ALBUQUERQUE-WATER MAIN BREAK
Police: Water main breaks in Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque police says a water main break Wednesday has caused a sink hole, closed at least one street and interrupted water to some residents.
Police say the break occurred in the area of Irving Boulevard and Eagle Ranch Road.
According to police, Eagle Ranch Road is closed in both directions between Irving and Agate Hills Road and that there's also water on Coors Boulevard.
Police are suggesting that motorists use alternate routes and use extreme caution on Coors Boulevard.
Senate reprieve for highly contested border bill
WASHINGTON (AP) - A bill to deal with the immigration crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border has won a temporary reprieve in the Senate.
Senators voted 63-33 Wednesday to advance the $3.5 billion emergency spending bill over a procedural hurdle.
But with Congress adjourning for the summer within days and Republicans opposed, there was little expectation that the legislation would ultimately prevail.
The bill includes $2.7 billion for more immigration judges, detention facilities and other measures to deal with the tens and thousands of youths who've been arriving illegally in South Texas without their parents.
Republicans say it's a blank check and they're demanding policy changes that would send the migrants back home more quickly.
Carlsbad man sentenced to prison for robberies
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A Carlsbad man will have to spend nearly 11 years in federal prison after being sentenced for his part in a robbery spree in several southeastern New Mexico communities.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico says 35-year-old Maurice Williams was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Las Cruces.
The office says Williams was among six Carlsbad residents prosecuted under a federal anti-violence initiative.
According to the office, various members of the group robbed stores in Artesia, Carlsbad and Hobbs and a restaurant in Artesia during late 2012 and early 2013.
Williams pleaded guilty to robbing a Family Dollar store in Artesia on Nov. 15, 2012, and to conspiring to rob a Family Dollar story in Carlsbad.
The five co-defendants remain in custody pending sentencing hearings.
Albuquerque police to get rid of armored vehicle
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Albuquerque Police Department says it turns out it doesn't need a massive armored vehicle that the city obtained as military surplus and plans to dispose of it.
Albuquerque was among numerous law enforcement agencies across the country that obtained some of the many mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles that the military procured for the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Police Department spokesman Janet Blair says Albuquerque got its 14-foot-tall, 22.5-ton vehicle eight months ago but has not used it in the field.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, Blair says the department has other armored vehicles it can use for SWAT team deployments instead of the mine-resistant vehicle.
Blair said the department will work with the state to find a new owner for the vehicle.
LAS CRUCES-MINIMUM WAGE
Minimum wage proposal submitted in Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Las Cruces officials say supporters of a minimum wage proposal collected enough valid signatures on petitions to either have it put into law or submitted to city voters.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that the proposal seeks to raise the minimum wage within New Mexico's second most populous city to $8.40 per hour in 2015, to $9.20 in 2016 and to $10.10 in 2017.
New Mexico's hourly minimum wage is $7.50.
City Clerk Esther Martinez-Carrillo says the City Council will first decide whether to certify the signature verification. The council then would decide whether to simply adopt the proposed ordinance or put it on a ballot.
The council voted June 2 to raise the minimum wage in Las Cruces to $8 in July 2015 and $8.50 in January 2016.
INDEPENDENT VOTERS SUIT
King asks to intervene in election voting case
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Attorney General Gary King wants to defend in court a state law that bars independents from voting in the primary election.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that King is asking a state District Court judge to permit him to intervene in the lawsuit filed on behalf of nearly 294,000 voters registered as independents.
The lawsuit contends the law allowing only Democrats and Republicans to vote in the primary violates the New Mexico Constitution.
Secretary of State Dianna Duran was named as a defendant in the case but a response filed by King on behalf of Duran didn't offer a defense of the law.
New Mexico Corrections eyes new anti-DWI fight
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Department of Corrections is set to announce a new program aimed at combatting drunken driving in the state.
Correction officials are scheduled Wednesday to unveil a new partnership with various law enforcement agencies on battling DWI in New Mexico.
State records show there are almost 500 people serving prison time in New Mexico for DWI-related convictions. Around 100 of those were convicted of vehicular homicide or causing great bodily harm.
Preliminary numbers show New Mexico saw 133 fatal alcohol-related crashes last year, a nearly 14 percent drop from 2012. That's the lowest number of annual alcohol-related traffic deaths recorded in the state and marked a 38 percent decline from a decade ago.
MEXICAN WOLF PUPS
Arizona wolf pups thrive in New Mexico pack
PHOENIX (AP) - Wildlife managers say two Mexican gray wolf pups from an Arizona pack are thriving with their new family in New Mexico.
Biologists in May transplanted a pair of 2-week old pups born in a large litter to another pack of wolves with a smaller litter and more rearing experience.
Wildlife managers have been troubled by the survival rates of wild-born pups. The goal with cross-fostering is to improve the genetic health of the endangered predators as they are reintroduced to the American Southwest.
The technique has worked with red wolves on the East Coast. This marks the first time it has been tried with Mexican gray wolves.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department said this week that a trail camera photo shows that the pups are alive and doing well.
D.H. Lawrence ranch in New Mexico opens to public
TAOS, N.M. (AP) - A northern New Mexico ranch once home to famed English author D.H. Lawrence has reopened to the public.
The Taos Community Foundation and the University of New Mexico say the ranch about 20 miles north of Taos is open every Monday, Thursday and Saturday through October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The 160-acre ranch is owned by the university but hasn't been regularly accessible to the public for several years.
An agreement between the foundation, UNM and the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance cleared the way for public visits to the ranch where Lawrence lived part-time during the early 1920s.
The ranch features Lawrence's memorial, two cabins and a home that was built by Frieda Lawrence after her husband's death.
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