In Brief - New Mexico News - Oct. 14, 2013

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The Associated Press

Scholarship still in limbo

A state task force looking for ways to keep New Mexico’s lottery-funded college scholarship program from running dry has held its last meeting without coming up with any recommendations.
Scholarship costs are growing faster than lottery revenue in part because of tuition increases.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that proposals to increase eligibility requirements or cut back on the number of semesters the scholarship covers weren’t well received at Friday’s meeting.
That likely puts the scholarship’s money troubles into the hands of the Legislature, which convenes in January.
New Mexico students now qualify for a scholarship covering tuition if they enroll in a public college or university in the state after graduating from high school, attend full time and maintain a 2.5 point grade point average.

Amber Alert to remain in effect

HILLSBORO — Authorities say an Amber Alert will remain in effect for five teenage boys reported missing from a rural New Mexico ranch for troubled youth until they can confirm they’re OK.
By later Saturday, four of the nine young people that had been missing were back with their parents and removed from the alert notice, New Mexico police said.
Police said they believe the five others are in danger, while an attorney for the ranch said all are safely with parents.
A search warrant was executed Friday as part of the investigation of abuse at the Tierra Blanca High Country Youth Program, located at a 30,000-acre compound in high desert country, about 7 miles from Hillsboro. Officials said that the teens, ages 13 and 17, weren’t at the property in Sierra County, nor was program operator Scott Chandler, who has been named a person of interest in the case.
The search comes after the Albuquerque Journal reported last week that state authorities were investigating claims that teenage boys were beaten and forced to wear leg shackles and handcuffs for minor violations of rules at the unlicensed program.
Ranch attorney Pete Domenici Jr. said in a statement Friday that the boys had been “on a previously scheduled activity away from the ranch for several days. They are safe and have already been picked up by their parents, or their parents are en route to pick them up.”

Carlsbad man gets prison time

CARLSBAD — A 40-year-old Carlsbad man is going to prison for trying to prostitute his teenage daughter to pay a debt.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that a state District Court judge on Wednesday sentenced Jesus Navarro to three years in prison on a human trafficking conviction.
Navarro pleaded guilty on May 15 to the charge. It stemmed from an offense that occurred in November 2012.