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

May 14, 2019

Migrant surge prompts New Mexico city to declare emergency(Information from: Headlight, http://www.demingheadlight.com)DEMING, N.M. (AP) — Another New Mexico community has declared an emergency in response to the increasing number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.The Deming City Council voted Monday to make the declaration after City Administrator Aaron Sera noted that federal authorities dropped off migrants in Deming last weekend.The Deming Headlight reports that at last count, 170 Central American migrants have been released in the community.Shelters in Las Cruces also have been overwhelmed and are running low on food. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's office recently paid to bus several dozen migrants to Colorado, and officials say more bus trips north are possible.In April, Otero County declared an emergency over concerns that Border Patrol checkpoints in southern New Mexico were forced to close since agents were reassigned to help with the migrant surge.___


New Mexico forest project sparks ire of environmentalistsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists say the U.S. government must go back to the drawing board or risk violating federal laws if it moves ahead with a plan to restore portions of a national forest in southern New Mexico.The proposed project would cover more than 218 square miles (600 square kilometers) in the Sacramento Mountains over the next decade or two. A combination of prescribed fire, thinning and herbicides would be used to create healthier stands of trees and reduce the wildfire threat.Environmental groups sent a letter to forest officials Monday, asking that a revised study be done. They have concerns about the effects on Mexican spotted owls and other wildlife.Officials said in a draft environmental review released earlier this year that the work would have benefits over the long term.


Closed New Mexico private prison may reopen to hold migrantsESTANCIA, N.M. (AP) — A closed private prison in central New Mexico may reopen to hold immigrants being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.The Torrance County Commission is set to vote Wednesday on whether to sign an agreement with ICE and reopen the Torrance County Detention Facility owned by the Nashville, Tennessee-based CoreCivic.The prison has been closed since October 2017.Commission Chair Ryan Schwebach says the town of Estancia and Torrance County were hit hard by the closure because the area saw the loss of good paying jobs.County officials say the reopened prison will provide more than 200 jobs and house over 700 inmates.CoreCivic operates one of the largest private prison systems in the United States.


Border wall to go up in national monument, wildlife refugePHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. government plans on replacing barriers through 100 miles (161 kilometers) of the southern border in California and Arizona, including through a national monument and a wildlife refuge.The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday waived environmental and dozens of other laws to build more barriers along the southern border. It's already demolished refuge land in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.New barriers will go up at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a 513 square-mile (1,328-square kilometer) park named after the unique cactus breed that decorates it, and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, which is largely a designed wilderness.Funding will come from the Defense Department following the emergency declaration that President Donald Trump signed this year after Congress refused to approve more border wall funding.


Intel to add 300 jobs at New Mexico manufacturing plantSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Chipmaker Intel plans to add 300 jobs at its manufacturing plant in New Mexico in 2019.The New Mexico Economic Development Department said Tuesday in a statement that Intel now employs 1,200 people at its plant in Rio Rancho, an Albuquerque suburb.According to the announcement, Intel is growing beyond its traditional PC and server businesses into products to process, analyze, store and transfer data.Officials said the new jobs are expected to be both local hires and relocations.Santa Clara, California-based Intel is New Mexico's largest manufacturing company. The Rio Rancho facility opened in 1980.


Provider says medical cannabis sales trail enrollment growthSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Patient enrollment in New Mexico's medical marijuana program grew at a fast clip in April.The New Mexico Department of Health says patient enrollment in the cannabis program for health ailments such as cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder increased by 1,632 to 72,375 in April. That's the equivalent of a 28% annual growth rate.New Mexico's largest medical marijuana seller said Monday that statewide growth in medical cannabis sales trailed far behind enrollment gains between March 2018 and March 2019.Albuquerque-based Ultra Health says annual medical marijuana sales grew by 16%. That's less than half the 39% growth rate for enrollment.State limits on medical marijuana production are currently under review. Ultra Health wants the state to increase purchase limits for patients and allow discounts by volume.


AP sources: Trump officials discussed deporting familiesWASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security officials considered arresting migrant families around the country who had final deportation orders and removing them from the U.S. in a flashy show of force.That's according to two Homeland Security officials and two other people familiar with the proposal, one of several immigration possibilities discussed as the Trump administration manages a crush of migrants at the Southwest border. They aren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.The idea was to arrest thousands in 10 different cities. But then-Immigrations and Customs Enforcement head Ron Vitiello and then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen halted it over concerns about diverting resources from the border, a lack of detention space and the possibility of public outrage.The plan remains under consideration.The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment.HEROIN DISTRIBUTION CONVICTION

  • Albuquerque man convicted on 2 heroin trafficking offenses

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man has been convicted of distributing heroin that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old addict in 2011.Federal prosecutors say 34-year-old Raymond Moya was found guilty Monday on two heroin trafficking offenses.Moya was indicted in May 2015. At the time, Moya was serving a 72-month federal prison sentence for his conviction for committing a heroin trafficking crime in Albuquerque in November 2011.Prosecutors say Cameron Weiss died from an overdose in August 2011, one day after buying heroin from Moya.Moya remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.Because of his status as a career offender with a criminal history that includes at least four prior felony convictions, prosecutors say Moya could be facing a life prison sentence.