

Officials with the New Mexico VA Health Care System say the personal identifying information of thousands of veterans may have been compromised.

The agency says it is notifying more than 2-thousand 600 veterans that a folder with their names and Social Security numbers was found in a women's restroom on July 30th at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque.

The folder was discovered by a VA supervisor.

@jbtaylor via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Judge Critical Of County For 2012 Election DelaysThe Associated Press 

A federal judge has ordered Sandoval County to provide adequate voting machines for the general election to prevent long delays for voters as happened two years ago.

U.S. District Court Judge William Johnson on Friday directed county elections officials to follow a plan adopted by county commissioners for allocating voting machines.

State Workers Face Delay In Court-Ordered Back Pay The Associated Press and Santa Fe New Mexican

Gov. Susana Martinez says thousands of state workers owed back pay to resolve a union contract dispute are finally about to get their money.

The state Supreme Court ruled last year that 10,000 current or former employees are entitled to retroactive pay increases because former Gov. Bill Richardson's administration didn't follow union contracts in distributing 2008 salary money.

Sergio Jiménez / The Daily Lobo

APD Chief Says City Stuck With Bad OfficersUSA Today

Albuquerque’s Chief of Police Gorden Eden told the national newspaper USA Today that it will be difficult to reform the Albuquerque Police Department because it is stuck with officers who shouldn't be on the force.

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