Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT
- SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is bringing sales of recreational marijuana to the doorstep of Texas as the movement toward broad legalization sweeps across more of the American West. As of midnight Friday, anyone 21 and older in New Mexico can purchase up to 2 ounces of marijuana — enough to roll about 60 joints or cigarettes. Across the state, would-be marijuana farmers are bidding for water rights and learning to raise their first cannabis crops. Experienced medical cannabis producers have ramped up production. New Mexico is among 18 states that have legalize cannabis for recreational use.
RURAL WATER PROJECTS
- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal officials are funneling more money to rural water projects in several states as the Biden administration looks to put a dent in growing infrastructure needs amid drought and climate change. The U.S. Interior Department announced Thursday that $420 million will be spent on projects in New Mexico, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. The work includes construction of water treatment plants, pipeline connections, pump systems and reservoirs to provide drinking water to rural and tribal communities. The largest share — $160 million — will go toward an ongoing project designed to provide water for about 70,000 people in eastern New Mexico.
NEW MEXICO TRAPPING BAN
- ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It will be illegal to use wildlife traps, snares and poison on public lands across New Mexico under a ban that takes effect Friday. New Mexico is joining a handful of Western states that have limited trapping on public lands. The New Mexico measure, dubbed "Roxy's Law," was approved in 2021 following several failed attempts by animal advocates over the years to rein in a practice they have described as archaic and indiscriminate. Ranchers and wildlife conservation officers have argued that trapping is an important tool for managing wildlife and protecting livestock in rural parts of the state.
CONGRESS-NEW MEXICO 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 ENERGY FUTURE
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
FLEE POLICE-PROBATION POLICY
- 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.