Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. MDT

Apr 21, 2019

Las Cruces accepts some 1,600 asylum seekers since April 12LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — City officials say Las Cruces has accepted almost 1,600 asylum seekers since April 12.They say 105 asylum seekers were dropped off Saturday to Las Cruces High School by the U.S. Border Patrol.Officials say 56 immigrants were received Sunday morning in the southern New Mexico community and many from the group were transported to Albuquerque to be sheltered there.Las Cruces is spending $75,000 on humanitarian aid to cope with an influx of international asylum seekers.The city council authorized spending on food, water, transportation and personal hygiene items.Las Cruces has converted its recreation center into sleeping quarters for immigrants as local shelters for the homeless reach capacity.New Mexico's Homeland Security Department says asylum seekers are likely to continue arriving at Las Cruces for several more weeks.


Report: Man arrested on weapons charge faced similar in 2006(Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com)LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — A newspaper reports a New Mexico man, who is a member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants at the border, was arrested on a criminal complaint accusing him of being a felon in possession of firearms and faced similar charges 13 years ago in Oregon.The Santa Fe New Mexican says 69-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins also was accused of impersonating a police officer in Oregon's Klamath County in 2006 and claimed to be a fugitive bounty hunter.The FBI arrested Hopkins in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint Saturday.Albuquerque FBI spokesman Frank Fisher says additional information about Hopkins won't be released until after his initial appearance Monday in a Las Cruces federal court.___


University of New Mexico revamps film program amid demandALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico has revamped its film and digital arts program amid the demand of film and television productions in the state.The school announced this month it will offer new degree plans in the Department of Film and Digital Arts that will allow students to focus on film production, gaming and animation, or criticism.Department chair James Stone says the changes were needed after Netflix announced it would be purchasing Albuquerque Studios and the state saw another increase in film production.Cinematographer Barry Kirk and screenwriter Matt McDuffie will be among the professionals to teach.Santa Fe Film Office executive director Eric Witt called the changes at the University of New Mexico "terrific news" and said they would help with the development of new technologies and applications.


Sheriff's Office: 3 arrested in 3 killings in New MexicoLOS LUNAS, N.M. (AP) — The Valencia County Sheriff's Office says three suspects are in custody in the shooting deaths of three men at a home near Los Lunas early Saturday.Sheriff's Sgt. Joseph Rowland says 18-year-old Brandon Dowdy, 19-year-old Robert Wilson and a male 17-year-old were arrested on three counts of murder. The Associated Press does not generally identify defendants who are juveniles.Court records don't list defense attorneys who could comment on the allegations.The victims were identified as 40-year-old Darren Bernal and 28-year-old Nathan Morrison from Belen and 29-year-old Joseph Santiago, from Albuquerque.The Sheriff's Office said witnesses who heard gunshots said they saw a SUV leaving the scene and that officers arrested the three after finding the SUV nearby.


Boy Scout ranch focuses on wildfire recovery as season nearsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The clock is ticking as the Philmont Scout Ranch scrambles to install new campsites ahead of a summer season that will see a record number of Boy Scouts from across the U.S. descend upon the mountain retreat.The historic New Mexico ranch is rebuilding following a devastating wildfire that charred nearly 44 square miles (113 square kilometers) last summer.Dozens of miles of trails were wiped out along with trail camps, leaving behind a scar that will take years and millions of dollars to restore.Ranch managers say the work is necessary, pointing to Philmont as a crown jewel of the scouting experience.Philmont isn't alone in its new mission to become more resilient as western land managers face larger and hotter wildfires fueled by overgrown forests and dry conditions.


New Mexico State Police: 2 Texas men killed in head-on crashLOVING, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say two Texas men were killed when their vehicles collided head-on in southeastern New Mexico.The New Mexico State Police says a vehicle driven by 19-year-old R.A. Steve Stephens of Trinity on Friday crossed the center line of State Road 128 near Loving and collided with a pickup driven by 47-year-old Anthony Robert Capetillo of McAllen.According to the State Police, alcohol didn't appear to be a contributing factor and the men apparently weren't wearing seat belts.No additional information was released.


No prosecution in deputy's fatal shootings of 2 after chaseALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A district attorney has decided against prosecuting a Bernalillo County sheriff's deputy in the 2017 fatal shootings of two men who were in a stolen truck following a pursuit.The Albuquerque Journal reports that District Attorney Clint Wellborn of the 7th Judicial District said prosecutors couldn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Deputy Joshua Mora's shootings of 23-year-old Isaac Padilla and 25-year-old Martin Jim weren't justified.Sheriff Manuel Gonzales praised the decision, saying Wellborn "made the right legal and ethical decision."Gonzales has said Mora fired because Padilla revved the truck's engine and Mora believed Padilla was going to run over his sergeant.An attorney for the families of the dead men and two passengers who weren't hit, Sam Bregman, expressed disappointment and said there were grounds for prosecution.