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Around New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez is headed to Miami next month for a political conference intended to engage Republican young professionals.

Martinez will be joined at the three-day Maverick PAC conference by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Republicans often cited as possible 2016 presidential candidates.

“There is a great opportunity for young reform-minded conservatives to shape the direction of our party, and this conference will give them the platform they need,” Martinez said in a statement.

The first-term Republican governor has drawn national attention, particularly among Republicans, as the state’s first elected Hispanic female governor. She’s expected to run for re-election in 2014.

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Travel expenses for the conference are being paid by Maverick PAC, said Martinez political adviser Jay McCleskey.

Provost selection method faces vote

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University regents today will vote on whether to allow new President Garrey Carruthers to bypass an extensive search for the hiring of a new provost.

The exception to the hiring policy is listed on the agenda for today’s regents meeting, which begins at 2 p.m.

A presentation made to a faculty senate committee in May revealed Carruthers already has a preferred candidate for the position of provost and executive vice president.

That person was one of the finalists for the NMSU presidency, although Carruthers, a former governor of New Mexico, has refused to say who it is.

The faculty senate met to discuss the exemption, but chairman Dennis Clason said Wednesday that he did not want to comment on the faculty’s position. He said he would present it to the regents today.

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Gov. to attend Florida conference

Valles transfer plan advances

JEMEZ SPRINGS – Legislation that would transfer management of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico to the National Park Service has passed one of its first hurdles.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted Tuesday in favor of the legislation, sponsored by Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, both D-N.M.

Under the proposal, hunting, fishing and grazing would continue on the 89,000-acre preserve.

The preserve is home to vast grasslands, the remnants of one of North America’s few super-volcanoes and one of New Mexico’s most famous elk herds.

The federal government bought the property from land grant heirs in 2000 with the goal of operating it as a working ranch while developing recreational opportunities for the public.

The transfer was first proposed in 2010 in hopes of getting more consistent funding to preserve as well as improving the area and increasing recreation.

Doña Ana sheriff faces rights suit

LAS CRUCES – A man and his young grandson have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging Doña Ana County sheriff’s deputies unjustly ordered them out of a vehicle at gunpoint and illegally searched them.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported that the complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces says the search occurred when Mike Castro and his then-8-year-old grandson were rabbit hunting in 2011 on a private road.

A video of the stop reportedly recorded a deputy saying a rifle had been seen pointing out a window of Castro’s vehicle.

Court documents say Castro had no weapons and the boy had a BB rifle.

The complaint says then-Sgt. Jon Day struck Castro twice when he asked why they were being searched.

Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kelly Jameson declined to comment.

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