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

Oct 9, 2019

New Mexico governor praises oil industry for opportunitiesSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is highlighting the oil industry's role in underwriting public education and soliciting its help in developing new state regulations for methane emissions.The first-year Democratic governor told an audience at the annual meeting of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association that her Cabinet secretaries for environmental and oilfield regulation are there to work for people in the energy sector.Lujan Grisham outlined an all-of-the-above energy strategy and said her proposal for tuition-free public college is made possible by a booming oil sector.New Mexico state government is increasingly reliant on surging income from the oil and natural gas sectors amid record-setting petroleum production in the Permian Basin that overlaps the southeast of the state and West Texas.


Police: High school coach stole money from player's walletCLOVIS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico head football coach is facing charges after authorities say he was spotted on video taking money from a football player's wallet.New Mexico State Police arrested John D. Roanhaus on Saturday following further review of the footage that show the 42-year-old coach entering the school's locker room and grabbing the money.Roanhaus is the head coach of Miyamura High School in Gallup, New Mexico. He has led the school since 2018.Roanhaus is the youngest son of New Mexico Hall of Fame coach Eric Roanhaus.It is not known if Roanhaus had an attorney.Miyamura fell to 1-6 after a 55-14 loss at Bloomfield on Friday.


Report: New Mexico State sees jump in rapes, drug casesLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A new report says violent crimes are increasing at New Mexico State University.KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports that the university's 2019 Annual Security Report showed reported rapes on campus quadrupled in a year. The report says between 2017 and 2018, reported rapes went from 3 to 12.In addition, drug abuse cases spiked from 65 to 107 during the same period. The report says liquor law violations jumped from 75 to 114.New Mexico State University Police Chief Stephen Lopez says officials don't believe crimes are increasing but that more victims are coming forward to report crimes.


Officials: 18 small fires in Carson Forest caused by people(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say 18 small fires discovered burning near each other in the Carson National Forest last week were caused by people.The Albuquerque Journal reports U.S. Forest Service is still investigating the exact cause of the fires, which collectively are being called the Maton Fire.A soaking rain on Friday helped firefighting crews contain the blaze, keeping them more than 80% contained by the weekend.Carson National Forest spokeswoman Denise Ottaviano says investigators found 18 points of ignition, and it will take time to determine the cause for each one.She says it was unusual for that many fires to start at one time.___


Documents: New Mexico man shot infant, sought to kill momGALLUP, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico man facing charges in connection with the shooting of an infant girl has admitted he accidentally fired the weapon, not the girl's 3-year-old brother.The Gallup Independent reports court documents show Tyrell Bitsilly allegedly told authorities he was the one who fire the weapon that left the baby partially blind and deaf.The 21-year-old Bitsilly and the baby's mother, Shayanne Nelson, had told police the girl's 3-year-old brother found a gun left in a Gallup, New Mexico, motel room and accidentally fired the gun.Gallup police announced last week Bitsilly is facing new charges after authorities say he tried to arrange the killings of Nelson and a retired military medic who helped saved the infant girl's life.Public defender Alec Orenstein says he needed more time to talk to Bitsilly after the new allegations.


New Mexico discontinues financial incentives for teachersSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has discontinued financial bonuses for top-rated teachers as it delivers the results of job-performance evaluations for the school year that ended in June.Public Education Department spokesman Connor Boyle confirmed this week that no money was allocated by the state for Excellence in Teaching Awards. The performance bonuses of up to $10,000 were devised by former Republican Gov. Susana near the end of her two-term administration.The administration of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is creating a new teacher evaluation system for the 2020-2021 school year with help from a 46-member task force and suggestions from community meetings . Student test scores no longer figure directly in performance evaluations.Lawmakers increased teacher salaries by 6% or more this year with additional pay under extended school-year calendars.


New Mexico adds plug-in vehicles to core government fleetSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A major oil producing state is poised to add plug-in electric cars to its core fleet of government vehicles for the first time.New Mexico's General Service Department announced Monday announced a price agreement with auto dealers as it prepares to spend at least $1 million on plug-in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by mid-2020.The agency oversees a fleet of about 2,000 government vehicles for a long list of executive agencies.Lawmakers set aside an additional $1.5 million for car-charging infrastructure.Electric vehicles can reduce climate pollution from transportation, especially as utilities seek cleaner ways to generate electricity.Local governments can take advantage of state's price agreement. General Services Secretary Ken Ortiz described plug-in vehicles as an important tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


GOP US House hopeful in key New Mexico race sees money surgeALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Republican candidate for a critical U.S. House race in New Mexico is reporting a fundraising surge just days into her candidacy.Claire Chase is preparing to report Tuesday that her campaign raised $510,790 in 35 days. That amount is more than former state lawmaker and fellow GOP opponent Yvette Herrell raised during the entire 2018 Republican primary.The fundraising jolt comes after Chase, an oil executive, announced in late August she would seek the GOP nomination to challenge Democratic U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small for the state's southern congressional seat.Torres Small defeated Herrell in 2018 by fewer than 3,000 votes to flip a traditionally Republican-leaning district that sits along the U.S.-Mexico border.Records show Torres Small has raised more than $1 million since January.