- COUNTRY CLUB FIRE
RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A vacant country club in Rio Rancho has been gutted by a fire.Authorities say they don't suspect arson in the fire that broke out Friday night at the Chamisa Hills Country Club.Rio Rancho Fire officials say the clubhouse's roof collapsed so they had to put the flames out from the outside of the building.Deputy Chief Richard Doty told Albuquerque TV station KOB that his team and other agencies spent more than 15 hours getting the fire under control.There are no reports of any injuries.Rio Rancho Mayor Greg Hull says the country club was one of the original cornerstones that identified the community.However, the country club has been vacant for years.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of balloons have filled the sky over Albuquerque in the city's annual International Balloon Fiesta.Event officials sent up the green flag just before 6:30 a.m. Sunday, giving the all clear for the mass ascension.Balloons were mostly tethered to the ground Saturday because of fog and that mass ascension was canceled.But the weather was ideal Sunday and balloons of all types took off from Balloon Fiesta Park.The fiesta draws pilots from around the world and from 41 U.S. states.Organizers expect tens of thousands of spectators for opening weekend and exponentially more over the course of the nine-day event.The spectacle has grown over nearly five decades and infuses millions of dollars into the economy each year.
- URLACHER FIELD NAMING
LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) — The blue turf of Wildcat Stadium at New Mexico's Lovington High School has been named Brian Urlacher Field in honor of the pro football Hall of Famer.The Hobbs News-Sun reports the naming ceremony was held Friday night at halftime of Lovington's home game against Goddard High.Urlacher attended a pep rally at Wildcat Gym with the student body and faculty.He was reunited with members of Lovington's 1994-95 coaching staff after being presented a framed photo of the field now named after him.Urlacher graduated from Lovington High in 1996 and was a star linebacker for 13 seasons with the NFL's Chicago Bears after his college career at the University of New Mexico.In his halftime speech, Urlacher thanked his coaches, family and the Lovington community for his success.
- SOCCER-ROWDY FANS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico high school sports governing board says unruly fans creating problems in football, cheerleading and basketball are threatening the future of soccer.The Albuquerque Journal reports New Mexico Activities Association recently announced that soccer games are being canceled and the sport is losing officials due to parental behavior.New Mexico Activities Association Executive Director Sally Marquez described the situation as a "crisis" in a letter to coaches and athletic directorsShe says the cussing, screaming and threats have to stop.The governing board said in April it was considering canceling next year's cheerleading State Spirit Competition following death threats and inflammatory social media posts.Earlier this year, the association warned Estancia High School over rowdy basketball fans. Carlsbad High imposed crowd restrictions after improper behavior from student fans.
- FBI-CHINA-AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES
WASHINGTON (AP) — Emails and other documents obtained through public records requests by The Associated Press show the FBI's far-reaching efforts to caution colleges that some Chinese scientists aspire to steal U.S. research for Beijing's gain.The emails show that university administrators routinely have sought briefings from law enforcement officials, even as some schools struggle with balancing the government's warnings against the institutions' commitment to inclusive, international academic environments.The FBI has reached out to colleges and universities across the country as the law enforcement tries to stem what American authorities portray as the wholesale theft of technology and trade secrets by researchers tapped by China.The emails underscore the extent of U.S. concerns that universities, as recruiters of foreign talent and incubators of cutting-edge research, are particularly vulnerable targets.