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

Oct 16, 2019

Congresswoman Torres Small continues to outraise GOP foesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl (ZOH'-cheel) Torres Small continues to outraise her Republican opponents in southern New Mexico's closely watched U.S. House race.Federal election records show the Las Cruces Democrat pulled in $556,453 from July 1 to September 30 after winning the seat in November. Records show she had over $1.47 million cash on hand.Oil executive Claire Chase reported raising $510,790 in 35 days. She announced in August she would seek the GOP nomination. Her campaign reported to the Federal Election Commission having $474,825 cash on hand.Former state lawmaker Yvette Herrell reported raising $140,238 and had $390,422 cash on hand.Las Cruces businessman Chris Mathys raised $3,205 and had $200,123 cash on hand.


Pot legalization plan subsidizes patients, pays policeSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico would use proceeds from recreational marijuana to eliminate taxes on medical cannabis and subsidize sales to low-income patients under a legalization proposal from an expert panel appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.The recommendations on Tuesday from a 23-member task force sets the stage for a new push to authorize the recreational use and sale of marijuana when the Legislature convenes in January 2020.Recreational marijuana is prohibited in New Mexico and bipartisan legalization legislation stalled in the state Senate earlier this year.Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis led efforts to outline a new regulatory framework that would not allow local governments to prohibit marijuana sales.Taxes on marijuana would go toward local law enforcement and help provide low-interest loans to small family cannabis businesses.


Rents in New Mexico's largest city appear to be risingALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two studies show rents in New Mexico's largest city appear to be rising.The Albuquerque Journal reports the Texas-based company RealPage recently found rents around Albuquerque rose 5% in the past year. That's the 12th-largest jump among small metros during that same period.In addition, a study from Apartment List showed that more than half of Albuquerque renters spend at least 30% of their salary on rent. And that's a higher percentage than in famously expensive West Coast metros like Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.Other New Mexico areas also are seeing jumps in rent. Rental search engine Rent Jungle found that as of April 2019, average rent for an apartment in Hobbs is $1,188. The amount is a 16.5% increase from last year in the oil boom town.


Taos Air to relaunch flights to Austin, Dallas in DecemberTAOS, N.M. (AP) — Taos Air has announced that it will relaunch flights to Austin and Dallas in December, giving some Texans direct access to northern New Mexico for the ski season.The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Taos Air will begin direct service Dec. 19 through March 29.The service will link Taos Regional Airport with Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and Dallas Love Field — the smaller Dallas airport used by Southwest Airlines. Taos Ski Valley and Taos Air say flights will be offered Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.Taos Air says one-way fares range from $160 to $270.Taos Air flies a 30-seat Dornier 328 passenger jet operated by Advanced Air LLC, a Hawthorne, California, charter operator.


Albuquerque police contest seeks to build 'lowrider' patrolALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest police force wants to go slow and low.The Albuquerque Police Department is inviting high school students to design the department's first lowrider patrol car . The winner of the competition will have his or her artwork displayed on the car's hood and will receive a $5,000 scholarship.Officials say the design must be free of offensive, inappropriate, and gang-related material.The contest winner will be selected by the Albuquerque Police Department's Southwest Area Command Program Response Team.Lowriders are custom cars dropped low to the ground with murals and sometimes hydraulics. The vehicles are popular among Mexican Americans in New Mexico, Texas, and California.


Southeastern New Mexico courthouse fails inspection(Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com)LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) — A courthouse in southeastern New Mexico plagued by construction delays has failed a fire marshal inspection.The Hobbs News-Sun reports Lovington Fire Marshal Brittany Brown last week found cause for failure of the Lea County Judicial Complex to pass inspection.Brown listed a number of non-conforming issues, including lack of ceilings, lack of fire extinguishers, improper temperature rated sprinklers and improperly placed or configured sprinkler heads.The inspection failure comes after documents showed 101 non-conforming issues as of May 2 for the planned judicial complex. The five-story structure in Lovington, New Mexico, was supposed to be occupied in August 2018.Lea County has declared HB Construction in default of the contract to build the complex.The default declaration came about 400 days after the expected completion date.___


The Latest: Man convicted of killing his family apologizesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man convicted of killing his parents and younger siblings in 2013 when he was a teenager says he's sorry and wishes he could take it back.Nehemiah Griego, now 22, delivered the apology Tuesday before a packed courtroom at the end of an emotional daylong sentencing hearing.State District Judge Alisa Hart heard testimony from family members, detectives who investigated the case, a child psychologist and other experts. It's unclear how soon she could make a decision on what his punishment will be.Griego faces up to 120 years in prison for the crimes.He was 15 at the time, but Hart ruled earlier this year that he would be sentenced as an adult because she determined he wasn't amenable to treatment as a juvenile.Prosecutors are seeking the maximum sentence, while Griego's defense wants the judge to find a creative solution that will allow their client to continue with treatment aimed at rehabilitation.


Western governors want nuclear testing compensation expandedBOISE, Idaho (AP) — Western governors say atmospheric nuclear weapons testing exposed more states and more people to radiation fallout and resulting cancers and other diseases than the federal government recognizes.The Western Governors' Association on Friday sent letters to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House urging passage of proposed changes to a law involving "downwinders."The changes would add all of Nevada, Arizona and Utah, and include for the first time downwinders in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and the island territory of Guam.The changes to the 1990 Radiation Exposure Compensation Act would also include increasing the maximum payment to $150,000 for someone filing a claim.The U.S. between 1945 and 1992 conducted more than 1,000 nuclear weapons tests, nearly 200 in the atmosphere.