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This Hour: Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment

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Charges dropped against Tenn. boy in Taos incident

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A New Mexico prosecutor says he's dropped charges against a teenager whose mother led police on a high-speed chase in a videotaped incident during which a State Police officer fired at her fleeing minivan carrying five children.

The son of Oriana Farrell of Memphis, Tennessee, had been accused of battery and assault in connection with a scuffle with officers during a traffic stop near Taos last October. Nobody was injured by the officer's gunfire.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Taos-area District Attorney Donald Gallegos says charges are being dropped against the youth because of concern for his future.

The Associated Press is not identifying the son, who was 14 years at the time, because of his age.

Charges remain pending against the mother. She has pleaded innocent.


Man sought in 2 Albuquerque home invasions

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque police are seeking a man in connection with two home invasions in which one victim was tied up and another was shot and wounded.

Police say a man on Wednesday forced his way into a home, shot the homeowner in the leg and then fled in the homeowner's truck. It was later found abandoned. The homeowner is expected to recover.

According to police, the same man is suspected of previously forcefully entering another home in the same neighborhood. A woman in that home was tied up but was able to escape and call for help.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, 5-foot-5, 125 pounds with short dark hair. He was last seen wearing dark pants, a dark hoodie and a dark ball cap.


Road rage may have sparked drive-by shooting

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - Farmington police are investigating a possible drive-by shooting that may have been prompted by road rage.

Nobody was injured in the reported shooting.

The Daily Times reports that police detained an 18-year-old man for questioning after locating a car allegedly involved in the reported shooting.

According to police, a woman was followed home Wednesday evening after she pulled out of a Piedra Vista High School parking space and nearly hit another car.

Police say the woman told police that at she saw something long sticking out of the car that followed her vehicle and then heard a gunshot.


Judge allows UNM's Crusoe Gongbay to leave state

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A judge is allowing New Mexico running back Crusoe Gongbay to return home to Maryland once the semester ends in May before returning to Albuquerque to face rape and kidnapping charges.

The 20-year-old from Rockville, Md., was arrested Monday after turning himself in. He had an initial appearance Wednesday in Metropolitan Court.

Gongbay has been suspended from the team because of the allegations that he participated in an April 13 assault and kidnapping of a female student.

The Abuquerque Journal reports that Chief Judge Julie Altwies granted a request by defense lawyer Robert Cooper that his client be allowed to leave the state.

Gongbay didn't answer questions from reporters, but Cooper said his client is presumed innocent and looks forward to a "speedy and positive resolution" of his case.


N.M. man gets prison for robbing same store twice

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A 22-year-old southern New Mexico man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for two armed robberies of the same Las Cruces convenience store.

Prosecutors say Lucio Vargas pleaded guilty Wednesday to a November holdup of a Pic Quik location and to a February robbery of the same store.

He's originally pleaded guilty in January to the first robbery but the second holdup took place while he was free pending sentencing.

The District Attorney's Office says Vargas will serve at least nine years in prison as a serious violent offender.


Shiprock man pleads guilty to second-degree murder

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Shiprock man will be sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the charge against 39-year-old Alvert Miller stems from an April 2013 drunken-driving accident in which a passenger was killed.

Milled pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque on Wednesday. His sentencing hasn't yet been scheduled.

The accident occurred near Littlewater on the Navajo Nation.


Democrat Tom Udall raises $1M for Senate race

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A new campaign finance report shows Democratic incumbent Tom Udall with a large fundraising advantage in the race for New Mexico's Senate seat.

Udall raised about $1 million during the first three months of the year and spent about $262,000.

According to the latest Federal Election Commission reports, Udall's campaign had cash-on-hand of $3.1 million at the end of March.

Udall is unopposed in the June Democratic primary, but he has two Republicans challengers.

Former GOP state chairman Allen Weh reported a cash balance of nearly $206,000. He raised nearly $414,000, including personal loans and contributions of $160,000. Weh's campaign spent $208,000.

Republican David Clements, a Las Cruces attorney, had cash-on-hand of $7,497. His campaign raised $40,579 and spent $44,968 from January through March.


State to hold free conference on gang prevention

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Department of Public Safety is planning a community conference on gangs.

The conference will be held Thursday, May 8, at the Isleta Resort and Casino for educators and community members and leaders.

The free all-day conference will include a gang intervention prevention presentation to show how community involvement and schools can create a gang free environment. Another will focus on risk factors that can lead to gang membership.


Annual Albuquerque powwow opens with pageant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Native American and indigenous dancers are gathering in Albuquerque for the 31st annual Gathering of Nations powwow.

The three-day event, North America's largest powwow, draws hundreds of competitive dancers and tens of thousands of spectators from across the U.S. and parts of Canada and Mexico.

The event kicks off Thursday evening with the Miss Indian World pageant, in which 23 Native American women from different tribes and traditions will be competing for this year's crown.

The pageant will commence with the talent competition, which will feature the young women doing traditional dances in their brightly colored regalia.

The crowning of Miss Indian World will take place on Saturday night at University of New Mexico Arena.


Park Service celebrates Chaco Canyon

CHACO CULTURAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, N.M. (AP) - The National Park Service is celebrating Chaco Canyon's designation as an International Dark Sky Park.

Officials say the greater Chaco landscape in northwestern New Mexico is one of the last, best places in the U.S. for viewing the night sky.

The celebration starts with a guided walk through Chetro Ketl, one of Chaco's great houses. It covers more than 3 acres and contains several ceremonial structures known as kivas.

There will also be a tour of Pueblo Bonito, the most important site in the canyon, and a discussion about astronomy in the national parks.

The day finishes with telescopes and a star party.

The dark sky designation was made last fall, but the National Park Service had to put off the celebration until now due to the government shutdown.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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