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Shiprock man pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter charge

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ALBUQUERQUE – Larry June, 58, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty Aug. 21, in federal court in Albuquerque to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, June will be sentenced to 97 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be...

As transportation tech hits new age, New Mexico lags behind

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State Sen. James White, R-Albuquerque, recently joined state legislators from around the country for a meeting of the Council of State Governments in Detroit, Michigan.

At one event, he and two others sat in a car. White wasn’t driving. Neither was anyone else in the car.

In fact, there was no steering wheel. Just a panic button.

The car didn’t go at highway speeds—in fact, it only went 15 MPH—but that was enough to impress him. White was at a test facility for autonomous cars.

More legislators might start taking rides like White’s in the future as more autonomous vehicles hit the roads—and as states grapple with what that means for existing motor vehicle laws.

While the...

Third Pinon brother sentenced for violent assault on juvenile

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PHOENIX – Roneldo James, 28, of Pinon, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow to eight years of imprisonment Aug. 21, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  James had previously pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon.  James committed the offense with his two brothers, Delfred Lee and Milfred James, who were previously sentenced to seven and six years of imprisonment, respectively, for their roles in the offense.

On Dec. 1, 2015, James and his brothers held a juvenile victim and others at gunpoint against their will in a Pinon, Ariz. residence on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation.  All parties involved are members of the Navajo...

State Auditor Tim Keller releases special audit of state purchasing practices

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SANTA FE – State Auditor Tim Keller released a multiagency audit of State Agency procurement practices Aug. 22, from July 2013 through July 2016. The report reveals that in fiscal year 2016, over $1 billion worth of state spending did not go through the competitive procurement process designed to safeguard public funds from patronage, fraud and corruption.

In addition, over $5 billion of healthcare dollars were spent through exemptions to the Procurement Code. The report highlights both the level of reliance on contracts procured with sole source, emergency and other exceptions and exemptions and violations of the Procurement Code.

“Our audit reveals billions of dollars of state...

BREAKING NEWS: PED releases annual school grades report

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Highlights from school grades data for Gallup McKinley County Schools, released by New Mexico Public Education Department today.

Six schools dropped two grades when compared to last year’s results. Crownpoint Elementary went from C to F; David Skeet Elementary went from B to D; Indian Hills Elementary from A to C; Thoreau Elementary from B to D; Tohatchi Middle from C to F; and Twin Lakes Elementary from C to F.Eight schools dropped by one grade this year. Catherine Miller Elementary went from D to F: Chief Manuelito B to C; Crownpoint Middle from A to B; John F. Kennedy Middle from B to C; Middle College High Charter from B to C; Rocky View Elementary from C to D; Thoreau High...

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