- SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY-NEW MEXICO
New Mexico officials urge shoppers to go small, localSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are urging residents to shop local.This year's Small Business Saturday tax holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and runs through midnight.For 24 hours, the state suspends collections of gross receipts tax on sales of qualifying items at businesses that have fewer than 10 employees and whose primary place of business is in New Mexico.Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke says it's a great opportunity to support home-grown New Mexico businesses.In Albuquerque, city officials are using the shopping day to launch Albuquerque Rapid Transit, or ART. The bus service runs through a popular shopping corridor along historic Route 66.In Roswell, Mayor Dennis Kintigh will be reading an official proclamation in support of small businesses to kick off the shopping event.
- PUBLIC LAND-CEMETERY EXPANSION
Public land considered for New Mexico cemetery expansionSOCORRO, N.M. (AP) — A small parcel of public land would be used for the expansion of a cemetery in central New Mexico under a proposal being considered by federal land managers.The Bureau of Land Management says the public will have until Jan. 10 to comment on the conveyance of the nearly 3-acre parcel.The agency says it determined the proposed conveyance will have no impact on outdoor recreation access, including hunting and fishing.Federal officials decided that the parcel would be offered through a non-competitive direct sale to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe's San Miguel Parish for no less than the appraised fair market value. They cited the location, the ownership of surrounding lands and the need to expand the existing cemetery.The San Jose Cemetery is just south of Socorro.
- RURAL MAINSTREET PROJECTS
Small, rural communities get help from New Mexico MainStreetSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Economic development projects in a handful of tribal and rural communities will be getting assistance through New Mexico's MainStreet program.Officials announced this week that the pueblos of Picuris, Laguna and Pojoaque along with the village of Folsom and the city of Lordsburg will receive professional services and technical assistance to complete projects over the next year to 18 months.Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes says the initiative is aimed at helping communities showcase their historic and cultural treasures.Laguna's project includes a survey of historic buildings and a plan for revitalization of property along the pueblo's main street area.At Pojoaque, the pueblo is working on the area around the Poeh Cultural Center, which could potentially lead to the area being recognized as an arts and culture district.
- OBIT-HISPANIC US AMBASSADOR
First Hispanic woman to serve as US ambassador diesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The first Hispanic woman to serve as a U.S. ambassador has died.Mari-Luci Jaramillo died Nov. 20 in Albuquerque. She was 91.Jaramillo had served as ambassador to Honduras under President Jimmy Carter, helping ease the country out of military dictatorship.Jaramillo was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Her father was a Mexican-born shoemaker and musician, and her mother was a Spanish-American homemaker. They encouraged her to get an education to escape poverty.Jaramillo served in various positions at universities and in the education field. She was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Latin America under President Bill Clinton's administration.Friends and family remembered her as a humble woman who advocated for civil rights.Funeral services for Jaramillo are scheduled Tuesday in Albuquerque.
- SHOOTING DEATH-ROSWELL
Police investigate shooting death of 21-year-old Roswell manROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Police in Roswell are investigating the death of a man who had multiple gunshot wounds.Police say 21-year-old Carlos Coronado, of Roswell, was found Tuesday night inside an apartment. He died a short time later at a local hospital.Authorities are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call the Roswell Police Department.
- FLU-NEW MEXICO
Health officials: Flu activity widespread in New MexicoSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials say flu activity already is widespread across the state and they're recommending vaccinations to prevent spreading the illness.The Health Department said Wednesday that different variations of the virus are circulating in different parts of the state. The agency says 21 pneumonia and flu deaths have been reported so far this season.Last season, 237 New Mexicans died of pneumonia and/or influenza.Symptoms may include rapid onset of illness with fever, cough, sore throat, headache and/or muscle aches.New Mexico Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel says with the holidays approaching, it's important that people take preventive measures such as getting vaccinated, covering coughs and staying home when sick.Officials say the peak of the flu season is still to come.
- INVESTING IN NEW MEXICO
New Mexico to invest more in local businesses, startupsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico will be investing more money in state-based businesses and startup companies as it attempts to spur development and diversify the economy.The State Investment Council voted Tuesday to adopt recommendations that will target a greater number of commitments to New Mexico and nationally-based venture capital firms actively investing in the state.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is the council's chair. She says by targeting investments in New Mexico's own backyard, the state can achieve positive financial returns while creating jobs and new industries.The council previously funneled only 5% of the state's $5.5 billion severance tax permanent fund to local investments due to historically lower returns and higher risks.The decision to increase that to 9% — the most allowed under state law — comes after months of analysis.
- IMMIGRATION-FAMILY SEPARATIONS
Report: US lacked technology to track separated familiesPHOENIX (AP) — A report says the U.S. government didn't have the technology needed in 2018 to properly document and track thousands of immigrant families separated at the southern border.The report released Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General found the agency lacked proper systems when Border Patrol agents took children from parents set to be criminally prosecuted for illegal entry.The report says the problem resulted in agents having to delete prior entries documenting families who arrived together and replace them with references to "single adults" and "unaccompanied children."More than 5,400 children were taken from their parents from July 1, 2017, to June 26, 2018, when a judge ordered families to be reunited.Some of the technology was upgraded after the separations ended.An email seeking comment from Homeland Security was not immediately returned.