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trial focuses on public land access in northern new mexico


taos, n.m. (ap) — a trial over public access to prime hunting territory in northeast new mexico is underway in taos.white peak has been the source of legal and administrative fights for decades, and at issue in state district court is whether roads used to access the area are considered historic roads open to the public or private ranching roads.the trial is expected to last about two weeks.prosecutors with the new mexico attorney general’s office on monday described the area as a checkerboard that includes state trust land and property owned by rancher david stanley.most read nation & world storiesunlimited digital access: $1 for 4 weeksstanley has argued that hunters and other members of the public have trespassed on private property for years to reach trust lands.prosecutors say federal






new mexico oil producers concerned about permit backlog


albuquerque, n.m. (ap) — the cost of drilling for oil or natural gas on public and tribal land went up slightly nationwide thanks to a fee hike that took effect over the weekend, but new mexico producers are more worried about a continued backlog in the processing of permits by the bureau of land management.the industry says the delays are costing new mexico and the federal government taxes and royalties.the new mexico oil and gas association estimates nearly $1.5 million in federal royalties and another $831,000 in state severance taxes are deferred daily due to administrative issues and that the delay of any revenue is critical as state lawmakers discuss budget priorities for the coming fiscal year.the bureau of land management earlier this year began shifting resources to tackle the bac






sabinoso wilderness in new mexico is now publicly accessible


taos, n.m. (ap) — for the first time, the sabinoso wilderness in northeastern new mexico is accessible to the general public for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities.the 16,000-acre area contains some of the most pristine habitat in the country for elk, mule deer and other wildlife.it was previously wholly surrounded by non-federal land, making it inaccessible to the public.however, a donation of about 3,600 acres formerly known as the rimrock rose ranch that are adjacent to sabinoso wilderness was accepted by interior department and bureau of land management.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeksthe sabinoso now connects with neighboring blm-managed land, making it publicly accessible for the first time since its congressional designation as a wilderness a






latest wilderness plans draw fire from new mexico ranchers


albuquerque, n.m. (ap) — new mexico’s two senators have introduced legislation they say has been years in the making to set aside tens of thousands of acres as wilderness on opposite ends of the state in areas recently designated as national monuments.but ranchers from some rural communities fear the designations will amount to another layer of bureaucracy aimed at pushing them from the land.the northern new mexico stockman’s association has passed a resolution against future wilderness and monument designations, and its members along with groups representing ranchers from elsewhere in the state are fighting the latest proposal.the legislation calls for establishing several tracts of wilderness within the organ mountains-desert peaks national monument in southern new mexico and the rio gra






new mexico land office leases moon mountain for recreation


ruidoso, n.m. (ap) — the state land office has negotiated a 25-year lease with the village of ruidoso that will allow for hundreds of acres of trust land on moon mountain to be used for recreation.the land office announced the deal this week, saying the property will be open to hikers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts as the village plans to offer an expanded trail system and a community observatory for stargazing.land commissioner aubrey dunn says he and previous land commissioners have worked to create a healthy environment on the mountain through remediation and flood mitigation.with the lease, he says the public will have better access to explore the area.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.the land office said it has owned and managed the property si






state dnr to auction surplus public land in michigan


lansing, mich. (ap) — the michigan department of natural resources is hoping to sell surplus public land to help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in the state.a sealed-bid auction will be held between dec. 12 and jan. 10, 2018. property listings will not be available for bid until dec. 12.the auction features 80 parcels primarily in the central and northern lower peninsula and in the upper peninsula. they range in size from an acre to 146 acres.the dnr says the properties are isolated from other dnr-managed public land, are difficult to manage and provide limited public outdoor recreation benefits. several are forested and have riverside or lake frontage, making them better suited for private ownership.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks






new mexico senators seek help for acequias, land grants


albuquerque, n.m. (ap) — traditional water and land grant associations in new mexico would have access to additional federal resources for conservation projects under legislation introduced by members of the state’s congressional delegation.the measure was introduced by sen. tom udall and is being co-sponsored by fellow democrat martin heinrich.the legislation would clear the way for acequias and land grants to apply directly for federal funding and technical assistance for projects such as increasing irrigation efficiency for farmers and further conservation of soil and other natural resources.udall says the state’s traditional communities have been good stewards of the land and have been an integral part of new mexico’s water infrastructure since before statehood.most read storiesunlimit






eugene becomes hurricane off mexico, but no threat to land


mexico city — an intensifying eugene grew into a hurricane saturday night in the pacific ocean off mexico but the storm was not expected to threaten land.forecasters at the u.s. national hurricane center said that the storm's maximum sustained winds had risen to 80 mph (130 kph). it was centered about 630 miles (1,020 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of mexico's baja california peninsula. it was moving northwest, away from land, at 8 mph (13 kph).the center said eugene was expected to stay well offshore before dissipating late in the coming week after moving over colder waters.






tropical storm strengthens off mexico, but no threat to land


mexico city — tropical storm eugene gained strength in the pacific ocean off mexico on saturday but was not expected to threaten land.forecasters at the u.s. national hurricane center said that at midafternoon the storm's maximum sustained winds had risen to 70 mph (110 kph). it was centered about 675 miles (1,085 kilometers) south-southwest of the southern tip of mexico's baja california peninsula. it was moving northwest, away from land, at 8 mph (13 kph).the center said eugene was expected to become a hurricane during the night, but predicted the storm would stay well offshore before dissipating late in the coming week.






new trial date set for man charged in officer’s death


albuquerque, n.m. (ap) — a new trial date has been set for a man charged with fatally shooting an albuquerque police officer, following a judge’s ruling to remove his public defenders from the case.court records show 37-year-old davon lymon’s trial on murder and other charges is set for may 11 — almost two months later than previously scheduled.he is accused of fatally shooting officer daniel webster outside a drug store during an october 2015 traffic stop.a new mexico judge last week sided with prosecutors, who argued to have the public defenders disqualified from the case due to a conflict of interest. prosecutors cited the office’s previous representation of a witness who testified against lymon at a 2016 federal trial.most read storiesunlimited digital access: $1 for 4 weeks






mexican border city reynosa eyes $7.6m anti-violence plan


mexico city — officials in northern mexico have announced a $7.6 million development plan that seeks to stem violence in the border city of reynosa.the "united for reynosa" initiative focuses on the most violence-prone neighborhoods in the city, which borders mcallen, texas. the money will go to schools, sports facilities, infrastructure, jobs programs and public safety initiatives.reynosa has been the scene of frequent shootouts amid turf battles between rival factions of the gulf drug cartel.tamaulipas state government said monday that the violence has hurt investment and jobs, and the plan aims to address "the causes, not just the effects, of violence."






irving plan to rezone 51,000 acres to get public hearing


the state’s largest private landowner wants to rezone a swath of land in northern maine to allow for future development and conservation.j.d. irving wants to rezone 51,015 acres of land in northern aroostook county under a plan years in the making. more than 400 seasonal camp and year-round homeowners have been waiting years for the state and j.d. irving to reach agreement on the development plan.the state this month decided to hold a public hearing this winter on the latest version of j.d. irving’s plan. no date has been set yet.the canadian-based company says it wants to ensure sustainability by protecting large areas of natural forestland.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.the company has said it isn’t going to force individuals to vacate their camps or homes.






3 men, apparently mennonites, killed in northern mexico


mexico city (ap) — three men have been found shot to death in the northern mexico state of chihuahua, and prosecutors say they appear to be members of the state’s mennonite community.the state prosecutors’ office said sunday the bodies were found in the cab of a pickup truck with new mexico plates in an area known as campo menonita 35. the men had been shot multiple times.while the bodies have not been identified, the office said their appearance suggested they were mennonites.members of the community wear distinctive overalls and often differ in physical appearance from other farmers in the area.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.mennonites have roots in chihuahua dating back to the 1920s and many are dual citizens of mexico and canada. the citizenship status of the






nevada standoff trial postponed as judge orders search for surveillance video


a federal judge tuesday delayed opening statements in the trial of nevada rancher cliven bundy amid defense allegations that there may be recorded video related to the 2014 standoff at his bunkerville ranch that the government failed to turn.u.s. district court judge gloria navarro pushed opening statements back to nov. 14 to give prosecutors time to track down the surveillance footage — though she agreed it was unclear whether the equipment had, in fact, recorded anything at all.it was yet another twist in a trial that has captivated americans who view the bundy trial as a fight against federal government overreach on public lands and infringement on the right to protest.cliven bundy, 71, is on trial with his sons ammon bundy and ryan bundy — along with cohort ryan payne — on a litany of






bill to ban traps on new mexico public lands stalls


luis sánchez saturno / the new mexicanan art installation by larry shank of santa fe was displayed in the state capitol earlier this month as part of efforts to raise awareness about senate bill 286, sponsored by state sen. pete campos, d-las vegas, which was intended to ban traps, poisons and snares on public lands.a bill to ban most trapping of animals on public lands in new mexico probably is going nowhere this year because it’s caught in a clash between ranchers and advocates for animals.the bill stalled tuesday in a senate committee, prompting the sponsor to say he does not expect to reach a compromise in the last four weeks of this 60-day session. that means the practice of trapping in public forests is likely to continue for at least another year.“i believe it’s going to take much m






dunn decries ‘federal land grab’ of state land on border


courtesy photostate land commissioner aubrey dunn posting a sign on the state land on tuesday.new mexico’s state land commissioner said he will block the united states government from accessing some state lands along the border unless they can come to an agreement on access to the area.the newly-minted libertarian, who is running for u.s. senate, posted signs tuesday along a mile of state trust land along the border with mexico.in a press release, he called the construction of fences and roads on the land a “federal land grab.”he told the associated press his office would install a fence to block access to the property if his office can’t come to an agreement with the federal government.dunn said an investigation by his office found the federal government constructed a road and a fence on






dunn decries ‘federal land grab’ of state land on border


courtesy photostate land commissioner aubrey dunn posting a sign on the state land on tuesday.new mexico’s state land commissioner said he will block the united states government from accessing some state lands along the border unless they can come to an agreement on access to the area.the newly-minted libertarian, who is running for u.s. senate, posted signs tuesday along a mile of state trust land along the border with mexico.in a press release, he called the construction of fences and roads on the land a “federal land grab.”he told the associated press his office would install a fence to block access to the property if his office can’t come to an agreement with the federal government.dunn said an investigation by his office found the federal government constructed a road and a fence on






new mexico raises bar for school funding


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — new mexico lawmakers and the state’s republican governor are seeking more money this year for public schools as a state district court contemplates whether more sweeping changes may be needed to fulfill constitutional guarantees for an adequate education.closing arguments are being filed this week in a school-funding trial that highlights the plight of low-income, native american and english-language learners at new mexico public schools.the democratic-led legislature wants to increase annual general fund spending on public education in the coming fiscal year by nearly 2 percent to about $2.7 billion. gov. susana martinez is seeking $20 million more.many school districts, parents and advocates are seeking more profound changes for school resources.most read storiesunl






gunmen kill 6, wound 14 at cockfight club in northern mexico


mexico city (ap) — authorities in northern mexico say gunmen shot up a clandestine cockfight arena in the chihuahua state capital, killing six people and wounding 14.the state prosecutor’s office says in a statement that several masked attackers fired at people gathered at the “santa maria” cockfight club late saturday off a highway on the southern edge of chihuahua city.prosecutors said sunday that four victims were killed at the scene and two more died while receiving medical treatment. two children ages 7 and 10 were among the wounded.there were no immediate arrests.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.






land policies to be tested in bundy standoff trial in vegas


a stubborn rancher's refusal to recognize federal authority in the west will be presented to a jury in las vegas, where a trial is set to start tuesday for cattleman cliven bundy, two of his sons and a co-defendant accused of leading a 2014 armed standoff against government agents.acting u.s. attorney steven myhre, the lead prosecutor, has accused the bundys of trying to instigate a "range war" against federal agents who were enforcing lawful court orders after bundy racked up more than $1.1 million in unpaid fees and penalties letting cattle graze for decades in what is now gold butte national monument.defense attorneys say the four men didn't conspire with anyone and didn't wield weapons. they say no shots were fired in the standoff near bunkerville, about 80 miles northeast of las vegas






new mexico legislature celebrates american indian culture


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — american indian tribal leaders are converging on the new mexico statehouse for an annual celebration of indigenous communities and culture.amid friday’s festivities, a state senate panel is scheduled to hear testimony about oil and natural gas development in the vicinity of chaco culture national historical park and legislative efforts to ensure local tribes are consulted before federal mineral leases are issued.an upcoming lease sale by the u.s. bureau of land management is stoking a long-running dispute over management of vast expanses of land surrounding chaco park and its admired pre-colonial structures.the state also is marking the 15th anniversary of laws designed to provide equitable access to public education and maintain indigenous languages. a pending lawsui






new mexico marks 50th anniversary of chicano courthouse raid


albuquerque, n.m. — it was a local dispute over land in rural, northern new mexico that turned violent, forced the governor to call the national guard and catapulted a former pentecostal preacher into a national radical leader among a growing but frustrated mexican-american population during the turbulent 1960s.five decades later, the violent courthouse raid orchestrated by mexican-american activists that helped spark the chicano movement is hotly debated in a state that now boasts the nation's highest percentage of hispanic residents.new mexico marked on monday the 50th anniversary of what is now known as the tierra amarilla courthouse raid. the attack was connected to age-old spanish land grant disputes and began after activists from the group la alianza federal de mercedes sought to mak






dems again push to use land grant fund for early childhood education


heath haussamen / nmpolitics.neta statue outside the roundhouse in santa fe.a ballot measure that calls for using more money from the state’s $17 billion land grant permanent fund for early childhood education is a small step closer to going to voters this year.the house education committee on monday voted 7-6 along party lines to approve the constitutional amendment that backers say could expand access to education programs for young children across new mexico, the state with the highest rate of child poverty.republicans on the committee voted against the proposal. they say it could deplete a fund that now props up the budgets of new mexico’s public schools and is supposed to last forever.democrats in the house of representatives have made a priority of getting the measure, house joint re






dems again push to use land grant fund for early childhood education


heath haussamen / nmpolitics.neta statue outside the roundhouse in santa fe.a ballot measure that calls for using more money from the state’s $17 billion land grant permanent fund for early childhood education is a small step closer to going to voters this year.the house education committee on monday voted 7-6 along party lines to approve the constitutional amendment that backers say could expand access to education programs for young children across new mexico, the state with the highest rate of child poverty.republicans on the committee voted against the proposal. they say it could deplete a fund that now props up the budgets of new mexico’s public schools and is supposed to last forever.democrats in the house of representatives have made a priority of getting the measure, house joint re






faa: helicopter with 6 aboard crashes in northern new mexico


raton, n.m. (ap) — authorities say a helicopter has crashed in rural northern new mexico near the colorado line.the federal aviation administration says the helicopter was carrying six people when it crashed early wednesday evening in mountains about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of raton (rah-tohne’), but there’s no immediate word of any injuries.the new mexico state police said several hours after the crash that “response and rescue attempts” were ongoing but slow, and the agency didn’t immediately respond thursday to a request for updated information.faa spokesman lynn lunsford says the agency didn’t have information about the ownership of the helicopter or its departure point or destination.most read storiessale! save over 90% on digital access.raton is 175 miles (282 kilometers) north






northern new mexico man faces 7th dwi charge


las vegas, n.m. (ap) — a northern new mexico man is facing his seventh drunken driving charge.the las vegas optic reports christobal jaramillo was arrested last week after a game and fish officer said he unable to maintain lanes along i-25 near bernal, new mexico.the arrest is the 38-year-old jaramillo’s seventh drunken driving offense. he was booked on an aggravated drunken driving charge.authorities say jaramillo admitted to police he had taken two suboxone, an opioid, about three hours earlier.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.police say jaramillo performed poorly on at least one field sobriety test and had a pill bottle with him that had the labeling scratched out.it was not known if jaramillo had an attorney.___information from: las vegas optic, http://www.lasv






new mexico land official sued over water policy


lovington, n.m. (ap) — two southeastern new mexico companies are suing land commissioner aubrey dunn over a policy that governs how much water oil and gas producers can pump from a regional aquifer for their operations.loco hills water solutions, llc and steve carter, inc. argue that dunn has overstepped his authority and is compromising more than $15 million in recent investments in water wells and pipelines.dunn said earlier this year that parts of eastern new mexico are facing a crisis as the ogallala aquifer is depleted and the policy was aimed at easing pressure on the underground water supply.the policy limits the use of water from the aquifer for drilling operations and allows for a royalty fee. it also calls for a hydrological assessment before water easements are approved or renew






forest officials seek info about vandalism at miranda canyon


taos, n.m. (ap) — officials with the carson national forest in northern new mexico are seeking information about vandalism in the area of miranda canyon.forest employees in mid-november installed a metal fence near the canyon’s entrance. a few days later, the welded fence was found torn apart and partially dismantled.officials say the fence is part of an effort to manage access while community members work with the forest service to develop a management so people can recreate there and use the natural resources.for some time, officials say the area has been used as a dumping ground for household trash, construction debris and discarded furniture.most read storiescyber sale! save 90% on digital access.the forest purchased 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) in the canyon from the trust for public






nearly half of captured bears released in rio arriba county


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — records show nearly half of all bears captured by game wardens across new mexico over the last three years have been released to one northern new mexico county.according to documents obtained by the santa fe new mexican under an open-records request, the state department of game and fish has captured 68 bears across new mexico since 2015 and 32 were released in rio arriba county.northern new mexico ranchers and others have long believed that the area has become a dumping ground for bears captured in other parts of the state, causing death of livestock and other property damage.but a game and fish spokesman says there’s no evidence that relocated bears are causing abnormal livestock predation in rio arriba county.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 week






mystery shrouds civil rights-era murder of new mexico jailer


albuquerque, n.m. (ap) — the murder of a hispanic new mexico jailer in 1968 — a year of unrest in the u.s. — has divided residents, scholars and civil rights advocates for decades. fifty years and two investigations later, one of the most dramatic conflicts of the civil rights era remains unsolved.on a frigid january evening, assailants abducted eulogio salazar in front of his home in the rural community of tierra amarilla. his body was later found in a ravine.police said the perpetrators viciously pistol-whipped salazar.hysteria followed in northern new mexico amid racial tensions and a push by hispanic activists for the return of land they say the government illegally seized from their ancestors in new mexico and southern colorado.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks






audit raises eyebrows on northern new mexico agency spending


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — a new mexico state representative candidate is facing questions for her role at using public money for questionable expenses including alcohol, baseball tickets and upscale dinners.the santa fe new mexican reports an audit recently found that andrea romero, executive director of the regional coalition of lanl communities, spent money on $1,850 dinner in washington, d.c., $307 bill for a dozen major league baseball tickets and other gatherings where alcohol was purchased.the regional coalition of lanl communities is an agency made of nine northern new mexico cities, counties and pueblos surrounding the department of energy’s los alamos national laboratory.romero says the questions around her spending are politically motivated. a group tied to rep. carl trujillo, whom r






new mexico state senator plans testimony in own defense


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — an attorney says former new mexico state sen. phil griego plans to testify at his own trial, as a jury considers corruption charges including fraud and bribery.defense attorney thomas clark says he anticipates that griego will speak in his own defense tuesday as a final witness, as the trial enters its third week.the new mexico attorney general’s office alleges that griego used his position as a lawmaker to profit from the sale of a state-owned building. griego has pleaded not guilty to eight charges.prosecutors say griego guided the sale through endorsements by a state agency, the legislature and a buildings commission without properly disclosing his financial interest. he earned a $50,000 commission from the buyer.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4






second trial set for former new mexico state senator


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — a former new mexico state senator convicted of fraud, bribery and felony ethical violations stemming from allegations that he used his position for personal gain will stand trial in a separate case next year.phil griego is facing counts of perjury and embezzlement related to campaign finance reports that prosecutors say were falsified. he has maintained his innocence.the trial has been set for sept. 24. it’s expected to take about two weeks.griego was recently convicted of charges that he used his position as a state senator to profit from the 2014 sale of a state-owned building in santa fe by pushing the transaction through the legislature without proper disclosure. he will be sentenced in that case in february.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 week






eugene a cat 3 hurricane off mexico, but no threat to land


mexico city — hurricane eugene has grown into a category 3 storm in the pacific ocean off of mexico, but forecasters say it's not expected to threaten land.the u.s. national hurricane center says the storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) sunday morning while it was centered about 565 miles (910 kilometers) southwest of the southern tip of the baja california peninsula.the storm was moving toward the north-northwest at 10 mph (17 kph).the center says eugene is expected to stay well offshore before dissipating late in the coming week after moving over colder waters.






new mexico court overturns first-degree murder conviction


santa fe, n.m. (ap) — a man’s first-degree murder conviction in a 2011 killing has been overturned because a trial prosecutor got a police detective to testify that the defendant invoked his right to counsel and wouldn’t speak with police.the new mexico supreme court’s ruling thursday says john “jack” mcdowell jr.’s right to due process was violated and that he’s entitled to a new trial in the fatal stabbing of james chavez during a fight at his rio rancho home.the ruling says new mexico courts have long held that prosecutors can’t comment in court on a defendants’ right to remain silent under the fifth amendment to the u.s. constitution.






new mexico land managers to address overgrown brush


las cruces, n.m. (ap) — federal land managers in southern new mexico say creosote is getting out of hand in some areas.the bureau of land management is working with a local soil and water conservation district and the natural resources conservation service to treat about 11,000 acres (4,452 hectares) of the desert shrub.the work will begin monday on federal, state and private lands within sierra, dona ana, hidalgo, luna and otero counties.officials say creosote densities have surpassed historic, naturally-occurring levels.most read storiessale! save over 90% on digital access.herbicide pellets will be used to control the creosote so native grasses, forbs and other vegetation have a chance to grow.officials say when the pellets dissolve with favorable precipitation, they are absorbed into t






garpax have mandate to rebuild, which starts with trading jimmy butler


in happier and healthier times, bulls officials and jimmy butler might sit down to discuss the merits of skipping sunday's all-star game to rest a sore heel — referring to his right foot, not butler.the heel contusion caused butler to miss four of five games before he returned tuesday night to lead the bulls past the raptors and, with eight days off after thursday's celtics game, the injury figures to benefit from the idle time built into the schedule.too many bright lights shine in new orleans for the budding celebrity on the cover of this week's espn the magazine with chance the rapper to resist the all-star trip — but butler handling nba paparazzi poses fewer risks than trying to beat kawhi leonard off the dribble, even in a meaningless game.besides, butler taking the weekend off would