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

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NEW MEXICO WEATHER

Parts of New Mexico see record rainfall

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Parts of drought-stricken New Mexico have seen record rainfall and forecasters say more is coming.

The National Weather Service says Raton was hit with four inches of rain and Mosquero received close to five inches over a 24 hour period beginning Sunday. Officials say those are likely new daily rainfall records for those northern New Mexico communities.

Santa Fe also reported seeing up to two inches of rain across the metro area.

More severe weather in the state is expected this week, bringing the possibility of flooding and dangerous road conditions.

Northwestern and southeastern New Mexico remains under a flash flood watch until Tuesday morning with showers and thunderstorms likely throughout Monday.

New Mexico is in its fourth consecutive year of drought after one of the driest winters on record.

HOBBS-MASSIVE FIRE

Apartment blaze last week largest in Hobbs history

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - Officials say a massive blaze that recently destroyed five buildings at an apartment complex is the largest structure fire in Hobbs history.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Fire Marshal Eric Enriquez said the inferno last week took four apartment buildings and a pool house, which was a total of 36,000 square feet. Authorities say that surpassed both the 2009 warehouse fire on Marland and the 2007 Tootie's grocery store fire.

Enriquez says the fire at the Ledgestone Apartments is still under investigation, but so far there is no evidence the blaze was started intentionally.

Hobbs Fire Chief Tim Kent says a few fire trucks were damaged by radiant heat, which also ignited dumpsters and melted portable toilets.

No injuries were reported.

DOG-CHEMICAL BURNS

Dog found with chemical burns to undergo surgery

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) - A dog will undergo surgery and then be placed in a foster home in Colorado after being found in New Mexico with chemical burns that will likely force removal of an eye.

Cindy Clayton of Cindy's Hope for Precious Paws Animal Rescue in Clovis says the 2-year-old pug was found wandering the streets of Clovis last week.

According to the Clovis News Journal, the dog has chemical burns on its neck, head, eyes and left ear

Clayton says dog has been sent to a Denver rescue center for pugs where he will undergo surgery.

JUDICIAL VACANCY

Candidates sent to governor for open judgeship

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A bipartisan Judicial Nominating Commission has recommended a Metropolitan Court judge and four other Albuquerque lawyers to Gov. Susana Martinez as candidates for possible appointment to a vacant district court judgeship.

The nominees forwarded to the governor last week were Metro Court Judge Frank Sedillo and lawyers Erika Anderson, David Berlin, Nancy Jean Franchini and Steven Lee Gonzales.

Sedillo has served on the Metro Court since 2000. The other nominees are private practice lawyers.

The governor's appointee will at least temporarily succeed District Court Judge Ted Baca, who retired.

It's up to the state's political parties to select their nominees to appear on the November general election ballot for the judgeship. It's possible the governor's appointee might only serve a few months until the election winner takes office.

SANTA FE HOSPITAL-LABOR DISPUTE

Workers at Santa Fe hospital reject contract offer

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Unionized nurses and technicians at a Santa Fe hospital have rejected another contract offer from management.

Sunday's tally of the vote shows the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center workers rejected the latest offer overwhelmingly. The previous offer also was soundly rejected.

Hospital spokeswoman Arturo Delgado says managers are disappointed by the vote. Union local President Fonda Osborn says the union wants to return to the bargaining table.

Staffing issues are a major issue in the dispute.

The current contract expires Thursday but the union has withdrawn the strike notice it issued after workers rejected the first contract offer.

However, Osborn says the latest vote authorizes the union to steps ranging picketing to a strike.

Fonda says the union last conducted a strike in 1988. It lasted eight days.

BORDER CUSTOMS-CARS

Mexico officials asked to restore hours at border

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico senators are asking Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. to work with his country's customs agency to restore their operating hours at the Santa Teresa port of entry.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich sent a letter Friday to Ambassador Eduardo Medina Mora.

Both lawmakers say they "respectfully request" that Mora reach out to the Mexican Federal Customs Agency about operating 12 hours a day.

Mexico's Tax Administration began reducing hours in all its customs offices along the U.S. border July 4.

Mexican citizens bringing back used vehicles purchased in the U.S. through Santa Teresa, New Mexico say the new hours have left them frustrated. Drivers say they have had to wait several hours or even overnight to get across.

OBAMA-EXPORTING POLLUTION

Not in my backyard: US sending dirty coal abroad

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Record coal exports in recent years are helping the U.S. appear to be making more progress on global warming than it is. But they may not be helping the planet.

As America gets greener, and produces more energy, it has sent more dirty fuels abroad, saddling other countries with cleaning up the exported pollution.

This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama's plans to curb global warming. But the administration doesn't want to figure out how much coal exports are contributing to global warming. It says the impact is small.

U.S. coal consumption declined by 195 million tons from 2008 to 2013. About 20 percent of that coal was exported.

Exports are expected to grow as global demand grows and the U.S. further cleans up its power sector.

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