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

Jun 12, 2019

New Mexico city famous for UFO event trademarks new logoROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico city known for its proximity to arguably the most famous UFO event in the United States has trademark protection for its alien-inspired logo.The city of Roswell said Tuesday it received its requested trademark certification from the New Mexico Secretary of State's Office.The new bright green logo includes the silhouette of a flying saucer within the letter "R."The trademark will be in effect for 10 years and can be renewed when it nears expiration.Officials say the logo is protected from unauthorized use by other entities or individuals. That will ensure it remains unique to Roswell, providing an identifiable graphic that people will associate with the city.The site of a supposed UFO crash in 1947, Roswell has an annual extraterrestrial festival that draws thousands.


New Mexico rural airports get $14M in federal grantsCARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Rural airports in New Mexico have been awarded nearly $14 million to federal grants for needed upgrades.Sixteen regional airports across the state will receive the money from the Federal Aviation Administration for maintenance and safety measures.In Carlsbad, The Cavern City Air terminal was awarded about $789,000 for fiscal year 2018 to solve a bottleneck where its two runways intersect with the taxiway.The Lea County Regional Airport in Hobbs, New Mexico, was awarded $2 million to improve the Runway 21 safety area.Statewide, funding includes nearly $5 million for runway reconstruction for the Jetport at Santa Teresa and nearly $3.5 million to reconstruct runway safety areas at Four Corners Airport in Farmington.


US Air Force base gets upgrade for 'space defense'(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force has begun construction on a facility at Kirtland Air Force Base that officials say will play a role in the proposed "space defense."The Albuquerque Journal reports the Air Force Research Laboratory's $12.8 million Space Control Laboratory will consolidate efforts on the New Mexico base.The new facility will include office and lab space for 65 civilian and military contractors. It will contain a 5,000 square-foot (1,524 square-meter) high-bay laboratory space and more than 5,000 square feet (1,524 square meters) of secure office, laboratory and meeting space.Air Force Col. Eric Felt says space is now "a war-fighting domain."President Donald Trump has proposed creating a new U.S. Space Force — a plan that has hit widespread resistance on Capitol Hill.___


State senator completes prison sentence in corruption caseSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico state senator whose conviction on corruption-related criminal charges helped spur state ethics oversight reforms has been released from prison.Former Democratic Sen. Phil Griego was released Tuesday on parole from a state corrections facility in Los Lunas. Griego began his sentence in March 2018 after convictions at trial on fraud, bribery and ethical violations for using his position as a lawmaker to profit from the sale of a state-owned building in Santa Fe. Later guilty pleas to embezzlement and perjury charges lengthened his prison stay.The convictions added to a string of high-profile corruption scandals involving public officials in New Mexico.Voters in 2018 approved the creation of an independent state ethics commission to oversee the conduct of public officials, lobbyists and government contractors.


Police arrest motorcyclist accused of Pride crosswalk damageALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police have arrested a motorcyclist days after they say he vandalized a rainbow-colored crosswalk ahead of the city's PrideFest.A criminal complaint says 31-year-old Anthony Morgan faced charges Tuesday that include felony criminal property damage. Video showed a couple bikers taking turns burning rubber over the crosswalk on June 5.The crosswalk on a stretch of Historic Route 66 near the University of New Mexico cost the city $30,000 to install as a sign of inclusiveness for the city's LGBT community.Police say they received tips saying Morgan was part of a motorcycle group known as the Malicious Riders.Video shows the riders who burned their tires on the crosswalk were among about 40 who slowed down at the intersection.It was not immediately known if Morgan had an attorney.


US to use Army base in Oklahoma to shelter migrant childrenLAWTON, Okla. (AP) — The federal government will be opening a facility at an Army base in Oklahoma to house migrant children and is considered a customs port in southern New Mexico as another option as existing shelters are overwhelmed.The Office of Refugee Resettlement said Tuesday it's dealing with a dramatic spike in the number of children crossing the border without parents. The facility at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, would be capable of holding 1,400 kids.Bases in Georgia and Montana were passed over, but officials also are weighing the possibility of establishing an emergency shelter at New Mexico's Santa Teresa port of entry.Under fire for the death of two children who went through the agency's shelters, the agency says it must set up new facilities to accommodate new arrivals.


New Mexico proposes new cap on cannabis productionSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is proposing new cannabis production rules designed to shore up supplies to its medical marijuana program without flooding the rapidly expanding market.The Department of Health published a proposal Tuesday to limit medical cannabis cultivation to 1,750 mature plants per licensed producer.Immature seedlings shorter than 8 inches (25 centimeters) won't count toward the limit so that producers can experiment with plant strains.The production cap could increase starting in June 2021 if demands outstrip supplies.Participation in the state's medical cannabis program has grown rapidly in recent years after chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder were added to a list of qualifying medical conditions. Last week, the list was expanded to include opioid use disorder, Alzheimer's disease, autism spectrum disorder and several degenerative neurological disorders.


Facebook is building a massive solar project in TexasALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Facebook is building a massive solar farm in West Texas that's believed to be one of the largest solar projects in the nation.Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy recently announced it was partnering with the social media giant on the $416 million project.It comes as Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is finishing construction of a data center near Albuquerque.Longroad Energy says the Prospero Solar project just north of Odessa, Texas, has enough capacity to power an estimated 72,000 homes.The project is Facebook's first direct investment in a renewable energy project.Longroad says Shell Energy North America also signed a 12-year power purchase agreement for the solar farm's power.