HOMELESS MEN KILLED
Navajo Nation head to meet with mayor on violence
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry says he will meet with Navajo officials to discuss the brutal killing of two homeless Native Americans.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly requested the visit, saying the tribe is appalled by the attack on its people.
The meeting is set for Thursday.
The medical examiner's office has identified the victims as Allison Gorman and Kee Thompson. The office says they men were Native Americans but couldn't say if they were Navajo or where they were from.
Police say the men were attacked in their sleep and beaten beyond recognition by three teenagers.
Police say one of the teens told them the trio had been attacking homeless people in Albuquerque for the past year.
Authorities say there is no evidence the victims were targeted because of their race.
Chinese man pleads guilty in sensor smuggling try
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A Chinese national accused of trying to smuggle sensors made for the U.S. military has pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act.
The U.S. attorney's office in Albuquerque announced Wednesday that 28-year-old Bo Cai also pleaded guilty to violating the International Traffic in Arms Regulations by scheming illegally to export defense articles to China.
Court documents say Cai and his cousin, 29-year-old Wentong Cai, were arrested on charges of smuggling goods and violating the Arms Export Control Act, which makes a license necessary to ship certain items to China, Syria and Sudan.
Authorities say the suspects met with an undercover agent about buying the sensors made in New Mexico for military guidance systems.
Bo Cai faces 20 years in prison. Sentencing has not been scheduled.
IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-NATIONAL GUARD
Calls for troops at border echo previous requests
McALLEN, Texas (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry was speaking to voters in Iowa as much as Texas when he deployed as many as 1,000 armed National Guard troops to the Mexican border in South Texas.
The one-time and possible future presidential candidate is in the waning months of his final term as governor and appears to be considering another run for the Republican nomination.
Under the federal law, National Guard troops can enforce state laws but will be able to do little more than call immigration authorities if they encounter immigrants who successfully cross into the United States. Texas says the deployment will cost the state $12 million each month.
In early 2009, while he was running for re-election, Perry asked the Obama administration to deploy 1,000 troops along the border.
IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-NEW MEXICO
ICE denies late night New Mexico deportation claim
ARTESIA, N.M. (AP) - Federal immigration officials are denying allegations that immigrants held at a New Mexico detention center were being deported in the middle of the night.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said Wednesday the women and children housed at the Artesia facility weren't being pulled from sleep to board removal flights to Central America.
Immigration advocates who were allowed to visit the center said Tuesday that women there complained that children aren't getting proper medical care and people are being deported at odd hours before they can see a lawyer.
Federal authorities say at least three planes have deported immigrants from the center.
ICE officials say more of the 600 or so women and children at the center are scheduled to return to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador soon.
ALBUQUERQUE POLICE SHOOTING
Police: Shot suspect wanted on illegal firearms
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Officials say a 33-year-old man shot by Albuquerque police was wanted by federal authorities for possible illegal firearms possession.
Albuquerque police said Wednesday the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was seeking to take Jeremy Joe Robertson into custody when Albuquerque officers shot him.
Authorities say Robertson fled plain-clothed officers from a gas station and had pulled a firearm from his waist.
Police say he also was facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon stemming for a case earlier this year.
The shooting comes as the city of Albuquerque and the U.S. Justice Department are locked in negotiations over ordered reforms following a harsh report into the police department's use of force.
Albuquerque police also have been under scrutiny for 41 police shootings - 27 of them fatal - since 2010.
Damaged levee causes flooding in Algodones
ALGODONES, N.M. (AP) - Authorities say a damaged levee has led to flooding in Algodones.
The Sandoval County Sheriff's Department said the levee broke Wednesday afternoon and caused flooding after a recent rain storm.
Officials say at least 10 homes were affected, although there were no reports of injuries.
Sandoval County Fire Department pumped water and helped residents with sandbags.
Algodones is located around 20 miles north of Albuquerque.
WEST NILE-BERNALILLO COUNTY
Mosquitoes with virus found in Albuquerque area
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Albuquerque-area health officials say they've collected mosquitoes positive for the West Nile virus in Bernalillo County for the first time in 2014.
City and county health agencies operate a mosquito control program aimed at reducing mosquito populations that transmit the virus.
West Nile's typical symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, but in rare cases it can cause meningitis or encephalitis. People older than 60 are at most risk for serious disease from West Nile virus.
Dr. Mark DiMenna of the city Environmental Health Department says mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus will be around until there is a hard frost in the area.
In the meantime, humans are urged to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites while horse owners are strongly encouraged to vaccinate horses.
NMSU regents approve higher admissions standards
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico State University's admissions requirements will be going up.
The NMSU regents on Wednesday voted to increase the minimum grade-point average during high school to 2.75, up from 2.5, in the fall of 2016.
The regents conditioned their approval on NMSU also using a so-called "alternative pathway" allowing students who don't meet the higher requirement to transfer to NMSU after attending community college and maintaining a GPA of at least 2.75.
Officials say they hope the move will help more students complete college while lowering their student debt if they don't.
The University of New Mexico is expected to revisit a similar proposal that in the past has drawn fire for civil rights advocates.
Latino groups have said higher admission standards could affect the Hispanic student enrollment.
Man extradited in New Mexico road-rage killing
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Authorities say a 23-year-old man sought in Albuquerque road-rage killing that occurred nearly six years ago is back in the United States after being extradited from Mexico.
The U.S. Marshals Service says Raul Pena-Roque was extradited Wednesday to face charges of second degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and bribery intimidation of a witness.
Pena-Roque was sought in the fatal shooting of Robert Chavez during a minor traffic accident in a gas station parking lot in September 2008.
The Marshals Service says a fugitive task force located Pena in Ciudad Juarez, where Mexican authorities arrested him in 2013.
Partner: Late deputy had military injuries
FORT SUMNER, N.M. (AP) - The partner of a 39-year-old De Baca County sheriff's deputy who died this month says previous injuries from military service were likely a factor.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Christi Scovel said Tuesday an autopsy found that Mylessa Denny died after a blood clot traveled from her leg to her lung, then to her heart.
Denny, who last month won the Democratic primary for De Baca County sheriff, was found unresponsive July 12 near her squad car in the sheriff's office parking lot.
Scovel says Denny's service-related injuries included a stab wound to her arm and two gunshot wounds - one to the lung and another to the chest.
Officials said the state Office of the Medical Investigator had not completed Denny's autopsy report.
Feds approve endangered species listing for fish
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Environmentalists are welcoming the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list a rare fish found near the Arizona-New Mexico border as an endangered species.
The Zuni bluehead sucker has been spotted in small streams in three New Mexico counties and Arizona's Apache County.
The Tucson, Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity petitioned for federal protection for the fish in 2004, and the center's Michael Robinson says the listing being published in the Federal Registry will help protect the Little Colorado River's headwaters from water withdrawals.
Biologists say the fish has seen its population shrink dramatically in the last 20 years. In New Mexico, it has disappeared from as much as 90 percent of its range.
Drought, water use, development and nonnative fish are among the biggest threats facing the fish.
LAS CRUCES-HIGHWAY PROJECT
Work on I-10 interchange near Las Cruces slows
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A project to rebuild an Interstate 10 interchange south of Las Cruces is running into problems that could delay completion.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that pile-driving for reconstruction of the Mesquite interchange has run into problems, putting the work schedule in question.
That portion of the construction project had been set to be done in last August.
However, New Mexico Department of Transportation spokeswoman Bridget Spedalieri says the department can't update its estimated completion date until the steel piles are driven to the proper elevation.
The project involves includes building a new bridge at the Mesquite interchange, realigning ramps at that interchange and one nearby at Vado and also establishing roundabouts at the Vado interchange.
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