State News at a Glance 03-09-11

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By Associated Press

Man charged with child abuse
ESPAñOLA — Authorities in Rio Arriba County said a 24-year-old man is suspected of abusing and sexually assaulting a 17-month-old girl in his girlfriend’s home outside of Española.
KRQE-TV reports that Nathan Montoya was arrested Tuesday and charged with child abuse resulting in death. Montoya has been convicted of molesting a teenager in the past.
Sheriff’s deputies said Montoya called 911 to report that the child was not breathing, and paramedics who arrived found the girl with serious head injuries.
KRQE reports that doctors at the hospital say the girl had been sexually assaulted.
Investigators do not know the whereabouts of the girl’s parents.

House approves stop sign change for bicyclists
SANTA FE – Bicyclists could roll through a stop sign after slowing and yielding the right of way under legislation that has passed the House.
The bill also will change New Mexico’s traffic laws to allow bicyclists to go through a stop light after initially stopping and making sure it’s safe to proceed through an intersection. Supporters say the changes reflect what many experienced cyclists currently do, and may help prevent accidents in which a bicyclist is rear-ended at a stop sign or traffic light.
Opponents contend that bicyclists shouldn’t be treated differently from other motorists and they said the proposed change could create confusion among drivers.
The legislation passed the House on a 37-27 vote Tuesday and goes to the Senate.