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

Apr 6, 2019

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


New Mexico AG says agencies must enforce gun control lawSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's attorney general says law enforcement agencies must enforce a new law expanding background checks to nearly all private gun sales and they could be liable for damage claims if they don't.The Albuquerque Journal reports that Attorney General Hector Balderas issued the warning in a letter to police chiefs and county sheriffs across the state regarding the legislation taking effect July 1.Numerous county sheriffs opposed the legislation when it was before the Legislature, but it was approved by lawmakers and then signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on March 8.Critics argued that the expanded background checks would be difficult to enforce and do little to address gun violence, while supporters said it'll be harder for people prohibited from having a weapon to obtain a gun.


New Mexico's oil country seeing more realtors than housing(Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com)HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — The heart of New Mexico's booming oil country is seeing more real estate agents than homes to sell.The Hobbs News-Sun reports Hobbs Realtors Association Kali Taylor president estimates there are around 100 realtors in the Lea County and only around 84 residential homes available. Taylor says 61 of those homes were listed this week in Hobbs.Lea County in southeastern New Mexico is the epicenter of the state's oil and gas boom.The numbers come as officials in southeastern New Mexico worry about a housing shortage for workers employed in the state's lucrative oil industry.Robbie Robinson, owner of Robinson and Associates Real Estate, said many of the newer real estate agents in the area are considering other fields of employment.___


The Latest: New Mexico governor vetoes parole billSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has vetoed a bill that called for changing New Mexico's rules of probation and parole.In her message to lawmakers, the Democratic governor said while the legislation was built upon "sound policy considerations," it's critical that all stakeholders participate in the discussion about criminal justice reform.She was referring to concerns that had been raised by the state attorney general's office and district attorneys after the bill was passed.She says being tough on crime is not inconsistent with being smart on crime and that state government needs to be both.Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas said he will work over the next year with prosecutors and other stakeholders to craft a better bill. The Albuquerque Democrat says he believes reforms will improve public safety and reduce recidivism rates


Albuquerque police shoot stolen-car suspect during chaseALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Albuquerque Police Department says an officer shot a stolen car suspect after a car crash and short foot chase in the southeast part of the city.The Albuquerque Journal reports that police spokesman Simon Drobik says at least one officer opened fire Friday night when the suspect pointed a gun at them. The suspect was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.Police say no officers were hurt, but another person was injured after the suspect crashed into their car. That person's condition is unclear.Drobik told the Journal that someone called 911 around 5:30 p.m. to say they saw their stolen car driving through the neighborhood.


New Mexico Highlands University increases tuition by 3%(Information from: Las Vegas Optic, http://www.lasvegasoptic.com)LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Highlands University has increased tuition by 3% for the upcoming school year.The Las Vegas Optic reports the Highlands University's Board of Regents voted 3-2 Thursday to approve the tuition hike to pay for new programs and faculty and staff raises.The tuition increases will affect in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students. There also will be additional 3 percent increase for the new masters of fine arts graduate program.Vice President of Finance and Administration Max Baca says the university's unreliable dependence on state funding is putting the school in a bind. He says the university needs to have reserves and invest in new programs.New Mexico State University also is increasing tuition by 6% for the upcoming school year.___


Deal could move crude oil capacity to the Delaware Basin(Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus, http://www.currentargus.com/)CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — A deal between oil companies and a Texas firm could move almost a million barrels per day of crude oil capacity to the Delaware Basin in New Mexico and Texas.The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the deal will support a planned expansion of Oryx's Permian Basin system to 900,000 barrels of crude oil transportation capacity.Assets owned by Oryx Southern Delaware Holdings recently were sold by Concho Resources, XPX Energy, Quantum Energy Partners, Post Oak Energy Capital and other investors.The system already has about 2.1 million barrels of storage capacity and about 1,200 miles of pipeline. Both are in service and under construction in eight counties in Texas and two in southeast New Mexico.___


Warrants issued for alleged vandals of Border Patrol museumEL PASO, Texas (AP) — Police in West Texas have identified 16 people they say vandalized a museum that celebrates the work of U.S. Border Patrol agents.The El Paso Police Department says a two-month investigation led to warrants for the activists. Members of the group posted stickers on museum's walls and left explicit notes in the guestbook on Feb. 16.The group posted video of the incident, which it describes as a protest against the detention of migrant children in Tornillo, New Mexico. That detention center has since been closed.Authorities say the stickers caused $3,000 in damage.Police are asking the suspects to turn themselves in and have not made any arrests. Five of the suspects are from New Mexico. Police say others live as far away as New York and Florida.


Ex-inmate wins $2M lawsuit in New Mexico over hot prison vanALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico inmate's attorney says he has won a $2 million verdict in a lawsuit accusing two officers of leaving him and others in a prisoner transport van to suffer on a hot summer day in 2013.The decision comes more than three years after Isaha Casias sued the New Mexico Department of Corrections and the officers.Attorney Matthew Coyte says the verdict was reached late Thursday in federal court in Roswell.Casias says he passed out in the van. When officers finally returned and opened the back door, he said he fell from the vehicle and hit his head and back on its bumper.An attorney for the corrections department and officers did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.__This story replaces a previous version that stated the verdict was a settlement in the second paragraph.