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BC-NM--New Mexico News Digest Update, NM



Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

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Good afternoon. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in New Mexico. Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to Susan Montoya Bryan at 505-822-9022 or apalbuquerque@ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

UPDATE:

BC-US--Albuquerque Police Shootings, updated

BC-NM--Women's Prison, updated

BC-NM--Museum-Diamond Theft, new

BC-US--Atari Dig, new

BC-CO--Endangered Grouse, new

TOP STORIES:

ALBUQUERQUE POLICE SHOOTINGS

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A scathing report by the U.S. Justice Department released Thursday revealed a troubling and often unjustified pattern of excessive force by the Albuquerque Police Department and recommended that New Mexico's largest city become the latest municipality to adopt reforms aimed at cleaning up its police force. The report, which immediately drew support from Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and other city officials, came after federal officials spent months conducting interviews, scouring videos and reviewing hundreds of pages of documents. According to the report, Albuquerque officers too frequently used deadly force on people who posed a minimal threat and used a higher level of force too often on those with mental illness, often violating their constitutional rights. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 976 words, photos and video.

POLICE-MENTAL HEALTH

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — When a 6-foot-5, 270-pound man with a history of violence broke out of a mental health ward near Philadelphia and tried to withdraw money from a bank, a confrontation with police seemed likely. But Lower Merion Township police officer Matthew Freind used his mental health training to calmly talk to the man and defuse the crisis. Dozens of mentally ill people die in run-ins with police every year. Last month, a homeless camper in Albuquerque, N.M., was killed in a shooting captured on an officer's helmet camera, sparking an FBI investigation and a protest that forced the city to call out riot police. Mental health advocates say violent confrontations occur regularly between people with untreated mental illness and officers who often aren't equipped to deal with them. They blame a mental health system whose funding has been severely slashed, thrusting police into the role of first responder. By Michael Rubinkam. AP Photos. SENT: 900 words.

WITH: POLICE-MENTAL HEALTH-GLANCE

WOMEN'S PRISON

SANTA FE, N.M. — Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel says New Mexico is looking for a private prison company that can house more female inmates in the future but there's no immediate plan for a larger women's prison. Marcantel told reporters Thursday after a legislative committee hearing that the agency is requesting proposals from private prison contractors, which must have the capability to handle up to 850 female inmates to meet possible future needs. By Barry Massey. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.

UNM-HELICOPTER CRASH

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a medical helicopter to crash while taking off from the roof of New Mexico's only top-level trauma center. Officials said all three people aboard escaped serious injury. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 527 words, photos and video.

ATARI DIG

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. — Organizers of a search in a New Mexico landfill for a rumored stash of what some call the worst video game ever made by Atari announced Thursday that the dig will get underway this month. The dig at the Alamogordo landfill where Atari reportedly discarded millions of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" game cartridges in 1983 is scheduled for April 26, officials with Microsoft-owned Xbox said. The excavation will be open for public viewing, according to Xbox. SENT: 462 words.

ENDANGERED GROUSE

DENVER — Conservation groups say they will go to court to force the Obama administration to do more to save the lesser prairie chicken, arguing a recent federal ruling doesn't stop the energy industry from killing the grouse or encroaching on its habitats in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. SENT: 392 words.

ALSO:

— MUSEUM-DIAMOND THEFT — The large uncut diamond that was stolen from a secure case inside the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has been recovered.

— SHOOTING-OFFICERS — New Mexico State Police say a Torrance County man shot and wounded by law enforcement officers had first shot at the officers' vehicles because he thought they were burglars.

— SANTA FE PLAZA — Santa Fe's newly elected mayor is proposing that the northern New Mexico city close its historic downtown plaza to vehicles.

— MISSLE RANGE-STRIKE — Hundreds of striking workers for a White Sands Missile Range contractor have ratified a new contract and ended their walkout after eight days.

— CUCKOO PROTECTIONS — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is giving the public more time to comment on a proposal to list the Western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo as threatened.

— NEW JUDGESHIP — A bipartisan commission will meet next month in Albuquerque to recommend candidates to Gov. Susana Martinez for possible appointment to a new district court judgeship.

— PNM-BUSINESS REBATES — New Mexico's largest electric provider says it's adding a number of rebates and services to help businesses and commercial building owners save on their electricity bills.

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If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, statephotos@ap.org, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from New Mexico and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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