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Group rebuffs House inquiry into New Mexico election audit

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A congressional oversight committee says the lead contractor in a partisan audit of 2020 election results in New Mexico has rebuffed requests for documents and information about door-to-door canvasing that has raised concerns of possible voter intimidation. The committee reiterated requests for documents Wednesday as it investigates a partisan audit of the 2020 election results that is taking place in New Mexico and was authorized by a Republican-led county commission. Two Democrats on the House Oversight Committee say the response from EchoMail contradicts extensive evidence. The committee says it's looking into potential intimidation by volunteers from a conspiracy group canvassing voters.

New Mexico regulators to review coal plant financing dispute

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It will be up to New Mexico regulators to settle a feud over financing and customer electricity rates stemming from the upcoming closure of one of the last remaining coal-fired power plants in the southwestern U.S. The state Public Regulation Commission voted Wednesday to clear the way for its hearing examiners to review the case and make a recommendation. Consumer advocates say anticipated savings should be passed on to customers when the San Juan Generating Station closes this fall. Public Service Co. of New Mexico has proposed crediting customers when rates are reconsidered next year as part of a lengthy process before the commission.

Growth slows for endangered Mexican gray wolf population

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There are now more Mexican gray wolves roaming the southwestern U.S. than at any time since the federal government started reintroducing the endangered species of predators. Results of the latest annual Mexican gray wolf survey show there are at least 196 in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona. That marks the sixth straight year that wolf's numbers have increased. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said Wednesday that the wolves' population growth over the last year was tempered by higher than average pup mortality. Fewer pups survived through the end of the year in 2021, but there were more breeding pairs recorded.

Arizona police ID man killed on I-40 as New Mexico resident

WINSLOW, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who was struck several times by vehicles on Interstate 40 near Winslow and died. The Arizona Department of Public Safety identified him Wednesday as 39-year-old Adam Michael Tackett, of Farmington, New Mexico. Department spokesman Bart Graves says Tackett was standing in the middle of the interstate when he was hit Tuesday morning. The incident briefly shut down the westbound lanes. Authorities had received multiple calls about an object in the roadway. Graves says it's unclear why Tackett was there. He says some of the man's clothing and sleeping bag were found nearby.

Prosecutor against probation in cases of aggravated fleeing

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Dangerous incidents involving high-speed police pursuits have prompted a northern New Mexico district attorney to adopt a policy to toughen potential plea deals for defendants in those cases. First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said Monday the policy prohibits probation as being the sentence in a plea deal for a case of aggravated fleeing. Also, her office will ask judges to order that anyone accused of aggravated fleeing be jailed until trial. The 1st Judicial District covers Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties. Recent incidents prompting the policy include two wrong-way cases on Interstate 25, including one that resulted in crashes that killed two people.

Chaves County deputies involved in fatal shooting at dairy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An investigation is underway after a disorderly conduct call at a dairy in Chaves County ended with a man fatally shot. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reports Sheriff Mike Herrington issued a video statement regarding the Sunday night shooting. Herrington confirmed two deputies were involved. The deputies tried to detain a suspect by first using tasers on him several times. He was then shot and killed. Authorities have not released any further details. Investigators from Chaves County Sheriff's Office, Roswell Police and New Mexico State Police are all looking at the shooting.

Suspect in Albuquerque murder jailed after hospital release

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a suspect in an Albuquerque murder case now is in jail after being released from a hospital. Bernalillo County Sheriff's officials say an arrest warrant was issued for 20-year-old Christopher Byers last month, but he had to spend weeks in a hospital recovering from being shot in a different incident in January. Byers had a court appearance Saturday. Prosecutors want him to remain in jail until his trial in connection with the death of a 16-year-old boy. Authorities say the teen's body was found in an open field in the South Valley last month. Sheriff's officials say Byers is being held on suspicion of an open count of murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and tampering with evidence.

Ukrainian students overseas fret about relatives, the future

MONTEZUMA, N.M. (AP) — Students from Ukraine who are studying overseas are worrying about their loved ones and the war's impact on the lives they were planning to return to at home. As they made crepes to sell for a war relief effort on a recent Saturday, thoughts of their relatives in harm's way weighed on several Russian-speaking students at their boarding school in the Rocky Mountains. The Russian-speaking students at the United World College campus in New Mexico have been united in horror over the invasion of Ukraine.