- IMMIGRATION-DETENTION CHALLENGE
Attorneys: Honduran transgender migrant unlawfully detainedALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Civil rights attorneys are requesting the release of a Honduran transgender migrant who they say has been unlawfully held — at times in solitary confinement — at an immigration detention center in New Mexico.The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico in a court filing Thursday said Nicole Garcia Aguilar was initially granted asylum by a U.S. judge in October, but the government appealed the ruling over arguments about the credibility of her claims.The filing contends Garcia Aguilar remains in custody despite a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy that people who have been granted asylum generally merit release pending appeal.Immigration authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Garcia Aguilar was among a wave of Central American migrants who arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in early 2018.
- NEW MEXICO JUDGE-MISCONDUCT
New Mexico Supreme Court censures district judge(Information from: The Eastern New Mexico News, http://www.easternnewmexiconews.com)TUCUMCARI, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has publicly censured a 10th Judicial District judge in Tucumcari for violating the Code of Judicial Conduct.The Eastern New Mexico News reports that a document unsealed Monday by the state Supreme Court shows that Judge Albert J. Mitchell allegedly said during a meeting with Quay County Manager Richard Primrose that he would ask the governor to veto capital-outlay funds due to the county.Mitchell denied he engaged in "willful misconduct regarding political influence." But the document shows Mitchell did not contest several allegations, including that he made statements "indicating he had the governor's ear and could call on her to line-item veto capital outlay funds for Quay County" if court-security measures weren't met.Primrose declined to comment, and an email to Mitchell requesting comment was not immediately answered Tuesday.___
- SPRING FLOODING-THE LATEST
The Latest: Spring snowstorm moving into Great Lakes regionA spring snowstorm that pummeled Colorado and Wyoming before sweeping into the Plains is now moving into Great Lakes states, where it's already setting records.Winter storm warnings are posted for northern Wisconsin and Michigan, which could see heavy snow, strong winds, sleet and freezing rain. The National Weather Service reports that daily snowfall records have already fallen in La Crosse, Wausau and Green Bay, Wisconsin.Weather service meteorologist Steven Fleegel says as much as 25 inches of snow has been reported in northeastern South Dakota, and it will continue to snow into Friday.The weather service says the threat of severe weather will shift this weekend to southern states including Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Threats include damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.
- METHANE STUDY-PERMIAN BASIN
Environmental group finds surge in Permian methane emissionsSANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An environmental group says it has assembled new evidence that methane emissions in New Mexico are climbing amid a surge in oil and natural gas production in the Permian Basin.The Environmental Defense Fund on Thursday released an analysis showing that the energy industry in New Mexico is releasing more of the potent heat-trapping gas linked to global warming than previously thought.The group finds that statewide methane emissions are five-times higher than what is reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Defense Fund scientist David Lyon says the analysis incorporates methane-sensor measurements at about 90 locations.New Mexico is in the early stages of developing new rules to reduce the waste of natural gas that consists primarily of methane at the direction of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
- ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NEW MEXICO
Democrat Toulouse Oliver eyes US Senate run in New MexicoALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is expected to jump in the 2020 race for an open U.S. Senate seat.Toulouse Oliver campaign adviser Heather Brewer said Thursday the Democrat is actively talking to residents and will make an announcement later this month about her plans.Her potential entrance into the race could set up a contentious Democratic primary since U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan has already said he's running for the Senate seat.Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall announced in March he was retiring.Toulouse Oliver first was elected to Secretary of State in 2015 after a special election. She easily won re-election in 2018. She'd be the state's first female U.S. Senator.Lujan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 but has not run for statewide office.
- DRY NEW MEXICO-IRRIGATION SEASON
Irrigation allotment set for southern New Mexico farmersLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Southern New Mexico farmers who depend on the Rio Grande will begin getting their share of irrigation water in early June.Officials with the Elephant Butte Irrigation District say farmers can expect to start with an allotment of 6 inches (15 centimeters) per acre. That's about 163,000 gallons, or more than 617,000 liters.The district's water adviser, Phillip King, says that allocation could increase depending on how much snow melt and spring runoff ends up in the river. He says upstream watersheds are dry so some runoff is expected to replenish the soil before having a chance to flow downstream.Storage levels in Elephant Butte Reservoir currently sit at about 14 percent of capacity following what water managers across the state have described as a brutal year in 2018.
- OFFICER KILLED-TRIAL
Judge denies mistrial motion from suspect in officer's deathALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has denied a request to call a mistrial after attorneys for a man charged in an Albuquerque police officer's shooting death complained about a prosecutor's line of questioning.Judge Neil Candelaria denied the motion on Thursday morning, while warning the prosecution. Davon Lymon's attorneys had argued the prosecutor was asking prejudicial questions of him before the jury.Lymon is standing trial on murder and other charges filed in connection with Webster's October 2015 death.He testified Wednesday that he opened fire during a traffic stop because he feared for his life.Authorities say Webster pulled over Lymon in a pharmacy parking lot.Video from Webster's lapel camera shows the officer asking Lymon to give his right hand so he can be handcuffed just before shots are fired.