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Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. MDT

  • RACIAL INJUSTICE-CONQUISTADORS

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — A Jemez Pueblo activist wants a New Mexico town to confront a conquistador image on a water tank. Roger Fragua, executive director of the nonprofit group Flower Hill Institute, recently sent a letter to the town of Bernalillo asking to the mayor to talk about the depiction. Fragua says the axe under the conquistador helmet is offensive to some Native Americans. Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres says he's open to beginning talks. The move comes after Albuquerque and officials in Alcalde removed statues of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate amid demands from protesters to have them toppled.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — School districts in New Mexico are preparing their plans for resuming classes in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. In Las Cruces, district officials are reminding parents that all school-age children must be up to date on immunizations or have the proper exemption from the state Health Department. The Carlsbad school district is hopeful the overall lower number of COVID-19 positive cases in the community could mean a normal school year for students. There have been fewer than 80 cases in Eddy County. Overall, New Mexico has reported more than 12,000 cases since the outbreak began. 

  • BUDGET SOLVENCY-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed a budget solvency plan seeking to mend a multibillion-dollar deficit by scaling back spending increases. But the Democrat vetoed Tuesday some cuts to public education and other areas. State government finances are reeling from the coronavirus epidemic's economic fallout and aggressive state emergency health restrictions designed to hold the virus at bay. New Mexico economists are forecasting a $2.4 billion decline in state government income through June 2021 amid the economic upheaval. The governor vetoed more than $30 million in budget cuts, restoring funding slated for reduction for public schools and other measures.

  • OBIT-RUDOLFO ANAYA

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Rudolfo Anaya, who helped launch the 1970s Chicano Literature Movement with his novel "Bless Me, Ultima," has died. Anaya's niece, Belinda Henry, says the celebrated author died Sunday at his Albuquerque, New Mexico, home after a long illness. He was 82. Anaya came onto the scene with his breakthrough work, "Bless Me, Ultima," in 1972. The World War II-era novel about a young Mexican American boy's relationship with an older curandera, or healer, influenced a generation of Latino writers. It was made into a feature film in 2013. In 2016, Anaya was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

  • NATIVE AMERICAN-MOVIE STUDIO

TESUQUE PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — A northern New Mexico Native American tribe is opening a movie studio it hopes will attract big productions. Tesuque Pueblo recently converted its former casino near Santa Fe into a movie studio campus with more than 25,000 square feet of film shooting space. The tribe also dedicated more than 27 square miles on its land for outdoor movie scenes. Cheyenne and Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre is advising the studio and says the campus has many existing sets. The tribe's land features stunning desert in the red-brown foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Netflix and NBCUniversal have invested in New Mexico studios in recent years.

  • DRY NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — One of New Mexico's largest drinking water providers has decided to stop diverting water from the Rio Grande to help prevent the stretch that runs through Albuquerque from going dry this summer. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority said Tuesday that the curtailment is expected to last until the fall. The river is dwindling due to poor runoff and officials expect large sections of the river to run dry. Utility officials say they will shift to using groundwater exclusively over the summer to provide drinking water to customers in the metro area. They're also urging people to conserve water.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NAVAJO NATION

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — The Navajo Nation has extended the closure of tribal government offices and ordered residents to stay home for another three weeks. Tribal officials say they are concerned with spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases off the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Arizona again shut down bars, nightclubs and gyms amid a surge of coronavirus cases. New Mexico has paused plans for reopening more of the state's economy. Navajo Nation health officials reported 63 additional cases of coronavirus, with no new deaths. That puts the total of positive COVID-19 cases on the reservation at 7,532 as of Monday. The death toll remains at 363. 

  • BUTCHERED PONY

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities are investigating after a horse was found stabbed in the chest and partially butchered in his stall in Corrales. Inspectors with the state Livestock Board say the Welsh pony named Rocky had flesh cut from his body and removed from the scene. Investigators are looking for witnesses and any video footage that was taken between 10 p.m. on June 24 and 7 a.m. the next morning. Livestock Board Deputy Director Shawn Davis called it a brutal and senseless crime, saying whoever did this is a danger to the community. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered.