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

Aug 14, 2019

New Mexico State saw jump in ticket sales last year(Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com)LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State is reporting a five-year high in athletic ticket sales thanks to excitement around football and basketball.The Las Cruces Sun-News reports New Mexico State had a $326,000 surplus in ticket sales last year — the most in New Mexico State athletics director Mario Moccia's five years.The ticket sale came a year after New Mexico State won a bowl game for the first time in five decades and hype around the Aggies' basketball season.Athletics budgeted for $1.2 million in ticket sales last year and sold over $1.5 million.New Mexico State has reduced the season ticket budget from $210,000 last year to $110,000 after the football team went 3-9 last season.___


Experts to review mine design at US nuclear waste dumpCARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — The contractor that manages the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico has assembled a panel of experts to review the effectiveness of ground control and mine design at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.Officials with Nuclear Waste Partnership say the experts' recommendations will help ensure worker safety and that the repository is compliant with state and federal regulations.The experts have experience in geotechnical engineering, geophysics, rock mechanics and imaging and sensing technologies.The repository is licensed to take Cold War-era waste generated by decades of bomb-making and defense-related nuclear research. The waste includes gloves, clothing, tools and other materials contaminated with radioactive elements.The waste is entombed in disposal rooms carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile (0.8 kilometers) down.


Navajo Nation eyes renaming US highway after late senator(Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com)FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Some Navajo Nation officials are seeking to ask New Mexico to rename a U.S. highway after one of the longest-serving Native American lawmakers in U.S. history.The Farmington Daily Times reports a Navajo legislative committee is requesting New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham name U.S. Highway 491 in honor of the late state Sen. John Pinto.Pinto, who died in May at the age of 94, had long sought to turn the deadly U.S. 666 into a four-lane highway and to change its name to U.S. 491.U.S. Highway 491 stretches around 194 miles (312 kilometers) from Gallup, New Mexico, through Colorado to Monticello, Utah.Pinto was a World War II Navajo code talker and served over four decades in the New Mexico Legislature.___


New Mexico group on legalizing marijuana hosting 1st meetingALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A bipartisan group appointed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to study legalizing recreational marijuana in the state is holding its first public meeting.The group is scheduled Wednesday to meet in Albuquerque and to hear from officials from the state's current medical cannabis program and from experts of marijuana licensing.Members of the group include Democratic and Republican legislators who sponsored unsuccessful legislation this year to authorize and tax recreational marijuana sales at state-run stores. That proposal passed a House vote but stalled in the Senate.The Governor's Working Group on Cannabis Legalization is scheduled to hold a similar meeting in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Aug. 28. It also is slated to visit Colorado to meet with state regulators there.


Police: Man broke into hotel, took shower, stole TV(Information from: Las Vegas Optic, http://www.lasvegasoptic.com)LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico man is facing charges after authorities say he broke into a hotel room and took a shower before stealing a television.The Las Vegas Optic reports Ignacio Gallegos was recently arrested following reports of a man leaving the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico, with a TV.Las Vegas Police say the 30-year-old Gallegos broke into the hotel room, apparently took a shower, then removed a 50-inch (127-centimeter) television from the wall.Security footage showed a man police believed to be Gallegos carrying a green coffee cup and entering the room. Police later found in the room a green cup, wet towels and water in the shower.Gallegos is facing commercial burglary and larceny charges. It was not known if he had an attorney.___


New Mexico says public benefit immigrant rule may hurt kidsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's human services secretary fears that children may be deprived of food assistance and other vital services under the Trump administration's new rule to deny green cards to migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps and other forms of public assistance.In a news release Tuesday, Human Services Secretary David Scrase predicted the rule would create greater disparities in terms of access to health care.Federal law currently requires those seeking to become permanent residents or gain legal status to prove they will not be a burden to the U.S., but the new rules broaden disqualifications.Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is sharply criticizing the change.The state estimates that 77,000 U.S. citizen children live in New Mexico with an immigrant parent in a family relying on food assistance.


Seeking safety, New Mexico considers checks on gun sellersSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says her administration is considering whether to extend background checks on private gun sales to the sellers of firearms and not just buyers.The first-year Democratic governor said that adding background checks on gun sellers might allow authorities to better track the movement of firearms.The comments come as the governor convenes a summit of public safety experts Wednesday to address concerns about domestic terrorism in response to the Aug. 3 shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22.The summit of leading public security officials and lawmakers is taking place out of public view and includes an FBI briefing.Lujan Grisham also expects state authorities to more closely study discriminatory hate groups in the region.


Farms turn to technology amid water warnings in Southwest USGREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Researchers and farmers across the U.S. Southwest are experimenting with drones, specialized cameras and other technology to squeeze the most out of every drop of irrigation water from the vital but beleaguered Colorado River.The river has plenty of water this summer after an unusually snowy winter in the mountains of the U.S. West.But climatologists warn the river's long-term outlook is uncertain at best and dire at worst, and competition for water will only intensify as the population grows and the climate changes.Researchers say agriculture uses most of the river in the U.S. The problem is how to divert some of that to meet the needs of growing cities without drying up farms and ranches.Experts say soil monitors, Wi-Fi, cellphone apps and farm weather stations could help.