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

Oct 8, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking to charge a Santa Fe teen with murder a year after his arrest in a Michigan man's shooting death.The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Monday that the district attorney's office filed a petition last month to pursue adult charges including second-degree murder against the now 18-year-old.Police say 64-year-old Richard Milan of Kalamazoo and his wife stopped in Santa Fe in September 2018 during a cross-country road trip.Milan was walking the couple's dog when he got into an argument with a group of young people that escalated into a shooting.Prosecutors dismissed charges against the suspect last November, citing insufficient evidence.Stephen Aarons, the teen's attorney, has said his client was just a bystander. Aarons could not immediately be reached for comment. 


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is highlighting the oil industry's role in underwriting public education and soliciting its help in developing new state regulations for methane emissions.The first-year Democratic governor told an audience at the annual meeting of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association that her Cabinet secretaries for environmental and oilfield regulation are there to work for people in the energy sector.Lujan Grisham outlined an all-of-the-above energy strategy and said her proposal for tuition-free public college is made possible by a booming oil sector.New Mexico state government is increasingly reliant on surging income from the oil and natural gas sectors amid record-setting petroleum production in the Permian Basin that overlaps the southeast of the state and West Texas.


ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico says Democrats would have to "really blow it" to lose the nation's most Hispanic state to President Donald Trump in 2020.Udall told The Associated Press last week Democrats still have a strong advantaged over Republicans in New Mexico next year. But he says the GOP is expected work hard to capture the state and Democrats should be ready for a fight.Last month, Trump visited Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and vowed to win the state in the presidential election. Republicans haven't won the southwestern state since 2004.Udall says the Democratic nominee will need a robust ground game and get-out-the-vote operation in New Mexico to counter the Republicans' expected spending in the state.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A court battle is brewing over public grazing leases that New Mexico officials believe were used to help shield a remote desert ranch owned by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of abusing young women there before he died behind bars.State Land Office General Counsel Ari Biernoff said Monday that the state will defend in court its right to terminate two leases to a company previously controlled by Epstein.Cypress Inc. attorneys say the company subleased the state parcels to a local ranching family for years and complied with lease terms.Cypress is asking a state district court in Santa Fe intervene and preserve the leases.A portion of Epstein's Zorro Ranch in central New Mexico extends across state trust land, under the grazing contracts with Cypress.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major oil producing state is poised to add plug-in electric cars to its core fleet of government vehicles for the first time.New Mexico's General Service Department announced Monday announced a price agreement with auto dealers as it prepares to spend at least $1 million on plug-in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by mid-2020.The agency oversees a fleet of about 2,000 government vehicles for a long list of executive agencies.Lawmakers set aside an additional $1.5 million for car-charging infrastructure.Electric vehicles can reduce climate pollution from transportation, especially as utilities seek cleaner ways to generate electricity.Local governments can take advantage of state's price agreement. General Services Secretary Ken Ortiz described plug-in vehicles as an important tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a teenage boy is facing charges in the slayings of two of his friends near Rio Rancho last year.The name of the 15-year-old suspect isn't being released by The Associated Press because he's a juvenile.Prosecutors say the teen is accused of two counts of murder, three counts of tampering with evidence, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of armed robbery.It was unclear Monday if he's been arrested yet.Authorities say 14-year-old Ahmed Lateef and 15-year-old Collin Romero were reported missing last Dec. 16 after allegedly being kidnapped from a home in the Northeast Heights.Their bodies were a few weeks later buried in shallow graves in the mesa northwest of Rio Rancho.Authorities say the two teens had been shot, beaten and stabbed.


GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say a high school football coach has been arrested for allegedly stealing money from one of his players.They say 42-year-old John Roanhoaus of Clovis was arrested Saturday and booked into the McKinley County Detention Center in Gallup on suspicion of burglary and larceny.State Police say they were notified of a burglary Wednesday at Miyamura High School in Gallup.Officers viewed video evidence that police say showed a man entering the school's locker room and taking money from a football player's wallet.They say the man was identified as Roanhoaus, who is the head football coach at Miyamura and an arrested warrant was issued Friday.It was unclear Monday if Roanhoaus has a lawyer yet for his case.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say federal research shows that about a quarter of Navajo women who participated in a study of uranium exposure had high levels of the radioactive metal in their systems.Dr. Loretta Christensen, the chief medical officer for Indian Health Service facilities that serve the Navajo Nation, cited the research at a congressional field hearing in Albuquerque.The Monday hearing centered on the atomic age's legacy on Native American communities. Cleanup of abandoned uranium mines continues decades after they closed.Christensen says the research also shows some babies born in recent years had high concentrations of uranium. She says research is ongoing.U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, says Native Americans were disproportionately affected by uranium mining and nuclear testing for Cold War weaponry.