Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

Oct 4, 2019



ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man convicted of robbing a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant with a machete in 2017 has been sentenced to nine years in prison.The Alamogordo Daily News reports Adam Liges of Alamogordo was sentenced this week after pleading no contest to aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.According to court documents, Liges and another man robbed an Alamogordo KFC while one used "a large machete with a sharp blade."A witness later told police that the man with the machete had an oval-shaped tattoo related to the San Francisco 49ers NFL team on his right bicep.Alamogordo detectives learned of Liges' identity through Facebook by spotting his tattoo. 


SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Economic Development Department will award up to $50,000 to business incubators that come up with the best programs to help outdoor recreation ventures that are in their early stages.The program was announced Thursday during the Outdoor Economics Conference in Silver City.The business incubators will have until Oct. 25 to respond if they’re interested in the state’s request of proposals.Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes says her agency will work with the incubators to help entrepreneurs in the burgeoning industry expand and create jobs.Officials are hoping to focus on businesses that offer services such as guided tours or gear rentals, or products like fishing rods, bikes and technical apparel. They’ll also be giving special consideration to ideas that support rural areas or take regional approaches.


Ban could block Capitol Christmas Tree from New MexicoTAOS, N.M. (AP) — A tree to be displayed outside the U.S. Capitol building over the holidays is supposed to come from a northern New Mexico forest.That’s if the U.S. Forest Service can get an exception from a tree-cutting ban across all New Mexico national forests and one in Arizona.A federal judge says people can cut firewood for personal use, but sidelined all other timber management activities.The ban came in a 2013 lawsuit that environmentalists filed against the Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, accusing them of failing to track the threatened Mexican spotted owl for more than 20 years.The Capitol Christmas Tree is scheduled to be cut from the Carson National Forest early next month.The forest is working to exclude the cutting from the ban.


Netflix series ‘Living Undocumented’ probes migrant plightsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new Netflix documentary series investigates the diversity of migrants caught in the intricate U.S immigration system where uncertainty and pain often battle dreams.“Living Undocumented” now airing on the streaming service follows the lives of eight families from Latin America, Israel, Laos, and Africa who try to live normal lives in the U.S. despite family members’ immigration status.The six-episode series shows how the families do their best to go day by day while threats of deportation loom due to changing policy and laws. Crews follow families as they await immigration decisions and try to celebrate birthdays, bat mitzvahs and family cookouts in Florida, Texas and South Carolina.Co-directors Anna Chai and Aaron Saidman say they wanted to create a series that allowed the immigrants to speak for themselves.


Gasoline fundraiser for school supplies rankles and pleasesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major oil company is encountering criticism and appreciation for its pledge to donate $1 to local school math, technology and science projects for every tank of gasoline purchased.Chevron said Wednesday it would make up to $75,000 available to support schools in three New Mexico cities through its “Fuel Your School” program.The company invests heavily in local oil production. Top state and district education officials were scheduled to visit an elementary school as new books are delivered under Chevron’s education initiative.High school senior Jonathan Alonzo of Albuquerque says that Chevron’s charitable efforts put cash-strapped communities in an awkward bind and fly in the face of recent mass student protests against oil dependency.Chevron corporate affairs manager Tommy Lyles says the company strongly supports technology and science education.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison in connection with the killing of his grandmother in 2018.Prosecutors say 21-year-old Drake Bickett was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.The body of 65-year-old Marilyn Gandert was found by a passerby on a secluded road in Rio Rancho in January 2018.Sandoval County Sheriff's officials say Gandert was burned beyond recognition and had been bound, beaten and stabbed.Prosecutors say Gandert was killed days after she evicted Bickett, his 44-year-old mother Alissa Bickett and their 29-year-old friend Annie Rael from her northwest Albuquerque home for not paying rent.Alissa Bickett was sentenced in July to 30 years in prison.Rael is serving a 12-year prison term after also pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of hot air balloons will lift off from the New Mexico desert over nine days as part of one of the world’s largest festivals dedicated to the sport of ballooning.In its 48th year, the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is scheduled to kick off Saturday with a mass ascension.More than 580 balloons are registered, 17 countries are represented, and tens of thousands of spectators from around the world are expected to turn out for opening weekend.Elijah Sanchez will be among the youngest to launch. After years of crewing on the ground and hours of studying to earn his license, the 20-year-old pilot says he couldn’t be more excited.Albuquerque has hosted the fiesta since its inception in 1972.Troy Bradley, one of the ballooning world’s most prolific record-setters, said, “There’s just nothing like it in the world, to see that much color going into the sky.”


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican state senator wants New Mexico to allow college athletes to receive paid endorsements.Senator and former University of New Mexico football player Mark Moores of Albuquerque announced Thursday that he will be sponsoring a bill to legalize student endorsement deals.The proposal would follow in the footsteps of California’s first-in-the-nation law aimed at allowing players share in the wealth of big-money college athletics.The NCAA oversight organization for college athletics prohibits players from hiring agents and does not pay players in most cases. The organization is studying other ways players might make money.Moores says student athletes deserve the opportunity to enjoy the financial fruits of their labor.He said his bill would ensure student athletes are not barred from participation for promoting products and companies for payment.