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

March 18, 2015

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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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. All times are Mountain.

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

TOP STORIES:

XGR-LEGISLATURE-FINAL STRETCH

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As the New Mexico Legislature approaches adjournment, the fate of a proposed $6.2 billion spending plan, capital outlay projects and a tribal gambling compact remain up in the air. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 350 words by 4 p.m.

XGR-SENATE VACANCY

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County on Wednesday nominated former state lawmaker and Santa Fe County Commissioner Liz Stefanics to fill a vacancy in the state Senate that has ignited party bickering and spurred two legal challenges. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 400 words.

POWER PLANT HEARING

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico regulators are scheduled to take more public testimony on a plan to shutter half of an aging coal-fired power plant that supplies communities around the Southwest. By Susan Montoya Bryan. UPCOMING: 300 words. Developing from 5:30 p.m. MT public meeting.

MINIVAN SHOOTING-CHILDREN

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A fired New Mexico State Police officer who made national headlines after he shot at a minivan full of children near Taos has a new job. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 320 words.

DEPUTY SHOOTS DEPUTY

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A hearing is scheduled in the case of a former Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy accused of shooting a fellow deputy following a night of drinking and a heated argument. UPCOMING: 350 words, photos. Developing from 3:30 p.m. hearing.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration set a new record again for more often than ever censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press. By Ted Bridis. SENT: 1,000 words. AP Photos.

ALSO:

—INDEPENDENT VOTERS-LAWSUIT — An attempt by an independent voter to transform New Mexico’s two-party primary system has been rejected by a state district judge.

— MEDICAL MARIJUANA-SUIT — New rules for New Mexico’s medical marijuana program are being challenged in court.

— ALBUQUERQUE-HOMELESS HELP — The city of Albuquerque will award more than $2 million to six nonprofits to help address homelessness and mental health issues.

— FUGITIVE CAUGHT — Authorities say a United States citizen sought in a 2008 drug-related killing in the Albuquerque area has been apprehended in Mexico and deported to the United States.

— STRAY BULLET DEATH — The family of a man killed in an Albuquerque-area housing complex by a stray bullet that went through his door has won a $2 million judgment against a condominium association and a property management firm.

— ATTORNEY GENERA-NCAA PICKS — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is picking New Mexico State’s men’s team to go to the NCAA’s Elite Eight and New Mexico State women to win it all.

SPORTS:

BKC--NCAA-FOUL OR DEFEND?

One of the great debates in college basketball involves the following scenario: Leading by 3 in the final seconds, do you foul to prevent a tying 3-point attempt or just play defense? Like most strategies, success or failure is often determined by how well the players execute. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 3 p.m.

BKC--NCAA TOURNAMENT GUIDE

Last year’s NCAA Tournament was one for the ages, filled with improbable upsets and wild finishes. With an undefeated team, star players and some great match-ups, this year’s version of March Madness could be even better. By Basketball Writer John Marshall. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m. PDT

_________________

If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 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.

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