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

Sep 10, 2019
  • CHILE HARVEST-LABOR SHORTAGE

Green chile farmers say labor shortage hurting harvestHATCH, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is in the height of green chile harvest season, but farmers say a labor shortage is hurting them.KVIA-TV in El Paso, Texas, reports green chile farmers say the shortage of workers this season is causing farms to lose some crops to weeds and other elements.Hatch farmer Alonso Grajeda says the labor shortage also is allowing workers to pick and choose where to work and to demand higher wages.Grajeda also says extreme shifts in weather this year have made it a harder year to harvest.However, farmers say the quality of the crop hasn't been affected by the labor shortage or the weather.

  • OFFICER-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

New Mexico officer faces charges after girlfriend injured(Information from: KRQE-TV, http://www.krqe.com)CHAMA, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico police officer is facing charges after deputies found his girlfriend bleeding from the head.KRQE-TV reports Cuba Police Officer Christopher Blea was arrested Saturday evening following a phone call from a neighbor.Rio Arriba Sheriff's Office Major Randy Sanches says an argument between Blea and his girlfriend turned violent and allegedly Blea pointed a weapon at himself and then his girlfriend.Blea has been with the Cuba Police Department for a few months and previously worked with New Mexico State Police and the Rio Arriba Sheriff's Office.Sanches says Blea lost his job with the Rio Arriba Sheriff's Office because of his history with domestic violence.Blea is charged with aggravated battery and assault, and false imprisonment. It's not known if he had an attorney.___

  • VOLARIS-ALBUQUERQUE-CHIHUAHUA

Emails: Albuquerque spent $1.6M on canceled Mexico flightsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Documents show Albuquerque spent nearly $1.6 million to promote a Mexico-based airline that had promised — then canceled — regular international flights.The Albuquerque Journal reports emails obtained through a public records request show panicked Albuquerque officials after hearing rumors low-cost airline Volaris was planning on suddenly canceling the scheduled direct service to Mexico.Officials in the emails tried to seek answers to rumors that Volaris was scrapping the flights despite planned media events and fanfare.In the end, Volaris did scrap the flight after Albuquerque refused to give the airline more money and following low ticket sales.Volaris was to begin direct flights from Albuquerque and the city of Chihuahua and from Albuquerque to Guadalajara, Mexico.Albuquerque has struggled to attract and retain direct flights to Mexico.

  • PEOPLE-KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to speak on literary in New Mexico(Information from: Hobbs News-Sun, http://www.hobbsnews.com)HOBBS, N.M. (AP) — The NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is coming to southeastern New Mexico as part of a lecture series.The Hobbs News-Sun reports the 72-year-old retired basketball star is scheduled in November to participate in the Jack Maddox Distinguished Lecture Series.The event is hosted by the JF Maddox Foundation and University of the Southwest in Hobbs.Abdul-Jabbar will speak on the value of literacy and growing your mind.He is a six-time NBA champion and the league's only six-time MVP.Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.___

  • NAVAJO NATION-ELECTRICITY

Navajo utility wants to build on project to electrify homesWINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation wants to build on a pilot project that connected more than 230 homes to the electric grid.The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority worked with volunteer utility crews from 13 states on the project that wrapped up in May.Spokeswoman Deenise Becenti says the utility now is seeking volunteers to connect more homes next spring. A planning meeting is scheduled in October.About a third of the residents on the vast Navajo Nation don't have electricity. Many rely on kerosene lamps, generators, solar panels, candles and flashlights.The tribal utility typically connects from 400 to 450 homes a year on the reservation that lies in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

  • FATAL HOUSE PARTY SHOOTING-ARREST

Woman arrested after fatal house party shooting in Santa FeSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Police in Santa Fe say a woman has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a man at a house party.They say 64-year-old Beverly Melendez is jailed without bond on suspicion of second-degree murder.Police say 19-year-old Rodrigo Enriquez-Garay died at a hospital Sunday.He was attending a house party with his family when witnesses say a neighbor fired at least one shot toward the party and Enriquez-Garay was struck by a bullet.Melendez was arrested hours after the shooting when police set up SWAT operations in front of her home and coaxed her out.Police say the woman allegedly fired shots over the wall of her backyard.They reported finding spent bullet casings in Melendez's backyard later.It was unclear if she has a lawyer yet.

  • IMMIGRATION-BORDER NUMBERS

Number of border crossers, families with kids, falls againPHOENIX (AP) — The Trump administration says it saw a 30% drop in the number of people apprehended at the southern U.S. border from July to August, amid summer heat and aggressive crackdowns on both sides of the border to deter migrants.Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said Monday that the percentage of border crossers who are traveling as families also slid from roughly 65% to 70% of all migrants to 55%.Morgan credited President Donald Trump's efforts to reduce immigration as well as the Mexican government's clampdown on migrants traveling north, which it says resulted in a 56% reduction in three months.The Border Patrol apprehended just over 50,600 people at the southern border in August.A majority of immigrants coming to the U.S. are Central American families who turn themselves in and are fleeing violence and poverty.

  • PUBLIC EDUCATION-NEW MEXICO

Education secretary greets immense challenges with optimismSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's newly arrived secretary of public education sees an unprecedented moment of promise at schools as the state spends more on teachers and overhauls its student testing, teacher evaluations and school ratings.In his fifth active day on the job, Secretary Ryan Stewart said Monday that he already has traveled to an ethnically diverse school district on the U.S.-Mexico border as he takes the reins of a public education system that is under court order to improve.Stewart says the Public Education Department currently is choosing among contract proposals to create a new statewide student testing system to start in the spring of 2020.He wants to reverse a teacher shortage and says New Mexico can meet "immense needs with immense resources."