Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. MDT

Oct 2, 2019

New Mexico streamlines requirements for state ID cardsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New application rules for driver's licenses are going into effect in New Mexico that relax identification requirements in some instances.Requirements were streamlined on Tuesday to receive a standard driver's license that will not be valid for boarding commercial airline flights starting in October 2020. The changes are an outgrowth of new legislation and a lawsuit alleging that previous requirements unfairly denied basic identification cards to immigrants, homeless people and others.The Taxation and Revenue Department says requirements are not changing for licenses that are compliant with federal Real ID standards.To receive a so-called standard license, applicants must provide one document that provides proof of identity and age, and two more that prove New Mexico residency. The standard license serves as personal identification at state agencies and private establishments.


New Mexico jury finds ex-deputy guilty of aggravated batteryALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico jury has found a former sheriff's deputy accused of kicking a man in the head guilty of aggravated battery.Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday against David Priemazon after deliberating for six hours.Priemazon was a 15-year-veteran of the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office when prosecutors say he kicked Christopher Lucero in March 2018 following a chase through Albuquerque's South Valley.Sam Bregman, an Albuquerque attorney who represented Priemazon, expressed disappointment over the verdict, saying he believed the jury "got it wrong."Bregman says he appreciates that his client received a fair trial.Priemazon faces up to three years in prison. He will be sentenced Dec. 3.


New Mexico Bowl lands new sponsor with film tiesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Bowl has a new sponsor.DreamHouse has signed on for a multiyear sponsorship as part of an agreement with the bowl's owner, ESPN Events. The deal with the Albuquerque-based post production studio was announced Tuesday.Officials also unveiled a new logo for the annual post-season contest.This year's game will kick off the collegiate bowl season at noon on Dec. 21 in Albuquerque. The game will include teams from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA.ESPN Events Vice President Clint Overby says his company will be working with DreamHouse to promote the bowl as well as grow the film industry within New Mexico.DreamHouse CEO Eric Martinez says the partnership will be a great way to kick-start the brand locally and nationally.


Officials mum after months without Hispanic center leaderALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Months after incoming New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham asked the widely popular leader of the National Hispanic Cultural Center to resign, the search for her replacement continues.And officials are remaining mum on the process.The Albuquerque Journal reports Secretary of Cultural Affairs Debra Garcia y Griego is refusing to give details on whether the three announced finalists are still in the running. The chair of the center's search committee also isn't talking.The uncertainty comes nine months after Rebecca Avitia and other agency leaders were asked to resign. Avitia declined to reapply for the position and was not chosen for another job in the administration.Avitia was widely credited for turning the center around following years of turmoil and high staff turnover.


FBI offers up to $20K reward in New Mexico cold caseALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information that leads to the whereabouts of a New Mexico teenager who disappeared more than three decades ago.Tara Calico was 19 when she vanished after going for a bicycle ride near her home in Belen.FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says the agency has never stopped looking for Calico and hopes somebody will finally come forward with a clue that will help solve the case.Numerous tips have come in over the years, and the FBI has conducted countless interviews.Calico was riding a pink Huffy mountain bike with yellow control cables and sidewalls. She was last seen along Highway 47 in Valencia County just before noon on Sept. 20, 1988.Authorities say she biked this route daily as part of her routine 36-mile ride.


2 found dead in wreckage of a small plane in New MexicoSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two bodies have been found in the wreckage of a small plane in New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness.But State Police have not yet confirmed if the plane is the same aircraft that was reported missing last week with a two people from Colorado aboard.Search crews also haven't been able to determine the tail number because the aircraft was so badly damaged, and the two bodies have yet to be identified.They say the crash site was in mountainous terrain with heavy tree growth at an elevation of about 10,000 feet and the two bodies have not yet been identified.Authorities have been searching since last Friday for a single-engine, four-seater plane that disappeared shortly after a refueling stop at Santa Fe Regional Airport on Thursday evening.


Personal firewood permits excluded from tree-cutting banFLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — People who rely on firewood from national forests in New Mexico and one in Arizona now can cut and gather it.A federal judge on Tuesday excluded personal firewood cutting and gathering from a larger ban on timber management activities in all five New Mexico national forests and the Tonto National Forest outside metropolitan Phoenix.Environmentalists who sued the federal government over the threatened Mexican spotted owl had asked U.S. District Judge Raner Collins to amend the ban. It's been in place since mid-September.The U.S. Forest Service supported the narrower ban. The agency says permit sales will resume immediately.Wood is the primary heating source for many residents in rural areas who cannot afford propane and don't have access to natural gas lines.


Lizard protections sought amid US oil boomALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A small lizard found among the dunes straddling New Mexico and West Texas in one of the nation's richest oil basins is at the center of a new lawsuit.Environmentalists want the federal government to add the lizard to the endangered species list. The fight stretches back to the Bush and Obama administrations and could affect part of the multibillion-dollar energy industry in the Permian Basin.The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife filed their lawsuit Tuesday. It followed a listing petition that was filed in May 2018.The lawsuit claims more than 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers) the lizard's habitat was destroyed in the 18 months prior to filing the petition. The groups say the need for listing is urgent as drilling continues in the region.