• Back-to-School Sales Tax ‘Holidays’ Lure Shoppers Despite Slim Savings

    “People who won’t walk across the street to save $5 on a pair of pants will take a day off from work to take advantage of a sales-tax holiday,” a tax expert said.
  • Prep notes: La Cueva TE Lowery drawing national attention

    Already, the La Cueva Bears football team will be returning its top two receivers from last year’s state championship season.
    But don’t forget the name Ja’Shon Lowery, either.
    The 6-foot-5, 200-pound tight end, who will be a junior this fall, recently was extended an invitation to play in the National Underclassmen Combine All-American Game in late December in Panama City, Fla.
    But Lowery, who also plays basketball, won’t be able to attend. He said his family already had
  • Isotopes stay hot, but not on scoreboard as Grizzlies rally

    Albuquerque right-hander Rico Garcia was staked to an 8-2 lead in the third inning on Thursday against Fresno but wasn’t able to hang on. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)
    There’s hot and then there’s too hot.
    The Albuquerque Isotopes got to sample both degrees of heat Thursday in a sizzling matinee game against visiting Fresno. The ‘Topes, who came in having won six of seven, stayed hot early but withered late in a 10-9 loss to the Grizzlies.
    Weather conditions were a f
  • UNLV (and former NMSU) assistant Cotton needs new heart

    Barney Cotton, right, confers with UNLV’s Kurt Palandech during a game against Wyoming at Sam Boyd Stadium on November 12, 2016. Cotton, a former New Mexico State assistant, is awaiting a heart transplant. (R. Marsh Starks / UNLV Photo Services)
    LAS VEGAS, Nev. — UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton is awaiting a heart transplant and will not coach on the field this season.
    Rebels coach Tony Sanchez said in a news release issued Thursday by the school that the 62-year-old Cotton
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  • Briefs: Ex-Lobo gets pro soccer deal; Cerrone, a new fight?

    Ex-Lobo Muñoz signs pro contract
    Former University of New Mexico standout women’s soccer (2015-18) standout Jennifer Muñoz has signed a contract with Club América Femenil. The club in Mexico City is one of 19 that compete in Liga MX Femenil, the highest division of women’s soccer in Mexico.
    Jennifer Muñoz in her new pro soccer jersey. (Photo from UNM)
    Said Muñoz: “This has been a dream of mine since I was just 5 years old. I am blessed beyond
  • Review casts doubt on DA’s bail reform plan

    DA Raúl Torrez
    Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
    A recent review calls into question the likely effectiveness and outcomes of a proposal by 2nd Judicial District Attorney Raúl Torrez to change the way pretrial detention is handled in New Mexico.
    In May, Torrez unveiled the framework for a constitutional amendment aimed at making it easier to detain defendants charged with specific crimes and expand the criteria for holding defendants until trial.
    The University of New Mexic
  • Drunken school bus driver sentenced to prison

    A Navajo Nation school bus driver who took dozens of children on a drunken ride, crashing multiple times, last September has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
    According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Duane Skeet, 49, of Chichiltah was sentenced in federal court Wednesday. Skeet pleaded guilty to felony child abuse for endangering the lives of 25 school children, ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old.
    None of the children were injured during the ride.
    “We are
  • Sports Speak Up! Lamenting wounded Tiger, MWC/Vegas re-up

    JUST WATCHED Tiger score an embarrassing 78 (7 over par) in the Open. He needs to retire. Yes he won the Masters only due to the 2 leaders going in the water. He can’t hit the fairways, greens. He doesn’t go for the pin, instead he hits the largest part of the green and 3 putts. Looks like he just shows up for the participation check. So sad.
    — Mike, RR Tiger fan
    THE MOUNTAIN WEST Conference (and their puppet ad hoc committee) again locked out charter member UNM and its $60M hi
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  • Shannon Pinto to succeed grandfather in Senate

    The Roundhouse towers over nearby buildings in Santa Fe. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
    SANTA FE — Democrat Shannon Pinto won appointment Thursday to succeed her grandfather — the late John Pinto, one of the longest serving Native American legislators in history — as a member of the New Mexico Senate.
    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the selection, praising the younger Pinto as uniquely positioned to carry on her grandfather’s “people-first values.”
    &l
  • Shannon Pinto to succeed grandfather

    The Roundhouse towers over nearby buildings in Santa Fe. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)
    Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
    SANTA FE – Democrat Shannon Pinto won appointment Thursday to succeed her grandfather – the late John Pinto, one of the longest-serving Native American legislators in history – as a member of the New Mexico Senate.
    Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the selection, praising the younger Pinto as uniquely positioned to carry on her grandfather&rsq
  • BCSO: Officer pursuing homicide suspect struck by vehicle

    An officer was struck by a motor vehicle while pursuing a homicide suspect at Coronado Center Thursday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office.
    Deputy Felicia Maggard said the the officer was taken to the hospital. She did not identify the officer or the agency he or she was from. She also did not identify the vehicle that struck to officer.
    She said the US Marshals Service would provide more information about the incident.
    “The U.S. Marshals
  • How to beat Trump? Dems divided as he rams race onto ballot

    LOS ANGELES — Joe Biden was at a soul food restaurant in Los Angeles on Thursday when he blasted President Donald Trump’s “racist” taunts at a rally the night before.
    “This is about dividing the country,” the early Democratic front-runner, who has been criticized for his own handling of race , told reporters. “This is about dividing and raising the issue of racism across the country because that’s his base, that’s what he’s pushing.&rdq
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  • Egolf, Fajardo pick up national recognition

    SANTA FE — Two state lawmakers — House Speaker Brian Egolf and Rep. Kelly Fajardo — won national recognition this week.
    Egolf, D-Santa Fe, was selected for the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership, making him one of 24 “rising political stars” across the country who will participate in a two-year program designed to promote problem-solving. The participants are chosen based on their leadership qualities and ability to work across party lines
  • Chewy rides on post-IPO high

    NEW YORK — Chewy, the online seller of pet food and squeaky toys, is continuing its post-IPO sales streak.
    The company, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in June, forecast Thursday a rosy sales outlook after posting fiscal first-quarter results in line with Wall Street expectations.
    Chewy reported a 45.2% increase in sales to $1.1 billion
    The Dania Beach, Florida-based company expects net sales of $1.12 billion to $1.14 billion for the second quarter, which represents a 39% to 4
  • National firm ranks NM governor among least popular

    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
    SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s net-approval rating slipped over the last three months and she is now ranked among the 10 least-popular governors in the country, according to a survey by the national firm Morning Consult.
    The poll said 44% of New Mexico voters surveyed in the last quarter approved of Lujan Grisham’s job performance and 43% disapproved.
    Her net-approval rating of 1 percentage point is down from 8 points in the firs
  • EPA rejects challenge of pesticide linked to brain damage

    WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a key legal challenge Thursday to a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, saying environmental groups had failed to prove that a ban was warranted.
    The agency’s defense of continued use of the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos could set the stage for a pivotal federal court decision on whether to overrule the EPA and force the agency to ban it.
    “To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food cr
  • Duke Energy sued for 2014 coal ash spill environmental harm

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The federal, North Carolina and Virginia governments asked a court Thursday to declare the country’s largest electricity company liable for environmental damage from a leak five years ago that left miles of a river shared by the two states coated in hazardous coal ash.
    Government lawyers sought to have Charlotte-based Duke Energy declared responsible for harming fish, birds, amphibians and the Dan River bottom. Hazardous substances like arsenic and selenium poured int
  • Public debate begins on San Juan shutdown

    The San Juan Generating Station. (Richard Pipes/Albuquerque Journal)
    Public Service Company of New Mexico held its first open public meeting Thursday on the planned shutdown of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, marking the start of what could be a long, contentious process to transition the grid to carbon-free electricity.
    About 50 people attended in person, mostly representatives from environmental and energy-related organizations. Others participated online through a live webcast fro
  • Microsoft cloud growth beats expectations

    Microsoft on Thursday reported quarterly profit of $13.2 billion, powered in large part by a steadily growing cloud computing business that the company says now accounts for almost a third of its total revenue.
    CEO Satya Nadella even said in a call with investors that “our commercial cloud business is the largest in the world,” although that’s only true if you use Microsoft’s unique definition. The company counts its widely-used office software and similar online services
  • Richard Branson inspired by Apollo, his own space shot soon

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson said Thursday his spaceship has just a few more test flights before he jumps on board for the first tourist trip.
    The British billionaire celebrated his 69th birthday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center during 50th anniversary festivities for humanity’s first moon landing. His guests were 100 other aspiring astronauts who have put down deposits to launch into space with Virgin Galactic. Like Branson, many in the crowd we
  • Western Alliance: 2Q Earnings Snapshot

    PHOENIX — Western Alliance Bancorp (WAL) on Thursday reported second-quarter earnings of $122.9 million.
    The bank, based in Phoenix, said it had earnings of $1.19 per share.
    The results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.16 per share.
    The bank holding company posted revenue of $317.1 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $268.9 million, which fell short of Street forec
  • Report: Newspaper chains Gannett, GateHouse in merger talks

    NEW YORK — Two of the country’s largest newspaper companies are in “advanced talks” to combine.
    That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter.
    The Journal says that Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, and GateHouse Media, the owner of the Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post and many papers in small- and mid-sized towns, are nearing a deal that would have GateHouse or its parent buy Gannett.
    New Media
  • 2nd man pleads guilty to falsely labeling foreign crab

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Virginia man has pleaded guilty for his role in falsely labeling foreign crab meat as fresh Chesapeake blue crab.
    Federal prosecutors said Thursday in a statement that 42-year-old Michael P. Casey pleaded guilty to conspiring with his father, James Casey, who owned Casey’s Seafood in Newport News. The elder Casey was sentenced in January to two years in prison.
    G. Zachary Terwilliger is the U.S. Attorney for Virginia’s Eastern District. He says the crab ca
  • Boeing to take a $4.9 billion charge over grounded jet

    DALLAS — Boeing said Thursday it is booking a $4.9 billion charge to cover possible compensation to airlines that have canceled thousands of flights since the 737 Max jet was grounded after two deadly accidents.
    The airplane builder also said the Max-related fallout will cut $5.6 billion from its revenue and pre-tax earnings in the April-through-June quarter.
    The Chicago-based company said the calculations were based on an assumption that regulatory approval for the plane’s return to
  • Bankers: Trade war having negative effect on rural economies

    OMAHA, Neb. — More bankers surveyed in parts of 10 Plains and Western states say President Donald Trump’s trade skirmishes are having a negative effect on their local economies.
    The Rural Mainstreet survey released Thursday shows the survey’s overall index falling from 53.2 in June to 50.2 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.
    Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says highe
  • Aunt of child found dead in landfill charged

    DALLAS — A child-endangerment charge has been filed against the aunt of an 18-month-old boy found dead in a Dallas-area landfill a day after she had reported him missing.
    Cedrick Jackson had been the subject of a statewide Amber alert issued July 10. That was after his 27-year-old aunt, Chrystal Jackson, who had custody of the child, reported him missing and possibly abducted.
    The aunt was booked into the Dallas County jail Thursday with bond set at $35,000. No attorney is listed on her on
  • First Financial: 2Q Earnings Snapshot

    ABILENE, Texas — First Financial Bankshares Inc. (FFIN) on Thursday reported second-quarter net income of $42.1 million.
    The Abilene, Texas-based bank said it had earnings of 31 cents per share.
    The commercial banker operating mostly in Texas posted revenue of $107.6 million in the period. Its revenue net of interest expense was $101.3 million, beating Street forecasts.
    First Financial shares have climbed 4% since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shar
  • New York’s climate plan will drive big changes, if it works

    ALBANY, N.Y. — Solar panels on every roof. Parking meters that double as car chargers. Wind turbines towering above farm fields and ocean waves.
    A new law signed Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions and is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for all the state’s electricity to come from renewable, carbon-free sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. Transportation and bui
  • American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

    WASHINGTON — A U.S. warship on Thursday destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said. The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.
    In remarks at the White House, Trump blamed Iran for a “provocative and hostile” action and said the U.S. responded in self-
  • Netflix subscriber drop hints at streaming-service fatigue

    NEW YORK — How much is too much for streaming video?
    A dramatic slowdown in worldwide growth at Netflix — including the first quarterly drop in its U.S. subscribers since 2011 — is raising questions about just how much are people willing to pay for streaming services. Especially with a host of new ones from Disney, Apple and others on their way.
    A recent price increase seems to have spooked Netflix subscribers. The company lost 126,000 subscribers in the U.S., less than 1% of i
  • Trump: Administration to review Pentagon computer contract

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says the administration will “take a very long look” at a massive multibillion-dollar contract the Pentagon is about to award for a cloud computing system.
    Amazon Web Services Inc., a division of Amazon, and Microsoft Corp. are finalists for the contract estimated to be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade.
    Trump says Thursday at the White House that he’s been hearing “tremendous complaints” from other companies that t
  • Hollywood stars open wallets to Buttigieg’s 2020 campaign

    WASHINGTON — A-list celebrities seem to be opening their hearts — or at least their wallets — to Pete Buttigieg.
    The South Bend, Indiana, mayor was a virtual unknown months ago. But he used breakout town hall performances, viral moments and his biography as a millennial, gay military veteran and a former Rhodes scholar to get the attention of the entertainment industry and rake in cash for his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.
    Among the more than 50 celebrities who gave Bu
  • Crews prepare for construction of electric car plant

    CASA GRANDE, Ariz. — Crews have started moving earth at the Arizona site planned for an electric car plant.
    Lucid Motors tells the Casa Grande Dispatch that grading work in preparation for construction began Wednesday at the Casa Grande site.
    Casa Grande City Manager Larry Rains says the city has issued at-risk grading permit for the company.
    David Salguero of Lucid Motors says the plant is on track to begin production of the Lucid Air electric car by late 2020.
    The company based in Newark
  • Automaker BMW names production chief Zipse as new CEO

    FRANKFURT, Germany — BMW has named its top production manager, Oliver Zipse, as CEO to lead the luxury automaker through a shift to new ways of doing business such as electric vehicles and offering cars on a per-use basis.
    The company said Thursday that Zipse, 55, would succeed Harald Krueger on Aug. 16. Krueger, 53, had said on July 5 he wouldn’t seek to renew his contract when it expires next May.
    The BMW board of directors made the decision during a meeting at its plant in Spartan
  • AP Explains: Why NATO member Turkey wants Russian missiles

    ANKARA, Turkey — NATO ally Turkey is being kicked out of the U.S.-led F-35 fighter jet program over its decision to buy the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.
    The White House said Turkey’s decision to buy the Russian system “renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible” while the Pentagon suspended Turkey from the program and said it will be removed as a partner in making the planes.
    Here is a look at the rift between the NATO allies over the deal.
    ___
    W
  • Man pleads guilty to murder in 2018 double homicide

    James Knight, also known as Charles Spiess, 33 (MDC)
    The man who killed a retired Albuquerque lawyer and the woman he was renting a room to in January 2018 – and dumped their bodies by the side of a road in a town about 50 miles east of the city– has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and other charges.
    Michael Patrick, the spokesman for the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said James Knight, 33, will spend at least 30 years in
  • Across US, clergy mobilize to support vulnerable migrants

    So far this week, an anticipated nationwide sweep has not materialized at the expected magnitude. Yet the mere prospect of such action has prompted legions of pastors, rabbis and their congregations across the United States to stand ready to help vulnerable immigrants with offers of sanctuary and other services.
    Here’s a look at some of the recent developments:
    ___
    Rabbis have organized a network of more than 70 synagogues nationwide committed to supporting immigrants and asylum seekers, w
  • Records: Trump discussed quashing stories about affairs

    NEW YORK — Court records released Thursday show Donald Trump was aware of efforts to keep a porn star and a Playboy centerfold silent in the days leading up to the 2016 election.
    But despite Trump’s knowledge of those efforts– and the involvement of several others in his orbit — federal prosecutors in New York decided not to file any additional charges in their investigation of the illegal hush money payments made to silence both women who say they had sex with Trump befo
  • Records detail frenetic effort to bury stories about Trump

    NEW YORK — Court records released Thursday show that President Donald Trump took part in a flurry of phone calls in the weeks before the 2016 election as his close aides and allies scrambled to pay porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged affair.
    The documents detailing calls and text messages were made public as federal prosecutors closed their investigation into the payoff — and a similar payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal — with no plans to charge anyone
  • The heat goes on: June toastiest on record, July may follow

    WASHINGTON — Meteorologists say Earth sizzled to its hottest June on record this year.
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Thursday announced that June averaged 60.6 degrees (15.9 Celsius), about 1.7 degrees (0.9 Celsius) warmer than the 20th century average.
    It beat out 2016 for the hottest June with records going back to 1880. Europe shattered June temperature records by far.
    Scientists say the record heat is what is expected with man-made climate change.
    The first half o
  • Report: Texas jail officers didn’t make inmate checks

    TEXARKANA, Texas — A special inspection conducted at a Texas for-profit jail following an inmate’s death in March found that officers weren’t doing required cell checks even though their paperwork said otherwise.
    The Texarkana Democrat-Gazette reports the Texas Commission on Jail Standards concluded in an April report that LaSalle Corrections, which runs the Bi-State jail in Texarkana on the border between Texas and Arkansas, did not comply with the state’s inmate check r
  • DHS leader says fewer than 1,000 family separations

    WASHINGTON — A top Trump administration official said Thursday the number of family separations at the border has fallen since last summer’s zero tolerance policy, and they are done only for compelling reasons.
    Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said fewer than 1,000 children have been separated from families out of 450,000 family groups that have crossed the border since October. He said they are separated because of health and safety concerns, among other reasons.
    &
  • Colorado town honors Green Beret killed in Afghanistan

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A Colorado town has honored a fallen Green Beret with a candlelight vigil after he was killed during combat in Afghanistan.
    The Gazette reports that a crowd of more than 200 people stood outside a Falcon brewing company on Wednesday in honor of 40-year-old Sgt. Maj. James G. “Ryan” Sartor.
    The Rev. Doug Brauner says the community came together for Sartor’s wife and three children to show their love and support, including members of a special forc
  • Arizona man removing bees gets stung more than 40 times

    TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona fire department rescued a worker for a bee removal service after bees attacked the man.
    The Green Valley Fire Department says bees got inside the worker’s suit while he was trying to remove the insects from a property Wednesday.
    Department officials say the man was stung more than 40 times on his face, head and neck.
    Fire department personnel took the man to a hospital for an evaluation.
    Authorities advised nearby residents to stay indoors. They also closed
  • 77.8M acres in Gulf of Mexico for August oil, gas lease sale

    NEW ORLEANS — The federal government will offer 77.8 million acres (31.5 million hectares) in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration and development on Aug. 21.
    An Interior Department statement says the lease sale will include 14,585 tracts. They’re in water 3 to 231 miles (5 to 370 kilometers) offshore and in water from 9 feet to more than 2 miles (3 to 3,400 meters) deep.
    Until August 2017, the Interior Department held separate lease sales for the Gulf’s most active a
  • US average long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 3.81%

    WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week after three weeks of holding steady, tipped higher by expectations that the Federal Reserve could reduce interest rates soon.
    Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on the benchmark 30-year mortgage increased to 3.81% from 3.75% last week. Those are historically low levels for the key rate, which a year ago stood at 4.52%
    The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans ticked up to 3.23% from 3.22% last week.
  • NM regulators weigh PNM Palo Verde investments

    AP FILE PHOTO
    The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix operated by Arizona Public Service and supply power to Public Service Company of New Mexico among others.
    It will be up to New Mexico regulators how to address concerns surrounding decisions by the state’s largest electric utility to reinvest in a nuclear power plant in neighboring Arizona.
    The Public Regulation Commission heard oral arguments Wednesday from Public Service Co. of New Mexico, environmental groups and ot
  • US lawmakers propose ban on export of tribes’ sacred items

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Democrats are making a renewed push in Congress to ban collectors and vendors from exporting Native American ceremonial items.
    Sen Martin Heinrich, U.S. Reps. Ben Ray Lujan and Deb Haaland, and others intend to reintroduce legislation Thursday that also would increase penalties for trafficking objects that tribes hold sacred.
    The legislation follows a similar proposal from Heinrich in 2016.
    It aimed to address what senators described as a loophole in federal
  • Poker club cases end after potential conflict of interest

    HOUSTON — Prosecutors have dismissed charges against nine people who had been arrested in May after two Houston poker clubs were raided as part of a two-year organized crime investigation.
    Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said this week her office dropped the charges after discovering a potential conflict of interest involving a former contract employee and a political fundraiser.
    Ogg declined to provide details involving the conflict of interest.
    While gambling is illegal in Texas,
  • Juvenile accused of sparking western Colorado brush fire

    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A juvenile has been charged with arson after authorities say he sparked a brush fire by setting off an illegal firework in western Colorado.
    The Daily Sentinel reported Thursday that the July 4 fire burned about 9 acres (3.6 hectares) near Connected Lake State Park in Grand Junction.
    The fire prompted evacuations of seven homes but no houses were damaged.
    The juvenile has been charged with felony tampering with physical evidence and misdemeanor unlawful use, sale or

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