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

Jun 10, 2019

Most New Mexicans are Real ID-compliant as deadline loomsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico now has 1 million residents with driver's licenses or identification cards that comply with tougher federal ID requirements that will take effect in 2020.Officials with the state Taxation and Revenue Department say people have just over a year to meet the deadline under the Real ID Act, which was passed in 2005 to strengthen rules for identification for airline flights and at federal facilities such as military bases.With the one-millionth license issued last week, about 70 percent of New Mexico licenses and identification cards now carry the gold star that marks them as being Real ID-compliant.New Mexico began issuing the credentials in November 2016 as part of a two-tier system that also allows for IDs that do not meet the tougher standards to be issued.


New Mexico airports to get nearly $14M in federal funds(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's airports will get millions of dollars in federal aid for maintenance and other projects.The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded more than $13 million in funding to be used at 16 airports in the state.New Mexico's congressional delegation including U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich made the announcement Friday.The funds will help with critical improvements, construction and other repairs.Officials say the largest projects in need are in Dona Ana County, Lea County and the Four Corners region.Dona Ana County International Jetport in Santa Teresa will get nearly $5 million to rebuild part of an existing area.Heinrich says the money will help modernize the state's smaller airports.___


New Mexico seeks public input on Volkswagen settlement funds(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are giving the public a chance to weigh in on how to spend settlement money connected to the Volkswagen smog device emissions scandal.The Albuquerque Journal reported Monday that the state Environmental Department has opened the public comment period for a proposal on divvying up the funds.The state was awarded $18 million in 2017 after the Volkswagen Group of American acknowledged rigging 11 million of its vehicles with software used to cheat on vehicle emissions tests.Environmental regulators say some of the VW vehicles emitted up to 40 times the allowed levels of unhealthy nitrous oxides when on the road.Under the current plan, the state is recommending the money go toward helping local governments buy alternative-fueled vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations.___


Latino civil rights group faults UNM on Hispanic hiringALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico chapter of the oldest Hispanic civil rights group in the U.S. is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate hiring practices at the University of New Mexico.The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens endorsed Saturday a resolution asking the state attorney general, state auditor and U.S. Justice Department to look into how the state's flagship university is hiring administrators.New Mexico LULAC Executive Director Ralph Arellanes says University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes did not follow through on promises to include Latinos on search committees for key positions. He has also faulted the university for not hiring Hispanics from New Mexico.University of New Mexico spokeswoman Cinnamon Blair says the school adheres to state and federal laws in its hiring practices.


Trump defends immigration deal with MexicoSTERLING, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump, his threatened Mexican tariffs now on the backburner, is looking to claim victory. But some of his Democratic challengers for the White House have criticized him for overselling a deal that mostly ramps up existing efforts.Trump defended the agreement reached by U.S. and Mexican negotiators to head off the 5% tax on all Mexican goods that Trump had threatened to impose Monday as he tried to pressure the country to do more to stem the flow of Central American migrants across the U.S. southern border.  But he also dangled the prospect Sunday of renewing his threat if the U.S. ally doesn't cooperate to his liking.Business leaders and many Republicans had urged Trump against the tariffs for economic and political reasons.


Man fatally shot in Albuquerque brewery identifiedALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man who died in a weekend shooting in an Albuquerque brewery.Albuquerque police say 37-year-old Cody Guy Wrathall allegedly threatened his ex-girlfriend inside Nexus Brewery with a gun on Saturday evening.According to investigators, some off-duty federal agents happened to be at the brewery and stepped in to stop the shooting. At least one agent fired back.Wrathall was taken to a hospital with at least one gunshot wound. He was later pronounced dead.The investigation remains ongoing.


Visitor dies at White Sands National Monument in New MexicoALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say a visitor has died on a hiking trail at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.They say rangers responded to a call around 4 p.m. Saturday that a person needed help on the Alkali Flat Trail.Responding park law enforcement rangers discovered an unresponsive man less than one mile from the trailhead.New Mexico State Police confirmed the death.The name, age and hometown of the man still hadn't been released Sunday.The National Park Service will be coordinating with state authorities to investigate the incident.There is no shade or water along any of the trails in the park, where temperatures reached 99 degrees on Saturday.Park officials say they recommend that visitors not start a hike when the temperature is at or above 85 degrees.


Trade posts in Four Corners fight to stay open amid changes(Information from: The Daily Times, http://www.daily-times.com)FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — Once a staple in the Four Corners region that connected Navajo weavers and artists to buyers, trading posts are facing challenges to their survival.The Farmington Daily Times reports trading posts are facing increased competition from online retailers and large regional grocery store chain and working to navigate changing demands.The Shiprock Trading Post in Farmington now focuses exclusively on Navajo rugs, jewelry, pottery and other works of art. It used to provide all sorts of good to Navajo customers.Farmington Museum at Gateway Park director Bart Wilsey says trading posts that have survived into the 21st Century have become art galleries that deal almost exclusively in Native art or become convenience stores.Wilsey adds they also can become wholesalers for Navajo rugs and art in order to remain healthy.___