Oil production in New Mexico has increased by nearly 50 percent over the last three years, making it one of five western states that have helped boost national production over the last three years.
Statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show onshore oil production increased nationally by more than 2 million barrels a day — or nearly two-thirds — between February 2010 and February 2013.
North Dakota and Texas have been the driving forces, but New Mexico along with Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah account for 15 percent of the growth.
New data shows that of the $32.2 million Dona Ana County residents have paid in a spaceport tax that took effect five years ago, $1 in $4 has been routed to local education.
The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (http://bit.ly/13VMZIt) that new county data says $8 million in total, or 25 percent of all sales tax revenues, has been sent to the three county school districts.
During the 2007 referendum, a main argument touted by tax proponents was that the money would help to train future engineers and technicians who'd be qualified to work at future Spaceport America facilities.
New Mexico State University's next president is set to be announced next week.
The Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/103TdSn ) reports regents plan tentatively to reveal their pick on Monday.
Finalists include NMSU business dean and former Gov. Garrey Carruthers, former Texas Tech University president Guy Bailey, former University of Nevada, Las Vegas president David Ashley, former Texas A&M University president Elsa Murano and University of Colorado Denver Dean Daniel Howard.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A Taos restaurant is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it overserved a pedestrian who was struck and killed by a pickup.
The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/ZlwD8I) reports Julian Varela had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for driving when he left the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar on Dec. 29, 2011.
He was killed by a teen driver who wasn't cited in the incident.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Advocates for immigration reform are holding rallies and prayer events across New Mexico in an effort to push a federal immigration proposal.
Somos Un Pueblo Unido, a Santa Fe-based advocacy group, has scheduled a May Day rally in Santa Fe and a prayer vigil in Gallup "to call on Congress to pass a common sense immigration reform."
In Albuquerque, the group El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos (EE-gual-DAHD' EE deh-REH-CHOHS) are slated to hold a march and interfaith prayer service at a park. Activists also plan to march through Old Town Albuquerque.
TULAROSA, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico State Police say they're investigating after a 19-year-old man was fatally shot in a confrontation with officers at a southern New Mexico elementary school.
Authorities say the shooting happened outside the Tularosa Elementary School Tuesday night, but had nothing to do with the school. They say because of the investigation, the school will be closed Wednesday.
Police say several rounds were fired during the altercation with Jesse Vigil of Tularosa and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
GRANTS, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico teenager says she had a miscarriage in a high school hallway and that a teacher didn't help her because she was late to class.
But school officials say the student actually had a miscarriage a week before and had passed her placenta that day.
KOAT-TV reports (http://bit.ly/12Kf0Uk) that the Grants High School student says she miscarried outside a band class last week. The teen says after the teacher refused to let her in the class she then made her way to a bathroom and passed out.
PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance is expanding its list of endangered cultural properties.
The organization will be adding to the list the plains of San Augustin in southern New Mexico, the Masonic Temple Center in Santa Fe and a historic lodge at Conchas Dam when it meets for an annual conference this week in Portales.
The organization says it hopes the three new listings will alert the public to possible threats to their preservation.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Another Mexican gray wolf has been found dead in the Southwest, but federal officials have refused to provide any details.
The wolf reintroduction team confirmed in its latest monthly report that the male wolf died in March. However, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the troubled wolf program, would not say where the animal was found or how it might have died.
This marks what is believed to be the second death this year of an endangered Mexican gray wolf.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — University of New Mexico employees would get smaller paychecks while retirees would pay higher premiums under a task force's recommendations for covering the rising costs of retiree health benefits.
The recommendations submitted to the university's regents include requiring employees and the university to make payments into a new trust fund.
Workers would pay half of 1 percent of their salary in the first year and 1 percent by the third year. That money and university matches would go into the new trust fund.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Las Cruces' public schools plan a new program to enable students to provide school officials with anonymous reports on bullying, drugs, potential suicides and other trouble.
The Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/XywxOx ) reports that the program will enable middle and high school students to use text messages, photos, video and a mobile app to anonymously send messages to school officials.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation aimed at simplifying New Mexico's tax code.
The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Taylor of Farmington targeted the statute that governs the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the procedures taxpayers have to follow.
With the governor's signature, the measure will extend deadlines so taxpayers filing amended returns as the result of actions by the Internal Revenue Service will have double the time — 180 days — to file.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg's office is revamping how her office handles cases involving Albuquerque-area police shootings.
Brandenburg says the new process will have prosecutors decide whether there is probable cause that a crime was committed. Then the case will be presented to a grand jury to decide whether to issue an indictment.
A previous process blocked by courts had a special grand jury reviewing cases but not deciding whether cases should be prosecuted.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has ordered some Santa Fe neighbors to stop threatening each other over barking dogs, loud music and access to a subdivision road.
The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/WHTvRy) that State District Judge Frank Mathew told the feuding neighbors Thursday in the Mission Viejo subdivision not to harass or call one another after a series of bizarre complaints.
Keith Bujold has been in a long fight with neighbor Ernest Kavanaugh Sr. over access to a disputed road that has resulted in threats with pistols.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal statistics show that efforts to douse the largest of the nation's wildfires last year cost more than $580 million, and it took more than three months in some cases to put out the flames.
A summary by the National Interagency Fire Center also shows more than 80 percent of the 51 largest fires were sparked by lightning. That includes the Long Draw and Holloway fires, which together burned more than 1 million acres and were among the largest in Oregon's history.
ALBQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico legislator says she'll try again next year now that a state Senate committee has rejected a bill to end promotion of third-graders whose reading ability isn't adequate.
The Senate Education Committee rejected the so-called "social promotion" bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs on a 5-4 party-line vote following a nearly four-hour hearing Saturday.
The legislation is a priority of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, but it's been repeatedly rejected by the Democratic-led Legislature.
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A southeastern New Mexico gun store has announced that it is hosting a coyote hunting contest following a similar hunt by another gun store that sparked protests.
Larry's Discount Gun Shop and Sporting Goods is organizing a two-day coyote hunting competition starting Saturday. Under the rule of the contest, two-person teams will try to kill as many coyotes as possible with first-place winner getting a pair of semi-automatic rifles.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The federal government is asking a court to dismiss an American Indian community's lawsuit seeking all the land within the boundaries of the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico. A Justice Department filing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque argues that the Jemez Pueblo surrendered rights to claim the land under a 1974 judgment.