New Mexico

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Hiker Stumbles Onto 90M-Year-Old Turtle

Experts then dig it up for museum display

(Newser) - What looked like a pile of weirdly gray rocks was actually something far more significant: a fossil dating back to the dinosaurs, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports. Jeff Dornbusch, a museum volunteer, noticed the gray mound while hiking in New Mexico's brown desert landscape more than ten years ago,... More »

Jewel Thief Busted by Empty Coke Can: Cops

Police say suspect Ramon Herrera also didn't flush before leaving NM crime scene

(Newser) - A burglary suspect might have gotten away with it if he had just waited until he left the crime scene to quench his thirst. Instead, police say suspect Ramon Herrera helped himself to a can of Coke from the refrigerator of the Albuquerque, NM, home he allegedly broke into and... More »

$5K Reward in Mysterious Zoo Killing of Tasmanian Devil

Jasper was apparently murdered with chunk of asphalt in Albuquerque, NM

(Newser) - More security cameras are in place, additional guards are on duty, and a $5,000 reward is being offered for anyone with info leading to an arrest in the killing of Jasper the Tasmanian devil, the Albuquerque Journal reports. Police think the rare marsupial—one of four brought to New... More »

Cop: Footage Shows Ghost at Station

Straight-faced New Mexico officer says he spotted it on surveillance video

(Newser) - Bust out the Ghostbusters jokes: A police officer in New Mexico swears his station is haunted, and he says he's got video to back it up, KOAT reports. Officer Karl Romero was working last weekend and spotted something weird moving on surveillance footage of the Espanola Police Department, he... More »

600-Year-Old Tree Dies in New Mexico Drought

'Yoda' couldn't hang on

(Newser) - Yoda is no more. The rugged little Douglas fir had survived more than 600 years in a remote part of New Mexico, but the Albuquerque Journal reports that it died amid the state's current drought. "We had a moment of silence to pay our respects," wrote a... More »

Drought Lifts Western US —Literally

California mountains half an inch higher these days

(Newser) - If you're in the western US, the ground you're standing on may be a little higher than it was a few years ago. The drought that's been plaguing the West has resulted in an "uplift effect," scientists find. The "growing, broad-scale loss of water"... More »

Old Uranium Mines Still Haunt the Navajo

Retired Navajo miners suffer from high lung-cancer rates

(Newser) - During the Cold War, Navajos worked in uranium mines in the Southwest—which helped the US build atomic bombs and compete with the Soviets. Now those ex-miners are getting lung cancer at 29 times the rate of other Navajos, while their grown children become ill fairly often and their grandchildren... More »

Teen Invents Way to Prevent Hot Car Deaths

System tracks parents as they leave the vehicle

(Newser) - An inventor has developed a possible solution to the recurring problem of kids left in hot cars—and she did so before even graduating from high school. Alissa Chavez, 17, came up with the basic idea for her lifesaving contraption for a school science fair, the Washington Post reports. (Yes,... More »

Fugitive Missing 14 Years Found in Nepal

Neil Stammer had been living in Nepal since 2006

(Newser) - A New Mexico man who fled sex abuse and kidnapping charges 14 years ago has been returned following his capture in Nepal, according to the FBI. Neil Stammer, 47, arrived this afternoon at the Albuquerque International Sunport and is now in custody, awaiting charges. Authorities say a federal arrest warrant... More »

Judge Wins Election by Coin Toss

Kenneth Howard Jr. makes the right call to break a tie

(Newser) - How do you decide on a new judge? In New Mexico, by coin toss, apparently. Kenneth Howard Jr. has officially won a four-year term as the McKinley County magistrate judge after he called heads in a flip versus Robert Baca, the AP reports. Both men received exactly 2,879 votes... More »

Man Spots Jesus, Lamb—on Apple

'Maybe it's a sign,' says David Duran

(Newser) - First Jesus was spotted on Google Earth . Now he's apparently taken to fruit. Albuquerque's David Duran was making apple butter in his mother's kitchen when he came to "the last couple of apples in the batch." He was just about to peel one when he... More »

Court to Town: No, You Can't Outlaw Criticism

Town of Ruidoso banned 'negative' comments about government

(Newser) - Imagine a world where people could say only nice things at your local town meeting—by law. If that world sounds just a wee bit problematic to you, you're on the same page as US District Judge James Browning, who yesterday struck down a rule that the village of... More »

For $20K, George RR Martin Will Kill You

Literarily speaking, of course, and to save some wolves

(Newser) - If you happen to have $20,000 burning a hole in your pocket, George RR Martin will cut you for it. The author behind Game of Thrones will slay you with all appropriate gore—on the written page, of course—if you are a top-tier donor of his current crowdfunding... More »

Insane Grasshopper Invasion Hits Albuquerque

Swarms actually show up on weather radar

(Newser) - Albuquerque is dealing with so many grasshoppers that their swarms look like rain on weather radar, ABC News reports. "We have actually been noticing the insects on radar since about Memorial Day," says a National Weather Service rep. At first, the service couldn't figure out what the... More »

NM City to Divvy Up Unearthed Atari Games

Including the 'worst game ever' found at landfill

(Newser) - Officials in southeastern New Mexico began work on a plan this week to divide a cache of Atari video games dug up from an old landfill last month. Joe Lewandowski, a consultant for the film companies that documented the dig, issued a draft of a distribution plan to Alamogordo city... More »

Guy Sues: Cop Tased Me With a Puppy, Bro

Officer says man was being disorderly

(Newser) - It is accepted fact that holding a puppy can get a guy on most girls' warm and fuzzy side. This accepted fact does not, however, appear to carry over to the realm of Taser-wielding cops in New Mexico, reports KOAT-TV . As Eppie Cruz Montoya tells it, he was innocently trying... More »

Boehner Blasts 'Audacity' of Obama's Nat'l Monument

Says Obama's move will undermine border security

(Newser) - President Obama yesterday used his executive power to designate 500,000 acres of desert along New Mexico's southern border a national monument. It's a move being praised by environmentalists and ... slammed by John Boehner, who called it "a level of audacity that is remarkable even for this... More »

Landfill Dig Finds Hundreds of Copies of 'Worst Game Ever'

Crews reveal truth behind legend

(Newser) - Gaming lore holds that huge quantities of the supposed worst video game of all time—Atari's ET—were buried in a New Mexico landfill . Turns out, those who believed the story were right. In a dig in the southeastern city of Alamogordo, crews found hundreds of copies of the... More »

Now Google's Getting Drones

Firm purchases Titan Aerospace in push to spread Internet access

(Newser) - Amazon's not the only big tech firm with drones in its future . Google has agreed to purchase Titan Aerospace, a New Mexico-based drone maker, NBC News reports. With two-thirds of the world's population still lacking Internet access, "Atmospheric satellites could help bring Internet access to millions of... More »

Bones Found in Santa Fe Could Solve 62-Year Cold Case

Inez Garcia went missing in 1952; husband was suspect

(Newser) - It's been 62 years since then-26-year-old Inez Garcia went missing—and investigators may finally have some new clues. In digging up the floor of a garage at the center of the case, detectives on Monday found bone fragments, some charred, and they're having them tested to see if... More »

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