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NM Firm Hopes To Offer Wi-Fi For Space Travelers,

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New Mexico Firm Hopes To Offer Wi-Fi For Space Travelers – The Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

A small New Mexico-based firm is hoping to join NASA in offering Wi-Fi in space.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Solstar Space Co. of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is working to create reliable internet connections in space for everyone, starting in the orbital realm.

Solstar CEO M. Brian Barnett recently secured a ride for a router aboard a reusable New Shepard rocket built by the commercial space company created by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. A test flight out of West Texas was successful Sunday.

The system Barnett envisions is specifically designed for commercial use. He says eventually Solstar could be an internet provider in space that bills for its service, like the phone or cable company.

The first customers for internet in space will likely be passengers aboard commercial spacecraft flown by Blue Origin, SpaceX or Virgin Galactic.

Facebook Plans Digital Training Partnership In New MexicoThe Associated Press

Facebook says it is partnering with Central New Mexico Community College to establish a certificate program in digital marketing.

Marne Levine — who is the chief operating officer for Instagram, a social media platform owned by Facebook — announced the partnership Monday at an Albuquerque event meant to boost small businesses and build digital skills.

Thirty cities will be visited as part of the program, and Albuquerque is among the initial stops.

Facebook also plans to fund scholarships for more people to attend a coding boot camp at CNM.

Facebook's event in Albuquerque comes amid a privacy scandal that has shaken the social media giant, although the platform still remains intertwined in the social lives of its user and economic survival of entrepreneurs.

Investigation Ongoing Into Hanging Death In New Mexico CellThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

Authorities are investigating the death of a man who was found hanging in a New Mexico jail cell.

The investigation into the death of Thomas Wayne Ferguson is ongoing, Santa Fe County Sheriff spokesman Juan Rios said Sunday

Ferguson was found dead Friday night in the Santa Fe County Jail.

Ferguson was awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in the torture and killing of 13-year-old Jeremiah Valencia, the son of Ferguson's girlfriend, Tracy Ann Pena, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Ferguson had pleaded not guilty to 17 felony counts and one misdemeanor charge in the Valencia case.

Ferguson's death happened shortly before he was set to be transferred to a state-run prison to serve a nearly six-year sentence in a separate case.

New Mexico Seeks Changes To Job Training SubsidiesThe Associated Press

New Mexico is considering a proposal to rein in job training subsidies to customer-support call centers, as the state expands overall funding for classroom and on-the-job training for expanding businesses.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department is accepting public comments ahead of a May 10 hearing about proposed rule changes to the Job Training Incentive Program.

At the same time, lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez have boosted funding to the program that offers to reimburse more than half of wages for new employees at businesses that expand or relocate to New Mexico.

Other possible rule changes would eliminate extra wage reimbursements for military veterans and local college graduates. Officials say the added incentive has not spurred much additional hiring.

New Mexico has the second-highest unemployment rate among states after Alaska.

US Says Border Crossing Didn't Have Room For Asylum SeekersAssociated Press

Nearly 200 Central American migrants attempting to seek asylum in the United States have been told they will have to wait until a border facility near San Diego has enough space to accommodate them.

The migrants had made their way north through Mexico by foot, freight train and bus over the past month. Many say they fear for their lives in their home countries.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Sunday that the San Ysidro port of entry had reached capacity for people without legal documents to enter the country. He said the crossing could take in additional people as space and resources become available

About 50 of the 200 people walked across a bridge and were permitted to wait until they could be processed.

New Mexico Girl, 11, Selling Lemonade For Mom's TransplantsKVIA-TV, Associated Press

An 11-year-old New Mexico girl is trying to raise money through her weekend lemonade stand to help her mother get kidney and pancreas transplants.

KVIA-TV in El Paso reports Nemiah Martinez has sold lemonade outside her family's Las Cruces, New Mexico, home for three weeks and hopes to get the funding needed to send her mother to an Arizona clinic for the medical procedures.

Martinez says she's raised around $1,100 so far and wants to pull in another $500.

Her mother, Paloma, says her daughter is very compassionate and she's lucky to have her as a daughter.

Nemiah Martinez says it's hard to watch mother struggle to get out of bed.

Oregon Flight Makes Emergency Landing Over Smoke SmellAssociated Press

A Horizon Air plane bound for New Mexico made an emergency landing back in Oregon after the smell of smoke was discovered.

Alaska Airlines, which oversees Horizon, said Flight 2794 was headed for Albuquerque, New Mexico, when it departed Portland, Oregon at 9:25 a.m. Saturday.

The plane returned shortly after 10 a.m.

No smoke was seen but officials said the captain piloting the plane made the landing out of an abundance of caution.

The airline also said workers inspected the plane as a precaution and booked new flights for its passengers.

BLM Adds $1,000 Adoption Checks To Controversial Horse PlansAssociated Press

Federal land managers are again seeking congressional backing to sterilize, euthanize or sell for slaughter tens of thousands of wild horses roaming public lands across the West.

But the Bureau of Land Management has added a new idea for culling overpopulated herds: $1,000 paychecks for those who adopt one.

Overwhelmed by what it calls a $1 billion problem, the agency trotted out the novel approach in a suite of options presented to Congress on Thursday to address the challenges it admits are both "controversial and politically sensitive."

Horse advocates condemned the package of alternatives as "a roadmap for destruction of America's wild free-roaming horses."

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association praised the agency for trying to end a decade-long stalemate in Congress it says has resulted in unhealthy horses, degraded rangeland and program costs that are spiraling out of control.

Forgotten New Mexico Development Is A Haven For DumpingAssociated Press

A forgotten, would-be development northwest of Albuquerque has become a harbor for illicit dumping, stolen cars, illegal shooting ranges and even dead bodies.

The Albuquerque Journal reports the unincorporated land in Sandoval County known as Rio Rancho Estates, once envisioned as place for upscale homes, is now a popular spot for people to dispose of just about anything.

Sandoval County Sheriff's Office Lt. Keith Elder says the 657 miles of well-maintained dirt roads have helped the area become an attractive spot for illegal dumping.

He says almost 40 percent of all stolen cars that were recovered throughout the county last year were found within 21 square miles.

Since August, the bodies of two slain Albuquerque residents have been left in the barren area.

Las Cruces Police Say Officer Shoots, Wounds Man After PursuitAssociated Press

Las Cruces police say a man riding a bicycle was hospitalized after being shot and wounded by an officer after an unsuccessful traffic stop and a pursuit that included a second officer.

The Police Department's account of the Friday night incident didn't say what circumstance might have prompted the officer to shoot the 29-year-old man but said an apparent handgun was found at the scene near the man's bicycle.

Police said the incident is under investigation by a multi-agency task force and that the officer who fired his gun will be placed on administrative duty.

No identities were released.

Arguments End In Trial Over New Mexico Public Land AccessAssociated Press

A New Mexico judge is weighing arguments over public access to prime hunting territory after a several weeklong bench trial in Taos.

White Peak has been the source of legal and administrative fights for decades, as hunters and others have sought access to public land amid an area of wilderness that often requires crossing through private property to access state trust land.

At issue in state district court is whether roads used to access the White Peak area are considered historic roads open to the public or private ranching roads.

Property owner and rancher David Stanley has argued that hunters and other members of the public have trespassed on private property for years to reach trust lands.

Arguments in the trial ended Thursday. Judge Sarah Backus in Taos District Court heard the case.

Email Reveals Potential Buyer For Navajo Coal-Fired Plant - By Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press

The potential buyer for the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station has been described as reputable and experienced.

But the identity wasn't known until this week.

Emails shared by a nonprofit research group identify show Illinois-based Middle River Power and its parent company, Avenue Capital Group, are interested in the plant. The latter is a New York-based firm that focuses on distressed companies.

The Navajo Generating Station near Page will close in 2019 without a new owner. Detractors have urged a transition to renewable energy.

The Salt River Project operates the plant and decided to shut it down because natural gas is cheaper.

Spokesman Scott Harrelson said Friday that no one has entered negotiations to buy it. And he says any offer beyond mid-May would take the plant offline at least temporarily.