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

Dec 7, 2019

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A south-central New Mexico man is accused of vehicular homicide and DWI in a three-vehicle crash in which Roswell police say his pickup slammed into the rear of a car stopped at a red light, killing a back-seat passenger. Police say 30-year-old Luke Maxwell Towner of Tularosa was arrested after the Thursday night crash that killed 26-year-old Douglas Annis of Roswell and injured two other people. Police say Towner's pickup was traveling at a high rate of speed and that there's no indication he applied the brakes before the collision. Online court records don't list an attorney for Towner who could comment on the allegations against him.


ALAMOGORDO, N.M . (AP) — A southern New Mexico county has renewed an agreement with another county hundreds of miles away to continue housing its juvenile detainees. The decision by the Otero County Commission comes as the number of juvenile detention facilities around New Mexico shrinks. That means more youths are being detained far from home. A state Supreme Court Justice recently told a panel of lawmakers that the time has come to find ways to keep detained youths adequately supervised and cared for near their home while helping counties in finding ways to meet the high cost of 24-hour detention.


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's medical cannabis program is attracting enrollment from outside the state after legislative reforms did away with an in-state residency requirement. Enrollment figures from the state Health Department show that 215 registered medical marijuana patients reside outside New Mexico. New Mexico medical marijuana provider Ultra Health says nonresident patients are coming primarily from the neighboring state of Texas and from as far away as Illinois and Michigan.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — City officials in New Mexico have confirmed no serious injuries were reported after three of Albuquerque's new buses were involved in vehicle collisions within six days of launch. The Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday that the buses are part of the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project that launched last Friday. Officials say all three crashes occurred when drivers were attempting left turns. Officials say there are 20 ART buses and two are out of service for repairs and a third is scratched up but able to continue operations. Officials did not say how much repairs would cost. Authorities say officers are issuing warnings to drivers and have plans to start writing tickets in January. 


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An executive with Netflix says the streaming giant has boosted its original content exponentially over the last several years and that will mean more action for its production hub in New Mexico. The head of North American production policy for Netflix spoke Thursday to hundreds of business leaders who were gathered in Albuquerque, saying that Netflix alone had 1,000 projects going this year, with many based in New Mexico. With Netflix and NBC Universal pledging multimillion-dollar long-term investments, top state officials say New Mexico is solidifying its place on the film industry map.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico group Cowboys for Trump now says that iconic gypsum sand it sent to Washington for the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony was not from White Sands National Monument. Group co-founder Couy Griffin told The Associated Press Friday the sand was collected outside the monument. The group earlier announced that the superfine white sand was from the monument. Democrats said taking it was a possible federal law violation. Removing natural resources from U.S. national park units is illegal without permission. The sand was sent to Washington to be showcased with the tree, which is from New Mexico.


SAN DIEGO (AP) — A lawsuit claims a new effort to speed up initial reviews of asylum claims to within three days denies asylum-seekers rights to consult attorneys. It is the latest challenge to the Trump administration's efforts to change asylum policies and practices since the U.S. became the world's top destination for asylum-seekers in 2017.  Fast-track procedures introduced in El Paso, Texas, in early October may be expanded to other parts of the U.S. border with Mexico after a trial period.


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A police officer who fired his weapon inside a southern New Mexico middle school is facing a firearm charge. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Las Cruces officer Francisco Estrada was charged Friday with a misdemeanor count of prohibited use of a firearm. Authorities say Estrada accidentally fired his gun Wednesday inside his office at Picacho Middle School, where he was assigned. Officials say Estrada was alone in his office and no one was struck by the discharge. The gunshot reportedly hit a wall.