Fighter relieved he won't be charged in stabbing
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A professional mixed martial artist says prosecutors' decision to not charge him in the fatal stabbing of an intruder at his New Mexico home is a relief.
The District Attorney's office in Las Cruces announced Thursday that an investigation did not produce evidence to prove that Joseph Torrez killed 25-year-old Sal Garces on Jan. 1 without legal justification.
Sheriff's officials have said Torrez fatally stabbed Garces after Garces and other people forced their way into Torrez's home.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that Torrez spoke publicly about the matter for the first time after prosecutors announced their decision.
Torrez says he acted to protect himself and his family but that he finds it difficult to think about taking another man's life.
SANTA FE POLICE-WORK WEEK
Santa Fe police returning to four-day work week
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Santa Fe Police Department is reversing a controversial 2011 decision that had police officers switch to a five-day work week from a four-day schedule.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that officers will return to a four-day week on Aug. 2.
Then-Police Chief Ray Rael ordered the 2011 change, which he credited with reductions in burglaries and police overtime costs.
The five-day schedule was unpopular with officers who said it affected their quality of life.
Rael resigned earlier this year.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-NEW MEXICO
Decision looms on New Mexico insurance exchange
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is trying to decide whether to continue using a federal online system to enroll individuals in health insurance plans.
The state's health insurance exchange governing board meets Friday in Santa Fe. Vice chairman Jason Sandel said he expects a decision on how to handle an upcoming round of enrollment that starts in November.
The exchange serves as a marketplace for buying medical coverage.
New Mexico has been using a federally operated exchange to determine eligibility and enroll individuals, but technical problems plagued the start-up last year.
Sandel said Thursday he wants to switch to a state-run online system for enrolling individuals. Businesses have been using the state system.
However, some board members question whether the state portal will be able to enroll individuals trouble-free.
Arizona man resentenced in rape, murder of woman
PHOENIX (AP) - A northern Arizona man has been resentenced in the rape and murder of a woman who was hitchhiking near Steamboat on the Navajo Nation.
Branden Pete of Greasewood had been serving a life sentence in the 2002 death of Charlotte Brown.
He argued for a more lenient punishment after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that juveniles convicted of murder shouldn't face mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole.
Pete was 16 when Brown was killed.
Federal prosecutors say Pete and three other men raped Brown before she was beaten to death with rocks. They urged U.S. District Judge Stephen McNamee this week to re-impose a life sentence.
McNamee noted the crimes' brutality in resentencing Pete to 59 years in prison with credit for nearly 12 years served.
No new penalties on Los Alamos officer in elk case
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - Los Alamos Police Chief Sgambellone says a commander who recently pleaded no contest for illegally taking a bull elk in Otero County will not be disciplined.
The Los Alamos Monitor reports that Sgambellone said this week Commander Preston Ballew will not face any disciplinary action and the matter has been resolved to his satisfaction.
Ballew pleaded no contest in Otero County Magistrate Court to one count of unlawful hunting or fishing and one count of vehicle travel under the Habitat Protection Act stemming from an October case.
Ballew incurred no fines over the illegal hunt, but did receive 182 days of unsupervised probation.
Central American leaders convening at White House
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S.
He's hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border.
Obama will host presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for meetings Friday. Central American leaders met a day earlier with lawmakers who are considering Obama's requests for emergency funds and additional authority to send unaccompanied children back home more quickly.
Those lawmakers appear unlikely to resolve their differences before leaving Washington late next week for an annual recess.
More than 57,000 minors have arrived since October, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Environmentalists sue US over river water for fish
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A lawsuit filed by environmentalists accuses federal agencies of breaking promises and failing to provide Rio Grande flows needed to protect two endangered species of fish.
WildEarth Guardians filed the suit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque against the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers over protection for the silvery minnow and the Southwestern willow flycatcher.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that federal officials say they've made major changes in how they operate and spent tens of millions of dollars in the past decade to leave water in the river for the fish.
The flycatcher was listed as endangered in 1995. The minor was listed as endangered in 1994.
'Captain Fantastic' to film New Mexico
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A movie about a father who moves his six children deep into the forests of the Pacific Northwest is set to film in New Mexico.
Film Office Director Nick Maniatis announced Thursday that the feature "Captain Fantastic" will begin principal photography in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Mesilla next month.
Starring Viggo Mortensen and Frank Langella, the New Mexico Film Office says the movie is about a passionate father who takes his children into the wild to homeschool them, teach them combat skills, train them like professional athletes and introduce them to the beauty of the natural world. But his unorthodox parenting is challenged when he is forced to leave and confront the real world.
Maniatis say the production will employ at least 75 New Mexico crew members, one New Mexico actor and about 220 local background talent.
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