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Local and State News

Latest New Mexico news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. MDT

  • VIRGIN GALACTIC-SPACESHIP

UPHAM, N.M. (AP) — Virgin Galactic is preparing to unveil the cabin interior of its spaceship as final testing of the craft nears completion in southern New Mexico. The space tourism company on Tuesday announced that the cabin's interior will be revealed during a virtual event planned for July 28 that will be streamed on YouTube. Company officials consider the cabin of SpaceShipTwo the centerpiece of a customer's journey, saying it was designed to provide a level of intimacy as customers are launched into the lower fringes of space where they can experience weightlessness and get a view of the Earth below.  

  • STUDENT-ONLINE THREATS

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — The FBI says a teenage boy who made online threats that led to the lockdown of Roswell High School is facing a federal charge. FBI officials said in a news release Wednesday that the 18-year-old has been charged with interstate communications containing a threat to injure the person of another. According to authorities, Herbert went on the social media app Snapchat on Nov. 12. He allegedly posted a message with an image of a semi-automatic weapon and a threat specifically targeted at Roswell High School. The message led to Roswell High School being shut down. The boy remains in custody.

  • COMMUNITY LIBRARIES-ALBUQUERQUE

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque and a Wisconsin-based group have agreed on a new initiative to encourage residents to build "Little Free Libraries" throughout the region. The Little Free Library nonprofit organization announced this week that Albuquerque will help volunteers create small spaces where residents can trade books amid the pandemic. Under the agreement, the city's Office of Civic Engagement's​ ​One ABQ Volunteers​ program will work to expand the number of free libraries across the city. Since 2009, tens of thousands of little free libraries have sprung up in the U.S. and more than 100 countries.

  • VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW MEXICO

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says there will be more aggressive enforcement of the state's public health order to rein in rising coronavirus infection rates across the state. The Democratic governor said Wednesday that people who ignore mask-wearing requirements in public could face a $100 fine and that businesses that flout health orders risk workplace citations and misdemeanor criminal charges. Three new deaths linked to the coronavirus brought the statewide death toll to 500 since the outbreak of the pandemic in March. Health officials stressed concerns about an increase in the rate of spread. They say that trend could interfere with efforts to resume classroom school attendance.

  • HORSE RACING-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — With the New Mexico State Fair being called off, the horse races that usually coincide with the annual event are being cancelled too. State regulators approved a motion to nix the fair races during a special meeting Wednesday. They also approved changes to the race dates and stakes schedule for The Downs at Albuquerque. The changes mean this year's meet at the Downs will start later, running from Aug. 8 through Sept. 20. New Mexico's horse tracks and casinos have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. After a brief hiatus, races resumed at Ruidoso Downs in May but without spectators.

  • AP-US-IMMIGRATION-ASYLUM-BAN

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge has knocked down a cornerstone border policy of the Trump administration that denies asylum to people who travel through another country to reach the Mexico border without first seeking protection in that country. Judge Timothy Kelly says authorities violated federal rule-making procedures by not seeking public feedback before putting the policy into effect in July 2019. The immediate impact of the judge's ruling on Tuesday is diminished by a coronavirus pandemic-related measure to quickly expel people who cross the border illegally and block asylum-seekers at official crossings.

  • POLICE BODY CAMERAS-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Commissioners in New Mexico's most populous county have taken another step toward outfitting the sheriff's department with body cameras. The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday to appropriate $1 million that had been approved last year through an administrative resolution. The money can be used to purchase cameras, support services, subscriptions and infrastructure for the camera systems. The move comes as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham considers signing a bill that would mandate cameras for nearly all state and local law enforcement officers. Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales says if the legislation is signed, he'll ensure the technology is used to secure the constitutional rights and safety of all citizens.

  • CARLSBAD CAVERNS-SHOOTING

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Recently released body camera video shows the final moments before an unarmed Colorado man was shot and killed by a park ranger at Carlsbad Caverns. KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported Tuesday that video from the March shooting has 26 seconds missing, leaving local prosecutors unsure whether to rule the use of force was justified. Authorities say National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell stopped Charles "Gage" Lorentz for erratic driving March 21. An attorney representing Lorentz's family says they intend to sue the U.S. Interior Department. The National Park Service says the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Mexico is investigating.