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Hobbs court offering amnesty for warrants

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - Hobbs Municipal Court is offering a weeklong amnesty to clear outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges of failure to appear or failure to pay a fine.

Lea County residents with such warrants must appear in the Hobbs court this week.

Hobbs City Attorney Gwen Gist says amnesty week is designed to clear a backlog of failure to appear and failure to pay warrants.

Warrants for failure to appear will be recalled for those who appear before a judge and plea guilty or no contest to the outstanding charges and pay the total amount due the same day.

For failure to pay warrants, the total amount due must be paid, but the warrant fee and the contempt of court charge will be waived.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Navy pilots returning to skies over Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Starting next month, Navy pilots will resume training flights from the Las Cruces airport.

In years past, some residents have complained about noise.

Others call it "the sound of freedom" and say they're proud the community can play a role in helping pilots become certified as Naval aviators.

The City Council voted 6-0 on Wednesday to approve plans for the flights, which begin Sept. 7 and continue through Nov. 9.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima calls it "a good deal for the city."

About 100 Navy personnel, including as many as 60 pilots with about 20 airplanes, are expected to begin arriving Sept. 3 from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas.

Navy pilots did not visit last year because of runway repairs.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Chaves County teen court could close if funding not found

A teen court in Chaves County could shut down if funding can not be found.

The teen court, like many just like it across the country and in New Mexico, is facing a financial crisis.

Budgets have been slashed and donations have dried up.

If the Chaves County non-profit doesn't come up with $20,000, the program may shut down for good.

The court opened in 1994 and has given young criminals a second chance.

Court employees don't want to lose something they say is useful in changing behavior.

The program is an alternative for kids who have admitted to misdemeanor crimes like shoplifting or trespassing.

A jury of the teen's peers review the case and decide on a punishment.

Victoria Patton is a Dexter High School senior and an attorney in Teen Court.

She has seen first hand how the program can have a positive impact in the lives of youth.

Chile pepper experts to meet in Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Chile pepper experts will gather in New Mexico next month for the annual International Chile Pepper Conference.

This year's topics will include chile research and industry concerns from around the world.

The event, hosted by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute, will take place Sept. 12-14 at Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.

The conference coincides with the state's chile harvest so participants will have a chance to tour chile processing operations around the region.

Chile Pepper Institute senior research specialist Danise Coon says the information provided at the conference is essential to the success and progress of the chile industry.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Juco transfer named starting QB for NMSU

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Junior college transfer Matt Christian has been named New Mexico State's starting quarterback.

A junior from San Diego, Christian joined the Aggies from Palomar Junior College in California, where he started 11 games in two seasons, throwing for 2,329 yards passing and 23 touchdowns.

Coach DeWayne Walker announced the decision after practice Tuesday.

Walker says freshmen Andrew Manley and Tanner Rust are competing to become the primary backup and junior Jeff Fleming, who played in all 13 games last season, will be the Aggies' "change-of-pace quarterback" and run special offensive packages.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

3 sentenced in Roswell shooting prank

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) - A southeastern New Mexico judge has sentenced three people involved in a staged mock shootout outside a Roswell grocery store that led to a flurry of 911 calls and officers scrambling to the scene.

Roswell Municipal Judge Larry Loy sentenced 26-year-old Nevada Smith to 40 days in jail on misdemeanor charges.

He sentenced 24-year-old Delilah Cole to five days of community service and Jeffrey Bornemann to 15 days of community service.

Roswell police spokesman Officer Travis Holley says the group staged an argument in a parking lot Saturday, then Smith fired blanks at another person.

Holley says the supposed victim used condiments as fake blood, then the group loaded the limp body in a pickup truck and fled. He call it an immature and dangerous stunt.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Prosecutors will seek max. sentence against 13 year old charged with murder


A 13-year-old boy is now charged with murder in the death of an Eastern New Mexico University student.

Police arrested a DeAngelo Montoya on July 24, originally on burglary charges. He has been held in the Curry County Juvenile Detention Center.

Montoya lived close to the victim, 22-year-old Angel Vale, originally from Roswell. Police say Montoya repeatedly stole a .22 caliber rifle from Vale’s apartment to use for target practice before returning it.

Police said Vale, a student at ENMU, was shot three times outside her home on July 22, including a shot to the head. Investigators believe the rifle was the murder weapon.

Family members tell The Portales News-Tribune that Vale was moving out that day because the multiple burglaries had made her concerned.