State News at a Glance 03-11-11

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By Associated Press

New Mexico jobless rate grows

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico’s jobless rate rose to 8.7 percent in January, up from 8.6 percent in December and 8.1 percent in January 2010.
State labor officials said New Mexico lost 3,500 jobs between January 2010 and January 2011.
An analysis shows the state’s total nonfarm employment peaked at 849,600 in February 2008, and had fallen to 796,900 in December 2010. The state Department of Workforce Solutions said seven sectors have reported growth and six had declines. The education and health services sector has added 2,600 jobs since January 2010, while retail trade added 1,700 jobs.
The mining industry has gained 1,500 jobs after 14 months of losses that ended in 2010. Professional and business services lost 7,900 jobs from last year, while construction dropped 1,600 and financial activities lost 900 jobs.

Lawmaker halts attempt to repeal medical marijuana  

SANTA FE — A freshman lawmaker has withdrawn a measure to repeal New Mexico’s medical marijuana law, and instead is asking for a study of it.
Republican Rep. Jim Smith of Sandia Park asked that his repeal measure not be heard by the House committee where it was sent. Smith said there wouldn’t be enough time to fully debate the bill. He has introduced a memorial asking the state Department of Health to study the impact of the 2007 law.
The memorial asks for a report by October. A memorial is a request, without force of law. The House has not taken up the memorial. Gov. Susana Martinez has said the medical marijuana law puts state employees in the position of violating federal law, which classifies marijuana as an illegal drug.

Fatal shooting at Las Cruces store
LAS CRUCES — Police are investigating a shooting that killed a 22-year-old man.
Police responded early Thursday night to a shots fired call outside a convenience store.
Officers arrived and found the victim lying near the store. Later, Las Cruces police received a phone call from a man who eventually turned himself in. That man is being questioned about the shooting.
The investigation remains active and no charges have been filed. Police haven’t said what the motive was for the shooting and police have not released the name of the shooting victim or the man who is being questioned.

Interns wanted for Sen. Udall’s office

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall invites New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or press relations experience to apply for internships in his Washington, D.C., office.  
To apply online or download an application, go to www.tomudall.senate.gov.  
There are two sessions for summer internships: May 29 – July 2 and July 3 – Aug. 6.  Deadline to apply for both sessions is March 25.  
All internships may count toward college credit. Students should check with their respective college or university for requirements.  College students from New Mexico or college students attending New Mexico schools are given first preference, and students of all majors are encouraged to apply.
Candidates are encouraged to apply online as there is a delay in Senate offices receiving mail.  If applications or letters of recommendation are sent via U.S. Postal Service, please take into account this delay.  Inquiries may be emailed to internship_program@tomudall.senate.gov.