CAPITOL EVACUATED UPDATE
New Mexico Capitol evacuated due to threat
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Authorities evacuated the New Mexico Capitol after a male caller threatened to kill himself in the building.
State Police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez says the evacuation was ordered around 12:30 p.m. Monday and the building was shuttered for the rest of the day. He says police know the identity of the caller, but hadn't been able to locate him.
A spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez says the governor's office had received a series of calls from someone threating suicide. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell says the evacuation was ordered after an initial investigation by law enforcement found the threat to be credible.
Knell says the governor wasn't in the building at the time.
The Legislative Council Service said the Capitol will reopen to the public on Tuesday.
RETIREE HEALTH CARE
Retiree health care agency proposes solvency plan
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Taxpayers and public employees would chip in more money over three years under a proposal to improve the finances of a program providing health care for retired state and local government workers.
The Retiree Health Care Authority executive director Mark Tyndall said Monday the Legislature will be asked to approve the proposal when it convenes in January.
Under the proposal, about 100,000 public employees would make an additional $15 million in annual payroll contributions if the increases are fully implemented. Governmental employers - meaning taxpayers - would increase their yearly payments by $30 million.
A government worker or educator earning $40,000 annually would pay an extra $150 a year if the 0.375 percent payroll contribution rate increase is enacted. The proposal is for a three-year phase-in of the increase.
GUNS-BORDER STATE RULE
Appeals court upholds gun rule
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld the government's right to demand that gun dealers in Southwestern border states tell authorities if someone buys more than two semi-automatic rifles within five days.
The 10th U.S Circuit Court of appeals said it was siding with other appellate courts in affirming a lower court's decision in favor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ron Peterson Firearms of Albuquerque and two other gun shops filed suit challenging a demand letter from the ATF to certain gun shops in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The letter requires them to notify authorities if someone buys more than two of the rifles in a five-day span.
The letter was issued as part of an ATF effort to crackdown on weapons trafficking to Mexico.
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.
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 Mosquero received close to five inches and Raton was hit with four inches of rain over a 24 hour period beginning Sunday. Officials say that's a daily record for Mosquero and the second most for Raton.
Santa Fe also reported seeing up to two inches of rain across the metro area.
More severe weather in New Mexico is expected this week, bringing the possibility of flooding and dangerous road conditions.
Northeastern and southwestern New Mexico remains under a flash flood watch until Tuesday morning due to showers and thunderstorms.
Senior forecaster Clay Anderson says part of New Mexico could see up to six inches of more rain by Sunday.
More hospitals to test newborns for heart defects
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - More New Mexico hospitals are about to start screening all newborns for a type of heart disease.
State health officials say some hospitals already test for a group of heart defects that cause severe, life-threatening symptoms but that others will start doing so Friday.
That's a result of legislation enacted earlier this year. Health Secretary Retta Ward says it's important because some of the defects may not be apparent early on but the infants need life-saving interventions quickly.
Hospitals will use an instrument placed on the skin to measure the pulse rate and the blood's oxygen levels.
If the baby screens positive for low oxygen levels, further testing can be done.
A legislative staff memo says an estimated 243 infants are born annually in New Mexico with the defects.
Man gets 22.5-year sentence in death of 2-year-old
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A Farmington-area man has been sentenced to 22.5 years in prison on convictions stemming from the beating death of a 2-year-old boy left in his care.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says 31-year-old Jason Yazzie of Fruitland was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque in the Aug. 2, 2013 death of the boy identified in court documents only as "KB."
Yazzie pleaded guilty on April 28 to charges of voluntary manslaughter and assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
He admitted in his plea agreement that he struck and threw the boy while frustrated with the child.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR ACCUSED
NMMI AD accused of groping woman at Virginia event
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico Military Institute's athletic director has been accused of groping a woman at an alumni event in northern Virginia earlier this year.
The attorney for Reginald W. Franklin says the allegations are untrue and his client looks forward to his day in court.
The Roswell Daily Record reports the 57-year-old Franklin voluntarily surrendered to authorities in Virginia's Fairfax County after an arrest warrant was issued for sexual battery.
Franklin, of Roswell, is out of jail on bond. At a court hearing last Friday, his case was continued to Nov. 14.
Authorities say the allegations involve the wife of another alum and reportedly occurred at a Feb. 22 function in McLean, Virginia.
Prosecutors say a misdemeanor sexual battery charge carries a sentence of up to one year in jail.
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