Violence, politics and budget cuts top New Mexico news

The brutality of Victoria’s slaying sent shockwaves through New Mexico in August, but it marked only one of a handful of heartbreaking cases involving children in 2016.

On the Navajo Nation, 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike was lured by a man into his van as she and her brother played near their bus stop after school in early May. Authorities say it was at a remote spot in the shadow of a rock outcropping held sacred by the tribe that the man assaulted her, struck her in the head with a crowbar and left her to die.

In Roswell, a father of four was charged with murder in June after authorities say he gunned down his four daughters and wife in the family home before fleeing to Mexico.

Three children were killed in Albuquerque less than a month before Christmas when authorities say their mother’s ex-boyfriend ambushed them at home.

From remote corners to the state’s most populous city, the cases spurred elected officials to call for everything from prayers and community unity to tougher punishments for those who hurt children.

Here are the other top stories of the year:

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign dominated headlines nationwide in 2016, including in New Mexico when a rally by the celebrity businessman prompted violence in downtown Albuquerque. Thousands of supporters attended the rally while rioters outside threw rocks at police and knocked down barriers, prompting authorities to lob smoke bombs and pepper spray.

New Mexico Republicans were able to unseat long-time Senate leader Michael Sanchez during the November general election, but Democrats won back the majority in the House to restore what has amounted to decades of control by the party over the state…