Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT

Jun 6, 2019

Audit finds deficiencies with Albuquerque postal facilitiesALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General has issued recommendations following an investigation into maintenance, safety and staffing concerns at postal facilities in New Mexico's largest city.The inspector general's audit was prompted by requests from members of the state's congressional delegation.Investigators found deficiencies at all 13 postal facilities in Albuquerque that were part of the audit. The problems ranged from minor oversight infractions to more serious structural issues.Officials with the postal workers union say the findings confirmed complaints made over the past year about dilapidated and unsanitary conditions and late mail delivery for certain customers.U.S. Sen. Tom Udall says filling vacancies and maintaining safe, secure facilities must be a top priority for the service. He plans to follow up to ensure the recommendations are implemented.


Fire danger increases on New Mexico's Gila forestSILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Officials with the Gila National Forest say warmer temperatures and windy conditions are increasing fire danger across the southern New Mexico forest.The conditions have prompted managers to bump up the fire danger rating to "high." That means fine fuels can ignite readily and unattended campfires are likely to escape.Officials considered several factors in raising the level, including data from weather stations across the forest.They're asking people to be vigilant and avoid using anything with an open flame or spark. For example, chain saws should have spark arrestors and the use of lawn mowers should be avoided as the blades can strike a rock and produce sparks.Officials also say cigarettes should be properly extinguished and trailer chains shouldn't be allowed to drag on the pavement to prevent sparking.


Former New Mexico governor joins national memorial board(Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com)SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Former New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is joining an advisory board of a group working on a national memorial in Washington, D.C., for soldiers who fought in recent wars.The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the Republican was recently appointed to the board of the North Carolina-based Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. The group is seeking to honor those who fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places connected to conflicts called the war on terror.Martinez says she's grateful for the opportunity to support the effort.Former President George W. Bush is the honorary chairman of the foundation.Foundation President and CEO Michael "Rod" Rodriguez is a former Green Beret who says his hometown is Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Martinez served as district attorney before becoming governor.___


Activists to use Bob Dylan's birthday to help migrants(Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com)SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Activists in southwestern New Mexico hope to use Bob Dylan's birthday to raise money for Central American migrants seeking asylum.The Silver City Sun-News reports advocates scheduled the "First Bob Dylan Birthday Concert" for Saturday in Silver City and plan to earmark event proceeds for migrants coming through Deming, New Mexico. The legendary musician is not expected to perform but the concert will feature local artists like Amos Torres.Dylan, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, turned 78 years old on May 24.The Deming City Council voted last month to declare an emergency in response to the increasing number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.Deming is located 51 miles (82 kilometers) north of the border.___


12 firefighters injured in fireworks explosion in New MexicoROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A dozen firefighters were injured in an explosion at a fireworks storage area in eastern New Mexico.State police and officials with the city of Roswell say the blast happened around noon Wednesday at the Roswell International Air Center as firefighters were boxing fireworks for an upcoming Fourth of July show.Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says two firefighters were hospitalized, with one in critical condition and the other stable. The others were treated at the scene for minor injuries.Authorities do not know what caused the blast.Federal and local authorities are assisting state police in the investigation. The state fire marshal also was en route to the scene.Images from the scene showed a black plume of smoke rising from the area. Crews continued to work hotspots Wednesday afternoon.


US land managers shift position on Chaco protection billALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. land managers are open to legislation that would limit federal leases for oil and natural gas development near a national park in New Mexico held sacred by Native Americans.Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director of Operations Michael Nedd told members of a congressional subcommittee Wednesday that the agency had no objection to the bill.The agency shifted its stance following a recent visit by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to Chaco Culture National Historical Park.Bernhardt said the agency will defer leases within 10 miles (16 kilometers) of the park over the next year while regulators prepare a new management plan for the region's resources.


Authorities accuse teen of peddling drugs, guns on SnapchatALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Authorities say they have arrested a New Mexico teenager accused of using social media to peddle fentanyl, assault weapons and other firearms.Bernalillo District Attorney Raul Torrez on Wednesday announced the 17-year-old's arrest. Authorities said it came after a multi-agency investigation that involved the FBI and state police.The teen is expected to make an appearance Thursday in Children's Court on drug-related charges and unlawful possession of a firearm. The Associated Press is not naming the teen because of his age.An FBI search warrant showed the teen was arrested early Tuesday morning at a house in southwest Albuquerque.FBI and state police agents' list of items seized included 60 tablets they suspected to be the powerful opioid fentanyl and a loaded AR-15 pistol with a 30-round magazine.


Police: 6 El Salvador migrants killed in Texas SUV wreckROBSTOWN, Texas (AP) — Authorities in south Texas say six migrants from El Salvador have been killed and five critically injured when an SUV that earlier fled police crashed into a drainage ditch.Nueces County sheriff's Capt. Daniel Lorberau says police in Robstown, 220 miles (354 kilometers) southwest of Houston, pursued the SUV late Tuesday but then stopped the chase because of rain and wet roads.Two injured people found walking along a road early Wednesday told authorities of the wreck.Lorberau says the SUV was traveling as fast as 50 mph (80 kph) when it crashed.Several people had to be extricated from the SUV and were taken to hospitals. In addition to the dead and critically injured, three others suffered lesser injuries.Police say the migrants were from El Salvador. No other details were immediately available.