Local News

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  • In Brief

    From The Associated Press

    Funds available for homeowners

    ALBUQUERQUE — Federal housing officials say more than $10 million is available to help homeowners in New Mexico who are at risk of foreclosure.

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and NeighborWorks America is teaming up to offer the emergency homeowners’ loan program.

  • Lawmakers start redistricting task

    By Barry Massey
    Associated Press

    SANTA FE — All of eastern New Mexico could be consolidated into the state’s southern congressional district under a proposal outlined to lawmakers on Monday for revamping district boundaries to adjust for population trends during the past decade.

    A legislative committee reviewed seven proposals for drawing new boundaries of the state’s three congressional districts.

    The outcome of redistricting could alter the balance of political power and influence congressional races for the next 10 years.

  • Homicide trial postponed

    Richard Baca had been scheduled to go on trial this week for the 2009 slaying of a local postal carrier, but a district judge postponed the trial on Friday after the defense objected to evidence the state plans to introduce.

    At issue is a shooting reconstruction done by state police recently that concluded that Benito Lemos “was supposedly in retreat” when he was shot, according to defense attorney Stacey Ward.

    The shooting stemmed from an apparent road-rage incident between Lemos and Baca.

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  • Clues emerge in Mora body case

    The state police investigator looking into the death of Maxine Patsy Trujillo, whose remains were found in Mora County in February, has confirmed that blood and DNA found in the kitchen of her boyfriend’s home belonged to her.

  • Porter St. residents fear speeders

    Residents of Porter Street and New Mexico Avenue are fed up with speeders wreaking havoc in their westside neighborhood, and they’re asking the city to install additional traffic devices in hopes of slowing down motorists and preventing a tragedy.

    Christine Pacheco, who lives on Porter, told the Optic she and her neighbors are worried about their kids, their vehicles and their lives.

    “We’re here living in fear, especially on the nights and on weekends,” she said.

  • Mora County bans fireworks

    Extreme fire danger has prompted Mora County to ban all fireworks within county limits, officials have announced.

    The ban is effective immediately.

    “These restrictions are being enforced due to the extreme high winds, dry condition and extremely warm temperatures,” the county states in a news release. “These restrictions will be enforced and any violations will be subject to fines imposed by Mora County.

  • Morphy Lake park closed to camping

    State park officials are closing Morphy Lake State Park to overnight camping because of high fire danger.

    The camping ban begins on Friday and will continue indefinitely.

    The park is located in Mora County, which is currently under stage IV fire restrictions.

    Officials say a lack of precipitation and dry winds have greatly increased the danger for wildfire in and around the park.

    Additionally, they say, the park is located at the end of a single lane road and has only one entrance and exit, which would make evacuation difficult.

  • High winds, temps propel wildfires

    By Susan Montoya Bryan
    The Associated Press

    Firefighters are confronting strong winds and steamy weekend temperatures in their battle to keep more homes, dry forests and stretches of high desert from the flames of several wildfires throughout the Southwest.

    With summer rains still weeks away, forecasters said crews would likely have little relief from the hot, windy weather that dogged them this past week. More high-wind warnings and fire weather watches were on tap for many areas through the weekend.