- 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.
- GAS ASSET SALE
BP sells Colorado gas and oil field stake to European firm(Information from: Durango Herald, http://www.durangoherald.com)DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — BP American Production Co. says it has sold its stake in a Colorado natural gas and oil field to a European company.The Durango Heralds reports the energy company agreed to a sale of its San Juan Basin assets to IKAV for an undisclosed amount.The IKAV website indicates the company with offices in western Europe specializes in managing energy efficiency assets including renewable energy projects.An IKAV representative declined to comment Wednesday and there was no immediate indication of its plans for the natural gas field in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico.BP announced plans in August 2018 to pull out of the San Juan Basin to divest up to $6 billion to purchase shale oil and gas assets in other U.S. regions.___
- NEW HEALTH CRISIS CENTER
New Mexico center to provide behavioral health services(Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — County officials in New Mexico have opened the first 24-hour crisis triage and treatment center in Bernalillo County to provide behavioral and mental health services.The Albuquerque Journal reported Tuesday that the 70,000-square-foot (6,500-square-meter) renovated space would serve people who might otherwise end up in a hospital emergency department, jail or sent back into the community.Officials say the center has 16 beds in semiprivate rooms which could also be converted into single occupancy spaces.County officials say the center would begin accepting clients Dec. 2.Officials say the formerly named Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Services center and the crisis center would now be called the Comprehensive Assessment and Resiliency through Excellence campus, or CARE.Officials say there are plans to build a larger building in addition to the center.___
- HIGH SCHOOL COACH-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Former school basketball coach pleads guilty to sex chargesLAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — A former high school assistant basketball coach in New Mexico has pleaded guilty to multiple felony sex charges against two female students at Pecos High School.Authorities say 30-year-old Dominick Baca was charged with criminal sexual penetration and criminal sexual contact of a minor.The students told investigators Baca had sex with them in 2017 and 2018 when they were age 14 and 17.Court officials say sentencing is scheduled for January after a psychological examination.Officials say Baca would be required to register as a sex offender and faces up to three years in prison and up to 20 years of probation.The New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority agreed to pay the older of the two girls $290,000 to reach a settlement with Pecos Independent School District.
- 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.
- NEW MEXICO WEATHER
New Mexico braces for more wind, wintery weatherALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Road crews are preparing for wintery conditions that will move across New Mexico over the next couple of days.Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque say precipitation will increase across the state Wednesday into Thursday with some parts seeing rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain.East central to southeastern areas will likely see a mix of precipitation, leading to slick and treacherous travel conditions.Gusty winds were reported around the state Tuesday.In New Mexico's most populated area, Bernalillo County officials say road crews will be on-call during the Thanksgiving holiday. Officials also are urging residents to prepare for the inclement weather.The state's largest electric provider, PNM, is encouraging people to put together emergency kits with snow removal tools, coats, hats, gloves and blankets.
- WOUNDED KNEE-MEDALS
2 senators back revoking Wounded Knee medals for US soldiersFARGO, N.D. (AP) — Two Democratic senators plan to introduce a companion bill to a U.S. House measure to revoke Medals of Honor for soldiers who participated in the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.Medals of Honor were given to 20 soldiers for participating in the massacre that killed an estimated 250 Native Americans, many of whom were women and children.Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon announced Wednesday they will sponsor the Remove the Stain Act. It was first introduced in the House by Democrats Denny Heck of Washington and Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Republican Paul Cook of California.Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota has said he does not support the effort because "we're now guessing" about the roles of individual soldiers.
- HOUSE FIRE-FATALITIES
Albuquerque Fire Rescue: 2 dead after house fireALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two people are dead following a house fire in southwest Albuquerque late Tuesday night.A third person was taken to a hospital. That person's condition wasn't released and no identities were released.Albuquerque Fire Rescue say crews responding to a report of a fire in the residence with victims trapped inside found smoke and flames when they arrived.Cause of the fire is under investigation.