ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico group Cowboys for Trump is facing criticism after a member bragged the group brought iconic gypsum sands from the White Sands National Monument to Washington for a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. The Alamogordo Daily News reports Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin said the group brought four “big plastic bins” of the sand for the ceremony Wednesday. Removing natural resources from national monuments is illegal without permission. Democratic New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told the Albuquerque-based KOB-TV she was proud the Christmas tree from New Mexico has sand from White Sands National Monument.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Records show 88% of those arrested in Albuquerque by New Mexico State Police on felony charges during a so-called surge are no longer in custody. KOAT-TV reports records show most of the 201 felony arrests made over 60 days resulted in suspects going back on the streets within days. State Police launched “Operation Surge” earlier this year in New Mexico's largest city following high-profile homicides of a mail carrier and a University of New Mexico baseball player.  The city also has seen a jump in overall homicides this year.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - Former Navajo Housing Authority CEO says he deleted nude photos of him and his wife on a company cell phone, but his predecessor restored them out of anger. Craig Dougall told the Gallup Independent this week he made a mistake in using the company phone to share intimate correspondence with his wife of 20 years. But Dougall said he didn’t deliberately return the phone with the photos to be seen by the staff.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The governing board for New Mexico high school sports has voted to realign a number of football programs. The Albuquerque Journal reports Mayfield High School, one of New Mexico’s most storied programs and winner of eight big-school state championships, is leaving the largest classification starting in 2020. Capital and Los Alamos - who have been sharing a football district with Del Norte and Santa Fe - are going to be part of a newly formed District 1-5A that also includes Farmington, Piedra Vista and Miyamura.

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