- MASS SHOOTINGS-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The administration of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is throwing cold water on the idea of a special legislative session to address concerns of domestic terrorism.Lujan Grisham's office issued an unusual statement from a senior policy adviser on Thursday that said it would be wrong to call a special session without more planning.In response to mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf has suggested the governor reconvene the Legislature, which adjourned for the year in March.Adviser Dominic Gabello says newly signed gun-control legislation has expanded background checks on private gun sales and better protects domestic-violence victims.He says work is under way on a "red flag" bill to seize weapons from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others with a judge's authorization.
- HEROIN NEEDLES-APP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials plan to begin using an app to track the number of heroin needles that clean-up crews collect across New Mexico's largest city.Bernalillo County officials say the app is part of their push to collect data on drug use in Albuquerque and elsewhere in their jurisdiction. They say volunteers, and city and county workers have collected about 13,000 needles since May 2018.An app the county is launching Friday will include a live map, showing where needles and syringes have been collected, helping to show trends and migration of drug use.The public can log clean-up efforts into the app.
- SEXUAL MISCONDUCT-EPSTEIN
NEW YORK (AP) — Newly released court documents show that financier Jeffrey Epstein repeatedly declined to answer questions about sex abuse as part of a lawsuit.A partial transcript of the September 2016 deposition was included in hundreds of pages of documents placed in a public file Friday by a federal appeals court in New York.The 66-year-old Epstein has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges after his July 6 arrest.Epstein was asked in the videotaped deposition whether it was standard operating procedure for his former girlfriend to bring underage girls to him to sexually abuse. Epstein replied "Fifth," citing the constitutional amendment protecting people against incriminating themselves.
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Border Patrol checkpoints that closed in New Mexico when personnel were reassigned to assist the processing of asylum-seekers earlier this year have reopened.The Alamogordo Daily News reported this week that two checkpoints have reopened on two highways in Otero County.The closure in March prompted county officials to declare a state of emergency and ask Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to send National Guard troops to staff the checkpoints.Alamogordo and county officials said the checkpoint closures resulted in more drugs moving through the area and a crime increase.Four other checkpoints have reopened near Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.
- POLICE THREATENED-ARRESTS
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A man and a teenage boy have been arrested for allegedly making threats against Santa Fe police.New Mexico State Police say 50-year-old Joseph Moises Ortiz Jr. III and his 16-year-old nephew were taken into custody Thursday.They say Ortiz is jailed without bond on suspicion of assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer and use of a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend.The teenager was booked into a juvenile detention center with no bond on suspicion of making a bomb scare and assault with intent to commit a violent felony upon a peace officer.Santa Fe police say the telephoned threat came Tuesday night.The suspects allegedly are dissatisfied with the outcome of a case investigated by Santa Fe police.
- PUBLIC LANDS-HISPANIC RANCHERS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hispanic ranchers in New Mexico are asking President Donald Trump and top federal officials to ensure the latest round of forest management planning considers traditional values and land uses that date back centuries.The Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association contends local managers have been unwilling to address their concerns about a proposed management plan for the Carson National Forest.They're pushing for the president to intervene, citing a long history in which they claim the federal government has ignored the property rights of Hispanic ranchers in the Southwest.U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a recent letter to the ranchers that forests in New Mexico have acknowledged the region's unique history and its traditional and cultural ways of life.Meetings on the plan are scheduled for the coming weeks.
- IMMIGRATION-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has denied repeated requests by federal immigration authorities for direct access to an employment-records database.New Mexico Workforce Solutions Department Secretary Bill McCamley said Thursday that he has twice notified officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement that the state will not provide direct, complete access to an unemployment database with extensive records about employees and employers throughout the state.McCamley says the state will consider requests by the federal immigration authorities for specific information about employers that include an explanation and justification.In email correspondence, an ICE investigative assistant based in El Paso, Texas, said that access to New Mexico's workforce database was needed to quickly fulfill requests by case agents.An ICE spokeswoman had no immediate comment and the investigative assistant did not return calls.
- IMMIGRATION-WAITING IN MEXICO
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — At least 40,000 migrants who have reached the U.S. border with Mexico are on waiting lists for an initial attempt to seek asylum or are waiting for a court hearing in the U.S. after being sent back.The figure — based on reporting by The Associated Press and Mexican government figures — represents a dramatic increase from the start of the year.English-speaking Cameroonians fleeing atrocities of their French-speaking government helped push Tijuana's asylum wait list to 10,000 on Sunday, up from 4,800 just three months earlier.Turning Mexico into a waiting room for U.S. asylum seekers may be the Trump administration's most forceful response yet to a surge of migrants seeking humanitarian protection, many of them Central American families.